We’re new half way through phase 2 of our project plan, which puts us at about 3 months in. There’s 5 phases total for an April release. Mark’s stuff is going pretty well, it looks like he’ll probably hit all or most of his milestones. My stuff is not looking quite so good. The idea is to have a functional complete board sitting on my desk by the end of this phase, and that’s probably pushing it. In addition I’m supposed to have an enclosure design and a wire harness designed both prototyped and on my desk. We’ll see what I can do. Unfortunately things keep coming up that demand attention. Right now I’m debugging something with our ERP software. It takes like 15 minutes to run so I figured I’d hammer out this blog entry while I’m at it.
First PCB for new product
I did get the first proof of concept PCB back – built it up and tested it out. This board only tests out a small subsection of the functionality. A lot of it worked fairly well, and most of it didn’t. Not too surprising, it’s on to rev 2. I think I know what I’m doing a bit more this time. Good thing we’re going through all this so early. This next time I’ll be using bench top power supply with three outputs – no more building up switching power supply solutions for proof of concept boards.
New Cross Platform Build System
Steve has created us an really nice cross-platform build solution, I’m pretty excited about it. It includes a full one-button build capability that runs across several machines and packages up all the results. It even pulls down the latest build from Git automatically. It also will let us easily debug and commit changes on the various platforms, using Eclipse (Linux) and XCode (OS X). Mark’s putting the finishing touches on that right now but we should have a new beta release very shortly (next few days).
64-bit Native Build on Windows & OS X
Along with the new cross platform build system we will now be releasing a native 64-bit version of the software for Windows. Mark played with this and managed to get the software to allocate something like 25GB of data. So if you want to capture a gazillion samples on Windows (and want an excuse to buy a ton of ram for your machine) you’ll soon be able to. We also will have native 64-bit on OS X, and 64-bit Linux as we have for some time.
The ERP software we wrote to manage inventory and synchronize web orders with QuickBooks has been working pretty darn well. It certainly has its issues but for the most part it keeps us 100% on top of inventory. We actually have not taken physical inventory for a very long time. We did formally take inventory last week, and we weren’t too far off. We’ve updated the inventory counts (such that it matches what we actually have on hand) and we’ll take inventory again in a month and see how far off we are then. We made a spreadsheet that in principal should make taking inventory pretty painless – mostly by weighing the various boxes.
I’m super happy to report that one of our potential lenders came through and we’re 99% of the way to having access to some extra funds. We got about 80% of what we asked for, which should work very well. I think we’ll have access to the initial funds in the next couple weeks.
We’ve registered the “Logic” logo and the Saleae name with the USPTO. So that’s good. It'll take quite a while before we hear anything back. The lawyer we’re working with on that is super nice and knowledgeable and has made it all quite painless. It’s something we could have probably filed ourselves, but I really don’t need another project so was happy to have someone take this on.
New Saleae Logo
I decided we should refresh our Saleae logo, so we had an interesting time doing that. I’m pretty happy with the result I think, but ultimately it’s all about how the logo works in the context of the website and other materials. That’s pretty far out still, so the “unveiling” will have to wait.
Saleae open house
On July 26th we had a great 3rd open house! Thanks again to everyone who came by. Next time I want to come up with something really cool for people to tinker with – like a big tank of water and an Open ROV -- http://openrov.com/. Maybe a presenter as well.
James, Mark and I successfully went backpacking a few weekends ago and it was awesome. It’s was fun getting together all that equipment, trying to optimize the wright. We went to a camp site this time, which had extremely minimal amenities – but next time I want to just go somewhere completely off the grid. I’m really not sure what the various laws and rules are for that sort of thing, or how to find out.
Mark went to a coding competition which was apparently a crazy experience. Some of these guys are just off the charts at what they do. Crazy smart.
Mark and I got one of those Logitech G27 force-feedback racing wheels, and we’ve been playing with it a little on iracing.com. It’s surprisingly good. The H-pattern shifter makes shifting very natural – pretty much how I drive my own car.
Had to love the new batman movie, am I right?
We looked at a couple of inexpensive boats these last couple weeks – there’s a marina a couple miles from the office at we’re thinking of parking it here.
Bikes at the Office
Mark and I both have our bikes at the office now and are biking a few days a week. Works pretty well!
A couple months ago I started working out with a personal trainer and it’s been great. The most important thing is that it causes you to go work out. I’m just doing weights once/week and hit the bike at work other days. So far so good.