Karl runs his own (non-DNS) domain name service on his site www.cavebear.com. The site also includes notes from his time on the ICANN board (such as this one where they talk about redemption periods).
In the Embedded Artistry welcome page, there is a list of Phillip’s favorite articles as well as his most popular articles. Some of Phillip’s favorites include:
We also talked about code reviews and some best practices.
The Embedded Artistry newsletter is a good way to keep up with embedded topics. You can subscribe to it at embeddedartistry.com/newsletter
Alicia is the editor and author of Building Open Source Hardware: DIY Manufacturing for Hackers and Makers. It is a handy resource for any manufacturing.
Alicia is the director of the Blow Things Up Lab, part of the Atlas Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Light up LEGO blocks are available at Build Upons.
The LilyPad Arduino has many sewable electronics components.
You can find more talks and hacks on Alicia’s personal site, aliciagibb.com.
We talked about many different documents and tried to note design vs implementation, product vs engineering vs user, and why we wanted them. We didn’t mention mechanical things because, ya know, software engineers. Some documentation we mentioned:
Schematics with block diagrams and comments. Also a GPIO to function spreadsheet.
UI flow when the system has a screens (Balsamiq for wireframe testing UIs)
SW spec and design doc: what do we plan to build and what are the tricky parts
SW configuration and SW developer docs: how to rebuild the computer that can build the code from scratch, also notes on debugging methodology
User manual: Usually not written by SW but may need SW’s patient input
Code comments: Functions and files get 5Ws: who, what, why, when, where, and how.
Who should call this?
What will its effect be? (“What will it do” but not in line by line detail!)
How does it work?
Why does it work this way?
When should it be called?
Where are its parameters? (“What” works here too but “where” is nice to remind you to check your memory assumptions.)
Repository checkin comments
Manufacturing docs and tests docs
Adafruit and Sparkfun both write good documentation, writing to users about how to use their code. Elecia likes Adafruit’s sensor library as a good set of code to review (including how much is in their docs vs their code).
Crossing machine intelligence, robotics, and medicine, Patrick Pilarski (@patrickpilarski) is working on smart prosthetic limbs.
Build your own learning robot references: Weka Data Mining Software in Java for getting to know your data, OpenIA Gym for understanding reinforcement learning algorithms, Robotis Servos for the robot (AX is the lower priced line), and five lines of code:
pred = numpy.dot(xt,w) delta = r + gamma*numpy.dot(xtp1,w) - pred e = gamma*lamda*e + xt w = w + alpha*delta*e xt = xtp1
Patrick even made us a file (with comments and everything!).
Machine Man by Max Barry
Snow Country by Bokushi Suzuki
Aimee Mullins and her many amazing legs (TED Talk)
Patrick is a professor at University of Alberta, though a lot more than that: he is the Canada Research Chair in Machine Intelligence for Rehabilitation at the University of Alberta, and Assistant Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a principal investigator with both the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and the Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (RLAI). See his TED talk: Intelligent Artificial Limbs.
Kate Compton (@GalaxyKate) spoke with us about casual creators, Twitter bots done cheap and quick, and the creativity that is within each of us.
Kate’s website is galaxykate.com. Her Phd dissertation defense is interesting, see it on youtube.com. She is joining UCSC’s CROSS to do more work on casual creators and open source software. (We talked to Carlos Maltzan, the head of CROSS in 285: A Chicken Getting to the Other Side.)
You can use Tracery to make Twitter bots via CheapBotsDoneQuick.com. They are often text (@infinite_scream, @str_voyage, @DUNSONnDRAGGAN) or emoji based (@choochoobot, @infinitedeserts). However, Tracery and CBDQ can be used to create SVG images (such as @softlandscapes).
Elecia’s text bot is @pajamaswithfeet. It tweets (usually) kind things you can (sometimes) say to other people (or yourself).
Colin O’Flynn (@colinoflynn) spoke with us about security research, power analysis, and hotdogs.
Colin’s company is NewAE and you can see his Introduction to Side-Channel Power Analysis video as an intro to his training course. Or you can buy your own ChipWhisperer and go through his extensive tutorials on the wiki pages.
Some FPGA resource mentioned:
Carlos Maltzahn joined us to talk about graduate studies in open source software, research incubators, and how software development tools can be used to aid the reproduction of scientific results.
Carlos is the founder and director of the Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS). He is also an adjunct professor of computer science and engineering at UC Santa Cruz.
Some projects we spoke about:
Jeff LeFevre — Skyhook: using programmable storage in Ceph to make Postgres and other databases more scalable and elastic (skyhookdm.com)
Kate Compton — Tracery2 and Chancery: using open source software to support artists and poets (tracery.io)
Carlos mentioned the wonderful notion of “being productively lost”. He picked up the idea at a POSSE (Professors Open Source Software Experience).
