Author Topic: EEVblog #580 - Q&A  (Read 27873 times)

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Offline hikariuk

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2014, 06:10:13 pm »
Episode #54 is the one where dave talks about talks about how he got started in electronics as a kid.

I don't think we ever got the story for how Dave started collage at 15.

The good old wooden Tandy 150 in One... brings back memories... Those were the days, before Tandy Ireland went bust in the early 80s.

If college is used the same way in Australia as it is in the UK then it's not a synonym for University; starting college at around 16 wouldn't be at all unusual here.  When people say college in the UK they're often talking about a college of further (post-compulsory) education.
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Offline magiccow

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2014, 06:36:21 pm »
I built a speech synth with the SPO256 also (around '85) and wrote some software in FORTH to drive it from my Jupiter Ace.
Happy memories.

Actually I recently found the CTS256 in my bits box.  That's the companion chip for serial interface and english-to-phoneme conversion.  I never hooked it up to the SP0256 in the day, and it seems to be a hard-to-find chip now.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2014, 06:56:44 pm »
SPO256 and CTS256. both made by General Instruments (GI) based on the original 17xx series core ( what later became the PIC 16xx series)

i had those hooked up to a pc. could do text to speech thru a printer port
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Offline lilshawn

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2014, 10:59:09 pm »
you mentioned around the 1:13:00 mark of the video about the money you get from ads and whatnots, but how does people who use ad blocker software on their systems affect your "cash flow" from these sources?
 

Offline Excavatoree

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2014, 11:20:52 pm »
Around 1:50, someone asks about a "water transistor."   

It's not water, but a control valve for hydraulic systems is sort of a mechanical transistor.  No, the mechanism isn't the same, but the effect is.

 The "hydraulic signal" from the hand valves on construction machinery is much lower pressure and flow than the high pressure, higher flow hydraulic circuits that drive the working attachment.  The control valve varies the higher flow, higher pressure circuit to give a similar effect to an electronic transistor.

I'd imagine one could make a water valve actuated by water pressure or flow to simulate a transistor, but I can't imagine any practical use for such a thing, which would explain why no one has done it.

When I started this job, I frequently had to convert the hydraulic circuits to electrical equivalents to better understand them.
 

Online Rerouter

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2014, 11:24:19 pm »
lilshaun, members on this forum that like daves video can select to allow ads on his site, and apart from the rare times that an ad falls back to google ads due to an error they are well chosen and relevant
 

Offline philpem

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2014, 11:29:27 pm »
SPO256 and CTS256. both made by General Instruments (GI) based on the original 17xx series core ( what later became the PIC 16xx series)

i had those hooked up to a pc. could do text to speech thru a printer port

I think I've still got a bunch of SP0256A-AL2 parts knocking around in the old junk box. Many years ago I found myself in Southampton and decided to drop into Greenweld Electronics (a very well known UK surplus electronic parts supplier). One of the things they had on the shop counter was a printout of their entire catalogue under a glass sheet - each page laid side by side. On one of them I saw "Speech Chip! Make your projects speak with this set of three ICs!"

And I bought a few sets. Turns out the "speech chip" was an SP0256A-AL2 and two other chips from the Currah uSpeech (a ROM and a speech-ROM or gate array I think). Took me a good few years to get the chip going - my initial attempts failed (I was twelve, no oscilloscope, nasty uncalibrated Monacor DMT1010 multimeter, no access to any electronics books or a decent local library)... but I did eventually get it going.

I can still remember some of the allophone codes... HH EH LL AU OX was "Hello" (I think?)

Good times...
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Offline Laertes

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2014, 02:56:22 am »
And how does that help you? IMHO Dave only tells half of the story. A company giving the choice between hiring someone with experience and hiring someone with a degree and experience is going to hire the later one. Then add the companies who only hire people with a degree, experienced or not.

