Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Angstrom, Cloud 9, Oh My!

Well after a lot of troubleshooting with Windows, I finally managed to get the BeagleBone recognized on my Windows 7 computer (Vista wont see it at all no matter what I do). So as a storage device, it works. Next I tried to access it via serial via Putty, and that didnt seem to be working. Windows couldnt find the com port! So without the com port, I couldnt access Cloud 9 IDE to do python development, and try the sample code that turns an LED on and off.

Fortunately, I found the solution. Since all the drivers you install are not signed, you have to reboot your system, then before Windows boots (but after your BIOS screen shows), hit F8 a few times, and you'll load into the Windows boot options. Select 'Disable Unsigned Driver Enforcement' and continue. Once Windows loads up (and you login), the COM port should be visible in your hardware manager. Screenshot of F8 screen shown below (Vista and Win 7 have the same screen).

Picture acquired here.
Find out what number it is, then use Putty to login to the BeagleBoard, using the standard settings given on the BealgeBone site: '115200' bits per second, '8' data bits, 'None' parity, '1' stop bits, and 'none' flow control. That gets you into the Angstrom Linux shell. It takes a few minutes, but once it loads, login as root, and bam you're in.

One thing I noticed was once I logged in as root, I could now visit all the links that the BeagleBone Instructions talk about:

BeagleBone 101 presentation -

This application is largely self explanatory. The source can be edited using the Cloud9 IDE. The application is 'bone101.js'.

GateOne -

For documentation, please visit the on-line GateOne Documentation. Note: This installation might be a bit slow, but we are actively working on improving this with the author. 

Cloud9 IDE -

This development environment supports direct execution of JavaScript via Node.JS. Visit for information on programming in Node.JS. The IDE is pre-populated with the source and demos of the BoneScript project.

So, once you have access to Cloud 9 IDE, all you have to do is load the sample program and then run it. You should see one of your LED's on the board start blinking. I havent figured out which pin is the other LED that comes on, but Im quite sure Im supposed to supply the LED. I'll post when Ive got that figured out.

I'll probably post a couple more tutorials on my progress with this board, as there is absolutely nothing on the internet to help anyone along (videos arent the same as instructional tutorials). So if anyone has any questions for me, please ask away, and I'll try to answer as best as I can.

Edit: If for some reason you have to turn off the computer, then remember F8 on the startup, and then once you're logged into Windows, restart the BeagleBone, by hitting the little reset button on the board. Give it some time (about 5 minutes) to reboot, and it should be good to go. You'll have to eject the BeagleBone drive again if you want to start development on the Cloud 9 IDE or on Angstrom.

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