On your virtual doorstep

The first issue of the Embedded.com newsletter has been sent out and is sailing toward the virtual doorsteps of those of you who subscribed to it. Newsletters in the virtual realm are a little different from actual hardcopy newsletters. First of all, they don't cost a couple of limbs for an annual subscription. Second, they let you know when the site has been updated, which even the Kiplinger Newsletter has started doing.

And updates have occurred. Here's what's current:

Jack Ganssle tells us why he hates Forth, even though beating up on Forth does seem a little like kicking someone while they're cringing on the floor. The poll queries you on the language you use for embedded development. No ballot box stuffing this time, okay? And this prohibition does include Ada aficionados.

An “embedded communications” consortium has been established between Arizona State University in Tempe and the nearby networking and embedded hardware companies Intel Corp. and Motorola Computer Group. Bernie Cole says this consortium comes at a critical time.

Stephen J. Mellor, author of the Shlaer-Mellor method tells us that it's a fact of life that requirements change. A good software design should adapt quickly, and he shows you how to create adaptable designs.

Network processors are specialized CPUs optimized to support the implementation of network protocols at the highest possible speed, but programming them is no easy matter. Dominic Herity explains them and tells you how to write software that makes the most of them.

An Inter-IC bus is often used to communicate across circuit-board distances, and it's often used on chip as well. In the Beginner's Corner, you'll find a primer on this protocol.

Several new demos are available at the Embedded.com download site. Here are a few of them:

  • A TimingAnalyzer that can be used to draw timing diagrams of digital interfaces and check for timing problems in digital systems. Signals, clocks, buses, delays, constraints, and states are easily added from the gui.
  • Hard Hat Linux 2.0 Journeyman, an evaluation distribution for all types of embedded developers. Journeyman Edition functionality is a subset of the Hard Hat Linux Professional Edition.
  • SuperWaba, a java virtual machine for Palm OS, AppletViewer and Windows CE based in the GPL license.

If you haven't checked out this area before, now is a good time. There's quite an inventory of free downloadable software of interest to embedded developers.

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