Ori Bernstein (@oribernstein) joined us to talk about the dielectric constants of foods, reflective energy steering, and smart microwaves. Elecia got a little silly.
Jennifer Wang (@jenbuilds) spoke with us about machine learning, magic wands, and getting into hardware.
For more detail about her magic wand build, you can see Jen’s Hackaday SuperCon talk or her !!ConWest talk. The github repo is well documented with pointers to slides from her SuperCon talk and an HTML version of her Jupyter notebook.
Check out this good introduction to machine learning from scikit-learn. It was their choosing the right estimator infographic we were looking at. (Elecia has bookmarked this list of machine learning cheat sheets.)
Watch this video of a Trident ROV being eaten by a shark… yes, you get to see the inside of a shark.
Laughlin left us with a coupon code for the Trident ROV. Please remember to invite us along on your ROV’ing.
Previously Jenny worked for Oxford English Press working on computational linguistics software. While there she wrote post about the word “hacker”.
Elecia has been secretly dreaming of being a lexicographer since reading Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper.
Model View Controller (very important if somewhat dated UI pattern)
PyFlakes is a static Python checker
KiCAD Conference is in Chicago on April 26-27, 2019
BangBangConWest 2019 is over but the videos will be up soon including the one Elecia noted about liking things (which was done by Lynn Cyrin).
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.
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.
Patrick Yeon (@patyeon) spoke with us about nonprofit spaceships then asked our opinions about embedded software.
Pat is working for something something nonprofit space something something. To fill in some of the blanks, apply for a job on NonprofitSpaceship.org.
Pat was previously on episode 153: Space Nerf Gun when we talked about cost-optimized satellites.
We talked about several books:
Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet
Managers Path: Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides
Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide by Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Robson, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra
Elecia’s command code is on github.
Matthew Liberty (@mliberty1) shared good advice for lowering power. We talk about different ways to measure current (Matt has a nice write-up) and things software can do to decrease power consumption.
Sleeping is critical, of course, as is choosing your clock speed and setting the GPIOs to good states. Everything is fine until you start getting into the microamps, then your multimeter measurements may start to fail you. (EEvblog explains why in his uCurrent intro.)
Eventually, you may want to measure nanoamp sleep states along with amp-consuming wake states. Matt’s Joulescope is a tool to do just that (Kickstarter goes live Feb 19, 2019!), automatically moving between 9 orders of magnitude of dynamic range and graphing the results on your computer.
Matthew’s consulting company is JetPerch.
Jie Qi is the founder of Chibitronics, a crafting electronics platform that uses paper and stickers to create (and teach) circuits. Building the company and working on electronics-filled pop-up books led to the realization that patent law does apply to open source maker-type companies. She started PatentPandas.org to share what she’s learned.
Jie is not the only one who has had issues with big companies patenting their open source work. We mentioned Jarek Duda and his fight to keep his compression algorithm unburdened by patents.
If you are having or wondering about having an issue, Patent Pandas is intended to be an amusing and gentle introduction. If you are looking for prior art, you can look at the Prior Art Archive and Patents.StackExchange. (If you have some free time, there are often requests to find prior art.)
Some great 555 projects:
555 found in a drill trigger speed controller as seen on the Ben Heck Show
555 found inside a solar charger controller, video by Julian Ilett
Somehow, despite it being in the plan, we didn’t mention the Evil Mad Scientist The Three Fives Kit: A Discrete 555 Timer which builds a 555 Timer out of discrete parts. If only the creator would come on to talk about it and his other cool projects. Note that EMS also has a great description of how the 555 timer works.
Janelle Shane (@JanelleCShane) shared truly weird responses from AIs. Her website is AIWeirdness.com where you can find machine-learning-generated ideas for paint colors, ice cream, and cocktails (and many other things). We never said they were good ideas.
We talked about BigGAN which generates pictures based on input images.
Janelle’s upcoming book is You Look Like a Thing and I Love You. Sign up for her newsletter to be the first to order it (as well as getting the PG-13 versions of her hilarious AI outputs).
PlatformIO is an editor, an integrated development environment with debugging and unit testing, and/or a library index. Its goal is to make embedded development easier and more consistent across host operating systems and development hardware. It is also a .org because the goal is to make all of this open source and free to engineers.
Ivan recently attended the RISC-V Summit. RISC-V is an open source processor core (like ARM but open source). SiFive was mentioned as one of the RISC-V processor vendors. RISC-V is being used extensively in research. Western Digital is planning to develop RISC-V based controllers. And MIPS recently joined RISC-V.