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I've just disassembled this LED floodlight that I bought a while ago. It's some stupid little cheapie from a dollar store, so I figured that there'd be shit inside. But I wanted that LED cob.. a power LED :3
Well, shit wasn't too far off from the truth. The component choice is reasonable, but the design of the bloody thing.. batshit insane. The LED floodlight is powered by 4 AAA batteries, connected in series. So 6VDC. That then goes into this little tactile pushbutton, into the LED cob and then a 4.7 ohm resistor.
Well that's a pretty easy circuit.. let's remove the batteries and the casement, and put it on the lab bench power supply. Probes connected to the circuit with only the resistor and the LED cob in between (I didn't want to deal with the switch). Power supply set to 6V, current limiting to 500mA, contact!! And it works, amazing! So I let it run for a while to see that nothing gets too hot.. hah. After a minute or so, smoke would come out.. LED cob was a bit warm to the touch but nothing too bad. But the resistor.. I could cook water on it if I wanted to! 100 fucking °C, and rising. What the F yo?!
So I figured that I didn't want to put the resistor in between there. Just the LED cob now, which apparently has a forward voltage somewhere between 3.2V and 3.3V depending on how I set the current (500mA and 600mA respectively). Needed a bigger heatsink though, so I jammed one of my aluminium heatsinks on there. And it worked great! Very bright too, as it takes between 1.6 and 2W of power. Just for a comparison, the lighting in my living room is 4x5W and the ones on top of my dining table are 2x3W (along with some TL bar that my landlord put there.. fluorescent I think). So yeah, 2W is quite a lot for an LED, especially when it's all concentrated into one tiny spot.
That said, back to the original design with the resistor. 2 questions I have for that moron that designed this crap. First, why use a resistor for a power LED?! They needlessly waste power, and aren't good choices for anything that consumes more than 100mA. You should use PWM for these purposes, or tune your voltage on the supply side. Second, why go with 6V when your forward voltage is 3.3 at most? Wouldn't it make more sense to use 3 batteries with 4.5V? Ah, but I know the answer to the second one. AAA cells aren't rated for high loads like this. So that's likely why the alkaline cells that I had in there before have started leaking. Thanks, certified piece of shit!
Honestly, consumer electronics are such a joke... At least there's some components that I can salvage from this crap. Mainly the LED cob, but also the resistor and the tactile pushbutton perhaps.
One last remark that I'd like to make. This floodlight was cheap garbage. But considering that you can't do it well at that price, you just shouldn't do it. You know why? Because consumers always go for the cheapest. Makes a lot of money to build at rock bottom prices and make shit, but it damages the whole industry, since now the good designs will go out of business. That's why consumer electronics is so full of crap nowadays. Some unethical profiteering gluttons saw money, and they replaced the whole assortment with nothing but garbage. I'm sure that there's a special place in hell for that kind of people.17
I feel like this is my first actual rant in that it's a monologue possibly showcasing my emotional baggage. No TL;DRs, so grab a coffee and enjoy.
Hey entrepreneurs and people who write about entrepreneurs, can you stop glorifying life-ending risk and workaholism? It's unhealthy and it goes to ridiculous lengths.
Going on about how you maxed out all of your credit cards, nearly lost your marriage, and still ended up rich should not be seen as inspiring. Impressive, sure, but not inspiring. In a fair world, your story should be seen as part of the self-congratulatory silicon valley gold rush culture where people actually believe that lottery tickets and following their own destiny should involve putting up their chance to ever find peace as collateral.
If you made it with hard work and at great risk, then fantastic! I'm still happy for you. I just wish your success didn't buy you the credibility that it does, because you still didn't discover a formula for success or life in general. You took a plunge and survived, which is fun to watch! It's like seeing someone skydive without a chute onto an unclaimed island and keeping that island. I'm just saying that if your story makes a whole bunch of people start skydiving without chutes because they think they'll land on their own island, then we went from hearing an amazing story to everyone just being retarded.
I'll avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater: If you want financial health and a sense that you are not letting life pass you by, definitely maintain that course and accept risks along the way. Just be reasonable about risk!
