#include: All Things Embedded

In a routine on Saturday Night Live back before it went completely downhill, Mike Myers played the proprietor of a shop that sold Scottish goods exclusively. He greeted customers with ¡°Welcome to All Things Scottish. If it¡¯s not Scottish, it¡¯s [expletive deleted].¡±

Likewise, Embedded Systems Programming might be described as covering All Things Embedded, although be assured that unlike Mike Myers, we don¡¯t disparage everything else. One of the difficulties in covering All Things Embedded is that this particular shop keeps expanding its merchandise. In 1988, ¡°embedded¡± represented a niche in the electronics business. Processors were small and code space was limited. The market for embedded products was largely industrial and mil/aero. Today telecommunications and networking markets dominate. The automotive segment has grown, as has the consumer product sector. Most of the design starts are on 16- and 32-bit processors, C++ is a major factor, and Java is even encroaching.

The software content of embedded systems continues to spiral upward. New areas of relevance are popping up everywhere. Thirty-two-bit processors, Internet connectivity, and system-on-a-chip design all influence the editorial content of the magazine. However, even though we¡¯re covering topics we would not have considered just a few years ago, that doesn¡¯t mean we¡¯re abandoning the traditional areas at all. Embedded Systems Programming is still about developing ROMable code. It¡¯s still about real-time. It¡¯s still about working close to the metal on systems with small memory footprints. Wherever development challenges arise, there is potential for coverage in the magazine.

Although technology continues to advance, the charter has not changed. To help enforce the charter, we¡¯ve brought on a new technical editor. Now, good technical editors are hard to find because they must possess the skills of an engineer while at the same time maintaining a fairly broad perspective on the industry so that they can recognize trends and sort out what¡¯s important. They must also be able to write like demons. Needless to say, such talented folk don¡¯t grow on trees.

But after an extensive, nationwide search, we found one.

Michael Barr, who has been a speaker at the Embedded Systems Conference and has written articles for Embedded Systems Programming, has agreed to take on the challenging role of technical editor for the magazine. Michael has a BSEE and MSEE from the University of Maryland. Until a couple of weeks ago, he was an embedded software developer who had worked for both large and small companies. He is intimately acquainted with languages ranging from C to VHDL, network protocols ranging from TCP/IP to CEBus, and multiple architectures and commercial RTOSes. As if it weren¡¯t enough to be working as an embedded developer, developing articles for ESP, and speaking at conferences, he also wrote a book, which was published this past January. Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++ (O¡¯Reilly & Associates) is a tutorial to help give beginning embedded developers a leg up.

Michael is an important asset in our determination to cover all things embedded. They say that SNL isn¡¯t relevant anymore. We¡¯ll try to avoid that in ESP.

Lindsey Vereen

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