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Technical/non-technical/other

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by spec, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    You can divide people int two types technical and non-technical. In general these relate to logical and arty but there is a third type of person who is neither.

    Most people posting, or even just viewing ETO would almost certainly be categorized as technical/logical and there are no end of people, especially female who could be categorized as arty. To me the arty side is a mysterious world and the most glaring example of this was a female industrial artist that we had at work. She could do a caricature of someone in ten minutes and it exactly captured the essence of that persons face. And she did the most fantastically realistic images of mobile radar systems for proposals, just from the engineers descriptions and a few pictures of porta cabins, generators and antennas. and if you wanted a radar operator sitting in front of a display, you could have any type you wanted

    But the most mysterious people to me are neither technical or arty. I just could not understand what made them tick, but then I found out:

    I have had a few 'laboring' part time or holiday jobs: farm laborer, metal polisher.. But it was farm laboring that brought me closely into contact with the third type of person. For about four weeks during school summer holiday I used to work on farms helping to reap the harvest, mainly grain and straw. It was start at 7:30 am and finish anytime between 6 pm and 10 pm, seven days a week. You had a half hour break for lunch and that was it. Then it was a four mile ride home, have some supper and off stagger off to bed, completely knackered. Then the alarm went and it was time to get up and and back to the farm.

    It was a different life and during that four week period I had not a single technical thought and at one instance I had to work out a percentage to do with pay from the farmer and, do you know, I couldn't do it without a struggle.

    spec
     
  2. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
     
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  3. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi spec,
    There is also another 'type'.
    They are the ones that see programming as an art-form rather than a simple method of getting the MCU to perform a simple task.

    They go to great lengths to compress/convolute and over complicate what could have been a simple program in order to make it 'smaller'.
    Usually making it almost impossible for others to read and upgrade later.

    These are also the people that say 'goto's are bad, what rubbish.!

    E
     
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  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Yes, it is odd. There seems to be a fear and loathing towards microcontrollers/microprocessors in general and programming specifically. But, in practice, a simple program is often easier to do than wiring up a load of discrete components. I think it is the fear of the unknown, which is understandable.

    I felt the same way when the C programming language was introduced; the code seemed completely alien, but once you learn the core syntax and data types, C is quite easy to use. Although, some of the advanced stuff is quite hard to grasp, which is true in any language.

    Most programming tutorials damn the goto instruction because it can lead to hard to follow/maintain spaghetti code. But the same tutorials also say ther is still a place for goto, especially in getting out of a tangled error condition.

    And in small programs goto and local variables are perfectly acceptable and sometimes allow more compact and efficient code.

    It's horses for courses.

    spec
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  6. atferrari

    atferrari Well-Known Member

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    For years I worked quite frequently for someone who was an experienced loss adjuster well versed in the insurance business oriented to shipping. He used to deal with calculations easily reaching amounts of 6 digits in USD.

    When he was about to retire, I learnt he was a real expert in the life and works of one of our most famous comics authors (Alberto Breccia).
     
  7. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Active Member

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    One area that I work in would be a typical example where the PLC has reduced Huge cabinets of hard wired control relays/timers/counters etc, they are programmed and displayed in Boolean logic the same way that the hard wired schematic is used to trouble shoot the large cabinet systems.
    One super benefit is the ability to see on a PC screen a particular rung and showing the various Boolean elements with the 'active' devices shown highlighted when ON.
    This not only cuts down on trouble shooting time, but allows changes without stringing wires etc.
    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwiHv8LFnZ_SAhUo0YMKHStVBD8QFggcMAA&url=https://scadahacker.com/library/Documents/ICS_Basics/Automation%20Direct%20-%20PLC%20Handbook.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHtuED2krAPPk9XgHLmkIVIngv0aw&sig2=6ixM8TMByEPYrL_PiBWtjw&cad=rja

    An offshoot to the PLC has been the miniature version, the Smart Relay.
    Max.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  8. Tony Stewart

    Tony Stewart Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Even CUI arguably the largest distributor of 3rd party wallwarts in the US no longer ship unregulated PSU's
    http://www.cui.com/catalog/power/ac-dc-power-supplies/external/wall-plug-in

    They had their time and place when the load was matched to the supply. But primary fused windings from overtemp and lack of cooling were a major failure mode.