I saw an article that started by saying "To start and support your own business, you’ll have to put your career, personal finances and even your mental health at stake." ...Yeah, maybe if you want exponential growth in 5 years because of some kind of cosmic terminal impatience or dysfunctional belief that your moral worth as a person equals the rewards you shoot for.
For people like me who are okay with using a steady paycheck to feed conservative growth and gigs for side income, putting all personal finances and mental health at stake is not an inferior life choice. I strive for flexibility in the event I lose income, and to me the ability to adapt and achieve financial independence is far more valuable than entering into all-or-nothing arrangements in the startup lottery. I won't be filthy rich or stupid famous, but that's okay. I don't need to be.
To those of you on the fence about entrepreneurship, my advice is not to focus on getting rich or famous or even feel the pressure to do so. And it's definitely not to take more risk than necessary. Ask real questions about what lifestyle would make you happy. If it's having a 9000 foot square house, a pool and worldwide admiration, then fine, make the leap. But if you think you're SUPPOSED to have the huge house and worldwide admiration, then I'm telling you that you don't. You are just as important and valuable as a person even while millions salivate over Elon Musk and walk around with inflated aspirations.
And if it helps, good budgeting, wise investments and careful risk management can still get you ahead on lower salaries. Someone making $30k a year but is cautious about savings and staying out of debt can end up just as free and flexible as someone making and blowing $800k a year on luxuries. As for acceptance, having just one person love you for the impact you make on their life is infinitely better than having millions adore you for the (possibly bullshit) image and dream you are forever expected to show them.
To close this out, I'll speak back to the entrepreneurs out there again again: I'm not judging you for making your own life choices. I AM judging your shitty, egotistical need to showcase how great you are for your success when what you did would probably bankrupt the next person to try the exact same thing. And I'm DEFINITELY judging telling people that working 100+ hours a week or risking everything is a necessary part of making dreams come true.
Entrepreneurship is great. Entrepreneurs are full of shit.28
(Best read while listening to AEnima by Tool, loudly)
Dear Current Workplace,
Fuck you, for the reasons enumerated below.
Fuck your enterprise grey blue offices, the stifling warm air of a hundreds of bodies and sub par "development laptops".
Fuck your shitty carbonated water machines which were a cost saving measure over decent drinkable water.
Fuck your fake "flexi time", "you can do home office whenever you want" bullshit. You're still inviting me to mandatory meetings at 09:00 regularly.
Fuck your shitty, in house, third part IT provider sister company. They're the worst of all worlds. If it was in company, we'd get to give out to them, if it was an external company we'd fire them. And yes, when I quit I will quote the dumpster fire that is our corporate VPN as a major factor.
Fuck your cheery, bland, enterprise communication. Words coming under the corporate letterhead seem to lose all association with meaning. Agile, communication, open are things you write and profess to respect, but it seems your totally lack understanding of their meaning.
Fuck your client driven development. Sometime you actually have to fix the foundations before you can actually add new features. And fuck you management who keep on asking "why are there so many bugs and why is it always taking longer to deliver new releases". Because of you, you fucknuts, Because you can't say "NO" to the customer. Because you never listen to your own experienced developers.
Fuck your bullshit "code quality is important to us" line. If it's so important, then let us fix the heap of shit you're selling so that it works like a quasi functional program.
Fuck you development environment which has 250 projects in a single VS solution. Which takes 5mins plus to compile on a quad core i7 with 32 gb of ram.
Fuck this bullshit ball of mud "architecture". I spend most of my time trying to figure out where the logic should go and the rest of the time writing converters between different components. All because 7 years ago some idiot "architect" made a decision that they didn't have to live with.
Actually, fuck that guy in particular. Yeah, that guy who was the responsible architect for the project for 4 years and not once opened the solution to look a the code.
Fuck the manual testing of every business process. Manual setup of the entities takes 10mins plus and then when you run, boom either no message or some bullshit error code.
Fuck the antiquated technology choices which cause loads of bugs and slow down development. Fuck you for forcing me to do manual tests of another developers code at 20:00 on a Friday night because we can't get our act together to do this automatically.
Fuck you for making sure it's very clear I'm never going to be anything but a code monkey in this structure. Managers are brought in from outside.
