hardware geeks and software geeks?

mlw wrote:


Now its you who are doing the silly attacks based soley on nationality.
Many of us here are from the USA, and some of us have an actual attention span. Please restrict your attacks to individuals rather than stereotyping entire nations.
And while I agree with free speech, disallowing criticism is also against free speech. -- D. Jay Newman http://enerd.ws/robots /
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D. Jay Newman wrote: [snip]

[snip]
I agree. And I'd also like to add... Oooh loook -- a SHINY thing! What were we talking about? Where am I?
Will there be cake later?
--
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Oooh so pretty.
I think we were talking about robots and how to build them,
Let's forget about that.
shiny.
mmmmmmmm.
Rich
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The Artist Formerly Known as Kap'n Salty wrote:

I thought of that, but didn't think subtlety was the best way to go. :) -- D. Jay Newman http://enerd.ws/robots /
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D. Jay Newman wrote:

Oh come on now. I'm from freak'n Boston, MA USA. Born here, raised here, and gosh darn it, I even pay taxes here.

Jeez, dude, have you looked at your country? Do you have *any* children in public schools?
The mere fact that creationism and/or "intelligent design" is even a debate over evolution in this country should scare any one with an intellect or an attention span out of their wits.
Sorry, I don't want this conversation to get political, and this is also a digression which proves my point.

This is one of those arguments that suck. To have "free speech" people have to respect free speech. Critisizing someone's free speech, not what they said, but that they said it at all, may be an excersize in your free speech, but it is also an intimidation and form of censure. Using your freedom to make someone else's freedom more difficult.
"I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire
My favorite author, Douglas Adams, wote this and it is a great wording for what I want to say:
"To be frank, it sometimes seems that the American idea of freedom has more to do with my freedom to do what I want than your freedom to do what you want."
If you believe in freedom, it means you believe in other's freedom just as much as your own. If not, you're not really interested in freedom, are you?
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mlw wrote:

Jay is in education. Or was, before he took his sabbatical. In any case, I think you must admit that by phrasing it as "your country" it is immediately divisive, regardless of your nationality.
I've taken the time to read your more political threads in some other groups, so I think I understand your comments a little more (and maybe agree with some of them -- horrors! <g>). But if you don't want to be so misunderstood, maybe try not to use less inflammatory terms. Just a thought.

I think there's a difference between criticism of ideas and criticism of approach. I was offering my constructive criticism that I felt we had covered this ground before. What's worse, you couched the new thread in ways implicitly negative to those who like the hardware side -- they are somehow deficient elsewhere.
I don't think you were interested in the debate of the ideas, but in the debate of the debate. I felt this lent itself to criticism, which I tried to frame with some humor (being "bored"). Obviously you took it the wrong way, for which I apologize.
*Constructive* criticsm only intended here:
More like this: MLW's posts like his PID code or path planning or suggestions for avoiding brownout resets in PICs
Fewer like this: MLW's posts where he reopens the same subject just so people can argue about it all over again
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

How is it devisive if we are from the same country? Perhaps the wrong pronoun, "our" instead of "your," but, come on now, we're engineers.

In the USA, most people actually agree on the substantive issues. You should find no shame in agreeing with any of my political views. I'm sure my rabid libritarian views are somewhat disagreeable to many.

It's a characteristic that engineers often have. It isn't intentional. You say "not" to do something, but more often than not, we (people like myself) often don't even know we've said something offernsive or inflammatory until someone says something. It's sort of a Dilbert thing.
For instance, "That idea sucks" or "That's the stupidest idea ever" are things often said during design sessions. If we got on about offending people, RT128 in Massachusettes would be a single lane dirt road.

You weren't critisizing an approach. You said: "My opinion is that you've over-posted on this already"
What? Next time I should ask your permission? Get real. Not only that, you did not even address one of the issues. Not that you had too, but it is indicative of critisizing that I wrote something, not what I wrote. Its subtle, but I'm sure you get the difference.

There is a *lot* of gound to cover, it isn't a simple topic at all. If you didn't think it was valuable, you could have moved on...

"No one can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt.
You may not like my choice of words, but what I wrote is a viable perspective. If you have issues with it, address the issues. If you don't want to read it, ignore the thread. If you critisize someone for the act of posting a sincere writing, then you're the person who is wrong.

From an engineering perspective, there are a *lot* of depth to the PC vs microcontroller debate. It is all trade-offs, but what is VERY debatable is what the exact trade-offs are. (1) "Real-Time" is a subjective property and not always needed, even though you think you may. (2) The amount of real CPU processing dedicated to control is usually minimal.
It is a conceptual debate and IMHO, an interesting one. It is also a valuable knowledge set in the PC industry. A better understanding of the ways around latency and accomplishing "real-time" applications on the popular non-realtime operating systems is always marketable.
Who knows, it may even spill over into micro-controllers and make them even more useful.

