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How LEDs Are Made

b1t r0t Re:left out the most important steps (93 comments)

The articled failed to mention the most important aspects of the LED manufacturing: wafering and the MOCVD that deposits the light emitting materials

It didn't "fail to mention" that, it started with the pre-cut dies. This place turns cut dies into finished LEDs, and they documented what they saw. This was in China, and the dies are apparently made in Taiwan (so maybe they are crap), and they weren't anywhere near there.

And yes, fabs are serious alchemy. Like the time when Fairchild was a new company, and they found out that their transistor yields were being affected by workers not washing their hands after taking a leak. The chemicals in urine were fucking up the process.

about 4 months ago
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How LEDs Are Made

b1t r0t Re:Somewhat off-topic: why not uncut LED panels? (93 comments)

I work in a part of the commercial lighting industry, and the current technology is indeed surface-mount LEDs, sort of like what you see on strip lighting, only on a metal PCB (for heat dissipation, naturally). Just run everything through a pick-and-place machine and roll it through the reflow oven. The lenses are clear plastic light pipes mounted through holes in a metal fascia. (And I was lucky enough to be able to pick up a bunch of LEDs that fell out of the PnP when we were making some a couple of years ago. Heavy parts do that.)

I doubt they're ever going to move to mounting bare dies (like in seven-segment displays) because they'd have to have their own wire bonder and epoxy, and I'm going to guess that white LEDs need the phosphor applied between mounting the die and molding the lens, so that's one more step. Some customers want Made in USA stuff, and that would be a true pain in the ass to do die-mount in the US vs. a tube of surface-mount LEDs and a normal pick-and-place machine.

I'm pretty sure just from the way they look that traffic lights are using regular 5mm or 8mm LEDs. Even if they used surface-mount LEDs, they'd still need a lens somewhere, and die-mounts would of course be even more trouble. You would have to buy the whole thing pre-made from China with die-mount. The only reason seven-segment (and presumably matrix) LEDs use die mounts is that they can be sold as a single pre-packaged part, and they're too small to even use 3mm molded LEDs.

about 4 months ago
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Crowded US Airwaves Desperately In Search of Spectrum Breathing Room

b1t r0t I feel their pain (105 comments)

I just upgraded my wifi to a dual-band base station so that I could use some of that sweet 5GHz space. I live in a suburban neighborhood (built in the '70s, so not even one of those super-cramped Krap Box neighborhoods they make these days) and I can see at least eight other SSIDs at any time.

After all, I've gotta watch those ATSC .ts streams from my MythTV on my laptop.

about 7 months ago
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Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink

b1t r0t Re:Things haven't changed (249 comments)

15 years ago my biggest problem when dealing with HTML was when the clients were print designers.

I guess it hasn't changed. We aren't going to have display postscript on the small mobile devices that are so prevalent now.

Sorry, the web and print are two different media. It isn't going to look the same.

If you need really fine control use PDF.

Stop trying to cram a month's work of clothing into an overnight bag.

&tc.

We aren't going to have display postscript on the small mobile devices that are so prevalent now.

Doesn't iOS use the Quartz layout engine from OS X, which was specifically designed as a replacement for NeXT's use of Display Postscript? It uses a PDF model instead of a full Postscript model, but that also stops the sillier uses of your graphics renderer as a general-purpose programming language.

about 8 months ago
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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

b1t r0t Re: Computers don't know how to be racist or sexis (612 comments)

I learned to code on a TRS-80. WIth no internet. And cassette tape for storage for the first two years. There's this amazing invention you may not have heard about. You see all those words and pictures on your screen? People have figured out how to put them on paper, then they stack a bunch of these pieces of paper and glue them together. There are even places where you can read these stacks of paper for free.

about 9 months ago
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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

b1t r0t Re:No. (612 comments)

I was already playing with digital electronics and thinking like an engineer before high school. I even tried to build a computer from the chips available at Radio Shack in 1978, but sadly I hadn't quite grasped the concept of gate fan-out, or testing things in sections, at the age of thirteen. Not that it would have been easy without any test equipment more complicated than LEDs and an analog multimeter.