Fuck you for being surprised that it's hard to hire competent developers in this second rate, overpriced town. It's hard to hire anywhere but this bland shithole would have anyone with half a clue running away at top speed.
Fuck you for valuing long hours and loyalty over actual performance. That one guy who everyone hated and was totally incompetent couldn't even get himself fired. He had to quit.
Fuck you for your mediocrity.
Fuck you for being the only employer for my skill-set in the region; paying just well enough that changing jobs locally doesn't make sense, but badly enough that it's difficult to move.
Fuck you for being the stable "safe" option so that any move is "risky".
Fuck your mediocrity.
Fuck you for being something I think about when I'm not at work. Not only is it shit from 9 to 5 you manage to suck the joy out of everything else in my life as well?
Fuck you for making me feel like a worse developer every day I work here. Fuck you for making every day feel like a personal and professional failure. Fuck you for making me seriously leave a career I love for something, anything else.
Fuck you for making the most I can hope for when I get up in the morning is to just make it until the night.6
I work as a software developer for a small and specialized company on a very popular, albeit niche, piece of system software.
This software has been around for a while, and in that while it has ages. If there is one thing you could say to have aged gracefully--well, this thing ain't it. The codebase itself is what anyone would expect of a large-ish C++/C product started in the mid 2000s: documented poorly (and where it is documented, documented *wrong*), full of obscure bugs, full of idiosyncratic design choices that caused the obscure bugs in the first place, and a code style--or rather a general approach to software engineering--taken straight fom the 80s.
It is also fair to say that the product has been developed by marketing. What started out as a company-internal project to help others get work done was perceived as valuable for others, quickly rushed out to market, and "developed" by listening to whichever customer screamed loudest at that point in time. ("Developed", in the "duct tape and WD40" style of development similar to an early 90s web page: the result has no class, no style and everything users find "interesting" to interact with is a java applet.)
About six months ago the powers that be finally acknowledged that a codebase that has not seen a single line of refactoring since its inception over ten years ago is not a solid foundation for further business. What was once an openly hostile attitude towards refactoring and general improvement of the codebase itself rather than the set of user-visible functions slowly morphed into a secretly hostile attitude. Upper-level management continued to denigrate developers seeking to improve the system citing their own experience ten years ago as reason why things must still be done exactly as they have did. Parts of this upper-level management were soon complimented on their work and it was suggested they take the next step in their carreer.
Which they did, with two toes of one foot. The other eight remained in internal discussions and, more importantly, inside the head and arse of the new managers. Which promptly turned just as secretly hostile and blocked all attempts at improvement. Instead it is highlighted that the developers are clearly not smart enough to do their jobs.
Meanwhile the entire project is falling behind deadlines. We've failed to deliver on three accounts already and are now nine months behind on another plan that was set for 15 months nine months ago. (Yes. We have officially started working on this thing, but no work has been done. More to the point, work has been *started*, but is stalled or rejected continuously because "that's not what we would have done five years ago" or "you can't change that, whoever wrote it must have thought about this a lot.")
And now upper-level management has begun reverting changes that same upper-level management has requested and signed off on. Without communication. So that developers don't start work on things they have not signed off on (because they don't read the plans or give any feedback). Because developers are not qualified for their jobs and must be closely monitored to ensure they don't break stuff. Which was already broken. Because the product has been bitrotting since birth.
Fuck my life.3
I've recently received another invitation to Google's Foobar challenges.
A while ago someone here on devRant (which I believe works at Google, and whose support I deeply appreciate) sent me a couple of links to it too. Unfortunately back then I didn't take the time to learn the programming languages (Python or Java) that Google requires for these challenges. This time I'm putting everything on Python, as it's the easiest language to learn when coming from Bash.
But at the end of the day.. I am a sysadmin, not a developer. I don't know a single thing about either of these languages. Yet I can't take these challenges as the sysadmin I am. Instead, I have to learn a new language which chances are I'll never need again outside of some HR dickhead's interview with lateral thinking questions and whiteboard programming, probably prohibited from using Google search like every sane programmer and/or sysadmin would for practical challenges that actually occur in real life.
