Embedded is the show for people who love gadgets. Making them, breaking them, and everything in between. Weekly interviews with engineers, educators, and enthusiasts. Find the show, blog, and more at embedded.fm.
info_outline 352: Baby's First Hydrofluoric Acid 11/20/2020
352: Baby's First Hydrofluoric Acid John McMaster told us about the process of opening up chips to see how the processors are structured and what the firmware says. See (as well as digging much deeper). John has given some interesting talks including and . His talks and many others are available on the . Or sign up for the , Berlin Jan 2021. As mentioned in the show: John wrote about his top lab accidents and explosions. Paper: by Franck Courbon, Sergei Skorobogatov, and Christopher Woods and are the two programs mentioned as helpful for getting from an image to binary code.
info_outline 351: Dextral or Sinistral 11/13/2020
351: Dextral or Sinistral Chris and Elecia discuss transcripts, lightsabers, seashells, python, numpy, matlab and how to get into embedded systems development. Embedded show transcripts are available at Elecia’s includes a for generating origami shell folding patterns. The paper described was Analysis of Shell Coiling: General Problems by David M. Raup from the Journal of Paleontology , Sep., 1966, Vol. 40, No. 5. Chris used this model to print his lightsaber: The episode was sponsored by . If you are looking to prove your skills, develop your knowledge, or find a job you love, check out .
info_outline 350: The State of the Empire Is Good 11/06/2020
350: The State of the Empire Is Good Ben Hencke , updated us on blinking lights and running a small hardware business. You can find the current PixelBlaze in the Electomage store on Tindie () or signup for a shiny new version on . Ben’s personal site () has lots of projects including a page devoted to the (including the which someone who hosts this show hopes will be in her Christmas stocking). When Ben is making Pixelblaze, the brand is ElectroMage () so you can see more about Pixelblaze there including . We didn’t talk about , the arcade ping pong table that Ben is also working on. Favorite solder paste: About his favorite acronym, Ben says, “XMLHttpRequest is my favorite because it perfectly illustrates how we're (developers) bad at naming things and like to come up with arbitrary rules for things. The story about how XML is all caps and Html is camel case is just too perfect, and it's popular use rarely has anything to do with XML” Finally, There are 40 different flavors of Kit Kat. There are 12 flavors of candy corn, they all taste the same.
info_outline 242: The Cilantro of Robots (Repeat) 10/29/2020
242: The Cilantro of Robots (Repeat) Christine Sunu () spoke with us about the feelings we get from robots. For more information about emotive design, check out Christine’s website: . From there you can find , some of her talks (including the ), and links to her projects (such as and a ). You can find more of her writing and videos on and . You can also hire her product development company . is where Sarah Petkus offers to let her robot lick us. (or on ) Books we talked about: by Charles Stross by Sherry Turkle () by Sherry Turkle () by Peter Godfrey-Smith (Note: Elecia also wrote a whole )
info_outline 349: Open Down to the Transistor 10/23/2020
349: Open Down to the Transistor Drew Fustini spoke with us about building Linux, RISC-V cores, and many other things. Links, so many links! Drew is a board member of the Foundation and of the Open Source Hardware Association (). He is an open source hardware designer at OSHPark (he recommends !). He writes a for Hackspace Magazine, for example The Rise of the FPGA in and . Yocto is a tool to help build a Linux distribution specific to your board and application! Bootlin offers free training material for (as well as many other things such as and ). Or there is a video: . Or look at Embedded Apprentice Linux Engineer (). Or maybe another video: “” by Trevor Woerner. RISC-V is an open source processor core. Well, cores. But you can try them out in hardware even if you don’t want to play with an FPGA. The has a GigaDevices microcontroller dev board (with an OLED on board!, ). Did you know you can run Linux on RISC-V? The cheapest method is . Here is Drew using it on the train (). Sipeed boards with Kendryte K210 start at only $13 and can even run Linux (). There are also affordable open hardware FPGA with free software toolchain support like the and . For a bit more money, the bigger . Or look at Greg Davill’s wonderful . For a lot more money but on silicon, the is aimed at corporate use. Or you can produce your own physical chips. . See the talk from Tim Ansell - Drew attends a lot of conferences, here are highlights from the past: Linux on RISC-V with open hardware and open FPGA tools Linaro Connect BoF: gpio and pinctrl in Linux kernel () RISC-V: How an open ISA benefits hardware security () Here are some future conferences he’s planning to attend: ($50) October 26-29, 2020 (Virtual) () October 29-30, 2020 (Virtual) March 13, 2020
info_outline 348: Flop Onto the Bouncy Castle 10/15/2020
348: Flop Onto the Bouncy Castle Whitney Huang of Zipline spoke with us about drone delivery of medical products: technology, operations, and applications. For more information about Zipline, check out . Also, for positions in San Francisco, CA, USA, North America and Ghana, Africa. was a thing in 2011. (Ok, but still.)
