|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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm an old-timer engineer who still finds the field endlessly fascinating (bio).
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Why I decided to Start a Blog
July 22, 2018
In September it will be two years since I stopped writing a weekly column for embedded.com. Between that and my earlier monthly articles in Embedded Systems Design magazine I wrote over 1000 pieces about embedded systems. As of this writing 355 issues of my Embedded Muse newsletter have gone out. Then there are the six books I wrote or edited (plus one on sailing). You'd think I would have had enough of writing! And engineers are famously poor wordsmiths.
Twelve years of Catholic school instilled a deep loathing of writing. When the nuns weren't whacking rulers over our knuckles they beat English grammar into us. The Jesuits were even more demanding.
In college I wrote little other than equations and code.
Around 40 years ago life had gotten so interesting that I started a handwritten journal in spiral notebooks. I logged what was going on in the nascent embedded industry, love-life experiences (that part was incredibly sparse), life living in a VW microbus, and later living aboard a sailboat, and more. The notebooks chronicled my year-long sabbatical sailing down the East Coast.
A 1977 notebook entry. My penmanship has only gotten worse.
I still have those and recently framed a romantic note Marybeth, my wife (though we didn't get married till 24 years later), wrote in one of the notebooks.
Later, computer files replaced the notebooks.
In 1980 a buddy and I started a consulting business. Much to my surprise, writing was the game. Lots of it. Brochures, proposals, and more. Committing thoughts to a bit stream was fun. I started submitting pieces to electronics and sailing magazines. In 1989 Embedded Systems Programming (which morphed into Embedded Systems Design) asked me to write a monthly column. What a gas!
But deadline, especially a weekly deadline, got less appealing over time, so I stopped contributing columns. Ah - freedom! I had some time on my hands!
But the old brain never stops, and I continued logging interesting ideas that might be worth wrapping some words around. While I didn't miss deadline at all, something felt missing.
Hence this outlet. No deadline. I'll write when there's something worth addressing. Maybe once a week. Maybe once a month. We'll see.
I hope this outlet will be interesting and even useful to you. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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