wouldn’t it be interesting if I wrote an interesting, informative, and downright genius post about why we should be wary of efficiency, and why inefficiency may be a better choice in many circumstances?
This isn’t really a review, so ignore the title. It’s just musings and thoughts.
I’ve been playing with a new toy. I MEAN, A TOOL, NOT A TOY. To engineers pretty much all tools are toys. For work, I got a LeCroy Waverunner oscilloscope/logic analyzer. It’s delicious. Really. Not only is it amazingly functional, but it’s aesthetically about as breathtaking as lab equipment gets. Just look. I’m already sidetracked though, because this isn’t the toy that I’m talking about. Here’s a picture of the LeCroy unit anyway. Why yes, the screen rotates into portrait mode to help you out when using it as a 32 channel logic analyzer…
What I meant to start talking about is the Saleae Logic logic analyzer. Hopefully, proper capitalization doesn’t confuse you regarding the name of the device and its function. It’s about as sexy as a tiny USB analyzer can be. It’s like a tiny Mac Mini, or Apple TV, in black, with one connection on each side. Pictured is Logic16, which is the LARGE version. Both the Logic and the Logic16 are pretty tiny.
Putting aside the fact that it works, the software is sleek, elegant, and intuitive. At first, I was put off by the lack of menus, options, and configurability…and then I realized, it was in the Apple class of it just works*. Disclaimer: I don’t like Apple, and I don’t feel for me that it just anythings. The plan is to use it for some personal projects, but I brought it with me to work to check out some CANbus stuff, and see how the serial decoders work. I just like calling it CAN, normally, but its really hard to google for the acronym Controller Area Network, because “can” is a pretty common word. So, you’re welcome, googlers, for helping you get here.
I was overwhelmed with sadness when the unit initially would not read or decode anything on CAN bus. So much for just working. But, fear not oh ye will vote for me in the 2028 presidential election…Saleae seems to love open source, so I downloaded the source for their CAN serial analyzer. Within a few minutes, I found that my data stream was inverted from typical applications…something I’ve known for awhile, but always basically ignored. My setup is nonstandard, and Saleaa’s analyzer had it the typical way.
Not only was the source available to me, they also provide clear instructions for setting up and compiling with a ready-made Visual Studio project. In under an hour, I had edited the source and recompiled for my particular application.
This was a triumph of open source. It was great to be able to quickly and easily modify their application to suit my needs. Customer service is quick and knowledgeable…alright, customer service is mostly the engineers who designed it. It’s a big plus in my book.
Bottom line; if you are looking for an inexpensive hobbiest analyzer, pick up a Saleae Logic for $150-ish. Do it. If your budget is more in the $15,000 range, I’d suggest a tricked out Lecroy Waverunner.
I didn’t call this one. Who would have thunk that Rick Santorum would have a shot at the Republican nomination? Not only did I not predict it, it makes me a little sad. Not completely sad, just a little irked and disheartened about either the state of politics, or probably the state of conservative America. I understand that conservatives are on their “Anyone But Romney” train, but I thought they’d give up after Newt’s second attempt. Before I get into a discussion of the Man Himself, I just want to point out a snippet from Santorum’s web page, regarding his stance on jobs:
Rick Santorum is committed to celebrating the family by reviving our economy and creating jobs in America again with a smarter and simpler tax code.
Ok. I don’t really get how any of those statements are related. It feels like throwing out conservative jargon to make people nod their heads. It’s not a finishing blow to Santorum…nonsense rhetoric is quite commonplace in the Romney camp (as well as Obama’s entire 2008 campaign). I’ts just irritating to see it over and over again.
Most annoying to me is the following clip (well, I like the clip. Just not Santorum’s stance).
I do appreciate him stating what he believes. I also believe he’s totally off base. He’s not even even following alone the common founding fathers were awesome! line of thought…just stating he believes the government should get involved with people’s lives on a moral level, and that he does not believe in the libertarian views of people being allowed to do what they want.
That’s not American at all; from his stances across the board, it’s fairly clear he he appeals to the very right wing conservative who believes that everyone in America should believe and act they way they do, because it’s the correct way to act. I wish he, and the right, would take note of the Amish; live how you want, and stay the hell out of other people’s business.
That’s mostly my beef. He can believe what he likes, just as I can believe what I like. He’s even free to try and bring it into the public square, and make legislation for it. He voted for No Child Left Behind, but openly admits it was a mistake. Interestingly, he pushed forward an amendment in favor of teaching evolution. Not the standard conservative vote.
