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'[PIC]: Programmer'
2000\11\29@173756 by David Huisman

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I have just caught the tail end of the thread on programmers. I have looked
at the piclist site and there are heaps of programmer circuits available.
Could someone please recommend one that they have built that works well and
runs from serial port.

Also, I would like to integrate the software within a Delphi application,
does anyone have some code written for Delphi or an algorithm I can base my
code on.

TIA

Regards

David Huisman

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2000\11\29@182359 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <00b901c05a53$6b002190$spam_OUT3c00a8c0TakeThisOuTspamadvminingtech.com.au>, David
Huisman <.....david.huismanKILLspamspam@spam@ADVMININGTECH.COM.AU> writes
>I have just caught the tail end of the thread on programmers. I have looked
>at the piclist site and there are heaps of programmer circuits available.
>Could someone please recommend one that they have built that works well and
>runs from serial port.
>
>Also, I would like to integrate the software within a Delphi application,
>does anyone have some code written for Delphi or an algorithm I can base my
>code on.

There is Delphi 1.0 16 bit source code available for my 16C(F)84 PIC
programmer, complete with dis-assembler, it can be downloaded from a
link on my website on the software section. However, it is for the
parallel port, but could easily be converted to use a serial port
programmer instead.
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2000\11\30@094227 by Mark Skeels

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David,

Can you tell us more about this application? I was wondering specifically
about the Delphi integration. Are you programming a PIC from within Delphi?

Mark

{Original Message removed}

2000\11\30@161243 by Tony Nixon

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David Huisman wrote:
>
> I have just caught the tail end of the thread on programmers. I have looked
> at the piclist site and there are heaps of programmer circuits available.
> Could someone please recommend one that they have built that works well and
> runs from serial port.
>
> Also, I would like to integrate the software within a Delphi application,
> does anyone have some code written for Delphi or an algorithm I can base my
> code on.


Ahh, is that why you wanted the serial component ;-)

I've done a fair bit of Delphi4 -> serial -> PIC -> serial -> Delphi4.

It's actually not all that hard.

If you want some code and help, perhaps have a chat off list.

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Best regards

Tony

mICro's
http://www.picnpoke.com
.....salesKILLspamspam.....picnpoke.com

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'[PIC]: Programmer'
2000\12\06@121514 by jamesnewton
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I've now documented that at
http://www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devprogs.htm

Please let me know if any other programmer issues need to be included to
prevent others from loosing chips.

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{Original Message removed}


'[PIC]: Programmer'
2002\01\09@175351 by David J Binnington
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Apologies if anyone thinks this shouldn't be in the [PIC]: category but it
does include code and I need to gain the attention of the gurus on this
list.  You all know who you are ;-)

My company needs to be able to select a suitable candidate for employment on
a short term contract.  The job is for an experienced MPASM programmer on
16F87* or 16F62* series micros.  The basic application includes real time
control of high voltage DC, AC phase control, A-D, I2C and serial port
communication, user interface, EEPROM etc.  The skill set basically needs to
include a good understanding of the Microchip parts and most of the onboard
peripherals.

In order to aid the selection process it has been decided to ask the
candidates to complete a questionaire containing around 20 multiple choice
questions immediately before their interview. The whole questionaire should
take less than 30 minutes to complete.  Can anyone help me out by suggesting
a few relatively simple questions that would test the knowledge of a
suitable candidate.  The sort of questions I have in mind might be:

Question 1:

A 16F877 is to be used with a 20MHz crystal.  Which of the following CONFIG
words would be the most appropriate?

a)      __FUSES _CP_OFF&_WDT_ON&_RC_OSC&_PWRTE_ON&_LVP_OFF&_BODEN_ON&_MCLRE_ON
b)      __FUSES _CP_OFF&_WDT_ON&_XT_OSC&_PWRTE_ON&_LVP_OFF&_BODEN_ON&_MCLRE_ON
c)      __FUSES _CP_OFF&_WDT_ON&_HS_OSC&_PWRTE_ON&_LVP_OFF&_BODEN_ON&_MCLRE_ON
d)      Do not know

Question 2:

The following code extract from a 16F628 program does not work as intended.

