A coin operated game may seem like a toy, well, it is, actually, but with so many tasks running at the same time it's the perfect socket for a multi-core processor. A coin operated game (think pinball)must process lamp effects, music, sound effects, solenoids, switches, run the game application and still fetch data from USB or other memory. We usually used an operating system to handle all of these tasks, but with the multicore propeller one core could handle the IO with one core, another core for the music, another for the sound effects, another for the lamp effects, memory, game, and even one just running debug functionality with video out. Sure, not every solution requires a multicore processor, but if you're using an operating system to juggle tasks, a multicore processor might be a good solution. Give the propeller a spin, too. Parallax has some great kid tools to get started and the processor is quite capable of handling some hefty processing.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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