Timex watches aren't the only devices built to take a licking. Recently, a Fluke ScopeMeter was put through its paces by some hapless thieves and some wary emergency workers. The equipment was stolen from a locked car owned by electrician Brian Cheney who was taking a training class at Kawasaki's Lincoln, NE plant. During the ensuing police chase, the perps threw the case, with scope inside, out the window. Mystified, the cops had the fire department x-ray the case. After identifying wires and "some type of electrical-looking equipment," the fire department exercised caution by blowing the whole thing open with an explodable dart and then dousing the contents with water. For good measure, they then cut all the leads on the waterlogged scope, which the dart dinged but didn't penetrate. When Kawasaki electricians took the scope back to the shop, and drained and dried it, they discovered it was fully operational.
One of the biggest walls in embedded software development is the integration of low-level drivers with higher-level middleware and application code, but silicon vendors are stepping up to bring it down.
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