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Bill Marshall

United Kingdom

Engineer | WGM Consulting

Engineer, PhD, lecturer, freelance technical writer, blogger & tweeter interested in robots, AI, planetary explorers and all things electronic. STEM ambassador. Designed, built and programmed my first microcomputer in 1976. Still learning, still building, still coding today.

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Member since April 2012
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232 Followers
6 Following
35 Likes
1 Forum posts
73 Comments posted
100 Articles published
article
Bill Marshall

Microcontrollers

6 days ago

Interfacing a 1967 Paper Tape Reader: Part 2

Computer data storage on punched paper tape is an obsolete technology, but the equipment was built to last and easily repaired if necessary. Now that repairability is becoming a legal requirement, it’s interesting to see how it used to be done.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Internet of Things

1 month ago

TinyML: AI for Microcontrollers

No new electronic gadget is considered to be ‘high-tech’ nowadays unless it features some form of AI. The really sophisticated applications require staggering amounts of computer power – can anything be done with a humble microcontroller?

2 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Microcontrollers

1 month ago

Interfacing a 1967 Paper Tape Reader: Part 1

Computer data storage on punched paper tape is an obsolete technology, but the equipment was built to last and easily repaired if necessary. Now that repairability is becoming a legal requirement, it’s interesting to see how it used to be done.

3 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Also In the News

2 months ago

After Unity, New Shepard gets into Space

It always happens: you wait for a tourist bus into Space and two come along at once. After the first passenger flight of VSS Unity, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket went beyond the Kármán Line on July 20th. But could it go all the way into orbit?

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Also In the News

3 months ago

The new Space Tourist: Astronaut or Astronaut*?

Space tourism was brought a step closer today by Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft giving the boss Richard Branson a brief lift above the atmosphere. In a few days’ time, Blue Origin will attempt the same feat with their boss Jeff Bezos.

0 comments
forumpost
Bill Marshall

An early microcomputer

article
Bill Marshall

Microcontrollers

3 months ago

We Interrupt this Program…

The need to interrupt a computer program and switch to another piece of code when an event occurs that just won’t wait has been present since computers were invented. All computer chips have dedicated onboard interrupt hardware, but what’s it for?

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Robotics

3 months ago

Servos for Robots

The RC Servo or Hobby Servo has been used to move the control surfaces of Radio-Control (RC) model aircraft for many years. It’s very popular with builders of both small humanoid robots and when converted for continuous rotation, wheeled robots.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Microcontrollers

4 months ago

Number Formats and the Ariane V Disaster

Embedded computers control things in ‘real-time’ based on sensor data fed into algorithms that contain simple or complex mathematical functions. The way numbers are handled in the machine is critically important for successful operation.

1 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Also In the News

5 months ago

The Scourge of Space Junk, Part 2: Solutions?

Planet Earth is surrounded by a cloud of orbiting objects almost all of them man-made, from spent rocket stages, dead and functioning satellites to bits of debris. A theoretical collision problem is starting to look serious. Solutions are needed.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Also In the News

5 months ago

Ingenuity: the first aircraft on Mars (that we know of)

A real first for NASA this time: an aircraft built on Earth has flown on another planet: Mars. Ingenuity may be tiny, but its flight today means that planetary exploration by ‘drone’ has arrived. For planets with an atmosphere, at least.

0 comments
article
Bill Marshall

Microcontrollers

6 months ago

Old Microprocessors, new Microcontrollers and Reverse Poles

The opportunity to make a performance comparison between the old Z80 MPU and a modern dsPIC MCU came up when I found the benchmark results for my 1982 version of the Forth language.

7 comments
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