I don't want to do that. Google is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I get that. Many people would probably even steal that foobar link from me if they could. But I don't think that for me it's the right thing to do. Google has made a serious difference by actually challenging developers with practical scenarios, and that's vastly superior to whatever a HR person at any other company could cobble together for an interview. But there's one thing that they don't seem to realize. A company like Google consists of more than just developers. Not only that, it probably consists - even within their developer circles - of more than just Python and Java developers. If any company would know about languages that are more optimized such as C, it would be Google that has to leverage this performance in order to be able to deliver their services.
I'll be frank here. Foobar has its own issues that I don't like. But if Google were a nice company, I'd go for it all the way nonetheless - after all, they are arguably the single biggest tech company in the world, and the tech industry itself is one of the biggest ones in the world nowadays. It's safe to say that there's likely no opportunity like working at Google. But I don't think it's the right thing. Even if I did know Python or Java... Even if I did. I don't like Google's business decisions.
I've recently flashed my OnePlus 6T with LineageOS. It's now completely Google-free, except for a stock Yalp account (that I'm too afraid to replace with my actual Google account because oh dear, third-party app stores, oh dear that could damage our business and has to be made highly illegal!1!). My contacts on that phone are are all gone. They're all stored on a Google server somewhere (except for some like @linuxxx' that I consciously stored on device storage and thus lost a while back), waiting for me to log back in and sync them back. I've never asked for this. If Google explicitly told me that they'd sync all my contacts to my Google account and offer feasible alternatives, I'd probably given more priority to building a CalDAV and CardDAV server of my own. Because I do have the skills and desire to maintain that myself. I don't want Google to do this for me.
Move fast and break things. I've even got a special Termux script on my home screen, aptly named Unfuck-Google-Play. Every other day I have to use it. Google Search. When I open it on my Nexus 6P, which was Google's foray into hardware and in which they failed quite spectacularly - I've even almost bent and killed it tonight, after cursing at that piece of shit every goddamn day - the Google app opens, I type some text into it.. and then it just jumps back to the beginning of whatever I was typing. A preloader of sorts. The app is a fucking web page parser, or heck probably even just an API parser. How does that in any way justify such shitty preloaders? How does that in any way justify such crappy performance on anything but the most recent flagships? I could go on about this all day... I used to run modern Linux on a 15 year old laptop, smoothly. So don't you Google tell me that a - probably trillion dollar - company can't do that shit right. When there's (commercialized) community projects like DuckDuckGo that do things a million times better than you do - yet they can't compete with you due to your shit being preloaded on every phone and tablet and impossible to remove without rooting - that you Google can't do that and a lot more. You've got fucking Google Assistant for fucks sake! Yet you can't make a decent search app - the goddamn thing that your company started with in the first place!?
I'm sorry. I'd love to work at Google and taste the diversity that this company has to offer. But there's *a lot* wrong with it at the business end too. That is something that - in that state - I don't think I want to contribute to, despite it being pretty much a lottery ticket that I've been fortunate enough to draw twice.
Maybe I should just start my own company.6
A taxi booking platform to support functioning B2B taxing booking company that was turning over 15 million per year.
It offered portals for B2B and B2C. Rather simple concept.
Business or client raise a booking, booking is submitted to a 3rd party taxi firm we manage the booking throughout its lifetime for the client.
We had an existing legacy product in place that needed redeveloping.
Management sunk many, many millions of pounds into the project, it never lunch and teh company was sold off twice will extreme losses each time. First sale was in the millions and the second was for 500k.
This was a result of poor technical choices made by past lead developers and extremely poor choice of management who cared more for managing their reputation as they were self aware of how much knowledge they lacked.
The technical aspect of the company was created a child company of the parent. This child company was responsible for the downfall of the parent which was functioning well and making a profit.
The company as a whole has since been liquidated thanks to that project. Many out of a job.
I jumped ship after 8 months as I couldn't continue to work with the crazy management. By crazy I mean they should have been in a tincan.3
"Let the design team be the design experts. Your job is to be the business expert. Ask them how their design solutions meet your business goals. If you trust your design team, and they can explain how their recommendations map to those goals, you’re fine. If you neither trust them, nor can they defend their choices it’s time to get a new design team." - Mike Monteiro
Taking a class at my local university for fun where the point of the class is to build some kind of project for local companies. The teacher talks a lot about Wordpress and how great it is... He's not a dev, and has only worked as a business consultant/pm.... It's gonna be a long semester, but at least he's funny and has good choices in tv shows to include in his lectures.1
I subscribe to many copywriting newsletters. Here's an article that shows how it's like on "the other side", marketers struggle, too.
