Software and Computing (Page 2)

Software tools, EDA tools, Scientific Tools. Computing Notes.

Breakpoints may not serve the purpose fully, it may be easier to use Testpoints and incremental coding.
When we build Electronic Circuits with many Interacting Blocks or Modules, We put a small 5mm Tall Copper Pin in the PCB or a PAD without masking. This is a Test or Troubleshooting Point. This is where you can probe with a scope, dmm or logic analyzer.

Programming Breakpoints and Testpoints

In embedded program development, i tried a similar way, a Testpoint in software, but only that the card would light a led in a certain pattern or send a “all ok” and progress status to the serial port connected to PC.
In Script programming we can use a GUI element, just a Textbox as a Scope monitoring the Testpoint. When the program goes beyond the Testpoint, The GUI Text window will hold the Status. Just like you move the probes of the same DMM, you can keep shifting the Testpoints or Multiplex the same Scope, as the program becomes bigger.

So, before you build the Next big Program, Build the Test Equipment and the First Testpoint. The first few lines of code is written around the First Test point. Like it is done in PCBs, incremental Building-Testing.
Lastly Break Big Jobs to Small Pieces. Like the Plugin Modules in a Oscilloscope, The Components or Modules should be built and tested independently and then Combined to Form one Big System. Then they can be maintained and reused easily.

Dec-07 from 2003 delabs notes

A software and External Hardware, Interfacing on LAN or USB or even WiGig when it comes. The hardware contains HDD/Flash, RAM and RAW Processing power. This is not like Hyper Threading or multi-core cpu, but addresses same issue.

USB or Ethernet Processing Boost

The Software sees resources load on PC and when it feels RAM, CPU or HDD is getting stressed; it moves some work to the external box which is on standby consuming low power. Like playing music is lesser priority then say checking email. The Software Resource manager moves the Music Player and dependencies open in RAM to the Resource outside via USB and makes a Glitch-less switch. This can be remembered as a setting and used whenever the external resource is plugged in. Like RAID but for Home/Small Office users to use redundant capacities. Hardware scales up/down with needs and does not hog electrical power.

A lot of Processing Power and other resources go waste, consuming valuable energy in the present desktops. How faster things can be if all peripherals were on TCP/IP and Wireless (optical). This way an external resource box can directly play the speakers or print too without taking Main CPU time.

delabs – 2009

Please pay attention to an earnest plea from a person who has pulled cards and ram from xt-at 286-386 days. Some people are innovating, at least follow those lines. Help make Desktop Computing Obsolete.

Dockables and Convertibles that means Tablets that transform into Laptops and Desktops. Then the Abominable Laptop Hinge or Lid failure will not bother you.

Tablets, Nettops, Netbooks and Notebooks are the future. Low power consumption, wireless, light, modular, low voltage.

Desktop Computer Reforms

If you are still fanatic about Desktop Computers, here are the ways you can move in the right direction, from legacy to Futuristic !

  • Make the internals of a Desktop computer, Dust Free. 50 Microns particle, not any larger.
  • Make the Desktop Computer SMPS and design Earth Free, Two Wire Only, No Y caps.
  • Let it work on a 12-24 V DC Bus/Grid Standard, With External Connectors. Adapter Outside.
  • No Fan should be used, No moving or Rotating parts inside, No Wires, good connectors.
  • Modular Plugin, Stackable System to be used for External CDROM/DVD and HDD Drives.
  • Flash Integration Internal for main OS Firmware and External Flash like HDD Stackable.
  • DVD, HDD, Flash Expansion on USB Removable or SATA Stackable like Building Blocks.
  • For a Whooping One Grand, People deserve a Backplane Plugin Architecture in the Desktop.
  • Box, LCD/LED Monitor, HDD, Wi-Fi must not consume more than a Maximum of 50 Watts.
  • All Internal and External Modules and Devices should go to quiescent state, non-obtrusively.

More to come, as i try to fix and break some more …

Present Day Work Time Utilization of man using Desktop Computing. –

  • 30% Updates and Installation of The Operating System, Safety Issues.
  • 20% System Admin, Networking, Application Installation and Updates.
  • 10% Hardware Problems, Interfacing, Sharing, Wire and Port Issues.
  • 10% Physical and Mental Fatigue and Stress Caused by above, plus Coffee.
  • 30% Productive Work Done. Means work done in a Job or Profession.

delabs Notes 2004-2010

Wish we could Stop making Desktop Computers that are Energy Guzzlers by 2020. The Laptop/Notebook Electronics Design Architecture could be Ported to the Desktop Computer Physical Framework.

This makes Battery Operated Lean Desktops that can always be on Float Charge. Temporary mobility and convertibles are also possible. Power Failure proof.

A flexi ferrite table cover to wireless charge mouse, printer and keyboard batteries. An additional Lan with Wi-fi to network with all the Peripherals. This gets rid of the Cable Clutter and Device Drivers for Peripherals.

Desktop Computing Future

Device Interface

Wireless USB has not still been adopted as a standard for peripheral interface. (not to be confused with Wi-Fi USB sticks). BlueTooth is good but does not completely address Easy Peripheral Interface in terms of usability etc. This may help the Desktop Comp.

Nettops use less power and are the Desktops of Tomorrow, with cloud computing and wireless storage these are the essential devices to go to Green Computing and the Client-Server Architecture with the Cloud in mind. We need both Intranet-Cloud and Internet-Cloud.

Each PC should have Two Wi-Fi. One for Device Networking and the other is for Web and Networking. Device Networking means adding Smart Peripherals without Drivers. Example Wi-Fi External HDD and Wi-Fi Printer.

