More Smooth Sounds

People are not very good at distinguishing the pitch of two sounds, unless they hear them close together. My Casio watch makes good use of a fairly subtle change in tone. The watch has several modes: normal time, stopwatch, set alarm and dual time. The mode button changes from one to another. When I am […]

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Efficient C Tips #9 – Use lookup tables

This the ninth in a series of tips on how to make your C code more efficient. (Note if you are looking for basic information on lookup tables, you should read this). Typically the fastest ways to compute something on a microcontroller is to not compute it all – but to simply read the result from a lookup […]

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The TOP SECRET Social Class

This is America – the land of opportunity and home of the brave. This country was created on the premise that all men (and women) are equal. We don’t have kings and queens and we don’t tolerate discrimination due to race, creed, or color. Yet we have a classed society. We have gotten ourselves into a situation where there […]

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Sounds Exciting

Sounds, beeps, buzzes and clicks can make a useful addition to your user interface, or they can form the most exasperating parts. Subtle sounds can give feedback that a button press was detected and less subtle sounds can inform you that urgent action is required or your machine, or car, or patient might be permanently […]

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They Say We Landed a Man on The Moon

We’ve all heard them – the persistent rumors that the United States faked the moon landing. These rumors have gained enough traction that you see them mentioned in the mainstream press and even see documentaries focused on refuting specific claims of fabrication.  How can this possibly happen given that millions of people, including me, grew […]

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Checking the fuse bits in an Atmel AVR at run time

In general I try and post on topics that have broad appeal in the embedded world. Today I’m going to partially break with that tradition to show how to check the fuse bits in an Atmel AVR class processor. However, before I do so, I’d like to discuss my motivations for wanting to do this. […]

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Memory Loss

I recently bought a new digital camera.  A well-known brand, it was on sale but listed for nearly $200.  When I bought it the salesman tried to sell me a memory card.  His sales pitch was that the camera could only store 10 pictures.  Laughing to myself I thought how good it was to be an engineer and know […]

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Progeny of a Grand Old Processor

I’m proud to be the latest member of the embeddedgurus.net team.  Welcome to my blog, Area 0x51. Given the name Area 0x51, there can only be two topic choices for my first blog.  I can either discuss alien embedded engineering techniques (AEET) or the venerable 8051 processor.  Let’s go with the 8051.  As luck would have it I’ve recently been […]

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Signed versus unsigned integers

If you are looking for some basic information on signed versus unsigned integers, you may also find this post useful. That being said, on to the original post… Jack Ganssle’s latest newsletter arrived the other day. Within it is an extensive set of comments from John Carter, in which he talks about and quotes from a book by Derek […]

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(Code) Size isn’t everything…

I have been looking at some code sizes recently and wondering why GUI code gets so darn big. I can understand that compiling in fonts and bitmaps are bulky and so the executable size can get big, but even when measuring lines of code the number of lines taken up by the GUI always seems […]

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