## Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Andre_P
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:57 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Hi All,

I don't know how many Hardware/ASIC/FPGA people are here but I'd like to have a bit of a vent about things that have bugged me for ages.

So there was this guy Dr Hertz, did stuff with aspark and noticed that his sparks appeared elsewhere  and we now use his name to represent frequency so as it's his name we use

Hz

and not

hz

So we have kHz, MHz and GHz.

(Cycles per second went out through the door along with Jars)

Second vent and if you get this wrong in defining a chip you can really stuff a chip up.

When defining memory you have to use the correct case for the letter B.

When you use

b

it means you are defining the number of BITS of a memory.

When you use

B

it means the number of BYTES of memory.

Ok vent over .

kme
Posts: 448
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:37 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

YES! Finally. It's so *** annoying when amateurs mess around with units they haven't a CLUE what means.

I want to add to the list:

The volume unit liter (dm³), has the symbol "l", NOT "L". This is probably a chock to most Americans, but they never got SI in the first place. Everyone with basic education in science would know why a liter not possibly can have the symbol L (hint: same reason that volt can't possibly be a lower case v).

And still for the same reason: meter is m, not M.

Ahh – fresh air

regards,

another engineer.

jojopi
Posts: 3317
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:38 pm

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

There is no such word as "amperage".  It is current.

Kilometre is stressed on the first syllable, like every other prefixed unit.  Try pronouncing centimetre or kilogram with the stress on the second syllable and see how ridiculous it sounds.

Hugh Reynolds
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:48 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Americans can't even measure gallons correctly.  So there's no hope they would understand fundamental physics...  Mind you, some Anglo numbskulls can't spell Lava Bread.  What is the world coming to?

@Andre. Could I offer the possibility of an "applied engineering vent" for your next thread.  I offer the low energy light bulb.  You know...the ones that are 'supposed' to last 8,000 or 12,000 hours (note the commas not full stops).  How long do yours last?  and...

Have you ever noticed in the middle of the night one of these lamps, having been turned of as bed calls, starts pulsing with light at about 1.666 x10^-2 Hz

A. N. Other (Eng)

bredman
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Anybody know why the Ubuntu user interface uses such a strange representation of data measurements?

Kilobyte is represented as KiB.

Megabyte is represented as MiB.

Hugh Reynolds
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:48 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

bredman said:

Anybody know why the Ubuntu user interface uses such a strange representation of data measurements?

Kilobyte is represented as KiB.

Megabyte is represented as MiB.

Perhaps because they've been brought up in the closed male openverse of Unix/Linux and to qualify as a devotee must ascribe to the 'I know best' and 'always reinvent the wheel if the current one is not round enough for you' principles.

Martin Angove
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:43 pm

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

bredman said:

Anybody know why the Ubuntu user interface uses such a strange representation of data measurements?

Kilobyte is represented as KiB.

Megabyte is represented as MiB.

Perhaps because they've been brought up in the closed male openverse of Unix/Linux and to qualify as a devotee must ascribe to the 'I know best' and 'always reinvent the wheel if the current one is not round enough for you' principles.

Check Wikipedia - I think it originated there as a way of distinguishing between "binary" mega- and kilo-bytes (i.e. powers of 2 as used in computing) and "decimal" mega- and kilo-bytes as used by (for example) disc manufacturers.

So a 4 gigabyte SD card actually holds 4*1000*1000*1000 bytes and is represented as 4GB, whereas a 4 gigabyte memory module holds 4*1024*1024*1024 bytres and is represented as 4GiB. I think they call them "gibibytes, with the "bi" standing for "binary".

Can't stand it meself

Hwyl!

M.

rurwin
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4257
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 pm
Contact: Website

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

kme said:

The volume unit liter...
And still for the same reason: meter is m, not M.

It's litre and metre. A meter is an instrument.

They're our units, the Americans don't like them anyway, so how come they get to decide to spell them differently?

At least computers have grown past the point where infuriating ad-men boasted about mHz. Even ENIAC was faster than that.

shiftyphil
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:32 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

bredman said:

Anybody know why the Ubuntu user interface uses such a strange representation of data measurements?

Kilobyte is represented as KiB.

Megabyte is represented as MiB.

It's kibibyte and mebibyte, and they're the IEC standard.

http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Un.....inary.html

Martin Angove
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:43 pm

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

Americans can't even measure gallons correctly.  So there's no hope they would understand fundamental physics...  Mind you, some Anglo numbskulls can't spell Lava Bread.  What is the world coming to?

Surely you mean "Laver Bread"? Speaking as a man currently sitting in a small cupboard which, if it had a window, would have quite a nice view of Swansea Bay...

@Andre. Could I offer the possibility of an "applied engineering vent" for your next thread.  I offer the low energy light bulb.  You know...the ones that are 'supposed' to last 8,000 or 12,000 hours (note the commas not full stops).

