Clive “Max” Maxfield received his B.Sc. in Control Engineering from Sheffield Hallam University in England in 1980. He began his career as a designer of central processing units (CPUs) for mainframe computers. Over the years, Max has designed all sorts of interesting “stuff” from silicon chips to circuit boards and brainwave amplifiers to Steampunk Prognostication Engines (don't ask). He has also been at the forefront of electronic design automation (EDA) for more than 30 years.
Max moved to America in 1990. Max´s numerous technical articles have appeared in a wide variety of electronics and computing magazines, and he has held contributing editor and executive editor positions for many of these publications.
Already a noted author of over a half-dozen books, Max is always thinking of his next project. He would particularly like to write for teens, introducing them to engineering and computers in a fun and exciting way. For this is what sets “Max” Maxfield apart: It is not just what he knows, but how he relates it to the learner.
Max´s enthusiasm is palpable, and perhaps this is why he is also a much-sought-after speaker at technical conferences around the world.
I just heard something that really gave me pause for thought — the fact that everyone experiences two forms of death (given a choice, I’d rather not experience even one).
If you are planning on traveling to Turkey in the not-so-distant future, then I have a favor to ask.
How do you debounce signals coming from components like switches and relays operating in higher voltage environments (e.g., 24V)?
Listening to the radio on my way to work, I discovered that the cyber expert awarded $5M by an arbitration panel is none other than my old chum Bob Zeidman.
An exceptional group of speakers will be presenting on a wide range of topics at this free-to-attend three-day extravaganza.
Do any features of any programming languages spring to mind that you would care to commend or condemn?
The guys and gals at SnapEDA have collaborated with the chaps and chapesses at Nicomatic to make millions of CAD connector models available.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t felt this excited since I was wowed by a one-way Tesla valve.
If you happen to be in possession of such a panel but are no longer able to care for it and wish it to go to a good home, then I’m your man.
Do you remain a fan of Furbies, or do you fear we come to look back on this day as “Day 0” of the AI apocalypse?
If you are interested in the history of computers, then this is a “must see” video!
Are you in desperate need of a program manager to instigate a new project or rescue an existing project that is spiraling out of control?
A proven guide to enable project managers to successfully take over ongoing projects and get the work done!
Are you having problems adjusting your watch strap or swapping out your watch battery? If so, I am the bearer of glad tidings.
Well known for their work on safety-critical and mission-critical systems, the folks at GridVortex are known by some as “The fail-safe bare-metal guys”
Subtracting one decimal number from another can be tricky if borrows are required, especially when using an unfamiliar technique.
Are there any events from the past that you would love to see if you were ever presented with an opportunity to do so?
Will ChatGPT ever evolve to the stage that it is capable of writing something like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis?
I have to say that many of these mechanical motions were completely new to me, starting with the first, which I now know to be a Schmidt coupling.
After watching this video, I’m sorely tempted to create my own solenoid/water-bath implementation of a phased array.
Is the world ready for the next transubstantiation of encabulation?
This bodacious beauty is better equipped than my car, with 360-degree collision avoidance sensors, party lights, and a backup camera, to name but a few.
Would you feel comfortable if your otherwise humanoid robot boasted (and flaunted) tentacular grippers instead of five-fingered hands?
If you want to know more about fundamental concepts like voltage, current, and resistance, here are links to a handy-dandy collection of columns.
Sometimes computers do things that are jolly helpful; other times, they cross an imaginary line into the creepy domain.
If you have any suggestions as to how I can de-pickle myself, the radiance of my smile will fall upon you.
I recently acquired an awesome OneWorld 65, which I think of as “One adapter to rule them all” and which I call “My Precious!”
Solderless breadboards are useful for implementing small circuits and prototypes. Here are some tips and tricks that can make things even better.
Joshua Page conveys the message to younger people that going to college is not the only option open to them.
When I wrote my book “Bebop to the Boolean Boogie,” it was certainly not my intention to lead 6-year-old boys astray.
On Monday 26 September 2022, Earth and Jupiter will be only 365 million miles apart, which is around half of their worst-case separation.
Much like a Pavlovian dog, there are certain words that trigger a drooling response from your humble narrator, one of which is “cheese.”
Toit is an open-source language for the ESP32 family of chips. As far as I’m concerned, this webinar will be a “must see” event.
The launch window for the Artemis I mission to the Moon is currently scheduled for 8:33 a.m. to 10:33 a.m. EDT on Monday, August 29th.
