AboutEmbedded Systems Dev, studying CS (again), electronics are my jam/marmalade Dabbling into sysadmining, tired
SkillsC, C++, C#, *HDL, Assembly, (Python), Electronics with Knöpkes and Blinkenlights and all the beautiful things Linux FTW
Joined devRant on 7/4/2017
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I plan in doing some minor Android app development for a side project when my exams are over (which is in two weeks, yay), but other than using Android on day-to-day basis I'm a total n00b when it comes to development.
I want to write a little app that can communicate with a BLE device. It should encrypt said communication.
I know some python and thought about using Kivy as a frontend since it's cross platform compatible (perhaps I'll make a Linux client, too). But I have no idea whether that's a good idea. Do I absolutely need Java? D:
So - where does one start? Tutorials/books welcome.7
Some people just lack so much independence, damnit!
Einmal mit Profis arbeiten ... ! (*) 😒
(*) German expression that expresses depending on tone or context a mild to severe frustration as well as the desire to work with qualified people just ... once?! Maybe?! Please?! Often used in IT and dev contexts, because - you know.12
Current boss is best boss.
Seriously though, he's a great guy. He has a lot of knowledge technology-wise, especially in electronics and will explain things to you without tiring if you don't understand them.
He lets me run my thing which is cool and letting me run too freely/not taking enough time is probably the only thing I'd criticize.
He seems to have a similar mindset to mine which makes it (most times) enjoyable to work with him. I like him personally - though I'm sometimes not sure whether he gets my somewhat weird humour.
Built a C#/.NET application with support for a serial device. Tested it on systems A, B, C initially, all Windows system, same .NET version, same targeting, same build tool version, same initial connection configuration etc, etc.
Testing - works on A and C, B nopes.
OK, let's check the source, is there something about B that makes it impossible to execute that bit? - No, there is not, you checked that already, stop poking around, it definitively should work on B.
OK, maybe admin privileges, there is I/O involved, didn't need that on A and C, but who knows - nope, doesn't work on B.
OK, maybe something wrong with the connection settings? First try at reinstalling driver - but no, it doesn't work on B.
OK let's try with another device - more/less devices on B. Other USB ports. No. Still does not work on B.
OK, this is stupid, but, is the cabling alright? It is, of course it is, stupid - but it still does not work on B.
OK, at that point I'm just gonna ask a colleague, GrumpySoftwareDev whether he has any clue why it doesn't work on B. GrumpySoftwareDev knows nothing, but discovers that one of his applications doesn't work on Windows 10. You know nothing, Jon Snow, but it doesn't work on B.
OK, now I'm just going to ask another colleague TheLastOfHisKind who handed B down to me somewhat bluntly if he ever experienced problems when working with B and its serial configuration. TheLastOfHisKind tells me he does not and kindly offers me some input on the situation. Still no progress to get it working on B but he hinted he might have fucked up B's driver. I already reinstalled the driver but didn't reboot, which comes after reinstall.
OK, I'm just gonna remove and re-install the driver, then restart. Hu! Now the UI is gone but another serial device reacted on a general call. Not fully working on B but we're getting there.
OK, I don't know, I'm getting frustrated, let's borrow another system D - which has roughly the same configuration as B - from my colleague StrongCurrentGuy. StrongCurrentGuy borrows me his system and cautions me not to break it. I install the driver, plug the device and copy the application from B. It just works on D. Not on B though.
OK, you know what. I'm done. For shits and giggles I'm gonna remove that driver again, reinstall it and restart, maybe it'll magically work afterwar- WHAT THE HELL, I JUST OPENED IT AFTER RESTARTING, IT JUST WORKS - ON B!
... seriously, what the fuck. But yeah, at least it works now.4
The most hours I worked in a row - more or less, going by the definition of having no time to enjoy any personal activities aside from sleeping - were about ~17h.