;PORTB Setup
;-----
       clrf    STATUS,RP0                      ;Set BANK 0
       movlw   B'11111111'
       movwf   PORTB                           ;Set PORTB output latches to all 1's

       bsf     STATUS,RP0                      ;Set BANK 1

       movwf   TRISB                           ;Set PORT B to all outputs

       clrf    STATUS,RP0                      ;Set BANK 0


What would be the result?

a) Sets all I/O pins of PORT B to output 1
b) Sets all I/O pins of PORT B to output 0
c) Sets all I/O pins of PORT B to input or tristate
c) The state of PORTB cannot be determined

Question 3:

A 16F877 has a 10MHz crystal.  What is the execution time for a single cycle
instruction?

a) 100nS
b) 4uS
c) 250nS
d) 400nS
e) None of the above


The idea is not necessarily catch them out with trick questions but to test
their basic knowledge of the parts and the sort of quirks or errors that can
occur. It should also catch those whose CV is less than truthful and are
desperate for a job!  Most of us have to refer to the data sheets for
setting up or using the more obscure peripherals so the questions need to be
kept fairly basic to be useful.

For obvious reasons please do not supply the answers with any of your
questions.  I will ask if I can't work them out for myself!

Many thanks

David

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2002\01\09@184701 by Dave Dilatush

picon face
David,

I would hardly call myself a "PIC guru" (my experience consists of one
released commercial product using a PIC16C774, one under development
using a PIC18C452, and a few hobby projects with PIC16F877s and
PIC16F84s), but it is for precisely that reason that I have to tell you
that all three sample questions you gave are trivially easy- without any
reference to a PIC data sheet or the MRRF.

I'm sure that others can, and will, give you a large assortment of good
PIC questions to flesh out your interview questionnaire, but I have to
voice some doubt about whether you'll learn anything very significant
from the results.  They may even be misleading.

Just my opinion--and I may be way off base, I know--but my own
experience is that familiarity with a variety of microprocessors other
than PICs can be just as valuable as familiarity with PICs themselves;
in my own work I found that prior experience with the MC68HC11, MC6800,
the 6502, CDP1802 and (reaching back a few years, here) the CP1600
allowed me to very quickly get up to speed on my first PIC product.  If
I were out to hire someone to develop PIC assembly language code for the
application you describe, I would probably give preference to candidates
with breadth and depth of experience over those with experience only
with PICs.

In the application you describe, I would cite control theory and user
interface design as the two areas most prone to jeopardising development
progress due to inexperience or lack of knowledge- not familiarity with
PICs.

As I said, the above is pure opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

Dave Dilatush

David J Binnington wrote...

{Quote hidden}

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2002\01\09@190815 by Sean Alcorn - Avion Sydney

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on 10/1/02 9:52 AM, David J Binnington at davidspamspam_OUTDJBELECT.KEME.CO.UK wrote:

Hi David,

I am a newbie to the PIC (and Microcontrollers in general) but I (think) I
can answer all of the questions correctly. However I could honestly not do
the task you are employing the guy to do, and as an employer, I would not
see any value in the following type of questionaire.

> Question 1:

> A 16F877 is to be used with a 20MHz crystal.  Which of the following CONFIG
> words would be the most appropriate?
>
> a)      __FUSES _CP_OFF&_WDT_ON&_RC_OSC&_PWRTE_ON&_LVP_OFF&_BODEN_ON&_MCLRE_ON
> b)      __FUSES _CP_OFF&_WDT_ON&_XT_OSC&_PWRTE_ON&_LVP_OFF&_BODEN_ON&_MCLRE_ON
> c)      __FUSES _CP_OFF&_WDT_ON&_HS_OSC&_PWRTE_ON&_LVP_OFF&_BODEN_ON&_MCLRE_ON
> d)      Do not know

