Building Linux images for ARM architectures

Want to try your hand at building a Linux package for an embedded device? [SnowBot] decided to give it a try and set out to build Ubuntu for a GumStix. The single-board computer will cost you about $150 to get started, plus a way to connect to the device’s serial port. But once you’ve got your hands on it there is a lot of power in a tiny package.

He’s using the RootStock package to assist in the build. This is a suite of tools that generates the root file system that can be loaded onto an SD card for use with the Gumstix. It’s not quite building from the ground up, but there’s already enough hoops to jump through that this package is a welcomed shortcut.

Already rolling your own Linux packages for embedded hardware? We want to hear about it.

BeagleBoard Cluster

What do you do after you make a BeagleBoard graphing calculator? [Matt] over at Liquidware Antipasto made a BeagleBoard Elastic R Cluster that fits in a briefcase. Ten BeagleBoards, are connected to each other though USB to ethernet adapters and a pair of ethernet switches connected to a wireless router. The cost for this cluster comes in around $2000 and while consuming less than 40 watts of power, out-paces a $4500 laptop. How might you use this cluster? What improvements would you make? [Read more...]

Head-mounted computer with Linux, WiFi


Most wearable computers we’ve seen feature a head-mounted display tethered to a small PC system in a backpack or worn on a belt. Here’s a slick little system that does away with the cord, fitting the entire system in the glasses.

[Pascal Brisset’s] WXHMD is based on the tiny Gumstix Overo Fire computer-on-module which features a beefy, 3D-capable OMAP processor that runs Linux. The Gumstix is interfaced with a Vuzix VR920 head-mounted display that includes a three-axis accelerometer and compass. Tying these together is a custom video digital-to-analog converter board of [Pascal’s] own design, created using direct-to-PCB inkjet printing techniques. For less than $1,000 total in parts, the result is a spatially aware six ounce computer, with display and battery and all, that fits neatly over the bridge of one’s nose.

It’s a fantastic hack and a nicely documented project, though even the device’s creator himself questions whether having a pair of microwave transceivers and a LiPo battery strapped directly over one’s eyes and brain is such a good idea.

[thanks w3pt]

Pandora dev unit unboxed


[skeezix] has got his hands on one of the first Pandora dev kits to make it out the door and took a few photos. This is 1 of the 20 MK2 devboards that were produced. Although, not final it certainly is close to the version they’ll be shipping. Pandora is a Linux based portable game console. The main chip in the clamshell device is a TI OMAP3530. It has OpenGL hardware acceleration and an 800×480 touchscreen. A QWERTY keyboard is included along with analog and digital game controls. WiFi, bluetooth, USB host, TV-out, and dual SDHC card slots round out the package. The team has already presold 4000 devices.

Peek email reader teardown

[morcheeba], who you should remember from CVS camera hacking, picked up a Peek and took some pictures while tearing it down. The Peek is a $100 QWERTY device with a simple OS designed only to check email. The device is being sold by T-Mobile with a $19.95/mo data plan. There’s nothing too spectacular to see other than 16MB of flash memory and a TI OMAP processor.

[via Make]