Are we speaking the same language?

When developing software one of the first and most important decisions is which programming language to write it in. Usually the choice of programming language is left to the developer, but how do you know what benefits, overheads or restrictions can result as a consequence of that decision?

Here I present a brief background and explanation of the differences between some of the more popular and common languages. What each language was designed for, and how it is used in the industry.

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Written by: Clay Paton, Embedded Software Engineer, AEC Electronics

Clay Paton is currently a student at the University of Canterbury, studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in computer science. He joined the team at AEC Electronics in 2006 where he is an embedded software developer.

 
Making Encryption Simple

Have you ever wondered if your product needs some form of Encryption, and then dismissed it as too hard? Encryption is one of those things that most people know the basic principle of: to protect information, but know little else beyond that. It seems to be a topic that is held in a similar realm to the data that it attempts to protect, indecipherable. However, encryption does not have to be as difficult and complicated as this, true the math’s behind a good encryption algorithm is very complicated, but a full understanding of that is only required by the mathematicians and cryptologists that develop and analyse new encryption algorithms. With a good understanding of requirements and issues, an effective Encryption system can be developed to solve your problem.

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Written by: James Glasgow, Electronics Engineer, AEC Electronics

James Glasgow graduated as an Electronics Engineer from the University of Canterbury. He worked at a company who specialised in developing encrypted communications systems before joining AEC Electronics in May 2005. James role at AEC Electronics as a hardware engineer is in the development of leading edge avionics communications equipment.

 
Failsafe IP assignment for embedded products

Have you ever thought of a great idea for a networked product, but been discouraged by the thought of the expertise and tweaking required to get things “talking”? Or have you ever asked yourself the question, why can’t I just plug in my networked product and go? Too often networked products require a network expert and time-consuming configuration just to get things rolling, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Written by: Tony Ruiter, Electronics Engineer, AEC Electronics

Tony Ruiter graduated from The University of Canterbury with a science degree majoring in physics. He then went on to obtain a degree in electrical engineering from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. After starting his career in a large international telecommunications company he worked in the remote telemetry field for 3 years and is currently designing embedded firmware and software for new products at AEC Electronics.

 
7 ways to turbo-charge your project

Every product developer would love everyone involved in their project to have the same level of drive and excitement about the project as what they do. Imagine – everybody thinking 24/7 about how they can make the project better, get to market faster, at lower cost, with more features… OK, so this may be a dream that rarely comes true, but this paper discusses 7 keys that will help improve even the best of teams.

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Written by: Graham Pronk-Jones, Managing Director, AEC Electroincs

Graham Pronk-Jones founded AEC Electronics in 1997 with a vision to provide top quality electronics engineering design services to companies developing new products. Graham has worked with a number of clients working on a range of products including domestic appliances, industrial telemetry equipment, avionics communication systems, and GPS dataloggers. Graham has worked closely with a wide range of product development companies, suppliers and manufacturers to bring new designs to market in very short time-frames. Graham shares the keys from his experiences in this series: “Secrets of Successful Product Development”.

 
7 ways to survive product failure

Nobody likes product failure, but it is a reality. Having a good system for tracking, quantifying, and categorising faults is essential for a number of reasons. Firstly, the system provides information on how to improve the product and helps prioritise and justify design changes. Secondly, the system will help maintain an objective analysis of the technical issues at hand by giving quantitative performance reports – it is critical to maintain confidence in your product in the face of emotional comments from unhappy customers.

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Written by: Graham Pronk-Jones, Managing Director, AEC Electronics

Graham Pronk-Jones founded AEC Electronics in 1997 with a vision to provide top quality electronics engineering design services to companies developing new products. Graham has worked with a number of clients working on a range of products including domestic appliances, industrial telemetry equipment, avionics communication systems, and GPS dataloggers. Graham has worked closely with a wide range of product development companies, suppliers and manufacturers to bring new designs to market in very short time-frames. Graham shares the keys from his experiences in this series: “Secrets of Successful Product Development”.

 
7 simple steps for selecting a suitable design company

You have a great product idea! You have identified a need within a market, and and have established a viable electronics based product that will meet the need. But how do you turn that product into a potential moneymaker while adhering to your time and budget constraints? The first step is by chosing the electronics design company that best suits your needs.

Choosing the right electronics company to design and develop your product is an important step that could be the difference between you getting your product to market on time, or costing you additional time and money you can’t afford to spend. There are many options available so a lot of thought and research are required in deciding who is the best option for you.

The following steps will guide you in the right direction with regards to what to look for in making that important decision.

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Written by: Fraser Costley, Project Manager, AEC Electronics

Fraser Costley joined AEC Electronics in 2006 as a project manager after managing an international teacher recruitment agency. His educational background is in business managment and marketing, which he studied at the University of Canterbury.

 
5 ways to speed your product through Electrical Safety Testing

Before your appliance can be sold, it must have government approval. To get approval you must have an electrical safety compliance report from an accredited laboratory. The lab will test to an official ‘safety standard’ document.

You can avoid hold-ups, and smooth your product’s way through electrical safety testing by preparing a few things before submitting your product to the laboratory. The product submitted for testing is expected to be complete and ready for sale. This article lists five things that are often overlooked and which could delay the issuing of the report that you urgently need.

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Written by: John McKirdy, Electronics Engineer, AEC Electronics.

John McKirdy has three years experience as an electrical safety compliance engineer at an accredited test lab. Testing experience includes products for leading edge New Zealand manufacturers and also for major Australian and New Zealand importers. He now designs electronic hardware for new products. He is available for consultation on electrical safety testing of any electrical appliance.


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