Friday, November 18, 2005

A lesson learned

As I mentioned earlier I have moved into a different area in my professional career over the last year.  Recently I was asked to do another task that had less to do with Software and more to do with hardware.  Specifically I was asked to make a keyboard (computer keyboard) work with a piece of hardware.  Physically, the hardware had the correct connection points but nobody had hooked up the bits and pieces to make the software talk to it.  In my previous life as an application developer, all these bits and pieces are already provided for you by the Operating System. In the hardware world there is no OS so you have to convert the raw bits read from the hardware back into characters.  

So I started this 2 days ago, had the majority of my software written and talking to hardware within a couple of hours.  Then I spent the last 2 days trying to figure out why it was not reading the keyboard.  I peaked into every piece of code there was. I debugged, I searched, I peeked and poked memory structures, I watch variable, I even hooked a de-bugger up to the hardware and walked the code line by line. But there was no joy in Mudville.  2 days I have been chasing this freaking issue, yanking hair by the handful and really stressing out, as this was supposed to go into QA today.

Finally this morning I got desperate enough to swallow my pride and ask on of the old-timers to give me a hand looking through my code. He was gracious enough to agree and we spent 10 minutes looking at my code.  According to him it all looked ok (yeah me!!!) so he decided to walk into the lab and look at the hardware.  

This is where the story gets a little embarrassing, as he walks into the lab, opens the lid, and looks at the hardware and starts to chuckle. He looks at me and says, “you are missing the rs_422 to PS2 conversion chip (sic)” then points at the board.  Oh right I say, silly me….

Actually that was not my fault. The board was supposed to have the chip on it.  I should not have to verify that the hardware has all the parts it is supposed to. It was just very frustrating to bust my ass for 2 days, and then have it be something out of my control.

Bleh  stupid hardware, grommet, doo-hickey stuff.


At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Ursula said...

I had a similar experience...equally stressful, more embarrassing. I was all ready to try a new piece of technology, no luck, hair out, foul language flying...shit...shit...shit. Then I swallowed my pride and called in the all-experienced guru of my life, not my older superior, my younger advisor....he looked things over and gently always works better when it is plugged in........

At 12:23 PM, Blogger DaniGirl said...


So, were you planning on mentioning the fact that you have a bloggy little secret, my dearest?

Oh so very much mocking must be done to he who joins the ranks of the blogging many and thinks he will go undetected...

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Mommy abroad said...

I agree with Danigirl on this one...can't wait to battle it out over cyberspace


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