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5116  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Your last purchase? on: October 30, 2010, 10:43:14 pm
Tonight I found another item at Goodwill - a Futaba 2-channel AM radio R/C kit; the transmitter is missing its battery door (seems to be a theme for me today!), but everything else was there. Got the transmitter, receiver, 6V battery holder/switch, crystals, two servos, control horns, and transmitter flags. All for $7.00!  smiley
5117  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Your last purchase? on: October 30, 2010, 04:19:26 pm
Don't have a pic of it, but I just bought from Goodwill a red Wowwee Roboquad. Its missing its controller and battery compartment cover, so its use to me is only for "hack value". Got it for $4.00.

5118  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: What's The Difference?!?! on: January 09, 2011, 10:17:17 pm
darn you crosh.

Don't be so quick - I am pretty certain I am wrong - check on digikey, lookup ATMega644, then select the filter for DIP - then be confused like I am!

5119  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: What's The Difference?!?! on: January 09, 2011, 10:11:27 pm
I would guess the ATMEGA644P-20PU, but I'm not sure, so I thought I'd ask...

I think that's right - the first one would also be OK likely, but the PA (IIRC) means "automotive temperatures" or something like that (able to survive the extremes of that environment). The PU (once again, IIRC) means "DIP" package, while PQ means the QFP-style package (SMT).

I think.

Hmm - now that I look at Digikey, what I said above likely isn't correct...though I still think the one you are talking about is likely the one needed...[/edit]
5120  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Happy Day - I got a "new" scope... on: January 02, 2011, 03:56:52 pm
Do you knows a source of spare parts for Fluke ?

First off, know that I don't anything about repairing an oscilloscope; I wouldn't even know where to begin, so you have that up on me with your testing!


For parts, you might try getting in contact with this company:

They helped me get a "new" (surplus) implosion shield for my Tek 2213 (it was actually a spare from some East European country); it wasn't very expensive, and they were very responsive with their entire order and service process. I was very impressed with them as a company.

I can't promise you it will work out, but its someplace to start, at least!
5121  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Happy Day - I got a "new" scope... on: January 02, 2011, 12:06:51 pm
I have Fluke PM3370A , the CRT display do not start up , pleace help with anny info , I want to repair , I nead  service manual or schematics or info for repair . Thankyou and "Happy New Year !!!"

costas, I haven't managed to find the service manual for my Fluke PM3380B, despite looking for it. All I've been able to find has been the user and reference manuals. These scopes aren't exactly recent, and I doubt you would have luck getting it repaired outside of perhaps sending it to an authorized Fluke service center (and if you needed the CRT replaced - well, good luck there).

You might look into contacting such a service center first, if you have one nearby (because shipping alone for the size of the scope and packaging isn't going to be small). Maybe you can call and talk with someone who can give you some help, or maybe even sell you a copy of the service manual if all else fails.

It might be a wash, sorry to say; nowadays you can get a good Rigol and a few other DSOs for little money - maybe the universe is trying to tell you something...?

Good luck - and if anyone else knows of a reference manual for these scopes, please post a link to it here!

5122  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Happy Day - I got a "new" scope... on: October 10, 2010, 01:57:55 pm
dont forget the wine coolers!

Man - all you people need help!


And I might have to meet you some day, Cr0sh... You sound like a cool guy!

Trust me on this - I'm not. I've been known to make hard-core geek's eyes "glaze over" in discussion; I'm really that boring. My real-world personality isn't anything to remark upon; my online "persona" is much more articulate.

Yet somehow, I'm married to a wonderful gal who understands me, as far as I can ever be understood by someone else.
5123  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Happy Day - I got a "new" scope... on: October 10, 2010, 01:52:30 pm
Hey cr0sh. Could you share a few pictures?

These aren't pics of my scope - but they are pics of a 3380A/B I found on the internet (and rehosted @ imageshack):

They're kinda big - so I didn't inline 'em...

There's little difference cosmetically between the A & B versions; the A has a smaller sampling record length (4000 pts vs 8000 on the B; though I imagine the A can be expanded in memory, just like the B can), and half the max single channel sample rate of the B (100 MSa/s vs 200 MSa/s). There might be other differences, but they're all likely to be similar "internal" differences.

5124  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Happy Day - I got a "new" scope... on: October 10, 2010, 04:59:54 am
Does the place you got the scope ship?

I honestly don't know! To describe the place, imagine a large indoor junkyard (they also have a separate large outdoor junkyard as well), where things come and go, and organization is almost non-existant. Imagine a lot of dust, dirt, and a few cats. Imagine piles of wire to the ceiling.

