Embedded Software

  • The grandfather clock – a new home and a redesign

    We have a new member of the family. That is not actually true, but it feels like that, as there is a certain “presence” in the house. The tall, looming figure in our hall is a grandfather clock, which ticks away all day and solemnly chimes every hour, on the hour … Anyone who knows […]

  • Embedded software for free

    I recently attended a funeral, after which was a lunch. When the guests had finished eating and had begun to visit the bar less frequently, I stood up and tapped a glass with a spoon to request everyone’s attention. I explained my favorite maxim: TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. […]

  • Justice, punishment and protection

    It is amazing how often people have said to me “You think too much.” What they are accusing me of is over-thinking stuff and, I concede, they may have a point. But when I learn about something, and do not fully understand it, I think about it and continue to do so until either I […]

  • OpenAMP – embedded multicore comes of age

    Multicore designs in embedded systems are now becoming mainstream as the cost-effective way to implement the complex functionality required in modern devices. There are essentially two multicore system architectures – AMP and SMP. SMP [Symmetrical Multi-Processing] utilizes a number of identical CPUs, with a single operating system running on them all. All that is required […]

  • Engineers and a belief in magic

    Recently I wrote about my need to understand things in the world around me. I have been considering this some more and have come to the conclusion that there are 2 kinds of people in the world: engineers people who believe in magic This is not a value judgement – just an observation … I […]

  • Libraries – a good way to promote embedded code reuse?

    As any software developer is well aware, the basic process for building an embedded application is quite straightforward. Normally, the code is written in some combination of C [perhaps C++] and assembly language and distributed across a number of files [modules]. Each module is compiled/assembled to produce a relocatable object module; this file contains the […]

  • My Dad, RIP

    Once in a while, I write a blog post that is very personal. This is such an occasion. My father, Lawrence Walls, died last Sunday. His death was no surprise really, as he had been declining for many months and very much so in the past 2-3 weeks. His death was peaceful. He was at […]

  • DAC 2016 – the place to talk and hear about embedded software

    I am commonly asked the question: “Where can I learn about embedded software?” This might come from a student considering a possible career, an experienced hardware developer who wants the bigger picture, or it may be a software developer who is interested in the nuances of working closer to the hardware. In any case, there […]

  • Six of the best – OS X features

    As a recent convert to the world of Macs, as I have documented before, I am commonly heard to enthuse about my decision to make the move. Some people, who are not among The Converted, have asked me exactly why a Mac is better than a Windows PC. They are generally not satisfied with “They […]

  • Video blog: USB in embedded systems

    My latest video blog is now available. This is one of a series looking at USB for embedded software developers. This video is an introduction, with more detail to follow. You can see the video here or here:

    The next couple of video blogs will expand o…


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