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The Role of QA
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11/17/2014   Post a comment
Delivering high quality doesn't mean leaning on QA to find your errors. Quality assurance is not supposed to find bugs.
Gimme an MMU!
Break Points  
11/14/2014   10 comments
Software is inherently fragile. A memory management unit can prop it up.
What an Engineering Education Lacks
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11/8/2014   19 comments
Reading, writing, and arithmetic: all are important in engineering education.
On Backups
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10/23/2014   4 comments
Storing files in the cloud may be the solution du jour, but here are one engineer's concerns on the risks.
Trillion Sensors Not Likely
Break Points  
9/2/2014   15 comments
The trillion-sensor world is not going to happen anytime soon. Just do the math.
A Checkup from the Neckup
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8/20/2014   Post a comment
Who do you use as a sounding board? Jack Ganssle sees the value in having the right person to tell your troubles to -- if only just for a brain tune-up.
Brown-Out Reset – an Update
Break Points  
7/8/2014   2 comments
When using brown-out reset circuits, the bottom line is that on many MCUs you can’t use the A/D to monitor Vdd during flash writes unless there’s some way to simulate the expected load. As always, do a careful, worst-case engineering analysis.
Fifty Years of TTL
Break Points  
6/25/2014   26 comments
Depending on your source, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of TTL (transistor-transistor logic). Although some say 1961 is the birth year, TI released the 5400 family in 1964 and the 7400 series in plastic two years later. Since TTL is synonymous with 5400 and 7400, why not offer 50th birthday congratulations?
Typically Typical – Take Two
Break Points  
6/14/2014   4 comments
Jack Ganssle has some more thoughts on “typ” numbers.
SLOTH: the Programming Language
Break Points  
6/6/2014   17 comments
Why settle for SWIFT when you can have SLOTH, a new programming language that will suck the life out any project?
BASIC at 50: Bad Trip or Bad Rap?
Break Points  
5/7/2014   40 comments
Is it true that a person reared on BASIC, lingua franca of the eight-bit computer world, is forever damned by the experience? Jack Ganssle,the embedded systems guru, shares his experience with BASIC on its 50th anniversary.
Using a Capacitor to Sustain Battery Life
Break Points  
4/29/2014   1 comment
Is it possible to extend coin cell life using a capacitor?
How Much Energy Can You Really Get From a Coin Cell?
Break Points  
4/24/2014   6 comments
Motivated by what he considers outrageous claims made by a number of MCU vendors that their processors can run for several decades from a single CR2032 cell, Jack Ganssle compares coin cell batteries to see if the claims are legit.
Where's the CPU?
Break Points  
4/14/2014   8 comments
Jack Ganssle is having fun with Raspberry Pi and other popular boards by asking fellow engineers to find the CPU. Most can't.
Adding Up Toyota's Expensive Software
Break Points  
3/31/2014   5 comments
Take your pick: Do it the expensive way or get it right.
Extending Debugging Resources
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3/30/2014   1 comment
Are we using the debugging resources available in so many MCUs in the most effective manner?
Screens Everywhere Make a GUI Dilemma
Break Points  
11/7/2013   2 comments
We live in the age of screens: Display screens are everywhere and each one has a graphical user interface. How are all these GUIs being designed?
Cloudy Benefits of the Cloud
Break Points  
10/14/2013   9 comments
The cloud offers some advantages, but at a steep price.
Decoding Time to Market
Break Points  
9/19/2013   3 comments
What's the fastest way to get a firmware project out the door? Ship junk. What's the second-fastest way to market? Here's how to predict your time to market by looking at code practices.


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Max Maxfield

Want to Present a Paper at ESC Boston 2015?
Max Maxfield
8 comments
I tell you, I need more hours in each day. If I was having any more fun, there would have to be two of me to handle it all. For example, I just heard that I'm going to be both a speaker ...

Martin Rowe

No 2014 Punkin Chunkin, What Will You Do?
Martin Rowe
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American Thanksgiving is next week, and while some people watch (American) football all day, the real competition on TV has become Punkin Chunkin. But there will be no Punkin Chunkin on TV ...

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
13 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Martin Rowe

Book Review: Controlling Radiated Emissions by Design
Martin Rowe
1 Comment
Controlling Radiated Emissions by Design, Third Edition, by Michel Mardiguian. Contributions by Donald L. Sweeney and Roger Swanberg. List price: $89.99 (e-book), $119 (hardcover).