Answer: c) - but wouldn't you want the Code Protect on? :-)

{Quote hidden}

Answer: c) - You missed loading the W register before the movf to TRISB

{Quote hidden}

Answer: d)

How did I do? Throw some tough ones at them! :-)

Regards,

Sean Alcorn

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2002\01\09@191120 by Barry Michels

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I agree.  My experience is also limited with the PIC (I've been using the
'877 for about 1 month) and I could answer all those questions easily....
It was because of my previous experience with the 8051/31 (never actually
built anything, just did a lot of reading), BasicStamp & PC programming in
general (all flavors of basic, C, assembly & pascal) that the IDE project
has come along so well.

Barry

{Original Message removed}

2002\01\09@191619 by Benjamin Bromilow

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From: "Dave Dilatush" <@spam@dilatushKILLspamspamHOME.COM>

>I would hardly call myself a "PIC guru" (my experience consists of one
>released commercial product using a PIC16C774, one under development
>using a PIC18C452, and a few hobby projects with PIC16F877s and
>PIC16F84s), but it is for precisely that reason that I have to tell you
>that all three sample questions you gave are trivially easy- without any
>reference to a PIC data sheet or the MRRF.

Absolutely, I only *play* with PICs in my spare time (not much as a full
time MD), but even I could do them and I wouldn't hire me to run a
project!!! Amateur projects sure but commercial, NO!!
I suppose the questions might be enough to filter out people who are just
trying it on, but then I expect the proportion of people who are trying to
wing interviews is quite small and they *should* be found easily on
interviewing!!

Just my 1c

Ben

ps Would a question on project management and planning be more appropriate
e.g. to gauge experience in the field of uC projects rather than just PIC
software?? I think that is where I'd get unstuck!!

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2002\01\09@191903 by WEBB,TIM (A-Sonoma,ex1)

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I agree too.

I've been programming PICs for about 6 weeks and have experience programming
8051 and 8031 about 8 years ago.
I felt good that I could answer the questions too and I would not consider
myself an expert yet.

Tim
{Original Message removed}

2002\01\09@195617 by Dave Dilatush

picon face
Benjamin Bromilow wrote...

[snip]

>ps Would a question on project management and planning be more appropriate
>e.g. to gauge experience in the field of uC projects rather than just PIC
>software?? I think that is where I'd get unstuck!!

That might be a good area of inquiry.

Since I replied to David's "questionnaire questions" post, I've been
thinking about this a lot (nothing else to do at the moment, as I'm
stuck home recovering from hernia repair surgery).

It occurred to me that if I were interviewing someone for the job he
described, I'd be most interested in getting a good feel for how an
individual organizes his work and what are his thought habits.  Does he
think logically?  What is his approach to debugging?  Given a task, how
does he break it down and prioritize the pieces to maximize his chances
of success?  What is his approach to software testing?  When things
don't work right, where does he first look for answers?  When faced with
a new microprocessor chip, what does he seek to learn first about it?
How does he deal with a situation where there are interacting hardware
and software problems?  What projects has he worked on?  How did he
approach them?  Here's a description of a project: <insert project
description here; it may be the task at hand or a related, but
hypothetical project> Now ask me some questions.  What questions does he
ask about the project?

In short, I'd be most interested in finding out of the individual is
someone who can take a general problem and organize and execute a
competent solution, or is he someone who is going to have to be guided
and supervised every step of the way.

Just some thoughts, for whatever they're worth...

Dave Dilatush

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2002\01\10@021804 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
I would say that the questions should mimic a real situation as best as
possible, so use of a datasheet should be allowed. The alternative is
testing of the candidates memory, not skill. Personally I would select 5
candidates from a quick reading of the CVs and intervieuw those.

Wouter

{Original Message removed}

2002\01\10@092131 by Don Hyde

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As a former teacher and with some experience at interviewing potential
hirees for programming jobs, I would advise against a multiple-guess test.

