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At Barr Group, our mission is to help as many embedded systems engineers as possible make their products safer, more reliable and more secure. In addition to providing product design, consulting, and training services, we encourage our engineers to share their technical expertise by writing and teaching. We hope that you will learn something from these free how-to articles. Please respect the copyright notices at the bottom of each page.

Introduction to Rate Monotonic Scheduling

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If you've got a lot of real-time tasks and tight deadlines, what's the best way to prioritize them? A technique called RMA guides the way.

Security and the IoT

by Andrew Girson

In the most recent DDoS attack, IoT devices such as webcams and DVRs were used to launch an attack on domain service provider, Dyn. The enormity of this event brings to light the importance of securing all devices capable of connecting to the internet. Developers cannot control what viruses or malware may try to attack their systems. However, developers do have a very profound impact on how resilient their products are in the event of an attack.

DirecTV Expert Witness Case Study

Within months of the 1994 launch of DirecTV's national satellite TV service in the U.S. the broadcast system was hacked. The company's first-generation smart card-based security could subsequently be modified or replaced by individuals desiring to erase records of pay-per-view purchases or enable the unlawful interception of channels they hadn't paid for.

Top 5 Causes of Nasty Embedded Software Bugs

Finding and killing latent bugs in embedded software is a difficult business. Heroic efforts and expensive tools are often required to trace backward from an observed crash, hang, or other unplanned run-time behavior to the root cause. In the worst case scenario, the root cause damages the code or data in such a subtle way that the system still appears to work fine -or mostly fine- for some time before the malfunction.

How to Allocate Dynamic Memory Safely

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Whether you're using only static memory, a simple stack, or dynamic allocation on a heap, you have to proceed cautiously. Embedded programmers can't afford to ignore the risks inherent in memory utilization.

How to Protect Non-Volatile Data

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Unexpected power loss and software bugs can undermine the reliability of non-volatile data. Fortunately, there are various ways to make non-volatile data resilient to such corruption.

How to Improve Product Usability

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Product usability problems require the engineer to take off his engineering hat and think more like a user.

Response Timing for User Interfaces

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Proper timing in user interfaces often has more to do with the user's perception than with the actual passage of time.

How to Avoid Common Firmware Bugs

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Understanding software and hardware bugs in other embedded systems can help you identify, diagnose, and fix bugs in your own.

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