Even that description doesn't do justice to the reality of the place!

They very well might ship it to you; they typically deal in large quantities of surplus and junk (think semi-loads) - perhaps they would box it up and ship it?

Apache Reclamation & Electronics, Inc.
313 W. Apache Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85003

They aren't open tomorrow, but will be on Monday. Good luck!

5125  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Happy Day - I got a "new" scope... on: October 09, 2010, 07:51:27 pm
Today I managed to find a good condition used Fluke PM3380B 100 MHz scope; its a dual-trace, combination digital/analog scope with an RS232 interface (allows you to control the scope, as well as grab data from it). I might have over-payed a bit for it (got it for $200.00), but it seems to be a very nice scope.

I'm not sure what I am going to do with my Tek 2213; I might sell it, I might keep it - not sure.

BTW - the place where I got the scope (Apache Reclamation here in Phoenix) still has a couple Fluke PM3370 60 MHz scopes (for $200.00 each); they are basically the same as the PM3380 (incl the RS232 interface), just lower bandwidth. I tested one there, and it seems solid - I didn't test the other. Just thought I would pass it on.

A manual can be found @ Fluke's website.

These seem like great scopes...there's a ton of functionality available, and the ability to switch between analog and digital mode (it uses a CRT for display) is pretty nice...

 smiley smiley smiley
5126  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: xkcd: ¬†Writing Good Code (Flowchart) on: January 09, 2011, 09:37:49 pm
My opinion is that  we need to sort of find a middle ground between professional and hobby mode.

Well, probably best for hobby mode (code-wise) would be:

1. Use a clean, concise style
2. Have good formatting
3. Be consistent in your style
4. Use comments where appropriate
5. If needed, create documentation (doxygen-style commenting in the code can help)

5127  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: xkcd: ¬†Writing Good Code (Flowchart) on: January 09, 2011, 05:55:09 pm
Honestly, that flow chart is simplified to the point that if that is really what is going on at your particular workplace, you either don't get anything done, or what gets "done" is poor quality and/or difficult to impossible to maintain.

What should happen at all stages are various code reviews and meetings with the client where, if they should change the requirements, are required to sign-off (with a physical, on-paper signature and date) on the changes, perhaps with the understanding that there would be time and cost increases which they -will- be billed for.

Furthermore, there need to be team code reviews, presumably to ensure that the code produced by all team members follows the company's (or team's) agreed-upon coding standards. It should be noted that if there are multiple teams in a company, that there is one coding standard for the company, regardless of which team is doing the coding - because in the future maintenance of the code-base is going to require clear and set standards - which of course also need maintenance, so it should be clear in the code which version of the standards are being used; sometimes in the course of a long project, it may be useful to refactor the code to use the latest standards as well.

These standards should emphasize upon a clear and concise method of coding, with strict formatting rules, variable naming conventions, and commenting practices (a doxygen-based commenting style can do wonders - especially for coding documentation). Failure to follow the practices as laid out in the convention should flag a return to the developer(s) involved, so that they can refactor the code to adhere to the standard and pass the review.

One thing I have found for maintainability of code: Consistent spacing improves readability. An extra space or line break, used consistently, can have a dramatic effect on the understanding of the flow of code. The compiler or interpretor isn't going to care in the majority of cases (Python may be an exception - but its strict rules on spacing and formatting will likely make the code more readable anyhow; anything extra likely won't break much if anything).

The key is "consistency" - all the rules in the world mean nothing if they aren't applied uniformly throughout a process.

Finally - I must interject one other thing I have noticed quite often as a professional software developer is this tendency in some organizations and by some clients to think that design doesn't matter; that software is somehow "magic". In some cases, it has felt akin to being asked by a client to build a skyscraper, but start the building of it from the 20th floor, with no plans. Rarely do such projects turn out to be successful; should they work at all, they likely resemble (internally, from a maintenance perspective) a building from Terry Gilliam's "Brazil", with about the same attendant level of maintenance ease.

Software should be architected; it should be engineered and designed. Ideally, solid frameworks and functionality should come first, with all testing done at these low levels to verify that the functionality is solid and won't cause the collapse of the edifice once it is completed. With such proper architecture, it should be possible to have a design from which pieces can be easily removed and recombined on other projects with little effort (indeed, in the Arduino world, this is the whole point, what with the various libraries and such). Code reuse should be paramount; however, in order to facilitate this, the interfaces to those reused objects should be clear, defined, and consistent across the code base (or at worst, within the library).

