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We talk with electrical engineer Chris Gammell in this episode, discussing design tradeoffs, parametric part searches, and the manner in which design work is being altered by component manufacturers.
- Adam finds that he doesn’t have much choice in choosing between mechanical, electrical, and software components; bridges pretty much have to be constructed of steel and concrete.
- Our guest is Chris Gammell, co-host of The Amp Hour podcast and founder of Contextual Electronics.
- Chris decided to limit his purchases of Christmas Ale this year, but Carmen has already been stocking up on Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.
- Supplyframe has hired Chris to help with the development of a new electronics component search engine, parts.io.
- Big data supposedly allowed Target to determine that a teenage girl was pregnant before her father knew, although there are some who remain skeptical about the story.
- Chris notes that some electronic component manufacturers release 500 to 1000 new products each year.
- The Paradox of Choice suggests that buyers prefer fewer options, rather than more.
- McMaster-Carr is a well-known supplier of industrial parts.
- Prior to being purchased by Texas Instruments, Burr-Brown manufactured analog and mixed signal integrated circuits.
- More and more software professionals are moving into hardware development as the barriers to entry continue to fall.
- Roads and bridges in the United States are falling into disrepair, with the American Society of Civil Engineers giving the national infrastructure a grade of D+ in 2013.
- Vertical search looks for information constrained to a particular topic or market segment.
- Zillow is a vertical search engine that allows home buyers and real estate professionals to review home prices and availability.
- Chris seems fascinated by the notion of a house having a Ferris wheel in the yard.
- “Double-check your work because hardware will mess with your life.”
- It is the goal of the Long Now Foundation to build a clock that will run for 10,000 years.
- Fieldbus and CAN bus are networking protocols used to share data between computers and hardware devices.
- Design decisions are now being made by the IC chip manufacturers, who increasingly move functionality into silicon.
- Jim Williams was a prolific, self-taught, analog design engineer who passed away in 2011.
- Chris will be kicking off another round of Contextual Electronics early in 2015.
- Jeff inquires about the possibility of Contextual Electronics handing out digital badges, but Chris is pretty emphatic that badging will not be part of his future efforts.
- Adam notes that certifications beyond an engineering degree and a professional engineering license are needed for certain areas of civil engineering.
- Chris suggests that newcomers to the electronics field should check out the community portion of parts.io.
- Our guest suggests that ageism might make for an interesting topic of discussion in a future episode.
Thanks to Nicholas A. Tonelli for use of the photo titled “Sinuous.” Podcast theme music by Paul Stevenson.