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Clive1 Podcast

Associate III
Posted on September 12, 2015 at 20:40

Podcast from our STM32  forum master (Clive1).  Good listening to all of our users and many thanks to the man.



Associate II
Posted on September 15, 2015 at 19:31

It's great to finally put a voice to the words.  Now that Clive's a celebrity what's next, maybe a spot on Dancing With The Stars (a US TV show famous for featuring minor celebrities in a dance competition)?  Good to hear Clive gets a little bit of dosh from ST for his efforts.

I listened to the whole show, mostly agreed with everything he says, can't remember what I didn't agree with.  I too got my start with 8080 and Z80 machines, in fact the old IMSAI 8800 is still in the basement.  At end of life, around 1990 it had a blazing fast 6MHz Z80 and 256KB RAM, with six serial ports and an ST506 disk interface (and a real Shugart Technology ST506 5MB disk attached to it).  It started life in 1977 as a 3.5MHz Z80, a massive 4KB RAM, 22 slot motherboard, 500W linear (!) power supply and an optical paper tape reader.  Boot loader was toggling in binary from the front panel switches.

  Jack Peacock
Senior II
Posted on September 18, 2015 at 03:54

Good stuff. I too agreed with nearly all of it. I salute Clive's dedication.

In the early days it was so hard to get your hands on data books. They were like gold. Development tools were scarce and expensive.

Although data sheets, manuals, development tools, prototypes etc. are easy to get now, the new problem is information overload. When I'm wading through a reference manual, I can at least be thankful I didn't have to beg for a non-searchable hard copy.

The STM32 series sorts out all of the problems I've had with hardware over the decades. I can connect a few pins and with the USART bootloader I'm up and running quickly. As long as they keep bringing out chips in the LQFP package I will be happy. (Reminder: 48LQFP for the STM32L4XX would be great)

Associate II
Posted on September 18, 2015 at 12:00

Thought I'd listen to it. Clicked play and then thought ''Oh my gosh, I don't have 87 minutes to listen to this, I'll just listen to the first couple of minutes.'' Listened to all 87 minutes!! Good stuff! I've been an engineer for the last 20 odd years, so went through a ''data books are gold'' phase.

The biggest problem I suffer today is getting stuck at the starting post when comparing the features of a bazillion different product offerings!

Posted on September 19, 2015 at 06:47

Hey...  Great interview !  I like kind of getting to know who Clive is...

So, I am using (getting ready to use) the STM32F3xx  and after hearing this interview, I am now kind of worried about the I2C interface from ST...   Does it really not work ?  Or are there just a lot of work arounds needed to get it to talk with a simple EEprom ?  I would really like to be able to use the I2C interface !

I have been using the NXP LPC2xxx and LPC17xxx  parts for years now and don't have any problems with them.

I  DO  have anxiety so maybe it isn't really as bad as I am kind of led to believe...

I hope that's the majority of my issue.

Thanks !



Everett, WA.

Posted on September 19, 2015 at 16:53

I worked for Philips Semi and did my share of work on I2C silicon, it's not an interface I like much, and ST's implementation is, in my opinion, overly complicated and fragile. I'm not sure I'm alone in that opinion.

That's not to say that someone couldn't work through it and understand it, it's that I'm not interested investing man-days of my time fighting with it.

Tips, buy me a coffee, or three.. PayPal Venmo Up vote any posts that you find helpful, it shows what's working..
Posted on September 20, 2015 at 01:11

Tell you what...   I'll spend a few days and if I find a way to make it work good, I'll post any good information on it....    I should look on this forum for some good info too.

Thanks !


Associate II
Posted on October 09, 2015 at 16:50

Interesting that there is many mentions of the fact that support from ST is lacking and he if filling the gap.

Associate II
Posted on October 09, 2015 at 19:27

I don't see that ST is any better or worse at support than other major vendors.  The complaints tend to come from beginners who don't get a lot of handholding, but that's what schools and training companies are for. 

It's really a matter of economics, spend a large amount of expensive time to design and program my project for free and I'll buy five of your controllers.  A great deal if engineering time was worth, ohh, somewhat less than dirt.  But is anyone willing to pay 100x the current price per IC for that service?  Is anyone willing to put down a deposit on a million IC order in advance?  If so then the complaint is valid, but I expect ST would make engineering time available for a case like that.  I don't need the handholding and I much prefer a lower cost per part because of it.

Yes the I2C is complicated, but it works well once you get past the learning curve.  That's true of any endeavor, be it PCB design, programming, or washing dishes dishes (done that too, and yes there are right and wrong ways in a commercial business).  That used to be the difference between ''entry'' level and ''senior'' level positions.

It's wishful thinking to hope that IC vendors will offer the same level of support as private design companies, except do it for free.  Clive and others here on the forum donate some of their time to help others because we've all been at that entry level and know the frustrations.  But don't blame ST or any other vendor (except the ones who won't release data sheets or errata) because they can't do your homework for you.

  Jack Peacock

Posted on October 09, 2015 at 21:28

It is frustrating at times, and forums tend to have a ''Ground Hog Day'' feel to them at times.

ST is in a difficult spot, and the eco-system has a degree of balance to consider. It's hard to find people with the right skills and temperament to do this, and if you have an official presence you've got to be right all the time, and if you get into arguments with staff things can get toxic. That, and if you had the HW and SW guys here there's the potential to take criticism far too personally, when it's really an issue with systems or methods, or choices driven from above. I've suggested before a more tiered forum where the ST team can interact with a more tightly selected group of peers.

I've worked many forums over the years, here we've managed to avoid a lot of the politics and trolls, and that's without much of any moderation or interference. If it gets too corporate I think we'll lose something.

That said I still think the FAE's should be participating, not asking for customer specific stuff, just that they deal with some of the general issues they encounter, and the solutions. And presumably some of the stuff they tinker around with, or learn during training and with their interactions and access to engineering staff.
Tips, buy me a coffee, or three.. PayPal Venmo Up vote any posts that you find helpful, it shows what's working..