Archive for April, 2004


Ewww. I really, really, really did not need to read that. (And no, I’m not going to say what, because I know how much it infuriates people when I do this. Hahaha.) It gives me that warm fuzzy feeling right between the lungs… kinda like the feeling you’d get seeing someone using a Stradavarius to crack walnuts. Which reminds me, I really should make a habit of actually writing in this thing, even though I don’t really have time for it anymore, and the only person(s) who ‘officially’ know of this thing’s existance don’t really seem to give a shit about it (nor much of anything for that matter) anymore…and tho(s)e who officially don’t know of its existance…do, it seems. Probably not a good thing, since I’ve made a goal of not mixing up my personal and professional lives too much. As much as I’d love for the people I work with to randomly start asking about how my old roommate’s divorce is going, or the War On Spyware, or the ever-popular “Do you have a blog…?”

Hmm…. I was probably meaning to go somewhere with this… and will probably remember where, as soon as I sober up. (Heh…just kidding people. Especially work-people :-)

QOTD: When in doubt, tell the truth. It will amaze most people, delight your friends and confuse your enemies.
~ Mark Twain


Presenting stuff. I really really hate presenting stuff. Not just because I have to present stuff, and stuff, but because it involves getting up in front of a whole bunch of people and talking about stuff that can’t be adequately explained in 30 minutes (by me, anyway–not the best explainer-of-stuff to begin with). Anyway, the presentation today was on micros and all the assembly hacking going on in the basement, and I did my level best to thoroughly bore/confuse the hell out of everybody :-) Sweating bullets the whole time, of course (did I mention my general unlike of public speaking?). I just doublechecked though, and I’m still alive. Didn’t even have to fend off any angry lynch mobs.

OTOH, it also means that I am safe from presenting stuff for the rest of the year.

(PS. This was actually supposed to happen last Friday, but that day I was down in the lab against a deadline, replacing 40MHz crystals with 4MHz ones to hack around what I bitched loudly about in the last entry.

QOTD: Cypak says the card’s encryption can’t be copied or broken…
*whew*! I needed that.

Who wants to kick an ass?

I do, I do! After spending weeks intermittently puzzling over sporadic, but semi-deterministic odd behaviors on the chip I was hacking firmware for at work (you know, like return instructions that didn’t return), and throwing in "good-luck NOPs" until mysterious problems just as mysteriously went away (and hoping they didn’t return), I go and manage to dig up an errata sheet and find the following:

Certain code sequence and placement may cause
the corruption of a few bits in the instruction fetch
when the part is used above 4 MHz. A corrupted
instruction fetch will cause the part to execute an
improper instruction and result in unpredictable

Microchip cannot predict which code sequences
and placement will cause this failure. If this failure
mechanism exists in your system, it should be
evident during statistically significant preproduction
testing (minimum suggested sample
size 100 units) of your particular code sequence and placement.

Yeah, that’s nice and helpful. Umm…we have *2* units. (How do products like this make it out the door?) Anyway, if my travels ever take me near Microchip Systems HQ, I am planning a free seminar on embedded systems. (Umm…Title will be ‘Innovative boot-up procedures’)

QOTD: “I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. “Do you
need some help?” I asked. She replied, “I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can’t get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenient store) would have a battery to fit this?” “Hmmm, I dunno. Do you have an alarm too?” I asked. “No, just this remote thingy,” she answered, handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied, “Why don’t you drive over there and check about the batteries–it’s a long walk.”


ok, had to put this in since I cracked the hell up when I read this phrase: "infringement of nasal privacy"

QOTD: Keep life as it is in fundamental simplicity, and clarity will arise itself. Only by doing nothing will you do all there is to be done.

Dot.Bomb, round 2

Yep, our friends at it again. Nuffin to report on that front, at the moment anyway.

QOTD: There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now.