Friday, November 25, 2005

So what do you do?

If it's got a computer chip in it but it's not a computer, it's an embedded system; and I am an embedded developer -- currently of the hardware design persuation. Yep, I'm the guy that picks the chips and other little electronical bits and figures out how to wire them up to solve your problem. I've also written the computer programs that run on them (firmware), the programs that work with them (software; windows and otherwise) and have done my fair share of technical writing (specifications, user manuals and help files).

So anyways, today I completed my first customer-ready prototype of my first design at my current job and thought that I would show it off. What looks like just a cable has actually got a tiny processor hidden in one end of it to make two things that wouldn't normally plug into each other, plug into each other. It's the least complicated design I've ever done but I'm kind of proud of it because I hand built it, and it's made of some of the tiniest components you can get. At my old job we had a binocular microscope for doing that kind of work, and it's amazing how steady your hand gets when you can see what you're doing. I'm the only hardware guy at my new job though, so this one was done with nothing but reading glasses.

How small do the little bits get? This small:

Yes, I rock. Any questions?


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