Focus: Embedded Systems

This month, we take a good look at how embedded systems work and how to build one that is cross-platform-compatible.

Today, embedded systems can be found wherever you look, from elevators to power company facilities to electron accelerators. They form a very important, though mostly unseen, part of our lives. This month, we take a good look at how embedded systems work and how to build one that is cross-platform-compatible. Embedded systems require real-time programming, and we have an article discussing this topic. Is there truly such a thing as real time? Read it to find out.

Linux's stability and performance make it a perfect choice for use as an embedded system, but size is another matter. Downsizing can be a difficult task. Just making the decisions regarding what to cut and what to keep can be both time-consuming and complex. Is it worth it?

One company has bet their business that it is. Caldera Thin Clients has changed its name to Lineo, Inc. and is coming out with an embedded Linux system. Called Embedix, this system is based on Caldera's OpenLinux. I talked to Lineo's Lyle Ball to find out about this product and future plans for the company. (The interview will be in our next issue.)

Another company chose a different road. Cygnus wrote their own embedded operating system, called eCOS, which they have released as open source. Charles Curley has written an article comparing eCOS to RTLinux, which appears in the “Strictly On-Line” section on our web site, http://www.linuxjournal.com/.

Elsewhere in this issue, Craig Knudsen tells us why Transvirtual made the decision to adopt Microsoft Java Extensions, and Michael Hammel talks about Side Effects Software, their port of Houdini to Linux and what it means to the community.

At LinuxWorld on August 11, I had the pleasure of having lunch with our leader, Linus Torvalds. As a change of pace for both of us, I took the opportunity to talk to him about personal matters rather than Linux. (See interview in issue 67.)

—Marjorie Richardson

______________________

Webinar
One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Webinar
Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix