"Weeks of coding can save you hours of planning." --Unknown

In this issue:

  • Patents and Copyrights and Trade Secrets, Oh My!
  • Three FREE Books About Embedded Design
  • March 2020 Public Training Calendar
  • Budget Now for Next Year Team Trainings
  • Industry News That's Not Boring

Firmware Update is a free email newsletter from embedded systems expert Michael Barr. Firmware Update is a trademark and this issue is Copyright ©2019. You may forward whole issues to colleagues that design embedded systems.  No other uses are permitted.

Patents and Copyrights and Trade Secrets, Oh My!

courtroomDo you know the differences between patents, copyright, trade secrets, and trademarks?  And how these legal tools can be used to protect your embedded systems from others who may seek to copy your inventions?  To help you quickly understand just enough about this lingo to be dangerous when talking with higher-ups and lawyers, I have written an intellectual primer for software engineers.

Learn about thisIntellectual Property Protections for Software

Three FREE Books About Embedded Design

In my now more than two decades of work as a consultant and trainer in the field of embedded systems design, I have written three books and nearly one hundred articles.  Almost all of this valuable information, including two of the books in their entirety, is available on the Barr Group website.

  • "Embedded C Coding Standard": HTML (browsable), PDF (free), Paperback ($5.99)
  • "Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++": HTML (browsable first edition)
  • "Embedded Systems Dictionary": HTML (browsable subset)

I hope you find these resources useful to you in your work and trust that you will also share your knowledge and expertise with our community as you learn.  I am grateful to the many engineers who have written over the years to express their praise and feedback and say thank you for my written work. 

Together we are building a better embedded systems design community!

March 2020 Public Training Calendar

Aimed at individual engineers and smaller teams, Barr Group's public training courses are held in a state-of-the-art training room near Washington, DC.  The following immersive, hands-on courses are what's next:

Register now and save: https://barrgroup.com/training

Budget Now for Next Year Team Trainings

An onsite training at your facility is a convenient and cost-effective way to train your team of five or more engineers in industry best practices, tools, and techniques--right where they are!  The instructor will travel to your facility to deliver any of the above or other courses we offer:


Our courses vary in length from 1 to 4 days and nearly universally include hands-on exercises on real-world embedded hardware platforms and tools.

Industry News That's Not Boring

NASA´s Parker Solar Probe sheds new light on the Sun: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/nasas-parker-solar-probe-sheds-new-light-on-the-sun

Uber's "Inadequate Safety Culture" contributed to deadly Arizona accident, finds NTSB: https://ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/NR20191119c.aspx (Say what you will about the early risks of self-driving cars, but if NTSB will investigate every deadly crash and make recommendations that are taken up by the whole industry the roads could quickly get a lot safer than with human drivers.)

In Iceland, small retailers are beating Amazon to the drone-delivered future: https://dronelife.com/2019/12/03/david-and-goliath-how-small-retailers-in-iceland-are-taking-on-amazon-and-uber-with-drone-delivery/

Remember computing eigenvectors and eigenvalues for multi-dimensional matrices for linear algebra class?  A team of physicists just happened upon a reliable shortcut that proves a previously unknown mathematical relationship: https://terrytao.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/eigenvectors-from-eigenvalues/

Quick Links to Useful Stuff

How to Contact the Author

I'm always interested in hearing from embedded systems designers and happy to take a few minutes to help you find the resources to get a design done right. Send me an email anytime. And be sure to also connect with me on Twitter (@embeddedbarr) and LinkedIn (https://linkedin.com/in/embeddedbarr).