“And what is so rare as a day in June,” asked James Russell Lowell in “The Vision of Sir Launfal.” This June 1 was rare indeed, according to my trusty c. 1985 Casio watch. According to my formerly trusty timepiece, the day after May 31 was May 42. What gives? Was this a Y2.002K problem, the kind of thing about which I've always been pretty skeptical? A quick resetting solved it, but who knows when that geriatric chronometer will send me off to another bizarre region of the space-time continuum again?
Meanwhile, on to more timely issues. As you know, a lot of firmware developers have EE degrees, and yet these experts at transistor theory, electromagnetics, and IC design spend their career cranking C and C++ code, says Jack Ganssle in “A Call for a New Curriculum”. EEs can pick up some pretty wretched coding habits in college. Is the emphasis on the wrong thing? Jack suggests that coding should be downplayed in favor of teaching software engineering .
Weigh in yourself on the topic in this week's Poll: How would you rate your college education?
Bernie Cole says that Microsoft's .NET future depends on how well it handles security. In “How Secure is Microsoft's .NET?” He says that before Sept. 11, Microsoft had a tough job proving to the professional programmer, let alone skeptical consumers that it had enough security safeguards built into its ambitious .NET web services framework. Since Sept. 11, Bernie says, Microsoft had better get it right the first time.
On a more practical note, John Patrick offers a comparison of serial protocols. From displays to storage to peripherals, serial interfaces make communications possible. Despite their differences, they're all competing for use in the systems you develop. John's article will help you decide which one is right for your next project.
If you're designing products with touch screens, you may find “How to Calibrate Touch Screens” by Carlos E. Vidales practical as well.