Embedded Systems November 2000 Vol13_12

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NOVEMBER 2000 Cover Story 28 Safety First: Avoiding Software Mishaps Accidents happen. That's just part of life. But when mission- or safety- critical systems experience failures due to faulty software, serious questions are raised. BY CHARLES KNUTSON AND SAM CARMICHAEL 85 Embedded Salary Survey For the embedded systems developer, stereotypes abound. The image of young, specialized high-tech workers toiling in a computer-filled lab, sipping Jolt cola late into the night is popular with the media. But the results of ESPs 2000 Salary Survey paint a very different picture of the real embed- ded workforce and workplace. BY MERLINA TREVINO COVER When you're designing safety- critical systems, you may need to pull a few strings. Otherwise, you might be left hanging by a thread. Cover illustration by Rupert Adley. 100 112 92 Eight-Bit 00 (Hard Eight) Using object-oriented techniques to design software for an 8-bit microcon- troller may not be common, but it can be effective. This article tells how one project did it and what they learned. BY MARSHALL MEIER Better Than Average Some averages are better than others. In particular, the median may give more useful results than the mean in some circumstances. BY PHIL EKSTROM Watchdog Timers To keep a watchdog timer from resetting your system, you've got to kick it regularly. But that's not all there is to watchdog science. We wi ll examine the use and testing of a watchdog, as well as the integration of a watchdog into a multitasking environment. BY NIALL MURPHY

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