Logic flow of the entire process, whatever the process is, should be specified and "run" as a "simulation" by the entire team; this can be accomplished using nothing more than a lot of flowcharts and a whiteboard, some pencils and paper; parts could be augmented using a computer and other tools, but aren't strictly necessary. Indeed, depending on the process being studied, you might end up finding parts of it which are "assumed" and handled by humans - but not detailed in any actual part of the flow. Sometimes things like these are found during the conversion of a manual business process into an automated workflow; as you study and question the individuals involved, you sometimes find that they perform functions which are a part of the process, but aren't defined as such, but are needed to "smooth" the flow. Some of these can be automated, some can't - but they need to be taken into account in the entire process, because the rest of the process may rely on the success or failure of their output into succeeding stages.

Most of the time for many businesses (perhaps most, especially small businesses) these processes (whether internal, or of some software or such) are never defined or architected in some way, likely due to money and time. Somehow, things seem to work - until the burden to the system becomes so large that it fails. Then another bandaid is applied and its hoped that it fixes it, when the reality is that the entire process needs to be understood by people at both a macro and micro level.

/realized I'm rambling, so I'll stop here...  smiley-razz
5128  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: What is Piracy with respect to Arduino? on: October 11, 2010, 04:12:58 pm
The more accurate historical and legal term is probably "counterfeiting"

Perhaps in regards to most physical IP forms, this is true; counterfeit typically conjures images of "fake and shoddy" merchandise.

However, the term "counterfeit" can no longer apply when a copy you make of an item is -perfect- in every fashion; it isn't fake, it isn't shoddy.

Of course, this would only apply to certain types of IP; with regards to physical goods, it may or may not. In the end, it boils down to whether a company lost a potential sale, and hence, potential profit was lost.

This debate is only going to get worse as automated manufacturing gets better (and cheaper - to the point where you have a magic box hooked up to your computer that can create anything that can fit within the volume of the box; indeed, if the concepts of reconfigurable robotics get applied to nanoscale devices...).

5129  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: What is Piracy with respect to Arduino? on: October 10, 2010, 09:28:54 pm
My thought after reading your long explanation.

It drills down to communication. In need of a term that everyone can understand. The important thing here is to understand and not to be happy with or be politically correct etc.

That's the problem - the term that is commonly used to describe IP infringement, "piracy" - in no way matches what the historical meaning of the word "piracy" was defined as; you note in your side notes:

Honestly:  I think the term piracy as a word rooted in the fact that long time ago this so called pirate distribute bootlegged item for profit.

Bootlegging is a part of it, but when most people think of historical piracy, they think of the violence, the robbery, the kidnapping, and everything else regarding "piracy" (in the maritime sense); whether, as you note, that description is unfair to the actual pirates (ie, whether the idea of pirates doing all those illegal actions was a stereotyping), I don't think matters - what matters is what people think, and when they think "piracy", they think "violent theft". Note also that I am not agreeing with the premise that the "violent theft" stereotype is inaccurate.

Once we understand what we are talking about, then there will be ability to communicate, to argue, to state one ideological or political preference, etc.

...and those terms, which are already defined, are as I wrote previously:

1. Copyright Infringement
2. Patent Infringement
3. Trademark Infringement

The imposter here is the term on "piracy" - aka, "violent theft"; when in the case of IP infringement, no real theft generally occurs. Only the loss of potential profits.

Case in hand. If I did not use the term piracy, would you be able to post that very long write up to express your thought? So at least it demonstrate that you understand the matter to be discussed!

I was merely attempting to correct a long used misuse of a term that the BSA promulgated decades ago in order to confuse the public with what actually occurs vs what they want the public to think occurs. They want the public to think that when IP infringement occurs, it is a "violent theft" of product, that they (the BSA member companies) are losing product, and thus sales - when in actuality they generally lose nothing but potential products.

With that said/written. I agree with you that the term piracy started by BSA (or other similar organization in other country) to depict heinous act that is not really applicable and suitable to describe mere act of copying software or trademark infringement.

Well, at least we can agree on that! smiley

However let's put thing into perspective and get back to the topic. With this question.

Are you saying that you agree with this people action of listing their product as, for instance "Arduino Duemilanove" but actually is selling clone. When the only time prospect customer will learn about it is when they are already customer, when the product is already in their hand?