The only justification for multiple-guess tests is that in the usual
classroom situation, the teacher's workload exceeds human capacity so cheap
shortcuts are unavoidable.  I simply cannot imagine being so swamped with
promising candidates that you cannot afford the time to examine a better
sample of their work.

In my experience, 90% of candidates can be eliminated with one or two simple
questions, such as "Have you ever programmed a PIC before?"  It's amazing
how bad a job headhunters do of screening applicants, so the first sort is
usually really quick.  The worst part is feeling guilty about having wasted
the applicant's time coming to your office.  Cut your losses and his by
letting him leave as soon as you can see it was a mistake.  You should have
talked on the phone first.

Then, if you're lucky and have two or more worthwhile ones to choose from,
give them an actual short programming assignment and watch how they do it.
Do they ask intelligent questions about the ambiguous parts of your spec
(they'll be there even if you don't intentionally put them there, you know).
Do they approach the task in an organized fashion?  Do they ask for the
appropriate datasheet, or do they waste time trying to pretend they know
everything already?  Did your personalities clash so badly that you don't
want to work with him?  And, finally, did he get the job done?

> {Original Message removed}

2002\01\10@172907 by David J Binnington

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Dave,

You have made some very valid points and particularly about experience with
other processors. I have already expressed most of these myself.  However,
the exercise is just a small part of the overall assessment and was never
going to be used in the final judgement.  The position(s) also requires
detailed knowledge of hardware as well so the overall package of skills is
important.  We need someone to hit the ground running rather than spend
precious time retraining.

Thanks for the useful input.

David

> {Original Message removed}

2002\01\10@180850 by Dave Dilatush

picon face
David,

If you're looking for hardware design expertise as well, one technique
I've found useful is to give an interviewee a circuit diagram of a
completed product along with a brief explanation of what it does
overall, and invite him to critique it and explain how it works.  You
can get a really good feel for someone's level of competence that way.

Good luck in your search,

Dave

David J Binnington wrote...

>You have made some very valid points and particularly about experience with
>other processors. I have already expressed most of these myself.  However,
>the exercise is just a small part of the overall assessment and was never
>going to be used in the final judgement.  The position(s) also requires
>detailed knowledge of hardware as well so the overall package of skills is
>important.  We need someone to hit the ground running rather than spend
>precious time retraining.
>
>Thanks for the useful input.
>
>> {Original Message removed}

2002\01\10@191354 by David J Binnington

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face
Sean,

You are perfectly correct of course in that the examples are easy.  Firstly
the idea was to show the format of the proposed questionaire rather than the
detail of the questions themselves. The reason for the posting was to tap
everybody for ideas.

Since the intention of the questionaire is (was) to provide a insite into
the skill set of the engineer it should be reasonably challenging but not so
devious that even an expert would spend significant time trying to find a
syntax error.  Obviously the interview, CV, references etc. would carry more
weight in the final decision.

You would not believe the type of contract engineers that higher management
have managed to employ in the past based on just a simple interview and an
impressive CV.  The worst quit after 2 days when he admitted he couldn't
cope with the task alloted to him.  We just do not have the time available
for time wasters.

Maybe the idea of a questionaire is less than ideal but does anyone have any
thoughts on a better way of assessing contract engineers without having to
employ them on a trial basis first.  The contract term may be anywhere from
3 months to a year depending on the project.

David

> {Original Message removed}

2002\01\10@191406 by David J Binnington

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> Absolutely, I only *play* with PICs in my spare time (not much as a full
> time MD), but even I could do them and I wouldn't hire me to run a
> project!!! Amateur projects sure but commercial, NO!!
> I suppose the questions might be enough to filter out people who are just
> trying it on, but then I expect the proportion of people who are trying to
> wing interviews is quite small and they *should* be found easily on
> interviewing!!
>
> Just my 1c
>
> Ben
>
> ps Would a question on project management and planning be more appropriate
> e.g. to gauge experience in the field of uC projects rather than just PIC
> software?? I think that is where I'd get unstuck!!

