So, I finally got myself a BeagleBone, courtesy of the lovely folks at Adafruit.
The BeagleBone is a relatively cheap Arm Cortex A8 Development board. With a pile of IO, and more busses than I am likely to ever need it was the obvious step up from the Arduino.
It comes with 256MiB of ram onboard, one USB Host port, one T10/100 ethernet port, and a Micro-USB port that breaks out a serial port for login as well as JTAG and some other storage functions. As well as a memory card preloaded with the latest Ångström distribution image.
After playing around for a couple of hours with Ångström, I decided to move across to Ubuntu to give it a try. Following this method, it didn’t take too long to get up and running. I did notice the processor getting fairly warm when compiling, no big surprise, so the heat-sink and risers are an attempt to combat that somewhat. Picked up from a local hobby store for <$10.
The first order of business was to test out IO. Using a multimeter and this great make article, running pyBBIO was trivial. So I decided to write my own library, in c++.
The first version [as yet incomplete] uses the debug files to control IO. Hopefully I will have some time around uni to finish this up in the near future, and branch to the next version in which I intend to write directly to the processor registers. We shall see how that goes.
The currently very incomplete code is available at: https://github.com/adonis2101/BeagleIO.
And now, now I am playing with OpenCV 2.4! Will keep you posted.