Wandboard update

Trying out a Wandboard for the first time and having Linux flashbacks! I flashed a micro SD Card with the Yocto linux image containing Qt5. I used the Raspberry Pi “Pi Filler” script to do that from my MacBook. Plugged in the micro SD card into the processor card (not the daughter card) of the Wandboard, added the HDMI cable to my Dell 27” screen, ethernet and USB to my Apple keyboard and mouse. Boots up fine to a graphical window, but no keyboard or mouse. No terminal.

Discovered that I could log in without password as root via ssh. Made sure to create a root password and user account.

Trying to get remote SSH X11 forwarding? Fired up X11 on my MacBook. Googled some help pages....
here and here.Ran the following on the Wandboard:


and from the Mac and an X11 terminal...

ssh -x root@wandboard

... I’m using lowercase ‘x’ and not uppercase... seem to recall this made a difference about 13 years ago at
CIM (they haven’t updated the website in that long, either, it appears) and the linux boxes in the fishbowl.

Now trying to run a graphical program remotely, but the standard xclock isn’t available, so I navigate over to /usr/games and fire up “inertia” and “slant” and “bridges”, but they don’t display on my MacBook... only on the Wandboard’s screen. I’m obviously not getting something... I’m rusty!

Alternatively, guess I could look into the
x11vnc server since it’s installed on the Wandboard card. It’s also described on this ArchLinux page and on Karl Runge’s page. Must figure out how similar or different it is to TightVNC. And a local client on the Mac? Supposedly I can use Screen Sharing.

i.MX board options for realtime OS

Looking into i.MX boards that could host an RTOS. Interesting...

Instructions on how to do it (en français) for the realtime linux Xenomai on RPi: (
OS build) and (cross compile tool build). Yocto instructions here.

The Wandboard, Mars Board,
RIoTBoard, Sabre Lite (Xenomai support)

Wandboard has a Yocto download that includes Qt5 support. Nice.

Yocto tutorials for i.mx are a good thing.

The LinuxCNC project is interesting...

The BeagleBoard has some community support for RTOS.

For RPi, I’ve been following these
steps, as well as these.

Deja-vu: QNX 6.6

I’m dabbling in QNX again. It’s been a few years since using QNX 6.1 on the PAW robot at McGill. Since speaking with the Blackberry and QNX folks at OUIT last year I’ve been contemplating how to start using QNX again. Well, I’ve got the QNX virtual machine running on VMWare player on a Windows 7, itself running on VMWare Fusion 5 on a MacBook Pro OS X 10.6.QNX 6.6 on Win7 in a virtual machine on a Mac.

Fritzing: an introduction

We’ve discovered Fritzing. Cool open-source program with a neat design paradigm.

The first problem we discovered is how difficult it is to add new parts to the Fritzing library. I think that there is some good intention behind their strategy of making it hard and regimented, but there has to be a more straight-forward way of adding parts.

We’re not the only ones trying to find a better way to make Fritzing parts. The “
Fritzomatic” project is pretty neat. Based on component.py I discovered that the Fritzing parts files (1. ‘part.%s.fzp’ ; 2. ‘svg.icon.%s.svg’ ; 3. ‘svg.breadboard.%s.svg’ ; 4. ’svg.schematic.%s.svg’; and 5. ‘svg.pcb.%s.svg’)

Nice surprise is discovering that the XML file contains tags.

First issue is how they’ve disguised the parts within “.fzpz” files. These are just special “.zip” files. They contain a
level 9 zip’d file. Have the parts files in a folder and want to combine them into a .fzpz file? Fire up the terminal, go into the folder with the parts in it and type

zip -9 MyPartFile.zip svg.schematic.MyPart_schematic.svg svg.pcb.MyPart_pcb.svg svg.icon.MyPart_icon.svg svg.breadboard.MyPart_breadboard.svg part.MyPart_1.fzp

and then

mv MyPartFile.zip MyPartFile.fzpz

FreeRTOS and the ChipKit uC32 board

I was wondering how quickly I could get a real time operating system up-and-running on the ChipKit uC32 board. Turns out that it only took about 30 minutes. FreeRTOS has a “port” that works on the PIC32mx360f512l when it’s mounted on the Explorer16 evaluation board from Microchip. That’s close enough to the ‘340 on the uC32 board. Here, I’m using MPLAB X v1.70 with XC32 v1.20 and FreeRTOS 7.6.0.

Here’s what I needed to do to get it working:

  1. Downloaded FreeRTOS from SourceForge. (version 7.6.0)
  2. Opened up the FreeRTOS/Demo/PIC32MX_MPLAB/RTOSDemo.X project
  3. Selected the ‘360 version of the project (see Fig. 1).
  4. Changed all references to the LEDs on PORT A to PORT E in the ParTest_Explorer16.c file. (see Figs. 2-4)
  5. Configured the project (right-click on the project name) to be the pic32mx340f512h processor and the PICKit 3 debugger.
  6. Compile and download to the ChipKit uC32 board via the PICKit 3.
  7. The first and second LEDs on the ChipKit Basic I/O shield should start blinking. LED 1 is less frequent than LED 2.

I haven’t tested anything beyond watching the blinky LEDs. Here’s a
video on YouTube. That’s good enough for now.

Fig. 1. Select the ‘360 version of the project

Fig. 2. One of the PORT A to PORT E changes that need to be made in ParTest_Explorer16.c.

Fig. 3. Another one of the PORT A to PORT E changes that need to be made in ParTest_Explorer16.c.

Fig. 4. Another one of the PORT A to PORT E changes that need to be made in ParTest_Explorer16.c.