Author Topic: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle  (Read 16625 times)

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Online djacobow

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2015, 06:44:52 am »
So do you think that hardware EEs are a becoming less needed?  I have wondered this with things like software defined radio replacing the need for as much hardware.  Programming is ok but hardware seems much more interesting for me.

Well, that's the big question. Honestly, I am still undecided, but let's say 90% sure that EE employment will steadily decline over the next few decades, at least in the West. A lot of work that would have been done by EEs will be done by people with some, but limited training in EE. I could be wrong, but I don't see what would reverse that trend. That's not to say we'll see fewer new designs, but that those designs will use more complete and "cooked" building blocks, and that the designers will be different, and their pay will be different.

Frankly, I found Jack and Dave's optimism a bit perplexing given that both of them are essentially retired from EE as a career.

 

Offline Blaffetuur

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2015, 07:14:19 am »
16:21 (or nearby): What a couple of stoners!
Fantastic interview / performance / production.

Here ya go  ;)
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2015, 08:17:56 am »
That was really great Dave!!
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline aargee

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2015, 12:37:31 pm »
Dave, have you considered making episodes such as this just an audio/podcast release as well?

Not really a lot of info happening video wise and then it becomes a bit more portable (at least for me).
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2015, 12:43:02 pm »
Dave, have you considered making episodes such as this just an audio/podcast release as well?

Not really a lot of info happening video wise and then it becomes a bit more portable (at least for me).

You can easily fetch the audio from Youtube.
 

Offline farsi

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2015, 01:23:07 am »
Really nice discussions about learning embedded development.

One thing about mentioning Arduino: Indeed, it is easy for first steps, but maybe limiting to learn the "real" stuff. Why is this so?
To me, one of the main problems is the Arduino IDE. It really hides a lot of working with multiple files and developing your own code/abstractions.
However, there are no good ways to get started without IDE as far I saw, and most people use it to quickly get access to a serial port as well as flash a device.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2015, 02:29:45 am »
Really nice discussions about learning embedded development.

One thing about mentioning Arduino: Indeed, it is easy for first steps, but maybe limiting to learn the "real" stuff. Why is this so?
To me, one of the main problems is the Arduino IDE. It really hides a lot of working with multiple files and developing your own code/abstractions.
However, there are no good ways to get started without IDE as far I saw, and most people use it to quickly get access to a serial port as well as flash a device.

The Arduino IDE doesn't prevent you from accessing the underlying AVR chip. You can do an awful lot more if you get in there and access the chip features directly.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2015, 04:23:46 am »
Yes, but then you'd need to read the manual of the chip instead of the Arduino.
Most people don't do that.
 

Online Towger

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2015, 04:31:01 am »
Better than beginners reading an Arm M4 data sheet cover to cover.

BTW. To the post above about a podcast, have you listened to The Amp Hour?
 

Offline Len

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2015, 05:01:44 am »
Yes, but then you'd need to read the manual of the chip instead of the Arduino.
Most people don't do that.

So what if most people don't do that? Most people aren't going to dig into a 500-page databook no matter what.

I really hate the attitude that "only people who have dedicated their lives to the technology should be allowed to use it". I see this a lot on the internet. I think it's great that thousands of people who wouldn't otherwise use microcontrollers have had fun with Arduino blinky-LED projects. And for people who want to dig deeper, it's all right there for them.

When you're starting out with something this complicated, you need to start with a system that hides most of the complexity. Otherwise you can't get anything done, and you just give up. I would never have bothered getting back into electronics after many years, if it weren't for Arduino. It was a simple step to move beyond the built-in functions to fiddling the MCU control registers and bit-banging the I/O ports.

I really don't understand why some people consider Arduino or the maker movement to be negative things, unless they're just opposed to other people figuring out how to use "their" technology.
 
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Offline retrolefty

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2015, 08:41:18 am »
Yes, but then you'd need to read the manual of the chip instead of the Arduino.
Most people don't do that.

So what if most people don't do that? Most people aren't going to dig into a 500-page databook no matter what.

I really hate the attitude that "only people who have dedicated their lives to the technology should be allowed to use it". I see this a lot on the internet. I think it's great that thousands of people who wouldn't otherwise use microcontrollers have had fun with Arduino blinky-LED projects. And for people who want to dig deeper, it's all right there for them.

When you're starting out with something this complicated, you need to start with a system that hides most of the complexity. Otherwise you can't get anything done, and you just give up. I would never have bothered getting back into electronics after many years, if it weren't for Arduino. It was a simple step to move beyond the built-in functions to fiddling the MCU control registers and bit-banging the I/O ports.

