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How to measure idle time in firmware with a $25 voltmeter. Listen! Do you hear a subtle hum, a buzz of computation? The 26 billion processors sold every year entertain us, optimize fuel economy, run factories and literally underlie the fabric of civilization.

I'm Jack Ganssle (bio) and I'm on a mission to help developers produce better products faster. My weekly column on embedded.com, seminars and the 1000+ articles on this site all show better ways to build embedded products, while maximizing the fun of engineering hardware and firmware.

Latest video:Using a $25 VOM to measure idle time.

Free Newsletter - The Embedded Muse

Free biweekly embedded systems newsletter, now in its 17th year. No hype, just down to earth hints, tricks and ideas about better ways to build embedded systems - both hardware and firmware. The latest issue (#273, November 17, 2014) has a review of the PortPilot USB current monitor and thoughts about NRE vs COGS costs.. Check out the back issues.

Firmware Seminars

Jack's seminar has to be the most interesting and enjoyable I have ever gone to and that's saying something as I have been to quite a few during my career over the years. Josh Hurvitz, Space Technology

Want to reduce bugs? Meet deadlines? Bring Jack into your facility for his one day Better Firmware Faster seminar. Over 5000 of your colleagues on six continents are now better developers as a result of this course. You'll learn how to estimate a schedule accurately, reduce bugs by an order of magnitude, manage reuse, build predictable real-time code, better ways to deal with uniquely embedded problems like reentrancy, heaps, stacks and hardware drivers, and much more. It's fast-paced, packed with information you can use today, and a lot of fun.

Expert Witness

From time to time I've been privileged to work as an expert witness. This is a fascinating area of work, as one gets to dive deeply into the technology of some very cool products. Find more information here.

Articles, Books and Tool Reviews

I have written over 700 articles about the unique and fascinating subject of embedded systems since 1988, and have a weekly column which I call Random Rants. I've also reviewed many books about embedded systems, and have written six as well.

Vendors make all sorts of claims about their tools, but real-world experience is much more important. Developers have contributed their opinions about a huge number of tools. Submit your own thoughts on tools you love or hate.

From salary surveys to articles about debouncing, consulting, floating point approximations, testing RAM, watchdog timers and much, much more - check out these free special reports about embedded issues. The one on debouncing contacts is downloaded over 5,000 times per month.

Last updated 11-Nov-2014

New and Noteworthy

Do you need to reduce bugs in your firmware? Shorten schedules? My one-day Better Firmware Faster seminar will teach your team how to operate at a world-class level, producing code with far fewer bugs in less time. It's fast-paced, fun, and covers the unique issues faced by embedded developers. Here's information about how this class, taught at your facility, will measurably improve your team's effectiveness.

New Video! Jack's latest video shows how to measure idle time. Here's a list of all of Jack's videos.



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