Embedded is the show for people who love gadgets. Making them, breaking them, and everything in between. Weekly interviews with engineers, educators, and enthusiasts. Find the show, blog, and more at embedded.fm.
Jen Costillo (@rebelbotjen) joins Elecia and Christopher to discuss their experiences interviewing (both as interviewer and interviewee). Elecia did an hour long webinar on how to conduct technical interviews. In this show, she mentions a good post-interview ratings system. Google discovered that their brainteasers are not a very effective way to interview. Despite the news that swearing is good for you, we tried to bleep everything. Also, it is minesweeper, not minefield. What were we thinking? It was obviously all Christopher’s fault. Though we should have stood up to him. Elecia's book has more interview questions but from the perspective of how do you ask a question and what do you look for in a response.
Christopher interviews an embedded systems engineer with ~25 years of experience across medical, scientific, industrial and consumer products. He asks about career trajectory, field stories, and assorted destruction.
Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software
Carter Frost spoke with us about the Cabrillo College Robotics club and winning the 2019 NASA Swarmathon. Cabrillo has many student clubs. Cabrillo Robotics has a Facebook page and is @CabrilloRobotic on Twitter. The club gets its funding from the Cabrillo Foundation (to donate, make sure to note “Cabrillo Robotics Club” in your contribution). Please RSVP for the Embedded 300 party on Eventbrite.com.
Christopher and Elecia talk about the upcoming Embedded 300 party (Sept 7th!), podcasting, and listener emails. Please RSVP for the party. If you didn’t hear the link in the show or don’t recall it, contact us. Thank you to iRobot for sending us Root Robots as prizes! Embedded Patreon Merchandise! We send the Samson Meteor as our guest mic. Thank you for listening!
Monk Eastman (@MonkFunkster) joined us for an enlightening conversation about hardware compliance engineering. We covered the basics of CE, FCC, UL, and battery certification. We mentioned that Alan Cohen’s Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market has a good overview of certification. Alan was on Embedded 269: Ultra-Precise Death Ray. For a deeper view of compliance engineer, Monk suggested this book: Electrical Product Compliance and Safety Engineering. Listener Skippy wrote about his experience with CE certification. Monk plays bass saxophone in the East Bay Brass Band. Details on registering for the Embedded 300 party on Eventbrite.com are in the show itself.
Eric Brunning (@deeplycloudy) returns to talk about doing science in the field in this crossover episode with the Don’t Panic GeoCast’s John Leeman (@geo_leeman). Eric is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas Tech University specializing in storm electrification and lightning. We spoke with Eric on 268: Cakepan Interferometry about lightning and using baking goods as measurement devices. Eric was also on GeoCast 134: Launching Balloons out of a UHaul. We spoke with John about his Phd research in 169: Sit on Top of a Volcano. The previous Don’t Panic GeoCast crossover was with John and Sridhar Anandakrishnan in 206: Crushing Amounts of Snow. John’s company is Leeman Geophysical. The paper was Reconstructing David Huffman’s Legacy in Curved-Crease Folding by Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine and Duks Koschitz. Elecia is working her way through Erik Demaine’s Phd thesis on the same topic as well as Jun Mitani’s excellent book Curved-Folding Origami Design. Geology also has folds. For 3D printed origami, Eric mentioned Henny Seggerman’s twitter @henryseg.
Chris Svec (@christophersvec) spoke to us about how hope can improve our software and work environments. Chris is the author of Embedded Software Engineering 101 blog and has been on the show several times since his first appearance in 78: Happy Cows. He mentioned Seth Godin’s Three Wishes post. We talked attentional focus and passing basketballs. Details for the Embedded Cats and Hacks party are in the show. If you can’t attend, well, maybe you can still get a mug (zazzle). If you can attend, iRobot has graciously given us a couple Root robots that we’ll be giving away.