Fortunately, as an engineer, I’m trained to handle emergencies, so I didn’t panic…
It’s not often you get to meet an 11-year-old with a ham radio license who is building a giant helical antenna to communicate with the ISS.
As fate would have it, our rendezvous with destiny at the duck pond was not to be.
It’s easy to envisage a not-so-distant future when sophisticated brain-computer interfaces become available for general-purpose infotainment use.
My cousins in Alberta are going to be less than pleased to hear that they have only a 50% expected survival rate in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Watching this video caused me to wander off into the weeds looking at a weird and wonderful collection of wheeled implementations.
Although it’s only the size of a stick of chewing gum, this little beauty boasts nine processor cores and is preloaded with the Linux operating system.
Put the pilot in a real plane but simulate enemy planes using the latest and greatest in augmented reality (AR) technology – Brilliant!
An exceptional group of speakers presented on a wide range of topics at this free-to-attend three-day extravaganza.
There are so many cool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) toys available these days, and I want them all!
Nicholas Temese, who hails from Quebec, Canada, creates highly detailed handcrafted miniature scale models of classic computers from yesteryear.
I’m very happy with my new OMTech 40W CO2 laser engraver/cutter, but only because the folks from Makers Local 256 helped me get it up and running.
What do you do if someone starts waving furiously at you, seemingly delighted to see you, but you fear they are being overenthusiastic?
All I can say is that I now regard the team at Microchip as being like the brothers I never had.
All I can say is that having a TempBuddy in my backpack will make me a lot happier when I’m on the road.
It can be an eye-opening experience when you connect a CO2GO sensor to your PC and you discover just how much CO2 is in your office.
Do you have a technical topic with which you are particularly enthused? If so, why not share it with your peers in a ten-minute MicroTalk at this year’s EOC?
Boasting an LMS7002M FPRF from Lime and an ECP5 FPGA from Lattice, the LimeSDR Mini 2.0 platform will be ideal for developing logic intensive SDRs.
We’re used to seeing rockets launch things like satellites into space, but what if there was another way, like “simply” hurling them upwards at great speed?
Are your communication skills letting you down and preventing you from being offered opportunities for the exciting jobs and the exciting projects?
If you’ve never experienced the joys of analog computing — or even if you have — The Analog Thing (THAT) will bring a tear of joy to your eye.
Whilst reading a manual, have you been presented with any instructions that have caused you to raise a quizzical eyebrow and/or display a wry grin?
Tekkiepix is an archival gallery of professionally-shot, historic technology pictures and stories curated by veteran journalist and broadcaster Barry Fox.
It’s not often you see a palm-size lunar lander, a hand-held PCB printer, a retro radio extravaganza, and a Japanese musical bottle train in a single blog.
It can be tremendously rewarding to be teaching and to see the light of understanding flare up when your students wrap their brains around whatever you are waffling about.
Equip mobile (land, sea, and air) weapons systems with the ability to control themselves, throw in an artificial intelligence, and… can you guess what day it is?
This tale is set in a post-apocalyptic North America ~1,800 years in the future following a plague that decimated civilization as we know it.
Can you offer advice with respect to an affordable accredited online BTEC Level 6 course in Electrical Engineering or related vocational qualification?
I just created a handy-dandy one-page Quick-Quick-Start Guide for seniors that covers their most commonly asked questions pertaining to the iPhone SE.
As Josh Wardle famously said about his creation: “It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs … It’s just a game that’s fun.”
I just finished attending the “Doomsday Clock Virtual News Event — 2022” on Zoom in which the current stated of the Doomsday Clock was unveiled.
This column should more properly be titled “Danny MacAskill Meets Elvis Presley Meets Bollywood Meets Cultural Appropriation,” but I can’t spell ‘appropriation.’
In addition to sporting a powerful processor and supporting Bluetooth wireless communications, Seeed’s XIAO BLE Sense also boasts a microphone and a 6DOF IMU.
I have hundreds of items outstanding in my “Stuff for Cool Beans Blogs” folder that I really want to share (so it’s not just me who is frittering away his precious time).
With respect to the title of this blog, there are some who feel the “woodworking” qualifier is superfluous to requirements (thank you, as always, for your feedback, mother).
Time travel, bongos, underground raves in China, open air rock festivals in England, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins, Chester Thompson, John Bonham…
The folks at Truly Ergonomic modestly describe their CLEAVE computer keyboard as being “The Most Comfortable Ergonomic Keyboard on the Planet.”
In the 1980s, priding themselves on their cunning, the guys and gals as A&W introduced the 1/3-pound burger thinking that customers would beat a path to their door.
