Monday, August 18, 2014

BBBrevC Up Close & Personal [& Google sucks]

[Wow.. OK I guess I am stuck with reusing images that I uploaded from the computer since Google needs to bully me into using their app to upload an image from my iOS device. What ever happened to the web acting the same everywhere? Not according to Google it seems.  I am not able to upload images right from the the we page anymore.  Way to break the website.  First YouTube & now this - is there anything that Google can't Ruin?]

Well enough of that ^ crap because I am still extremely excited about acquiring my new BeagleBone Black rev C!  It came with Debian GNU Linux 7 pre-installed.  I looked for & found perl, python, ruby & C++.

Since you can access all of the GPIO's directly through the file system - it is actually very exciting to start fiddling around with this thing because of how easy that will be.  Aside from just having another computer around (with no monthly hosting fee attached) this thing shows tremendous promise in terms of being put to work to do something around here.  Maybe even something ::gasp:: practical.

What I see as the hidden feature of the BeagleBone, as well as the other devices in the attached graphic (Raspberry Pi & Arduino) is the standardization of the footprint for building peripherals.

It works like this:

I have the BBBrevC and I plug in my breadboard to it & start building away.

When I have something that works that I like then I want to make a more permanent copy.

I can then do a point to point prototype or a hand-built PCB and attach connectors on my board so that it plugs into the pin-out strips on both sides of the BBB.  (These are often referred to as 'headers'.)

The next logical step is to etch your own board that stacks on top of the BBB.  This is referred to as a "cape" for BeagleBones or a "shield" for Arduinos. (I don't know if "plate" is settled jargon for RaspBerry Pi or not..)

The standard builds itself around the interface - the headers define the compatibility standard.

[Incidentally, I ended up finishing this entry using a desktop.  Google seems to have intentionally broken their own product so that it requires more of their products to function.  I thought that was only something that Microsoft & Oracle did but I guess Google is now firmly in the "Got Evil?" camp.]

Here is the photo of my setup complete with a plastic case, USB to miniUSB cable, HDMI-HDMImini adapter, 5v 2amp DC power supply, mini SD card with adapter, usb to serial pin adapter for bypassing the bootloader, and a nickl & a sharpie for scale.  As you can see it is small.

"Credit Card sized" in terms of two dimensional shape is spot-on.  Even in the plastic box that I bought for it it is roughly the same size as my wallet.

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