Lessons from My History Teacher- Mr Hines

As part of my Gratitude Project I wrote the following letter to Mr Robert E Hines  which I share with his permission. It’s dated 2 June 2018. Dear Bob; Great teachers teach beyond than their subject matter.  They impart life lessons to their students. Students may be deaf to this other lessons because they were…

The Long Path to 20 Bytes of Firmware

When I began my approach for a By-Pass Lock screen solution, I knew that the USB/PCI Express Bridge chip I was using had the capability to enable DMA attacks. But I wasn’t sure how to configure it properly. In the end 20 Bytes of firmware did it. But getting to the 20 bytes of firmware…

Make it Light

So a while ago I put together a hardware security project. The device I was building was a PCIExpress device to do DMA (Direct Memory Access) attacks on a computer. The idea being you would have a card that you could put in a slot into the computer. Then this card would basically use its…

Three Patents for PLD–That was Good

Let me share my experiences with Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs). Intel had a small group down in Folsom working on this technology. Because of re-orgs, my wife and I moved to Folsom and we lived down for eight years (1988-1994). As part of that team I came up with  three patents.  And it was just…

My Year of Magical Thinking

They tell me everyone grieves in her own way.  During my husband’s illness with pancreatic cancer I learned that a friend from graduate school had lost his son Sam to a car accident.  Though it had been many years since we had spoken, my heart sank. I knew that John dearly loved his children as…

Hardware to Bandwidth to Software Flipped Around

So here’s another occasion with a similar scenario where a small kludge solution turns a complicated design into something really easy but it requires a separate perspective on the problem. This is from my work on the CPU debug team at Intel, circa 2007. Engineers in my group were trying to resolve a problem. We…

First Week Impact

My approach to engineering craft has evolved to knowing when the easy solution exists and grabbing that instead of going with a complicated solution. Sometimes that’s a hack or sometimes it’s a different perspective.  A newbie’s perspective can often provide that different perspective. Within my first week at Intel I surprisingly contributed immediately to my…

Six Months to Satisfaction- Large Team Frustrations

Q: What’s your most frustrating experiences as an engineer? A: Basically not being listened to. Like most people as an engineer not being listened to ranks up at the top of my frustration. While it’s easy to manage this in a one on one working relationship it becomes much harder in a larger team. Let…

A Difference in Ovens

I first heard this story as part of Kwabena’s presentation on OpenMV, a camera board.  He spoke at the Oct 2016 Open Source Hardware Summit in Portland Oregon. As he described the path from idea to product I had an inkling this would be a good story for The Engineers’ Daughter. –Anne Meixner Ibrahim dreamed…

The Unexpected Summer of Three Interns

In my engineering career the number three comes up often. A good software engineer goes through loops at least 3 times to check their software.  You need to ask a manager three times to get the approval to do something new. One summer three interns came under my tutelage. That year our group could hire…