I specifically remember this event because of the amount of hours of pointless work that generally went into that project and there was this one time when we - not only me as a technician, but also most of the engineers - had to build hundreds of complex devices in-house to meet an important customer's deadline because we had problems with a subcontractor at that time.
We did it in time, there was pizza afterwards as well as some questionable sense of achievement, so apart from a wasted weekend and sore muscles in my hands for the next days I didn't regret it all that much. So yay, I guess.
I seem to be the person that tries to implement the default solution using the default HowTo - not going fucking anywhere because shit fucking breaks somewhere in the process.
Fuck people who advertise their software "as easy to install and to maintain" not maintaining their documentation.
Can I be a fucking user, oblivious of the world around me, just one fucking time?!
Also, coffee makes me fucking irritable atm.
(I probably should work in QA. Oh wait, I did something like that before.)3
Does anyone know a single-board computer like e.g. the raspberry pi that features a physical on-board audio input as well as an output?
I know that GPIO-header-boards like e.g. the hifiberry or WolframAudio (which seems somewhat deprecated by now) exist. I could probably also alternate to an USB-soundcard, but I'm curious whether someone might know a more compact solution.5
Alcohol is somewhat only a socialising drug for me - so I never coded when drunk.
Is it an experience worth making?4
I have to do one of those whiny student rants sometime soon.
After the deadline for a grade-relevant essay, which is, like, a lot sooner than I expected.
And learning for that exam coming up in roughly one week.
And the five other CS/EE exams coming up.
Probably when I'm sitting at work trying to move my automation project to its final form (this is not even ...!) too stressed and too angry to even cry.3
Had to retake one basic CS lecture due to timing constraints and I deeply regret it, because there is a voluntary tutoring which doesn't fail to annoy me.
This time I was randomly placed in a group with students 7+ years younger (some of them straight out of school), exclusively guys and some of them have not figured out where to put their huge ego yet - other than rubbing it in other people's faces.
Normally, I wouldn't even bother but 4h work followed by 4h lectures and not having had dinner prior to this tutoring leave me worrying about when I'll brutally slay and devour the still twitching remains of the next dude who tries to tell me that I don't know shit about assembly.5
The piece of software I'm working on at my job just feels fucking stupid and brainless right now. I know it is not, I know it's working, I know it'll be actually useful to its users but I don't feel like that.
I usually go by telling myself "Most of the time I do like what I do, but sometimes it's just work that has to be done" - but for the last month or so it felt like my motivation is completly drained and not coming back fast enough. Just thinking about it feels like desperate, tired crawling on Legos.
On the other hand, at least I've got some motivation for my studies back which feels great.
To the electronic/hardware devs here: do you know a (good - optional) diff tool for schematics/PCBs that is independent of a certain ECAD tool?
So far I know of cadlab.io, but I'd really like to have another possibility than an online service.3
I've never been hacked - not that I know of :D - and never "hacked" someone else.
(Sure, I did some things in high school to circumvent certain restrictions but nothing worth mentioning whatsoever.)
But all these rants that I read so far have me wondering if I shouldn't simply setup a honeypot sometime when I'm about to be really bored just to have some fun. Then again, I don't have time to be bored. :/1
Python is a wonderful language.
But apparently the C syntax is still so deeply engrained in my mind that I get errors when using "printf()" instead of "print()" on a regular basis. m)6
I just fucking hate BGAs* that unsolder themselves.
So, thanks to my laptop slowly breaking apart I decided to reactivate an old netbook my father gave me back in 2014(?) when it failed, to have a device on standby if necessary.
Wasn't really planning to repair it and kept it for spare parts mostly as the whole device is a fucking design failure concerning heat dissipation.
But yet again, I thought I'd give it a try one-two years ago. I soon found out it was said heat problem that caused the error in the device and it'd probably only take some reworking using a heat gun, which I did. Netbook worked for some hours, then was dead again, same error. Lost motivation and stashed it until this week.
Reworked with a hair-dryer this time and it worked! Well, until this morning - same error. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to run a VM and then shut down the device right after that.
