Deal or No Deal

I watch several TV shows, including 24, Prison Break etc. – but this show Deal or No Deal always hooks me. I even bought a mini arcade TV video game version of this popular TV show. Heres my take on the game – its NOT about winning a million, its about winning the most you can based on your odds!!! Its so crazy to see someone walk out with below $300 when they reached a crucial point where they could have walked away with at least $130,000 (half after taxes!). The crowd cheering “go one more time” or one’s supporters screaming that, or something in you, should not make you keep “hoping” your case has $1,000,000.00 ( $500k approximately after taxes).
For example, a contestant got to a 50-50 point with 2 low numbers and 2 large – 300,000 and 500,000, she was offered over $100,000. Her next large number on the board was $75,000. Think! If you knock out the 300k and 500k, you never will get offered anything close to 75k. She went ahead and subsequently knocked off in sequence 300k and 500k. Finally she settled for $23k which is about 1/2 after taxes. The smartest contestant to me while this new season (with $1million added each time up to $8million) kicked off was the lady who won about $306,000. Even though she and someone else where the only 2 contestants whose cases actually held $1million, she cashed in when the odds were best in her favour. You dont need a college statistics class to hopefully figure out this game show, but it sure helps to understand the basics of probability.



Classic Peanuts:

Going back the memory lane, l recall been so interested in microprocessors as a kid after having read a book on the z80 microprocessor borrowed from the British Council Library in Kano State. I kept reading all l could about programming a z80, writing small instruction code programs in my head and on paper without having any PC, z80 or microprocessor development lab. I got a z80 via mail order from Maplin Electronics – London by mail order, using all my savings converted to pound sterling. l was so into figuring out how to program an 1k EPROM to run a very simple led flashing test program. I wrote the instruction code, converted each hex code into binary in a sequential list almost like a memory array all on paper. I had no access to a eprom uv eraser, but l read somewhere that sufficient exposure to the sun will erase an eprom. Well, l climbed up our home’s zinc roof and placed the device for about 1 week enclosed in a glass covered box to protect this precious device from weather. The only way l check it the rom contents were erased as well as program the device was by painfully setting up each logical address using a breadboard with wires connected to +5v for logic high or 0v for logic low, and viewing 8 leds wired to the data input as well as a 8 bit switch, which were flipped to the 8bit value l wanted to program before sending +12v to the program pin and enabling the program pin using a push to make switch held at logic low.

First video game machines: Atari 2600, commodore 64, nintendo

First computers l tried Basic programming on: Sinclair Spectrum, commodore 64

First non-ibm pc: Original Apple II & First ibm-compatible machine: Amstrad PC , both at FUTO, Owerri.
Now we have cheap and discarded flash memories, SD and miniSD cards etc with much more memory capacity and microcontrollers with in-built flash memory controllers….

Interesting projects l found on the web:

The Reflow Soldering Oven with LCD Display

RFID-based proximity security system of ID Cards

Innovative use of Virtex-II Pro chips from a board off eBay!