Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?

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Are there any companies in the U.S. besides a couple of BIOS companies who are
looking for experienced 80x86 assembly language developers (or even pure C
language developers) in BIOS, DOS, embedded PC, or any similar low-level
assembly language development ? Are there any assembly language or pure C (no
suffix) telecommuting jobs or projects to be found ?

Also do any companies use standalone DOS (PC DOS or MS DOS) professionally for
anything besides Symantec (PC DOS in Norton Ghost) ? Is DOS used in embedded PCs
or any similar devices (PC/104 or ITX) ? More to the point, are there any DOS
jobs or projects to found in the U.S. ?



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Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
In my opnion, if you want to stick with x86, you'd best learn C++. It seems to
be the lingua franca of the 32-bit (and larger) world.

C is still good for the 8/16-bit world, but I don't think the old 8088/188 is
being used much for new stuff. If you don't want to learn C++, then you better
start learning other CPUs.


Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?

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Not where I work. C++ and Java are only used to maintain older
applications. C# and VB with VS.NET are used for all new development
and are in highest demand. C# to do all the work and VB for the UI.
But you also need to know at least two dialects of SQL, and be
comfortable with ADO, DCOM, MTX and most of the other Micro$oft
acronyms. Job applicants will not be considered unless they have some
knowledge of .NET. Yes, it's an MS-Windows world out there.

Bob McConnell
N2SPP


Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?

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And what exactly is the product or service that requires such inefficient
high-level languages?

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Right. And all this knowledge is required for writing device drivers and
firmware, which is really the only "embedded" arena that abuts such
high-level applications.

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Not in the embedded sector, as a rule. But then it isn't an x86 world in the
embedded sector either, as a rule.




Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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Acronyms is right, what does database stuff have to do with actual embedded
development ?? Frankly it sounds like managers hearing buzzwords and acronyms
and saying we gotta use this stuff because it's the "in" thing. Also I was under
the impression that small, fast code was still important in the embedded world.
If so then using the object-oriented languages like C++, Java, and particularly
the M$ things like VB would seem counter-productive and contrary to the goal of
having tight optimized code.

Another question I have is why is Windows even wanted in the embedded world ?
Considering you generally don't have the typical UI as on a PC what does really
Windows offer ? Seems like Linux/Unix without X-Windows or even DOS in some
cases would be a better choice. Heck many bank ATMs still use some version of
OS/2.

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Ok, what processors are generally used in the embedded world ? Intel x86
assembly happens to be what I know best but I also know some of the older 8-bit
microprocessors like Z-80 and 6809. How does one get a foot in the door ? I know
several assembly languages and I could easily pickup another but I would need a
chance. I certainly understand the desire to hire people already experienced in
a particular area but how does one get started initially ? Given that I've been
a BIOS engineer and have done a lot of low-level development on the PC platform
in x86 assembly and C should count for something shouldn't it ?



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Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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You would think. There certainly are embedded systems around using PC style
hardware in PC/104 form factor (see www.embeddedx86.com and www.arcom.com). You
might try grabbing a PC/104 kit and play with it. Contact PC/104 makers and ask
if any of their customers need programmers.

Older 8-bit micros are still around some.Look at www.zilog.com and you'll find
the Z80 is still around (with 24-bit registers!). The 6800 instruction set
still forms the basis for Motorola's 68HC05/08/11/12 microcontrollers.

And new assembly languages, again, get a demo or eval kit. Zilog has their eZ8
(no relation to Z80) eval kit for $50. Motorola has a bare bones eval kit for
the HC08. Texas Instruments has an MSP430 eval kit for $99. Microchip
Technology has their PICDemo boards for around $99 and another $99 for their
ICD2 low-end in-circuit debugger. Plenty of inexpensive ways to learn different
assembly languages.


Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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SFA IMNSHO <g>.

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Yes, but "embedded" covers a very wide range. The .NET maven to whom I
replied may be working on something like a POS terminal that's an
entire Windows PC, and that reasonably might want to talk to a
database backend to maintain stock levels, look up prices, etc. Or he
might be making a multimedia kiosk. Or an airport Internet terminal.
Or a specialized piece of PDA software for warehouse workers. There
are many possibilities. But the technologies he is talking about are
not much to do with what people would traditionally think of when
"embedded systems" are mentioned.