I will now try only one more time, this time just baking the whole damn main board thoroughly.
Either it works or it's really dead after. Either way, I'll be somewhat happier then.
* Ball Grid Array - package type for electronic components like ICs/uControllers8
So we've been working with a VM at a university course I'm taking during semester break. Keyboard layout was QWERTY instead of QWERTZ, and I'm not used to the first layout, but no problem, I can fix that.
Or so I thought.
So I spend nearly half an hour trying to configure the VM to use the desired layout without altering the Ubuntu instance that much - only to then suddenly discover a small USA flag in the corner of the panel bar which could be changed by clicking once to the German flag.
This also changed the keyboard layout instantly.
So, yay, I guess. D:5
First thing, give the schools enough money to buy proper IT equipment and hire at least one person who does IT full-time per school so that the CS teachers or whoever runs the school's IT infrastructure doesn't have to worry about it at all times.
(Hopefully, the ban on cooperation here in Germany will be lifted and the federal government will be able to subsidy all schools at least financially in that aspect.)
Then, educate all the teachers, for fuck's sake.
It is sad to see an otherwise good teacher in a technical subject at a technical college struggle with the basics. Teachers should have continuing education in computer science and also should be comfortable working with technology.
There are some good CS teachers and some who're also nerds but they can't fix everything nor educate every colleague. Unpaid and in their free time, mind you.
Then, update the learning materials for CS. I've seen/worked with some of what is used in schools today and it's definitively not worth the money but it has to be bought anyway. At best, education materials should be open-source so knowledge can grow and be updated more quickly.
Also, don't rely too much on big cooperations just but cause they offer you shiny materials and discounts.
My laptop started making faint high-pitched noises - I hope I misheard and it's actually just some coil singing inside the power-supply and not one of the disks/something else - also, I seem to have dropped 4GB of RAM suddenly where there should be 8GB.
(Also, I should really wipe the messed up dual-boot still residing on disk from last semester and replace it by a fresh arch-only install. (No time and joy in debugging that right now.) Probably something for tomorrow evening.)
The device is ~8 years old by now and starting to fall apart - nothing duct tape can't fix - but I'm somewhat worried about the rest right now. D:
Meh, I really need that laptop during the next two weeks, I just hope the hardware doesn't die on me in the meantime because I can't wait for an order to arrive, let alone afford some cheap replacement.11
Had a talk with my mentor and the CTO today.
They made very clear that they'd want to keep me employed after I finished my bachelor and briefly asked about my plans.
I am happy and this kind of gave me some more peace of mind concerning job security.
Thing is though, I don't know yet what I want to do in two years from now. There are some possibilities and of course I don't know how my private life will develop.
If I stay there, I could finish my bachelor and then do a master halftime, like I do now with my bachelor - or I could stop at my bachelor and start working full-time again.
I rather want to stay there - though I strongly dislike the 9 to 5 job model, the work would be in a field I'm interested in. My colleagues are a nice bunch of people and I respect them a lot, especially the team I work with.
On the other hand, I always thought about freelancing and was researching possibilities during the last year. My skills are not so easy to translate into a freelancing job, though, if I don't want to do at least 50% software development.
Or I could get a job somewhere else which would have the charms of starting from scratch. Many new experience, much new things, wow.
Maybe also a better salary though if I'd be doing the job for the money only, I'd probably have worked elsewhere.
I'm usually quite relaxed about my future plans but some of these things were on my mind for some time now, also, I'm not sure whether I can "define" my future just yet.
Also, I'm overthinking it, yes.
I will have another talk in about a month.
No pressure, right?7
Fried two devices today by simply connecting them to a power source.
Changed nothing in the circuitry, no shorts due to solder residues (a simple modification was made), no changes in the input parameters. Check.
The afromentioned devices should have only minor HW changes compared to a previous version I'm working with and as far as I can see absolutely nothing which should cause the damn microcontroller to release smoke like a steam train. (All right, a very miniature steam train.)
