169: Sit on Top of a Volcano

John Leeman (@geo_leeman) spoke with us about geophysics and associated technology.

John is one of the hosts of the Don't Panic GeoCast (@dontpanicgeo, iTunes). Some episodes you may like:

John is teaching a course at Penn State called Techniques of Geoscientific Experimentation. The information and textbook is online! It uses the SparkFun Inventor's Kit.

John has a website with a blog. He has some Cheerson CX-10 tiny drone posts (my favorite, also Alvaro's repo and my posts). John also has a consulting company: Leeman GeoPhysical.

Python! Lots of Python was discussed. 

Contest! Contest ends October 1st and now there are more books! In addition to the ones Bob Apthorpe is sponsoring, John's consulting company will sponsor: Earthquake Storms: An Unauthorized Biography of the San Andreas Fault by John Dvorak and The Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder

168: Put Your Gear on the Ping Pong Table

Briana Morey from MC10 (@mc10inc) spoke with us about stretchable electronics, Tesla coils and lasers. She works at MC10, creators of the L'Oreal My UV Patch as well as the BioStampRC

MC10 is hiring! They are in Lexington, MA, US. The embedded software position is filled already but the EE position is still open.

Briana mentioned an excellent science fiction book she'd read recently: Too Like Lightning by Ada Palmer.

167: All Aliens Are Shiny

Chris and Elecia chat about Bayes Rule, aliens, bit-banging, VGA, and unit testing.

Elecia is working on A Narwhal's Guide to Bayes' Rule

ACM has a code of software engineering ethics

Toads have trackers (NPR story)

An introduction to bit-banging SPI (Arduino, WS2812)

We talked to James Grenning extensively about testing on 30: Eventually Lightning Strikes (and about his excellent book Test Driven Development for Embedded C). We spoke with James again on 109: Resurrection of Extreme Programming. We also talked about unit testing with Mark Vandervoord on 103: Tentacles of the Kraken.

A neat TED Talk involving octo-copters, still four short of dodecahedracopter.

Neat Z80 based very minimal computer kit

166: Sardine Tornado

Bob Apthorpe (@arclight) spoke with us about software, nuclear engineering, and improv.

Bob is giving away three books! Send in your guess by October 1, 2016. One entry per person. (More info below.)

Hackaday SuperCon is Nov 5-6, in Pasadena, CA.

Bob's long languishing blog is overscope.cynistar.net.

Peep (The Network Aualizer): Monitoring Your Network with Sound

Safety-I and Safety-II: The Past and Future of Safety Management

Now! The books you may win!

Atomic Accidents by James Mahaffrey, someone who knows the technology and history and does a fantastic job explaining complex failures in an engaging way without resorting to fear-mongering and hyperbole. (Guess Elecia's number for this one.)

Safeware by Nancy Leveson, may be 20 years old, it's still full of amazing insights for delivering safe, reliable systems and ways of looking at the organizational contexts in which these systems are built and used. Even if you aren't developing safety-critical systems, it's a fantastic resource and really thought-provoking. (Guess Christopher's number for this one.)

Every Anxious Wave by Mo Daviau is a novel about rock & roll, time travel, love, loss, and finding things you didn't know you were looking for. Full disclosure: The author is Bob's ex-wife. (Guess Bob's number for this one.)

165: When People See a Button

Shimona Carvalho (@shimonkey) joins us to talk about user interface design in embedded systems. Then we talk about internationalization and localization. Then photography.

Shimona's website is shimonacarvalho.com and her Flicker account is shimonkey.

For an introduction to user interface design, Shimona recommended The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.

Internationalization and localization were delved in far deeper in episode 26: The Tofu Problem. Some of the material from that will be on the embedded.fm/blog this week.

We mentioned an auxiliary, secret RSS feed that goes all the way back to episode one. (Some notes haven't been filled in yet).

We're also on Youtube now.

164: Heatsink in a Shoebox

Christopher White resurrects an Apple ][+ with his brother Matthew White. This is a show about the software Christopher and Matthew wrote when they were kids and the hardware they wrote it on.

Matthew's favorite fictional robot (we should have asked): Venus Probe from Six Million Dollar Man. We did ask about his favorite fictional computer and there is a video for that too.

