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31st May 2019
I'm writing the blog in English because I type twice as fast this way than in Russian (yes I am improving...), and 90% of my friends and : friends
read English any way. I answer comments in the same language they are posted.
I am trying not to post anything related to my employer, but if I do so, this expresses only my own views and does not represent an official position of my employer.
When I post about some technical topic which seems non trivial and is related to my employer's product, don't expect it to be inside information. If I post about it, it means that this info is already public. Usually I do not post any personal information or anything that is related to my family.
All photos are mine, and I allow anyone to copy, change, do anything you please with them. I don't post "friends only".
Useful tags are: software
and trip report
13th March 2014
IOT dev kit for Galileo
I've just posted : an article
at habrahabr describing my new project - IOT development kit
for Galileo. It went online 2 weeks ago at MWC'14 and EW'14, and now you can buy Intel Galileo
board, download the images and start developing using all kinds of libs/languages available in Linux in ~10 minutes.
Even Labview works there natively - and I think this is the only embedded board of this size/power that can run Labview VIs on it.
12th March 2014
The stuff I was working on non stop for two weeks just before MWC'14: :
The action starts from 0:25s. A lot of moving things :-)
11th March 2014
German bureaucrats are ~20% more efficient than Russian
Recently I got a new Russian passport (valid for 10 years now - cool). In order to get it, I had to fill an application form online and then wait for an appointment at the consulate for 5.5 months to sign the form, and then another 3 months to get the passport. :
Now I need to re-new a German permanent residence permit, so it matches with the new passport's number. The waiting time for an appointment at Auslaenderbehoerde Munich is longer than 4 months, which is still ~20% faster than the waiting time at the Russian consulate.
2nd March 2014
I like standing at a booth at technical conferences. Very often I can meet cool guys there like this : startup
I met at EW'14.
I have to admit that I spent most of the time preparing a demo for Mobile World Congress, and working on an actual product
. So my demo for EW'14 I coded on a train to Nuremberg.
I plugged a Galileo board to a power source they have in ICE trains, booted our latest sd-card image with all development bells and whistles, plugged in a screen and a webcam, telnetted to the board from my laptop, sketched two simple apps (and their makefiles) in vi, compiled with g++ on the board, and debugged them a little. During the first day of the fair I had to restart one of the apps every ~20 minutes because I've forgotten about synchronization for the screen output, so next day I've added a semaphore.
It was very good that this time there was always a marketing person standing next to me. First, he could answer the questions on marketing programs. I could too, but when I speak about that things it just sounds silly. Second, this gentleman was great at building rapport with anybody approaching, while I was more comfortable with engineers, students and some times product ppl.
Third, he taught me a great trick in visitor's badge scanning. Very often at a conference after a conversation you can scan a visitor's badge, which then goes to some database. (Not that I care much, I get a business card when I feel like I wish to follow up)
Still, I have to ask a visitor if he would like to be in that database. Some refuse.
What are the options when asking?
"May I scan your badge so we can send you info on new products?"
"Would you mind if I scan your badge, and we can send you emails with follow-ups?"
When I was asking these questions, I got positive responses from ~80% of the visitors. The marketing guy came up with a sentence that got him 100% of positive responses...( His phrase was:Collapse )
28th February 2014
Crazy time is over
Now I can show what made me work days, nights and weekends last month and travel Munich-Barcelona-Nuremberg-Munich this week. :
This is one of the demos
, and here is simpler one
. But the main thing is of course the product
, which enables 10 minutes unboxing and setup of Galileo to start developing IOT Linux applications.
I'll probably write a habr article about the most interesting parts of the first demo development process soon.
20th February 2014
Crazy times go on
hackathon mode over was a bit premature.
I had worked at MWC,
And at Embedded World
But now this will be something very unusual: Today I have received two exhibitors badges - one for MWC, and another for Embedded World! That is very cool considering that they happen at the same time but at different locations - MWC in Barcelona and Embedded World in Nuremberg.
