Member Since: January 8, 2008

Country: United States

  • Can’t resist: “hacker uses hacksaw making hack marks.”

    Very timely post - I brought a Ikea led bulb to work today to dissect it.

    Early cfl bulbs were notorious for either failing very fast and/or burning up, complete with flames. Poor design switcher circuits with low efficiency made ‘em run hot. Also, a major factor was mounting them base-upwards such that the switching ballast ran hotter. I expect the newer led bulbs will go through the same evolution but probably faster since the producers have probably learned from past mistakes.

    Cheap switchers often rely on full voltage sine wave power so triac based dimmers can make them either fail or run hot.

    If someone wants to do some lifetime comparisons, it would be good to note which way the bulbs are mounted or to do two of each - one ‘up’, one ‘down’.

    Great posting, Nate

  • Great job on behalf of the contestants!

    How many entries were there?

  • Once again, no fracking way for me to view this. I and many like me simply cannot stop work during the day to watch a video presentation. Why is there no way to down-load the video?

  • Thank you for the interesting topic. I’ve learned and forgotten much of this over the years. In particular I enjoyed the comments about the generalization of the method that @Blaise Pascal posted.

    Something that caught my eye however was the third paragraph about the utility of integer math on small embedded controllers; this is probably worth an enginursday blog. I wanted to only use floating point when I started out programming PICs but was enlightened by my mentor of how to use integer math instead. After a while it became second nature. When I began to use compilers instead of assembly language, I still applied integer math and still do even though the compiler provided floating point libraries and my simple programs on large PIC32 chips had room and speed for floating point. Nothing religious here, it’s just a way of seeing and solving problems. Horses for courses.

  • It doesn’t always work out like you might think…


  • Well, the story has gone viral. It’s been on 4 or 5 clearing-house websites. I went back to Amazon to see if the reviews have change any — they have; the page has been taken down. Going to the publisher site, there is an apology and a statement that they are going to re-write the book.

  • Thanks for shining the broad light of day (and reason) on this trash. I’ve been cringing at the ‘Barbie’ aspect of American culture basically forever. I never understood why my wife bought them for our two daughters. Fortunately they grew up fine with no foolish ideas about gender - good for them! So exposure to Barbie is not the death knell as I thought it would be.

    One good sign: click on the Amazon link for that book and see that out of 115 reviews, 103 of them are 1 star - the lowest possible.

  • Wow! What a great list of resources! The ‘falling-fruit’ resonated with me. My wife’s depression-era father knew every fruit tree in a five mile radius of his home and would visit them at harvest time - sometimes late at night as the owners were not all into the ‘open source’ thing… ;>

  • Here’s my idea of a great workbench:


  • Excellent writeup! Thank you for taking the time to thoroughly explain your great project.

No public wish lists :(