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Information Overkill.?

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by ericgibbs, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    It pays to know the scope of the project,but the OP may not know what's important.
     
  2. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    There are some posts that make me smile.

    In one case an OP had an elaborate logic circuit made from 74HCT chips and it was playing up- probably oscillating. All he was doing was an AND function with the true condition energizing a relay to turn a light on, or similar. The inputs were DC (door open, window open etc). All it needed was a single NPN transistor and relay, but when I suggested that, he simply would not believe it because, as everyone knows, you need an AND gate to realize an AND function.

    Anyway, in the end, the OP built the single transistor AND gate and was amazed that it worked perfectly (it was just a classic RTL circuit), although he still did not believe that you could have as many additional inputs as you liked by simply adding a resistor for each additional input.

    On another thread, the OP was going through all sorts of antics and it was not clear what the objective was. It turned out that all he needed was to invert a square wave. Once again the OP was amazed that a single transistor did the job.

    But, the ones that make me cringe are the simulator boys: I have built an over unity circuit but the schematic does not work in LT SPICE. :arghh:

    And finally, if I send you the PCB layout for the moon lander I have just designed could you check it for me. Guess what the polite answer is.:D

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  3. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Keep,

    The problem is that some OPs, not only do not know English very well, but they do not know the first thing about electronics and the technical world is alien to them, and in the case of ETO they do not know the way to describe things either. But in spite of all that, they are keen to have a go at electronics and it would be great to encourage that.

    One of the major problems with most OPs is that they do not learn the basics before wanting to build a lunar lander.

    So all you can do is probe and guess. The alternative approach is the 'Not enough information (NEI)' response, which is valid in a lot of cases but non productive in others.

    Even in the most rigorous procurement contracts there are often huge holes in the requirement specifications, normally covered by the dreaded TBD or simply not mentioned at all. Does the RADAR need to operate at 30K feet, and at the same time be maintained by a technician level 2. Does the RADAR need to operate at 30K feet, at -40 Deg C, with 10Gs of shock, while being subject the an EMC pulse and gamma rays...

    There are two options: make educated guesses, but you must tell the customer (OP) what you have done, or declair NEI. In the case of the contract, NEI will possibly lose you the contract and it will certainly upset the customer's contracts officer, and in the case of ETO the thread withers on the vine.

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Instead of "Information Overkill", I experienced "Information Overload" at work sometimes and even at home. There's way too much info from too many sources to absorb and if you have someone "elderly mom" that has issues and I have medical issues, I just can't process the TV, mom reading the paper out loud, changing the subject, not completing a though, difficulty hearing etc. Sometimes what gets annoying is that there may be many Bills we know and somehow I'm supposed to connect the sentence to what Bill.
     
  6. granddad

    granddad Active Member

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    I admit my electronics and coding has been a series of 'learning by mistakes' and then trying not to repeat them, this forum seems to strike a healthy balance between 'lecturing' and ' informing' . If I hit a buffer with some circuit / function I will spend hours / days/ months attempting a fix , searching ETO posts has occasionally pointed me in the right way , thanks ...
     
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  7. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Keep,

    What you are suffering from is an unfortunate situation, nothing to do with information. In general, there are so many distractions that life in modern society can get difficult.

    You log on to pay your utility bill and get hit by a video about how wonderful the utility company is and how it is saving the planet and somewhere at the edge of all the BS is alittle button you can press to log in to your account. Then you are presented with a plethora of more BS and various other options- join out sunshine tariff and save thousands in the summer. This week get 20% off all new boilers, subscribe to our news letter for great offers and information about how you can save power [but please don't as our business is selling power].

    Then the phone rings and someone tells you to make a claim for the recent motoring accident that you were involved in [you weren't].

    Then windows decides it wants to update and you can't stop it.

    Then the utility site pops up and says that you can't go any further without an update to flash player.

    Then another window pops up saying that your opinion is valued and would you fill in a survey to see how we are doing.

    Then there is a knock at the door and it is: Mormons, double glazing sales man, charity collector...

    Then when you get back to your computer you find that your account has timed out and you have to start over again.