Apple ][+ Wiki

Timex Sinclair Z81 Wiki

 Eric Schlaepfer's Monster 6502

Grant's 6502 Computer

Kerbal Space Program for the Apple ][

Elecia got to $42 in Lemonade Stand by the end of the show

Matthew's Nebula Wars and Eye of Eternal Death BASIC games circa 1982 and 1981 respectively.

If you feel like it, you can try out an Apple ][ in your web browser, with tons of disks available at the Internet Archive or in a Javascript Emulator.

Elecia's book is Making Embedded Systems.

163: Syringes That Give You Cake

Nadya Peek (@nadyapeek) joined us to talk about making machines that build things. 

Nadya's website is infosyncratic.nl, which includes her blog. Nadya's dissertation defense on Making Machines that Make: Object-Oriented Hardware Meets Object-Oriented Software was standing room only.

MIT Center For Bits and Atoms, which studies "how to turn data into things, and things into data."

Mods.cba.mit.edu

Machines that Make: MTM.cba.mit.edu

162: I Am a Boomerang Enthusiast

Valve's Alan Yates (@vk2zay) spoke with us about the science and technology of virtual reality. 

Elecia looked at the iFixIt Teardown of the HTC Vive system as she was unwilling to take apart Christopher's system. 

Alan shared some of his other favorite reverse engineering efforts: Doc OK’s Lighthouse videos, documentation on github by nairol, and a blog by Trammell Hudson.

Alan's sensor circuit diagrams were on twitter: SparkleTree sensor circuit (think simplified) and the closer-to-production Lighthouse sensor.

Make Magazine talked about Valve's R&D Lab. This is important in case you want to work at Valve (they are currently hiring for EE but if that doesn't describe you and you want to work there, apply anyway).

Alan also has a website (vk2zay.net) though it doesn't see much updating right now.

 

161: Magenta Doesn’t Exist

Kat Scott (@kscottz) gave us an introduction to computer vision. She co-authored the O'Reilly Python book Practical Computer Vision with SimpleCV: The Simple Way to Make Technology See. The book's website is SimpleCV.org. Kat also suggested looking at the samples in the OpenCV Github repo

To integrate computer vision into a robot or manufacturing system, Kat mentioned ROS (Robot Operating System, ROS.org).

Buzzfeed had an article about SnapChat Filters.

Kat works at Planet. And they are still hiring

160: Chowdered up the Spoilboard

Daniel Hienzsch (@rheingoldheavy) and Majenta Strongheart (majentastronghe_art) gave us suggestions on setting up a home shop and information on setting up a maker space.

Daniel is the resident engineer at SupplyFrame's Pasadena Design Lab. He still the owns and runs RheingoldHeavy.com, a company devoted to educational boards, as we talked about on episode 115: Datasheeps.

Majenta's web page is MajentaStrongheart.com. We talked more about School of the Art Institute of Chicago with Sarah Petkus in 142: New and Improved Appendages.

159: Flying Rainbow Children

Chris and Elecia talk to each other about compiler optimizations, bit banging I2C, listener emails, and small-town parades.

Games to learn/play with assembly languages include The Human Resource Machine by Tomorrow Corporation and TIS-100 by Zachtronics.

We've been enjoying the Embedded Thoughts blog. And Chris is reading Practical Electronics for Inventors and liking it. 

We talked a little about Interview.io's adventure in voice changing.

Shirts are gone for awhile. New logo stickers are available at StickerMule if you'd like to support and share the show. 

158: Programming Is Too Difficult for Humans

Fabien Chouteau (@DesChips) of AdaCore (@AdaCoreCompany) spoke with us about the Make with Ada Programming Competition.

Giveaway boards are GONE. 

The Ada programming language (wiki) is interesting in that it was designed for safety critical embedded systems (actually designed, requirements doc and everything!). The Ada Information Clearinghouse has a nice list of tutorials and books as does the very helpful Make with Ada Getting Started page. Elecia's favorite was Inspirel's Ada on Cortex.

Some neat projects in Ada that we mentioned on the show:

The platforms supported in the contest are on the Getting Started page but you can expand that by looking at the SVD files in the AdaCore drivers on github. (Also, SVD files are neat.) One of the platforms already supported is the Crazyflie nanodrone

157: Explosion of Multicopters

Robb Walters of Flybrix (@flybrix) spoke with us about LEGO-based drones. We graciously let him leave with all his hardware. This time.