    Certified Technogeek
    1+1=0 carries no weight.
     
  9. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    I don't really think you can pigeonhole people like that. Leonardo Da Vinci comes to mind, a real renaissance man. He was both artsy and the scientist, and when these two worlds in his mind meets, he had created machines that inspire young engineers to this day. I am reminded of a book entitled "The Art of Electronics", and indeed it is the creative artsy side that inspires engineers to beautiful designs. The iPhone is just one example...
    :happy:
     
  10. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I learned PLC programing on Allen Bradley PLC 5/500 systems in the mid 90's. I was even told I was pretty good at it too being(as I was told ) I was apparently above average at reducing a system I/O program down to as elegantly simple of layout as most anyone had ever seen! :cool:

    Then life took me in a different direction and I largely lost touch with the PLC stuff in general. At present the only stuff I work with now is my own Teco PLR units which are cheap and fairly easy to work with I use for various things now. http://teco.us.com/

    Although at my last job I was starting to get back into things with the Scadapack 350 systems, being that's primarily what we used, but at near 10x the complexity as what I started out on it was slow learning. Even worse being by how the coding was done it was clear the programmers felt that if they threw enough code at a problem it had to eventually work. 'Why use 5 - 8 elements to do a function when you can use 15 - 20 because the systems and software will handle it' sort of sloppy coding crap. :(

    Forget learning the coding for anything when a new machine control system came out with download version 1.2 and by month 4 or 5 it was at Version 7.3.9b and it still didnt work any better than Version 1 did despite having at least 50% more code doing the same I/O logic work. :mad:
     
  11. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Active Member

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    I think one of the obstacles, fortunately rare, is I believe some Engineers are given the task to write a PLC system program and may not have had the shop floor experience of trouble shooting by schematic.
    I Generally write or draw out a system this way first before transferring and debugging on the actual PLC.
    My initiation was with the old original PLC-2.:(
    Max.
     
  12. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I think you an categorize people in many ways, but there are always going to be exceptions- as you rightly point out.

    spec
     
  13. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    People are like brilliant cut diamonds, they have many facets. Then again some are like unpolished cabochons :)
     
  14. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Active Member

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    I guess the outcome of all this so far is as that country philosopher Roger Miller said.
    It Takes All Kinds To Make a World.:woot:

    Max.
     
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  15. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    At my last job that lack of actual real live system pretest and debugging was the worst. It was rare to ever get a service update on any machines PLC programing and even have it load let alone run at all the first time it came out.

    Oil field frac work at the tune of $20 - $30K an hour would come to a dead halt for an hour or more because of some nearly irrelevant update to a critical machines software, that should have taken 5 - 10 minutes during a routine work pause while another contractor was doing their work on a well, would have us shut down hard for an hour or more while us electronics techs tried to figure out why it would not instal or if it did instal why some important function now didn't work.
    Only to find after some middle of the night phone calls to the software guys would reveal ,once again, they did not actually do one single live test before issuing it as a critical update. :mad:
     
  16. JonSea

    JonSea Well-Known Member

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    Ummmm....that could be a dangerous remark! :)

    But I don't consider technical/logical stands apart from arty. Designing a circuit requires technical/logical knowledge but also benefits from the arty side, especially circuit board layout. It doesn't have to be a work of art to work, but I spend a lot of time and effort to make my boards look good as well as work well.
     
  17. spec

    spec Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    That is a good point. Designing a good PCB is an art, just like electronics can be called an art, as in the book that has been quoted, 'The Art of Electronics' And some of the drawings produced by draftsmen were works of art.

    But I would argue that that is stretching the meaning of art.

    The other thing is that it is a matter of degree.

    And everyone has an appreciation of aesthetics, after all, that is how we select our mates.:)

    spec
     

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