    As mentioned before, I recently bought a Bosch angle grinder which has a mandatory one year guarantee but, if you register your grinder with Bosch, the guarantee is extended to three years. So I opened the first Bosh site to show in Chrome only to find that out of the thousands of Bosh sites, this was the wrong one. I had no idea which site to register on, so I had a web conversation with Eugene who was very helpful and gave me the appropriate link. This is no exaggeration, at the bottom of the conversation it said, 'for future reference use this conversation number: 786905430uy65J5po9hgt86654902-2'

    When I clicked on the link I got the usual BS but at the bottom it said what sort of tool do you have, battery operated power tools, non battery operated power tools, LiIon power tools. Bosch versa program power tools, and so on.

    Anyway, after ten minutes of clicking I finally got to mains powered angle grinders.

    Then I was asked which country I was in, so I clicked on UK.

    Then I was taken to the German site to start the whole rigmarole again.

    After another 20 minutes I finally got to the warranty form which had five questions to answer, including serial number, model designation, model identity code.

    I had the angle grinder on the table and it was simply splattered with numbers with no clue as to what number related to what. But would you believe it, there was a helper button at the end of each entry line that you could click and a window popped up showing exactly which number on the grinder they want. So I clicked on the first helper button. Great an explicit illustration showed the exact location on the grinder of the number they wanted, so I filled in the first number no bother.

    But, then the rub was that the helper window obscured the other helper buttons for the following entries and there was nothing I could do the close the first line helper window.

    To cut a long story short I had to write down on a piece of paper the first line of information. Then bomb out of the form and start again and get the helper window for line two and so on until all five lines of information were written out.

    Then the registration timed out so I had to go back to entering country, type of tool and the whole run around. But, finally, I got to the registration form again. I just copied the numbers from the piece of paper, pressed the go button and a very nice warranty certificate PDF popped up with my name, address, grinder model number date of purchase and so on.

    Bosh recommended that I should print a copy of the warranty, so I saved the file on the NAS and hit the print button.

    Then, the friendly hp printer assistant popped up and said that printing could not proceed because the black ink cartridge was low and would I like to join the hp cartridge replacement scheme to realize fantastic savings...

    From start to finish the whole adventure took 1 hour 30 minutes and I felt as though I had been wrestling a wet bear in a pit.

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  8. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Been there, done that. Including today. p-touch label cartridges. The local Staples (office supply store) has them with the notion that they have the lowest prices and will match even online prices. So they are like 30% higher than online. First, inventory at home. Then can;t find password. Reset didn;t work. Account closed (assumption) - hadn't purchased in a while. Had to create another account. Tried one website. It didn;t work for supplies. Did the same nonsense like you did to "find my model". The new credentials also work on the "supplies site". Had to go through the same hoops to get to the label cartridges. Ordered with free shipping. There were distractions along the way, so about 2 hours. Saved probably $60.00 USD over local prices.

    Staples no longer carries the office supplies I've been buying, so they are FORCING me to buy online. In this case factory direct, which is cheaper.
     
  9. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Believe me I know. I was on two farming related forums for several years and everything was fine with both until one day (each case about 3 - 4 months apart) I posted some technical info on how to solve some common and to me very basic problems with certain members machines by reengineering the problem components or methods of servicing them.

    It really made a number of resident 'know it alls' look really really dumb because they were such basic level fixes at that that people of their supposed knowledge and experience should have figured out on their own years ago.

    For every accusation and attempt to show I was wrong I countered with valid provable information that showed otherwise until all they had to work with was outrageously made up outright attacks of me personally to discredit me over who I am, where I live, what I do and what education I apparently don't have and worse.

    In each case I got a good deal of PM's from other members supporting and thanking me for my information plus having stood my ground and put some resident often proven wrong 'know it alls' and site trolls firmly in their place but ultimately as with yesterday's experience I was simply just locked out of the site with zero explanation or justification.

    No warnings from moderators or site admin, no nothing from start to finish despite my having made many reports to them over certain other members blatant attacks and actions going well beyond having broke forum rules and standards . Just flat out IP blocked to make damn sure I can't come back.

