Sunday, March 28, 2010

Survival is Not Mandatory, Right the First Time, in an environment of Penguins; free eBooks

Flex007 has started to offer free eBooks that you can download:

To get the first five click on the "Download Now" link from the above links, you are then offered the selection of books that you can chose to download. For the BGA book, simply click on the link above. Both sites will request your name and email address, where they will send you a download link.

Even if you only do the software in Embedded Systems, these books are at least worth a quick skim. Doing so might give you some insights to better communicate to the hardware designer why you think the system problem is their hardware, and not your software. It is unfortunate that we even have to get into finger pointing issues in some companies. You could be fortunate, like me, to do both the hardware and the software, that way any system problem is your fault either way. :-)

The newest of the books is:

"Right the First Time: A Practical Handbook on High Speed PCB and System Design by Lee Ritchey [*], President of Speeding Edge. Ritchey, one of the world's foremost authorities on high-speed design, first published the hard copy of Right the First Time in 2003. Today, Ritchey, BR Publishing and their sponsors are making this updated, how-to guide available to all PCB and system designers at no cost.

With 48 chapters, this comprehensive guide includes chapters on Electromagnetic Fields, RF/Microwave versus Analog, Time and Distance, Inductance, Capacitance, Resistance, Impedance, Reflections, Signal Integrity, Crosstalk, Differential Signaling, Noise and much more. This high-speed design handbook is an essential tool for any designer."

The book Survival is Not Mandatory covers process, rather than hardware or software specifically, so it applies to both. Being written a few years ago Steve Williams holds up Toyota as the "Gold Standard" to follow. Today I'm sure we might rethink that idea, at least as far as denying that a problem exists, or blaming the user for the problem.

What I have found frustrating with design books of this type in general, is they do not address the overall system design, all the way up to outside of the box. None of our systems work in isolation. For example what if you are designing a system to be used in Gars O'higgins Antartica?

The Penguin Cam pictures are updated live every fifteen minutes. Something the whole family will find of interest.

* This Lee Ritchey is not related in anyway to the Lee Ritchey that was co-founder my former employer, Matric Limited, the "ric" part of the name.