Pre=baked dev machine for arduino and chipkit

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Pre=baked dev machine for arduino and chipkit

Postby Doug Coulter » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:52 am

Edit - Jonathan Saunders (who I suppose I should add to the members here) is now kindly hosting this file (2.5 or so GB) on his server. Go easy on him. My ISP claimed over 200 download attempts before I even shared the link and took this site down.
Lies, but who knows? NSA or someone needs that many? They can't copy in-house?. Then dropbox downed me after two downloads (took away my permission to share) - too much BW they say (eg half a netflix single movie...). Go figure.

I've built a virtual box "appliance" for doing dev work on arduino ahd chipkit parts. I needed it as I'm a linux house, and the 64 bit versions of the IDEs don't work on 64 bit opsys - and I'm running low on 32 bit ones around here. I'd be most grateful if someone would download this and try it - it was a bear to get up there (warning, it's large - 2.7 gb). I have tested it here and have tried it not only on a couple of machines, but on a couple of versions of VB, 4.2.28, and 4.3. In my experience, later versions eat instances created by earlier ones with no problems. You will of course need their extension pack to get USB support (all my machines recognize plugged in dev kit boards no problems), and don't forget to install the guest additions.

And the usual stuff if you're new to VB - add yourself to the vboxusers and dialout groups. You can get VirtualBox here: and get it before Oracle messes it up, is my reccomendation, it's pretty good for the bucks (which are zero, but its still pretty good). History of Oracle screwing up open source is long and speaks for itself. This is good because they didn't write it, and haven't messed with it much so far. If your basic network is like mine, you may have to fiddle some of the settings to make the default NAT work (which uses the other non-routable network address base). I didn't add a shared folder, as I don't know what you might want to share (which does this despite wrong network settings, somehow). It's not hard to do in the VB settings. I usually have a "public" directory shared for easy xfer of things around the campus here. Don't forget to add the "guest additions" in VB for this image.

The "user" is doug, with password dingdong. Yeah, it's dumb - on purpose, but you should be able to change all that easily with the control center users and groups software to suit.

I've found no matter the version - and I've not yet determined where the fault lies here - don't respond well to the IDE window being resized (try and see). This could be the linux JRE, or poor Java code in the IDE's - no idea (but seeing as how these IDEs are in general - lacking features every other decent one has - I'd bet on the latter). Thie fix, which I've not yet applied for this, is to edit the config file for the ide and change the default window size (and maybe the font if you have old eyes like I do) there, for your desired display resolution, and just have it come up a reasonable size.

This has my data aq for both arudino uno and the PC built in - you only have to burn an arduino and hook it up to stuff, and type "adaq" at any command prompt to get data logging and realtime rolling plots of 10hz sampling of the a/d inputs and two counters. More to come on that. There is also a chipkit project or two, involving web serving with either a WF32 (preferred since it has 4x the memory at the same total price) or an Uno32 + wifi shield. The latter was running out of rom and ram before I quite have what I had in mind (a max32 might be fine, but still would cost more than the WF 32 and not all be on one board). they now are selling a "WiFire 32" that looks quite a bit faster and larger for 10 bucks more, but still don't give libraries for most of the new cpu hardware at all. Even though the WF32 has separate SPI ports for both wifi card and SD card - they use the standard arduino libs as far as I can tell and just bit bang what could be going 25 mhz instead...duh. No support for the special feature of the a/d, the dma controller and so on - we'll have to roll our own to get what even this chip has.

I used the latest LTS verson of Mint-mate for we people who like the more traditional interface, eg menus, taskbars you can put shortcuts on - discoverability, rather than this modern rush to make everything look and work like a tablet, even if it's for machines that have large, non touch sensitive displays, keyboards, and mice, which many of us consider a bad fit for our use case (yes, I'm looking at you, cannonical, microsoft, apple). While I admit it's a minority, some of us actually do real things on our machines and like doing it with real machines and opsys that are designed for the hardware UI components we actually have (like non touch sensitive 24" displays I can't even reach with my toes).

My motivation here was to avoid feeping creaturism and change in my tooling for doing uP stuff with these particular uP systems. With a Virtual box machine, backup is a file copy, it can move or exist in multiple hosts...lots of advantages. At least on this machine, a rather pimped out Intel NUC i5, this runs like the wind, and isn't any more shabby than native even on my 32 bit 10+ year old laptop (which is about to die I suspect).

I did download and install a few libraries for special hardware for the two lines of uP's and have tested those, along with a bit of documentation on them. I also added a couple useful shortcuts in firefox and put adblock on it for your browsing pleasure. I didn't add qalculate or other good calculator, as I didn't want this any bigger for download, or gedit, which is my more-favored way of looking at lots of C++ code, but you can. Dittto no bloated C++ IDE other than the ones for these uP's - you've got plenty space to add those if you prefer. You can probably add ram and cores to these machines, as well as increase the virtual disk space if you like - I have on other ones, this just didn't need it for this job = VB seems to handle that pretty well and easily once you get going with it.

Enjoy, and give me some feedback. The upload on my crappy ADSL took all night and a few automated retries...if there's a bit error, I'd like to know about it.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Doug Coulter
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:05 pm
Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

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