[time-nuts] Getting GPIB to work on HP5382B Universal counter.

Dave Baxter dave at uk-ar.co.uk
Wed Oct 14 10:20:52 UTC 2009

Two YEARS later?

I sometimes have trouble understanding what I got working days ago! <G>

But yes, that was what I was going on about.    I also keep all my "less
than successful" software projects and ideas, as often though the
overall result was not what was wanted, plans changed, I ran out of
time, or my understanding was not up to the task, or other resources
were lacking.  The routines and techniques I used, can be re-used later.
Often figuring out why I stumbled and fell the first time round!

Be it C, Basic, Delphi, Perl, Python, etc etc.  Heck, even assembler
code!  Archive it, don't throw it away.  It often comes in useful later
on.  (Why re-invent the wheel each time?)

As a related aside, I've recently been instructed to go figure out how
to use LabView, mainly to support an existing LV based product we will
I'm told be handling soon, maintaining and creating VI's for old and new
instruments as they come and go, and no doubt training new users of the
product how to use it.   Can't say at the moment what it is, but....

As I type this, the 30 day 700meg+ LV trial is being downloaded.
Hopefully, things have improved somewhat since I last looked at it, as
sadly I (and others here) have only ever had "bad" experiences with it
(and HP V for that matter) in the past, hence why I/we stayed with
"classic" programming techniques for what we wanted to do.  I tend to
use Delphi, others use VB/VBA in one form or another.   Interestingly,
no one uses C out of choice.  Even though some of us have had formal
training in the past in that language and its use.   I do some minor
support of another software product that uses C++ for it's instrument
drivers, but the original authors were rather too adept at obfuscation
(a C programmers forte' I think?) while being very sparing with
comments, hence my support for that is indeed very low key.

My gripe with LV was always that there was either too much information,
or too little when you invoked the help system.  However, from a long
phone conversation yesterday with one of NI's people (they sort of
begrudgingly agreed with that) but said things are much better now, with
more support for LV novices, who are however time served experienced
classic softie types.

I have a feeling the faded grey cell is going to ache a bit soon!   I
might feel the need to go into the garage of an evening, and beat up
some innocent bit of metal as a result...

Still, in these economic times, if The Big Boss says to look at it, then
that's what I'll do.  None of us are indispensable or irreplaceable
these days.   He's even said find some training courses if that's what I
need.   Something about a "gift horse" springs to mind.   Any cheap but
good hotels with WiFi around the Newbury (UK) area?


Dave B.

> -----Original Message-----
Message: 3
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 10:27:22 +0100
From: "David C. Partridge"
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Getting GPIB to work on HP5382B Universal


I don't remember being your college tutor on this - in fact I never was
college teacher, but what you've laid out below is pretty much what I
all the trainee programmers I had.    You've done a very good job of
it "in a nutshell".

The objective of the whole is to achieve understandability so that the
poor sap (this might be you two years later) who comes along to work on
thing (whatever it is) can get stuck in to fix it without having to
engineer the thought processes of the original author.


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