After all of the amazing things I'd seen in µC/Probe's own GUI, my knee-jerk reaction was to wonder what Excel brought to the party. The thing is that you can use all of the math functions that Excel is really good at to enhance the capabilities of µC/Probe, such as scaling the raw values coming out of an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and presenting them in real-world engineering units. Also, although it sounds trivial, your ability to select fonts and colors and suchlike in Excel can make things so much easier to work with.
There are three flavors ("editions") of µC/Probe as follows:
Educational/Evaluation Edition: This is free, but it has limited functionality and times out after running for one minute.
Basic Edition: This costs $25/month, $250/year, or $450 for a perpetual license. It contains most of the features of the Professional Edition, except that is doesn't support Excel, scripting, uC/Trace triggers, and Terminal Windows.
Professional Edition: This costs $50/month, $500/year, or $900 for a perpetual license. This is the full-up, all-singing all-dancing version that will make you squeal with delight.
You can discover a lot more about all of this -- including a bunch of videos -- on Micriµm's website. The bottom line is that I, for one, am very impressed. What tools and techniques to you currently use to analyze and debug your embedded system? Do you think µC/Probe would be of interest? If you do download the Evaluation Edition and play with it, I'd love to hear what you think about it.
"Memory leakage" and variables being written into unintended locations are common causes of programming problems. A debugging technique that I developed years ago was to surround my variables with some "0" buffer space. Viewing the memory on a display, I could see when data started to intrude into the white "snow" and attack my programming bug. It sounds like the Micriµm µC/Probe would be a powerful tool to monitor memory and provide an alert when variables overwrite program space or other variables.
Sometimes, moving into the future drives you backwards. With many of the newer Microsoft Office applications, if you open a file directly, it is read-only and cannot be modified or saved. It is necessary to open Word / Excel first and then open the file. "Progress."
@ Doug, Max - Yeah, I know, I was surprised too, but that's the way he's always done it...
I still remember doing prelim PCB floorplans by cutting out post-it notes to the same size as ICs and circuit block estimates, them arranging them on a paper until I got all the interconnections as short as possible. Don't laugh - it got the job done :>}
I'd probably still use the OpenOffice draw program. It tracks yourmouse position and thus you can get quite accurate and repeatable drawings. I used it to design shelving in my house and to make room diagrams for placing furniture. You just ahd the translet thedistances on the drawing sinto physical distances but once I kniw the relationship, the rest was easy. It beat making paper mkodels of rooms and furniture, although that worked too.