|Jack Ganssle's Blog
This is Jack's outlet for thoughts about designing and programming embedded systems. It's a complement to my bi-weekly newsletter The Embedded Muse. Contact me at email@example.com. I'm an old-timer engineer who still finds the field endlessly fascinating (bio).
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A New, Low-Tech, Use for Computers
November 20, 2018
Remember when computers cost money? In college I wrote code to compute satellite orbits for Goddard Space Flight Center on their IBM 360/95, a monster of a machine that filled a huge room. Even "small" machines - minicomputers - were tens of thousands of dollars. How things have changed.
Marybeth and I were visiting a relative in Florida two weeks ago. We wound up lost in the Alzheimer's unit (an interesting connundrum in itself) and ran into this:
Hundreds of billions of transistors, gigabytes of disk, all gainfully employed as... a doorstop.
I'll present my Better Firmware Faster seminar in Melbourne, Australia February 20. All are invited. More info here.
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Recent blog postings:
- R vs D - Too many of us conflate research and development
- Engineer or Scientist? - Which are you? John Q. Public has a hard time telling the difference.
- A New, Low-Tech, Use for Computers - I never would have imagined this use for computers.
- NASA's Lost Software Engineering Lessons - Lessons learned, lessons lost.
- The Cost of Firmware - A Scary Story! - A hallowean story to terrify.
- A Review of First Man, the Movie - The book was great. The movie? Nope.
- A Review of The Overstory - One of the most remarkable novels I've read in a long time.
- What I Learned About Successful Consulting - Lessons learned about successful consulting.
- Low Power Mischief - Ultra-low power systems are trickier to design than most realize.
- Thoughts on Firmware Seminars - Better Firmware Faster resonates with a lot of people.
- On Evil - The Internet has brought the worst out in many.
- My Toothbrush has Modes - What! A lousy toothbrush has a UI?
- Review of SUNBURST and LUMINARY: An Apollo Memoir - A good book about the LM's code.
- Fun With Transmission Lines - Generating a step with no electronics.
- On N-Version Programming - Can we improve reliability through redundancy? Maybe not.
- On USB v. Bench Scopes - USB scopes are nice, but I'll stick with bench models.