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Embedded Software Development with eCos™ by Anthony J. Massa

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1.1. Where It All Started—Cygnus Solutions

Michael Tiemann, David Henkel-Wallace, and John Gilmore founded Cygnus Solutions in 1989. The idea behind Cygnus Solutions was to provide high-quality support and development for open source software. It was initially unclear whether this business model would work out; however, by the end of the first year it was obvious from the value of the support and development contracts that the business was real. The workload was enormous for the five-person company (the three founders, a salesperson, and a part-time graduate student).

It was clear that the engineering support model worked; however, the costs to fulfill these contracts were very high. In order to generate income at a lower cost, the engineers ...

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