How Kevin's Massive Mistake
Completely Changed His Life
Kevin H. made a huge mistake.
The biggest, he would say, if he could tell you himself.
And he knew it immediately.
It was, he said, "instant regret."
Within milliseconds, he was asking himself "What have I done..."
Kevin, see, had just jumped the rail of the single most popular suicide spot in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge.
On average, the site gets another distraught jumper every two weeks. Kevin was one of them.
It wasn't like he hadn't tried to quiet the voices in his head. Therapy, drugs, hospitalization.
Time to die, those voices still said.
And yet, in the minutes his bus dropped him off at the bridge, he hesitated and paced with tears in his eyes.
"I told myself if just one person comes up to me and asks if I'm okay... if one person asks if they can help... I won't do it. I'll stop and tell them my whole story..."
But nobody did, so he jumped.
It was in those next milliseconds, he would later say, he knew it was the biggest mistake of his life.
He didn't want to die.
But now, he was sure, it was too late.
From its highest point, it's a 245-foot plummet into the icy bay waters below.
Out of the 1,700 people that have jumped from the bridge since it first opened in 1937, only 25 have survived.
Kevin, against all odds, would be one of them.
He slammed into the water like hitting concrete. Three of his vertebrae instantly shattered.
When he surfaced, he couldn't hold his own head above water. But, incredibly, a sea lion kept pushing him up.
The Coast Guard soon arrived and pulled him out.
From there, he began a long recovery that required intense surgery, physical therapy, and psychiatric care.
While still under treatment, a priest urged him to give a talk to a bunch of seventh and eighth graders.
Afterward, they sent him a pile of letters, both encouraging and full of their own pained thoughts.
He also met a woman.
Today, Kevin lives in Atlanta and he's been happily married for the last 12 years.
And he tours the country, sharing his story.
So why re-tell it here?
Obviously -- I hope -- you don't get lots of copywriters looking to snuff it after a flopped headline test.
Just the same...
We've talked a lot in this space about the things one needs to get by in this biz.
My friend and colleague Joe, over at the publishing powerhouse Agora Financial, likes to list requirements.
You need intense curiosity...
You need a killer work ethic...
And you must, MUST have... resilience.
Meaning, you must have or find the capacity to bounce back from failure and flops, even huge ones.
Now, again, Kevin's story is an extreme and in this context -- I hope -- a hyperbolic example of somebody giving up. In the worst way possible.
It is also, though, a metaphor.
See, I get a lot of notes from some of you guys... and at conferences, I get to talk to a lot of people...
And I often get the sense, from some folks, that they're feeling a little more overwhelmed than they let on.
Some are just starting out, and they've got a lot on the line. For some, it's everything. And some are desperate to make it work.
Because they have to, because their pride or livelihoods or a family business is at stake, because it's a dream.
And yet, they're overwhelmed by all the tips and secrets... or by piles of confusing research or ideas...
For others, even had some success, but they're burned out, feel antiquated, or feel like "imposters" that know less than they let on, in an industry that's evolving.
To all those folks... and to you... I can only say, I've been there. And frankly, go back there now and again.
Flops happen, failures happen. And you can and will -- even years and decades into doing this -- make the wrong choices, pick the wrong projects, or botch the right ones.
The legendary Gene Schwartz put it this way, according to a quote spotted recently in fellow writer Ben Settle's e-letter...
" A very good copywriter is going to fail. If the guy doesn't fail, he's no good. He's got to fail. It hurts. But it's the only way to get the home runs the next time."
Once more, nobody -- I hope -- is taking the trials of this profession hard enough to make Kevin's choice.
And believe me, I don't mean to make light of the latter. I just want to make sure we hit this anvil with a big hammer. To drive home the point that, whatever your struggle, be it with this biz or something bigger, that you don't want to give up. Press on.
As Churchill put it, "Success, is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
Or even more succinctly when he said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Because it's worth it.
