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Subtle interactions in the embedded world - what bugs can teach us

Subtle interactions in the embedded world - what bugs can teach us

Posted Feb 23, 2012 7:39 UTC (Thu) by kleptog (subscriber, #1183)
Parent article: Subtle interactions in the embedded world - what bugs can teach us

Thanks for the interesting article. This is a situation I think almost unique to embedded systems: you have an interface (the hardware) which is essentially well known but unchangeable. Most unchangeable interfaces are also opaque.

I must admit too that I like fixing bugs more than writing new code. I just wish the bugs wouldn't appear on a production system just before I was about to go home. You learn more from bugs, but it's generally true that you learn more from mistakes than successes.


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Not unique to embedded

Posted Feb 23, 2012 17:30 UTC (Thu) by hollis (subscriber, #6768) [Link]

This is definitely not unique to embedded systems, and really "Well known but unchangeable" is a better description of an x86 PC than an embedded system.

In embedded systems the hardware is often not well known. Maybe it's a brand new component, or maybe due to the variety of the ecosystem it's your first personal encounter with it.

Also, embedded hardware is more malleable -- there's freedom to select alternate components (even ones that don't conform to decades of PC tradition), or with in-house designs you can at least complain to the hardware designer.

Subtle interactions in the embedded world - what bugs can teach us

Posted Feb 23, 2012 18:12 UTC (Thu) by iabervon (subscriber, #722) [Link]

I personally learned a lot about the MSI interrupt mechanism for PCI and Linux interrupt handling in general by debugging a server which would start ignoring its hard drive interrupt if it didn't use the hard drive for more than a couple of hours.


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