Think you'll find that the comma-full stop reversal is a continental European thing, specifically the French

How long do yours last?  and...

As for the applied engineering, as a user of many, many "low energy" lamps of various varieties (e.g. LED as well as CFL), in my experience it isn't the lamp that fails; it's the power supply, particularly those LED ones - the LED itself works fine for many many thousands of hours; the switch-mode that drives it usually fails first. I write dates on most of my lamps at home and 10,000 hours wouldn't be unusual for many, but it varies according to brand, usage pattern etc. etc.

Have you ever noticed in the middle of the night one of these lamps, having been turned of as bed calls, starts pulsing with light at about 1.666 x10^-2 Hz

A. N. Other (Eng)

This sort of symptom is common where you have a leakage current. For example, at a previous house I had a light switch that "lit up" when the light was off, so that you could find the switch in the dark. It did this by putting a Neon indicator across the switch. With an incandescent lamp, just enough current would flow to light the Neon but wouldn't do anything to the incandescent. Older-type CFLs would often have capacitors across their incoming, which would slowly charge through the Neon until there was just enough power to strike the lamp very briefly. Newer CFLs have a bypass resistor to allow the Neon to light without charging up the PSU.

Some types of light switch timers or ambient light sensors power themselves in the same way and could cause the same symptoms. If your light has none of these things fitted, get the circuit checked by an electrician for insulation resistance and leakage - this could be a good warning of a latent problem.

Hwyl!

M. (yet another Eng...)

Hugh Reynolds
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:48 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Well from up here, Llangynwyd, it is definately Lava Bread.  But as I am kilometres and kilometres from Abertawe and the beautiful coast, I guess I might have to suggest you have been corrupted by all that foreign influence down there.

Perhaps one day, over a slice of Pi at Verdi's, another great Welsh estate ;-), we could sort this out.  When I can get the pony and trap running.  Well the trap works but the pony's wael.

The pulsing light is obviously PSU related but where does the leakage current come from.  The switch is off.  It's a two wire connection.  One of the wires is open and I have even disconnected the switch in the middle of the night to try to fault find the problem.  I've not done the analysis but how much leakage current would be needed to drive the PSU to give a large enough pulse to ignite the plasma?  I would have thought quite alot.  And I should have said it's an infrequent fault in a stable installation.  I've seen it with the latest Philips mini-spirals as well as some unbranded types.

Neil
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:10 am
Contact: Website

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

The one that really irks me is 's' = seconds (unit of time), 'S' = Siemens (unit of conductance).  For example:

http://www.modcan.com/bseries/.....dbdsr.html

"Fast attack time = 300uS"

RRrrrrrgghh...

That's better

Neil

Wooloomooloo
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:52 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Well, since we're in the nitpicking section anyway there's no such word as "definately" either. And don't even start me up on "nukular" with which an amazing number of TV hosts and guests seem to be totally fine...

The liter/litre thing is an interesting one - I knew it's a spelling difference, but didn't realize the "-re" versions are the "official" ones, since my mother tongue - Hungarian - also spells them the American way, ie. "liter" and "méter". I obviously tend to use them like that everywhere, even in english...

Oh, and the **-bibyte thing, even be it ISO or not? NEVAHHHH!

Hugh Reynolds
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:48 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Wooloomooloo said:

Well, since we're in the nitpicking section anyway there's no such word as "definately" either. And don't even start me up on "nukular" with which an amazing number of TV hosts and guests seem to be totally fine...

The liter/litre thing is an interesting one - I knew it's a spelling difference, but didn't realize the "-re" versions are the "official" ones, since my mother tongue - Hungarian - also spells them the American way, ie. "liter" and "méter". I obviously tend to use them like that everywhere, even in english...

Oh, and the **-bibyte thing, even be it ISO or not? NEVAHHHH!

Well I rather like 'definately'.  It's a good engineering word.

Disagree if you can:

A litre of Hungarian beer is definately better than a liter of American beer.

Planes definately should fall out of the sky.

In Februrary a slice of Pi every morning will definately make me smile.

Eben is definately Welsh.

Liz is definately an honorary Welsh princess.  Lush.  Definately.

In one hour and 43 minutes it's definately Friday all over the world.

'Up' is definately relative.

Martin Angove
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:43 pm

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

Well from up here, Llangynwyd, it is definately Lava Bread.  But as I am kilometres and kilometres from Abertawe and the beautiful coast, I guess I might have to suggest you have been corrupted by all that foreign influence down there.

