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Firmware Update - August 13, 2010
In this issue:
-- 3 Things Every Programmer Should Know About RMA
-- How Not to Set a Bad Example
-- Master Firmware at Embedded Software Boot Camp
-- The Top 10 Firmware Flaws Course is Coming to Boston
-- Industry News You Can Use

Firmware Update is a free newsletter by embedded software expert Michael Barr. It is Copyright 2010 by Netrino, LLC, but may be reprinted for non-commercial purposes. Please forward it to colleagues who may benefit from the information.

3 Things Every Programmer Should Know About RMA
Real-time systems design and RMA go together like peanut butter and jelly. So why is it that wherever I go in the embedded community, engineers are developing real-time systems without applying RMA? This is a dangerous situation, but one that is easily remedied by ensuring every programmer knows three things about Rate Monotonic Analysis.

Perhaps you think RMA is just for academics. I also thought that way years ago-but here's the straight dope.

Learn 3 important things...

How Not to Set a Bad Example
About a month ago, fellow embedded guru Nigel Jones bought an ARM evaluation board from his favorite compiler vendor. He bought this particular board in part because it came with a lot of example code showing how to configure the peripherals in the ARM processor. To his dismay, the example code contained a plethora of shoddy coding practices. In a series of five blog posts, he has described some of the most egregious things in the code - as well as how the code should have been written to set a better example.

Find out who's setting a bad example...

Master Firmware at Embedded Software Boot Camp
Embedded Software Boot Camp There is just one public session of the Embedded Software Boot Camp remaining this year. It will be held the week of October 18-22 in Columbia, Maryland.

This hands-on workshop is a one-week skills strengthening program for embedded software engineers. The intensely educational (but fun!) program will be taught by me personally. And I guarantee that you will be a better firmware engineer by the end of the week if you join me.

Register this month and save $1,000...

The Top 10 Firmware Flaws Course is Coming to Boston
On Monday, September 20th, I'll be in Boston just as the Embedded Systems Conference is kicking off. Come meet me and hear what I have to say about the The Top 10 Firmware Flaws. The subtitle of this informative half-day session is "How to Find, Fix, and Prevent the Nastiest Bugs". Don't miss it.

Put ESC Boston on your calendar...

Industry News You Can Use
LDRA's static analysis tool now enforces Netrino's Embedded C Coding Standard. Details:

India's electronic voting machines are vulnerable to fraud. Video and technical paper:

Another firmware bug in the news: $42.9 million slot machine win should have paid $20.18. Denver Post story:

The truth about Light Saber technology:

Students, meet your new teacher, Mr. Robot: The brave new world of robotic teachers.

Unpiloted, automated passenger aircraft: coming to an airport near you.

Excellent ref on bit twiddling at My favorite - find the least significant bit: ((v & -v) * 0x077CB531UL) >> 27

Some thoughts on a portable device driver framework for embedded systems:

The Trouble With Multicore! Chipmakers are designing processors that most programmers can't handle.

According to the India Semiconductor Association, there are over 100,000 embedded software developers in India. #embedsys #escindia #wow

You don't need a fab to build your own CPU! Do try this at home:

Adapted from my twitter feed...

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