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Building a ARM cross toolchain

Projects like Emdebian and Linaro provide good, pre-packaged ARM cross compilers but cross compilers for bare metal are still a bit of a mess. The CodeSourcery ARM Lite Edition is a really good bet. There’s the ridiculous crosstool-NG. My favourite is summon-arm-toolchain which is a nice, readable shell script that handles the download and multi-stage [...]

Simple firmware library for the STM32

LeafLabs have a nice little STM32 firmware library up on GitHub called libmaple. It includes drivers for a range of the STM32 peripherals including the ADC, SPI, Timers, UART, and USB. There’s a couple of nice things here: the drivers are very thin and not as over-engineered as the ST Standard Peripheral Library, and there’s [...]

Coworking in Christchurch

I’m quite keen on the coworking idea – small businesses sharing space with others working in similar areas. Great if you want someone to talk to or bounce ideas off. Two different ones have popped up on mailing lists recently: Epicentre for ~$350 a desk Clarus for ~$500/10 m^2 The Canterbury Innovation Incubator is along [...]

ARM performance

I recently purchased a couple of KwikByte KBOC_BB2 OMAP3530 based development boards. I was a bit surprised how slow it was to do a native build of FFmpeg but, after a bit of reflection, it does all add up. The following tests are for a sample size of one, and therefore aren’t very scientific, but [...]

Announcing wrdk

I’m happy to announce wrdk, a development kit for the WikiReader. wrdk is a pre-built toolchain, libraries, set of examples, and simple serial loader that makes developing applications for the Openmoko WikiReader a little bit easier. Included is fairly high level access to most of the hardware including the file system, LCD, buttons, and touch [...]

Pong on the WikiReader

I’ve been working on a simple development kit for the Openmoko WikiReader. I’d like to get a win32 build up and going before releasing it, but here’s a bit of a teaser until then: My son and I made this in a couple of hours. There’s a blitting glitch when the ball hits the right [...]

Bouncing a ball on the WikiReader

One of my standard ‘hello world’ applications is bouncing a ball around the screen. Here’s a video of the WikiReader version: The rig at the top is a 3.3 V serial level converter that hooks into the debug connector. The WikiReader boots a small serial loader from the SD card so that I can quickly [...]

Cracking the WikiReader open

Pictures of a cracked-open WikiReader are (suitably) on the wiki

First steps on the WikiReader

It’s a small achievement, but I got my first application running on the Openmoko WikiReader. It’s a hacked version of their application that only displays a image and single line of text but, still, it’s a start: I can think of a range of uses for the device so far: A scrollable map with details [...]

Exercising a battery

I’ve had an enjoyable time today exercising a new Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery for a client. The enjoyable part was how well the tools came together and how little effort was involved in the end. The battery is a single cell 3.7 V with a 3500 mAh capacity. I charged it at 1 A using [...]