Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Second Verse, Same as the First

My second brush with the ConnectMe is going to take a while to relate. The month I put on this project was one of the most intense software development experiences of my career. Like my first ConnectMe project, it started out easy, but ended up as a crisis. this time, though, the crisis was partly my fault.

In early September, my former employer approached me about consulting on a new ConnectMe project. One customer needed some special processing done on the serial command stream, and neither side had time or compute capacity to make the changes in the time available - 6 weeks. I accepted the project, but my wife had just been in a car accident, and I was not able to focus on the project until mid September - T minus 4 weeks.

The project should have been easy. I expected it to be easy. I wrote a command line program that implemented and tested the core logic in about a day. I think it was a Sunday. Then I tried to port that program to the ConnectMe. Four weeks later, I was still struggling with the ConnectMe platform. I lost so much time struggling with the ConnectMe platform that I ended up traveling to the customer site to finish the software there, on their ship day.

Lest you think I'm some kind of liberal whiner, be aware that over the past five years I have delivered the software for an entire product line, including 3 different processors as well as Xilinx programmable logic. I designed the communication protocols involved here. The ConnectMe environment kicked my ass. For a while. I finally figured it out, and still believe it was worth the struggle. Even if you pay full price - U$D 40 - you can't beat what this little guy can do.

Larry Martin
Copyright (c) 2004 Larry Martin. All Rights reserved.

Hi Larry,
Thank you for your blog. I wish I read it before me an my collegues trashed about 10 Connect MEs.
Now several years behind you, we experienced same problems as you have, FTP/bye and propably also enabled second serial port. It is very good to read you expert opinion, it confirms our guesses about FTP/bye and points us to make sure that the seconds serial port is really always disabled.

Best regards,
Pekka Lehtikoski
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