View Full Version : To biterman

11-07-2001, 03:01 AM
Sorry, I tried to reply to your PM but the wretched board said my message was to long!!!


I don't mind the PM system, I don't tend to use much, and indeed, last time somebody wrote to me, their message sat in the basket unread for about a week because I didn't notice it!


there's no programming involved at all it's just electric pulses and other stuff

... yes, that is exactly what I mean. The function is acheived by an electronic circuit. NAND gates are actually extremely versatile, given enough of them, a clock, (and a 5 volt power supply the size of a small house!), you could actually build the hardware of the computer in front of you.

So things work either as the previously mentioned NAND chips or they have a ROM in them, like a BIOS chip?

There are other ways as well, after all, a NAND gate is made of smaller components.

Anyways, this is all way over my head, it's just too interesting for me not to ask.

Something that many programmers forget is that the thing they are programming is a machine. It is a collection of electronic components. If pressed, many will say there computer consists of a motherboard, a graphics card etc. without thinking about the chips that go to make up these large parts, or the gates inside these chips, or the transistors they are made from, or indeed, the crystal lattice the transistors are made from.

Sadly these days, this is not even taught at university level education in some places.

I came from the other direction. I'd been playing with electronic components, building radios and other odds and sods, since I was a boy, so I find this stuff easy and interesting.

11-07-2001, 03:11 AM
I find it exceedingly interesting as well. Mainly because it, as you said, is taken for granted. When you tell someone you are or want to be a programmer, they inmediately think PC, of course that's natural, but no one ever considers chips or electronic appliances, or even the parts that make the PC be a PC.

To me it's one of the great things i could do after i learn how to do it. Programming BIOS's or Discman's, you don't meet many of the people that actually do that, but it's obvious that there has to be quite alot of them.

How'd you get into that line of work anyways?


11-07-2001, 03:40 AM
>>> How'd you get into that line of work anyways?

As I said in another thread somewhere, the embedded systems these days are not programmed in a very different way from normal programming. The development systems come with an IDE, a compiler/linker and usually some special tools for downloading the binary into a target system. To get into that line, simply apply for a job with a company that produces this kind of stuff. Many will ask for embedded experience, but these days most employers know that their requirements aren't as specific as they used to be.

With BIOS type stuff, you'd need to be in a bit deeper since this stuff tends to be very processor/support chip specific. Again, try to get in with a company that builds things with computers in them as components. We have a BIOS group here which looks after the BIOS in our products which don't use commercial computer boards.