Engineering Joke of the Week: The Pet Shop


A tourist walked into a pet shop and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, another customer walked in and said to the shopkeeper: “I’ll  have a C-monkey please”.

The shopkeeper nodded, went over to a cage at the side of the shop, and took out a monkey. He fit a collar and leash and handed it to the customer, saying “That’ll be $5000″.

The customer paid and walked out with his monkey.

Startled, the tourist went over to the shopkeeper and said: “That was a very expensive monkey, most of them are only a few hundred dollars. Why did it cost so much?”

The shopkeeper answered: “Ah, that monkey can program in C – very  fast, tight  code, no bugs, well worth the money.”

The tourist looked at the monkey in another cage. “That one’s even more expensive – $10,000! What does it do?”

“Oh, that one’s a C++ monkey; it can manage object-oriented  programming, Visual  C++, even some Java. All the really useful stuff,” said the shopkeeper.

The tourist looked around for a little longer and saw a third monkey in a cage of its own. The price tag around its neck read $50,000. He gasped to the shopkeeper, “That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?”

The shopkeeper replied, “Well, I haven’t actually seen it do anything, but it  says it’s a consultant.”

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Export and Import Processor Expert Component Settings


When I create a new Processor Expert project for a board I already have the components configured, then an easy way to transfer components from one project to another is to copy-paste the components. In the ‘source’ project I select the components I want to use, choose Copy (or CTRL+C shortcut on Windows):

Copy of Processor Expert Components

Copy of Processor Expert Components

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C++ with Kinetis Design Studio


Unlike CodeWarrior, the Kinetis Design Studio (at least in V1.1.1) does not offer a choice between C and C++ projects. That makes sense with the GNU ARM Eclipse plugins, other than the CodeWarrior gcc integration, there is no need for setting up a special tool chain for C++ (see “Compiling C Files with GNU ARM G++“). While this is great, things are not perfect yet, so I’m providing in this post the information needed to properly setup a C++ project with Kinetis Design Studio V1.1.1.

Debug View of Startup Code Calling C++ Constructors

Debug View of Startup Code Calling C++ Constructors

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USB CDC with the FRDM-K64F, finally!


Sometimes I think that a problem should be solvable in a few minutes, and then it turns out that it lingers around for months. Very, very frustrating! Such a thing is getting the USB 4.1.1 stack running on the FRDM-K64F board. I have that board since April 2014, and it took me 7 months to get the FSL USB stack running on it :-(.

FRDM-K64F Board

FRDM-K64F Board

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Engineering Joke of the Week: The Tunnel


I’m a believer that engineers not only need to act in a professional and ethical way, but they have to have some sense of humor too. For that reason I have the tradition to tell the class (almost) every semester week a joke or fun story with an engineering background :-). And to make it stick, at the exams there is always one bonus questions about these engineering jokes. Some of the jokes or fun stories came from my daughters, some from my former students, and some I have found myself. I have asked to share the fun story from this week, so here we go….

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