    Its experiences like that that really make me want to stop trying to share my knowledge and experiences with the world through online participation. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  10. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Personally I am starting to think that this has a huge amount of influence on the how and why of peoples actions and interactions online. Especially lately since the elections came out the way they did.

    http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/

    http://www.alternet.org/media/how-r...-has-made-vast-areas-internet-dangerous-place

    I don't know how things have changed for others of the technical mindsets but for me in the now ~10 years of being online regularly and helping people out I have went from dealing with maybe one fool or outright idiot a year at most to having to do battle with one every week or less in the last 4 - 5 months. :mad:

    Relating or Erics start of this thread for me lately I seem to spend/waste far more thread posts, on the forums I do still participate in, fighting with one or two fools or pompous old duffers, (usually the same ones with the same tired misconceptions and or beliefs at that over and over) over stupid stuff that should be second nature knowledge in our respective professions and interests than I have done overwhelming any OP with surpliferous information on how to fix something.

    I for one love when someone points out a bonehead simple solution to what I have always thought was long drawn out and difficult problem because the common solution I was aware of was just that, long drawn out and difficult and usually expensive at that.

    However it's becoming more apparent (to me at least) that very few people of apparent professional experience and or natural interests nowadays appreciate being shown down and dirty cheap and quick solutions to problems they perceived to only ever have had long drawn out complicated and expensive fixes for. :(
     
  11. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    My feeling is that people are getting further and further away from the fundamentals of electronics into some ethereal world and that is why some of the posts are so odd. And simulators are often used as a crutch rather than to check a fundamentally well deigned circuit.

    I suspect that the problem starts in the classroom and is perpetuated in higher education. The situation in one country (not named) particularly is alarming judging by the questions on ETO.

    I know a lecturer in electronics and, while he can quote Ohms law, he has not the slightest idea about how electronic circuits work and would be totally incapable of designing anything. But he has a very high opinion of himself and his electronics knowledge and has all the lecturing qualifications.

    As you may imagine, we have a few interesting discussions until our respective wives tell us to behave.

    It is a similar situation with mathematics. I was horrified by some of the garbage our kids were taught.

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  12. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi,

    As I have said previously, I direct my initial reply to the OP in an attempt to find out which is the best way to explain a solution to his/her problem.
    If this means 'dumbing down' the explanation to fit their level of understanding IMO that's not a problem.
    The aim is to answer the OP's question, not to impress him with our 'learned' knowledge.

    I adjust my following replies based on the response I get from the OP.
    If a fellow member does not agree with the content of my post or in the method I choose to interact with a OP, I don't care.

    A problem arises when another member seeing I have posted a 'low tech' reply, jumps in an effort to explain in great detail a solution which the OP most likely does not understand or need to know.
    This usually confuses the hell out a newbie OP and he never comes back or is unable to make a decision on the solution to use.

    I would suggest it would be more helpful, if members focused on helping the OP, by posting their own version of a solution to the OP problem, but keeping it simple as possible based on the assessed level of understanding of the OP.

    I appreciate other newbies may benefit from reading the posted extra technical detail, but isn't the prime directive to help the OP.?

    Eric
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  13. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    It's not just electronics. I see it most every profession and aspect of life. On the farming forums I regularly butted heads with guys who felt they were of above average knowledge and skill service people who had put in years of work that couldn't answer basic technical questions to much of anything beyond. "take it to the dealer and pay XXX,xx dollars an hour and have a new part put on'.

    Dripping hydraulic pump? Don't you dare take the thing off the tractor and try putting a $5 seal in it yourself. Take it to the dealer and get a whole new pump for $1000+ and have them put it on because there's chance you will do it wrong and it will still drip or by some bizarre wildly imagined 'what if ' you may destroy the whole tractor or kill yourself or someone else so you had best have a dealer do it and take the liability for it if something goes wrong. (forget the fact the tractor is 50+ years old and not worth $1000 and it's owned by retired hobby farmer who has very little cash to work with but does have mechanical skills but just not specific to what he owns yet.) :(

    As for peoples educations doing nothing for them I can totally relate to how that came to be. I went back to college in the early 2000's as a older than average work experience student for electrical engineering and spent 3 and a half years at it until two bad health issues back to back took me out of my last year. The thing was in those 3 and a half years I had maybe 5 classes that had anything to do with electronics of any kind and in the remaining semester I was scheduled to have two or three more.
    That was it for actually related classwork for a 4 year $40,000+ EE degree, 7 - 8 basic level classes for 4 years of time and money invested into some ~40 classes total. Everything of core educational value was stripped out of the programs and reduced to mass lecture hall classes ran by inexperienced kids or foreigners who barely spoke english wherever possible. :mad:

