Gas station without pumps

2019 December 8

Book Done!

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:06
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I’ve posted the latest version of the book—the first version I think of as really completed, so I’m calling it Edition 1.0.

The book is available at https://leanpub.com/applied_analog_electronics/ now, but I won’t raise the price until Tuesday, as I announced last week.  I’ve already sent the students registered for the course coupons for a free book, and they have started picking it up.

The new book takes up 28.7MB and has

651 pages
335 figures
13 tables
509 index entries
155 references

The chapter on Design Report Guidelines is available free at https://leanpub.com/design_report_guidelines. If your students need some advice on writing from an engineering professor, this document may be of more use to them than many longer texts.

2019 December 5

First cellphone

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:08
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My wife finally talked me into buying a cellphone (she’s been using one for a few years, and upgraded to a smartphone last summer).

I bought a Moto G7 to use on Google Fi, because the phone was on sale through Google Fi for only $100.  My wife had already been using Google Fi with a Moto X4 (Android One edition), though the phone was in my name, because I had a Google account and she did not.

The idea was to set up a Google Fi group account, transfer the Moto X4 with its phone number to her, and add the new phone to my account.  That turned out to be impossible, or nearly so.  Google does not easily support transferring phones, and if the phone number had been moved to her account, I would have lost the promotional price on the Moto G7.

After a long time on Google support chat with “Andy”, we finally came up with a plan that seemed like it would work.  I would keep her phone associated with my account, open a new email account, invite the new account to join the Google Fi group, accept the invitation, and then activate the phone and get a new number for the new phone.

Even that turned out to be harder than expected, as my first attempt to open a new gmail account associated the account with my existing Google account, so I could not invite it to join the Google Fi group—it had just replaced the email I had associated with the account with the new email.  After making sure that I was logged out of all Google accounts, I set up yet another gmail account, logged back in under my original account, invited the new account, and accepted the invitation.

So after, about 4 hours of struggling with Google’s limited view that person=phone number and all email accounts should be associated with the same person, I finally activated the phone.  Since then, it has gone through about 3 system updates—I understand that doing many serial system updates is standard whenever a new Android phone is activated.

I’ve installed 2 apps on my phone: Lyft (which I’ve not tried yet) and CS Customizer, which can be used to adjust the profile for my hearing aids (“personal hearing amplifiers”, since they weren’t sold by an audiologist).  I have tried CS Customizer, and it seems to work ok, which is good, because it had stopped working on my Mac after one of the macos upgrades. Incidentally, over the summer I created an instruction sheet (hearing-aid-instructions) for recharging the hearing aids, since my dad has the same model and the assisted living center he is at was not doing a good job of keeping them charged.  I understand that the instructions have been printed and posted in his room, but I don’t know whether they are doing any better at keeping his hearing aids charged.

I’ve also rearranged the app buttons on the home screen, as Motorola and Google seem to put the most useless ones as the favorites.  I now have Contacts, Phone, Chrome, Maps, and Lyft on one row, and Duo, Messages, Settings, Photos, and Camera as the second row.  I also made the top row of Quick Settings be Wifi, Do Not Disturb, Mobile data, Flashlight, Location, and Airplane mode.

I’ll try the phone for a week, then move my landline number to it.  I’m losing the landline because I’m upgrading my internet service from DSL (which includes the landline service) to a higher-speed microwave link (both from CruzIO, a local ISP).  The DSL line gets about 11Mb/s download and 0.8Mb/s upload, and I’m expecting about 70Mb/s each way with the microwave link.  It will come into the house in a different location than the phone lines, and the rebar in the concrete walls of my house blocks wifi signals, so there may be some trouble in placing a router so that both the book room and the breakfast room (where my wife and I work) are covered.

The Google Fi group account increases our cell phone bill from $20/month to $35/month, but the microwave link will cost the same per month ($75) as the DSL would, because the DSL is going up in price.

2019 December 4

$1000 royalties!

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:51
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I’ve finally earned $1000 in royalties on my textbook!  Thank you to all my purchasers—especially those who chose to pay more than the required minimum.

Incidentally, the royalties come to a little more than the expenses I’ve incurred in developing the labs for the book, but it’s a good thing that I have a salary and could use sabbatical time to write the book, as the royalties come to less than 50¢ an hour of writing (probably more like 20¢ an hour, once expenses are taken into account).

2019 December 3

Applied Analog Electronics price increase coming soon

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:18
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I’m about 3 days behind my original schedule, but I have now cleared all the to-do notes out of my draft of Applied Analog Electronics.  It will be ready to release when I have run the 62 \LaTeX files through a spelling checker and have gone through and checked all the page breaks, figure placements, figure sizing, and overfull hboxes.  I expect this to take me 2–3 days, but I’m allowing myself up to a week to complete the task.

I’ll be increasing the minimum price for the textbook from $5.99 to $7.99 on 2019 December 10, when I’ll be releasing the new version of the book.  Students registered for BME 51A will be getting a coupon for a free PDF of the book at that time also.

Because Leanpub purchases entitle buyers to all future drafts of the book published through Leanpub, those of you who have already bought the book (even with a free coupon) can get the updated electronic copy for free.

Those of you who are still thinking of buying the book can get it cheaper if you buy it now, then get the free update when it is released.  The URL for purchases is https://leanpub.com/applied_analog_electronics

 

Moved PteroDAQ from BitBucket to GitHub

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 18:00
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As mentioned in BitBucket being killed by Atlassian, Atlassian is killing off all its Mercurial repositories in BitBucket, forcing people to change to git.  They provide no tools for moving the repository, so it is easier to move to GitHub than to stay with BitBucket.

I have successfully moved the repository (using Github’s “import repository” drop-down menu item under the “+” tab, and moved over the issues, using the python program from https://github.com/jeffwidman/bitbucket-issue-migration

Because the PteroDAQ wiki had only two files, I moved them to the new repository manually, renaming the Home.md to README.md and editing the files lightly to update any BitBucket links.

I’ve even updated the link on the sidebar of this blog to point to the new Github repository.  It would be useful if one of my readers could check that the new repository works and that the installation instructions are ok.  I had no trouble, but I’m the owner of the repository, which makes a difference.

The new repository is at https://github.com/karplus/PteroDAQ

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