So the only significant difference might be the firmware which I didn't check yet but will tomorrow. Not my code and the corresponding IDE just basically sucks. Yay.
On the other hand, the Software part finally feels like I'm getting somewhere. It seems just ... to work. Very suspicious.
Feeling ambivalently frustrated and relieved at the same time. Sigh.7
It just struck me that by long-pressing backspace on the virtual keyboard I can use emoji.
I feel kind of stupid right now. 😶2
My father had a PC with Win3.11 where young me was allowed to play solitaire and an educational programs for kids, later on, followed Win98. I was fascinated with this big grey boxes which could do so many things, especially connect you to the Internet where you could find knowledge about EVERYTHING. (Someone remember the "Blinde Kuh" search engine?)
I remember my father connecting the modem with a long cable all the way through several rooms to the TAE-outlet and the weird sounds the device made.
I often heard "Get away from the PC or your eyes will become rectangular!" when I was sitting there for hours over hours reading and playing.
When I was ten, I got my first own computer, a trusty 486er (386 with logical coprocessor! 8MB RAM if I remember correctly. Weeee! :D) which was my uncle's old PC with Win95.
I started writing on the PC and got into several online communities ... it went downhill from there. :D11
Cons of SW development: even when I do get up regularly, walk around and stretch, at the end of a whole day my back hurts really mean.
If someone could get me a heat cushion right now, that'd be great.5
Python seems so ... simple, yet beautiful.
(It's just ... a feeling, I only did the codecademy course and doodled on the command line by now.)
But this whitespace/tab thing and the fact that missing semicolons don't result in errors is just fucking confusing.15
An incomplete list of 2018 personal dev goals:
* do more web development (It's fun. In a crude way.)
* finish the smart lamp I started building in 2016 ...
* fix up more electronic devices while learning their inner workings
* learn Python and some other language
* get myself a blog again
* get that testautomation thing which is haunting me in my dreams already to production
* be more relaxed
* do some home automation while not cursing all that much
Opened devRant while sitting in public transport.
Suddenly, the dude sitting next to me starts talking to me.
Nearly got a heart-attack because I thought he was going to say something about the devRant feed I was scrolling through or even reveal he was also on devRant. (Dude reminded me of some of the guys on the face reveal. Also, wild beard. XD)
Now somewhat disappointed but also relieved he wasn't a fellow devRanter. (I probably am a social being but when someone catches me off-guard I may react awkward.)3
So, is anyone here going to 34c3(*) in Leipzig?
(I'd very much like to, but I have so much studying to do, so I'll stay at a local hackerspace and organize a little bit Congress Everywhere.)
(*)34c3 or the 34th Chaos Communication Congress is the largest hacker meet-up in Germany this year.11
I'm so tired.
Got enough sleep but tired nevertheless every day.
Situation in the company isn't helping, would really like to get a review as I'm really close to a 'final' version for productive use, none given.
Didn't think far enough and didn't include various OO-things when starting to program this application, so I had to rewrite lots of it. It certainly got better by the time but as it's a grown structure I'd feel happier if someone other than me had seen and cursed the code.
Coworker that has most experience in C# only once implemented something with multiple threads, couldn't help me there.
Could not test the code yet because the hardware was inaccessible and is now potentially broken.
I really like working independently, nevertheless I feel a little bit lost at sea - I can deal with that, but it's exhausting.
Also, trying to get an answer from the colleague who should act as my supervisor whether or not I can work remotely during a CS related course in the semester break for > 2 weeks now. Course admission is the mid of January so I'd like to have an answer this year so I can repeat the basics I'll need if necessary.
Also, Midterm is coming.
It's a lot of little things piling up right now I wouldn't mind if there were only 1-2 of them.
I'm just so damn tired.
I'll go to sleep now.
(In happy news: my internet connection is working pretty decent now, technician that fucked it up apologized and said that he probably needs glasses, he misread the connection number. :D)4