I personally think it is up to the customer to educate themselves as to what looks like a clone, and what isn't. Then they need to make an educated decision as to whether to buy the clone or not. They know they are buying a clone, and they can't declare otherwise, when the price of the device is waaaay lower than what they can purchase it for from one of the actual distributors (which are all listed on the site). To claim otherwise is them being dishonest with themselves.

-------SIDE NOTE--------
* Honestly:  I think the term piracy as a word rooted in the fact that long time ago this so called pirate distribute bootlegged item for profit.

As I noted before, this is correct - the word piracy as applied to IP infringement is a conflation of terms; it is a petty attempt to mislead the public into thinking something violent is occurring when someone "copies that floppy", as the old BSA saying went.

** Which bring another concern of people stereo typing pirate as killing and raping people on the high see. It is just a stereotype. Combine this with the fact that organization like BSA is trying to stereotype copyright infringement or trademark violation with a gruesome stereotype of a stereotyped pirate?

Perhaps, but as I noted before, while it may be a stereotype of actual maritime pirates, it does have roots in reality; while I am sure there were plenty of "nice pirates" (who maybe would just loot the ship and let you go, sans cargo, with no harm), I am just as certain that there were mean and "ugly" pirates - just like any population/cultural group; there are also plenty of court documentation from the period to back up the characterization, vs the possible so-called "nice pirate" form of piracy.

*** So are we fighting fire with fire? On in this case fighting stereotype with stereotype? How far have we fallen to the "BSA" of the world level.

Perhaps. Its each open-source project's choice to decide whether or not to "deal with the devil" and protect their IP (of any sort) while leaving other parts remain open-source. This takes multiple forms, from the standard methods of using the current IP protections available from governments, to deciding which open-source (or closed, for that matter) licenses to utilize, to exactly where they apply those licenses and protections to the project as a whole.

Personally, I think if you want to open source something, yet you don't want any one organization or individual to have control, and you want to receive "payment" back, you should choose to GPL the entire project; at least then you can get "paid back" in the form of improvements to the project, and all your IP can be covered.

Ultimately - as has already been shown - no matter what you do to attempt to protect your IP; whether via open-source licensing, closed-source licensing, or governmental "controls"; someone somewhere is going to attempt to make a buck off the work - regardless of the legality or morality.

Perhaps the sane choice really is to license everything BSD...

5130  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: What is Piracy with respect to Arduino? on: October 10, 2010, 04:51:23 pm
Where I come from. This kind of activity, selling clone as original product is called piracy.

The term "piracy", I am pretty sure, isn't the legal definition. The proper legal terms are more prosaic:

1. Copyright Infringement
2. Patent Infringement
3. Trademark Infringement

Of which the use of the name Arduino without proper licensing is an example of variant number 3, of course.

The term "piracy", as applied to these intellectual property (IP) violations, was coined by an organization known as the "Business Software Alliance":

They are basically a non-governmental enforcement and lobbyist organization whose purpose is to conflate the terms of intellectual property violations, which produce mainly only monetary damages, with those terms which represent heinous criminal acts, which typically produce not only monetary damage, but social, psychological, and bodily damage, not to mention violence and assault. Obviously (and sadly) they have been very effective with this strategy, since in most areas of the world, IP violations are no longer considered civil property crimes (as they once were), but generally hold a status that is rapidly closing in on a definition closer to the terminology of "economic terrorism".

It would be one thing if these IP violations actually removed product from the shelves to be sold, but it generally does not. Most IP violations have nothing to do with actual theft (that of deprivation of an individual or company of actual product), but rather that of "loss of profit"; the BSA (and other similar organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA), therefore, is nothing more than an extra-governmental organizations dedicated to ensuring and enforcing the profitability of their member constituent companies.

As if by their very existence, they are owed, by us citizens, money for making "stuff". I say they are not owed a damn thing.

The concepts of open source software (and now hardware, and other endeavors) and especially that of the Free Software Foundation, were established as means of taking back the real concepts that software, and intellectual property as a whole, was based on: that of freedom of speech. These companies, and their enforcement agencies, want nothing more so much than to package up your thoughts and speech, and resell it back to you while reaping a (generally large) profit. If you don't agree with them, they will attempt to do what they can (legally or otherwise) to silence and/or marginalize you in whatever way necessary.

What disturbs me most about all of this, is that by supposedly open-source projects worrying about IP rights and such, as well as by fewer people understanding the etymology of the terms being used to describe what is happening (ie, conflating the derogatory term "piracy" with that of the more prosaic "intellectual property violation"), that the open source movement may be playing right into the hands of the corporate hegemony.

Is this what we really want? I don't think its what I want...


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