about 9 months ago
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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

b1t r0t Re:CS Grads are unemployable (612 comments)

Unfortunately, due to the economy, I there haven't been too many potential new hires for me to be involved in interviewing them. But when I did have some involvement, your observation was correct. The CS grads of today can barely code their way out of a wet paper bag, and they don't know any other language than Java when they even try. Like "write a file copy subroutine, and why did you make the choices you did". Yeah, computer science grads, they don't even understand how to do a buffered copy, much less how to determine your buffer size, which is one of the basic concepts of Computer Science. Nor do they seem to understand how to work with linked lists. (Were they asleep through their sophomore year data structures class, or what?) The EE grads actually knew how to program.

I was a CS grad of the '80s, but I already knew how to program and hook up TTL chips from my teen years, when it was all 8-bit, and from disassembling a Z-80 MS-BASIC. (That was MY "summer of code" from Bill Gates, with zero cultural bullshit.) For me, CS filled in a lot of the things I didn't know, like data structures class. The uni's equivalent of "Computer Engineering" was too hard to get through (mostly because low participation meant that the classes weren't taught every semester), but what classes from that major that I took as electives were for the FUN of it. Build a serial transmitter from TTL chips? No sweat, and then watch me flip those switches to make messages, since I knew the entire ASCII code chart in hexadecimal. Again, zero cultural bullshit, just me against some chips and wires.

Actually the main reason I didn't go EE was that I only wanted to mess with digital electronics. I didn't fucking care what the beta of a transistor was, or even why it mattered. Just give me a handful of 2N2222, some 220ohm, 1K, and 5K resistors, and LEDs. I know to respect transmission line characteristics because they will bite you in the ass, but beyond that "There be dragons here". Maybe that's why I'm so big on encapsulation in my code.

These days I'm doing embedded systems programming. Not much ageism in this part of the industry. I'm 49, and I have the least gray hair of the half a dozen or so programmers where I work. I'm the whippersnapper who actually figured out how C++ could make my code better. Just this past week I got an Ethernet chip working for the first time (which was kind of a bucket list thing for me), on a system with no OS. (So is there a pull-string Barbie that says "interrupt handlers are hard"?)

about 9 months ago
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Book Review: Minecraft

b1t r0t Re:Wait, what? (77 comments)

Notch takes Infiniminer

Sorry, bullshit. First Minecraft video posted by Notch on 2009-05-13. Infiniminer source release on 2009-05-16. This means that Notch had been working on Minecraft for some time before Infiniminer's source code was released. Also, Infiniminer: .NET, Minecraft: Java.

So he didn't plagiarize anything more than the basic idea of a big world full of blocks. But Notch actually followed through to completion (more or less), while Infiniminer didn't.

As Steve Jobs was fond of saying, "Real artists ship."

about a year ago
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Microsoft YouTube App Strips Ads; Adds Download

b1t r0t Re:Google will block it (381 comments)

If I were youtube, I would wait awhile and then sue Microsoft for damages.

Well I guess they do have to wait for there to be more than 100 Windows Phone users for there to be actual damages.

about a year ago
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Evil, Almost Full Vim Implementation In Emacs, Reaches 1.0

b1t r0t Re:Funny Story... (252 comments)

I prefer Elvis, the standard vi editor of Slackware.

about a year and a half ago
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Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

b1t r0t Re:*Cough* United Kingdom *cough* (1387 comments)

I saw an article on one of the major UK newspaper web sites in the past week or two about some guy who lost hundreds of pounds after getting a stomach bypass. It referred to his weight / weight loss in stone. I was rather surprised that they still use stone over there beyond old men talking to each other.

about a year and a half ago
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Rusty Foster Isn't Dead

b1t r0t Re:Shitfest of Kuro5hin (162 comments)

Does the metamoderation FAQ still describe the old system? The new one that they switched to (what, two or three years ago now?) is just plain confusing. Is it [+] the moderation is good, or [+] the post is good?

about a year and a half ago
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Rusty Foster Isn't Dead

b1t r0t Re:Shitfest of Kuro5hin (162 comments)

I think part of the problem is that K5 has a mod system that lets everybody, even new accounts, rate every post with no limits, which encourages sock-puppeting and circle-jerking. (Kind of like... Digg and Reddit? Two down, one to go.)

