Some tech frustrations

Just some venting,

Why on earth is every interesting technical discussion forum on Yahoo Groups? I absolutely loathe its design. When requesting the main forum it presents you with unthreaded, ungrouped messages by date. To group messages by thread you have to click a link, and even then you have to click each message separately just to view it. It’s 2012 damnit, stupid threaded message boards should be a thing of the past!

It absolutely puzzles me why certain technical stuff ends up on Yahoo Groups. Especially hamradio and geiger counter stuff seems to end up on Yahoo Groups by default. Maybe people setting up these groups favor the usenet style interface because they are somewhat older than me and continue to use the annoying, threaded usenet-style interface because that is what they initially came in contact with when first using the net. Don’t get me started on search results…

(BTW, I found a modern message board focused on geiger counters and all kinds of radiation detection stuff, guess what, it’s only in Italian!)

Another annoyance of me lately has been expensive USB to TTL serial adapters. Most are based on the well known FTDI chip which is used on Arduino boards. Simple adapters using this chip have prices ranging in the €/$10-25 range, just for a simple device presenting a serial port to the host operating system and outputting TTL levels.
I guess the CEO of FTDI gets a nice bonus each year, selling loads of these chips for $3 when they likely cost pennies to make.

I’m still looking into a decent alternative, €15 TTL adapters suck!



2 Responses to Some tech frustrations

  1. First – Amen! Yahoo Groups make me feel like connecting my modem again.
    Second – Try something like eBay item # 180925940394 These low cost USB-Serial board work great for me. A small mode needed to reset the Arduino is described on my software page.
    Third – Great blog! Good stuff well described.
    (At some point I’d like to pick your brain about pre-amps for scint probe output)

  2. I’m thinking about setting up an international forum dedicated to amateur radiation detection and analysis, it’s a shame to rely on platforms like Yahoo Groups that cannot decide whether they are a forum, newsgroup or mailing list. No sticky messages, people misquoting stuff, fragmenting discussions into new threads, replies to personal mail instead of group, it sucks!

    USB->TTL is now solved, loads of cheap adapters available on eBay, found out about the mod myself.

    Thanks for the comment, always like comments from the better known hobbyists 🙂
    I think you will also hear from me, need a kit to mod my geiger board. First preparing new housing. Maybe I will implement switching between GM tubes and scints, would be very nice!