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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on December 9, 1999
The book provides very useful information for anyone that wishes to learn embedded software from the ground up. Great for entry level engineers, or professionals wishing to make a lateral move into embedded systems. The book has two clearly written chapters dedicated to hardware fundamentals; describing I/O .vs. memory mapping, how interrupts function, memory types including PROM's, and microprocessor basics. A chapter is dedicated to one of the single most inportant issues in embedded systems SHARED DATA and how to prevent corrupting it. Chapter 5 discusses four basic software methods to servicing interrupts. Chapters 6,7, and 8 clearly introduce the concept of an RTOS (Real Time Operating System). Chapter 9 is a must read for those new to embedded systems. It discusses development tools and the steps required to get your final code onto the target system. It explains what a cross-compiler is and why they are used in embedded systems. This is a very good book for engineers with C skills!
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on November 30, 1999
Though a primer, the book has several places that could mislead beginners: First of all, as we know, flash memories nowadays can be written at least one million times, but the book indicates a much lower rate. In one place, the author argued that the distinction between a microprocessor and a microcontroller is vague. This, to some extent, is true. However, one can easily say with much confidence that the major difference between the two is that the latter has I/O, memory, and other peripheral devices integrated together. Thirdly, the C! language introduced in the book is nothing but the equivalence of the standard C/C++ comment structure - This could be confusing to beginners. Lastly, but not the least, the book mentioned quite a few RTOS in its scattered examples: I think it would be more illustrative to concentrated on just one RTOS (such as VxWorks), since no one is familiar with them all. I would really like to see these points be incorporated into its upcoming hardcover edition. Overall, I give the book a lone star rating for being the first such book for embedded programmers.
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on July 25, 2002
I started working on an embedded platform 1 year ago. Although now I have a good understanding of a lot of the aspects of the system, I never get the big picture.
This book provides exactly what I needed.
If you are a working software engineer and have spent years doing high level programming, the first few chapters will give you a good review of low-level-close-to-the-machine things that you need to know, which is also very useful for students as these are very important concepts that they need to understand to have a solid foundation to conquer higher level, more abstract CS subjects.
In embedded system, bugs in task code can bring down the device. Author has done a very good job explaining how to protect shared data using mechanism provided by a RTOS. The communication between interrupt/task and among tasks are also discussed thoroughly.
Unlike the other reviewer, I found the use of the C!! language in this book a very clever way to abstract away the hardware dependent code from the point being discussed. Consider it pseudo comment if you will.
BTW, the excellent typesetting and use of fonts also makes it a very pleasant experience reading this book.
Looking forward to see a more advanced text on embedded system from this author in the future.
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on October 1, 2002
If you are going to buy only one book on Embedded Software Programming, this should be the one. The author introduces virtually everything an engineer needs to know about programming embedded systems. There are two chapters describing hardware stuff that is useful for the software engineer to know. There is a chapter on Interrupts. There are three chapters on programming in an RTOS environment. All of the chapters include coding examples on what to do, and also examples of code with bugs to watch out for. There is also a chapter on debugging techniques.
All of the other FIVE STAR reviews (and many of the FOUR STAR ones as well) contain more specific points which I won't repeat here.
However, I will echo what I said at the beginnning. If there is only one book you are going to buy about programming embedded systems, this should be the one.
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on June 13, 2000
I shouldn't need to say more; If you're interested in learning about writing software for embedded systems, this book will take you by the hand and get you there without a lot of fuss or difficulty in trying to figure out advanced topics from a 50,000ft perspective. It drills into each discussion using simplified but not simpleton characteristics of this writer's excellent skill. I recommend this book to every software engineer starting on the path to developing embedded systems. The use of uCOS-II is a decent idea, especially for everyone interested in doing a little embedded systems development using PC hardware...however, I believe that it is a less-than perfect choice because of the rather limited compiler choices for uCOS-II, which should at least include GNU's gcc, but doesn't last time I checked.
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on April 29, 2002
My friend recommended this book to me when I wanted to understand the fundamentals of Embedded systems.
The chapters on Hardware overview took me back memory lanes when I was at college. Good refresher.
What I most liked about the book is the section that deals with choices of embedded architecture and how and when to chose specific architecture.
Book is accompanied by a CD with a kernel of an embedded OS along with the source code. Haven't had the time to go over the CD. Nevertheless, I got what I wanted regarding embedded systems. I can understand embedded system much better now.
Currently, this is the only good book on fundamentals of embedded systems in the market.
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on January 13, 2000
For someone starting up into embedded systems this book is excellent. For an experienced developer this book makes for a nice bedtime read. The hardware overview is something that all software developers should understand but many don't take the time. Who needs an RTOS ? In todays fragmented embedded world, where we have 8051's at one end, and StrongArms or Power PC's at the other end of the spectrum, David Simon does a good job of presenting the available options. Table 5-1, "Characteristics of Various Software Architectures" is worth the price of the book. My only real complaint is that on the cover of the book the word 'kernel' has been spelled as 'kernal'.
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on December 6, 2000
Particularly useful for those just starting out in embedded software or for students at the bachelors level. Contains many real world-type examples and illustrates some common errors that we will all tend to make. Also, I know that electrical engineering students often don't get exposure to operating system concepts and computer science students lack exposure to hardware issues. This book helps to smooth over what you may be missing in your education. For the practicing engineer, I recommend it, not so much for reference, but for re-enforcement and clarification of essential concepts. Also it will add quality to your code.
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on July 15, 2002
This book is very good overview of the process of embedded software design. Experts in embedded software design will probably not get much out of this book as he doesn't go into much detail on the individual topics he covers. However, the scope of this book is intended for those who are looking for a general overview of embedded systems so criticism is not really warrented IMO. Topics covered include RTOS, memory management, message management and multi-tasking system development. Anyone looking to get started on learning the principles of embedded software development should find this book worth a look.
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on May 13, 2002
This book gives a solid overview of embedded systems and how they work in conjunction with hardware and software, but it does not give enough in depth analysis of embedded systems. For example, the book tries to show how to write certain software for embedded applications, but gives too generic examples using a created language called "C!" It would be more effective of a book if it had actual examples of embedded software such as device drivers, etc. Otherwise, it does a solid job of explaining the basics of different interrupts, semaphores, etc.
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