I found some stats for the UK.
Year   number of graduates
1980  68k
1990  77k
2000  243k
2010  331k

Over the same period the UK population increased by about 10% and 30 years of evolution hasn't changed the average intelligence of the population at all. So degrees have less value as a differentiator than ever while paradoxically are more of a requirement for getting a job than ever.

I'm not arguing with reality, just that reality is not necessarily a good thing. The real question is to prepare for a career/job is getting a degree the best use of the substantial amount of time and money required?

I think we would be better off going back to the smartest 10% of the population getting degrees which mean something rather than 50% of the population getting degrees which just mean they are on the right side of average.

I think I can see the reason why having a degree currently is a basic requirement now more so than thirty years ago: If "anyone" has a degree, why don't you? If 50% of the population can do it, and you're any good at engineering, you really should have one, or you're either lazy or dumb (that's not my logic, that's the logic of HR managers).
However, even companies who discard non-graduates immediately obviously look for experience, because everyone knows that you don't learn everything you need at university.

What I think HR departments really want is graduates who also have some experience, ideally from having worked as working students(at least it's called that here in germany) during their university time.

And from my experience, this is a two-way street: Companies get better and more experienced graduates and students get a chance to see the engineering day job reality, better chances on the job market and some useful experience for university.
Also, at least here and in the specific field of computer science(which I studied) and electronics engineering(which a lot of my mates studied), the pay for working student jobs is quite good if you commit to say 1 day a week during term and full-time during the holidays... a typical student job(like being a waiter or something) doesn't earn you that much here.

However, I think that with regards to degrees, we germans do have one hell of an advantage over, say, the US or the UK, because universities are free here(all the good technical ones, anyway), so if you fail or quit for a job offer you only wasted some time, never a lot of money...
 

Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2014, 06:41:41 am »
Dave, you claim not to have any patience. I think that producing 700 videos to share your knowledge, sitting in front of the camera for three hours to answer viewer questions, and spending hours a day in the forum to interact with the public, takes a tremendous amount of patience.

I really enjoyed watching this episode. Hope you do it again.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2014, 07:41:28 am »
you mentioned around the 1:13:00 mark of the video about the money you get from ads and whatnots, but how does people who use ad blocker software on their systems affect your "cash flow" from these sources?

You can't know the exact figure. All I know is that I have consistent growth of the approximately the same slope since before adblock was around, so the answer is likely "not much".
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2014, 07:52:34 am »
It is incredibly frustrating that many companies simply use degrees as a method for crudely sifting CVs - anyone without a degree just gets dropped; they don't even bother looking at their experience.  Fortunately there are also companies who aren't stupid (my current employer included) and do look at what experience people actually have.

Not in my experience here in Oz. It's certainly much less so here than say the US, where you (so I'm told) may not even be considered if you went to the wrong university.
Hardly anyone cares about that stuff here, if anything it's just a tick in a box in the CV sorting algorithm.
When I vet graduate resumes the criteria in order of merit goes something like:
1) Any electronics experience outside of their course
2) Do they sound enthusiastic
3) Can they actually string a sentence together
4) Then I'll look at what they studied and what marks they got
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2014, 07:57:44 am »
And how does that help you? IMHO Dave only tells half of the story. A company giving the choice between hiring someone with experience and hiring someone with a degree and experience is going to hire the later one.

Correct, that wasn't the full story.
Yes, all things being equal and I can't decide between two equally good candidates, I'll pick the one with the best qualifications.
For graduates, I'll pick the one with extra hobby experience and enthusiasm over the one with better marks and the university medal any day of the week.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2014, 08:02:55 am »
And frankly after 20 years your degree, if you had one, really has little to do with anything anymore - you're also running pretty much entirely on experience.  Knowing that there are people in the world who recognize this makes life feel just a little bit less shit.