Ben,

You are quite right, but as I have replied elsewhere the intention was to
show the format rather than the question detail.  The questionaire was, as
you say, intended to filter the wingers rather than see how good everyone
was at programming and I had hoped that someone would have come up with some
better questions or even a better idea.  The interview etc. would be just as
important but we have seen interviewees in the past who have somehow managed
to convince the interviewers how good they were when I personally would not
have employed them to sweep the floor. This raises the question about the
standard of interviewing but I will pass on that one.

With hindsight I would have phrased the post differently. With further
hindsite I shall probably drop the idea all together.

David

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2002\01\10@191411 by David J Binnington

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of WEBB,TIM (A-Sonoma,ex1)
> Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 12:17 AM
> To: spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [PIC]: Programmer
>
>
> I agree too.
>
> I've been programming PICs for about 6 weeks and have experience
> programming
> 8051 and 8031 about 8 years ago.
> I felt good that I could answer the questions too and I would not consider
> myself an expert yet.
>
> Tim
>
Tim,

Please read my other replies.

David

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2002\01\10@191415 by David J Binnington

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{Quote hidden}

Dave,

I agree with everything you say and these issues would (should) be covered
in the interview.  The questionaire idea was mooted to extract a bit more
information on the particular skills of a contract engineer who may be
claiming to have worked with particular Microchip parts but is overstating
his case (due to a previous bad experience).

We employ contract engineers in the first place because they should have the
basic skills already, not so that they can train themselves in our time to
do a particular task with processor XYZ.  It is a different matter if the
company takes on a long term employee.  It is then expected that training is
part of his development to the eventual benefit of the company.

Your thoughts are appreciated and shall be making some suggestions on
interview techniques!

David

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2002\01\10@191420 by David J Binnington

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of wouter van ooijen & floortje
> hanneman
> Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 3:41 AM
> To: EraseMEPICLISTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [PIC]: Programmer
>
>
> I would say that the questions should mimic a real situation as best as
> possible, so use of a datasheet should be allowed. The alternative is
> testing of the candidates memory, not skill. Personally I would select 5
> candidates from a quick reading of the CVs and intervieuw those.
>
> Wouter

Wouter,

I will not repeat the comments I have made in my other replies but yes the
intention was to have relatively stretching questions and data sheets would
be made available.  I can never remember all of the special register and bit
names or which bank they are in so I would not really expect anyone else to
either.  It is also a good test of how skilled someone is in being able to
read a Microchip data sheet!

I think we will be extremely lucky to have 5 candidates in total.

Thanks

David

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2002\01\10@191425 by David J Binnington

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{Quote hidden}

Don,

I agree entirely with what you say.  As I have replied elsewhere the idea of
the questionaire was just another yard stick in addition to the formal
interview.

The idea of a short programming assignment is a good one and would certainly
be of more use than a simple questionaire.  Does anyone have any suggestions
on what would be a good excercise to be completed in say no more than an
hour?  We don't have the time to be able to vet someone to go through the
whole design from the thought processes, flow charts and on to coding and
simulation!

Thanks

David

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2002\01\10@191840 by David J Binnington

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [RemoveMEPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Dave Dilatush
> Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 10:59 PM
> To: PICLISTSTOPspamspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [PIC]: Programmer
>
>
> David,
>
> If you're looking for hardware design expertise as well, one technique
> I've found useful is to give an interviewee a circuit diagram of a
> completed product along with a brief explanation of what it does
> overall, and invite him to critique it and explain how it works.  You
> can get a really good feel for someone's level of competence that way.
>
> Good luck in your search,
>
Dave,

We already do that.  It never ceases to amaze me how the same circuit can be
described in some many different ways (right and wrong)!

