Archive for the 'Experiences' Category

Buying from China: Lost in translation

I’ve been buying stuff from China for a long time, and for a long time it was a pleasant experience. Sure, the items purchased might take a while to arrive, but they always arrived. I was never disappointed or surprised. But lately things seem to have changed.

(post updated 5 Feb 2017)

Continue reading ‘Buying from China: Lost in translation’

Dropbox Drops the Ball

I like use a secure file sharing service to move things around between myself, publishers, co-workers, and so¬† on. For years I’ve been using Dropbox and its directory syncing feature under Linux without any major hassles. I finally decided to pay them some money and get more storage space, and it was fine at first. But lately that all changed. Continue reading ‘Dropbox Drops the Ball’

Fear of the Unknown

Humans are strange creatures. In general we like things to be nice and predictable; the same tomorrow as today, and the same as yesterday. I don’t have any hard data to reference, but I suspect that, overall, the human race is rather conservative. We don’t like new things that challenge our current beliefs and knowledge. This is ironic, considering that we now live in a time where change is about the only reliable constant, and new things are appearing at an astounding pace. Continue reading ‘Fear of the Unknown’

From the frying pan into the fire

Update: The book is now called “Arduino: A Technical Reference”. See post above for details on the name change.

My latest book, “Arduino In a Nutshell” has finally gone into production. Whew, it took almost a year to write, and it’s probably a tie with “Practical Electronics” for the amount of artwork and photos. I sometimes wonder if I’m actually writing graphic stories for nerds like myself.

It won’t be on the shelves in the bookstores for about another month or so, depending on how much production wrestling is required. But in the meantime you can get the “Early Release”, which is O’Reilly’s way of drumming up interest before they actually light up the printing presses.

The title, by the way, was O’Reilly’s idea, not mine. I wanted to call it “The Arduino Technical Reference” because that is what it really is. But, O’Reilly has been publishing the nutshell series of books for over 20 years, and I guess they want to stick with it.


C++, CUDA, Python, and Really Big Cameras

I can’t believe this blog is still here. Amazing. I figured WordPress would close it down by now.

A lot has happened since the last entry. My book was released by O’Reilly (and it’s been doing OK), I came down with a severe case of food poisoning (and ended up in the ICU), and some months later had triple-bypass open-heart surgery (and another stay at the Hotel ICU). Fun times.

Here’s a link to the book, if you’re interested (shameless self-promotion):

and of course it’s also available on Amazon.

Continue reading ‘C++, CUDA, Python, and Really Big Cameras’

Finally coming up for air…

Well, contrary to any rumors going around, I’m still alive and well.

My new book from O’Reilly, “Real World Instrumentation with Python,” is just about to hit the presses. It’s in the final review stage now, and after that all that’s left is to hand it to the press operator and warm up the binding machines. At over 575 pages, with 200+ illustrations (all done by yours truly), it’s been a boatload of work, and I really hope that folks find it useful. It should be out in a couple or three weeks, but you can preorder it from either O’Reilly or Amazon.

Writing a book turned out to be a lot more work than I had originally expected, but it’s done now and ready to make its big debut.

Perhaps I’ll find some time to start posting here again on a regular basis.

It’s been a while…

In case you were wondering, well, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth. At least not yet.

I haven’t had a chance to post anything since the middle of August because I’ve been massively busy wrapping up a big project, writing a couple of book proposals and trying to work on some technical papers. Of course that means that I’m spending a lot of time putting out little fires, chasing down issues that seem to only pop up at the last minute, and not getting a whole lot of sleep.

Anyway, I’m just about ready to post the last two parts of the PGM series, but in the meantime I would like to direct the attention of the Python folks to the tool Epydoc. If you write more than just simple utility scripts in Python, then you really should take a look at this (if you haven’t already). It may not have all the bells and whistles that Doxygen has, but it has enough to make it very useful. At work I have a cron job set up on the lab server to run Epydoc across the code base every night and put the results up where folks can access them via the internal web server.

More (much more) to come. Stay tuned, film at eleven.

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Little Buddy

An awesome little friend

Jordi the Sheltie passed away in 2008 at the ripe old age of 14. He was the most awesome dog I've ever known.