Shruthi Jaganathan spoke with us about recycling, machine learning, and the Jetson Nano (@NVIDIAEmbedded). More about the Green Machine, the computer vision, machine learning, augmented reality way to sort your lunch leavings. The code is available. The system was on a Jetson TX2 developer kit and Shruthi has been moving it to the physically smaller and only $99 Jetson Nano developer kit (buy). Shruthi has been getting into AI with the Jetson Two Days to a Demo as well as NVIDIA’s free Getting Started with AI on the Jetson Nano online course. For more information about FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), we talked about it with Derek Fronek on Embedded 257: Small Parts Flew Everywhere.
This week we talk about CircuitPython (@CircuitPython) with @adafruit’s Kattni Rembor (@kattni) and Scott Shawcroft (@tannewt). The suggested first board is CircuitPlayground Express with LEDs, sensors, and buttons. CircuitPython is also available for many other boards including the BLE Feather (NRF52832). For a basic introduction take a look at What is CircuitPython and see some example scripts. To dig a little deeper, check out the many resources in Awesome CircuitPython. The whole thing is open source so you can see their code. If you are thinking about contributing (or just want some fun chats), get in touch on the CircuitPython channel of the Adafruit Discord server: adafru.it/discord Many of the language’s design choices favor ease-of-use over ready-for-production. Imagine teaching an intro to programming class without worrying what computers will be used or how to get compilers installed on everyone’s machines before time runs out. One final note: Kattni did a project that gave us the show title: Piano in the Key of Lime. After we finished recording, Chris asked her why she didn’t add a kiwi fruit to her mix… Kattni explained she had limes and they were small. Chris only wanted a different fruit so she could rename it Piano in the Kiwi of Lime. It is always sad when we stop recording too early.
Mike Harrison (@mikelectricstuf) challenged us to a PIC fight on Twitter. Surprisingly, no blood was shed and we mostly talked about LEDs and art installations. Mike’s YouTube Channel and his website electricstuff.co.uk His professional hire-him-to-work-on-your-neat-stuff site is whitewing.co.uk For driving LEDs, Mike likes the TI TLC5971: 12-Channel, 16-Bit ES-PWM RGB LED Driver with 3.3V Linear Regulator. Mike will be at 2019 Hackaday SuperCon!
Limor Fried of Adafruit spoke with us about engineering, education, and business. Some new boards we talked about include the PyGamer and PyBadge (which also has a lower cost version). TinyUSB, an open and tiny USB stack from Hathach. In addition to the many excellent tutorials there are some interesting business related posts on Adafruit Learn: How to Build a Hardware Startup and How to Start a Hackerspace Want to get more involved with the extensive, wonderful, and supportive Adafruit community? Join their Discord chat server or Show and Tell on Wednesdays 7:30pm (ET) followed by Ask an Engineer at 8pm.
Christopher (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) babble about their current projects involving ants, guitars, machine learning, and party planning. A video of Christopher’s ants Some tweet threads about our tour of Santa Cruz Guitar Company. Arrival (also: very old wood) Wood is awesome Adding science to precision craft Elecia has been reading Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn, Keras, and TensorFlow by Aurélien Géron. While the 2nd edition preview is on O’Reilly’s electronic library (formerly Safari Online), it will be available via Amazon on July 5th. Or pick up the first edition. Phillip Johnston of Embedded Artistry (290: Rule of Thumbs) is looking for blog posts, exchanging editing and exposure for posts that make sense on the site. Contact him with a topic idea before jumping in. For the Embedded blog, related to the show with Phillip, Elecia wrote a post about learning to give feedback. Listener Brian asked about a CS degree for going into firmware. We mentioned our show with Dennis Jackson (211: 4 Weeks, 3 Days). Listener Craig asked about PICs. We suggested taking a look at Jay Carlson’s Amazing $1 Microcontroller. We talked to Jay in 226: Camp AVR vs. Camp Microchip. Listener Happyday asked about UL testing. We added FCC testing then asked if any of you could help us. Hit the contact link on Embedded.fm. Embedded has a Patreon. There are new sponsorship levels! Nothing has changed though.
