• I'm Not an Engineer, But I Play One on the Internet

    02/01/2016 at 22:36 0 comments

    Few realized it, but the world changed in 1975. Prior to that moment, the balance of human accomplished worked toward bigger systems; controlling things en-mass, as a whole, rather than as discrete units. 1975 is exactly when the tide turned toward breaking systems down and controlling the individual components. A great example is the CRT vs. the LCD. The CRT uses one thing, an electron gun, to draw the entire picture. An LCD individually addresses each color of each pixel. That's discrete control. 1975 will be recognized, by future historians, as the start of the shift out of the Industrial revolution period, into the micro-automated period. I know. I was there.

    Which brings me to today. My evolution is not so dramatic. I started with dreadfully simple crystal radios made from 1N914 diodes. I built an 8-bit single board computer using the RCA CDP1802 CPU - the same one used in the Galileo probe to Jupiter. A number of twists and turns later, and I was building Microchip PIC based robot boards. I added in Arduino compatible accessories and devices, and more recently FPGAs and 32-bit microcontrollers.

    Let's see if any of that can lead to a winning entry in the Adafruit Pi Zero contest, or the next Hackaday pr1ze contest.