264: Do It for the Herd

Chris Svec (@christophersvec) returns to chat about recruiting for embedded jobs and to help us answer listener questions. Also, he’s looking for engineers to join him at iRobot.

Want to get into embedded and don’t know how? We did a show about that: 211: 4 Weeks, 3 Days. Also, there is an EdX class that is popular and a Coursera course that may be useful.

You can meet up with Chris at Hackaday Supercon in Pasadena, CA on Nov 2-4.

Fulgurites are cooled lightning.

109: Resurrection of Extreme Programming (Repeat)

James Grenning (@jwgrenning) returns to discuss TDD, Agile, and web courses. 

James was on Embedded.fm episode 30: Eventually Lighting Strikes.

James' new company is Wingman Software.

His excellent book is TDD for Embedded C

James suggested Training From the Back of the Room! as resource to people looking to put together a class. He uses and recommends CyberDojo as a coding instruction tool.

Before Agile was Agile-for-business, it was Extreme Programming. James recommends Extreme Programming Explained.

James will be the keynote speaker at AgileDC in October.

262: Egg Freckles

Noah Leon made a film: Love Notes to Newton. It features the people who love and the people who built the Apple Newton. We spoke with him about the Newton and about filmmaking.

Noah runs Moosefuel Media. He wanted to mention Frank Orlando of OrlandoMedia, the art designer for the film and promotional material. Profits from Love Notes to Newton go to Be The Match, a registry of bone marrow donors.

You can sign up for the Newton mailing list at NewtonTalk.net. The book about the Newton development is Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton by Markos Kounalakis. The documentary about Compaq is Silicon Cowboys (Netflix).

261: Blowing Their Fragile Little Minds

Helen Leigh (@helenleigh) is an author, education writer and maker. She spoke with us about making learning fun (and subversive).

Her latest book is The Crafty Kid's Guide to DIY Electronics, out in November 2018.

The instrument gloves were the mi.mu (full version) and the mini.mu DIY kit (coming soon to Pimoroni and Adafruit). The mini.mu uses the BBC Micro:bit.

Helen worked on earlier books including Mission Explore from the Geography Collective. These are out of print but still obtainable (and may be in your local library).

She recommends the book The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine. For meeting people in education and technology, Helen is looking forward to the next EMF Camp. As far as tech and education conferences, the BETT trade show is interesting.

We mentioned “Phoenix” a few times, that is Phoenix Perry who was on episode 204: Abuse Electricity.

260: We Talked a Lot

Christopher (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) talks about vacations for learning and hobbies then answered listener questions.

Chris’ toys include the Prusa I3 Mk3 and the UAD Arrow.

Elecia likes Camille Fournier’s book, The Manager’s Path. She also got to plug her own book, Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software.

 Pacific spiny lumpsucker ( Eumicrotremus orbis ) at the  Seymour Science Center

Pacific spiny lumpsucker (Eumicrotremus orbis) at the Seymour Science Center

259: Calculators Changed My Life

Brandon Wilson (@brandonlwilson) shared his stories about hacking TI calculators (and other things).

TICalc.org has the latest on getting started yourself including Z80 assemblers, or start on Brandon’s website: brandonw.net

Bradon will be speaking at Hardwear.io, a security conference for the hardware and security community. The conference consists of training (11th - 12th Sept 2018) and conference (13th - 14th Sept 2018). It is in The Hague, Netherlands. His talk is The Race to Secure Texas Instruments Graphing Calculators. He will also be hosting a village called Dumping the ROM of the Most Secure Sega Genesis Game Ever Created.

Topics:

00:00:00    Introduction    
00:00:33    Brandon Wilson    
00:01:39    Lightning Round    
00:02:37    Calculators!    
00:03:58    Programmable calculators, using TI BASIC    
00:05:00    Ti-85, programmable via assembly language    
00:06:35    App store for my calculator?    
00:07:34    How does TI prevent cheating?    
00:09:41    Testguard for teachers    
00:12:53    Some are WiFi capable    
00:13:41    How Brandon learned to hack the TI
00:15:12    Processors used in the TI calcs
00:16:39    What tools are available for reverse engineering?
00:17:42    Breaking the keys    
00:18:49    Flash unlock protection    
00:20:14    TI hacker  community    
00:21:32    TI used 512-bit RSA keys     
00:22:32    Key broken after 2 months of brute force
00:22:58    TI threatened the first key breaker    
00:23:31    Built a distributed community to attack keys
00:24:38    TI was not happy     
00:25:03    DMCA takedown notice
00:27:28    EFF offered to help     
00:29:30    The ethics of circumventing TIs protection    
00:33:23    Calculators as a platform for learning HW/FW    
00:35:11    Hackers' responsibility toward the hacked    
00:39:05    Hacks Brandon is uncomfortable with    
00:42:55    Bug bounties, are they effective?    
00:44:02    Brandon's other projects     
00:44:26    TI calculator processors used all over    
00:44:50    Sega Genesis
00:47:54    Code execution via the Sega Genesis CD    
00:53:35    Calculators changed my life (back up)    
00:54:21    Other projects, USB     
00:55:31    Abuse the USB protocol    
00:58:24    Modifying USB flash drive FW    
01:03:21    Reverse engineering tools    
01:06:13    Hardwear.io conference, Brandon's hacking village    
01:09:22    Brandon's Final Thought    
01:10:19    Outro    
01:11:20    Final Quote

