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2008 February

Archive for February, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Infinities (1)

Suppose there is a people somewhere that has not yet been corrupted by what we like to call civilization.

Their mathematical skills allow them to count up to five, but not beyond. Anything over 5 is considered ‘many’.

Does that mean they consider all collections of over 5 items as quantitively equal?

No, of course not. They fully realize that there are different kinds of ‘many’: a handful of peanuts is not quite as ‘many’ as a bucket full of peanuts!

Somewhat similarly, ‘civilized’ mathematicians have come to realize that there are different kinds of infinities. Even though we can’t count them, we know that there are infinite sets that differ in ‘size’.

But things get a bit weird when it comes to infinities.

Take for instance the infinite set of all integers.

It’s obvious, and one can also show mathematically, that the set of all EVEN integers is as ‘big’ (or strong) as the set of all ODD integers.

To get you to think a bit about infinities, I’ll end this short introductory¬†post¬†to a (finite!) set of posts on infinities here with a small ‘test’.

I intend to explain later where I’m going with all this. For now, I’d like to keep it simple.

Let ‘I’ be the set of all integers, ‘E’ the set of all EVEN integers and ‘S(s)’ the size¬† of set ‘s’.
What can be said about the size of I?

Answers 1)
a. S(I) < S(E)
b. S(I) = S(E)
c. S(I) > S(E)
d. Huh?

Bonus question:
What is the most dangerous remark in the above post, especially with regards to the correct answer?

1) For the equation challenged:
Is the set of all integers a) smaller, b) equal or c) larger than the set of all even intergers, or d) no clue?

PostHeaderIcon Employed!

I just returned from signing an employment agreement with High Fidelity Engineering, a small (less than 10 people) startup here in Melbourne, that is active in integrated ubiquitous national two-way, low-speed, data communications networks,  utilizing HF frequencies and FM or XM radio as the inbound and outbound communications, respectively. 

So, yes, I’m employed again. As of Feb. 25th that is. I’ll be their firmware guy and I will start by porting an 8051 based system to an ARM7-TDMI-S processor based one.

I already know a thing or two about 802.11, and in a few weeks from now you can ask me anything about 802.15.4 (ZigBee) as well! ūüėČ

Really looking forward to it!

PostHeaderIcon Unemployed?

Today was the first WORK day of my unemployment. And what did I do? Yes … I had an interview!

I was on my way to the interview, singing and just enjoying the nice weather, the small flock of Sandhill Cranes that flew by and just realizing it’s not so bad to be unemployed when your wife still has a very well paid job.

And then the phone rang (gotta love cars with bluetooth enabled ‘entertainment’ centers).

This is a blog, not a novel, so let me just skip to the facts: she lost her job too (military, contracting, bidding for new contracts, blah blah).

I was a bit concerned. I had several irons in the fire (one of which I particularly liked) but hadn’t heard back from any of them.

The company I would be¬†interviewing with today … I don’t know. A colleague of mine showed me their job ad and I emailed him my resum√© which he forwarded to them: hey: I AM a fimware engineer! (and I have seen and done it all!).

I didn’t quite get what they were doing, making, selling. But hey .. a job is¬†a¬†job.

The very first thing that impressed me with these folks was the fact that they called me, only¬†TWO hours after I forwarded my resum√© to this co-worker of mine. And they wanted to talk to me ‘tomorrow’! (no ‘telephone’ interview!).

I couldn’t do ‘tomorrow’ (had procrastinated a bit with cleaning out my cubicle), but went there the next working day: today.¬† I was still not sure what to think about it .. still secretly hoping for the other guys to call me .. I went to the interview. I ignored my wife’s advice to ‘dress up’ and went in jeans. Glad I did. I was not the only one in that meeting room in jeans! Anyway …

My buddy and friend Eddy has been to MANY more interviews than I have (in fact, this was my first one), and he recalls interviews that went absolutely perfectly! Done deal. And then .. he would get a call, telling him he didn’t fit in with the team.

So… I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up too high …

But let me tell you .. the more I think about it, the more I understand the product, the more I understand the challenge … the more I think of the people I interacted with today … the whole package … even though I was hoping for something else (and the other guys¬†DID email me today, after I got home) … the more I think THIS is a PERFECT match! With a very exciting future! (the many more things that can be done with THAT technology!).

The only dark cloud I can see is pay: I got VERY well paid in my previous job (6 figures), so I know I’ll have to take a heavy hit in the money department, but¬†.. we’ll see. An interesting and fun job is worth something too (can’t say I have had too much fun the past few years!).

I know I shouldn’t (yet) … but I’m ‘pumped’!

(okay, okay, for all the smartiepants who pointed out that both Dawnell and I are wearing the same wrist watch … so, I did some very sloppy rudimentary photoshopping … just click on the picture to see the originals .. if you really must! Jeesh!)

PostHeaderIcon Unemployed!

Monday, September 2nd, 1974, was the first day of my career as a professional software engineer.

Today, for the first time in that 33+ year career, is my first day of my first interruption of that career: I’m now practically *) unemployed.

I’m sitting here today, a sunny Saturday in February, in my office at home, surrounded by boxes full of computer books and 33+ years worth of computer related junk.

I’m kinda sad it **) happened, but on the other hand … I’m ready to tackle something new and exciting.

Now … if only someone would offer me an opportunity to do just that …

I’ll keep y’all informed.

*) I said practically, because technically my severance deal will keep me on the payroll till¬†mid May. But my office is empty, the lights are off, I handed in my entry badge and we drank beer all yesterday afternoon at the local pub with the last diehards of the ‘transition’ team (clean-up crew) that I was part of.

**) Conexant closes wireless division