    Also as you mentioned, way too many of my professors and people who ran the classes I had were not qualified to teach kids how to pour cereal and milk into a bowl let alone run a actual educational class. Hell, several showed up 2 - 3 times the first week then turned the whole class over to their grad student interns who knew even less only to pop back in and check on us once or twice the whole semester and that was it. $1000 - $1500+ and weeks of my time spent to have a class taught by some kid who knew less than I did about the subject. :(
     
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  14. JoeJester

    JoeJester Active Member

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    tcmtech Your Time link about trolls certainly confirms my fears that the problem Free Speech is you have endure it. Of course when you reciprocate, your endurance is truly tested with their reciprocation. Civil intercourse is an ancient art not practiced much today.
     
  15. JoeJester

    JoeJester Active Member

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    ericgibbs I can tell you that you are one of maybe a dozen across the two forums I visit regularly that work hard to help those with inquiries in my opinion. There has always been many ways to pass information in hopes that one clicks with the OP. Finding the way to enlighten the OPs mind sometimes eludes those that are assisting, especially when we include that English or google translated english is the form we are using.

    I once wrote a paragraph and google translated it to other languages and then translated it back. Only the Greek-Roman languages gave the best translation back to the original. So, google translations add, not enhance the conversations.
     
  16. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    That where I have a problem with it and who tries to stand behind it as a way to say and do inappropriate behavior towards others online and what for.

    The problem I see is that Freedom of speech doesn't mean what most think it means. It's not a right to act like an an ass and say inappropriate stuff unfit for the conversation and conditions at hand like so many now try to use it for.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wha...2.69i57j0l2.8403j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wha...is+making+false+allegations+freedom+of+speech

    In a technical discussion it doesn't give you the right to go off on a political rant because you don't like that the technical aspects of said discusion go against your personal and or political views.

    It also does not give you the right to go about spreading known false information and outright lies about the topic or person if it or they showed you were wrong or lacked adequate knowledge of a subject in some way.

    Same with slandering someone for who they are or what sort of life they have lived or what they value because they have shown you to be lacking or limited in the actual knowledge, skills or other such concepts you claimed to have of some subject.

    You have the right to speak the relevant truth regarding the matter at hand but you don't have the right to make a disruptive ass of yourself and slander people because you were proven to be wrong or because you cant respect or accept other peoples opinions and or factual information and or knowledge because it shames or embarrasses you in some way.

    To me freedom of speech separates protected speculated opinion from outright lies, defamation, malice, slander and worse. All things that seem to be getting worse day by day all over the internet and elsewhere as of lately.:(:mad:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  17. Ian Rogers

    Ian Rogers Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Not garbage... "curriculum"...

    I have the same flaw as you Spec..... When I explain something to a newbie.. I can guarantee that its like I'm explaining rocket science to a two year old.... I should know better...

    Here's a scenario...

    My son came to me one day and told me his computer wouldn't start!!

    I went to his room to find the Bios screen in fail mode..
    On inspection I found the CMOS battery deader than a doornail!!

    I went back down to him ( and here's the thing )
    " Your CMOS battery is flat"..
    He said "Okay! what does that mean.."
    I said " Your CMOS battery is flat"..
    He said "Okay! what does that mean.."
    I said " Your CMOS battery is flat"..
    Yada yada yada.
    He said "You can repeat CMOS to me all day long, I haven't a clue what that is."

    What I thought everyone must know, well sometimes they don't...

    Eric's right... In most cases we must assume no / little knowledge.. Even if they are building a replacement human brain...
     
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  18. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Rather what I have dealt with as well only the problem with dealing with adults online is too many feel that since they have spent years of their life on a computer that means they know more about them than than anyone else including an actual computer tech so blustering fits of stupidity come out like someone declaring that because they spent the last 20 years of their life playing candy crush and are now at level 900 they obviously know more than you do for your 3 - 4 years of being a computer technician, who doesn't even play candy crush, and thusly no one else should ever listen to you about anything you say regarding computer related service work. :(
     
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