After next 10 days i will be officially out of my student life phase and into the role of a adult, but my habits and mistakes are still that of a person i was 4 years ago. Even tody my poor decision making and practical skills are causing a pain to my loved ones , leading them to take charge, and i am so sad as to why i am the way i am. I wish i could know a way to change, to know of a way to grow.
Tldr : clg/uni fucks up with sudden notices. Immediate actions needed. My confused brain wants to react correctly and in a fail safe way,but confusion in choices leads to my old parents travelling 140kms.
(Note 12 -2 days ago is not much relevant)
12 days ago
Situation in my state/country : heavy increase in covid cases by 90k each day, yet govt opening up and judiciary allowing markets/systems to open slowly
11 days ago
Univ drops a bomb : offline college exams for final yr would be happening in next 13 days if everything goes right. We would be giving the datesheet in next 2 days.
Le students:" wtf they can't take offline exams. What's going right? Situation is wrong as always... They bluffin (goes on creating twitter wars)
Le me : yeah its just a bluff
9 days ago : *no datesheet comes* *everyone quiet thinking univ got their brains on track*
8 days ago : univ drops "proposed" datesheet. Datesheet is exactly as they said : exams starting from 22nd, continuous , offline, in the college itself , at very early time
Le students : WTF! THEY REALLY GAVE THE DATESHEET? THEY WANNA KILL US? HOW CAN WE GO BACK TO COLLEGES ?WE DON'T HAVE TRANSPORTS!!? *Angry posts everywhere, but nothing is really happening*
Le me : hmm . Looks like its really happening. No probs. We will start from this monday. I have already some prep, we also have some interviews so Monday is good.
Monday comes . Goes on doing revisions, attending some inteviews,... Etc for next 5 days. Meanwhile i inform my parents that i will be having exams next week. They too busy to pay attention. I too engrossed in my stuff to think about a very important thing : HOW WILL I FUCKING GO?
So here comes the shit story.
Some event happens that brings attention of me , parents nd everyone else to the execution of exams by us.
Here is some maths.
- Exams to start : in next 4 days
- Exam start timings : 8.30 am.
- Examination gate closing time : 8.10 am
: . need to reach college by :7.30 am
- Distance between my home and college = ~70kms
- General route + timings =metro + bus + 3 wheeler = 1.3- 1 hr 40 mins
Thus to reach college using this route, need to get out of my home by : 6am
First metro on my route : 6.20 am
MATHS DOES NOT MATCH!!! I WILL BE LATE FOR MY EXAMS plus there are many unreliability factors like the unsafe nature of buses interms of covid, traffic etc.
So needed a different plan.
So when i thought about it, i immediately came up with an alternative solution. My friend presented me an option 2 and when my parents thought about it , they came with an option 3.
But i was so confused about all the options , that parents just got frustrated and took it to their hands.
Option 1 (mine) : i go by metro till the place from where i take the bus. From their i book a direct cab to college. Cost =$$$ but i will be somewhat safe from covid. Also risk of getting late is reduced as
Parents : nope/maybe. Still too much exertion + traffic risk
Option 2(friend) : i go by metro to the place from where i tske the bus. Friend has a car, will take both of us from there
Parenst Nope/maybe : traffic risk + what if friend gets late? He will run away without u.
Me : friend is responsible.
Option 3(parents) : there's an orphanage run by a known family friend that's at 4kms from my college. Let's shift you there for next 6 days. Mom will also stay woth you there
Me : nope/maybe. Lack of basic facilities ( table, wify) there. Plus mom can't go , her business will get disrupted . Also everyone would he taking the usual route, it won't be much exertion
Parents : mom has to go.. how will we be satisfied that you are staying safely there? The aunt there won't be able to handle your requirements.
Me : I DON'T HAVE ANY REQUIREMENTS! All i need is my mobile and copies and i cans study anywhere, eat anything.. plus we don't have time for all this. I think staying there is good planz let me shift tomorrow
Parents. : No,..okay...umm.. no we have to...
<Everyone confused and mostly angry at me>
At the end they decided that i should be staying home and they would be going first there to check. I feel bad that i couldn't give them the confidence in me to take such decisions, or criticizing the only correct risk free choice they gave to me.