[My] Embedded Workshop

Having Fun Kernel Debugging on my old Netbook

I’ve been up all night with this and I’m quite tired right now, which is funny because It all started as a sophisticated form of procrastination.
My netbook, an HP mini 210-4000(n2800 Atom CedarView processor, 4GB of RAM), has been with me for almost 3 years (yeah, I bought it waay after they were replaced and forgotten by everyone), and since day One I’ve been running Linux on it (to perpetuate the meme, yeah, I use Arch Linux).
Even though the processor is very weak by almost any standard, after maxing out the RAM to 4(3)GB and replacing the hard drive with an SSD, it became everything I needed for work (I just need the GNU toolchain for my MCU of choice, vim, and firefox).
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Running current Linux on an “old” ARM board from scratch

Overview and Goal
Here’s my final project for the course “EECS_X497.10: Fundamentals of Embedded Linux”.
The project consists in bringing up an ‘old’ ARM board and getting it to boot a modern version of Linux. The board chosen for this project is the ‘Cosmic Board+’ developed by Phytec in 2013. It’s based around a NXP Vybrid SoC, VF6xx family. This Soc features 2 cores, one ARM Cortex A5 running at 500MHz, and a Cortex M4 running at 167MHz, 256MB DRAM and 512MB Flash. It features board support for several peripherals , such as 2xUSB 2.0, 1x RS-232 UART, 10/100 Ethernet, micro HDMI, and a high count header(2x60pin expansion connectors) with several SPIs, I2Cs, ADCs, and GPIOs.
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USB: First Steps

Let’s see. first of all, I’ve really failed with this blog idea. I actually thought that I could be more proactive about it, not too much but to at least have half a dozen posts up to now.
The fact that this is basically the second post of the year is just sad. Well, with the self-deprecating section of this post over, I’d like to start ASAP with the important stuff.
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ESP8266: A [not so] Quick Overview[/tutorial]

I will explain here an overall view of my experience with the esp8266, using the nodeMCU platform. It might be useful as reference.

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Some background (Part 1 of x)

Hello to whoever is reading this.

Later this week, I’ll start posting actual project development here, so just as a quick preview about what you will be seeing here, I will write a little bit about myself and the types of projects I’m interested.

Let’s see. To begin with I’m an electrical engineer, and since those days at the university I’ve been interested in embedded systems, be it hardware design or embedded software.

When I had ‘Introduction to Digital Systems’ during my second year, I was introduced to my first microprocessor, the classic Intel 8051, and I remember that day vividly. I loved that course. We used during the course a development board which had the Atmel 89C5131A-1M chip, basically an 8051-based microcontroller from Atmel with the following specs (copied from the datasheet here) :

• 4K Bytes of In-System Reprogrammable Flash Memory
– Endurance: 1,000 Write/Erase Cycles
• Fully Static Operation: 0 Hz to 24 MHz
• Three-Level Program Memory Lock
• 128 x 8-Bit Internal RAM
• 32 Programmable I/O Lines
• Two 16-Bit Timer/Counters
• Six Interrupt Sources
• Programmable Serial Channel
• Low Power Idle and Power Down Modes

So there you have it, a very nice 8-bit processor. 4KB of flash and 128bytes of RAM!!!, with that obviously you had to like your assembly language a lot if you wished to deliver anything useful, and so I did. Those were good times indeed.

It had some extra peripherals as well. Besides those 2 16-bit timers, this board’s version of the chip came with an SPI module, and an I2C module as well.

Let’s talk about the development board now. I happen to have a photo of that same first board here:
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Let’s try this!

As the title says, I will finally try this development blogging project as originally intended.

A little background first. I created this site 6 months ago to do exactly this. I wanted to do it at that time but I just didn’t have enough focus to continue the idea. I regretted that a lot, so this is my second take, let’s see how does it goes this time.
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this is an all new test

the following is source code:

#include <stdio.h>
int main(void){
  printf("hello world\n");

A frequent problem when using codes within your post is the quotes auto-correction feature of WordPress, mostly known from word processing software. By default, when serving a web page, WordPress converts the “straight” quotes into the opening and closing “curly” quotation marks according to your WordPress installation language set in the wp-config.php file. Note that the auto-correction (also called smart quotes) feature is applied regardless of whether you have written the quotes in visual or HTML post editor.
In HTML post editor, you can avoid this problem by wrapping the quotes with the <code>, <tt> or <pre> tags. Other solution is replacing quotes with their respective character entities, e.g. using:

First Post

Fast-testing blog appearance with posts.

lets try some snippets:

//this is just a test

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