info_outline 346: You Have Everything You Need 10/01/2020
346: You Have Everything You Need Sophy Wong creates projects she can wear and writes about them so others can make them as well. We talked about fashion, design, inspiration, and motivation. Sophy’s website is . We spoke about her book, . Check out her projects on , Hackspace Magazine and Make Magazine. She also did a video interview with . Sophy’s space suit was used in . Sophy has found inspiration in Debby Millman’s podcast , Diana Eng’s , and the work of . Transcript:
info_outline 345: Do What Apple Says 09/24/2020
345: Do What Apple Says Gretchen Walker gave advice on creating a BLE iOS application. Gretchen wrote on the PunchThrough () blog. There are many other good posts on the blog about and (iOS and Android). PunchThrough also makes LightBlue, a great BLE debugging app you can find wherever you find your mobile apps. PunchThrough is in the Minneapolis, MN area. Chris and Gretchen both recommend . Chris also liked the Big Nerd Ranch books: and . Elecia liked the .
info_outline 220: Cascading Waterfall of Lights (Repeat) 09/17/2020
220: Cascading Waterfall of Lights (Repeat) Ben Hencke () spoke with us about OHWS, Tindie, and blinking lights. Ben sells his on his . It is based on the ESP8266 and uses the . To hear John Leeman’s trip report on the Open Hardware Summit (OHWS), listen to Ben’s websites are and . Go there if you want to see some of Ben’s projects, including Synthia. You can also find Ben on , , and . We talked with Charles Lohr about ESP8266 WiFi controlled lights and ColorChord on Embedded.fm episode . More about the (and an for it!)
info_outline 344: Superposition, Entanglement, and Interference 09/10/2020
344: Superposition, Entanglement, and Interference Kitty Yeung spoke with us about the superposition of quantum computing and fashion. If you want to learn more about quantum computing, check out Kitty’s series on Hackaday’s . Kitty works for Microsoft in . Kitty’s art and fashion are available on her site, , and shop . Her recent addition is the . There is a coupon code in the show. Kitty has some other DIY fashion projects: and . on Instagram
info_outline 343: Getting Brains to Work 09/04/2020
343: Getting Brains to Work Chris and Elecia discuss transcripts, listener emails, and brains. We already have a post about the dangers of using . Elecia got a to help her make origami and then discovered SVG files were editable (). She’s putting her origami crease patterns in a github repo ), where else would you put it? About brains, Elecia was reading from .