Slashdot literally makes you lurk more, as an important factor in getting mod points is simply reading a lot of articles. Among other things, this makes it difficult for sock puppet accounts to ever get mod points. I guess it does require a certain critical mass of users to work properly, but below that level is probably admin-moddable anyhow.

about a year and a half ago
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Rusty Foster Isn't Dead

b1t r0t Re:In other news (162 comments)

Whew! I was getting depressed about the thought of never being able to MTV VTD a sye article ever again.

about a year and a half ago
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Rusty Foster Isn't Dead

b1t r0t Re:Shitfest of Kuro5hin (162 comments)

In may ways it's been a pale shadow of adequacy.org, but with a lot more lame troll articles. It's also Michael D. Crawford's aspergement and abuse blog, and Sye's bad poetry aspergement blog. And watching for the inevitable idiot who pays $5 for a new account to plaster spam or a press release for something stupid, and we all get to laugh at the "nullo". Sometimes there's an article that's a good enough troll for everybody to agree to put it on the front page. I particularly like the phrase "Schizoasshole Disorder". And I still miss Turmeric.

about a year and a half ago
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The L.A. Times Names Its Favorite Flops of the Year

b1t r0t Re:Facebook IPO (145 comments)

Wait two years. That should be about when they get dumped because of lack of sales, and corporate ADD on the part of Microsoft.

about a year and a half ago
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Cisco Rumored To Be Selling Linksys

b1t r0t Re:It's about time. (180 comments)

Admittedly, one of the reasons Cisco bought them was because so many people didn't need maximum-speed minimum-latency ASIC-based routing (and certainly not L3 switching) in an era when 32 bit CPUs were cheap enough for consumer gear; being able to remotely get a CLI on a device in another city and individually control ports; or even the plethora of different standards to link multiple offices. (A simple watchdog timer would have been nice in Linksys gear, though.) A good part of the price of Cisco gear can be justified simply by not having to travel multiple hours just to push a button to reboot something. A lot of very small companies didn't need that, which is why Cisco was scared enough of market erosion to buy them.. But your example shows just how bad it was to forcibly re-brand everything as Cisco.

I'm sure the reason Cisco did the rebranding was simply out of their habit of Acquire and Absorb. This worked for enterprise stuff that was a somewhat niche market when Cisco bought them, when the acquisition was a good fit for their switching/routing architecture. But Linksys wasn't enterprise stuff. And Cisco didn't understand consumer stuff. Or the consumer market.

And then there was the "red-headed stepchild" angle. I was a Cisco employee at the time of the acquisition. We couldn't even buy Linksys gear at a decent discount through the employee hardware purchase program. I wanted a Linksys 24-port gigabit switch to use at home. Guess who I bought it from? Dell.com had the best price, and it was easier to order, too.

about 2 years ago
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Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet?

b1t r0t Re:No, nothing sinister here, just convenience (249 comments)

It also doesn't help that half of the codes out there in the wild are just raw timing codes that don't even identify the protocol, much less the bit patterns. And then the LIRC code library (which is a little better about pulling out some of the bit patterns, though not necessarily identifying the specific protocol) is primarily based around actual remotes and their manufacturer part numbers, not the receiving devices or their code sets.

It also isn't and can't be as easy as getting hash codes for a CD when you insert it. To get good timing information when reading an IR signal, you really need something based on a microcontroller, whether a USB or a standalone device.

about 2 years ago
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Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet?

b1t r0t Re:Logitech hardware too (249 comments)

And then it buffers the button presses so that it will still be sending codes for a moment after you push a button multiple times.

about 2 years ago

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