Common vs. Proprietary Knowledge

All Tibbo documentation is created with briefness in mind. No one has time for bloated manuals.

In deciding what should and should not be in this Manual, I generally apply the "common engineering knowledge vs. proprietary knowledge" judgment.

"Common engineering knowledge" comprises facts that are widely known in the engineering community.

Such facts are typically disseminated through the Internet, taught in technical schools (colleges, universities) and are generally considered to fall into the accepted body of knowledge for the electronic engineering and information technology professions.

In simple terms, if you can easily Google something, and you get plenty of search results from multiple sources, and these results largely agree on the subject, then this "something" falls into the "common engineering knowledge" domain.

"Proprietary knowledge," on the other hand, comprises facts that originate from a particular vendor, such as Tibbo.

Proprietary knowledge is something that, unless Tibbo tells the world about it, you won't know and won't be able to find the information on from any other source.

To keep the size of this Manual to the minimum, I strive to exclude, where possible, all "common engineering knowledge."

You don't need to learn the common stuff from me. If you don't know something — Google it.


Let's suppose Tibbo makes an embedded module that has a number of I/O lines, and these lines are of the CMOS type.

Proprietary knowledge here is that I/O lines on the module are of the CMOS type. I need to tell you this, because if I don't tell you then you don't have any other way to find out (except through guessing or reverse-engineering my product).

Public engineering knowledge is everything else that there is to know about "CMOS I/O lines." I believe that the body of engineering knowledge includes the general understanding of what "CMOS" means. It also includes the whole culture of working with CMOS lines, of preventing them from failing, of designing the products that utilize CMOS lines in the right way, etc. etc. It is not my job to explain any of this to you.

Bottom line: This manual is not an encyclopedia, nor it is a school textbook. It is a brief source of Tibbo's proprietary knowledge.

Think something is missing from this manual? Let me know! My email is  

Common vs. Proprietary Knowledge