Acknowledgements and thanks
There are many individuals, colleagues, students and graduates from our
BSc Computing for Real-time Systems degree, who have contributed to this
text, directly or indirectly. In particular I would like to thank a colleague
Bob Lang who generously provided detailed, technical reviews of all the
chapters, based partly on his own commercial experience working with real-
time systems. Also, Craig Duffy tolerating the repeated requests to read
drafts and responded with a sustained counterstream of cross-development
news from his Linux porting activities. In addition, I have enjoyed useful
discussions on many real-time topics with Richard Barry, Adam Budd, Andy
Clymer, Mark Cridge, Tony Gibbs, Will Skinner, and Rob Voisey. They may
recognize their influence in some parts of the book.
The duckshoot game, among many other ideas, was lucidly explained to
me many years ago by Jonathan Bromley, and it has survived to provide an
intriguing programming exercise. I must also warmly thank my colleagues
Jeff Graham, Nigel Gunton, Ian Johnson, Peter Martin, Laurence O’Brien
and Chris Wallace for engaging so generously in technical discussions and
accepting the regular outbreaks of author’s obsession.
There are too many students to mention individually, but throughout
the past 20 years, they have trusted us with their careers by enrolling onto
our BSc Computing for Real-time Systems degree. Fundamentally, it is their
good humour and continuing curiosity which provided the spur for this text.
The best reward for any teacher is to see students progress and develop their
technical confidence, leading to successful graduation and rewarding careers.
I must also once again give praise to Brian Kernighan for his wonderfully
small pic language, which I used to construct all the line diagrams throughout
the book. The original text was edited with emacs and the formatting was
all carried out using groff from Richard Stallman’s GNU suite. It was here
that I discovered the fun of using pic to code diagrams. I would also like
to thank Richard Stallman for the guidance he generously offered concerning
the General Public License which is discussed in Section 9.13.
The book would not have been possible without the energy and per-
sistence of the editors, initially David Hatter, and latterly Alfred Waller
xii Acknowledgements and thanks
at Elsevier. Many thanks to them both for their patient encouragement
throughout, and also to Deborah Puleston for her flawless and patient editing.
Finally credit and thanks to the my wife Val, who several times struggled
through the draft text, in a heroic effort to eliminate my worst grammatical
errors. Apologies to our cat Cassie who has not yet forgiven my purchase of
a flat panel screen, removing her favourite warm perch on top of the CRT.
I witnessed her discouraging encounter with modern technology as she
teetered on the top edge of the new LCD panel, and then slowly, silently
toppled backwards onto my keyboard.
Dr Rob Williams

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