In which we discover a cunning way to procedurally generate images using two pseudo-random sources.
Based on real events that haven’t happened… yet… this movie tells the story of two low-level astronomers and an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.
The scary thing is that this reminds me of the scurrilous ways in which I’ve been treated by members of the programming and IT communities over the years.
Believe it or not, I ran into John (he told me I could call him that) at a small café just a couple of evenings ago as I pen these words.
Have you ever wondered why Bill is a common nickname for William and Dick is a common nickname for Richard?
Tell me if you’ve heard this before, but I’m looking for a Nordic word that has a sufficiently amorphous gestalt to make it confusing to explain in Norwegian.
I just saw an amazing video showing Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones from 2021 mixed with Spot robot dogs from Boston Dynamics.
Up until a couple of minutes ago, I’d never even considered the possibility of wireless LEDs. Now I feel as though my life will be incomplete without them!
When playing with LEDs, should we first modify brightness and then apply gamma correction, or should we apply gamma correction first and then modify brightness?
Using a simple Lego vehicle, this video demonstrates the concepts of limiting friction, normal reaction, force direction, turning moment, center-of-gravity, and more.
Understanding what happens when multiple potentiometers are connected in parallel can be perplexing if you are a newbie to electronics.
Don’t be fooled by its name because TheAnalog covers anything and everything of a technological, engineering, and manufacturing nature.
The return-on-investment from learning just one thing that saves you hours of work and increases your productivity can be staggeringly impressive.
Can you resist using the NUKEMAP application to drop a virtual nuclear bomb on your hometown to see what the effect would be?
Having seen this animation, I for one am blown away by my chum Steve’s solution to this problem! How about you? Have you ever seen anything like this before?
Dune been translated into dozens of languages, sold around 20 million copies, and is one of the greatest novels in the science fiction canon.
I’ve seen a lot of things in my time, but I don’t think I was ready to see a robot that can walk, fly, ride a skateboard, and balance on a slackline.
I like to think that I’m reasonably intelligent — at least with respect to some things — but when it comes to Medicare, I haven’t got a clue what to do.
How many times do you search the internet each day to track down for a nugget of knowhow or tidbit of trivia? Can you imagine a future without access to knowledge?
I first read the seminal trilogy — Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation — as a young lad, but never did I dare hope to see it on TV.
Wi-Fi, NB-IoT, Bluetooth, LoRaWAN… This webinar will help you to choose the appropriate connectivity protocol for your IoT application.
3753 Cruithne is a Q-type, Aten asteroid in orbit around the Sun in 1:1 orbital resonance with the Earth, thereby making it a co-orbital object.
Projects with a steampunk look-and-feel incorporate retro-futuristic technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.
I was quite happy with the static platform I’d created for my pseudo robot heads, and then some mad impetuous fool suggested servos. Oh no! Here we go again…
If you want to learn the secret to creating smoking-hot joints that will delight your family and friends, you need go no further than reading this tantalizing tome.
What makes this tome truly unique is that the authors have employed its techniques to develop a real-world product (board) to supplement their writings.
Urbex (urban exploration) involves the investigation of abandoned structures like amusement parks, factories, asylums, sanatoriums, and power plants.
You may think of Yoda only as a small, green humanoid alien who is powerful with the Force and Grandmaster of the Jedi Order, but did you know that…
Some riddles are long and complex, but if you ever need a “quick and dirty” riddle in an emergency, then the “What’s brown and sticky?” poser may serve your purpose.
I’m shaking my head in disbelief, but I fear there are people out there who would happily “Cry havoc and let slip the CRISPR dogs of war.”
The current average life expectancy in America for people of the male persuasion (of which I am a card-carrying member) is only 75.1 years (can you spell “Eeek”?).
I look forward to the day when we all glide through life gracefully wafting and waving our Mobilo smart business cards at each other.
I would love to add both a full-size Kenbak-1 replica and an almost-full-size, cycle-accurate Altair 8800 recreation to my collection.
It’s bad enough when robots can out-dance you, but do we really want to give them the ability to activate a chameleon function and fade into their surroundings?
It’s more than a little ironic that the world is running out of fresh water while, at the same time, being overrun by rising sea levels.
Do you bounce out of bed full of vim and vigor and in full possession of your faculties, or do you struggle to greet each new day mired in a morass of misunderstanding?
I just discovered that Norland Nannies — who can command a salary of $170,000 on a bad day — are trained in self-defense and defensive driving.
