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on April 28, 2003
Ed Sutter does a great job of explaining the inner workings of embedded systems, provides knowledgeable experience, and practical solutions for the embedded world.
Experienced embedded designers will find this book contains an excellent interface that is portable (and more importantly useful!) across a board range of processor architectures, while anyone new to embedded systems (especially those that start from the non-embedded world of the desktop PC) will learn a great deal about the workings of the embedded world.
The book focuses on the Micromonitor embedded boot monitor. However, since this boot monitor contains Xmodem support, ethernet support, tftp boot capability etc, the reader is exposed to many common embedded system tools and functionality. I have used Micromonitor on PowerPC and ColdFire boards and have learnt much more than about Micromonitor. Micromonitor can be built and used from both Windows and Linux systems (I've tested both).
This is an excellent book - thanks Ed.
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on June 24, 2002
As a hardware engineer using mostly PowerPC assembly, I bought this book at the ESC in S.F. looking to learn embedded C programming techniques. Though the book itself is informative, the micro-monitor software on the included CD-ROM is what really makes this book worth the money. It's got a serial port command line interface, an ethernet driver (pseudo-sniffer), a flash-file system etc., and I was able to get it up and running pretty much out of the box (the GNU tools and the makefile are a little testy, but the package is complete).
I had help from our senior software engineer, but I worked pretty hard learning and porting the code. I advise anyone interested in using this software to get one of the evaluation boards (numerous platforms are supported) such as Motorola's MPC8XXFADS board, and get it up and running before attempting a port. A good low-level debugger (BDM interface) helps huge.
If you're not a fluent C-programmer, get a good book (Kernighan and Ritchie's "The C- Programming Language" is what I used). This software will force you to learn it well. Don't depend on the text for answers. You've got to read a lot of source code.
I'm very pleased with what I've learned, and with the functionality and robustness of the software. It was worth the effort. Our senior software engineer is impressed with the overall program design as well.
So get ready to get your hands dirty...
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on June 24, 2002
As a hardware engineer using mostly PowerPC assembly, I bought this book at the ESC in S.F. looking to learn embedded C programming techniques. Though the book itself is informative, the micro-monitor software on the included CD-ROM is what really makes this book worth the money. It's got a serial port command line interface, an ethernet driver (pseudo-sniffer), a flash-file system etc., and I was able to get it up and running pretty much out of the box (the GNU tools and the makefile are a little testy, but the package is complete).
I had help from our senior software engineer, but I worked pretty hard learning and porting the code. I advise anyone interested in using this software to get one of the evaluation boards (numerous platforms are supported) such as Motorola's MPC8XXFADS board, and get it up and running before attempting a port. A good low-level debugger (BDM interface) helps huge.
If you're not a fluent C-programmer, get a good book (Kernighan and Ritchie's "The C- Programming Language" is what I used). This software will force you to learn it well. Don't depend on the text for answers. You've got to read a lot of source code.
I'm very pleased with what I've learned, and with the functionality and robustness of the software. It was worth the effort. Our senior software engineer is impressed with the overall program design as well.
So get ready to get your hands dirty...
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on April 24, 2002
Ordinarily I'm wary of publications that have an accompanying CD containing source code, especially when the topic concerned is general and covering a large field. All to often the source is specific to a particular platform, and attempts to hide the fact that the actual text in the book is somewhat lacking. In other words, it's frequently not worth the media its written on.
Mr. Sutter, on the other hand, has dealt with the subject of programming embedded systems in a clear, accessible, yet detailed manner. The book is exceptionally well formatted and arranged so that even those new to embedded systems programming can quickly pick up the basics and avoid the most common pitfalls. As for the source, it is extremely well written and support exists for a large number of platforms. Getting the basic "monitor" to run on a new board (provided the CPU is supported) is mainly a matter of modifying a few lines in a few files! You really do get the best of both worlds with this package.
One thing I particularly like about this book is that its generality is offset by Mr. Sutter's ability to precisely define the "lowest common denominator" across all CPU families and explain how a programmer can write powerful yet highly portable code.
In terms of coverage, you need look no further for additional material - this book literally contains everything you need in order to get a system up and running. Even with a completely 'alien' evaluation board, given datasheets and this book by your side you can have a system booting in no time. I have his monitor running on six different boards with processors ranging from SH2 to PPC405. I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs to get an embedded system up and running under a tight deadline.
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on April 24, 2002
Ordinarily I'm wary of publications that have an accompanying CD containing source code, especially when the topic concerned is general and covering a large field. All to often the source is specific to a particular platform, and attempts to hide the fact that the actual text in the book is somewhat lacking. In other words, it's frequently not worth the media its written on.
Mr. Sutter, on the other hand, has dealt with the subject of programming embedded systems in a clear, accessible, yet detailed manner. The book is exceptionally well formatted and arranged so that even those new to embedded systems programming can quickly pick up the basics and avoid the most common pitfalls. As for the source, it is extremely well written and support exists for a large number of platforms. Getting the basic "monitor" to run on a new board (provided the CPU is supported) is mainly a matter of modifying a few lines in a few files! You really do get the best of both worlds with this package.
One thing I particularly like about this book is that its generality is offset by Mr. Sutter's ability to precisely define the "lowest common denominator" across all CPU families and explain how a programmer can write powerful yet highly portable code.
In terms of coverage, you need look no further for additional material - this book literally contains everything you need in order to get a system up and running. Even with a completely 'alien' evaluation board, given datasheets and this book by your side you can have a system booting in no time. I have his monitor running on six different boards with processors ranging from SH2 to PPC405. I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs to get an embedded system up and running under a tight deadline.
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on February 1, 2002
This book deals with good topics for embedded systems programmers
That includes Ethernet Drivers, Internet Protocols, Flash drivers, Flash File systems, and so on..
These topics are so crucial for modern embedded systems programmers.
I haven't ever seen this kind of book before.
Of course, all these topics can't be fully discussed in one book.
The author, however, suggests good starting point for each topics with concrete, well structured, source codes which are modules of Monitor porgram called MicroMointor.
If you are embedded engineer or student who want to be the one,
don't hesitate to buy and read this book.
This book is must a have book for embedded systems programmers.
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on March 11, 2002
This is a must have book someone needing to learn the concepts of embedded software. It's written very well, is easy to understand, and is applicable to just about any processor platform. It covers the various hardware components found in modern embedded systems as well as driver implementations and topics like what to expect 'just after reset'. The CD contains the source code for a program called the MicroMonitor as well as the GNU X-Tools compiler for building it. It provides invaluable examples and details on how to port the MicroMonitor to a new platform and covers details about the source code and how the flash file system works. Overall, an excellent book!!!
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on March 27, 2002
The bulk of Embedded Systems Firmware Demystified consists of source code listings for the author's "Micromonitor" generic embedded operating system and comments. Chapters not dealing with this code are very informative, but lack graphics and photos. The author's extensive and valuble experience shines through and makes great reading, but overall the book did not demistify firmware for me.
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on February 24, 2002
Finally, an embedded systems book that covers somthing other than X86! Great intorduction to the GCC compiler tool chain. If you need to write boot code for--or just learn about--real embedded processors like: PPC and Coldfire, this book is for you. One of the best books on embedded I have ever read. Real meat, great analogies. Good ballance of real-world practical advice and technical topics.
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on June 25, 2003
Lacks alternative scheduling, decent memory layout, data placement for minimal motion, deterministic I/O - can be used for hobbiest - I don't recommend this book for education. It is a good novelty item and not quite a 'Dan Saks how do code so you can't maintain it' book. But, close.
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