info_outline 342: That Girl's Brain 08/27/2020
342: That Girl's Brain Jess Frazelle of Oxide Computer spoke with us about hyperscalers (large companies that make their own datacenter server hardware) and podcasts. Jess wrote an article about the power efficiency measurements of datacenter servers: (ACM Queue August 2020). The Oxide podcast is available on as well as your usual podcast apps. Jess particularly recommended . Oxide is working to make hyperscaler-style hardware available to everyone. Their goal is to open source all their hardware and software: . They use the Rust language for much of their development. Jess has a blog:
info_outline 236: The Concept of Delayed Gratification (Repeat) 08/20/2020
236: The Concept of Delayed Gratification (Repeat) gave us new ideas about musical instruments, detailing how wonderful expressive control, 3D buttons, and keyscanning can be. Roger’s company is . We talked extensively about the , some about the for guitar, and only a little bit about the analog drum machine . A is a popular way to handle a large number of buttons but it falls prey to . Roger adds force sense resistors to this (). If you have an idea for an instrument, Roger has already to your request for a prototype. Roger gave a about the LinnStrument, including showing the sounds it can make. is the one handed musical instrument society enabling music making for everyone. Roger mentioned some other expressive instruments including:
info_outline 341: Big Hugs to Everybody 08/13/2020
341: Big Hugs to Everybody Phoenix Perry returns to speak with us about education and the importance of merging art and technology. Phoenix’s website is . The art installation crossing the virtual and the physical world was called . Phoenix is teaching a free online class: . Phoenix is the Master’s degree coordinator for University of the Arts London . Diversity and accessibility are important, some resources: by David Paris by Mary Flanagan by Cathy O'Neil (Steam game) (Steam game) (Mobile game) (Mobile game) Phoenix was previously on
info_outline 340: The Left Bunny Slipper 08/06/2020
340: The Left Bunny Slipper Chris and Elecia talk about getting transcriptions, accessibility, operating systems, and networking. Elecia recommends reading by Haben Girma (). Transcripts will initially be only available to Patreon supporters. To become a Patreon supporter, go to . If you can’t be a supporter and still really want the transcripts, hit the contact link. Chris Gammell’s nifty new podcast (video!) is . Want to know more about how operating systems work? Listeners recommended . Chris answered some questions about . More information about the layers of the network can be found in the . The mobile focused LISP project that Chris worked on is now at and has pointers for more documentation and code.
info_outline 339: Integrity of the Curling Club 07/30/2020
339: Integrity of the Curling Club Dan Zimmerman spoke with us about voting, voting machines, building trust in software, and transparency. Dan works for Galois ( , ) and Free and Fair (, ). He worked on the US Vote Foundation’s . The artifacts from that project are on github: . Dan (and Galois) worked with Microsoft on , a suite of tools to help make elections end-to-end verifiable, The tools are open source: The verifiable online election system is also open source: We failed to talk about the DARPA and but if you are still reading the show notes, they might be of interest. We also didn’t talk about the National Academies report on .
info_outline 338: Working With People Is Terrible 07/24/2020
338: Working With People Is Terrible In a surprising turn of tables, Christopher White joins the show as a guest to talk about his career, burnout, and musical instruments. Christopher attended for his undergrad mathematics degree then got a Master’s degree in physics at . Some things he has worked on include: His current band is 12ax7 (). The outro music is a track called “Solstice”.
info_outline 337: Not Completely Explode 07/16/2020
337: Not Completely Explode Kate Temkin explained USB: how to get started, general orientation, useful tools, and when you’d use it in embedded systems. Kate’s website is . She works at . References for USB: by Jan Axelson by Jan Axelson USB Stacks we talked about: from Adafruit Cortex For the host side: Open Source VIDs are available from and Kate recently gave a talk . Part of the talk was about , an FPGA based USB multitool. Some open source FPGA tools: Yosys:
info_outline 336: Common Sense Is Not Common Sense 07/02/2020
336: Common Sense Is Not Common Sense Philana Benton spoke with us about mentoring: how to be a good mentor, what to expect, and what not to do. If you’d like to try mentoring, sign up for Philana’s DivTekSpace (). You can do a resume review, a mock interview, give career advice, and/or refer students to your company. Philana’s home page is We also mentioned
info_outline 335: Patching on the Surface of Mars 06/25/2020
335: Patching on the Surface of Mars Joel Sherrill spoke with us about choosing embedded operating systems and why open source RTEMS is a good choice. : Chris and Elecia talk about when and where they’d use RTOSs : Delicious Gumbo: Joel gave an introduction to the RTEMS RTOS Joel works at OAR Corp () on RTEMS (). RTEMS runs on many development boards including the BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi, and two FPGA boards: and the . Joel recommends the operating systems book by Alan Burns and Andy Wellens. It comes in many flavors and editions including . NASA Core Flight System () Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS)
info_outline 226: Camp AVR Vs. Camp Microchip (Repeat) 06/18/2020
226: Camp AVR Vs. Camp Microchip (Repeat) Jay Carlson , author of , joined us to talk about comparing microcontrollers and determining our biases. This was an in-depth comparison of different micro features. Jay is an electrical engineer specializing in electronics design and embedded programming (). His is new and interesting. We talked to SEGGER’s Dirk Akeman about JLink on .