Karl Auerbach of InterWorking Labs spoke with us about how the internet works. We talked about domain name services (DNS being the primary one), registries and registrars, domain thieves, and the History of the Internet project. 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).
We spoke with Phillip Johnston (@mbeddedartistry) of Embedded Artistry about embedded consulting, writing about software, and ways to improve development. 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: Embedded Rules of Thumb Improving SW with 5 LW Processes Learning from the Boeing 737 MAX saga 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 What are condition variables?
Alicia Gibb (@pipix) joined Elecia to talk about open source hardware, the OSHW association (@ohsummit), using trademarks for quality control, and light-up LEGO blocks. 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.
Christopher (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) discuss embedded systems education and project documentation. Elecia wrote about her love of notebooks on the https://www.embedded.fm/blog-index. yEd, for when you don’t have Visio. Asciiflow.com, for when you don’t have yEd (or you want to put diagrams in your comments) 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: Product documentation 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 Style guide (Such as Google’s or PEP) 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: Patrick even made us a file (with comments and everything!). Once done, you can enter the Cybathlon. (Or check out a look at Cybathlon 2016 coverage.) 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.) Tracery is an open source story generator using a specific grammar. One example is at Kate’s BrightSpiral.com which creates a whole story every time you refresh. 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. ChipWhisperer on Hackaday ColinOFlynn.com Some FPGA resource mentioned: Fpga4fun.com TinyFpga.com MyHdl.org (Python!)
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) Ivo Jimenez — Black Swan: using DevOps techniques and strategies to speed up the systems research delivery life cycle (falsifiable.us) Kate Compton — Tracery2 and Chancery: using open source software to support artists and poets (tracery.io)
Ori Bernstein (@oribernstein) joined us to talk about the dielectric constants of foods, reflective energy steering, and smart microwaves. Elecia got a little silly.
Ori works at Level Hot Pantry for more about the smart microwave, check out his !!ConWest talk. Ori has a github and personal site.
EMSL papadum testing (where our thumbnail came from, with permission)
Hackaday explained recently why grapes explode
Short intro to how a microwave works
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.
We spoke with Laughlin Barker of OpenROV (@OpenROV) about underwater drones, underwater navigation, underwater exploration of the Antarctic, and extraordinarily large (underwater) jellyfish.
Watch this video of a Trident ROV being eaten by a shark… yes, you get to see the inside of a shark.
S.E.E. Initiative: Science Exploration Education from National Geographic
Laughlin left us with a coupon code for the Trident ROV. Please remember to invite us along on your ROV’ing.
Combining a love of engineering with a love of words, Jenny List (@Jenny_Alto) is a contributing editor at Hackaday (@Hackaday).
Jenny’s writing at Hackaday including Debunking the Drone Versus Plane Hysteria and Ooops, Did We Just Close An Airport Over a UFO Sighting?
Previously Jenny worked for Oxford English Press working on computational linguistics software. While there she wrote post about the word “hacker”.
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.
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.
Jie Qi (@qijie) spoke with us about making paper-based electronics (@Chibitronics) and learning about patent law (via @Patentpandas).
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.
Jesse Rutherford (@BentTronics) gave us an in-depth look at the 555 timer IC (wiki).
Jesse runs Bent-tronics.com and wrote The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to the 555 Timer (Amazon).
Some great 555 projects:
555 Decimal Adding Machine
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
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.
Ivan Kravets (@ikravets) spoke with us about PlatformIO (@PlatformIO_Org), IDEs, embedded libraries, and RISC-V.
PlatformIO is an editor, an integrated development environment with debugging and unit testing, and/or a library index.
Ivan Kravets is the founder of PlatformIO.org. He recommends seeing the Dnieper River if you are in his area.
Ivan recently attended the RISC-V Summit. RISC-V is an open source processor core (like ARM but open source).
Alex Glow (@glowascii) filled our heads with project ideas.
Alex is the Resident Hardware Nerd at Hackster.io. Her page is glowascii and you might want to see Archimedes the AI robot owl and the Hardware 101 channel. They have many sponsored contests including BadgeLove.
