Monday, October 26, 2009

What an engineer could do

About 2 years ago, one of my engineer friends told me that been an engineer is useless in real life. A doctor, lawyer, car repairs man can all do something to help you in real life, while us software engineers are mostly useless out side of our work.

It is mostly true, and I agreed with him. I did wrote a WOW bot to help me and other grind, but that is not really the day to day life.

Last Sunday I finally found out the usefulness of us software engineers. My wife bought a Digital Arts & Crafts Studio (a kids drawing tool, which is a digital pen) from yard sale. After she got home, she found it needs special software. Without the software CD the tool is useless. She really wants to play with it and got a bit upset.

I figured that the tool must use the USB to transmit data, and most likely it is in a very simple format. So I go ahead and download the Microsoft drivers development kit, tweaked with USB drivers and then HID, and wrote my own program to read/write (yep, you can write to it to control the LEDs). What I did is I read the position of the pen, then move the computer's mouse accordingly, so she can use it like a mouse.

Problem solved, I am proud to be an engineer (however if I could pick my career again, I would like to be a doctor).

And a last note. The digital studio is kinda slow, it takes a while to respond to the pen movement. I am pretty sure it is their hardware instead of my software.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to share a bit about my point of view.

I'm a student and I can choose to be a doctor or an engineer.

I made the decision to be an engineer, and hopefully ill be next year studying engineering at university.

Engineers may not help people in your direct environment, however, the engineers are the ones that make society as it is today. All the innovation was not made by the doctors or car mechanics. No, their work is only based on what engineers/scientists have discovered and developed in the past.

Engineers makes it possible that doctors and car mechanics can exist in the first place by providing them with the tools and knowledge which they need.

Think how many hours of repeating grinding you have saved for people.
They could socialize, visit their family or work on their future, like by making homework. Stuff that really matter. Ask yourself the question why would someone grind for many many hours ? Because its fun ?