Thanks

David

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2002\01\10@194755 by Josh Koffman

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Perhaps then a shift in thinking should occur in who you're hiring.
Instead of hiring a contract employee, hire another company or
consulting firm to write the code for you. I know there are those on the
list that perform services like that. Perhaps then you could ask for a
list of projects completed and a list of customers, and call them to
find out how satisfied they were.

Just an idea.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

> We employ contract engineers in the first place because they should have the
> basic skills already, not so that they can train themselves in our time to
> do a particular task with processor XYZ.  It is a different matter if the
> company takes on a long term employee.  It is then expected that training is
> part of his development to the eventual benefit of the company.

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2002\01\11@023156 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> You would not believe the type of contract engineers that higher
management
> have managed to employ in the past based on just a simple interview and an
> impressive CV.

That seems to be the problem you (or your boss) is trying to solve by
introducing the questionaire, but IMHO that is the wrong solution. Higher
management should have the final decision on hiring (of course, that's what
their high for), but they should be advised by technical people, peers or on
level higher than the intended function. I have done a number of such
interviews, and I think it is very difficult for the 'inflated CV' type of
guy to bluf his way through! Some points for such an interview:
- open questions, get the guy to talk about his technical work
- show him a circuit or program with a (not too difficult) bug and ask him
to explain the working
- let him question you about the job

Wouter van Ooijen

Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
Jal compiler for PIC uC's:  http://www.voti.nl/jal
PICs kopen? http://www.voti.nl/shop

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2002\01\11@035926 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Maybe the idea of a questionaire is less than ideal but does anyone have
any
>thoughts on a better way of assessing contract engineers without having to
>employ them on a trial basis first.  The contract term may be anywhere from
>3 months to a year depending on the project.

Ask if they have any reference projects they have worked on in the past, and
see if they are happy about you phoning someone who supervised them at that
project.

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2002\01\11@120513 by Harold M Hallikainen

picon face
On Thu, 10 Jan 2002 22:59:29 GMT Dave Dilatush <spamBeGonedilatushspamKILLspamHOME.COM>
writes:
> David,
>
> If you're looking for hardware design expertise as well, one
> technique
> I've found useful is to give an interviewee a circuit diagram of a
> completed product along with a brief explanation of what it does
> overall, and invite him to critique it and explain how it works.
> You
> can get a really good feel for someone's level of competence that
> way.
>

       That's fun! I can always find a way to improve someone else's design
(including the order line at McDonald's). The trick is to figure what is
actually an improvement and what is an artifact of "Not Invented Here..."

Harold
"The ideal design has zero parts."


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2002\01\11@123203 by Dave Dilatush

picon face
Harold M Hallikainen wrote...

>On Thu, 10 Jan 2002 22:59:29 GMT Dave Dilatush <TakeThisOuTdilatush.....spamTakeThisOuTHOME.COM>
>writes:

>> If you're looking for hardware design expertise as well, one
>> technique
>> I've found useful is to give an interviewee a circuit diagram of a
>> completed product along with a brief explanation of what it does
>> overall, and invite him to critique it and explain how it works.
>> You
>> can get a really good feel for someone's level of competence that
>> way.

>That's fun! I can always find a way to improve someone else's design
>(including the order line at McDonald's). The trick is to figure what is
>actually an improvement and what is an artifact of "Not Invented Here..."

McDonald's?  Not very hard to improve upon.  Most I've seen have a
veritable army of personnel behind the counter, each of them getting in
the way of all the others.  It doesn't matter whether you're standing in
a long line at lunchtime or you're the only customer in the place, the
result is the same: "Never have so many done so little for so few, so
slowly."

Regarding the "Here, critique this design for me" technique in
interviewing, you can get an amazing amount of information about a
person's design savvy from doing this, very quickly.  Alas, I don't
think the method translates too well into the software domain, though.

Dave Dilatush

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2002\01\11@174630 by David J Binnington

flavicon
face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [.....PICLISTspamRemoveMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Josh Koffman
> Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 1:03 AM
> To: RemoveMEPICLISTspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [PIC]: Programmer
>
>
> Perhaps then a shift in thinking should occur in who you're hiring.
> Instead of hiring a contract employee, hire another company or
> consulting firm to write the code for you. I know there are those on the
> list that perform services like that. Perhaps then you could ask for a
> list of projects completed and a list of customers, and call them to
> find out how satisfied they were.
>
> Just an idea.
>
> Josh
> --
Josh,

Not my decision to make unfortunately!

David

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2002\01\11@203930 by Josh Koffman

flavicon
face
Just as a general question, why do companies make this decision? Is it
to avoid intellectual property squabbles in the future?

Josh

David J Binnington wrote:
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2002\01\12@104906 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
Several reasons.  Yes, the IP issue may be one of them, though this is
usually simple to work out whether you hire an individual or a firm to do
the work.  Speaking from experience though, management usually views a
consulting firm favorably for several reasons:

1.) The contractual obligation is with a firm, rather than an individual.
This means (in theory at least) if the programmer working on your project
steps in front of a bus or gets married or does something similarly
foolish, someone else will be there to take up the reins.

2.) In the event of non-completion or other major problems with the
project, it's usually a lot easier to sue and recover damages from a
company than an individual.  Companies usually have money and insurance,
independents may or may not.

3.) Consulting firms usually have account reps, people whose sole job is
to speak with upper management on their own level, using the same language
and attitudes.  Don't discount the importance of this -- upper management
often has little understanding of or faith in geeks, especially geeks not
on their own payroll.  Its an interface thing, doesn't necessarily make
sense, it just is.

So really, management is looking for the same thing we all want -- a good
interface, redundancy and fault tolerance, and reliability.

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Fri, 11 Jan 2002, Josh Koffman wrote:

> Just as a general question, why do companies make this decision? Is it
> to avoid intellectual property squabbles in the future?
>
> Josh
>
> David J Binnington wrote:
> >
> > > {Original Message removed}

2002\01\12@122542 by Josh Koffman

flavicon
face
I guess I wasn't that clear...I can see all the advantages of hiring a
consultant, so why do some companies hire contract employees? Is it just
another wonderful management decision or is there some logic behind it?

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

Dale Botkin wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\01\12@221301 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
On Sat, 12 Jan 2002, Josh Koffman wrote:

> I guess I wasn't that clear...I can see all the advantages of hiring a
> consultant, so why do some companies hire contract employees? Is it just
> another wonderful management decision or is there some logic behind it?

I've never hired a contractor that didn't work for a contracting firm...
but I have been hired as a contractor.  I charge about half as much for my
time as a firm does, which may have something to do with it.  When we
bring in contractors I call one of the firms we deal with and tell them
what I need.

Dale

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'[PIC]: Programmer'
2002\12\04@165310 by Royce Simmons
picon face
Hello,

Would someone point me to a source for 18F452 chips?  Need both hardware and
sofrware and would prefer
something in kit form,  if possible.

Thanks much,  Royce

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2002\12\04@170725 by Tony Nixon

flavicon
picon face
Royce Simmons wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> Would someone point me to a source for 18F452 chips?  Need both hardware and
> sofrware and would prefer
> something in kit form,  if possible.
>
> Thanks much,  Royce


Mine does.

The V6 version should be out next week.

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mICros
http://www.bubblesoftonline.com
TakeThisOuTsalesspamspambubblesoftonline.com

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2002\12\04@171611 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Would someone point me to a source for 18F452 chips?

These are in stock at DigiKey and most other places that sell PICs.

> Need both hardware and
> sofrware and would prefer
> something in kit form,  if possible.

Um, a 18F452 is a bare single chip.  They don't come in kits any more than
crowbars and billiard balls do.  As for software, you have to first
specify what it's supposed to do.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2002\12\04@171727 by Andy Kunz

flavicon
face
I absolutely LOVE the Tech Tools QuickWriter.  Enough to have bought
several of them, and plan on more (for specific production projects).

http://www.tech-tools.com

Andy

PS:  I used to say that about Carmacon.  I still use the Carmacon one, but
not nearly as much any more.

