Wiretapped for your protection


Brushing up on basics and beyond with @logicalelegance new book

Elecia White has released her new book on O’Reilly media, “Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software.
Book release
Her initial motivation was to guide another good engineer into arcane and relatively undocumented world of firmware and embedded systems. Disclosure: She’s a friend and I have provided comments on some chapters…and an interview question.

If you have read any of my blog entries you know I am all about this topic. While I have ready many books on the topic, she has formalized what typically I have picked up on the job or by reading articles by Jack Ganssle. I would not hesitate to provide a junior engineer or application software engineer this book to get started. That said, even a seasoned person can gain value from this book. For example, while I have had to optimized code for memory size, she laid out a different procedure that can help hone in on critical spots quickly. Another facet, I enjoyed was that someone finally addressed how to read a datasheet. Sure hardware engineers are already comfortable here but the uninitiated need some guidance and many engineer programs don’t and won’t cover this but this skill is key.

O’Reilly books are generally readable but White improved on this with a whimsical style to keep it fun and interesting. Some of the sections felt a lot like Russell and Norvig classic book on AI. This  topics matched with a bit of silliness in the examples makes learning the material fun and a breeze. The questions at the end test more than the basics. They get you thinking beyond the basics and that’s what I want in anyone I hire for my team start-up or not.

And to the one person who has already commented on my interview question contribution: I really love seeing engineers get a chance to be silly and inventive.

How not to design for twitter

Yes, it’s a twitter appliance for your dog.

Yes, you must replace the battery. Why wasn’t it designed it use a USB recharging method? Are they unaware that twitter users tend to be pretty savvy? And why so big? Given that it is using a local wireless channel, it could be much smaller.

Yes, you can complain about repeating tweets from your dog and then buy a forthcoming puppytweet update pack.

Yes, it is safe for your dog. It says so right in the FAQ.

Yes, it comes in an array of colors: blue and pink.

Yes, they made three 10-second videos to gloss over the particulars of installation.


Hello world!

Moving my journal from Livejournal.com which I have used since 2001.

So I will be pulling my few public entries to here soon.

Places for Frankensense.com to check out




[W2Labs] Week 2- Holy Sh!t. Where the Hell Are We!

It was a day my team was dreading: Thursday presentations.

Every week over the 5 weeks, each Women 2.0 Labs team presents the development of their idea and gets a chance to be properly torn down by the guest lecturer. The feedback is a once in a lifetime chance but it can be a brutal wakeup call for teams who are deeply drinking the kool-aid all week. This week was particularly special because it was our first longer presentation and more importantly, it featured guest speaker Steve Blank whose book we had been reading since day 0.

Leading up to Thursday, my team had done a lot of customer discovery work on our Walk This Way mobile guidebook application. The truth was, out of 260+ survey responses and 4 personal interviews with guides and travelers, we could not hone in on a true pain that someone was willing to pay for. The market was all over the place. Even worse, the closest pain point we could find led us to believe we would just make a real-time ad-hoc meetup service which we called PosseUp. By Wednesday night at Hacker Dojo, my team was not excited about the business.

Team Frankendeal working


Prototype lecture today

I found out I couldn’t park at the pier until after I was at 4th and King. Therefore, I was late to breakfast. Mike and I met for breakfast and to talk development. We have a set of features we want to focus on for the next five weeks on a common mobile dev platform. Can you guess which one?

After meeting breakfast, I went to True Ventures to hear Anna Billstrom talk about prototyping and process. Then I am getting an intro to Ruby on Rails.

Week 1 starts now

We’ve made teams and now we are listening to Eric Ries of IMVU. He’s quite amusing.

However, pitch time draws near. Go team “Walk This Way”

Your adventure starts…. Tuesday

I was recently accepted into Women 2.0 Labs for this fall. It is the second cohort to endeavor on creating a startup in 5 weeks.

If you wanna see what I’ve done in the past, checkout this video of my project:

I am currently prepping for next week by:

* finishing out my last day of work at my current job. No, you aren’t expected to quit you day job for this but part of the reason I applied was because I wasn’t happy at work.
* Brainstorm workable ideas (I am meeting with a friend to hash out some ideas tonight),
* Brush up my personal “elevator pitch”,
*Fix my motorcycle