Teaching BeagleBone to play with LIDD displays

[Chris] hasn’t managed to get his hands on a Raspberry Pi yet, so he ordered a BeagleBone and got down to business. He was surprised to find that there isn’t much info out there about using LIDD type displays with the hardware. This protocol is used in many of the 320×240 smart LCD modules on the market, so he hammered out his own drivers and is sharing the details.

The system is designed to run a Linux kernel and [Chris] has chosen to go with Angstrom. His journey started by working out how to compile and patch the kernel himself. From there it was just a matter of getting the pin mapping right, and compiling a driver (it sounds way too simple when put like that).

Apparently he’s pretty close to getting the X desktop environment up and running. No idea what he plans for the hardware, but we’re all for people sharing their work to make it easier for others. Thanks!

Twiddling an LED using the BeagleBone’s embedded Linux

If you comfortable working with 8-bit microcontrollers, the thought of moving to a hardware platform running embedded Linux may be a bit daunting. After all, there’s a lot going on between you and the chips on a board like the BeagleBone seen above. But [Matt Richardson] shows how easy it can be to get at the pins on this device. He put together a primer on hardware control from the embedded shell.

You will remember that the BeagleBone is the newest generation of the BeagleBoard. The ARM processor and other goodies make it a powerful tool, and those already familiar with Linux will be able to get up and running in no time. Just connect the board to your network and SSH into it to get started. [Matt] outlines this setup process in the clip after the break. He then hits the reference manual to find the pinout of the female headers on either side of the board. Each available I/O pin is mapped to the /sys directory and can easily be controlled by echoing your commands to the appropriate files. But [Matt] went a step further than that, writing his own Python library that implements Arduino-style syntax like the digitalWrite() function.

This example should give you enough of a shove to start porting your own libraries over for use with the device. Don’t forget to document your projects and tip us off about them. [Read more...]

Elegant wearable computer

[Jason Statham] [Martin Magnusson] wrote in to tell us about his adventure in building a wearable computer. The device in its current state is a Beagleboard running Angstrom Linux tethered to an iPhone for internet. A bluetooth keyboard allows for input, while output is displayed on monocle-ized Myvu. And last but not least, the entire setup is powered by 4 AA batteries for 3 hours of life.

Its not as small as some of the wearable computers we’ve seen before, but if you wanted to whip out your own it sure takes a lot less soldering.

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