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Not Your Grandmother's Embedded Systems

Clive "Max" Maxfield - Watch Now - Duration: 41:11

Since this is a conference about embedded systems, and assuming most of the attendees have something to do with developing these systems, one might think there is some level of expectation that everyone taking part could agree on a definition as to exactly what is (and isn’t) an embedded system. Ah, if only life were so simple.

In this wide-ranging presentation, Max will first rend the veils asunder and make you look at embedded systems from a new perspective. Next, he will briefly consider the evolution of embedded systems leading to today’s state-of-the-art embedded technologies. Finally, he will cogitate, contemplate, and ruminate as to where we are headed in embedded space (where no one can hear you scream).

Max warns that participants will be leaping from topic to topic with the agility of young mountain goats, so he strongly recommends that attendees dress appropriately.

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DanCogan
Score: 0 | 5 months ago | 1 reply

Thanks for a very historically interesting and thought provoking talk! As others have said, we're nearly in a world of science fiction. It definitely becomes uncomfortable (and have to hope technology doesn't get used in nefarious ways) as reality becomes hard to tell from fiction.

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 5 months ago | no reply

Hi Dan -- thanks for your kind words -- when I compare the world today to when I was a kid in the early 1960s, it's mind-blowing how things have changed -- I daren't even think what we might see in the coming years (but I cannot wait to see it LOL)

JLangbridge
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | 1 reply

When I was at school, I always hated history. The teachers were always so boring. Kind of ironic, but now I'm a lecturer, and I always start off with a bit of history too. That was a great talk, and really funny! I think the people close by didn't understand why I kept on laughing. And yes, there is a bit of Black Mirror in what you say... We are ever so close, or at least going in the right/wrong direction for that. Thanks for the talk, and looking forward to helping you set up Luos!

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Hi James -- thanks so much for attending -- I'm so glad you enjoyed the talk -- I'm looking forward to working with Luos also -- I'm up to my armpits in alligators this week -- maybe we could touch base next week -- Max

Steve_Wheeler
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | 1 reply

There are a science fiction stories I'm aware of that have addressed some of the concerns people brought up in the Q&A. Jerry Pournelle, I believe, wrote a few decades ago about how people having brain interfaces to an online connection (this was prior to the internet) would make them more capable, due to having access to calculation and database lookup capabilities, but would make them not want to go into space, because access and lag time issues would affect their ability to use that connection.

Someone else wrote a story about brain interfaces being hijacked to, among other things, display advertising in your visual field, as well as other bad situations. Imagine ransomware on your memories, or your motor control.

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

This is where things get scary -- at a security conference a couple of years ago, one of the speakers explained how he had hacked his insulin pump (which measures blood sugar and injects small amounts of insulin -- also Wi-Fi enabled so your doctor can see what's happening). This this guy said that he could see that there were some members of the audience with similar medical devices -- would they like him to hack those devices? .....

WillHsiung
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | 1 reply

Love the quote you inserted on your grandfather about wearing the Hawaiian shirt! Have your parents seen you wearing one and if so, what was their reaction?

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Thanks Will -- I used to wear boring mono-color shirts -- then I went to Hawaii in 2001 to give a talk and loved the shirts and started wearing them -- now this is all I wear -- my work clothes are my home clothes are my gardening clothes ... if people ask me to give a presentation, they know what they'll get :-) I FaceTime with my mom in England every day -- she looks forward to seeing which shirt I'll be wearing (or, at least, that's what she says LOL)

JamesK
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | 1 reply

In the past, the technical challenges were (seemingly) easy, but resources limited (ie. books, no internet), while now, we have so many resources, but the technical challenges are so complex.
Do we have it easy compared to the past inventors and engineers, or harder??

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Yes -- No -- Both LOL I agree that in the past technical challenges were easier -- but you had to do everything for yourself -- like the guy who created the first X-Y Plotter -- he was called Gerber -- he had to not only create the machine, but the file format to store the data (hence Gerber files). In 1980 I worked for a mainframe computer company -- they wanted to link a mainframe to a small computer via a network -- they had to create their own proprietary network format. Now, we want to do much more complex stuff, but we can take advantage of stuff that's already there, like Wi-Fi and Blue-Tooth and existing standards and file formats and off-the-shelf devices.

PhilKasiecki
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | 1 reply

Thank you for this excellent presentation - a great history lesson with a lot to think about!

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Hi Phil -- thanks for the kind words - there really is a lot to think about here -- I can't wait to see what happens in the coming years :-)

Werner-Qoitech
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | 1 reply

"Total information overload", quite a likely scenario. Very interesting talk!

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Thanks Werner -- I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Hi Steve -- I have a funny story about my mother-in-law in a grocery store -- but it will have to wait until after the live Q&A :-)

Steve_Wheeler
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

I'd use a headset in grocery stores that would let me look at produce and show me which items were freshest, etc.

MaxTheMagnificentSpeaker
Score: 0 | 7 months ago | no reply

Hi everyone -- I'm really looking forward to giving this presentation.

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