Can you envision intelligent machines creating a “work of art” involving biological implementations of human legs being used to power some sort of mechanism?
Here’s a sticky problem. What if the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries?
Many modern humans have 2% Neanderthal DNA in our genomes. The combination of these DNA snippets is like having the ghost of a Neanderthal in our midst.
It’s a funny old thing to find yourself in possession of a USB-C dock when you don’t have a host machine that sports a USB-C connector with which to drive it.
It used to be that you would have to travel a long way and pay a bunch of money to receive training that is now available for free for the asking.
If you could go back in time and “do it all again,” is there anything in particular you would record in words or photos?
I just saw the rather interesting Single Rotor “Ball” Drone Mk II DIY project over on MAKE Magazine.
It’s fair to say that there are some funny bits, some gross bits, and some scary bits (and a lot more gross bits and quite a few more scary bits).
As far as I’m concerned, for anyone who works with SMD components, purchasing a set of these smart tweezers is a no-brainer.
Could it be that the reason we don’t see alien civilizations colonizing the galaxy is that they first created their own version of robot dogs?
As I’ve mentioned on occasion, I’m a digital logic engineer at heart and I tend to find the wibbly-wobbly nature of analog signals to be a tad disquieting.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” as the old saying goes. Fortunately, you know me, and I know all sorts of weird and wonderful people.
The creators of this VR world say you will be able to work, make money, have fun, network and make new friends, and maybe even find love.
Antique analog meters can be used to display all sorts of useful information, but it’s rare to see one that simply says “WRONG”.
When placed only 9” from a wall, this small but clever little scamp projects up to a 100” diagonal display on that wall. I want that 100” display!
Google is using AI to design its next Generation of AI chips. I can’t help but think, “Hmmm. AI designing AI — what could possibly go wrong?”
In this 2nd of a 4-webinar series, I will be joined by four industry luminaries to discuss the future of IoT software development with regard to AI and IoT Innovation.
I was just thinking about how much things have changed in FPGA space (where no one can hear you scream) over the past ten years.
Have you ever been obliged to use code that originated with a third-party whose scruples may or may not deserve scrutiny?
Which of these two topics attracts you the most – the innocent genius with the wooden model car or the scary genius doing nasty things to an innocent fuse?
Here’s how you can build your own cloud-connected temperature and humidity monitor in 30 minutes for less than $20!
Did you know that Ludwig Boltzmann and Paul Ehrenfest, who spent much of their lives studying statistical mechanics, both died by their own hands?
While you peruse and ponder this article, I will gnash my teeth, rend my garb, and cry to the heavens: “Is there nothing the nefarious Nick Bild cannot build?”
Can you imagine the sensors, algorithms, and processing power required to create a dart board that moves to intercept the dart such that it always ends up as a bullseye?
I don’t know about you, but I’m well-impressed. I can so see one of these little rascals sitting on the desk here in my office.
In addition to being annoying, link rot makes me feel sad that so many resources are “evaporating away” and being lost to time.
In which, amongst myriad other things, we learn how to peel a microtonal banana (do not try this at home!)
Imagine that, while walking around, you ran across a mirror-like “portal” looking like a circular doorway into another world. What would you do?
“Imagine if P.T. Barnum went on Shark Tank and was coached by Tina Fey,” says Stacy Katz, game designer of What the What?! and CEO of Well Why Not Media.
In just two days as I pen these words, I will be celebrating my 100th Birthday (of course, this assumes we are employing the base-8 (octal) number system).
It was bad enough when only the walls had ears. It’s going to be far worse when everything has ears.
I recently created a thought-provoking dish. I saw it on the cover of a magazine at the supermarket checkout and was persuaded to partake.
I was just introduced to the most amazing miniature diorama of a meteor striking a skyscraper, all encapsulated in clear epoxy resin.
Do you want to be transformed into a 3D model? Do you think you have a choice? Google has plans that will either make you squeal in delight or shriek in despair.
Meet marvelous mechanical analogs of common electrical and electronic components, including resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, and switches.
Don’t talk to me about the concept of “transactional ambiguity”! Well, you can if you want, but I won’t have any idea what you are talking about.
Be warned — this Cool Beans Blog is probably of interest only to the geekiest of geeks and the nerdiest of nerds — welcome, my peeps, to Max’s World!
I think these new displays are extraordinarily tasty. I already have ideas for something I can do using two of these boards. Can you guess what I’m thinking?
Eeek Alors! Today is the day of the grand unveiling. I’m too young for all this excitement, I haven’t got a thing to wear, and I haven’t prepared a speech.