James Grenning (@jwgrenning) joined us to talk about Test Driven Development, dealing with legacy code, and cleaning out very large pipes.
James is the author of Test Driven Development for Embedded C. If you want to take his live online course, check out the remote delivered TDD classes on Wingman Software. His blog has many great articles including TDD How-to: Get Your Legacy C into a Test Harness and TDD Guided by ZOMBIES.
Alan Cohen (@proto2product) wrote a great book about taking an idea and making it into a product. We spoke with him about the development process and the eleven deadly sins of product development. We did not talk about ultra-precise death rays.
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.
After many bouts of lightning round, we finally got our lightning questions answered by Eric Brunning (@deeplycloudy). Eric is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas Tech University specializing in storm electrification and lightning .
You can hear some of Eric’s field adventures by listening to his episode of the Don’t Panic Geocast show.
Lindsey Kuper (@lindsey) spoke with us about !!Con West, being a new professor, and reading technical journals.
Lindsey’s blog is Composition.al and it has advice for !!Con proposals, advice for potential grad students, and updates on Lindsay’s work.
The Banana Slug is the UCSC mascot.
Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System by Leslie Lamport, 1978
Anita Pagin gave us an insider’s view of being a recruiter.
Anita recently started at Carbon3D and is recruiting for software and hardware.
Anita also does career coaching on the side. Given the advice she gave us for free, imagine what she could tell you if you paid her.
Finally, Elecia’s favorite list of resume keywords.
Chris Svec (@christophersvec) returns to chat about what he’s been up to. Also, he’s looking for engineers to join him at iRobot.
Want to get into embedded and don’t know how? We did a show about that: 211: 4 Weeks, 3 Days. Also, there is an EdX class that is popular and a Coursera course that may be useful.
You can meet up with Chris at Hackaday Supercon in Pasadena, CA on Nov 2-4.
Fulgurites are cooled lightning.
James Grenning (@jwgrenning) returns to discuss TDD, Agile, and web courses.
James was on Embedded.fm episode 30: Eventually Lighting Strikes.
James' new company is Wingman Software.
His excellent book is TDD for Embedded C.
James suggested Training From the Back of the Room! as resource to people looking to put together a class. He uses and recommends CyberDojo as a coding instruction tool.
Professor Angela Sodemann of @ASU spoke with us about new ways of teaching, robotics, and haptic displays.
Angela’s robotics courses can be found at RoboGrok.com, including the parts kit. Note that they focus on creating usable robotics as well as teaching theory so there is math, code, and hardware.
Helen Leigh (@helenleigh) is an author, education writer and maker. She spoke with us about making learning fun (and subversive).
Her latest book is The Crafty Kid's Guide to DIY Electronics, out in November 2018.
Christopher (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) talks about vacations for learning and hobbies then answered listener questions.
Chris’ toys include the Prusa I3 Mk3 and the UAD Arrow.
Elecia likes Camille Fournier’s book, The Manager’s Path. She also got to plug her own book, Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software.
Brandon Wilson (@brandonlwilson) shared his stories about hacking TI calculators (and other things).
TICalc.org has the latest on getting started yourself including Z80 assemblers, or start on Brandon’s website: brandonw.net
We spoke with Axel Poschmann of DarkMatter LLC (@GuardedbyGenius) about embedded security.
For a great in-depth introduction, Axel suggested Christof Paar’s Introduction to Cryptography class, available on YouTube. We also talked about ENISA’s Hardware Threat Landscape and Good Practices Guide.
Derek Fronek spoke with us about FIRST robotics. His TechHOUNDS (@TechHOUNDS868) team is based in Carmel, Indiana. They won the state competition and placed 5th in the high school FRC championship.
Derek mentioned the roboRIO controller board, TalonSRX speed controller, and the Spark motor controller. Many of these offer deep discounts to FIRST robotics participants.
Check out FirstInspires.org to find a team near you. The game comes out in January but many teams start forming in September.
