On 9/3/2015 1:42 PM, email@example.com wrote:
It depends on the functionality that you want to provide. E.g., if
you wanted your pool/solar controller to assume a higher degree of
utilization on *holidays* than on WORKdays, you'd be hard-pressed to
do this with discrete logic.
E.g., we have "dual cooling", here -- ACbrrr and Evaporative/swamp Cooler.
You simply can't find a thermostat that knows how and when to use each!
Instead, the *human* (occupant) becomes an integral part of the
control loop. *Then*, you can use a simpler implementation (e.g.,
a simple thermostat).
OTOH, if you want to take the human *out* of the loop, then you need
a sh*tload more "smarts" in the control system. What's the current
humidity/dew point? How effective will the swamp cooler be *at*
that DP? How is that DP likely to *change* in the coming HOURS?
(if it's likely to RAIN later today, you surely don't want to push
even *more* moisture into the house with the cooler -- that the ACbrrr
will eventually have to remove ALONGSIDE the increased humidity)
*When* do you want the house to attain a particular comfort level?
If the occupants are away (vacation)... <shrug>. If they're at *work*,
then you probably want the house to be comfortable *when* they get
home -- not some time *after* they're home! So, start getting things
ready BEFORE they get home. But, how far in advance is appropriate?
Delay too long and they'll come home to an uncomfortable house. Start
too early and you've kept an *empty* house comfortable! :-/
My first (audio) cassette deck had TTL control logic. It's replacement
has several processors doing all sorts of different things! Yet, the
user interface hasn't appreciably changed (play, stop, pause, rewind, etc.)
This all came about from work I did with a few IBM engineers way back
in the Jimmy Carter solar age. Guys were designing very complicated
controllers and in the end it was decided that this was a very simple
thing. You really only needed a photo cell to get about 90% efficiency
and a couple of temperature sensors (in and out) really bumped that
In the case of the pool and my solars I just use a timer and assume
that in the winter in Florida the sun will be shining all day. I have
a garden variety Honeywell thermostat to decide when it gets too cool
to keep running them in the evening.
On 9/3/2015 11:21 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
My point being, *you* are part of the control loop. I can't take your solution
and transplant it to northern California, or expect it to perform optimally
in Summer, etc.
Putting smarts *in* a device (e.g., via an MPU/MCU) lets that device meet
a variety of needs without requiring a knowledgeable, involved user to
remain (forever) part of the solution.
W/98 did the same4 thing if you had updates turned on, as has every
I remember an Internet Exploder update that nobody really wanted and
broke a whole lot of web applications.
There was a scramble to get the old version back.
That probably had more people turning updates off than anything else
MS ever did.
If you have updates enabled, most MS products (along with a variety of
other bits of software: Java, Firefox, IE, Acrobat, etc.) will blissfully
update your software -- optionally getting your explicit consent before
installing those updates.
But, for the most part, they are *supposed* to be "fixes". It's not
like MS is updating your XP system to Vista, then 7even, then 8, etc.
and dragging you along in the process.
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 3:13:26 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
Who are "these people" and who says what they are using? Here
is a link to several HDMI chips that do the HDMI to analog display function
from just one chip manufacturer. Google and you'll find plenty more. Also,
not sure what a "PIC" is. If you used a general purpose CPU, it's only
part of the solution. You'd still need a separate D/A, for example.
And trying to have one CPU do many things instead of a dedicated chip
brings it's own problems, how many times have you had a video freeze on
a PC for example?
No. It's a (icky!) microcontroller series manufactured by Microchip.
The original "PIC" was a (REALLY icky) manufactured by General
Instruments -- the original name for Microchip. They were originally
used in CATV tuner boxes -- as such, didn't really have to do much!
PIC == Programmable Interface Controller though I suspect that
acronym is lost over the years.
The devices have *slowly* improved in capability. Yet, are widely
used, today -- largely because they are cheap and Microchip is
very friendly to "hobbyists" making it easy for folks to play
with (and later, adopt) these components.
I think my furnace uses one. But. consider how simple the algorithm
- wait for thermostat to call for heat
- turn on exhaust blower
- turn on gas
- strike igniter
- check for ignition
- repeat a few times, MAXIMUM; if no joy, shutdown and vent the furnace
- keep gas running as long as call for heat and flame sensed
No fancy math, no user interface, etc.
Be glad it doesn't need an actual OS and Windows wasn't selected. [g]
At the no joy shutdown stage a general protection fault might have
occured, and no venting would have taken place. Unexpected explosion
(ironic as in this case, one is semi expecting an explosion),
repaired with an upcoming service patch. [g]
Optimist: Someone who doesn't know all the facts yet.
Correct. It's actually more efficient to use dedicated hardware for
that function. But, ...
Exactly. And, more to the point, you need a computer to decide what
to *report* back tot he provider!
TV's (and thermostats, soon refrigerators, etc.) have now become "spies"
for their makers (or, whomever their makers want to sell that information).
What show is he/she watching?
How often (and *when*, exactly) do they turn AWAY from the broadcast?
Did they watch that commercial?
How many people are in the room?
From this sort of information, with the help of Big Data, they can also
make educated guesses about your voting habits, medical conditions,
income/education level, etc.
And, the *computer* can now extract specific commercials from the
data stream (it's no longer a single "broadcast stream!" like in
days of old), buffer that and present it to you *when* it thinks
it appropriate. You can even be watching a commercial while your
neighbor is still watching the actual *program* (buffer the program
while PLAYING the commercial).
[For more than 30 years, the techology has existed and BEEN IN USE
to selectively *replace* commercials to certain broadcast areas.
Of course, this is a really coarse instrument -- EVERYONE sees the
replacement. Imagine if you can target individual households -- or
individual *viewers* -- with specific messages.... then *measure*
how effectively the message was received! I.e., did Joe User
actually *buy* the product that you pitched to him last night??]
These sorts of things are hard to do with dedicated bits of hardware
(unless you make that hardware "programmable" -- hey, like a computer!)
Not sure if the story is true, but a few years ago a department store sent a
girl some baby information and wanted her to set up a baby want list at the
store. Her father got wind of this and called the store and told them he
did not like them sending out all that as his daughter was not pregnet. The
store said they were sorry but based on the medication and vitimens she was
buying she was.
A few weeks later the man called up and said he was sorry to chew them out
as his daughter was pregnet.
Now looking at items on certain web sites will bring up ads for that item on
other web pages.
I understand Windows 10 is or can be set up to send back a lot of
information like that.
On 9/3/2015 10:10 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
Yes. And, people don't understand that there is virtually nothing you
can do to remain anonymous in your web searching. Disable cookies?
Nope Super cookies? Nope Beacons? Nope.
Your actual *browser* can be "fingerprinted" to (practically) uniquely
identify you (it). What browser? What OS? What "options"? is Java
enabled? JScript? What range of IP addresses? What toolbar installed?
And, that assumes the browser isn't *deliberately* "tattling" on you!
W10 actually leaks a *lot* of information. MS has BELATEDLY realized that
selling software is not where the *money* is! Selling *ads* is the cash
cow! Knowing what people want, how they behave, what they search for, etc.
Sell that information to others. I.e., your *users* are the "commodity"
that you are "peddling". Implicit in all this is the Internet connection;
if your machine isn't connected to the outside world, it can't tattle on
how you are using it!
(you can't make a firewall smart enough to block this sort of information
from flowing through clandestine tunnels, etc. There's no way a machine
can know what's "bona fide" traffic and what is *undesireable* traffic)
Think about that when you want Philips to control your LED lights;
google to control your thermostat; etc.
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