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It almost never is. Despite what a few vehement (psychotic might be a
better word) people will tell you, Windows CE (and even more, XP
"Embedded") have very little foothold if you look at percentage of
total embedded systems deployed in a year. They don't even have a
majority percentage when you exclude systems that don't have the
hardware resources for such OSes.

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Mainly - availability of cheap programmers who are experienced-ish
with the Windows API. Of course, this doesn't mean they are any use
for embedded programming, but management cannot be expected to
understand this.

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Well, Linux is not always the answer. There are a spectrum of other
OSes, depending on the market. Symbian, QNX, etc...

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Yes, OS/2 1.x :)

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If you had to pick one 32-bit platform to learn, it should be ARM.

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I would think so, yes. I followed a fairly similar path. I had been
working primarily in DOS/Win3.x/Win9x device drivers, doing mostly
crypto stuff, with some embedded work as my "moonlight job". I was
hired over here to work on 4- and 8-bit systems, then the company
branched out into some much more powerful systems, and that allowed me
to learn about PA-RISC and ARM. More importantly, it put the requisite
years of "experience with ..." on my resume that I could apply for
ARM-specific jobs now. Oh, and I wrote a so-far-reasonably-successful
book about introductory-level ARM development, which helps the resume,
too :)

If you're looking for 32-bit embedded jobs, I think your existing
experience does sound very relevant. Perhaps indicate a familiarity
with an ARM-cored product (a portfolio project would help) and that
could get you in the door.

Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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Not that it's important but I'm surprised that they're using really old OS/2
1.x, I thought they were using at least OS/2 3.0 (the first Warp version) or
even 2.x for that matter. I suspect that ATMs are the only use of OS/2 left
which is too bad since OS/2 definitely had potential and was more stable than
anything that ever came out of Redmond. Anyway I read that many banks will be
switching their ATMs to windows by 2005, now there's a scary thought - go to get
some cash and get a blue screen instead.

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I have no experience with ARM or any other RISC architecture, all of the jobs
I've in recent years have dealt with PCs so that's Intel x86 Assembly and C and
stuff like BIOS, DOS, PC chipsets, PCI, power management, etc, basically a lot
of low-level and register-level programming. I've also worked with the AMD Elan
processors but not the old 80186/80188 (I've worked with every other x86
processor though). I'm certainly willing to learn a RISC architecture but I
don't see a way to get a foot in the door. I think that my knowledge of CISC
processors, particularly x86 which is very likely the most complex of them
should be worth something but the majority of recruiters and managers don't
understand that. Basically I'm out of work and have been so for a while
unfortunately and I'm looking for anything that matches my skills or is
reasonable close so if a BIOS, DOS, or similar low-level PC development job came
up then great, but I'm also willing to get into something new but along the same
lines like embedded but I need someone to give me a chance and that's apparently
hard to find since most people don't seem to understand that if you know one or
more assembly languages (particularly if one is x86) you can easily learn
another.



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Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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A whole new breed of "embedded" programmer is here now. Most of them have
little to no concept of discrete electronics components. They are forming
their own new traditions.



Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?


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That's fine, but I think that some formal division of the word "embedded" is
then called for. Perhaps "integrated-PC" would be a better phrase to
describe these very high-level applications. They're "turnkey", yes, but not
"embedded".

Anyone who works solely in the application layer is not, IMO, an "embedded"
programmer. All this talk of databases and BASIC is clearly rooted in the
app layer.




Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 06:02:11 GMT, "DM McGowan II"

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I would have thought it's very difficult (next to impossible?)
to do much embedded programming without a decent
knowledge of hardware?

Mike Harding


Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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Think Humpty Dumpty. As long as you pay the word enough, it can mean
anything you want it to mean. Setting a Windows-based SBC up so that it
loads a fullscreen Flash animation at boot is "embedded" programming.




Re: Any 80x86 assembly language jobs in the US ?
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I do see a few ads for .NET, but I see more for C++/Java. .NET is certainly not
something commonly  used in the embedded world and not all Windows developers
have embraced .NET just yet.


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