Gabriel Jacobo (@gabrieljacobo) spoke with us about embedded graphics, contributing to the Linux SDL, using MQTT, and working far from his employers.
Gabriel’s blog and resume are available on his site mdqinc.com. His github repo is under gabomdq.
SDL is Simple DirectMedia Layer (wiki). It is not so simple.
For MQTT-based home automation, he uses the Raspberry Pi Home Assistant build and many Node MCUs (ESP8266s running Lua, Micropython, or Arduino Framework).
Micah Elizabeth Scott (@scanlime) came to talk about Fadecandy, a really neat way to control smart LEDs (NeoPixel, AdaFruit's term for the WS2812). The conversation ranged from beautiful LED control algorithms and open source embedded projects to triangle tessellations, art, and identity.
Jen Costillo (@rebelbotjen) joins Elecia White to discuss the secret parts of C, keywords that only embedded software engineers seem to know about.
Jen and Elecia talk about interviewing and why these keywords make good questions for finding folks who use the language to its full potential.
NOTE: This is a repeat episode from before we'd settled on our name. Note that Jen is the co-host of the Unnamed Reverse Engineering Podcast.
We spoke with Kathleen Tuite (@kaflurbaleen) about augmented reality, computer vision, games with a purpose, and meetups.
Kathleen’s personal site (filled with many interesting projects we didn’t talk about) is SuperFireTruck.com.
Katie Malone (@multiarmbandit) works in data science, has podcast about machine learning, and has a Phd in Physics. We mostly talked about machine learning, ways to kill people, mathematics, and impostor syndrome.
Katie is the host of the Linear Digressions podcast (@LinDigressions). She recommended the Linear Digressions interview with Matt Might as something Embedded listeners might enjoy. Katie and Ben also recently did a show about git.
This week, we spoke with Addie (@atdiy) and Whisker (@whixr), the Toymakers (@Tymkrs).
Their latest CypherCon badges included a complete phone system. For more information, check out the user documentation at hackthebadge.com or the related Reddit post.
There is a video of Joe Grand’s 2018 CypherCon talk if you’d like to watch him talk about his juvenile delinquency.
In our last episode with Addie and Whisker (#205), we talked about the CypherCon 2017 badges and their Tindie store.
Finally! An episode with version control! And D&D! Chris Svec (@christophersvec) joins us to discuss why version control is critical to professional software development and what the most important concepts are.
Claire Rowland (@clurr) joined to discuss creating good user experiences for the Internet of Things. Claire is the lead author of Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things.
You can find more about her on clairerowland.com, from her talks (including Interusability: UX for Connected Products), her book's website, and her guest appearance on the IoT Podcast (episode 21). Her new report about user experience and the IoT will be on Iotuk.org.uk in June of 2018.
Jason Turner (@lefticus) of the CPPCast (@cppcast) spoke with us about modern C++ in embedded systems.
Jason’s articles can be found on EmptyCrate.com. You can also contact him there and find out more about his training sessions. Jason’s video channel is on C++ Weekly and includes an ARM emulator written in C++, running on Compiler Explorer.
We spoke with Dr. Bennie Lewis (@_benjoe02) about machine learning and robotics. Bennie is a Senior Research Scientist at Lockheed Martin, content creator, and Twitch streamer (benjoe02)
NVIDIA Jetson platform and Cuda for deep learning
SAMS C++ in One Hour a Day by Siddhartha Rao
Stephen Kraig (@Macro_Ninjaneer) and Parker Dillmann (@LnghrnEngineer), of Macrofab (@MacroFab) joined us to chat about getting hardware and software to work together.
Stephen and Parker are also hosts of the Macrofab podcast.
We compared out-the-ordinary podcast guests. For MacroFab episode 112 it was their conversation with a patent lawyer. For Embedded episode 150 it was our conversation with a tax accountant.
Schematics for the Apollo Guidance Computer (and their Kicad replica on github).
