Unpacked Progear

After 691 days of not using Progear I unpacked it and got it running again. Why “691 days”? It was written by fsck during booting.

Progear support in OpenEmbedded is a bit updated now. New kernel (2.6.27) gives VESA frame buffer which finally utilize XGA resolution (in 2.6.19-rc5 it was VGA centered on screen). It still lack good AC/Battery support anyway. External modules which were used (progear-ac, progear-battery) do not build with current kernels (not strange as they were hacked ACPI modules) so I tried to write driver to get at least AC status. It works more or less.

I currently do not have any plans for this machine. Will use it to learn how to write ugly kernel drivers which probably no one will use (how many Progear users plays with current kernels?) and sooner or later it will go back to basement as other toys will need space on desk.

Bug Labs and their BUG device

Month ago I ended work for OpenedHand. Some people asked me what I am doing now, who is my client etc. Now I can write a bit about it.

I am working as contractor with Bug Labs Inc. to help them with their development of BUG Linux (which is based on OpenedHand’s Poky). Target device is BUG device which consists of BUGbase and BUGmodules (more on their website). Hardware is quite interesting (information copied from website):

  • ARM1136JF-S-based microprocessor
  • 1 USB 2.0 HS host interface/4 hub port connections
  • 1 USB OTG HS interface
  • 4 UART serial links
  • 4 channel SPI interface
  • I2C (400 kbits) interface/4 channels
  • I2S interface/2 channels
  • Smart LCD interface
  • Camera sensor interface
  • Micro memory card interface
  • MPEG4 hardware encoding/decoding
  • Hardware graphic acceleration
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC
  • Base unit LCD module interface
  • Base unit 128MB on-board memory (FLASH/DDR SDRAM)
  • JTAG/ICE support
  • Serial debug port
  • Power system
  • AC operation
  • Battery operation/up to 4 external batteries
  • Fast battery charging/simultaneous of internal and external batteries
  • Smart power management support
  • Battery-backed real-time clock
  • Audio out via on-board piezo speaker

And BUGbase has 4 slots for additional BUGmodules which can be hotplugged during use. Currently there are screen (with touchscreen), GPS, accelerometer + motion detector and 2Mpix camera modules. As i.mx31 cpu, which they use, supports two framebuffers two screens can be used at same time — I hope that will have occasion to play wit such setup ;D

Software side is other thing as it is Java based. Under it is normal GNU/Linux system (Poky based) but access to hardware is now based on Java components. Does it works with normal languages? No idea yet — will check when will get hardware to play with.

Generally it is interesting project and I hope that it will get more popularity as most of informations is open so (in theory) anyone can make own BUGmodule.

UPDATE: There is interesting article about BUG on linux.com website.