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Re: Race condition...

Hi Tony

Thanks for this.  Very worrying, given I drove my family around Florida recently in a Prius!
It's interesting how simple basics can get drowned out.  I suppose it happened to NASA with Challenger.

One of the things that attracts me to rail, over road, (forthcoming book The Cost of the Car) is the engineering heritage.  Safety engineering began with rail, and signalling makes a nice student exercise in sequential system design, and, more recently, in formal analysis.

I worry whether the same art is being applied to car design.  Of course, it is entirely absent in road design, which is inherently lethal anyway, as the annual carnage shows.

And, of course, it is absent in the training of most 'software engineers', as is engineering per se.

I too began with µprocessor programming in assembly language, and believe as much has been lost as gained in the use of 'standard' HLLs.  I have had unending difficulty adapting to universal hacking – the lack of any real specification, design, or analysis, with software.

I'm trying to assemble a series of texts called Electronics, Systems, and Programming (http://www.openchannelpublishing.com/esp.html) that combine a more formal approach to software, and would welcome a proposal, particularly wrt embedded concurrent/reactive systems.  (You get £2.50 back a book, instead of 80p at most, and a lower selling price, hence more sales.  And yes, that is realistic, especially with e-books on the rise.)

The CPA community is still badly in need of books that reflect its idea and ideals.  The right people are always too busy, I guess.


On 31 Mar 2010, at 03:04, Tony Gore wrote:

Hi Ian
See this
from an engineer who used to work at Ford in around the same era that I was working in automotive. The key phrase he uses is
Although not common over here in the UK because of our penchant for stick shift (manual gearboxes), most cars in the US have automatic gearboxes and cruise control. One of the standard signals to cruise control is the brake signal to disengage it.
Tony Gore
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Ian East
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