My Upcoming Escape from the B&B Basement
Dear Friend and Subscriber:
All year long, my engineers and I been living and working down here in the cellar. Ceaselessly toiling on your behalf, sunlight by day and candle by night. Preparing drawings with painstaking care. Building prototypes, writing code, running environmental tests, running new products through their paces... we sacrifice everything for you, beloved customer, so your bits and bytes flow like water.
But... now I'm getting cabin fever and it's time to get out of this dark place!
Seriously, it's like, time to get out and go see some customers. The cave gets a little lonely here, and if a guy spends too long, he gets desperately out of touch. Sure most of my visits are on the West side of the Atlantic, but maybe you can build a compelling case for me to dust off my passport. Or maybe the team in our Ireland office can drop by for a pint.
Here's what I mean:
- Maybe you're thinking about industrial-wireless, and concerned about the complexity and trade-offs involved. We can discuss.
- Maybe you're using Ethernet to reach more of your stuff and you feel that some expert advice would be welcome.
- The list of RS-232 and RS-485 data applications continues to grow without end; perhaps managing the growing quantity of devices and data is a challenge?
My intention is not to create more sales calls for you to deal with, by the way. Ain't coming with a credit card machine on my belt or anything like that. I just want to know what you want from B&B Electronics. The better I feel your communication and automation pains, the better job I can do developing products. Got a project coming up? Not a bad way to get a little bit of free engineering consultation.
If you've got an interesting application with a lot of moving parts and off-the-shelf approaches don't quite seem to fit, maybe you and I should talk. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. With a little luck we might even slip out for a Heineken or two :^>
Onward to other stuff.
Now you know me, I'm always mad about something. You know what I'm mad about today?
You'd think the great astronomers of our time would have something better to do. When I think about astronomers, I imagine them doing grand, Stephen-Hawking-like experiments. Studying worm holes and dark matter. Listening for signals from a lost civilisation somewhere in Deep Space. Researching matter transport and teaching us how to travel faster than the speed of light.
Alas they are not. Instead of launching us into the 22nd century, they have to argue about whether Pluto is a planet.
Dava Sobel added a Freudian touch: "People love Pluto - there's such an emotional attachment, it's very strange. Children identify with its smallness. Adults relate to its inadequacy, its marginal existence as a misfit."
Upon hearing this I connected to Pluto on an emotional level. It symbolizes my deep feelings of inadequacy, especially how I felt when I was rejected from the Junior Varsity basketball team. MY existence was marginal. I was a misfit.
This is why I have vowed to fight, to my very last breath, for the Planethood of Pluto. I refuse to deny Pluto the honor she deserves. Pluto is the one planet that understands how I feel. Pluto is not just my planet, Pluto is OUR planet. She is the oppressed planet. She represents the marginalised and wounded in our society. She represents YOU and ME.
Now there are two things we can do about this.
The first, of course, is to stand up for Pluto's rights. Write your congressman, organise a protest, stage a hunger strike.
And never forget: The safest, surest and most reliable way for engineers to compensate for inadequacies is to obtain new equipment.
---> How To Restore Your Lost Dignity & Compensate for Inadequacy
As you know, the greatest source of inadequacy for most control engineers is better performance through superior equipment. Today, a quick tour of the latest superior equipment that I'm jazzed about right now:
- Even in the noisiest, nastiest environments [robotic welders, motors, switchgear], your Ethernet data rides an envelope of total silence. Multi-mode fiber carries it 2km and single mode goes 20km - at light speed. More information at
- A 1000 Volt ground loop can't take it down: Optically isolated RS-485 repeaters add 1.2km and 32 nodes to your circuit. Or you can feed RS-422 in one side and get RS-485 on the other side, allowing four-wire devices access to 2-wire:
- Look Ma, no Power Supply! Port-powered converters change TD and RD RS-232 lines to RS-485 for 1.2km of reliable communications. You didn't want that extra wire anyway:
- Data Acquisition for 802.11, USB, Serial, Ethernet and more. Analog and digital I/O made easy:
All for now. Off to my therapist, where we're going to split a case of Heinekens and jaw about Pluto. Hope to meet you upon my next trip outta the cave.