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A "bit" about me

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Crax0r7, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Crax0r7

    Crax0r7 New Member

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    j/k

    Hey everyone my name is Carl, been gaming under the alias Crax0r7 for over 16 years (ya know back when we all thought we were "hackers" and DOOM II over IPX/SPX was the coolest!). I'm currently a software engineer for a small company that does enterprise software for agri-buisness. That's a super fancy way of saying I program for a living AND I've had to learn what is required to batch fertilizer.

    I'm taking up electronics as a hobby because it's high difficulty / high reward (IMO). I actually joined this forum because I needed help with a little circuit I was building and you guys were very helpful, so I look forward to being a part of this community.
     
  2. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Ahhh, real world needs for electrical knowledge. In my opinion, we need more folks like yourself. I'd call that more system design than anything else.
     
  3. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Carl, welcome to the forums.

    I do mostly hardware now but have done lots of programming in the past. Mostly Windows and assembler and some side languages. I also did a small amount of programming back when we had to use punch cards for a mainframe.

    Back in the 1970's we designed, built, and tested CPU's that were the size of a motherboard today using all discrete 7400 type chips. A whole board just for one CPU.

    If you have some good math skills you can learn electronics pretty quick.
    If you download a free circuit simulator you can start to experiment with circuits without even buying any parts. Look for LT Spice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    MrAl, I would agree that good math skills can help in learning electronics, but saying that good math skills will help you learn electronics quickly is like saying owning a fast car will make you drive better.

    I second the LTSpice recommendation, I learned a LOT from that doing nothing more than simulating basic components using LTspice, it's helped me along with a curious mind and endless hours of Googling and Wikipedia reading to become slightly competent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  6. Crax0r7

    Crax0r7 New Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation I went ahead and downloaded LTSpice, looks good. I have been using an application called Yenka that seemed to be good but I can't judge it for what I don't know it's missing :)

    MrAl, I'd like to think I'm pretty good at math but to be honest I haven't used the hard stuff since college (so no asking me to find the integral of anything); I think I may be ok though.

    After reading your post about designing CPUs out of discrete 7400 series chips I had to do some googling on the subject and all I am thinking about now is *future project* :)
     
  7. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hello,

    Well, i can teach someone who has a good background in math how to analyze circuits a lot faster than someone i have to teach math to first. Math is always considered a prerequisite: differential equations for example. Yes, i can teach someone who has less math background too, but cant take them as far.
     
  8. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi again,

    Yes the 7400 chips CPU's are very interesting and are fun to play around with, but i do have to say that the microcontroller chips made these days will get you there a lot faster unless you just want to do it for the pleasure of seeing it work.

    LT Spice is pretty good and a lot of people who read this board use it and exchange circuit files.

    If you've had calculus that helps a lot, and differential equations, but you can do a lot with algebra too (up to a point). The idea behind the math is to be able to analyze various circuits to find out how they work, and get a good working knowledge of them and how they are designed. The more circuits you analyze the more you know about circuits in general.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  9. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    Dang dude, your so old, I bet your social security number is only 3 digits... :)
     
  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hey, I did a CPU for a college class about the time the 8008 and 4004 were out. Our group of 4 designed a microcoded CPU with a 16 bit wide and 16 word deep program. It could sort single digit binary numbers in ascending and decending order based on the microcode. I probably still have the lab book around somewhere.

    One guy did the memory. Another did the needed guts. I got stuck with the program counter, single stepping etc.

    Back in the day, it was a pretty cool project. This was about the time some research at the college was being done on speech synthesis and recognition. There was a commercial system with a phoneme keyboard. I think the company was Votrax. They were also doing some research which would have been the beginnings of a laser printer.
    Someone was doing research with the ARPAnet which was the beginning of the Internet and I was exposed to Unix when it was first released. 65 MB disk drives were the size of washing machines and I did see one machine that had it's boot loader as a series of diodes on the door. Band printers, line printers, daisy wheel printers and the IBM Selectric. There were also Teletypes and 110 Baud acoustic couplers. It was neet to see the fundamental beginnings of things we have today.
     

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