info_outline 334: Bag of Heuristics 06/11/2020
334: Bag of Heuristics Matt Godbolt joined us to talk about assembly code, becoming a verb, 6502s, exploring compilers, and application binary interfaces. Compiler Explorer can be found at . The code is on github (). Matt also has jsbeeb, a BBC Micro (6502) simulator. You can try it out at . Its code and more information is on github (). Matt recently gave a video . Some other videos that may be of interest: CppCon 2016: Jason Turner “” - Anders Schau Knatten CppCon 2017: CB Bailey “” CppCon 2017: Carl Cook “” The best compiler book seems to be . on writing interfaces.
info_outline 333: Project Purgatory 06/04/2020
333: Project Purgatory Bailey Steinfadt spoke with us about the makerspaces, communities, following many paths, and misbehaving robots. Bailey works at and . is a non-profit maker space in the Des Moines, Iowa area. They supported their local emergency services with over 6000 face shields. If you are looking for something to do with your 3d printer, look at and . Bailey recommended the podcast and grill mats for soldering. Elecia recommended the as a book she’s only picked up once in a bookstore years ago but has thought about as an excuse to pick up new skills.
info_outline 332: There Were Fires 05/29/2020
332: There Were Fires Doug Harriman of Simplexity spoke with us about motors, controllers, and designing mechatronic systems. (or if you want to them) Doug recommends . Elecia recommends by Jiří Lebl from American Institute of Mathematics list of . They both like the YouTube channel. If you liked the part about how to choose a motor, you might want to watch Doug’s Webinar on (you’ll have to give your info to see it).
info_outline 331: Friendly Tea Kettle 05/21/2020
331: Friendly Tea Kettle Dr. Katy Huff spoke with us about nuclear engineering, effective software development, and the apropos command. Katy wrote an O’Reilly book describing Python software development to scientists: . She has been involved with . Katy is a at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering. She uses in her Nuclear Reactor Theory class. Janelle Shane creates the blog. (She was also a guest in .)
info_outline 330: I Just Want a Dog 05/14/2020
330: I Just Want a Dog Chris Svec chatted with us about going from engineer to manager and working from home. Chris had many book recommendations (these are affiliate links): by Hank Green (fiction) by Daniel Pink by Camille Fournier by Lara Hogan by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. by Michael Lopp by Dale Carnegie Chris is hiring for his team. Check out the or look at the specific jobs he’s hiring for (in Boston, MA): and . Chris gave a talk to Purdue students about working from home, there is a and a . about the difference between working from home and what people are doing now. The Canadian Federal government gave the following advice: Finally, Svec’s family wants a cat. They probably won’t get a despite it matching all the criteria. Maybe an . Or maybe a dog.
info_outline 190: Trust Me, I'm Right (Repeat) 05/07/2020
190: Trust Me, I'm Right (Repeat) Matt Godbolt () spoke with us about settling arguments with . Compiler Explorer comes in different flavors: You can see the beta version by putting a beta on the end: This a fully open source project. You can read the code and/or run your own version: Matt works at DRW working on low latency software. Note that . You can read about . Matt’s personal blog is . You might like parts about . He also has including and . Matt was previously at . Jason Turner of and his paper (with a nod to ’s Fun Paper Friday)