Kristina Durivage (@gelicia) described her path getting into making and hardware hacking as a complement to her day job working in front-end software. Kristina’s portfolio.gelicia.com includes write-ups on her projects (TweetSkirt, Kitchen Playset Game) as well as links to her talks. Or you can skip to her github.com/gelicia repository. Kristina has a chapter in the 10 LED Projects for Geeks book coming out from NoStarch Press.
We spoke with Michael Barr (@embeddedbarr) about the Barr Group embedded systems survey.
You can download the 2018 survey at the Barr Group survey page. The Barr Group Embedded C Coding Standardis also free to download (with registration). You can buy a paper copy on Amazon.
Andrei Chichak and Alvaro Prieto (@alvaroprieto) join us to talk about bits and how to manipulate them.
Alvaro is host of the Unnamed Reverse Engineering podcast. His other Embedded appearances are 130, 200, and 215.
Andrei (“Andrei from the Great White North”) works at CBF Systems. His other Embedded appearances are 99, 114, 139, and 200.
Jasmine Brackett (@asiwatch) spoke with us about @Tindie’s electronics marketplace, this year’s Hackaday Prize, and tips for wearable electronics.
If you want to buy on Tindie, check out their homepage tindie.com. If you want to sell, that is straightforward too: tindie.com/about/sell.
What do you do after space debris, hacking dinosaurs, and judging robots? If you are Dr. Lucy Rogers (@DrLucyRogers), you build an organization devoted to promoting the Making industry: Guild of Makers (@GuildOfMakers)
Lucy’s personal site is lucyrogers.com. She wrote the book It’s ONLY Rocket Science: An Introduction in Plain English.
Guild of Maker’s Twitter hack chats are weekly on Tuesdays at 8pm UTC. They use the tag #MakersHour.
Lucy programs in Node-RED, a visual language.
Dan Saks answers many questions about C++ in embedded systems: where it works, where it doesn't, and a path to getting started.
Dan Saks is the founder and president of Saks & Associates. He was a columnist for The C/C++ Users Journal, Embedded Systems Design and several other publications. He also served as secretary of the ANSI and ISO C++ standards committee in its early years.
Jan Jongboom (@janjongboom) of Mbed (@ArmMbed) joined us to talk about compilers, online hardware simulators, and inference on embedded devices.
Find out more about Mbed on mbed.com. The board simulator is at labs.mbed.com(Mbed OS Simulator). The code for the simulator is on Jan’s Github. Mbed Labs also has the uTensor inference framework for using TensorFlow models on devices.
Roger Linn (@roger_linn) gave us new ideas about musical instruments, detailing how wonderful expressive control, 3D buttons, and keyscanning can be.
Roger’s company is Roger Linn Design. We talked extensively about the LinnStrument, some about the AdrenaLinn for guitar, and only a little bit about the analog drum machine Tempest.
We spoke to author Robin Sloan (@robinsloan) about his books and near-future science fiction.
Robin wrote Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore and Sourdough.
Robin’s website is robinsloan.com. Go there for some short stories, sign up for his newsletter and check out his new ‘zine (also at wizard.limo). Oh! Don’t forget his blog, including a description of his neural net for audio generation and for writing.
Dustin Franklin of NVIDIA (@NVIDIAEmbedded) spoke with us about the Jetson TX2, a board designed to bring AI into embedded systems.
Dusty wrote Two Days to a Demo, both the original supervised learning version and the newer reinforcement learning version. In general, check out Dusty’s github repo to see what’s new. Also, The Redtail project is an autonomous navigation system for drones and land vehicles based on the TX2. You can find Dusty on on the NVIDIA forums.
Chris and Elecia chatted about listener emails, and other stuff and things.
Elecia wrote a book called Making Embedded Systems, if you want to see the chapter about interrupts and timers, hit the contact link on embedded.fm.
We also recommend our blog, Chris Svec wrote about the MSP430 from a microprocessor point of view (ESE101) and Andrei Chichak wrote about an ST processor with a more pragmatic and C focused view (Embedded Wednesdays).
