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John.Bass

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Owner/Sr Engineer

John Bass is a seasoned hardware/software developer and consultant, with over 40 years of industry experience, in a broad span of industry applications. Formal education is diverse with Business, Science, Statistics, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science training over 11 years, resulting in a B.S. Computer Science from CalPoly, San Luis Obispo. Something like a computer engineering degree, with a strong science and business background. Extensive industry experience with drivers, porting, and operating systems, combined with hardware/software/firmware development of server level systems, embedded systems, motion control systems, and robotics. Other experience includes Reconfigurable Computing applications with Xilix FPGA's, 802.11 mesh networks, and Canopy Wireless networks.


John.Bass

's contributions
  • 06.27.2014
  • Don't major in CS: 5 reasons why
  • Just because someone knows the Russian language, doesn't qualify them as being a Russian Ambassador or Business/Political/Military/Social analyst. Those are all skills that are above, and beyond just knowing how to listen to the language, or speak it, or even read/write it. Just because someone can handle a wrench, screw driver, drill, lathe, and mill to rebuild a engine for a boat, plane, automobile, train, semi, farm tractor, or F1 race car, doesn't qualify them as being an automotive engineer, aero engineer, materials engineer, or any engineer. Those are all skills that are above, and beyond just knowing how to work on engines. Just because someone learns to read C/Perl/Ruby/Java/Assembly, doesn't qualify them as being a software engineer, to design complex software systems, even if they are an EE/ME/CE. Those are all skills that are above, and beyond just knowing how to design or repair computer hardware systems. My daughter graduated this year from a 5 year Mech Eng program. She was assigned to a senior thesis/design team to do a UI for another school team, along with some other ME and EE students. All five of them fell flat on their faces for 6 months, because they didn't have the formal training in Computer Science to develop complex graphical user interface systems on a Microsoft Windows 8 platform that would gather/present/update external systems control values for the target system. They believed all they needed to do was take 6 different, unrelated pieces of software, and glue them together ... nothing was farther from the truth. At the last minute they hired a CSc senior to pull the project together in a few days, to meet absolute MINIMUM requirements, and few of the actual goals necessary for the project. At minimum, the Prof that staffed that team, should have gotten a Computer Engineering major assigned to the project .... which happen to be rare birds.
  • 06.02.2014
  • Finding a quick-turn PCB shop
  • I've been using ExpressPCB for 4-Layer Mini-Boards (3 pcs 2.5"x3.8" in a week) and Sunstone for other projects, and both shops are wonderful to deal with. I wish ExpressPCB would update their software to remove some annoyances, or open source the interface. Sunstone accepts other file formats, so open source tools are easier to use. I prefer to keep my design files in the US if possible, as I've seen variants of my designs show up after using china sources.
  • 05.23.2014
  • Everyday household scope uses
  • I sold my Tek 465B quite a few years ago to get a second HP15600B and DSO. While the HP's are relatively portable (not in a rack), I soon discovered that I missed being able to just grab and run with the missing 465B from my bench. This spring on a whim, I purchased on eBay a USB 48MS/s Dual-Channel MDSO unit with probes for $70 from China that now just lives in my laptop bag, and I'm continually amazed just how versatile it is. Especially when playing with Adurino projects. It's been tempting to upgrade to one of the 100MS/s units.
  • 05.23.2014
  • Heartbleed: the wakeup call the open-source community needed?
  • On another note, what if some major or rogue government, plus organized crime syndicates choose to attach under-cover agent developer personnel to widely used open source projects specifically for the purpose of inserting difficult to detect exploits useful for wide scale cyber warfare? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberwarfare Nothing better than to hide your attack in plain sight.
  • 05.02.2014
  • When reliability hangs by a "wall wart" thread
  • If it's just a transformer, with minimal filtering, I just toss them in the copper recycle bin these days. Anything they power will often have serious problems with lockups on power flicks. If it's a newer switcher, whatever they power is almost always a LOT more stable.
  • 04.01.2014
  • Are we paying a power price for wireless?
  • There is very little unlicensed spectrum available ... using it when not necessary creates significant RF pollution (interference) for other uses nearby, and generally creates unnecessary frustrations for people around you ... for miles. All the RF energy is additive to the horizon, and more. While your little 100-200mw transmitter doesn't seem like much, add up several hundred/thousand of them, and it's a lot of signal energy a few blocks or miles away.
  • 01.23.2014
  • Funniest schematic ever
  • Hmm ... EDN as a for-profit company, selling industry information, just had a staff blogger use this schematic for commercial gains :( Welcome to the real world
  • 01.24.2014
  • Moving to open-source PCB design
  • The exceptions to this are Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND which attempts to provide your customers access, without fully handing to the design to your competitors. This does not mean that your product will NOT be copied and resold, as it very well may be since you are handing a lot of IP to your customers. What it does mean, is that someone will have to do some significant re-engineering around your design, and that you will have some recourse in US or EU courts, but little control in the rest of the world.