A word about UL and FCC certification

The UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) are two American organizations concerned with the safe and proper operation of electronic equipment and associated power supplies. These organizations, and others like CE, CCC, KCC, etc. do much more than worry about power supplies and electronic equipment but that is my focus today. I […]

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Freescale customer service

I have to admit to having a soft spot for Freescale microprocessors. The first micro I ever used was a Motorola 6809 and for the first few years of my career I worked exclusively on 6800′s, 68HC11′s and 68000 processors.  Times changed and I largely moved away from the product range, although I did return […]

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Firmalware

There’s a fascinating story from Reuters (with a far more detailed report from Kaspersky) about how a very sophisticated hacking operation, presumably the NSA, has been targeting computers by reflashing the firmware of hard drives such that the attacker controls what is loaded at boot time. If you think this has shades of Stuxnet about it, then you aren’t […]

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First Impressions of Google Glass 2.0

Last week I took advantage of Google’s special 1-day-only buying opportunity to purchase an “Explorer” edition of Google Glass 2.0. My package arrived over the weekend and I finally found a few hours this morning for the unboxing and first use. Let me begin by saying that the current price is quite high and that the buying process itself is […]

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The engineering – marketing divide

We have all sat in surreal meetings with the sales and marketing folks. This video captures the dynamic perfectly (caution – you won’t know whether to laugh or cry): The Expert Video I actually have some sympathy for the marketing people portrayed here, as it must be very hard when you’re so far out of […]

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Gun Safety Via Embedded Engineering

This was originally posted a few months ago. Due to a database maintenance error it was inadvertently deleted. Here it is again. There were a few comments, but they have been lost too. ========== I recently saw a short TV special on electronically keying weapons, especially handguns, so they are useable only by the registered […]

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2012 Explained – Toyota

Regular readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed the paltry number of articles posted by me this year. While there have been a number of contributing factors, one of the more significant has been Toyota. I have been part of the team that has spent a large part of 2012 examining the engine […]

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Introducing Barr Group

In the ten months since forming Barr Group, I have received many questions about the new company. As we enter the new year, I thought it a good time to use this blog post to answer the most frequently asked questions, such as: What does Barr Group do? Who are Barr Group’s clients? How is Barr […]

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Sacred Tenets of Employment

There are a few sacred tenets of employment.  One that has been emphasized to some extent at every one of my many jobs has been that your salary is a private matter.   Most companies don’t bother to explain why – it’s just taken as common sense.  Well, something I learned many years ago is there’s […]

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Job Interviewing Circa 2012

I recently had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while.  He was still at the company where we’d worked together some years ago but had started looking for a new job.  After ten years at the same company he was no longer excited by the projects.  He wanted something new and more […]

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