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Rebooting the fridge

When the icemaker stopped doing the one thing it was designed to do, the refrigerator repairman was called. After tinkering with the mechanism for some…

Who Needs a Degree?

Some engineers are plodders. They just don't get it. Sure, they can crank some C or design a bit of logic but their creations are…

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On the Road Again

The next phase after ubiquitous computing is invisible computing, said keynote speaker Robert X. Cringely this past Tuesday at the Chicago Embedded Systems Conference. Funny…

Overuse of Overtime?

Philip Greenspun wrote an intriguing article about managing software folks, which suggests that the key to running an efficient development house is lots of overtime….

Asynchronicity

Race conditions are surprisingly easy to create, even when programmers know of their dangers. Here's a frequent timer bug to watch out for. What makes…

First, Do No Harm

All of us who design multi-function devices should consider their functions separate. A problem with one subsystem should never create problems with another. Many of…

Looking at Clouds

It turns out that Brent was wrong when he combined bisection with parabolic interpolation. There's a better way to converge on a minimum. The lyrics…