Trying to define embedded system is always good for a rousing dialog, and it's been known to generate lengthy and enthusiastic threads on comp.arch.embedded. Jack Ganssle recently found another way to flog that conversation.
A friend had sent me a link to a site called “The Two Things,” in which Glen Whitman asserts that for every subject there are only two things you need to know. For example:
The two things about stock market trading:
1. Buy low.
2. Sell high.
I forwarded the link to Jack Ganssle, who likes that sort of thing, and to no one's surprise, he turned it into a column.Jack inevitably asked readers what the two things are you need to know about embedded systems design. Here are a few of the responses:
1. The division between hardware and software is a fiction.
2. Know enough about everything to be able to understand the detailed answer from an expert.
1. They're everywhere.
2. They all have limited resources, unless they don't.
And getting to the essence of embedded systems design:
1. It's all about the hardware.
2. It's all about the software.
Appended to the end of Jack's column are all of the reader contributions. If you can think of others, you're welcome to send them on to Jack .