 

 

258: Security Is Another Dimension

We spoke with Axel Poschmann of DarkMatter LLC (@GuardedbyGenius) about embedded security.

For a great in-depth introduction, Axel suggested Christof Paar’s Introduction to Cryptography class, available on YouTube. We also talked about ENISA’s Hardware Threat Landscape and Good Practices Guide.

Axel will be speaking at Hardwear.io, a security conference for the hardware and security community. The conference consists of training (11th - 12th Sept 2018) and conference (13th - 14th Sept 2018). It is in The Hague, Netherlands.

DarkMatter is hiring

Elecia has some discount coupons for the Particle.io Spectra conference.

257: Small Parts Flew Everywhere

Derek Fronek spoke with us about FIRST robotics. His TechHOUNDS (@TechHOUNDS868) team is based in Carmel, Indiana. They won the state competition and placed 5th in the high school FRC championship.

Derek mentioned the roboRIO controller board, TalonSRX speed controller, and the Spark motor controller. Many of these offer deep discounts to FIRST robotics participants.

Check out FirstInspires.org to find a team near you. The game comes out in January but many teams start forming in September.

Derek’s personal website includes his other projects and a way to contact him.

Sparkfun has an autonomous vehicle competition, this is their 10th year.

Elecia wrote a related blog post for Derek, a few notes about media training. 

Music for after you finish the episode

256: Agglomeration

Chris (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) celebrate the 256th episode with a confusing lack of cupcakes.

IAmTheCalvary.org has an excellent Hippocratic Oath for Connected Medical Devices 

Make Magazine has some tips to tighten security on DIY IoT Projects.

Rockstar Language Specification (and FizzBuzz example) 

The C++ episode we discussed was #247 with Jason Turner.

Topics and Times:

00:00    Zero
00:27    Intro and cupcakes
03:09    Patreon and Slack
04:24    Transcripts, chapter markers?
07:48    Listener question:  ST HAL, Cube, SPL, Bare Metal?
14:22    Hippocratic Oath for Connected Medical Devices
19:32    Make magazine article on DIY IoT Security
22:36    NYC Embedded and Engineering Meetup?
23:42    C++: Expressiveness, optimization vs. good code
30:21    C++: Spec size vs. C#/Java
32:22    A question of parentheses leads to mild violence and ranting
35:43    Rockstar: The Language!
43:59    Wherein we "discuss" Rust for some reason, again.
46:45    Elecia's Projects in Python and JSON
50:18    Elecia's available for gigs!
50:50    Elecia's ML overview blog post
51:38    The end of Embedded
52:42    Wrap up
54:04    Winnie the Pooh continues...

 

 

 

255: Jellyfish Are Pretty Badass

Ariel Waldman (@arielwaldman) spoke with us about how science, art, and all of the other disciplines can build a better world.

Ariel does many amazing things, it is hard to list them all.

Ariel fell in love with NASA while watching the When We Left Earth miniseries.

254: Murdering Thousands of Gnomes

Gabriel Jacobo (@gabrieljacobo) spoke with us about embedded graphics, contributing to the Linux SDL, using MQTT, and working far from his employers.

Gabriel’s blog and resume are available on his site mdqinc.com. His github repo is under gabomdq

SDL is Simple DirectMedia Layer (wiki). It is not so simple.

For MQTT-based home automation, he uses the Raspberry Pi Home Assistant build and many Node MCUs (ESP8266s running Lua, Micropython, or Arduino Framework).

41: Pink Universes Die Really Quickly (Repeat)

Micah Elizabeth Scott (@scanlime) came to talk about Fadecandy, a really neat way to control smart LEDs (NeoPixel, AdaFruit's term for the WS2812). The conversation ranged from beautiful LED control algorithms and open source embedded projects to triangle tessellations, art, and identity. 

AdaFruit has a great intro to Fadecandy.

Fadecandy is open source hardware and software, see the repository.

Micah's blog is a combo of art and technology.

Burning Man's Ardent Mobile Cloud (also a lovely still pic).

Elecia also mentioned Deep Darc's hack of the GE Color Effects lights.

10: Hands Off, Baby (Repeat)

Jen Costillo (@rebelbotjen) joins Elecia White to discuss the secret parts of C, keywords that only embedded software engineers seem to know about.