For a limited time, you can get an Embedded.fm tshirt: teespring.com/embedded-fm. Order by the end of June or miss out. (More info about the shirts.)

You can order your Flybrix kit and or read their controller code on github (or their controller app code).

Robb mentioned a C++ book he liked, it was Effective Modern C++: 42 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of C++11 and C++14 by Scott Meyers.

He also noted LEGO bricks resale sites: Brickowl and BricklinkLEGO Digital Designer looks like a fun way to design builds.

Cascade PID controllers are on Wikipedia (though I found this tutorial a little easier). 

The congratulations offered at the top of the show were to Meshpoint.me for winning the Best Humanitarian Tech of the Year at the Europas Conference.

 

156: Black Knight 2000

Jeri Ellsworth (@jeriellsworth) spoke with us about the latest developments at CastAR, hiring engineers, and her favorite engine.

Embedded.fm T-Shirts are available until the end of June on Teespring (more info).

CastAR is making an augmented reality system. They are in Palo Alto, CA, USA and they are hiring.  They work with Playground.

Jeri was last on Embedded.fm episode 23: Go For Everything I Want.

155: Foot-Seeking Bullet

Jonathan Bradshaw spoke with us about working with hardware engineers, schematic reviews, and FPGAs.

At the end of the podcast, Jonathan made a pitch for folks to submit proposals for the IEEE Southern Power Electronics Conference in Auckland in December.

The FPGA boards Elecia mentioned were the XLR8 board and the Papillio platform (more on the latter in show #66).

By the way, The Amp Hour is our “enemy podcast” but we actually like their show quite a lot. It is a joke. But do feel free to tweet their shameless advertising tweet with the link replaced with one to our show. 

And weta are neat! (Image, wiki)

154: Physics Is a Big Pain

Jeff Keyzer (@MightyOhm) joined us to talk about consumer manufacturing, how to solder, and having a full time job and a kit company.

Jeff's blog is on MightyOhm.com. The Geiger Counter kit is available at MightyOhm.com/geiger. The really, really useful Soldering Is Easy comic book is MightyOhm.com/soldercomic.

At Valve, Jeff worked on the Steam Controller (hardware specs at bottom of the Valve page or for sale on Amazon). There is also a neat video showing the manufacturing automation in action.

We mentioned Glowforge, Dan Shapiro was on episode 125 (and if you are going to buy one, please consider using our referral link!)

Elecia and Chris have a Hakko FX-888 soldering iron. Jeff suggests Kester 186 flux which you can get in smaller-than-giant containers on eBay. No, not the pen on Amazon. Or maybe the MG Chemicals 835 (which is in little bottles on Amazon). Flux seems like a very personal thing. 

153: Space Nerf Gun

Patrick Yeon of Planet Labs spoke with us about making satellites.

We discussed a method of using orientation to control drag to control speed. While Patrick wasn't sure what he could say about GPS receivers on satellites, another site describes them as part of the flock.

Sign up to get access to the huge Open California data set.

Planet has many applications and their blog shows off some interesting finds, such as identifying illegal gold mines encroaching on rainforests, quantifying ports with computer vision, counting trees and classifying agriculture crops, fire mapping, and cloud detection.

They are still hiring, apply using the email embeddedfm at planet.com will earn us (err, not you) more free tshirts.

 

152: Dodecahedrocopter.com

Chris and Elecia chat about hobbies and respond to listener feedback and questions.

Chris was on an episode of Let's Drone Out, you can listen to it here or search in your favorite podcast platform. It is recorded and broadcast live every Thursday at 8 P.M. (UTC+1) on Powering On.

Chris' new quadcopter is a Vortex 285. It runs Clean Flight, an open source flight controller software package.

While we had various opinions about RTOSs, we were both interested in the one Alvaro suggested to us: Zephyr Project.

As for other embedded podcasts, of course you know about The Amp Hour. And we had Saron of CodeNewbie podcast on, that show is mostly software and people. How about Macrofab Engineering? Or O'Reilly's HW podcast?

150: Sad Country Song

Torie Charvez spoke with us about what it takes to start and run your own business in the US. We talked about starting your own consulting company, selling your latest gadget, and all of the bookkeeping, tax issues, and details involved.

Torie's company is Tax Goddess. The write-off publication she mentioned is on the IRS site is Chapter 8 of Publication 535.

Elecia mentioned her Snow White's Guide to Your First Stock Options.