Archive For November, 2009

3 articles

Quit Bugging Me: Driving Me Backwards

You're working on a highly precise instrument.  The kind of instrument that relies on extremely accurate measurements of time.   Work is proceeding normally.  Suddenly.. events come in in a backwards order, time jumps around - but only for a few ticks.The heart of the system - in this case - is a hyper-accurate clock.  The clock's accuracy can be…

Bit Rot Amnesia

Spirit Rover has been having a number of problems recently, anomalous behaviors, losing contact with Earth, even forgetting commands.  Amnesia has been one of the larger concerns.At the heart of this issue is a bank of flash memory.  Flash pretty much works by saturating cells to "1"s, then writing the cells that need to be 0's.  "quantum wells" hold the charge…

Twenty

In 1989 I got my first "real" job, left an auto shop I'd been working at in Santa Cruz, and started working for a pre-tech-bubble company.  Integrated made VME racks, boxes from the size of a large toaster all the way up to racks larger than your kitchen refrigerator.  We also ported, maintained and sold versions of BSD Unix and…