I can't speak for other countries, but I know that's how it works here in oz for probably the majority of companies. Once you have the experience, that's all they really care about, and is the first (and sometimes only) thing that they look at on your resume. That is why when you get more experienced, that stuff goes right up the top of your resume, and your qualifications eventually become all but a footnote at the very end.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2014, 08:05:10 am »
i had those hooked up to a pc. could do text to speech thru a printer port

That's how I did it too.
I had the allophone chip as well, so it could convert ASCII text to speech. Otherwise you had to figure out the allophones in software.
IIRC the allophone chip wasn't that great, and I got a bit better with software tweaking, but not by much.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2014, 08:11:39 am »
I think I can see the reason why having a degree currently is a basic requirement now more so than thirty years ago: If "anyone" has a degree, why don't you? If 50% of the population can do it, and you're any good at engineering, you really should have one, or you're either lazy or dumb (that's not my logic, that's the logic of HR managers).

It would be interesting to find out in say 5-10 years time if the current startup / crowd funding culture has any effect on this?
As It's probably now more common and likely than ever in history for a youngster who hasn't yet graduated, or even started engineering, to get sidetracked and never go on to complete.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2014, 08:30:03 am »
On the EEVBLOG 54 aspect I remember ordering from the UK, where I first had to send a letter airmail asking for price, postage and availability, then get the reply back a week or 2 later with a order form and quote for postage.

Then go to the bank, stand in a queue at the enquiry counter, get the forms, fill them out, attach copy of letter and fill in a withdrawal form from my account for them to withdraw the amount, plus service charge, at the day spot rate, then wait 3 days for the FOREX application to be processed or declined ( still same service charge levied) and get the bank cheque ( really nice printed ones drawn on a bank in country of receipt, generally Barclays PLC IIRC). Then post it airmail again along with the order quote and wait a month or so for the Post Office notification to arrive, then collect and pay duties again.

Was a lot better when Maplin opened a branch in South Africa, as then you just called them and got the reply in the post the next 3 days, then went to the bank and paid into the account and the stuff arrived in under a week. Now it is called Fort777.co.za and no longer is part of Maplin.
 

Offline hikariuk

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2014, 11:15:54 am »
lilshaun, members on this forum that like daves video can select to allow ads on his site, and apart from the rare times that an ad falls back to google ads due to an error they are well chosen and relevant

The ads I get on the EEVBlog site are good; the ones I get on YouTube are hilariously terrible.  I got one for "Clearblue" recently; I'm even sure where to begin with how badly targeted that was.
I write software.  I'd far rather be doing something else.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2014, 11:29:14 am »
Google knows more about you than you think........... You might be the first!
 

Offline 8086

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2014, 12:42:07 pm »
Here we go again ... If you think there is nothing to a degree and that all your experience is anyhow trumping everything and is superior to a degree, then why don't you just go out and quickly get one? Should be a piece of cake, shouldn't it?

 :-DD :palm:

Ability really is secondary to your personal circumstances. Someone can be perfectly capable of getting a degree but not in a position to be able to actually achieve it.

Funny how it's usually the oh-so-clever people who do have degrees who are unable to grasp this simple concept, eh?  ;)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 12:51:14 pm by 8086 »
 

Offline magiccow

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2014, 01:11:52 pm »
IIRC the allophone chip wasn't that great, and I got a bit better with software tweaking, but not by much.

What I remember is that all the sounds were in the same pitch, i.e. it didn't have any kind of VCO for inflecting the voice, so yes it was less good than Stephen Hawkings voice...
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Offline magiccow

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2014, 01:13:40 pm »
I think I've still got a bunch of SP0256A-AL2 parts knocking around in the old junk box. Many years ago I found myself in Southampton and decided to drop into Greenweld Electronics (a very well known UK surplus electronic parts supplier).

Yes I used to buy things from Greenweld all the time.  Apparently they're still going...
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Offline romantronixlab

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2014, 01:31:22 pm »
Hey Dave you really made me laugh so hard I cried at 1:12:30 on the video, awesome comment there. I have some people that I'll show this to.

