Learn Hardware and Design Your Commercial Product

I am certain the first question in everybody’s mind is: “Why should I learn this tiresome hardware design in my spare time? I like to listen music, to play games, and to eat pizza. I just want to relax!”

There is absolutely noting wrong with listening good music and eating pizza in your spare time, but… Living our life is, unfortunately, harder and more demanding with each passing day. If you have a good job today, you also have 75% chances to lose it, tomorrow. This is the new trend in our social life: jobs are not secure anymore. Even worse; if you do manage to “keep” a job for sometime, you could discover, after ten years of dedication and hard-work, you didn’t manage to set aside your 100000 $ “safe cash buffer”. Realistically, our life today means a permanent search for the next job, a never-ending and terrifying resume work, and also an acute lack of sufficient money for anything.

Our society is polarized into employers and employees; between the two, being an employee it is far tougher! Some time ago a manager was required to know how to work with many, psychically different employees; today, it is the employee who must know how to “deal” with the managers. More often people retire and they have to sell their homes, because they cannot afford continuously increasing costs of living–no, Sir; not anymore. Well, think ahead tiger.

Now, which is the right way to become an employer? If you want–mind this, please: only if you want to–you could start working on becoming an employer today, and hardware design is one (important) way that leads to building your own commercial product and your future business. Besides, it will also increase your chances of employment, so… there are only benefits ahead for you. Please note, our entire social activity it is strongly–if not totally–dependent on hardware, firmware, and software technologies.

The first thing you should know about hardware design is, it doesn’t work by itself–well, not much. Hardware it is driven by firmware and/or software most of the times. This complicates things a little, but not too much–don’t worry about this. Now, let’s detail the action plan, a bit. The first thing you need to do is, start with a reasonable life-plan. For example, you could decide in ten years from now you are going to start your “J J Hardtronics Technologies Ltd.” business. Ten years is a good time-buffer, in which you will learn everything you need to know about hardware, firmware, and software design. However, please be aware the most important thing, during these ten years, is to discover your future commercial product!

There are millions of good commercial products waiting to be discovered, and do not look at the high-end technological monsters like cell-phones; this market is so fiercely driven by competition that the best thing is to stay away from it. This doesn’t mean you cannot design a good product for the cell-phones industry if you want to. A quick example is a cell-phone utility software program, or a game.

Truth is, the most beneficial applications are the industrial ones. There are thousands of industrial sensors that may be embedded into nice applications; a quick example is the acceleration sensor, or the one that measures the O2 concentration in water. You could design commercial motor-drivers, particularly for brushless DC or steppers motors. Other promising applications are: designing an instructive toy; you could break into the display-signs industry; or you could start building light-organs if you are a true music lover. The analog light-organs were a mandatory accessory in the 60s and 70s; without one, you simply couldn’t understand music, because you missed the related visual analog equivalent–please, take this last one just as a personal opinion. (The right way to relate colored light to music is: blue for low frequencies produced by the bass-guitar or drum, then green for solo-guitars and normal organ notes, red for voice, and finally yellow for the highest and most delicate frequencies which few people manage to hear.)

I have seen an automotive coolant sensor controller selling very well for 35 $, and it contained only 2 transistors and few resistors; a temperature transducer was efficiently sold for 20 $ and it contained only resistors! A friend of mine has sold for half a million dollars the license of a tiny, intelligent controller for boilers. Please note, he was a beginner designer, and the application itself was nothing past beginning hardware design level. Of course, my friend was very lucky to find the right people who needed that particular application, and who were willing to pay handsomely for it. This is in fact the difficult problem: finding the right and the needed commercial product, and this is why I said you should allocate ten good years to research the market, or to find the opportunity. Sure, you could discover even ten commercial products in ten years–the more they are, the better it is!

So, the need to become an employer and of improving your skills are sufficiently strong motivations to start learning hardware design. You could still be unclear about why hardware design in particular; why not firmware, or even software design? This is true, and you could do it anyway you want; however, starting with hardware design it is particularly beneficial. First of all, hardware is the beginning of the hardware-firmware-software chain, and it is best to start everything from the very beginning, one step at a time. Secondly, hardware design helps building your commercial product as an independent unit, or as a perfectly contained application. Next, the range of beneficial hardware applications it is way larger, and the competition is a bit less brutal, when compared to firmware and software. On the other hand, hardware design is going to lead you, naturally, to firmware and software design. My belief is, starting with hardware design it is the best method of learning, because you take everything from ground up.

All right, I am certain you are motivated enough by now. Your next question is: “How do I do this?” You see, this is in fact the easy part! Incidentally, you could start by visiting my home site, Corollary Theorems. Have no fears, my friend; you are going to discover that hardware, firmware and software design are very easy to learn, and they are even fun!

Little relaxation in your spare time it is very good and quite necessary. Although you do not hear much about this, lately, when I was a bit younger we were encouraged to experiment with “active relaxation”. This means, by reading an instructive, useful book, you could get the same level of relaxation as when listening music, or playing PC games. However, the lecture of a good book is going to enrich your level of knowledge, and you will gain valuable skills, instead of just “killing time”. This is the theory behind the active relaxation concept. Nice, aye?