Accepted.
No promises.
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mlw wrote:

This isn't at all what you stated at the beginning of the thread. You wanted opinions to this statement:

This is hardly worth a response. It's divisive from the outset, presumptuous, and historically inaccurate. Small example: Since you're from Massachusetts, no doubt you're aware of the work at MIT, where they commonly use "many small PICs" (or other microcontrollers), and they approach their research nearly 100% from software, relying heavily on algorithms and behaviorial models. The hardware is close to being irrelevent.
If you really wanted to debate using a PC with a non-RT OS for a robot and no subcontrollers, you'd complete yours, and then compare it with other examples available on the Web that use other methods. In the true spirit of scientific exchange, you could demonstrate precisely what you did to overcome the limitations. If others choose, they can challenge your findings, using their own specifics.
*THAT* is debate, and it exchanges ideas. What you engage is in arguing, and all it exchanges is animosity.
I have taken the time to look up other groups you're in, and there's a common thread among them: you spend a lot of your time re-explaining yourself. I don't think you come across the way you think you do. Perhaps you could take a moment for inner reflection, and make a fresh start here?
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

*This* thread was started because of a similarity I noticed between 'EE' and 'CS' engineers, especially at Metrabyte.

That is a trend I think I recognized, and I was asking if it made sense or anyone else noticed it.

Really, I though it was an interesting observation.

It was an observation, and I was asking if anyone noticed it.

Their design goals are interesting. One could look at the work in other places. I remember Hans Morivick driving a van around with a generator and a VAX, saying funny things like "To a vision system, a road and a tree look very much a like." (The unstated punch line was the series of events that lead up to that observation.)

I notice you are very big on trying to tell people what to do. *That* is rather annoying.
One does not need to build a specic implementation of "X" to debate the doability of "X," especially if it has been done before.
If you don't want to debate, then by all means don't debate. If you don't like the debate, by all means, don't participate. Whether or not I and others wish to debate it, really isn't your call.

I did and I posted code with explanations. I even posted pictures of parts of it.

And I hope some do.

It *only* exchanges animosity when people take a subject personally. Someone is *always* annoyed at some level when a person disagrees with them, that's human nature. A thinking human being *should* be able to see beyond this initial effect, and decide whether or not the points have merit.
If they do not have merit, then you either ignore the debate or counter with your valid points.

Perhaps you should take very good care of Gordon's own business.
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mlw wrote:

A lot of non Americans would agree with that :)
However I think that it is true for all nations.
There is also the question of peoples freedom to say things that incite racial hatred or antisocial behavior... but that is for another newsgroup.

Most people are not interested in the freedom of speech when they perceive it as a personal attack.
Although most people like to think they are "logical" in reality we are entirely motivated by emotions. Something robot builders interested in higher AI for their machines need to consider.
John
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JGCASEY wrote: [snip]

I really *must* disagree.
I myself am motivated primarily by beer, pie and promises of sex -- in that order.
--
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)

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the Artist Formerly Known as Kap'n Salty wrote:

Robots have a long way to go than before they can meet those worthy goals :) Most of them get off with a zap of electricity when their batteries get a bit low. Although some have a religious zeal and see the light.
John
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OK I give in..... a can of spaghetti ~ = a can of worms ...............
Wink wink. nudge nudge say no more...say no more
|-]
Cheers
Dale

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" You are making a mistake. My logic is undeniable " V.I.K.I.
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Dale Stewart wrote:

Did VIKI have a logical reason to be logical?
It depends on your goal. If it is to work together happily we need empathy. Interestingly enough those without empathy, but intelligent, are usually very successful, at the expense of everyone else. Those without empathy and without intelligence tend to end up in goal and be called psychopaths.
Apparently you can detect a psychopath by monitoring their involuntary reactions while viewing neutral and emotional material. A psychopath doesn't react emotionally to someone else's suffering.
If robots are to care for the increasing percentage of elderly people in many societies I think they would need empathy of some kind.
Cheers
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I think that's an extreme over-generalization.
Speaking for myself only (I realize that there are proponents of certain technologies that sometimes tend to favor their preferences for all applications) I try to apply the technology to the task at hand based on what will get the job done most effectively. For some applications, I think a PC is best, while other applications find a number of microcontrollers optimum. Or, maybe some combination of both? I try to start with the question, "What do I want it to do?" & work from there, & let the technology fall out of the requirements.
I also consider software to be the "easy part", & find the manipulation of low-level functionality via electronics to be fascinating, so perhaps I have a bias in that direction.
Does that make me the anti-geek?
JM
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