Edit: Answering the question made at 3:05 I did watch the whole video but is Sunday so, who cares?
 I am also a lonely guy at the lab. And grew up like that.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 03:45:51 pm by romantronixlab »
Will think about it.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2014, 02:06:02 pm »
Funny how it's usually the oh-so-clever people who do have degrees who are unable to grasp this simple concept, eh?  ;)

You can argue whatever you want, I won't be ashamed of having a degree. I have heard this name-calling since decades, even while I was still studying. How stupid it is to study instead of getting some real experience ... Blahblahblah. Hey, I studied because I didn't want to rot away in the workshop. I have meet probably hundreds of  "I could if I would" guys claiming they could have gotten a degree, if they just would care about that "worthless shit". I have heard insults from floor workers who's only achievement in life was getting drunk and watching porn, but who thought their vast experience (of avoiding difficult work) would qualify them to do my job, if someone would just give it to them.

And all I can say is stop calling companies that are looking for a degree or people with a degree stupid. NO company will change and at least I won't renounce my degree just because it pisses you off. Just get your own degree. Someone here just posted some statistics from which you can conclude that it is 400% easier these days to get one than it was in the '80th.
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Offline 8086

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2014, 02:16:42 pm »
Funny how it's usually the oh-so-clever people who do have degrees who are unable to grasp this simple concept, eh?  ;)

You can argue whatever you want, I won't be ashamed of having a degree. I have heard this name-calling since decades, even while I was still studying. How stupid it is to study instead of getting some real experience ... Blahblahblah.

Ah. I see the issue here. That chip on your shoulder has moved across your face, in front of your eyes, so you are unable to see.

Nobody said you should be ashamed of having a degree. Nobody said it was stupid to study.

But you should at least consider the fact that some people don't find it possible to get a degree even if they have the ability to get the grades.

You are, after all, the one who was getting all sarcastic about why doesn't someone just get a degree if they have the ability. I'm telling you why, that's all. So don't jump on me and act all offended when you were the one being childish in the first place. If you're big enough to give it, you're big enough to take it.

Someone here just posted some statistics from which you can conclude that it is 400% easier these days to get one than it was in the '80th.

Lol. Master of non sequiturs. Well at least you can hide behind the degree, tell everyone your interpretation is correct, because you're smarter than they are.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 02:48:40 pm by 8086 »
 

Offline hikariuk

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Re: EEVblog #580 - Q&A
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2014, 02:23:59 pm »
Funny how it's usually the oh-so-clever people who do have degrees who are unable to grasp this simple concept, eh?  ;)

You can argue whatever you want, I won't be ashamed of having a degree. I have heard this name-calling since decades, even while I was still studying. How stupid it is to study instead of getting some real experience ... Blahblahblah. Hey, I studied because I didn't want to rot away in the workshop. I have meet probably hundreds of  "I could if I would" guys claiming they could have gotten a degree, if they just would care about that "worthless shit". I have heard insults from floor workers who's only achievement in life was getting drunk and watching porn, but who thought their vast experience (of avoiding difficult work) would qualify them to do my job, if someone would just give it to them.

And all I can say is stop calling companies that are looking for a degree or people with a degree stupid. NO company will change and at least I won't renounce my degree just because it pisses you off. Just get your own degree. Someone here just posted some statistics from which you can conclude that it is 400% easier these days to get one than it was in the '80th.

No-one wants you to be ashamed of or renounce your degree.  No-one sane thinks getting a degree is stupid.  Some of us would just like it if more people acknowledge that those of us without degrees can be just as competent and skillful as those with a degree. 

Just because we don't have a degree doesn't make us job shy alcoholics lacking in ability.  I don't think I'd have the job I do if that was the case; I'm the only person in our development team who doesn't have a degree and yet I'm still one of the lead developers.  I have this job precisely because the people who offered me the role were able to look at me as a person and what I could do and weren't hung up on whether I was university educated or not.
I write software.  I'd far rather be doing something else.
 


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