So, if anybody from my lj friends attends any of the events, we can meet at Intel booth at MWC on Sunday, and at Embedded world on Monday-Thursday.
16th February 2014
Usually we try to leave Munich at Oktoberfest times. In 2013 my mother came from Russia to visit us, so we had to go to Theresienwiese. :
It was fun.( Read more...Collapse )
All pics in the album
8th February 2014
Hackathon mode off
That was a crazy week - a lot of coding, including non stop coding/debugging/testing/integrating session from 9AM till 3AM next morning. It is been a while since I did it last time, that was right before CeBIT 2000. As I understand now, the key to make it right is to have a plan before the start, and try to minimise a number of complex technical decisions to be made during the "hackathon style" coding session, especially late at night. Only grunt coding/debugging, no intelligence! :
Now I can indulge in a lot of sleep, celebrating my 0x21st birthday, and eating healthy and tasty things.
This is one of my favourites.
I cut tops of artichokes off, put a garlic in, pour with olive oil and disperse some salt.( Read more...Collapse )
Then boil the trunks for 30 minutes, and put tops into the oven at 240C for ~80 minutes.
2nd February 2014
When studying electrical engineering 15 years ago I did not envision that I'll have to actually build anything. Hey I am a software guy! (Though very down to hardware type). :
The only question is why MOSFET sometimes burns when I plug the power (if it survives the power up, the thing works correctly forever), and Darlington does not.
28th January 2014
work, coding like old times
I just wrote Linux device driver for a simple device in 2 days. Only to find that I need some more performance. So now in a quest for performance I am staring at this pic: :
Any guess what it is?
P.S. Looking at a pic URL is cheating!
P.P.S. And the answer is ( Read more...Collapse )
19th January 2014
Back from Ireland
I am back home, finally. That was a long trip - originally planned just for two days, but I had to stay for four more and to travel from Shannon to Dublin. Many times I've been to Chandler and Hillsboro. I've seen Intel fabs there, but never from a close distance. : ( Read more...Collapse )
At Intel Dublin, the R&D office and the fab share a building, so finally I've seen some fab equipment baking chips very close. Unfortunately taking pictures is not permitted, so all I could do is this selfie:
The weather was typical Irish:( Read more...Collapse )
As usual, in the evening we went to pubs at Temple bar.( Read more...Collapse )
In the pubs, I found that I like Beamish more than Guiness.( Read more...Collapse )
With a little help of this Irish Wolpertinger. Way cuter than a German one
All pics are in a picasa album
15th January 2014
More printfs for debugging, hardcore.
My favorite debugging method is to insert as many printf's as possible everywhere.... (That is a terrible confession to make, but I am obviously guilty). Besides obvious drawbacks, one thing that bugs me most is that I have to change/insert/delete printf, rebuild, re-deploy, re-run. :
Today I've found that Windriver workbench has a nice feature - dynamic printf. It saves recompile-redeploy-rerun step, and allows inserting printfs to an application running on an embedded target. Seems Lispy a bit, brings one of REPL advantages to low level C development. See how it works at 3:46 in the video: http://vimeo.com/40272483
12th January 2014
Greetings from the Republic of Ireland, part of United Kingdom
I just arrived to Ireland to deliver a technical training on s/w optimization. On the way here I stopped briefly at Heathrow, and nearly missed my flight because I have overlooked one thing... My UK visa had expired, and I was planning either to transit within international zone, or to get a TWOV(transit without visa) that I am eligible for (Russia is not in DATV list, I have confirmed flights and an Irish visa). :
However at a transit gate I was stopped by a border control officer, who told me that flights to Ireland are departing from a domestic gates, so so I cannot go through international transit zone, and I am not eligible for TWOV which is only for international flights. After a short conversation he told me that he feels kind today and stamped TWOV in my passport.