Discover how cellular IoT is changing and how to navigate through the SIM, eSIM, and iSIM options to decide what’s best for your product!
Do you occasionally like to kick back and relax with an old favorite from yesteryear (and I’m not talking about your spouse)?
Oh no! I just realized that the creator of the video in this Cool Beans Blog, Munimuni Bekkan, has an entire channel of awesome videos!
Dwarfing the Hubble, which was awesome in its day, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) may prove to be “the ultimate alien hunter!”
On the one hand, we have the Drake equation; on the other hand, we have the Fermi paradox; and on the other other hand we have the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
Spoken Ariekei involves two mouths speaking different aspects of words simultaneously, and then things start to get complicated.
Is there any technology you took for granted until you discovered that others had no idea of its existence?
There’s a lot of space-related activity going on at the moment, from surprise meteor showers to Chinese rockets falling out of the sky to returning space probes.
This is one of those days when all of the news is yummy and scrummy in one way or another.
Speaking of roasted root vegetables, yesterday evening, my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) prepared an awesome side-dish featuring roasted radishes.
In this first of a 4-webinar series, I will be joined by four industry luminaries to discuss the development challenges engineers are facing today.
The cockpit’s finished, but where’s the pilot? Maybe seating the pilot is the very last instruction but we can’t peak ahead so we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Blue Origin Spaceship New Shephard is scheduled to fly its first astronaut crew into space, and there’s an online auction for a seat on the flight.
Don’t forget Cool Beans Classics like ‘Electromechanical Penguin Displays,’ ‘Sending a Message Through Time,’ and ‘Tactical Nuclear Penguins,’ to name but a few.
Tracing the structure of the Stern-Brocot tree from Plato’s dialogues to Greek astronomers, 18th century clock makers, and contemporary floating-point approximations.
In which we discover the answer to the question: “If you could add an extra letter to the modern English alphabet, what would that letter be?”
Are you already familiar with Wilberforce pendulums and Wiffletree converters, or are these as much a surprise to you as they are to me?
In which we discover what the words polish, job, and herb have in common. Also, we discover some interesting tidbits of trivia regarding phonemes.
The 2021 EOC will be held May 17-18-19 & 20. If you attend, you’ll be able to take part in the live video Q&A sessions that will follow each of the presentations.
In which we discover the answer to the question: What do the words Assess, Banana, Dresser, Grammar, Potato, Revive, Uneven, and Voodoo have in common?
Luos unleashes microservices for distributed architectures in embedded systems, gathering every part and function of the device into a single system image.
Here’s a poser for you for you to ponder: What do the words Assess, Banana, Dresser, Grammar, Potato, Revive, Uneven, and Voodoo have in common?
The most basic RISC-V CPU that is supported by compilers must include the integer extension and its data bus must be at least 32 bits wide, so that’s what student Filip set out to build.
It’s sad to think that all of these colored pieces will soon be hidden from view, but interesting to reflect that we will know they are there.
The Turing Tumble is a mega-cool mechanical computer that, quite apart from anything else, is a perfect STEM toy for kids on pandemic lockdown.
Did you know that the earliest recorded use of the term “greeble” was by those working at Industrial Light & Magic for the special effects of Star Wars?
Imagine owning a futuristic watch accurate to a billionth of a second that presents the time in the form of an incredible 3D holographic display.
How many gallons of deuterium-tritium mix does it take to fill the A-Wing’s tanks and how many light-years do we get per gallon?
The 2021 Embedded Online Conference will be held May 17-18-19 & 20. Apart from anything else, we will be celebrating 50 years of the microprocessor and yours truly will be one of the presenters.
If we were contacted by an advanced alien intelligence, would he/she/it/they have the same problems communicating with us that I have communicating with my cat?
Are you a nerd? If so, did you know that the first documented appearance of the word “nerd” is as the name of a creature in a book by Dr. Seuss?
Much like your humble narrator, our ~50-pound Maine Coon cat is a huge fan of Shaun the Sheep on Amazon Prime Video and Sitting Ducks on Peacock.
The idea of using small OLED screens in glass tubes to create faux Nixies and other displays is absolutely awesome, especially if you decide to roll your own.
Once equipped with a Babble fish, you hear any language being spoken in your vicinity as being translated into your own native tongue.
When Michael Reeves manages to lay his hands on one of Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot dogs, he sets out to teach it to pee beer into a cup.
As John says, “If an alien language were to be spoken, I’d be confident we could translate and understand it, just as we do with the French.”