So I was reading not too long ago in EETimes that Real Time Operating Systems were listed as one of their top embedded skills to know for 2015/2016 (full text: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1325557&page_number=1), and given some of the embedded projects I got involved with, I can't necessarily disagree.

Looking around at the different options, I saw a trend leaning toward FreeRTOS, VxWorks (Wind River), and TI-RTOS. There are a few others with comparable popularity. Basically, I'm looking for a good introductory project to get started with; using just one of the major RTOSes. Has anyone had any experiences with these?
I don't know much about RTOSes, but I do know that the Particle Photon will be (is?) using FreeRTOS for something.
My first (and so far, only) experience with RTOSes was working with TI's Launchpad and their Energia IDE a handful of months ago when I was building our Whack-a-Mole demo for World Maker Faire 2015, and subsequently also tried (unsuccessfully) to port CalcDCC to the Launchpad. I'm a bit sad that even embedded programmers will have an OS between them and the hardware, but I'd imagine that there will still be some class of engineers that gets to work right up against the hardware until we reach the point where AIs can write OSes for us (or more realistically, where our high-level-language compilers are as good or better than humans at everything). Razz
Between Particle Photon, MSP43x chips, and some ARM devices I had in mind for a starting point, it looks like there are plenty of good RTOS options. To start with, I'll probably focus on a free, open-source RTOS; and table the proprietary ones (VxWorks, Micrium ┬ÁC/OS-III/II, Integrity) until I have more of handle (pun!) on what they can do.

About the new layer of OS between the programmer and the hardware: I've noticed this too. I guess with the gradual progress toward IoT, this will continue. And lately, there's been a rush of "system-on-chip/lab-on-chip" devices in the news that include mixed signal processing, USB, and LCD all on one processor.

Right now, I have a LaunchPad with MSP430G2 (16-bit, 16Mhz, with ADC). It would be really cool to do something like a temperature logger project using TI-RTOS or FreeRTOS; and then scale it up afterward with maybe Wifi or Bluetooth.
Well, no major progress here. The MSP430 works quite well for basic uses, but for RTOS I decided to jump into MSP432 programming with the MSP432P401R Launch Pad. This launchpad is not only apparently compatible with both Energia and Code Composer Studio, but works with the multi-threading examples included with them.

One of the interesting features I'm hoping to try in the Code Composer IDE is the EnergyTrace feature. This is a feature that will graphically plot IC power consumption estimates while you step through your programming in the IDE. Anyway, the package should arrive later this week.
I'm taking the eDx 6.03 embedded systems class, and it sounds like the Professors who are teaching that one are working on one for systems with an RTOS. This may be the book that is used.

http://www.amazon.com/Embedded-Systems-Real-Time-Interfacing-Microcontroller/dp/1514676583/ref=pd_sim_14_5?ie=UTF8&dpID=511vLeGYI9L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR130%2C160_&refRID=0RGMDKCJ6BYMGASE2Z81
Yeah! That might be the way to go! $48.95 seems like a good buy for all the subjects it covers (and 500+ pages). I'll hopefully get to fire up the launchpad this weekend.
Yessssss! The TI MSP432 Launchpad is here and seems to be working. I'll give it a shot this weekend. Oddly enough, the board model number doesn't appear in the list of devices for my Energia MT version. I'll have to find out what that's about. I'll give it a shot in Code Composer Studio since I heard the code examples there are pretty good. Then I'll revisit the Energia examples.

  
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