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Needless Math: That “Handy” Half Gallon Measure!


Engineers are great with calculations, but needless math can be really irritating. Take Jon Titus’ experience with this bottle of fuel stabilizer and the instructions for mixing it with gas: “Before I fueled my new snow blower I mixed some “fuel stabilizer” with the 2 gallons of gas I got at the local market.  The fuel-stabilizer instructions explain that one ounce of stabilizer will preserve 2.5 gallons ...

Warning: Mist Maker May Cause Local Pains


I bought this Chinese-made mist maker for Halloween from a mail order catalog, excitedly planning how I would awe party goers by creating “a magical mist from water in seconds” — or so the promotional material promised. Submerged in water as directed, the unit did not produce the highly anticipated effects –in fact, the centerpiece of my graveyard tableau looked ...

Freescale MCU Dev Kit Doc – In a Word, “Aaaaargh!”


Engineers buy and use development kits and evaluation boards to minimise their risk and speed the design cycle — many say they expect to get something working on a new board in a mere 30 minutes or less. So when the documentation sucks, often contradicting itself or leaving out critical details, it can be insanely frustrating. And it’s especially wrenching ...