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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
  • 09.24.2014
  • 7 alternative hacker boards
  • Intel Edison released this last week, is also proving to be a viable contender. I got my Intel Edison+Arduino module from MakerShed ($107) on monday, along with a bare Edison module from SparFun ($50) ... and already have two pcb's for custom modules nearly ready for fab. Dual core 500Mhz Atom cpu, 1GB DDR3 ram, 4GB flash, Bluetooth + 802.11a/b/g/n on a 1" by 1.4" very low power module ... and more.
  • 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.
  • 06.27.2014
  • Don't major in CS: 5 reasons why
  • Not many jobs for designing systems with discrete transistors, RTL(Resistor-Transistor Logic), TTL computers, Vacuum Tube computers, Card readers, MagTape computers, Bryant drum computers, TI/MMI PAL's, wire-wrap backplanes, .... etc .... I'm still doing embedded software design with C, the language of choice since 1975. Systems I designed back then have slowly evolved from 74LS/74AS TTL, to PAL's, to GAL's, to FPGA's, to SoC/FPGA's .... and still evolving .... the C remains the same ... So what is your point?
  • 06.27.2014
  • Don't major in CS: 5 reasons why
  • I still can not stop laughing ... in 1973 I switched from EE to computer science, because the EE dept head, and his loyal following, thought that digital was a "flash in the pan", and everything important was analog/power/rf .... sure it is, and everything important in those fields today is digital/software too. I spent last 40 years working both fields. Everything said about out-sourcing applies equally to EE/ME/CE as well ... after all the sanitation engineer will be the only one working in a US engineering dept in the end, especially with this low form of class warfare, sanctioned by ???? I'm going to assume politely is trash article is little more than trolling. And we know NOT to feed the trolls.
  • 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.