Free as in, well, Free Software

There’s no such thing as free beer. But free software abounds. It seems that everywhere I look these days companies are offering their embedded operating systems and tools for free evaluation. Often, the price includes full access to the source code. Examples just this week include the announcement that Quantum Leaps would make the source code for […]

Read More

Legal Limbo

I don’t intend to write much about political issues, since it isn’t the purpose of this blog. However, when something arises that affects a lot of us in the high tech industry, then I’ll make an exception. The case in point today is the proposed legislation in the US Senate that attempts to codify the […]

Read More

Agile Embedded Development

Silicon Valley finally seems to be taking a serious look at “agile development” as a competitive advantage. Articles like “Reinventing the Software Development Strategy” by John Seybold give us a glimmer of hope that maybe software development doesn’t always need to be a “death march” of missed schedules, but rather can actually be fun. If […]

Read More

Reset Reason

The title of this post is rather ambiguous and can be read several different ways. This is no accident as it reflects the ambiguity that I see concerning the most fundamental event in an embedded system’s life – reset. Being a consultant, I get to write a lot of my own code. I also get […]

Read More

Educating Engineers

Engineering is a fast-moving field. Even embedded systems design, which is known to use decades old tools, sees new processors and new peripherals and higher speeds and new languages and new techniques arrive continuously. Unlike the medical profession, which requires continuing education to keep pace with changes in the knowledge base, engineers generally stop learning […]

Read More

Datasheet Errors

As someone that also designs hardware for a living, I spend a lot of time reading data sheets. Recently I have had to deal with a rash of data sheet errors. I’m not talking about minor errors. I’m talking about colossal, fundamental errors, whereby the device simply does not do what the data sheet describes. […]

Read More

Five Nines Reliability or POTS versus VOIP

My ISP has just recovered from a system wide crash that resulted in a 20 hour outage. Notwithstanding that it resulted in loss of email etc, it also resulted in the loss of my VOIP service. After decades of POTS , the telephone companies have rung out all the bugs and we have a service […]

Read More

Embedded Systems Bloggers

There are currently just a handful of bloggers writing about embedded systems development. So I thought I’d take a minute to introduce the others I’ve run across. There are, of course, three of us blogging at EmbeddedGurus.net. The others are: Nigel Jones who writes Stack Overflow and Dr. Miro Samek who authors State Space. Each of these guys has […]

Read More

What Embedded Programs have to do with Hollywood?

I still remember the “Triumph of the Nerds” PBS special, where Steve Jobs recalled his early days at Apple and how the young Apple team picked up the brains of scientists at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) . Steve explained how PARC researchers showed them three revolutionary things: (1) the graphical user interface […]

Read More

Encrypted email and NDAs

Being a consultant, I do business with a lot of different companies – nearly all of which require a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to be executed. Most of these NDA’s require me to protect the company’s intellectual property as if it was my own. So far so good. Once the NDA has been executed however, I’m […]

Read More