You can support the podcast through Patreon.
Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) talks about economics, books, and the future. Check out Tim’s new book, WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us. And yes, this is Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly books.
Elecia’s Making Embedded Systems has a great-eared nightjar, but she’s finally adjusted to a modern dinosaur on her cover.
Anthony Navarro (@avnavarro42) of Udacity (@udacity) spoke with us about learning.
We talked about the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition (an education-oriented technical readiness level) and a little about on trunk skills vs. leaf skills.
Jay Carlson (@jaydcarlson), author of The Amazing $1 Microcontroller, joined us to talk about comparing microcontrollers and determining our biases. This was an in-depth comparison of different micro features.
Jonathan Beri (@beriberikix) spoke with us about his double life: Particle.io product manager by day, maker by night (and weekends).
Author Jimmy Soni (@jimmyasoni) spoke with us about his biography of Claude Shannon, founder of information theory and digital circuit theory.
A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman. For an introduction to the book, read their post 10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives.
Ben Hencke (@im889) spoke with us about OHWS, Tindie, and blinking lights.
Ben sells his Pixelblaze WiFi LED controller on his ElectroMage store on Tindie. It is based on the ESP8266 and uses the DotStar (APA102) lights.
Josh Bleecher Snyder (@offbymany) joined us to talk about PayPal's Beacon, being acquired, the Go programming language, BTLE, computer vision, and working at a large company after founding small ones.
Bluetooth Low Energy: A Developer's Handbook by Robin Heydon
TI CC2540 BTLE module
Learning OpenCV: Computer Vision by Gary Bradski and Adrian Kaehler
Gatt is a Go package for building Bluetooth Low Energy peripherals (video description by Josh from GopherCon 2014)
Kelly Shortridge (@swagitda_) spoke with us about the intersection of security and behavioral economics. Kelly’s writing and talks are linked from her personal site swagitda.com. Kelly is currently a Product Manager at SecurityScorecard.
Dirk Akeman of SEGGER (@SEGGERMicro) joined us to talk about debugger specifics.
Ozone standalone debugger for use with J-Links
SystemView visualization tool for RTOS and system debugging
Turning an ST-Link on a development board into a J-Link
We recently did two other shows on debugging: a general intro with Alvaro Prieto and one with a focus on the development-system’s debugger software interface with Pierre-Marie de Rodat.
Carmen Parisi (@FakeEEQuips) joined us to talk about electronics and podcasts.
Carmen works on switching regulators. If you want to know more, he sent along some very basic application notes: How to Apply DC-DC Step Down Regulators (Analog Devices) and Switching Regulator Fundamentals (TI).
Carmen is a host on The Engineering Commons (@TEC_Podcast). Some episodes you might enjoy are 93: Capacitors with James Lewis of KEMET (aka BaldEngineer) and 77: Remote Host Toast with Elecia White.
Alvaro Prieto (@alvaroprieto) joined us to talk about the basics of debugging, from software to hardware. Some of the programmer devices we talked about: SEGGER JLink and Black Magic Probe. Chris mentioned a visual frontend for gdb called "Vulcan" but which is actually called Voltron. (He's got graphics on the brain). Alvaro Prieto and Jen Costillo's new podcast on reverse engineering! And on Twitter as @unnamed_show. Alvaro's Cheese Cave: making cheese and cheese-lapse photography of Brie aging.
Kristen Dorsey explained MEMS sensors: how do they work, how they are made, and what new ones we expect to see in the future.
Kristen’s website is kristendorsey.com. She is a professor of engineering at Smith College and runs the MicroSmithie.
MEMS stands for microelectromechanical systems (Wiki). Used in some sensors, Galistan is a room-temp liquid with interesting properties (Wiki).
Gretchen Bakke spoke with us about the future of power generation and transmission. Her book is The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future.
Gretchen is a professor of anthropology at McGill University.
The book’s Facebook page
Grechen’s first book is Anthropology of the Arts: A Reader