A Little History

A Little History

I have been interested in electronics since I was a boy, when I first received a Tandy “65 in one electronics projects kit” for Christmas.

This sparked a desire to learn about electronics, I also joined the school electronics club at the age of about 11, where we used to make simple circuits by hammering nails into pieces of wood and soldering the components to them. A few years later, also at school, I started learning to write code in Applesoft Basic on an Apple ][ Europlus computer.

My degree course in Applied Software Engineering, was a joint faculty course that spanned both the Computing and Engineering faculties. On the Computing side we learned various high level languages, such as Pascal, Cobol and C as well as things like protocol design. On the Engineering side we learned about embedded systems, integrated circuits, operating system design as well as learning 8086 assembly language.

The height of our forays into electronics culminated with writing some code to control a pulse width modulated motor on an applications board, the front end menu was written in C and allowed for 10 speeds, forwards, reverse, on and off. The motor controller was written in assembler and used of an interrupt service routine that made use of the timer tick interrupt on the PC.

The interest has remained over the years, though usually just below the surface, my career did not take me into electronics, and despite what my degree course was designed to produce only spent a brief period as a programmer, my interest seemed to lead me down the Unix path and to becoming a Unix Systems Administrator, which is what I have been now for around 20 years.

Recently topics like Reprap, Arduino, robotsĀ and the world of CNC machines has revived my interest in electronics, as can be seen on some of my other Blogs.

This Blog will cover projects that pique my interest, some I have simply built something designed by someone else, others I have taken ideas and tried to put my own twist on them. Often the motivation may simply be saving money over buying a pre-built item, other times it might be a gadget that seemed like a good idea.

I am no electronics expert, I still struggle with most of the aspects of circuit design, but try to make use of the information available for free out there on the Web to help with my understanding.

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