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April 2012

Screen Shots on the Mac

I've spent several hours over the last two days trying to figure out the best way to take screen shots from web pages to use in Gordon McGregor and my upcoming DVCon presentation on Continuous Integration using Jenkins. My first attempt involved using Skitch, from Evernote. But I couldn't figure out how to take a screen shot of a single window. Instead, as best as I could tell you had to select the content you wanted to take a snapshot of each time. That meant the borders of each image were slightly shifted, and ended up being sized differently in my PowerPoint presentation. Finally, I discovered that Mac OS X comes with a program called "Grab". 

Grab allows you to select a particular window and takes a screenshot of the entire contents. So once I sized the window I could quickly take several snapshots of webpage contents, save them, and move them over to my PowerPoint presentation. I hear that PowerPoint 2010 on the PC has such a feature built-in. But I couldn't find that on the Mac PPT 2011 version.

DVCon 2012: The Resurgence of Chip Design

As many of you are likely aware, DVCon 2012 is fast approaching. As I have done the past two years, I will be moderating the Industry Leaders panel. The topic? "The Resurgence of Chip Design". The panel is from 2:30-3:30pm at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, CA on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. 

The Resurgence of Chip Design

Over the course of the last decade, many technologists claimed that in the future, the most important part of a new product would be software, not the underlying hardware. Hardware would be a commodity. Everyone would write unique software on top of off the shelf hardware to create a value add. The relevance of chip design, and career prospects for chip designers would be limited.

But what actually happened was quite different. Large technology firms have hired ever-growing teams of engineers to design the custom chips critical to the success of their upcoming products. Building your own ASIC is often the only way to reach the desired power, performance, and cost goals.

The DVCon 2012 Industry Leaders Panel will focus on better understanding the trends driving this resurgence.


Ted Vucurevich - Enconcert, Inc.
John Costello - Altera Corp.
Gary Smith - Gary Smith EDA
Jim Hogan - Vista Ventures LLC


I'm looking forward to hearing a candid assessment from the panelists on the state of chip design today. I'd also like to learn more about the criteria companies should use to determine whether they should make their own custom chips or use off-the-shelf parts. Now, I could make up all my own questions, or perhaps revisit some topics from past industry leaders panels... But it would be great (and probably preferred by the panelists!) if your questions could be addressed too. So, what would you like me to ask the panelists this year? Let me know in the comments to this post, or by emailing me at jl at coolverification dot com.