It's good that I have a direct flight back to Munich :)
6th January 2014
I am fond of BBC's Sherlock, seasons 1 and 2. 3.1 was a bit dull, but OK. 3.2 is really weird. I've seen some reviews, they usually stress that first 60 minutes is more like a drama/comedy rather than a detective story. I think that last 30 minutes of the story makes it even, but what I really did not like is that this time a criminal was way smarter than Holmes! :
Spoiler under the cut:( Read more...Collapse )
3rd January 2014
Brands, verbs and nouns
Owners of successful brands love when they are popular but hate when their brands become everyday words. :
I just had a conversation with my colleague in a canteen:
C: I want to search the internet for "backpack and pressure cooker" (actually different thing but similar in nature), but I don't want it to be in my google search history.
me: Just google it with yandex :)
31st December 2013
I just read a Russian school's : rating
that is based on national school olympiad's results. According to the rating, the high school I graduated is #17. (School #239 in Spb is #11th, school #30 is not in top 20, school #40 in N.Novgorod also did not make it to top 20.)
I am glad that the school is getting better. At the times when I was studying there, I think it was not in top 20, but it was definitely in top 50.
30th December 2013
Contemporal art in Haidhausen
There is an : old joke
about the difference between an installation
and a performance
in contemporary art. The joke actually has some real world ground
. (Beware: the last link is not safe for work).
This Sunday I've taken part in this kind of sh%tty performance. We live in Haidhausen, which is considered a very artistic district. And indeed there are many galleries, shops for artists, musicians, etc. And contemporary artists that create installations and performances. This time someone planted two small piles of dog's sh&t on a sidewalk next to an artistic place. They installed small paper flags on each, one German flag and one British. I think they also installed a camera taking time lapse pictures of these piles. So in the end they should have a film with two piles being installed, then how they withstand pedestrians walking around them, and eventually both flags are made down in the substance by strangers who did not pay enough attention in what they step into.
On the other side of the street, there was this lovely christmas cake in a window :)
I decided to place it in this post rather then the picture of the installation/performance I've described above.
23rd December 2013
Working on December 23rd
I am the only engineer working in the office now. Canteen is closed so I used a microwave to heat my lunch. :
It is the first year we don't travel to warmer lands for Christmas holidays. This came handy as this week I start a new project with a first deliverable just couple of weeks away. I have been in consulting for too long, working on small scale projects for customers. Now for a change I will work as a tech lead on a pretty big piece of software. The good thing is it is mostly integration, most of it I will delegate, and I will have to write just ~1k lines of code. That will be fun.
22nd December 2013
Freediving vs diving
During this holiday seasons several of my colleagues will go diving to warmer waters. I would like to go somewhere too, but this time I have to skip. So all I can do now is to whine how diving sucks. :
80% of the divers I see when I free dive look miserable.
They are either doing intro/discovery diving with an instructor like this un-sporty gentleman on the right,
Or getting their first OWD certificate,( Read more...Collapse )
Or they are training to use a sign language,( Read more...Collapse )
Or aware fish ID course( Read more...Collapse )
Another thing where diving sucks is if a diving spot is far from an entry, and a boat is not available. Swimming on the surface with a scuba is not very pleasant especially when waters are not calm. Swimming beyond the surface will consume all the air in the tank before you get to the spot. Also for a freediver getting through a rocky entry or high surf is much easier.( Read more...Collapse )
For example, this picture just cannot be taken by a diver :)
28th November 2013
SPS/Drives, on different ways of attracting visitors to booths [1/2]
I've just returned from SPS/Drives 2013, the factory machinery fair. :
There are not many women in our field, I would like the percentage of women in IT to be bigger. Even more so in factory machinery industry. So you may guess there were very few women within exhibitors and visitors. However, as at the most fairs, there were many women in the booths.
I decided that this time I will only make pictures of machinery. I realized that I should not support a practice of attracting visitors to the booth by hiring girls who dress in mini-skirts, etc.
