When the microcontroller hangs due to a spike, EMI or RFI etc. the 7555 will reset the uC, if proper power supply design is done above circuit can also give a clean power on reset, the above circuit you should modify to suit your design.
80C39-8749 MCS-48 Examples and code
Better still use a uC with watchdog built in like some atmel chips, or use the watchdog chips from maxim which can also do RAM battery management.
The circuit was developed over a old TI application note, 7555 i think fairchild may be making it, 7555 is CMOS version of 555 timer, advantage of 7555 is that it can go to higher frequency, low power consumption, the disadvantage is its output drive mA is not as good as 555. now why i put it here was that you can see how charge and discharge paths are separated with diodes.
See Larger Circuit. 555 Watchdog
Edit the circuit eagle cad file del00013.zip,
This is the Analog front end of the 80C39 Process Controller. The analog input is protected by a Zener barrier, low leakage. You could use clamping diodes too.
The non-inverting low-offset amp offers high input impedance. After further amplification it reaches the VCO LM331. The pulse train from the VCO reaches the uC port and is gated and measured by the MCS48 firmware. The voltage is deduced from the Frequency or Pulse width.
You can get a resolution near to a 8-10 bit A/D converter. It does not work for negative voltages. It is a low cost Voltmeter or Process Display solution.
80C39 and MCS48 based Process Controller is the main circuit that has the LED 7 segment display for output and push keys for input.