Favorite Technology Links

Embedded Systems

posted Nov 29, 2009, 6:59 AM by Darren Ash   [ updated Dec 29, 2010, 7:53 AM ]

NetBurner - If you are thinking about an embedded system that moves data from a serial port to Ethernet or vice-versa you should look at these products.  They come with an excellent development environment that is based on the Eclipse IDE and real time OS based on microC/OS.  There are several books available about the OS, so the platform is well documented. The author of the books listed here is the person that actually wrote the original OS kernel.

Check this out!! NetBurner now has a GPS enabled network time server for around $300.  You will also need to purchase the external GPS antenna.  See this link

Rabbit - More expensive than NetBurner and the IDE is not as nice, but they have some unique solutions if they are needed.

Parallax - Good place to start if you have never worked with an embedded system.

Real Time Automation - If you need some code for a Netburner project to interface with an industrial network I would look at these guys.  They write efficient, easy to follow code and it is cost effective.  They may also be able to do your complete embedded project if needed.  They have some sharp embedded engineers.

Networking Hardware

posted Nov 28, 2009, 3:41 PM by Darren Ash   [ updated Jul 1, 2015, 4:02 PM ]

Juniper Networks - Offers some impressive networking infrastructure equipment.  Many times it outperforms some better know brands (Cisco for example) at a much lower price point.  Odesta utilizes the SSG product to provide firewall, anti-virus, deep packet inspection and VPN access to protect our network.  These types of network appliances are also referred to as UTM (Universal Threat Management) Appliances.

SONICWALL - STAY AWAY FROM SONICWALL.  DELL HAS RUINED THEM!!!!!  Provides mainly UTM Appliances and SSL VPN Products.  Very cost effective for the small business and smaller enterprise market.  One of our favorite products is the TZ Series.  The TZ Series allows you to easily setup remote access to a site that has limited access to the internet by using a cellular modem.  The Verizon 3G network provides cost effective network access and reasonable speed to access control systems remotely.  It is also an option when the IT department is unwilling to allow a vendor remote VPN access to a control system network for support.  This solution can be deployed in a few hours.

Software Links

posted Nov 28, 2009, 3:06 PM by Darren Ash   [ updated Jul 2, 2015, 2:51 PM ]

DB2 Express-C - One of the long time SQL standard database servers that I had forgotten about from IBM.  Their free version of DB2 allows more capability of the base hardware than SQL Server Express from Microsoft.  It will use up to 2 dual core CPUs, 4GB or memory and no limit on database storage.  I really need to check out the current state of DB2.  This sounds very tempting to use as a base for a project I have in mind.

ubuntu - One of the many Linux distributions.  Easier to get setup and working than many of the other distributions.  This runs the file server for Odesta and makes an excellent client workstation OR Server for Ignition in a manufacturing environment.

MySQL - Open source database with several different storage engines available (MyISAM, Falcon, Berkeley DB, InnoDB, Maria and others).  Also see Wikipedia for a broad overview here.

SQL Server Express - Microsoft's SQL Server that is free to use.  There are some limitations, but provides a very capable starting point for many data collection and reporting projects for a manufacturing environment.  All the development that goes into a SQL Server Express solution can be easily migrated to the full version of SQL Server depending upon the end users needs.  This provides full support for Reporting Services, T-SQL stored procedures, Common Language Runtime stored procedures (VB.NET, C#.NET, etc.), structured/unstructured data, full support of triggers and numerous other features.  For a general overview of features see Wikipedia here.

openCRX - Open source customer relationship management software.  Very impressive product if you have the need for customer tracking and have been limited by some of the higher priced commercial solutions.  For a general overview of history see Wikipedia here.

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