Wednesday 24 September 2008

THE MAGICAL BOARD



I want to share with you the information we got, about Beagle board from the program 'EMBEDDED LINUX TRAINING WITH BEAGLEBOARD. We missed the first session as we were a little late due to the traffic block in Banglore town.




Beagleboard is an Ultra low cost, high performance, low power OMAP3 based platform. I was amazed to see the functioning of that small board. It's a tiny 3"-3" USB powered board. Mr. Khasem an team demonstrated the working by connecting the standard input output devices to the board and showed us it's various functions. They played movies, music etc through that small board.




It's secondary memory is a 4GB SD card. It has 128Mb of DDR RAM and 256 MB NAND. We can connect any USB controlled device through it's high speed USB 2.0 OTG. There is port for connecting monitor, key board and other peripherals. It has also a TV out (S-Video) to connect it to the Television. It also provides a slot for stereo in and out.



In the after noon session they showed us how to make the board working. First they cross compiled the boot loaders u-boot and x-loader for the ARM processor. After that they started the cross compilation of linux kernel and drivers for the board.

The beagle board is intended for low power applications and don't require a complex embedded hardware development system. Instead, the beagle board uses standard, desktop computer peripherals.



They use open source softwares u boot and x loader as the boot loaders, Linux operating system and file systems. Free tools such as compiler for ARM and DSP and utilities to flash on board NAND are also available. The cost of this magic board is rs 9999/-.

India sales:
beaglesales.india@cranessoftware.com.

The important links given to us:

Complete Technical reference manual for OMAP3530 processor is open and freely accessible to all

http://focus.ti.com/general/docs/gencontent.tsp?contentId=36915

Software is made open and freely available to all,
*DSP LINK(for ARM-DSP communication),
https://www-a.ti.com/downloads/sds_support/targetcontent/link/link_1_50/index.html

*Validation software, Linux device drivers, latest kernel from GIT
http://code.google.com/p/beagleboard/wiki/BeagleBoardDiagnostics

* Linux drivers are being submitted to kernel.org mainline to be in sync with latest Linux kernels

More info on http://muru.com/linux/omap

*Board schematics
http://www.beagleboard.org/uploads/BBSRM_B5.pdf

*Tools

*DSP compiler
https://www-a.ti.com/downloads/sds_support/targetcontent/LinuxDspTools/download.html

*ARM compiler
http://www.codesourcery.com/gnu_toolchains/arm/portal/release313

Monday 22 September 2008

ONE DAY IN IISC BANGLORE


As usual Pramode sir told us about a program at Indian Institute of Science, Banglore. Some of us registered for the program and five of us, who got the confirmation mail started to banglore. Our transporter was a 2000 model Tata Indica DLS.



We started at 6 in the morning from our GEC. The first check point was Nilamboor. I was a little worried as I didn't have my driving license, I had only a copy and was not attested. But My brother managed to scan the license and mailed me and I took a print on the photo paper. We had food from a hotel at Vazhikkadavu, which is build on the side of a huge rock, we can see parts of rock inside the hotel.




We continued our journey. As we passed Vazhikkadavu we saw the beautiful mountains at Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. After a little drive from Vazhikkadavu , We entered the beautiful rain forests. I enjoyed driving through the zig zag roads inside the calm and beautiful forest. We saw the rare species 'SIMHAVALANKURANGU'. We stopped near a huge rock by the side of which is a small stream of the pure water from the deep forest.




Two hours drive through the forest, we reached Tamil Nadu check post where we had to stop for police checking. They searched our bags, and after that we bought s ome 'poovanpazham' and continued our journey through the high ranges.



The journey through the high ranges reminded me of our kodaikanal trip. It was so relaxing to drive through the roads in Tamil Nadu. After crossing a check post we entered into Mudhumala forests. Gudallur is a small town between Mudhumala forests and Bandhipur Tiger reserve. We expected to see some wild animals, but we saw only deers and monkeys.



We had to stop at the check post in TamilNadu-Karnataka border where we gave the officers some money(I don't know whether we can call it a bribe or not). They directly asked " intha kattil joli seyyarathu romba kashtam, nega ethavathu kodithittu pongo", I was wondered to hear this. And then ariyavunna thamil okke vachu adjust cheythu njan chodichu " sir naga intha oorukku puthusu, evalo venamnnu nenga sollungo". They asked for 50 rs a nd we gave them.



After that we entered Karnataka state and the condition of road was a bit pathetic till a small town. We reached Mysore by 5:30 pm. We got the Mysore AKA SHAVANI quarters which was more than enough for we five. From there we went to Devi's friends house, visited his old house and then to GOKUL Chat Center for having our dinner.



We started early in the morning from Mysore as our program registration starts at 9:00am. After a few kilometers through the Banglore -Mysore four line highway our car just passed through a hump in a speed of 80-90kmph. The engine foundation was broken, but anyway we managed to reach IISC by 10:00 am.



The program was already started, but only the self introduction section was the only part we missed.



The students were from IITs and NITs and some from othe r colleges in Banglore. They started the program by giving us an introduction about the free software philosophy. The next session was about the basics of GNU-linux. They demonstrated some basic commands in GNU-Linux.



I felt a little proud when some students asked doubts about the basic commands in GNU-Linux. After that they give an introduction to embedded systems, the OMAP Architecture and some details about the BeagleBoard.



We had delicious lunch from the IISC canteen, arranged by them. Afternoon session they demonstrated the working of BeagleBoard. I was wondered to see the way that small bord conects to the monitor, keyboard and other peripherals.



They first cross compiled the boot loaders U-BOOT and x-loader and then the Linux kernal and drivers for the ARM processor. By the time it's compiled, they told us about the different applications of beagle board. After that they showed a movie which is played from that board.



After that they had a group discussion, which me and Devi didn't atte nd as we want to repair our car.


We went through the Banglore town in search of a workshop. After a few minutes journey we find one and we bought the foundation from Shivagi Nagar which is similar to Pattalam in Trichur.



We started back to Mysore at 7:15pm. We reached there by 12:00. It's too risky and difficult to drive through the crowded roads in Banglore. And I noticed one thing, almost all bikes I saw there, the back seat was occupied by cute ladies :P.



And I saw a beautiful lady in an INNOVA at a traffic signal. She was holding a cigerate in one hand and driving with the other hand. She stopped her car next to our's, she opened the window, I was a bit restless seeing all these. But she didn't even notice us, just put the ash into the road and closed the window. I was shocked seeing all these. For the fi
rst time I saw a lady smoking.


We had a one and a half hours drive from Banglore to Mysore. We reached Mysore at 12:00 midnight. I fell asleep as soon as saw the bed.



We started back to Trichur at 9:00 in the morning. We had our breakfast from Hotel Mahesh Prasad. It was so delicious that I didn'l leave an inch of space in my stomach. We had Iddli smabar, vada sambara, set dosa , paper rost etc.



Our next check point was THAMARASSERY churam. It's really beautiful to see the mountains, thick forest and we saw the road by the side of mountains like a rope laid in a Zig zag manner over the montain. After that we stopped at kozhikode to have kozhikodan biriyani.



We reached Trichur at 7 in the evening. We all just enjoyed the trip and we missed Denny and Arun a lot through out the trip.

CIAO
Bristow

PS: I'm sry for such a long post.:)