I really don't understand why some people consider Arduino or the maker movement to be negative things, unless they're just opposed to other people figuring out how to use "their" technology.

 It's mostly an appeal to elitism and priesthood. The Arduino platform's success speaks for itself. Getting the beginner to start with C/C++ from the beginning  is the correct path even as lots of pre-made functions and libraries help the learning curve. How far someone goes is up to the individual as it should be.
 

Offline rs20

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2015, 09:06:48 am »
I really hate the attitude that "only people who have dedicated their lives to the technology should be allowed to use it". I see this a lot on the internet. I think it's great that thousands of people who wouldn't otherwise use microcontrollers have had fun with Arduino blinky-LED projects. And for people who want to dig deeper, it's all right there for them.

When you're starting out with something this complicated, you need to start with a system that hides most of the complexity. Otherwise you can't get anything done, and you just give up. I would never have bothered getting back into electronics after many years, if it weren't for Arduino. It was a simple step to move beyond the built-in functions to fiddling the MCU control registers and bit-banging the I/O ports.

I really don't understand why some people consider Arduino or the maker movement to be negative things, unless they're just opposed to other people figuring out how to use "their" technology.

I think it's wonderful that people who wouldn't do electronics (e.g. artists, the original intended audience for Arduino) get access to the capabilities of Arduino. At the same time, I think it's pretty obvious that some people who might have been interested in electronics end up getting sidetracked and bogged down into the very cozy but limited world of Arduino.

The IDE is OK, but the documentation and website is the really nasty part in this respect. AFAICT there's absolutely no little hints or attempts to help users grow. Really intelligent people that I know who grew up with Arduino have no idea how slow digitalWrite is, how taxing software serial is, and so on. It become a "plug-these-things-together-and-hope-for-the-best" grind; if two different libraries both unilaterally decide to use the same hardware timer/counter, their code mysteriously breaks. Does the IDE link you to the underlying code like any other IDE? Nah. Is there an option to see the assembler output, a trivial feature to implement which would spark the "what is this" response hinted at by Ganssle? Nowhere. On-chip debugging?  :-DD

The most puzzling thing to me is that the arduino hardware could have been used a real serial ISP, rather than a hacky bootloader coupled with an FTDI chip. That decision lives on in this abomination of a page, which thanks to the instructions to include an Arduino bootloader and due to the poorly written IDE's inability to set up a 8MHz internal RC clock, is massively longer, more complicated and more confusing to the n00b that the instructions for how to use the PicKit with a standalone Microchip part on a breadboard, or the instructions for how to use the JTAG ICE with a standalone Atmel part on a breadboard. This is not education, this is harmful misdirection -- as far as people who might have been really good electronics engineers are concerned.

I bought a JTAG ICE a long time ago (nowadays they are a lot cheaper) and I haven't felt inclined to mess around with other chip providers. So I fully understand when other people fully buy into the Arduino bootloader approach and would consider programming an Atmel chip the normal way a weirdly alien concept. Oh, how sorry I feel for those people -- I want them to figure out how to use "my" technology, but the normal, easy way of programming a chip is a massive mental shift for them. Let alone actual electronics!
 

Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2015, 09:42:58 am »
I really enjoyed this one, thanks!  :-+
 

Offline dentaku

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2015, 11:46:27 am »
Dave does that almost every two weeks on The Amphour. They have a special guest every other show. http://www.theamphour.com/
They interviewed Jack quite a while ago.
http://www.theamphour.com/the-amp-hour-54-embedded-elchee-epexegesis/
Jack also did an episode of embedded.fm
http://embedded.fm/episodes/2014/5/27/53-being-a-grownup-engineer

Dave, have you considered making episodes such as this just an audio/podcast release as well?

Not really a lot of info happening video wise and then it becomes a bit more portable (at least for me).
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2015, 12:07:59 pm »
Dave, have you considered making episodes such as this just an audio/podcast release as well?

I do that every few weeks:
http://www.theamphour.com/category/guests
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2015, 12:10:04 pm »
I found sound quality to be borderline annoying and painful to listen - sound levels were very different for Jack and Dave, I found myself constantly adjusting volume. Maybe try different microphones for each person or use more aggressive software sound equalisation next time.

I tried equalisation using The Levelator (that we use on the Amp Hour every week), it sounded pretty terrible, so left the audio as-is.
Setting up proper sound on shoots like this takes time, and I didn't want waste Jack's time for this impromptu thing.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2015, 12:11:55 pm »
Frankly, I found Jack and Dave's optimism a bit perplexing given that both of them are essentially retired from EE as a career.

