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August 20, 2013
News - Enginursday: A New Approa…
about 5 days ago
My first experience with programmable logic was using GAL(PAL) chips. I was amazed at how many logic chips would simply “go away” when you plop one of those on the board. Never really got into FPGAs though. It always seemed to be cost prohibitive in the past. It was just simpler for most projects to grab a micro and just bit bang it to life.
I think that may be the barrier to entry for FPGAs. Practically all other programmable logic technology has gotten extremely inexpensive for the hobbyist. This has translated to those hobbyists using micros instead of FPGAs in their professional career. Yes, there are times a micro is just not fast enough. However, that is pretty rare.
Embedded Micro’s approach to the IDE is a good one on the learning curve side. However, when an FPGA is still almost $50 to $100 to get a decent one compared to a $5 micro then the micro is going to win for most projects. Hopefully making them more accessible will spur more development and drive the unit costs down. There are a few projects I would love to experiment with, but never could justify the time and money to “play” with FPGAs.
News - Just because you can, doe…
HIPS no, ninja flex maybe
News - May Caption Contest!
about a week ago
The “red box”… I know it is there, but I will not look at the “red box”. I cannot think of the “red box”. Just like I cannot think of the “the game”… Damn it! I lost the game again! Damn you “red box”!
And here we have Bob. He has been working here for 6 months and the only thing he ever types in his emails is: “Hodor”.
News - Arduino Announces Partner…
That is awesome. One thing I miss about MS products was QBasic. It was accessible to non-technical people to learn. It was very simple as well. Visual Basic is just not the same. It is really too complicated for the beginner IMO. So if MS is reaching out to fledgling programmers consider making some more accessible programming environments and put them in the Windows as a standard addon/feature. I think you will find a lot of people will love this. Maybe a VBA for kids and devices like arduino.
It is called “vendor lock-in”. I used to deal with this all the time in industrial control systems. However, as time has gone on the vendors are finding that open systems are what customers really want. Hence the standardization of interfaces for instruments. The “vendor lock-in” model is NOT unique to MS at all. I would not doubt it was/is taught in MBA programs.
As far as I can tell MS is in a very tenuous situation. Their marketing strategies on a lot of their flagship products is backfiring. So the “vendor lock-in” strategy may be coming to an end. Probably something to do with diminishing returns, public perception, etc. Their are plenty of options on the market now for all of their products. The gravitation to SaaS is probably going to bolster Open Source projects immensely. People don’t want to keep buying their products in perpetuity.
Honestly some of the moves MS has made are very welcome especially for developers. They are producing some solutions that are cross platform (not just MS platforms) like the community edition of Visual Studio. In my mind their biggest recent success story is Windows 7. It is an absolute gem version of Windows. I really dislike (almost hate) Windows 8.1, but it does boot fast on my laptop (I don’t have SSD).
So despite my distrust of the “vendor lock-in” model (it really only serves the vendor, not the customer) I see a gravitation by MS to more open systems. This is a good move. Vote with dollars to support this. Being involved with Arduino is just another company in a long line of companies making that move. They should be congratulated for that.
BTW, to give some perspective to my arguments. I had Windows 95 on my machine way back when. I did not run Windows on my machine for more than 10 years in between. I ran Linux during that time. Then I finally needed Windows 7 for doing contract work. I actually prefer doing development under Windows 7 than I did under Linux. So they have really made inroads to customers that had written off Windows as a personal platform. I was “the guy” at work that always made disparaging remarks about MS. My opinion is slowly changing. I am not sure if I am growing up, MS is growing up, or both.
Looks like is WAS $20 back in December time frame:
News - Arduino + Chromebook
about a month ago
This would cause of the rise of Linux to actually happen. People want control of their data and their machines which includes the software. My personal opinion to the entrenched commercial software industry is: “try it”. I would love to see a rise in awareness for Linux. I would love to see entrepreneurs create more software for Linux especially for engineering. So your future is not bleak at all. Cloud based apps to me is reminiscent of “vendor lock in” from 20 years ago. When I am in the field at a track with 1000HP cars racing past me while I am trying to fix a light controller the last thing I need to think about is getting on the internet for some stupid app. No thank you.
News - SparkFun and the Future o…
about a month ago
After reading this:
It is clear to me that SRL is acting in “bad faith” toward its original partners and the community (the public partner). So I would like to have a clear indicator on Sparkfun sold products where any royalties are going. So if I go to the UNO product page it should clearly state who benefits SRL or LLC.
Thanks for making this issue transparent Sparkfun. I know it is a pain that you even have to deal with this. It is not fun at all.
No public wish lists :(
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