At 04:52 PM 12/4/02 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\12\04@172656 by Lyle Hazelwood

flavicon
face
> Would someone point me to a source for 18F452 chips?
From the U.S., I use Digi Key http://www.digikey.com.
For the DIP version, PIC18F452_I/P-ND can be had
in singles for $9.38 each, plus shipping

> Need both hardware and
Assuming you need a programmer, there are many good
ones available. Warp13A is reported to work well with
the 18F series, and looks just like a Picstart+, so you
can use it from within MPLAB. Fully assembled for
about $109 US from dontronics.com.

Being a cheapskate, I am personally using a P16Pro,
available in kit form from
www.electronics123.com/amazon/default.htm
for about $13.95 as CPS96Kit.
Add to that a 40 pin ZIF, #BB07 for $13.45
Don't forget a 3' cable #BB040 for $4.95
and a wall wart like #BB041 for $5.95
and your hardware is ready to roll.

> sofrware and would prefer
> something in kit form,  if possible.

The software suggested for the P16pro is Picallw,
http://www.picallw.com
I was very happy with this software after registering it,
but recently had a lot of trouble getting it to do 18F
chips. I downloaded ICPROG.exe for free from
http://www.ic-prog.com, and have been very happy with it.

Disclaimer section, please read:
*I have not used the Warp13A, my info on it is secondhand.
*Beyond the Warp13A, I have described the choices I made,
and can report that they work well with 18F248 chips.
*There are MANY good programmers out there, and many
of the people that support them are reading this list. I hope
that offering my own experience hasn't pissed anyone off.
*The kit I described requires assembly, which in turn requires
you to know which end of the soldering iron to hold. If you don't,
please buy an assembled unit.
*I have no affiliation with any of the companies listed, and you
can bet they have no affiliation with me.
*There is LOTS of information for newcomers at
http://www.piclist.com. Please look there for answers to common questions.

Good Luck,
Lyle

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2002\12\05@022523 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
my programmer: http://www.voti.nl/wisp628 (kit, build, programmed PIC, or DIY)
and http://www.voti.nl/swp contains some programmer links
did you browse piclist/techref?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
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consultancy, development, PICmicro products


> {Original Message removed}

2002\12\05@091850 by Royce Simmons

picon face
Sorry, I goofed.  I meant only a programmer, not the chip.  Glad to see
someone is willing to set me straight and point
out the errror of my ways......
{Original Message removed}

2002\12\05@145550 by Royce Simmons

picon face
Tony,

Please keep me posted on the programmer.  What software will be needed?

Royce

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2002\12\08@170458 by Tony Nixon

flavicon
picon face
Royce Simmons wrote:
>
> Tony,
>
> Please keep me posted on the programmer.  What software will be needed?
>
> Royce
>


Hi Royce,

The kit will be released through DIY at http://www.kitrus.com

Kit 128

All software will be supplied. 98/NT/2000

Will be working on a XP version also.


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mICros
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salesEraseMEspambubblesoftonline.com

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2002\12\08@174109 by Brian Smith

picon face
> Tony Nixon wrote:
> The kit will be released through DIY at http://www.kitrus.com
>
> Kit 128
>
> All software will be supplied. 98/NT/2000
>
> Will be working on a XP version also.

Just to help those who get confused, there is a missing 's' in that
hyperlink.  It should be http://www.kitsrus.com for the website

Brian Smith

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'[PIC]: Programmer'
2003\01\08@102612 by Royce Simmons
picon face
Greetings All,

I just finished my USB programmer kit from QKITS and it is great!  It is the
one discussed earlier in this list.  I have
not used it with the USB port yet but with the com port only.  The kit parts
were excellent and the programmer is
fast.  The user interface is really good also.

The usual disclaimer,  I don't have an interest in QKITS,  Kits R Us.

Royce

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