Computer Systems
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Computer Systems

Incremental Systems Engineering

About the Book

Ride the wave of your life through the inside of a computer atop your software surfboard! This incremental introduction to computer systems starts with binary numbers and leads the reader through the entire process of bringing computer hardware to life with software. Starting with an introduction to hardware architecture, the book evolves into an overview of software languages. From the assembly language that hardware understands, to the human understandable C language.

Showcasing the best practices of system software design, debugging and organization, this journey leads the reader through the process of creating a software interface to hardware LED, timer and serial communications devices. Combining the previous software building blocks the journey leads to understanding and creating a historic transfer protocol in order to finish the bootloader. Each chapter and section builds upon the last as the reader incrementally creates a system software ecosystem.

The journey concludes with the creation of an operating system, video screen console and video game with animation. Each chapter introduces more complex data structures and algorithms which are used to solve real problems. It is recommended to read and participate in the laboratory chapter after reading each chapter of this book for the most realistic journey into the heart of a computer.

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    • Agile
    • Computer Hardware
    • Software
    • Software Architecture
    • Software Engineering
    • Systems Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Computers and Programming
    • C and C++
    • Embedded Systems
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About the Author

Sean Lawless
Sean Lawless

As a lifelong software developer and a professional systems engineer for over 15 years, I have been exposed to it all; the good, the bad and the ugly. As I grew older and became a father I searched for books to help explain system engineering to a younger audience. I was not satisfied with what was available so I became an author in an attempt to give back. My works are dedicated to all the unknown, unrecognized and disenfranchised scientists and engineers of the past, present and future.

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Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Binary Computers
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Binary Numbers
    • 1.3 Large Binary Numbers
    • 1.4 Binary Computers
    • 1.5 Bit Manipulation
    • Chapter 1 Glossary
    • Chapter 1 Exercises
  • Chapter 2: Machine Language
    • 2.1 Algorithms and Machine Language
    • 2.2 Bit Endianess
    • 2.3 Assembly Language
    • 2.4 Create a Program in Assembly Language
    • 2.5 Variable sizes and roll over
    • 2.6 Branching and Loops in Assembly Language
    • Chapter 2 Glossary:
    • Chapter 2 Exercises:
  • Chapter 3: Compiled Systems
    • 3.1 Origin of the C Language
    • 3.2 C Language Basics
    • 3.3 C Language Data Types and Sizes
    • 3.4 C Language Math and Bit Manipulation
    • 3.5 C Language Functions
    • 3.6 C Language Organization
    • 3.7 The C main() function
    • 3.8 C Language Variable Scope and Volatility
    • Chapter 3 Glossary:
    • Chapter 3 Exercises:
  • Chapter 4: System Architecture
    • 4.1 Address Space and Software Memory Map
    • 4.2 Memory Address and Pointers
    • 4.3 Using C Pointers with Peripheral Registers
    • 4.4 Create Software with an Editor and Compiler
    • 4.5 Creating an Executable with the Linker
    • 4.6 Configuring General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) pins
    • 4.7 Debugging
    • Chapter 4 Glossary:
    • Chapter 4 Exercises:
  • Chapter 5: Timer Design
    • 5.1 Hardware Clocks
    • 5.2 System Software for Hardware Clocks
    • 5.3 Software Interface for Clocks
    • 5.4 Software timer uses
    • 5.5 Building Software with Make
    • 5.6 Project Management
    • 5.7 System Software Organization
    • Chapter 5 Glossary:
    • Chapter 5 Exercises:
  • Chapter 6: Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART)
    • 6.1 UART Introduction
    • 6.2 UART Hardware
    • 6.3.1 Configure the Development PC
    • 6.3.2 Configure the System Software
    • 6.4 Send Data with Software
    • 6.5 Receive data with Software
    • 6.6 System Shell
    • Chapter 6 Glossary:
    • Chapter 6 Exercises:
  • Chapter 7: Boot Loader and Xmodem
    • 7.1 Boot Loader Design
    • 7.2 RAM Layout Overview
    • 7.3 Xmodem Protocol
    • 7.4 Memory and String Interface
    • 7.5 Xmodem Receiver Software
    • 7.6 UART Flush
    • 7.7 Xmodem Boot Loader
    • 7.8 Standard Input Output
    • Chapter 7 Glossary:
    • Chapter 7 Exercises:
  • Chapter 8: Operating Systems
    • 8.1 Operating System Design
    • 8.2 Periodically Executed Tasks
    • 8.3 Periodically Executed Task Scheduler
    • 8.4 System Shell Periodic Task
    • 8.5 Periodic Shell Command Execution
    • 8.6 System Software Organization
    • Chapter 8 Glossary:
    • Chapter 8 Exercises:
  • Chapter 9: Frame Buffer
    • 9.1 Frame Buffer Design Overview
    • 9.2 Transactions
    • 9.3 GPU and Mail boxes
    • 9.4 Properties and Screen Resolution
    • 9.5 Frame buffers
    • 9.6 Pixel Colors
    • 9.7 Screen Interface
    • 9.8 Screen Device
    • Chapter 9 Glossary:
    • Chapter 9 Exercises:
  • Chapter 10: Console
    • 10.1 Console Design Overview
    • 10.2 Character Font Maps
    • 10.3 Cursors and lines of text
    • 10.4 Scrolling Lines of Text
    • 10.5 Static Windowing
    • 10.6 Optimizing memory copy
    • Chapter 10 Glossary:
    • Chapter 10 Exercises:
  • Chapter 11: Video Games
    • 11.0 Why Video Games?
    • 11.1 Grid of Tiles Design Overview
    • 11.2 Linked Lists and Inline Functions
    • 11.3 Game Grid
    • 11.4 Sprites and Movement
    • 11.5 Player Interface
    • 11.6 Randomness
    • 11.7 Game Logic
    • 11.8 Ray Casting Tiles
    • Chapter 11 Glossary:
    • Chapter 11 Exercises:
  • Chapter 12: Animation
    • 12.1 Structure Up and Down Casting
    • 12.2 Timer Scheduler
    • 12.3 Animation
    • 12.4 Sprite Actions
    • 12.5 Game Rounds
    • Chapter 12 Glossary:
    • Chapter 12 Exercises:

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