Why?  :-//
Our jobs now are to talk about EE and help/inspire others, why would we no longer be passionate about it?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2015, 12:17:07 pm »
16:21 (or nearby): What a couple of stoners!
Fantastic interview / performance / production.

Thanks, but the production side sucked. I just switched on the cam and hoped we'd get something.
 

Offline rs20

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2015, 12:43:44 pm »
Thanks, but the production side sucked. I just switched on the cam and hoped we'd get something.

Fwiw, I think you're being too harsh on yourself -- I enjoyed the discussion and could clearly understand everything; I don't have any complaints about the audio!
 

Offline alexanderbrevig

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2015, 12:45:19 pm »
An awesome watch! Thank you Dave :)

Online rx8pilot

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2015, 02:53:24 pm »
I found sound quality to be borderline annoying and painful to listen - sound levels were very different for Jack and Dave, I found myself constantly adjusting volume. Maybe try different microphones for each person or use more aggressive software sound equalisation next time.

I tried equalisation using The Levelator (that we use on the Amp Hour every week), it sounded pretty terrible, so left the audio as-is.
Setting up proper sound on shoots like this takes time, and I didn't want waste Jack's time for this impromptu thing.

I was a production sound mixer (sound guy) for many years on thousands of days broadcast and film projects. I had no issues. I was too engaged in the content.
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Online djacobow

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2015, 03:47:02 pm »
Frankly, I found Jack and Dave's optimism a bit perplexing given that both of them are essentially retired from EE as a career.

Why?  :-//
Our jobs now are to talk about EE and help/inspire others, why would we no longer be passionate about it?

I'm making distinction between EE as professional endeavor and EE as a passion and interest. Everyone who comes to this blog obviously has some degree of the latter and I'm all for it.

The question in my mind is whether a young person with a passion for EE should choose it as a career.

- First, I believe that the career prospects for an EE today are probably the dimmest they've ever been as long as I've worked in the field. That could reverse or accelerate. Hard to say. Chip starts are way down. Electronics products margins are down across the board, and it is margins that encourage and sustain talented engineers. (Commodity business pay for commodity talent.) More board work is being done with people with lesser skills, and quite rightly so, because many many designs do not require much if any high-speed, low-noise, analog, or other "esoterica." I work and live in the SF Bay Area and the reduction in serious EE work is nothing short of startling. VCs are avoiding just about every startup with HW in it. (There are exceptions, but trust me, I've heard it from many VCs)

- Second, as your own blog makes clear, you can pursue your passion for EE without making it your career, and that's easier than ever. The tools and the knowledge or more easily accessible than ever.

None of that says that someone passionate and clever can't make a great career in EE. But I am firmly in a camp that believes that not everyone who is passionate and clever about EE can make a great career in EE.

So, forgive me if I think some uncertainty about going into the field is more than warranted.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 03:51:56 pm by djacobow »
 

Offline farsi

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2015, 08:22:12 pm »
Quote
I bought a JTAG ICE a long time ago (nowadays they are a lot cheaper) and I haven't felt inclined to mess around with other chip providers.

Interesting, first time that I hear about ICE, while clones seem cheap on Ebay, new ones are a bit more pricy: http://de.farnell.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?st=jtag+ice&catalogId=15001&categoryId=700000005140&langId=-3&storeId=10161 - but a mention at Arduino about using programmers would be good indeed. There is only an option for that in the Arduino IDE, but which hardware to use and how to setup is never discussed.

About learning embedded development: Besides this forum and datasheet, I currently learn a bit of embedded development from the Nuttx RTOS project. At least, I managed on Linux to build the project and flash a STM32 board. But Arduino is still an option for me to play with a new board or device from e.g. a Kickstarter campaign. Some people tell me they need a project or use case to actually delve into how things work. If you use Arduino you get faster to a working system, but indeed you might lose understanding of finer details.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2015, 08:25:44 pm by farsi »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2017, 03:03:16 am »
I can't quite catch the quote at 13:27, because both are talking at the same time. "As engineers, we do numbers. Engineering without numbers is ...."

Did anyone get what engineering without numbers is? Dave seemed to consider it a pretty good remark.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #818 - Embedded Electronics With Jack Ganssle
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2017, 03:04:58 am »
I can't quite catch the quote at 13:27, because both are talking at the same time. "As engineers, we do numbers. Engineering without numbers is ...."

Did anyone get what engineering without numbers is? Dave seemed to consider it a pretty good remark.

Art.
 
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