Circuit Cellar Ink 121
August 2000

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

Coming Events


Harv Weiner

New Product News

  • DrDAQ parallel port data logger from Saelig Company
  • MXDEV analog evaluation system from Microchip Technology, Inc.
  • GPS-FM fixed-mount antenna from Hirschmann of America, Inc.
  • PT30 and KT34 PVDF capacitive proximity sensors from TURCK Inc.


Reader I/O

Letters to the Editor


Jonathan Valvano

Simplify Your Software Testing

The more complex your system is, the more complex your software will need to be. As Jonathan shows, using finite state machines can make the whole process of software design mroe efficient, more effective, and maybe even more fun.


Steve Freyder
David Helland
Bruce D. Lightner

PDF HTML Look Ma, No PC!

A $55 Webcam

If these guys caught your attention with their "$25 Web Server" article in Circuit Cellar Online, then you won't want to miss their latest project. Read the article, get the materials, build the project, smile for the picture. It's that easy.



Sandeep Dutta

Anatomy of a Compiler

A Retargetable ANSI-C Compiler

Wouldn't it be great if there was an affordable C compiler that was specifically designed to the needs of 8-bit micros? Not to worry, Sandeep explains the inner workings of just such a compiler, which happens to be quite affordable -- it's free!

Download: dutta.ZIP

Note: Sandeep's biography is corrected in INK #123 Reader I/O.


George Novacek

The Joys of Writing Software

Part 1: The Battle of the Bug

No bugs. No excuses. The way George sees it, the three-finger salute should not be considered an acceptable fix for any software problem. If it means taking more time in the test stages, so be it. That's why test standards exist.

Note: Additional discussion from Jack Dennon in INK #122 Reader I/O, Matt Werner in INK #123 Reader I/O, and Ingo Cyliax in INK #125 Reader I/O.

Embedded PC


Harv Weiner

Nouveau PC

  • CPU-1410 '486DX PC/104-plus CPU module from Eurotech S.p.a.
  • ATX-C440 industrial-grade Celeron motherboard from Adastra Systems
  • DIO96-104 high-density PC/104 digital I/O module from Scidyne
  • PCM-5822 SBC with PC/104 from Advantech Technologies, Inc.

Embedded PC


Ingo Cyliax

Real-Time PC

Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems, Part 4: Debugging

It's time to wrap up this series on RTEMS, so Ingo shows us what it takes to debug an RTEMS application. Working with the run-time debugging environment and the GNU debugger makes the process even easier.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Embedded Kiosk or Mission Impossible?

This project began as a challenge that even Fred couldn't resist (er, avoid). Hidden keyboards, limited access, multiple screens -- the mission had the trimmings of a certified goose chase. The Florida-room clock was ticking...


Alan Harry

Who Needs Hardware?

Developing Without the Target

If you're a software designer, you know what it's like to have your hands tied while you wait for hardware to arrive. Alan steps into the Virtual Workshop to demonstrate how you can continue development and testing even without the target hardware.

Download: harry.ZIP


Tom Napier

PDF HTML Count the Digits

Designing a Frequency Meter

Sure, you could just buy a frequency meter, but if you're like Tom, you probably have all the necessary parts sitting around, so why not build your own? Before this project is done, you'll have a better understanding of frequency meters.

Download: napier.ZIP

Note: Schematic corrections can be found in INK #123 Reader I/O.


Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

Building on Familiar Ground, Part 1: Adding Analog to the 8051 Core

Jeff's been an Analog Devices fan for years. After scouting AD's MicroConverter, he's sure that this addition to the lineup will improve their position in the microcontroller standings.


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

We Ride the Waves

Follow Tom's column for any amount of time and you'll find out just how he feels about wires. With the introduction of Zilog's new Wave chip, Tom's wire woes may be coming to an end, and that's good news for all.


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / September Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

First on the Block

Circuit Cellar Online

Jerry Horn

PDF HTML A Comparison of Microcontrollers and DSPs

A Case Study

Jerry gets all his favorites wrapped up in one, as an ASK US question about digital audio effects turns into a full-fledged article. What are the real differences between microcontrollers and DSPs with regards to signal processing? With this article, he leads us from delay to reverberation, and it all started with one, not so simple, question.

Circuit Cellar Online

Jonathan Valvano

PDF HTML Measuring Temperatures Using Thermistors

Taking into consideration the parameters of range, resolution, accuracy, and speed, Jonathan provides an overview of thermistor-based temperature measurement. Beyond basic information, in this article he shows us valuable ways to calibrate and explores three designs demonstrating different methods of interfacing temperature probes to a microcomputer.

Circuit Cellar Online

Greg Ungerer

PDF HTML Embedded Network Appliances with Linux

The concept of a connected world has created a whole new front of embedded opportunities and Linux is at the forefront for small network devices. The trend is a revolution of low-cost, high-performance appliance possibilities for the things you come in contact with everyday. It's a small world after all as we see the many ways to interact over a network.

Circuit Cellar Online

Steve Freyder
David Helland
Bruce D. Lightner

PDF HTML Look Ma, No PC!

A $55 Webcam

If these guys caught your attention with their "$25 Web Server" article in Circuit Cellar Online, then you won't want to miss their latest project. Read the article, get the materials, build the project, smile for the picture. It's that easy.


Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Making the Numbers Work for You

Building on the groundwork from last month's look at binary numbers, George takes us to the next level to reveal the benefits of signed and unsigned numbers. But the advantages don't stop there as he challenges you to dig deeper in experimentation with different numbering systems.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

Excalibur Marks the Spot

In the FPGA market, Altera and Xilinx are top-notch. These ponies are neck and neck, so you might want to check out Tom's take on the emergence of Altera's Excalibur, the soft-core route for CPU and FPGA hybrids, to see if Altera pulls ahead and what the shift could mean for embedded system designers.

Circuit Cellar Online

Jeff Bachiochi

HTML Ask Us, The Engineer's Tech-Help Resource

Let us help keep your project on track or simplify your design decision. Put your tough technical questions in front of the ASK US team. In an engineering predicament? Read questions & answers from other engineers.

Circuit Cellar Online

David Tweed

What's Your Engineering Quotient?

Test Your EQ presents some basic engineering problems for you to test your engineering quotient.

Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Paddock

Resource Links

Each month Circuit Cellar's Resource Links provide helpful links and information on a variety of featured topics.

Circuit Cellar Online

Harv Weiner

New Product News

New Product submissions may be sent to Harv Weiner, 4 Park St., Vernon, CT 06066.
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