Anyway, in his current campaign, he espouses all of the “crazy” that people find in the conservative right wingers. The language is way to inflammatory and divisive, but he’s pro war-on-drugs, war-on-women (it’s totally a bullshit line, but you know what I mean), war-on-terror, war-on-industry (ok, I made that up, I just mean to say he doesn’t believe global warming is real science), and believes there is a war-on-religion. I think most of these things are either 1. fabrications to help entrench those in power and/or 2. bad moves that enroach on our liberties.
I’m just amazed that a first world country could have enough people buy into these ideas that I, personally, find quite backwards.
On the bright side, I see pretty much no chance of him becoming president. That moderate Romney (and why is moderate such an insult?) has a better chance of wooing democrats. Santorum has the far-right wing vote. Both Romney and Obama are much more moderate, and have a much wider voter base. But, in caucuses that just have Republican voters, and the most active voters tend to be ultraconservatives, it’s not as shocking that an ultraconservative would poll well. I simply didn’t predict it.
I’d post a picture, and tell you to do a google search for Santorum to learn more, but I can’t recommend doing that. (So go do it).
Everyone once in awhile, I’ll smile a lot at what the internet enables. A few similar things have happened before, but the latest one is personally the most moving. The picture below is a snippet from the Kickstarter page. Kickstarter is a crowd-source funding platform. If you want to, say, make a documentary on lemmings, you can post a project and dollar amount you need to start, and individuals/whoever pledges to donate in whatever amount they see fit. This allows the general internet public to decide on projects they feel worthy, and fund them. There’s some art projects, media, hardware…lots of interesting, boring, great projects. I’m not 100% sure of all the details, but if your goal is not hit, then everyone’s money gets returned. If you need $50k to fund your lemming film endeavour, and you only get $10k in donations…those people haven’t lost anything, and only cough up the dough if the project hits their goal within a deadline period.
Anyway, this is it:
I know, those of you voting for me in the 2024 elections may be unfamiliar with the words described above. In less than 24 hours, the internet community contributed more than $1 million dollars to fund a developer with a history of fantastic games. So what? This is what.
Games need developers, publishers, distributors, all of these things. And when a brilliant (and sometimes not brilliant) development studio wants to make a game, someone needs to pony up the dough. More and more often, a big studio like EA (Electronic Arts), Activision, etc will fund them…but having the wallet means you can dictate some of the process of development. Furthermore, just like recording artists get screwed by their production companies, development studios can see very little return while their publisher rakes in the dough from a successful game.
Something like Kickstarter allows this model to be circumvented. People can choose who to support, donate directly, the developers can work on their art in a much purer sense.
Another example of this is Louis C.K. Instead of going through the usual channels, he self-produced a comedy album (is it called a comedy album?), and distributed it online for $5. He’s well known and popular enough for the internet to take of the marketing for him…but cutting out the middleman allowed a lot of dollars not to be burned doing nothing. I understand this is a poor way to “stimulate the economy”…but really, it’s a much more efficient way of working in the internet age. If his experiment failed, the studios could point and laugh…but he made over a million dollars. I’m not here to toot anyone’s horn, but he donated nearly $300k of this to charities. I don’t see publishers giving away 30% of their profits.
I’m not saying everyone has the capabilities to produce things themselves, but the big media companies are becoming increasingly obsolete. Services like Pandora and Spotify make music free/inexpensive, which cuts into the big studio’s profits.
Keep being independent. Keep crowd-sourcing funding when necessary, and pour back whatever profits you can back into the community.
What I’m saying, dear 2024 election voter, is that I believe the big studios are wasteful, and corrupt their art, whether it be music, video, games, or other things that I can’t think of right now. I’m sure this effects books and physical media (painting and such) as well, but nobody looks at art anymore, and only girls read books…and only Vaginal Fantasy Novels.
“new” phone? i have a samsung stratosphere now. it replaced my original droid. it’s not as particularly hackable, but i got a splenditudinal deal on craigslist.
this leads me to my lack of sleep last night. around midnight, i installed an update for my launcher. something got horked. it sort of, kept locking up on the homescreen, but not in a way i’ve ever seen before. it made me think the battery was dead. the screen went dark…but not COMPLETELY black. it looked sort of stained. the tried to start again. and kept choking.
what i’m trying to say is, i cannot get a good night of sleep if my phone isn’t working. and if my computer is having issues…fuggedaboudit. had to stay up til 2am until it was working smoothly again. this does not help my sleep issues.