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The magic of books

Posted by on 9:23 am in life | 1 comment

The magic of books

What is it about books? They still hold a place of magic in our society and to me. I have had a few opportunities to write a book or two now, at least the offer to begin writing one or talk about writing one. I have passed on all of them so far. Not because I don’t want to. I actually would quite enjoy it. However, talking to all the people I know who have written (technical) books have told me two things: It’s really really really hard It’s really worth it. How am I supposed to process that? I suppose it’s much like...

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(KiCad) Information Wants To Be Free

Posted by on 3:00 pm in Contextual Electronics, engineering | 1 comment

(KiCad) Information Wants To Be Free

This is a cross-post from the Contextual Electronics blog, as it affects readers here and there TL; DR: I am releasing all of the KiCad videos that were part of Contextual Electronics to the public and have started a new site/forum to support them. See below for announcement video. I officially finished the first two sessions (1A & 1B) of Contextual Electronics in early June. It was a great experience, especially for a first time course, especially one where there was money involved and I was the IT guy on the project. It wasn’t a...

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As big as…space

Posted by on 10:01 am in analog electronics, digital electronics, work | 3 comments

As big as…space

Last week on my electronics podcast, The Amp Hour, I did something uncharacteristic: I mentioned where I’m working, while I’m working there. Normally I don’t talk about my place of employment until after I have left, which has always served me well. There is no conflict of interest in talking about work that protected by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).  This time is different though, because the nature of the company is different (and my role will be more public facing than my normal role as an engineer). I’ve been...

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Don’t Wait For Permission

Posted by on 12:18 pm in life, work | 5 comments

Don’t Wait For Permission

I have corresponded with a international student for a few years now. I honestly can’t even remember how we met online and it doesn’t matter. He showed interest in my work and we started talking and have continued as he has graduated from US university and found a job locally. Recently he asked me: I don’t like my current job. How can I get a job at Google? I asked him why he wanted to move to Google. High pay? Exciting work? Big challenges? A recognizable name on a resume? All of these things can be had at other companies,...

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First Day Rejection

Posted by on 12:03 pm in consulting | 2 comments

First Day Rejection

Well, it’s my first day out on my own and I have already had a rejection. Whee! In reality, it was a contract job that I bid on without too much expectation of getting the work. I definitely was not counting on this work as part of my survival in my new jump to self employment. Mostly it was an interesting problem that I would have enjoyed working on and I would have been able to work with some good people; this is my main disappointment with not getting the work. However, I did get feedback on my proposal, which is great. A lot of...

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I Quit My Job To Teach People About Hardware

Posted by on 12:25 am in work | 13 comments

I Quit My Job To Teach People About Hardware

This topic was discussed in greater detail in Episode 184 of to The Amp Hour. This article is more about the personal feelings that have accompanied this (ongoing) transition. Starting Friday, for the first time in my adult life I will be without a job; at least a job as I’ve always defined it. I have been employed as a full time electrical engineer (in various roles, the most relevant being analog ones) for 8 years straight. Prior to that I had been working as a co-op for 10-20 hours a week for another 2 years. All told, I would...

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On Education

Posted by on 1:42 pm in learning | 5 comments

On Education

I’ve been sour on education lately. Given my entry into the field, I felt it prudent to explain myself. In general, I’ve been well served by my own education. I went to a great public school system where I grew up and I went to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) for my undergraduate degree in EE (I have neither a Master’s nor PhD). I had decent grades (solid B+ student throughout my tenure) and I had a good experience with my classmates. So what gives? Why do I complain about education? One reason is that the real value...

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I Got Glass!

Posted by on 6:01 pm in blogging | 3 comments

I Got Glass!

I’m not really sure why I hadn’t posted about it here in the past, but it’s true: I’m part of the Google Glass Explorer Program. And last weekend, I went to New York City to go pick up my pair from Google. I think part of it is I am a little embarrassed about it. I mean, they’re just a bit nerdy, don’t you think? Sure, there’s a slightly “hip” characteristic to them and by themselves they are a beautiful piece of technology; but it’s putting something on my face that automatically...

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Contextual Electronics Announcement

Posted by on 12:15 am in analog electronics, digital electronics, learning, OSHW | 3 comments

Contextual Electronics Announcement

“But Chris, what happened to your milling videos?” “Well, the same thing that happens to lots of projects, they got re-prioritized!” I really enjoy working with my new mill! It’s awesome and I’ve learned a ton. I didn’t post it to this site as a separate blog post on this site, but I did post two new videos to my YouTube channel. Both were failures…but that’s ok! A large part of the decision to get the mill was the learning process. The first was figuring out problems in using a half inch...

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Self Induced Stress

Posted by on 12:11 am in learning | 4 comments

Self Induced Stress

I’m pretty good at stressing myself out. Not for any particular reason; normally just because I find it’s more productive than watching TV. How, you ask? Well, starting podcasts could be one. While they are exciting at the beginning, there is invariably some work that needs to be done. I’ll want to figure out how to get the recording setup to work or make the website more reliable or try and find some kind of funding for it. In the end, it’s driven by my desire to put my voice on the internet, but at the base of it all,...

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