HardDisk

Rapid on off Power can Damage Hardisk. Transport of PC over rumbling Terrain, PC or Notebook drop on Hard Surface, Impulsive Jerks of Table on which Desktop Comp is placed; can mean, that your data and device is a goner. Maybe Desktops should use the more mobile Notebook Drives or external portable drives (technology), as these consume less power and are more robust.

old and new notes of mine since 2007 – delabs

The Computer PC !

Any Device with Computing Abilities and an Integrated Screen of Size 7 Inches or more can be called a Pad, Tablet, Netbook, Laptop, Notebook or Desktop according to the size and use.

In this Professional, Serious and Productive Work can be done.

The All-in-One Low Power Desktop PC or the Nettop clinging behind the Monitor are the “Heir Apparent” of your Erstwhile Power Hungry Tower PC.

The 14-15 inch Notebooks with or without being convertible to Touch-Tablet is the clear winning computing device.

Innovate Next Notepad

The Mousepad and Mouse have to be Integrated in the side of the keyboard. The Touchpad has to be replaced by some Invention.

Evolving the Notebook PC with GesturePad

We could slide a tray on the right of the Laptop, which becomes the Mousepad or GesturePad. A low profile flat wireless mouse docked at the bottom of the Laptop (wireless charging on dock) is removed and put on the Pad. The Mouse is back …..life is much much better.

It could also be just a GesturePad as big as a mouse pad, A sturdy thin unbreakable reinforced poly carbonate pad that slides into the Notebook when not in use.

To use it, keep the entire palm on the pad and make Touch-Screen like Gestures, The three main fingers all can tap to simulate click/double-click and even the page scroll with middle finger.

Computing Conclusion

An Embedded Device less than 5 Inches is a Portable Communication and Gaming Device only. This is not good enough as a Computing Device.

What we now need is the GesturePad that slides from the right of the Laptop along with TouchScreen Laptops that have already arrived.

(First posted around April 2015)

When Intelligent Devices (embedded systems) are privately and securely networked, it is called the Intranet of Things. This is like a Home-Office-Business private closed Cloud. This is ideal for Home and Infrastructure Automation and even Big Business or SMB Automation.

The Internet of Things – IoT is the Superset. It could be Secure and Private but still vulnerable to security lapses and breakdowns. This could send devices, robots and machines Berserk.

In all Networked Environments we have to have fallback arrangements when network fails or is compromised or even slow due to peak hour internet traffic.

Internet and Intranet of Things - IoT

WSN – Wireless Sensor Networks and M2M – Machine to Machine Data Communication;

M2M and WSN is a closed private Intranet network that is used in Manufacturing and Industrial Automation. Here we could use data sync to Interface it with the Web or Internet. This enables passive controls and monitoring of SCADA or Machine Status, yet very Secure.

COR – Collaborative Online Robotics – This is like team work for bots. Big tasks can be accomplished by very small and weak robots. Example – Observe Ants and Bees.

All these only mean Wireless Networked Intelligent Embedded Systems. They could be machines, appliance, robot or gadget. The brain is both on the device and in the Clouds.

If you wish to know more, you call me for a casual Pow Wow at Affordable Consultancy Rates. Contact me for a Quote. – 2016 Jan

All these only mean Wireless Networked Intelligent Embedded Systems. They could be machines, appliance, robot or gadget. The brain is both on the device and in the Clouds.

Just like an electronic circuit is a graphical representation of what will be on the PCB. Firmware development should be a 2D graphical diagram of what goes into eeprom.

An example is the Ladder Logic software that can program 80C51 types in a Fanuc, Allen Bradley or Siemens PLCs. Then many people can do at least restricted firmware programming for some embedded solutions.

Build a DMM or digital multi meter

Visual Embedded RAD. This is more like code snippets inserted in code in the background when user drags and drops a Hardware Function or Program Method. The Environment is Visual, but Code is compact as same modules or blocks used. There is no C or Intermediate Language. Visual to Binary Hex Direct.

(Idea – Mar-04, Revised again – 4 April 2008, Nature – Open Source Anantha Narayan )

The Motor Bicycle

At late 40s I am into riding Geared Cycles. A Cycle Guru says it is the ‘Cadence’ in pedaling speed. What I need is a ‘Mentor’ for the Methodology behind Optimum Gear usage.

Mixed Circuits Analog with Digital

But some people are developing what will become well known as The Motor Bicycle, funny names.

Updated Nov 2015

Regardless of experience, engineers and scientists can rapidly and cost-effectively interface with measurement and control hardware, analyze data, share results, and distribute systems.

NI LabVIEW – Virtual Instrumentation

LabVIEW is a graphical programming platform that helps engineers scale from design to test and from small to large systems

  • Tight integration with a wide range of measurement hardware
  • Easy-to-use graphical development environment
  • Extensive signal processing, analysis, and math functionality
  • Rapid user interface development for displaying live data
  • Multiple communication options (TCP/IP, UDP, serial, and more)

The LabVIEW Platform, Part II

The LabVIEW Platform

LabVIEW is an open development platform that has gained acceptance in many different application areas and industries. Why? At its core, the LabVIEW graphical programming language has enabled thousands of scientists and engineers to develop complex measurement and control applications very quickly and easily.

LabVIEW Student Edition

“The graphical nature of LabVIEW makes it easier to develop working code faster. With LabVIEW, quickly drag and drop built-in functions to simplify acquisition, analysis, control, and data sharing so you can spend less time on syntax errors and more time on creating your application. “