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'[EE] simple software programmers needed'
2006\06\23@091656 by Ray Newman

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I have a friend in Hong Kong who has a DIY kit company and he died recently.
His family would like to keep the kit business going but they can not do new kit designs.
And I don't have the time to help.
So what I am looking for is students (?) who would be interested in writing
just modules for PIC chips.
IE: memory to 2x20 line lcd
    rs232 to/from memory
    usb to/from memory
    memory to 128x128 lcd (from ascii to graphic pixel and some boxes around alpha/numbers)
    ds1820 to memory
    PIC COPY BOX (COPY SAME CHIP TO SAME CHIP that uses ICP)

You get the picture.
software modules should adapt to most of the PIC line
each module must define it's: entry point/memory and/or registers used/result location/definition of input/output format.

Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Ray



2006\06\23@143825 by Matt Pobursky

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Ray, I don't mean to sound insensitive but using students to write
production code for a real product does not inspire much confidence in
me.

I just spent nearly a month undoing the damage caused by a client who
had an intern "do some small updates" to a piece of production code I
had written some time ago. It ended up costing the client at least
twice as much as if he had just hired me to do it right in the first
place. Not to mention the delay in getting the production code into
production. Had the dodgy code made it out the door, it's hard to tell
what the result would have been liability wise or with customer
goodwill.

You might consider employing one of the excellent consultants here on
the PIC list to maintain your code. They might consider doing it for a
reduced rate if they can work on it as "fill-in work", i.e. during the
gaps between other paying projects. Just a thought on the subject.

Whatever you decide, remember that the true cost of development is much
more than just the cash expense of hiring someone to actually do it.
Actually, this principle also applies to the thread on contract
assembly work as well.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 09:16:49 -0400, Ray Newman wrote:
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2006\06\23@182238 by William Chops Westfield

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On Jun 23, 2006, at 11:38 AM, Matt Pobursky wrote:

> using students to write production code for a real product
> does not inspire much confidence in me.

They're not "real products", they're KITS.  I don't think anyone
expects "real product" quality out of kits anymore (sorta sad;
Heathkits had "real quality"; but thus is the way of automated
assembly and fine pitch SMT, COB, and so on.))

But that's academic.  High quality software is hard to come by
regardless of whether it's done by students or high-priced
software engineer consultants, and PERFECT software is nearly
unobtainable.  It requires continuous perusal, feedback from
users, and other things that are unlikely to occur in the DIY
kit environment.  (This is one of the powers of open source;
whatever else happens, SOMEONE might fix it!)  Given the
demonstrated quality of things like microchip App Notes (or
lack thereof), I wouldn't feel bad about kit software written
by students.  We DO seem to be talking about relatively simple
functions of the sort that either work or don't work, right?

(It'd be good practice for the students, too.)

BillW

2006\06\23@185229 by Ray Newman

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1st
If I didn't reply to some's email please email me again.
I have been fooling around with filters and I think some good emails
where deleted before they got to me.

Matt,
I do employ some consultants I found through GURU.com

But this is a freebee on my part that I have time to play with
but not much money.

If it get too complicated then costs are too much.
By just doing small modules I can debug in my spare time and find
future consultants who can help me with bigger projects and make a lot more money
in fees and royalties.

We all had to learn somewhere and I found it easier the simpler the project.

BUT

If more experienced programmers want to help I would be interested.

I have no problem paying more for a shorter time but I have
found too many consultants expect higher pay for longer development time.

I used to charge a flat fee PIC microcontroller project (up to 100 parts)
mostly digital, some analog i/o, serial communication.
$20,000 for 2-3 months of my time. That was back in the 1980's
Now I find the world bidding on GURU.com for the same type of job at $1,000

So I have my customers who keep me busy and I am still trying to expand my product line
on a shoestring of time and money.
And trying to help a friend.

Oh' well.

But thanks,
I know what you mean.
Ray



On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 13:38:23 -0500, Matt Pobursky wrote:
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2006\06\23@190056 by Ray Newman

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Actually you hit on just about what I was trying to do.
Open source projects that would be used/updated as needed.
It would spur very simple kits with limited functions, but useful.

I always believed in multiprocessor instead of a super computer.
Because PIC chips are so much alike simple project would sell chips&kits.

Ray


On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 14:15:28 -0700, Chops wrote:
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2006\06\23@201027 by Dave Lag

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Ray Newman wrote:
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Have they considered a partner?
I'm thinking students doing one-off won't solve the need for answering
tech questions that always crop up.
ask poor Bob :(
D



2006\06\23@210946 by Ray Newman

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On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 20:10:45 -0400, Dave Lag wrote:
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I am always looking for a partner/investor.
But investors are not interest in my products and partners have no money to get products
to market. Yes I need help with the technical end of things (not enough hours in the day)
but I dare not advertise any of my products because I could not handle the investment
in larger qty/lower cost production.
As it is, I get about 500-800 hits every day and most are asking for product that I am behind
on delivery. Normally I don't do vaporware but a potential investor wanted me
to do  web pages for products I might do in 6-12 months if I had money.
Now I can't go back. Of course I never saw the money.
So..................
Ray







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2006\06\24@012031 by Russell McMahon

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> But that's academic.  High quality software is hard to come by
> regardless of whether it's done by students or high-priced
> software engineer consultants, and PERFECT software is nearly
> unobtainable.  It requires continuous perusal, feedback from
> users, and other things that are unlikely to occur in the DIY
> kit environment.  (This is one of the powers of open source;
> whatever else happens, SOMEONE might fix it!)

DIY *could* open source their kit software if they wished. And it may
well work. I have the impression that kits largely live or die on the
value of the parts provided compared with gathering it all together
yourself. And having a PCB is a major factor. Open source software can
be copied and will allow others to make kits with the same
functionality. But PCBs are copyrighted works. Anyone who is going to
copy your PCBs is about as likely to copy your software as well - open
source or not. Having eg students get the software going and then open
sourcing the result via say a company provided forum for each kit
could be a marvellous way of improving the product and getting brand
loyalty. if double flying horse brand subsequently copies your product
at the clone level or functionally so your software will work on it,
you can expect to retain at least some of your following from loyalty.
The cost of hosting forums for each product can be minimal.



       Russell McMahon


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