I'll pop into the indoor market to check. As for "foreign influence" you could be right, not only do I work in Swansea, but I'm a native of somewhere even closer to the Saes - Caerphilly - though I do have the privilege of having been indoctrinated ^H^H^H^H educated trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg

The pulsing light is obviously PSU related but where does the leakage current come from.  The switch is off.  It's a two wire connection.  One of the wires is open and I have even disconnected the switch in the middle of the night to try to fault find the problem.  I've not done the analysis but how much leakage current would be needed to drive the PSU to give a large enough pulse to ignite the plasma?  I would have thought quite alot.

Actually it doesn't take much. The aforementioned Neon had a high-value series resistor and would have passed current probably of the order of 10mA, maybe less. A decent capacitor with low leakage (and no parallel resistor) will charge quite happily at this level.

Out in the wilds it is possible that your electrical supply isn't "ideal" and it is quite possible for there to be a (relatively) large PD between neutral and earth. If there is also an insulation resistance problem then there could be leakage currents even when switches are "off", could even be something as simple as damp getting into the light fitting.

And I should have said it's an infrequent fault in a stable installation.  I've seen it with the latest Philips mini-spirals as well as some unbranded types.

Aah, well, there are other possible sources. It is well known (for example) that fluorescent lamps can be lit "at a distance". Legend has it that a part of the Wenvoe transmitter site wasn't Faraday-caged properly and it was never necessary to switch the lamps on. Do you happen to be near any large RaDAR installations (thinking of the cyclic nature)? I used to get all sorts of odd things happening when I lived in Hereford for a year - local flyboys used to do low passes over the farm with all their electronics fired up. Played havoc with the radio, television for 10 or 20 seconds before you actually heard the engines, though the BBC Micro kept plodding on.

Hwyl!

M.

Wooloomooloo
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:52 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

Disagree if you can: Planes definately should fall out of the sky.
Sorry mate, I definitely can and do disagree with that, and I may not be alone with that...

Chromatix
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:00 pm
Location: Helsinki

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

If there's a big enough AC electric field, you can charge a capacitor+diode with a wire attached to each end - this is how "live wire finders" like the one built into my screwdriver work.  I bet a typical CFL looks a bit like one of these on a bigger scale, so even quite a small field can charge it.

FWIW, in my reasonably modern flat the live-wire finder lights up brightly anywhere if I simply hold both ends of it.  Same principle as if I grabbed the input plug to an audio amplifier.
The key to knowledge is not to rely on people to teach you it.

Chromatix
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:00 pm
Location: Helsinki

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

Well I rather like 'definately'.  It's a good engineering word.

There is definitely an ICBM in transit to your location.
The key to knowledge is not to rely on people to teach you it.

Hugh Reynolds
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:48 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Chromatix said:

FatBuzz said:

Well I rather like "definately".  It"s a good engineering word.

There is definitely an ICBM in transit to your location.

Yes my Russian friend .  I'll get the correct spelling etched onto my cornea.

TheEponymousBob
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:05 am
Contact: Website

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

Well I rather like 'definately'.  It's a good engineering word.

The fact that I found this post almost physically painful says a lot more about me than about your spelling!

RaTTuS
Posts: 10574
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Location: North West UK

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

At least we don't have any PIN numbers to put in
How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

1QC43qbL5FySu2Pi51vGqKqxy3UiJgukSX
Covfefe

Neil
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:10 am
Contact: Website

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

...Or watch an LCD display.

Chromatix
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:00 pm
Location: Helsinki

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

FatBuzz said:

Chromatix said:

FatBuzz said:

Well I rather like "definately".  It"s a good engineering word.

There is definitely an ICBM in transit to your location.

Yes my Russian friend .  I'll get the correct spelling etched onto my cornea.

Helsinki isn't in Russia.  Nor am I Russian.

Back on topic, my pet peeve isn't so much the mis-capitalisation or misspelling of units - although the use by nonvolatile storage vendors of the decimal megabyte, gigabyte and terabyte is very irksome - but using the wrong unit or multiplier entirely.  Talking about "MHz of RAM" or even talking about a "4MB" computer that is somehow capable of running Windows 7.  Compared to that, confusing bits and bytes is a petty offence.
The key to knowledge is not to rely on people to teach you it.

Hugh Reynolds
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:48 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

Chromatix said:

Helsinki isn"t in Russia.  Nor am I Russian.

Well only since 1917  Big celebrations in 2017.  Kippis

Andre_P
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:57 am

### Re: Pedant Engineer Vent :)

@Chromatix, it could have been worse, Fatbuzz could have accused you if being Swedish !

Note I have a Finnish friend who has advised me with regard to the 'friendly' rivalry between Finland and Sweden.

It is gratifying to note that even without my mentioning it, this thread wandered into a discussion of things Welsh.

It's also nice to know that there are other people out there who also get wound up by people not using the correct terms.

Andre (A confused person, a French name, an English accent and very Welsh)