A New Logo Design Contest for IoT Expert (Part 2)

You might have noticed that today the IoT Expert website looks completely new.  And, you would be right.  The whole thing has been re-done.  Why?  There are a lot of reasons, but the bottom line is that I changed my mind.  When Yakob Dedi posted his original design to the 99designs contest I immediately thought, “Wow, that is the winner!”  Then when I sent the design around, one of my good friends said that it was obviously the winner and I should stop wasting time with the others.  But, for several reasons, I ended up going with the other design.

But, I regretted the decision.  And every day that went by, it ate at me.  One of the marketing people that I work with originally said the Yakob “IoT Expert” logo was the only choice from the contest that was iconic.  This comment kept ringing in my brain.  Finally I contacted Yakob (aka AnnSir on 99designs) , bought the logo and started the process of switching.  And now, I am much much happier for it.

IoT Expert T-Shirt

It turns out that the switch was not that easy because the WordPress template that I was using was not very compatible with the redesigned logo.  Then, we descended into the pits of hell trying to find a good template starting point.  Yakob looked at 100’s of different designs.  He selected about a dozen that we went through the merits and problems of.  Finally, we picked a template that seemed to provide all of the features we needed.  The WordPress world has a frightening amount of open-source, freemium and paid developers and it is a pain to sort the wheat from the chaff.  It is absolutely huckster-central.

As we worked through the new design, Yakob suggested that I move to icons for the menus.  When I saw his designs I was convinced.

I hope you like the redesign.  Send me email, tweet me or make a comment.


Errors in this Blog & A Tribute to Donald Knuth

Background for new Blog Error Policy

I have the writing background of a typical engineer.  That is to say, not very good.  However, in the last twenty years, I have come to believe that excellent writing skills are central to success as an engineer.  As such, I have put a lot of time and energy into improving mine,  sometimes with more success than others, as you have probably noticed.

In the name of improvement, I will make you this offer:  if you are the first to post a comment about an error in the blog, either in the writing or in the engineering, I will mail you a Cypress Development Kit.  This offer is effective for all posts starting January 1, 2017.  The only condition of this offer is that I am the sole and final arbiter of errors.



Here is a pile of the development kits in the corner of my office, ready to be sent out.  Hopefully, there won’t be too many. 🙂

A big stack of CY8CKIT-049 Ready to be Sent

The idea of offering a prize is hardly novel.  In fact, Donald Knuth has done the same thing for years.   You can read about it in the Wikipedia article Donald Knuth Reward Check.  In addition, there are many people who have posted pictures of their check.

Donald Knuth Prize Check

I hardly think that my writing is the calibre of Donald Knuth’s, but it will serve as good motivation to be careful.  I look forward to hearing from you.


DrZwave Bio – IoT Expert – PSoC5 and Z-Wave Engineer

I am an IoT Expert using Z-Wave to build devices like wireless motion sensors, Z-Wave interfaces for the Raspberry Pi, in-wall light switch dimmers, Z-Wave water valves and a variety of other “Things”.  My current job is as a consultant providing mostly firmware that runs on the Z-Wave chips from Sigma Designs. Express Controls is my company we just recentlyDrZWave IoT Expert Z-Wave moved into real office space as we’ve outgrown my home office. I have my own Blog at DrZWave.wordpress.com where I’ll discuss Z-Wave specific things but I’ll be an occasional contributor here on Alan’s blog with more embedded and PSoC specific topics.


I went to RPI in the early 1980s where I honed my skills soldering and writing software. My first two jobs were designing graphics workstations and some of very first (and very primitive) GPUs of the day. I went on to designing chips for video conferencing compression engines, the cockpit display of the F22 fighter, Wireless Ethernet (before it was a standard) and a variety of chips for big and mostly small companies. Most of the chip designs were done as a contractor while I was also starting my first company, VAutomation which made “cores” for 8 and 16-bit CPU as well as USB and Ethernet interfaces. I sold VAutomation in 2001 and started playing with Z-Wave in 2003. I am the 31st Z-Wave licensee (there are now several hundred). At that time I went to work for a camera chip company that Cypress Semiconductor purchased and then I moved into working for Cypress which is where I met Alan. I worked on many chips at Cypress and specifically on the PSoC5 family. I moved on to do my own thing in 2014 and have been building Z-Wave IoT devices since before the Internet of Things (IoT) was a “thing”. PSoCs are just so easy to use that I use them for my own products and recommend them to my clients.

If you have any Z-Wave questions – just contact DrZwave and I’ll try to respond in a timely fashion.


I am also a Solar Power enthusiast and renewable energy advocate. My 30 solar PV panels generate over 1MWhr each month of clean solar power which covers my electric bill. I volunteer with HAREI which is a group that helps people put solar power on their roof with paybacks in as little as 2 years.