All of the examples in this book, which was published circa 1998, were written for and tested on a piece of hardware called the Target188EB. This was a low-cost Intel x86-powered embedded controller board designed, manufactured, and sold by Arcom Control Systems. The following paragraphs contain information about the hardware, required and included software development tools, and other relevant information.

The Target188EB hardware consisted of the following:

  • Processor: Intel 80188EB (25 MHz)
  • RAM: 128K of SRAM (256K available), with optional battery-backup
  • ROM: 128K of EPROM and 128K of Flash (512K maximum)
  • 2 RS232-compatible serial ports (with external DB9 connectors)
  • 1 parallel port (24 channel)
  • 3 programmable timer/counters
  • 4 available interrupt inputs
  • An 8-bit PC/104 expansion bus interface
  • An optional 8-bit STEBus expansion interface
  • A remote debugging adapter containing two additional RS232-compatible serial ports

Software development for this board was straightforward. Free development tools and utilities included with the board supported development in C, C++ or assembly language, using Borland’s then-popular C++ compiler and Turbo Assembler. In addition, a debug monitor pre-installed in the on-board Flash memory made it possible to use Borland’s Turbo Debugger to easily find and fix bugs in your application. Finally, a library of hardware interface routines made manipulating the on-board hardware as simple as interacting with C’s stdio library.

All of the programs in the original book were assembled, compiled, linked, and debugged with a copy of Borland C++ 3.1. However, versions 3.1, 4.5, and 4.52 of the tool chain were also known to work.

In small quantities, the Target188EB board (part number TARGET188EB-SBC) retailed for $195. Ordinarily, this did not include the software development tools and power supply. However, Arcom generously agreed to provide a free copy of their Target Development Kit (a $100 value) to readers of this book.

Unfortunately, in the years after the book was published Arcom was sold to another company, which discontinued the Target188EB product. At this time, we are not aware of any way to purchase these boards. However, all of the information conveyed in the book is general in nature and can be easily applied to lots of different hardware platforms. It would only be portions of the example code that are specific to that board that would not work on other processors and boards.