Andre Wiermann


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    • ...(nobody Knew the nerd word at time... K missed - my mistake. AW.

    • ... from previous post. Back to Electronics and technology... At that time, we could find two or three regular magazines for General Electronics, Hobby and Radio Amateurs on local news stand of major cities like Rio, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte (I live in Rio de Janeiro). My mother has taken part of a Radio and TV repair course by mail that was very popular on the mid of sixties. I was a kid then and took some of her material and tools as part of my initial contact with Electronics. At the Technical School I learned about tubes, bipolar, FETs, op amps, digital electronics, and microprocessors (Intel 8080). My first "real" contact with microcomputers was in a school fair in '79 where a local company (now extinct) called "Gepeto" left on our avid student hands a small industrial rack running CP/M on a i8080 controled by a green CRT TTY terminal. A small group of "nerds", me included, spent near 50 hours straight, disassembling the ROM and doing reverse engineering on the beast (nobody new the nerd word at time - we were called Portuguese names for mad scientists, freaks or simply CDF - an Portuguese acronym for Ass of Steel, for the time spent seated reading books). As you can see, there was a lot of technology and people engaged on it at that time here. I am a living witness of it. There was on major cities at least. The fact that we had (and still have) a few huge forests, some embedded in big cities can pass a imprecise idea of wilderness for our country. However, the poverty and massive number of uneducated children at that time was really like you posted and it is still a serious problem, despite what our new non-dictatorial govern says to the media. My Best Regards, André Wiermann P.S. Sorry for such a loooong post.

    • Hi Jack, Interesting to see your view of my country from the seventies. It is a clear evidence of how several people can go to a place large as Brazil and have completely different experiences. Please, don't take my words as a personal complain or critics. I am just adding and/or correcting some facts. First I must say some about myself. I started to study Electronics "formally" in 1977 at Rio de Janeiro Federal Technological School. I was a hobbyist and science/electronics enthusiast for years before that. I am now a Physicist and run a small software company. Let me start doing some small corrections on geography and general status for that time: The way you told the story seems that Pelotas (at Brazil extreme south) is somehow part of Amazon forest/jungle. It is not. While you probably have flighted over several trees, that was different forests on Brazilian rural areas. There is approx 3000 km from Amazon to Pelotas (Porto Alegre State, near Uruguay as you correctly stated). While for regional flitghs small airplanes were used, Varig and other companies at that time had bigger and better planes, like Boing 707, 727 and the famous/infamous Electra (despite its history of structural failure in USA, after some fixes they have being used as shuttle service for 30 years between Rio and São Paulo, a small 400 km, trip with only two minor incidents - no victims). To be continued...

    • Besides being too biased, there are several misconceptions on this article. I agree with Lundin's all comments. And I have one more to add: "Even if an 8-bit or 16-bit microcontroller could cope with the requirements for the current project, it poses a serious risk of limiting future product upgrade opportunities, and the ability to re-use code across developments." That's a really valid thought. When developing, lets say, a new $5 mouse why not use 32, may be 64 bits achitecture? This way one would not limt all the possible future upgrade opportunities for this complex product. Who knows what complex floating math and huge amount of memory my new mouse model will require any time soon? In real life, not all applications are made equal and there is a lot that are quite simple and self contained, not demanding "future evolutions" neither upgrades. Have you think that?

    • I think most of you lost your focus. While I agree that the original PIC architecture is terrible (I am an user, I know it), the article is about the reasons for 8 bit uC still staying on market. Not about Microchip x Arm or Microchip x Rest of World. But once the subject arouse, just to add something about PICs: They DO have some good I/O, they used to be the only low cost chip manufacturer with VERY low cost tools (yet not any more, ok). And they DO supply all variants they advertise in ANY quantity. I remember some years ago when I was in love with Mororola (now Freescale) elegant HC11 architecture, my heart was broken when I found that all that incredible variety of models for 68HC11 were available only by request for production (you shoud ask for some thousand parts). So a small poor developer like me would be limited to a few models available on the distributor shelves or still use the model that came with the dev kit. I think this is one of the main reasons (beside cost) to Microchip to have a legion of followers. Besides low cost and silicon good quality, of course. My best wishes for all, Andre W.