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'[PIC]: Hard Drive Schematic Posted'
2000\11\30@172426 by Andy Kunz

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The schematic is up there now.

http://www.montanadesign.com/contest.html

Andy

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'[PIC]: Hard Drive Schematic Posted'
2000\12\01@032028 by Robert Rolf
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Forgive me for being somewhat cynical, but you don't supose that
the reason no one has taken up the contest offer in the past
is that there is a LOT more work to making it happen than
the prize is worth ($150US).

I really don't think the contest is 'fair'. The entrant has to
use the schematic YOU supply using the exact tools YOU specify.
It sure looks to me like a way to get some free engineering out
of someone.

Robert


Andy Kunz wrote:
>
> The schematic is up there now.
>
> http://www.montanadesign.com/contest.html
>
> Andy

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2000\12\01@033752 by Sean H. Breheny

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Hi Robert,

It seems to me you are correct, it is a way to get some free engineering
out of someone. BUT, isn't that really in the spirit of the piclist? The
idea is to fulfill a need that many people here have: code to access IDE
FAT devices using a PIC. All the time, people submit code on the piclist
and more often than not, it is totally unrestricted, not even GPLd.

Yes, it is a lot more work than $150 worth, but this is supposed to be
something that you do for the challenge of it.

I think Andy specifies which schematic to use so that he can readily test
your code (you can't reasonably expect him to have 10 different hardware
setups). He also specifies the compiler so that he can compile it, and he
even explained a way that someone could use free or inexpensive compilers
and just test it using HiTech's free 16F84 C compiler.

Sean

At 01:19 AM 12/1/00 -0700, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\12\01@043356 by David Lions

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> Forgive me for being somewhat cynical, but you don't supose that

Forgiven.  No worries.  No need to apologise.

Why would you consider this free engineering in an ulterior motive sort of
way?  Lots of people ask for this information, thus the proposal to include
it in the PICLIST FAQ.  Andy went to great lengths to explain contributions
should be free of copyright and other restrictions.

Most or at least a lot of the Piclist are hobbyists who absolutely love this
stuff (like me).  Some are students or pretty young who would consider the
gift of a 40Gb HDD extremely attractive.  Especially people in countries
other than the US, whose currency is worth bugger all at the moment.

If he were trying to get work done for free, posting it in a public forum
would be a damn slow and unreliable way to do it!  You think too much! :)


{Original Message removed}

2000\12\01@075050 by Andrew Kunz

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>I really don't think the contest is 'fair'. The entrant has to
>use the schematic YOU supply using the exact tools YOU specify.
>It sure looks to me like a way to get some free engineering out
>of someone.

Robert,

I understand where you are coming from.  This isn't some "free engineering
scheme" I cooked up on my own.  It was a collaborative effort between me and
several people on and off the list, asking what would be the best way to
accomplish this AS A PUBLIC SERVICE.

The concensus was:
    a) DOS compatibility was essential.  For those with Flash, it would allow
popping data collection into a laptop to suck the contents out.  For those with
hard drives, same idea but more work. For those playing MP3's, it makes an easy
way to load up your player with another set of tunes.
    b) IDE support for 500M disks minimum.  This is the breaking point between
old and new technology.  Those with FAT32 and LBA experience (at the BIOS level)
thought that sticking to CHS and 500M and FAT16 were reasonable way to achieve
DOS compatibility (see A).  A lot of data collection systems use PC's accessing
only 500M drives.
    c) A common demo board was recommeded because it would allow everybody to
have an equal platform to start from.  It was also debugged!  Who wants to debug
hardware designs first?!?!  The board provides some functionality besides simply
talking to a hard drive (SPI for MP3, a common use by those on the list for
asking for IDE interfaces), serial port (to talk to other PICs which do the data
generation?), a USB port (FTDI being the most applicable at the time).  We also
talked about adding an ISA slot but felt this made the board too big to be
cost-effective.  The smarts are there, though - go for it!
    d) A common compiler was seen as a way to be able to evaluate every
submission.  I don't have lots of spare time (it took me two weeks to get Adam's
HTML edited and posted!), and this makes the judges' jobs a lot easier.  I
explained previously why HiTech was selected.
    e) If I were looking for free engineering, you think I would have made it
available to everybody?  What about my competition, wouldn't I try to exclude
them?  That's why the NO RESTRICTIONS clause.

The others who have posted to this thread have done an excellent job of
explaining the justifications much better than I could have done.  To them I
offer a sincere THANK YOU!

>Forgive me for being somewhat cynical, but you don't supose that
>the reason no one has taken up the contest offer in the past
>is that there is a LOT more work to making it happen than
>the prize is worth ($150US).

In the past, the offer was for a 2G drive.  At that time, it was as big as my
biggest hard drive.  It would have been worth it to me.

This is a free-will thing.  If a free hard drive isn't worth it to you, fine,
don't enter.  If you would like the drive and have the time, go for it!  When I
was in college, this is exactly the kind of thing I would have done.  I had lots
of time but no money.  Can anybody relate to that?  Now I have some money (not a
lot) and no time.  Do I hear a chorus of "amens?"

