New Micros TiniArm 2131 Woes is now happily running on CentOS 4.1 and Apache 2. I’ve posted the source and changelog to the new mod_virgule code. Hmmm… what’s next?.

I ran into trouble with the TiniArm 2131 board. The recommended flash programmer is proprietary software from Philips that only runs on Windows. After a little searching online, I found lpc21isp written by Martin Maurer that compiles on Linux and might work, however it’s not licensed under a Free Software or Open Source license. I don’t understand people who release copyrighted source code without some sort of a clear license defining how you’re allow to use their code. In this case, I skipped it and moved on. Then I discovered that Paul Stoffregen had written a GTK+ based flash programmer for the Philips line of ARM processors called lpc2k_pgm. It’s licensed under the GNU GPL and it compiles and runs just fine on my Fedora-based laptop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet support the LCP2131 chip. I don’t have the time to add support so I emailed Paul and New Micros. They’re going to loan him a board in exchange for adding support to his software. That’s good news even if it means my TiniARM experiments will be on hold for a little while.

DPRG Website gets a New Look

I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks helping with a major renovation of the DPRG website. Susan created some new graphics and we came up with a nice, simple layout. We’re using 100% XHTML 1.0 and CSS for the new site. So far it works great in both Mozilla and IE. Opera is a bit flaky when it comes to rendering W3C standard CSS but it’s maybe 90% there. The hard part is just the sheer number of pages and images. There is around 150MB of content on the site and it’s still very much a work in progress.

All the work on the DPRG website has sucked me back into the hardware side of robotics. I’ve got two new toys to play with. I went by New Micros, Inc. last week and picked up an IsoPod development kit and an MCORE board. The IsoPod is an based on a Motorola DSP5680x DSP that provides 40MIPS of processing power
and a ton of I/O on a tiny little board. To fully utilize it requires the use of IsoMax, a new FSM-based realtime programming language that New Micros developed. Since I’m a diehard C programmer, I also picked up the MCORE. With a 16bit Motorola MMC2107 M*CORE processer
running at 33MHz, it’s not nearly as powerful as the IsoPod but gives me the advantage of working in a familiar language. Well, I should say it will give
me that advantage once I prod GCC into compiling code for it. New Micros only provides Forth for the MCORE. But GCC 3.2 supports MCORE as a target, so
I’m trying to get a Linux-to-MCORE cross-compiler working. Should be interesting. Motorol created a Windows-to-MCORE cross compiler using a much older version of GCC, so I know it should be possible. And both New Micros and Motorola have offered technical assistance. I’ll provide more details on it as I progress.

Susan has a new claim to fame. She has for a while maintained what is probably the best online discography of Robert Shaw’s work to be found. As it turns out, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus seems to agree. Their discography Link now points to Susan’s page. I think this means she now maintains the official Robert Shaw Discography.