With 32-bit MCUs becoming ever cheaper, upgrading from 8-bit designs is becoming well worth the effort. But this increased capability has the potential to become a drawback if not applied carefully. It is too easy to add "intelligence" to systems in a way that simply frustrates and confounds users.
Earlier this week my car would not start. There was plenty of fuel, the starter would crank vigorously, and no warning lights came on. But it would never "catch." I was away from home at the time, so I was stuck for several hours and had to call upon friends, auto clubs, and a local mechanic to get me home and the car looked at and repaired. Some $500 later the failure proved to be the fault of an anti-theft mechanism built into the car. The battery voltage had briefly gone low, which reset the MCU that controlled the anti-theft function, so it forgot its pairing with my keys.
Basically, the intelligence built into the car to help foil potential thieves had turned out to not be very smart. Rather than tolerating a not-uncommon circumstance, the system took a problem and made it worse.
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