When I approach a lady on the booth with a technical conversation, she always tells me that she will call an engineer. So it would be easier just to ask if I could speak with an engineer, except that it might happen that _she_ is an engineer. That would have been very embarrassing. You may argue that I should be able to tell an engineer from a girl hired to decorate a booth, but it is not always so. For example when I was watching this ( Read more...Collapse )
beer brewing imitation I was approached by a young lady who I thought was there for a show, but in fact she was an engineer!
24th November 2013
Money, am I overpaid?
I am reading an interesting : article
in "Elektronik" magazine. The title is "Gehaltsprognose Elektronikindustrie fuer 2014". Here is the data:
H/w designer, 3+ years experience: 73-87k p.a.
S/w designer, 3+ years experience: 77-94k
Team lead: 88-108k
Team lead with project manager responsibilities: 113-142k
Technical marketing engineer, 4+ years experience: 104-128k
AI developer, 3+ year experience: 66-81k
Customer facing jobs:
Application engineer, 3+ year experience: 82-107k
Pre-sales engineer, 3+ years experience: 104-120k
Department manager: 181-224k
This data is useful for me, because when I was grepping local jobs web sites I had seen either jobs within 60-70k salary range, or those posted without any number. Now I can see that my current salary is within the typical range, and there should be many others like it on the market.
19th November 2013
A new book by karial
Those who design embedded systems without implementing a watchdog should be sentenced to eternal porting of : Toyota Camry ETSC code
to an obscure programming language
My entertainment system was down throughout 12 hour flight home, it was showing this picture and was not reacting to input. So I took some time to re-read "Up" on this flight, and compared it with "Reaching the moon". Both books were written by karial
The books contain tons of useful advises on building a management career, but not only that. The content is fully applicable for those who pursue an engineering career in organizations which have a technical career ladder (e.g. distinguished engineer/technical fellow at MSFT or principal engineer/fellow at INTC). So I have recommended both books to my mentee, an experienced Russian speaking engineer who had only recently started his career in a multinational company. Both books have big sections describing specifics related to women in management. It makes it all even more interesting for women, and could help men to get some insight about what could be relevant for their female peers.
Second book seems to contain a bit more specific advises on some difficult topics like counteroffers, receiving negative annual review, promoting a project that has many stakeholders from different org functions, etc. There are also a few things that make the second book different. One of them is that the first book was assuming that the reader is pursuing a management career in a big public company with a corporate culture that promotes leadership development and meritocracy. In the second book, there are five references to other "organizations with bad org culture and nepotism", where the advises from the book do not fully apply. I think it is not all black and white, there is a continuum here, plus different division of the same company may have different levels of meritocracy/nepotism.
I think these references to "bad" organizations came in light because some Russian speaking readers wrote LJ comments on how advises from the first book do not work in some big Russian companies. I also have a feeling that some of the topics for the second book were inspired by questions that were asked in LJ and Facebook comments. Inna is very open to discussion, and she is probably the only CxO level executive who often gives readers very good personal advice in her LJ and facebook group (but the question has to be clear, concise and interesting for the audience, or else the answer could be "You are in a hot air balloon").
Both books differ from american books of the same genre. A story in a typical american book evolves around two or three ideas, going all around them, studying them inside out with plenty of examples and anecdotes. Inna's books are not short of anecdotes and real life examples, but they lack a single recurring theme. I like it more this way: when reading an american book I always have an urge to jump from third chapter to the last.
Actually there was a kind of recurring theme: you have to be positive(without exceptions) and proactive(but do not step to other's turf!), and your boss is probably right(even if you think he is wrong). In a trade off between subjective idealism of positive thinking and vulgar materialism of engineering culture the author clearly leans towards positive thinking. As a manager is acting through people, I guess making focus on subjective things makes sense. As an engineer I don't like it, but I should use the tool that works, and this seems to work.
Just to mix the positive image of modern public companies with a bit of sad reality, I highly recommend a brilliant series by _mak_
. Or this one
. Dilbert would work too.