Bob G in CO

Member Since: June 24, 2014

Country: United States


Electronics tinkerer since 1968. Programmer since 1973. Electronics tech (USAF F-111 Avionics, Hubble Space Telescope/Faint Object Spectrograph etc.) EE, then switched to bit-twiddling for a living in 1984.

  • Nah, we had reasonable tips with Weller temp controlled irons, but back then, “Surface Mount” just wasn’t happening yet. At that time, “state of the art” in manual soldering meant getting the right amount of solder on the joint and assuring that you had a good mechanical as well as electrical connection. When you looked at the number of solder joints on a Saturn V going to the moon, excessive solder could add many pounds to the weight of the vehicle, so it really mattered!

  • whew I thought it was challenging when I went through NASA soldering certification back in 1980 at Martin Marietta…

  • Yes, that’s a good point! I also wonder if there’s a state agency that could be notified. While finding the info for a local police department (if you can even figure out which local jurisdiction you are in!) could be cumbersome, there would be only one number you would need for your entire state.

  • I have already downloaded and used it several times. I’m not sure what I would do if it ever came up with a “hit”, besides just move on. Who can say if an employee of the gas station put that skimmer there?

  • I was recently in a Hospital room in Minneapolis. There on the wall was an LCD display, showing the hands of an ANALOG clock. And doing a really poor job of it too! It was very hard to tell the Hour hand from the Minute hand. You know, this was in a hospital room, where people might need to know the exact time easily… Really poor deployment of that technology.

  • I started out as a hardware guy, around 1968. I was bending code by 1973. I’ve worked on so many platforms, and used so many languages, that it just blurs. Getting religious about any of these, is more likely to reveal your insecurities about “the other side”, (whatever that is), than to convince anybody that your solution is “the true solution”. The more languages you master, the more you realize that they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and that none is a true panacea. Gee, shall we use an 80XXX processor, or hammer together a stack of AMD 2901 bit slice processors, and write our own instruction set? Who cares? Been there, done that, realized that hardware was becoming an off-the-shelf commodity around 1984, and moved fully into the software domain… And now I’ve come full circle, to find that playing with hardware is fun again, and writing the code that makes it sing is no big deal.

  • The Chapman “Gun Screwdriver Kit” is absolutely the bees knees.

  • It’s interesting that you expressed the XOR as: P ⊕ Q = (P || Q) && !(P && Q)

    The classical expression for XOR is P ⊕ Q = (P && !Q) || (!P && Q)

    Interestingly, your expression is more “elegant”, involving only 4 logic operators instead of the 5 logic operators in the classic expression.