Mel's PicksMay 1, 2005 By: Melanie Martella, Sensors Sensors
New to Bookshelves!
Embedded Systems Design using the Rabbit 3000 Microprocessor: Interfacing, Networking, and Application Development
Authors: Kamal Hyder and Bob Perrin
Published by Newnes, an imprint of Elsevier
This softcover book focuses on the Rabbit 3000 microprocessor and how it can be used to embed networks and controls in electronic systems. As the authors say in their preface, they asked themselves, "If we were starting to design with a new microprocessor today, what would we want to know about it? How would a book help us achieve an efficient design quickly?"
Although it is about a specific device, there's a lot of good, general-purpose material that applies to any microprocessor. The book is engagingly written and clear, with lots of helpful diagrams and projects, and includes a CD containing source code, programs, simulation files, and other documents.
There are 10 chapters and an appendix. Every concept introduced is explained and then used in a project for maximum hands-on learning. The first two chapters cover basic concepts. The third chapter introduces Dynamic C and the RCM3200 Rabbit core. The next chapters deal with debugging (you have to love a book that includes a section titled, "The Zen of Embedded Systems Development and Troubleshooting"), interfacing to the external world, the Rabbit assembly language, interrupts, multitasking, networking, and Softools, makers of a third party IDE. Appendix A discusses the Rabbit 3000A, an enhanced version of the Rabbit 3000.
Who should get credit for inventing calculus?
I've mentioned Sensorland.com
before, but it's added a lot of stuff since the last time I visited! I'd like to highlight the site's How They Work section. Here you'll find a positive cornucopia of information on the different types of sensors and how they work, as well as such topics as surge protection, PC-based DA, water hammer, GPS, and vehicle wheel measurement equipment. These explanatory essays are authored by various companies. I was impressed by the articles I sampled; they were clear and informative and lacking in fluff.
Here's an interesting little Web tool that shows you how popular various names have been over the past century. The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager lets you see how names rank by decade. You can enter either a complete name or the first couple of letters to see other similar names. It's fascinating stuff.
Should you find yourself a little too happy or joyful and you need a dose of the darker side of life, then either go read the news or visit Bad Cookie. Not your average fortune cookie, Bad Cookie gives you nothing but bad fortunes. If you dislike the one you're given, click again for a different (and quite possibly worse) one. As an added bonus, you can email the fortune to another! Share the ill-luck!
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