Jen and Elecia talk about interviewing and why these keywords make good questions for finding folks who use the language to its full potential. On the show they mention a list of embedded interview questions with answers. (Note: Elecia's book has many excellent interview questions and what interviewers look for when they ask them.)

Producer Christopher White sends along a more concise introduction to the often unused register keyword. 

NOTE: This is a repeat episode from before we'd settled on our name. Note that Jen is the co-host of the Unnamed Reverse Engineering Podcast.

 

253: We’ll Pay Them in Fun

We spoke with Kathleen Tuite (@kaflurbaleen) about augmented reality, computer vision, games with a purpose, and meetups.

Kathleen’s personal site (filled with many interesting projects we didn’t talk about) is SuperFireTruck.com. Her graduate work was in using photogrammetry to build models.

Kathleen works for GrokStyle, a company that lets you find furniture you like based on what you see. GrokStyle is used in the Augmented Reality try-it-at-home IKEA Place app.

252: A Good Heuristic for Pain Tolerance

Katie Malone (@multiarmbandit) works in data science, has podcast about machine learning, and has a Phd in Physics. We mostly talked about machine learning, ways to kill people, mathematics, and impostor syndrome.

Katie is the host of the Linear Digressions podcast (@LinDigressions). She recommended the Linear Digressions interview with Matt Might as something Embedded listeners might enjoy. Katie and Ben also recently did a show about git.

Katie taught Udacity’s Intro to Machine Learning course (free!). She also recommends the Andrew Ng Machine Learning Coursera course.

Neural nets can be fooled in hilarious ways: Muffins vs dogs, Labradoodles vs chicken, and more. Intentional, adversarial attacks are also possible.

Impostor syndrome is totally a thing. We’ve talked about it before. You might recognize the discussion methodology from Embedded #24: I’m a Total Fraud.

Katie works at Civis Analytics and they are hiring.

251: I Agreed at the Time

This week, we spoke with Addie (@atdiy) and Whisker (@whixr), the Toymakers (@Tymkrs).

Their latest CypherCon badges included a complete phone system. For more information, check out the user documentation at hackthebadge.com or the related Reddit post.

There is a video of Joe Grand’s 2018 CypherCon talk if you’d like to watch him talk about his juvenile delinquency.

In our last episode with Addie and Whisker (#205), we talked about the CypherCon 2017 badges and their Tindie store.

Tindie module for phone

The "Drew" mentioned is Drew Fustini (@pdp7). Though only Whisker supports accosting him to talk about OSH Park board colors.

250: Yolo Snarf

Finally! An episode with version control! And D&D! Chris Svec (@christophersvec) joins us to discuss why version control is critical to professional software development and what the most important concepts are.

T-Shirts are on sale for a limited time: US distributor and EU distributor.

You can read more from Chris on the Embedded Blog. He writes the ESE101 column (new posts soon!).

If you are new to version control or learning git, Atlassian has a great set of posts and tutorials from high level “what is version control?” to helping you figure out good usage models (Svec mentioned gitflow). Atlassian has an interactive tutorial that lets you try out the repository commands (or try the Github interactive tutorials). Of course, there is a good O’Reilly book about git.

If you are using SVN (aka Subversion), the Red Bean book from O’Reilly is a good resource.

(Elecia's shirt said You Obviously Like Owls from topatoco.com.)

qc-yolo-art_compact.png

249: It Depends

Claire Rowland (@clurr) joined to discuss creating good user experiences for the Internet of Things. Claire is the lead author of Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things.

You can find more about her on clairerowland.com, from her talks (including Interusability: UX for Connected Products), her book's website, and her guest appearance on the IoT Podcast (episode 21). Her new report about user experience and the IoT will be on Iotuk.org.uk in June of 2018.

We asked about ROI for UX and Claire wasn't certain about the numbers during the show but she later directed us to this Forbes article.

Elecia was also on the IoT Podcast: episode 158.

It was @SwiftOnSecurity who posted the tweet about experts and their typical response.

 

248: I’m Not in Charge!

Chris (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) answer listener emails.

We did a show with Dennis Jackson about transitioning from software to embedded: 211: 4 Weeks, 3 Days

Chibios RTOS: MyNewt or Zephyr may be more worth your time.

Software tool: Beyond Compare for excellent differencing, including folder level

Other people answer STEAM vs STEM (in about the same way we did).

C++ standards for safety: NASA, ESA, JSF-AV rules, and Jason Turner’s C++ best practices.

Elecia played with Javascript to make a watchface for her Fitbit Versa

Chris got a Blackaddr Guitar Teensy Shield which uses the Teensy Audio Library to do amazing guitar effects via code.

Elecia’s Twitter bot is @pajamaswithfeet (Tracery code on cheapbotsdonequick.com)

Making Embedded Systems book

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