The Business and Gaming Notebook

These days, many people are confused about the business and gaming notebook. Usually, the gamer understands what he wants and knows that a quality gaming system isn’t available at a retail store. The business person wants a more reliable, higher quality notebook that they can purchase at a retail store. Usually the business person is less savvy about purchasing quality gaming notebook. The business person will believe too much about what he reads from the manufacturer. However, you can you get both a business and a gaming machine all in one.

For the business people who need a fast, high quality system that will be reliable, that can be upgraded with the latest operating system, that will last for over a year, there are machines that fit this bill. You shouldn’t purchase a graphics card with the computer if you don’t plan to play video games on a gaming system. This is more difficult than it sounds because if you purchase a gaming machine from a manufacturer that is inferior that seem to dominate the market they may only be available with a graphics card. Therefore, you need to be careful about what you purchase. Most of the manufacturers of gaming machines don’t make high performance, quality gaming machines. They are only trying to make as much money as they can from you. Therefore, they put in some poor components along with some good components it will make for an average computer but not one that has good performance, quality, and reliability.

You should purchase a gaming computer from a reputable manufacturer of gaming machines. They will provide only good quality components and permit for greater flexibility in design. You will be offered a good quality graphic card, but you won’t have to purchase it. If you do purchase it, it will be somewhat more expensive but your computer will be of much better quality and the time that you spend on the machine will be greatly enhanced. The manufacturers understand computer design. They know about the relationships between software and hardware components. You should know that it takes somewhere between two and four week for a computer manufacturer to build a gaming PC. The bottom line is that a gaming machine that doesn’t have the graphic card makes a very high quality and reliable business machine.

If you want to play video games on a business computer, you should purchase a gaming system. You can play all of the latest video games on a well designed, high quality, and well built gaming system. It will also work great for all of your business applications. A gaming system will work great for all of your business applications including graphic based applications, website builder applications, and Photoshop type applications. However, it is important that you purchase a well built, high quality gaming system from a manufacturer who is reputable. They will ensure that the components work and fit together which is the key to you being satisfied.

Mandatory Solar Panel Roof Hardware and Attach Points Required On All New Homes?

Before the housing crisis there were an incredible number of new housing starts, housing tracts were going up all over the place in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Yes, in many other states as well, but those are the ones that really took off. During that time the government was calling for more energy efficiency, and wanted those homes to be better equipped with insulation, dual paned windows, and properly dressed door jams to hold in the heat or air conditioning depending on which time of the year it was. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we?

It turns out that each time the price of the house was increase due to these extra or energy efficiency attributes, it made it tougher for people to qualify for loans to buy the homes. This meant fewer people could buy homes, meaning fewer people could realize their American dream – this notion that owning a home signifies that you have arrived and are successful in life. It also helps with buy-in because you have a vested interest in the country, and your community.

If you’ll recall originally only landowners were allowed to vote because they had a vested interest, skin in the game, and something to lose if the leadership of the country didn’t run things correctly. Homeownership is good for America, and it is a good feeling for those who can feel as if they own a piece of our great nation. As I say, it was a mistake to mandate that homes be outfitted with more insulation, or energy-saving components because it prevented people from homeownership.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we learned our lesson, and we seem to be doing the same thing again. Let me give you an example. The Mercury News in San Jose had an interesting article recently, posted on May 30, 2012 titled; “California poised to require ‘solar ready roofs’ on new homes and buildings,” by Dana Hull, which stated;

“The California Energy Commission is approving energy efficiency standards for new residential & commercial buildings which will take effect Jan. 1, 2014. A host of common-sense standards designed to save energy, from insulating hot-water pipes to making sure that air conditioner installations are inspected for sufficient air flow. The standards would also require new homes & commercial buildings to have “solar ready roofs” — a mandatory requirement that will be a boon for the state’s growing rooftop solar industry.”

What I find unfortunate about this is we’ve just slapped huge tariffs on Chinese made solar panels and solar cells. This means the solar panels cost more, and therefore the return on investment takes longer. This means fewer people will be buying solar panels, and yet they will have to pay the additional $1500 per all the hardware and hookups, and electrical fittings wired into the roof on their new home purchases. This again increases the cost to buy a home, and it seems that it’s just bad policy.

Yes, the other day I was having a conversation at Starbucks about how difficult it was to wire up a pre-existing house whether it be for fiber optics, electrical outlets, additional piping, or anything else. Ripping holes in the wall can cost a tremendous amount of money, and it’s much cheaper to do it while the house is being built. Nevertheless, it still costs money, and how many of those homes will ever have solar panels, but the individual in the house will be paying on the loan for the hardware which was installed, equipment that they will never use. How does this help our citizens?

At some point we have to stop treating alternative energy as some sort of a new religion as we have with global warming. We need to do things for the right reasons, and not mandate new regulations on every single industry to create some preordained utopian society. In the future rooftops may not be wired for electrical systems for solar panels because solar panels may be paint coatings with electrodes sticking out where the energy then gets transferred and goes wireless to a receptor, or receiver.

That’s the future of this technology, so why build homes right now with attachments per the current technology, which is changing rapidly and will not be the same in five years, but those homes will be standing for probably 50 years. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.