You might think that I would tire of searching on the Internet for solutions to problems like “Python Error: remove_dead_ref,” or Arduino AVR’s C++ compiler’s complaint … and what was it again, I can’t even remember!

It’s true, but as long as I stay in the tech field I will probably always be tracking these sort of bugs down.  But is there a better way?

Building software like a custom Yocto kernel ( www.yoctoproject.org ) for Raspberry Pi or using new features of C++ to program the Arduino ( arduino.cc) can be difficult.

Sooner or later (or much much later!) I usually manage track my errors down.  Since I feel that I am not on the “cutting-edge” of technology, very many times I prefer to search for discussions by other people who have faced a similar problem.

I would like to better document how I have debugged many of these issues and catalog those notes.  Because sometimes, after all the effort of finding solutions to compiler errors, and the like, I forget about them altogether.

It doesn’t seem at first worth the time to write down every step along the way of solving one of these problems.  Software seems to breed these sort of issues.  But I am wondering if a knowledge base of the issues I have researched would be of help to others??

The need for good software

I’m thinking about all of the things I need to do to improve my new engineering practice and no matter where I look it all comes down to the software. Seeing that I have spent so much time learning about and improving my software development capabilities I feel that I am the right person for the role of software engineer.  It is tempting however to keep bolting on hardware or even creating big plans for a website, for example, without working on the software at all. Then, when the product comes out it is too late. At this point I am often tempted to run to my laptop and start programming one or more things again. This, however, is to miss the holistic approach by which the best software is written, in my opinion.

Thinking about the function of systems as a whole prior to creating the software is what makes it successful. This is the path that led us back to the drawing board in the first place. Just because form follows function doesn’t mean we can skip writing our functional analysis. To reference an old Dr. Dobbs editorial, the best software is always intended to solve a problem, or as the editorial stated, a “perplex.” We write software chiefly because we are perplexed, confused, by the very many requirements of a complex system, be it a website or an IoT device. Throwing our “heart over the bar,” or rather all of our requirements into our new computer program so that a compiler can handle them; defining our requirements clearly that is, really is our first step to creating good software.

Happy 2019!

Happy New Year!

Right now it is 7Am on Monday January 7th and I am just starting to think about my New Years’ Resolutions.  It seems like this will be the year to patch things up.  By that I mean everything from personal relations to small details about the website.  But, to stay on topic, letś just talk about the website!

I pride myself on being a good PHP developer.  Of course, there are a lot of good developers out there and even better UI/UX people.   Sometimes I wish I were better at design.  But what I am trying to say is that it is sometimes good to be able to look at one’s one work with a more critical eye.

When I took a look at my website on my cellphone, I realized that it was time to make sure that the HTML5 markup really worked properly.  So I guess that is Step One.

Happy New Year!

Evan’s Technical Notes

It’s been a long time since I have made a post!  But there is so much going on that I don’t know where to begin.  That is why people make lists or build wikis!

I guess that the biggest thing is that I am working on something like that.  It’s called Evan’s Technical Notes.   The website is at http://www.evtechnote.us

It’s an effort to make the slightest thing happen on the web sometimes.  Often I go to other people’s blogs for information.  Now I am hoping to document some of the things I have learned so that others can get their blogs and computers working.

So stay tuned!



Working Hard

Hello! It’s been a long time since I have written a blog post.  I got pretty caught up in writing my book.  Now I am up to Chapter 4 –  Arduino.  That is a pretty big topic in and of itself.

I wrote the Preface, the Introduction which is all about the Internet of Things, Chapter 2 – Project Ideas, Chapter 3 – Processors.  Now I have a project that requires me to use Arduino so that is helping me write Chapter 4.

One thing I have found out is that most of the DIY projects we work on are not for the Internet of Things.  Still I find IoT to be an exciting new breakthrough in technology!

A Cornucopia of Things

I would write down pages about all of the subjects I would like to study or continue working on but that paragraph would never end.  That is why, invariably when I try to enumerate my current projects I fail.  The list keeps expanding.

The same thing happens when I start working – hoping to complete one of my various books.  Before long I have an expanse of details that has become unmanageable.  Then I sometimes ask if there is a better way!

Organizing my thoughts and materials helps but is not all there is to it.  Having a focus and being clear about what I want to write or accomplish really does help.  That said something always comes up that doesn’t quite fit.  I call these things ‘fuzzy’ and these days, rather than ‘calling them out’ incorporate them into my Taxonomy of Things.  If it quacks like a duck but swims like a fish it is still catalogued as a duck, for all you object-oriented Ruby on Rails enthusiasts out there!

Problems are solved so that we can solve other problems.  Some of my interests, such as how to build better websites aren’t really that important to others.  Everyone in the field has their own solution!

Lately however I am finding the burgeoning problem of cataloging the Internet of Things to be of value and of worth to others.  There are so many gadgets and devices.  Once again I wonder if this cornucopia of electro-mechanical things, seemingly spilled onto every page of the Internet and prnt media today, has any end?