If you would like to increase the offerings in order to improve the entries, be
my guest, I will be happy to make that part of the contest.  I put out a hard
drive.  Anybody else want to contribute?  Maybe we can get somebody to throw in
an ICE (Tech-Tools, Microchip, you guys listening?).  Or maybe a new
motherboard?  How about a 17" monitor?  If enough guys feel this isn't worth the
effort, then LET'S MAKE IT WORTH THE EFFORT!  We will all benefit from the
increased knowledge!

BTW, my largest hard drive is a 10G on my main computer, a 133MHz K6 (I have a
laptop that's faster, a 233 Pentium) and I have a 15" monitor.  I could use the
drive (and an new motherboard) as much as anyone.  But I am not entering the
contest since I'm one of the two judges.

Andy

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2000\12\01@080126 by Andy N1YEW

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> This is a free-will thing.  If a free hard drive isn't worth it to you,
fine,
> don't enter.  If you would like the drive and have the time, go for it!
When I
> was in college, this is exactly the kind of thing I would have done.  I
had lots
> of time but no money.  Can anybody relate to that?  Now I have some money
(not a
> lot) and no time.  Do I hear a chorus of "amens?"

Amen......

> BTW, my largest hard drive is a 10G on my main computer, a 133MHz K6 (I
have a
> laptop that's faster, a 233 Pentium) and I have a 15" monitor.  I could
use the
> drive (and an new motherboard) as much as anyone.


I have about the same....

> Andy

Andy K N1YEW

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2000\12\01@080746 by Wynn Rostek

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> >I really don't think the contest is 'fair'. The entrant has to
> >use the schematic YOU supply using the exact tools YOU specify.
> >It sure looks to me like a way to get some free engineering out
> >of someone

Gee, everyone else that's ever asked for free engineering here
has never offered anything in return. You're going to give the list
a bad reputation.

Wynn Rostek

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2000\12\01@130112 by Sean H. Breheny

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Hi Andy,

For the record, I'm in college, and I have neither time nor money! (The
vast majority of my personal projects get done little by little, or in a
large "frenzy" of activity when I have a few free days). The amount of
available free time for my fellow engineering students seems to be similar
to mine.

Sean

At 07:53 AM 12/1/00 -0500, you wrote:
>This is a free-will thing.  If a free hard drive isn't worth it to you, fine,
>don't enter.  If you would like the drive and have the time, go for
>it!  When I
>was in college, this is exactly the kind of thing I would have done.  I
>had lots
>of time but no money.  Can anybody relate to that?  Now I have some money
>(not a
>lot) and no time.  Do I hear a chorus of "amens?"

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2000\12\01@133147 by Walter Banks

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> For the record, I'm in college, and I have neither time nor money! (The
> vast majority of my personal projects get done little by little, or in a
> large "frenzy" of activity when I have a few free days). The amount of
> available free time for my fellow engineering students seems to be
similar
> to mine.
>
Sean

Don't worry you'll get busier.

Running a consulting/development company is like doing
a Masters degree every three months using all your free
time to apply for new jobs. You know when you are getting there
when you have to plan three weeks in advance which morning
is available to catch up on sleep missed in all of the all
nighters in the last project.

w..

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2000\12\01@140654 by Sean H. Breheny

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Hi Walter,

Well, considering that I'm the president of a student organization, team
leader for a research project team (Autonomous Flying Vehicle), have a part
time job, and am taking 15 credits (including two labs, and a projects
class) on top of that, and that I have to write and submit applications for
3 grad schools and two fellowships, I think I'm pretty close! I average
about 5 hours of sleep per day and I know what you mean about amassing
sleep debt until a day when you can afford to sleep.

Bear in mind, too, that I'm not a workaholic by nature, I just kinda got
roped into these things one by one until I realized that I too much to
handle and can't get out of them!

Seriously, though, I think modern engineering schools such as Cornell's
have a problem with workload (perhaps it was always this way?). For the
past couple of months I have learned FAR less than I did earlier in my
college career, when I had more time. Too many times I have just had to
guess at homework answers, or skip learning something, not because I
couldn't do it, but because I didn't have the time.

Sean


At 01:38 PM 12/1/00 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\12\03@195815 by John Mullan

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I read the rules presented on the Web page Andy posted.

I'm just wondering, why does it have to be in 'C'?

I have yet to bother learning 'C' and doubt I will at this point.  I'd much
rather see a fully commented native ASM source code.

John Mullan

{Original Message removed}

2000\12\03@214034 by hgraf

picon face
> I read the rules presented on the Web page Andy posted.
>
> I'm just wondering, why does it have to be in 'C'?
>
> I have yet to bother learning 'C' and doubt I will at this point.
>  I'd much
> rather see a fully commented native ASM source code.

    The reason is C is much more portable, ASM is very specific to the
hardware involved. Even going from say a 16F877 to a 17x or 18x series PIC
would very likely require some modification to the code, never mind a
different architecture. TTYL

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2000\12\04@191904 by John Mullan

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OK.  I can see the reasoning behind that.  That poses another question....

Can a PIC 'C' compiler generate an ASM output file?


John Mullan

{Original Message removed}

2000\12\05@065207 by Andrew Kunz

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>Can a PIC 'C' compiler generate an ASM output file?

Sure.  PICC uses the -S command line parameter to achieve this.  I learned lots
of neat optimizations by studying the output.

Andy

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2000\12\05@200818 by John Mullan

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So, I guess my best hope is that when somebody wins this contest (and since
the code is to be free), that someone will post the ASM version??

John


{Original Message removed}

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