OT: Moving back into hardware related programming

Somewhat off topic but at least related:
I've been doing programming for over 20 years now - heavy on engineering and scientific work & I used to consider data acquisition a specialty of mine,
but in the past few years I chased the money & moved more toward the business side of things. I stay pretty current in C/C++. I'd really like to get back into hardware related coding & design again! Has anyone been down this same road ? Any advice ? Any advice on newsgroups that might apply to my situation ?
Thanks and my apologies for digressing - but I figured there must be a *few* souls on this newsgroup on the same path as me! :-)
Sincerely, JCD
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Just in case it helps anyone else out there, I found this newsgroup that seems applicable: comp.realtime
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On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 04:43:09 -0500, "pogo"

Also strongly related, and with a lot more traffic, is comp.arch.embedded
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Thanks!
wrote:

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comp.arch.embedded and comp.arch.fpga as well.
You don't say what area of hardware ? Embedded systems ?, which end of the market ?
Programmable logic / fpgas ?
For a nice micro
Have a look at the Philips lpc21xx series of arm7 microcontrollers about the same price as pics but 16/32 bit and up to 70MHz 8 -512KB flash , 1 - 64KB ram, pwm , usarts etc
the http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpc2000/ group is very good. Easy to follow tutorials and cheapish boards
http://www.sparkfun.com/cgi-bin/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t31&start
For 8 bit micros Atmel AVR or Msp430. The 8051 and microchip pics are still around. 8051's up to 100MHz and pics up to 48MHz with usbclient)
Pics (18f) , avrs , msp430 , arm7 chips(lpc21xx , Atmel sam7 , etc) all have free tools.
Alex
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Good info - thanks !

VERY slick and well thought out site! Is it yours ?
JCD
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No, I wish.
My own site is in need of a lot of fixing up.
www.alexthegeek.com
plus I need to get the website of the lab I work for fixed (as the technical officer it gets passed to me to look after) http://nest.eng.uts.edu.au I mostly do the Embedded systems side and systems engineering.
Working on video as a sensor - license plate recognition with high confidence rates and people counting from video among others.
Some of its presently getting integrated into scada so can use video as just another sensor input to the scada system.
Have the fun of getting paid to work on things from TI DM642 dsps, Cradle mdsp(multi core dsp), Analog devices blackfin , Philips lpc21xx , pics , avrs and xscale. Everything from video , to robotics, to car park systems with licecense plate recognition.
If you are after a higher end type system you should have a look at www.gumstix.com.
Alex
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