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 Post subject: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:53 am 
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I'm a Raspberry Pi owner, which is still the one of the most affordable options for a powerful, single board computer.

I also stumbled upon this company: https://www.toradex.com/ It's more pricer though, but they some of the boards they sell are interesting.

Is anybody into these single board computers/embedded computers? Do you have resources and tips to share?

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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:22 am 
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I have a large amount of Arduino boards. They have a 8 bit Atmel AVR processer. They provide digital and PWM pins that can be programmed with software. They are cheap and reliable. They also have a 32 bit ARM board and a 32 bit x86 board, plus a board with two cpus. They can't run your standard OS, but are fun to play with. There website is at http://www.arduino.cc

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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:14 pm 
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No I never owned a small/embedded computer, unless you are counting smartphones for this thread. But I find them very interesting. I had thoughts about purchasing one.


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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:59 pm 
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I've played with a few PIC32(MIPS32)-based ones. There used to be a number of very affordable boards (and simple too) that could run BSD 2.11 and my compiler on it in 128KB of RAM. One guy used a PIC32 chip with less RAM (64KB) and fewer pins that one can easily solder to build a very simple game console and also run a primitive OS/shell and my compiler.


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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:53 pm 
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I've got a Raspberry 3 serving as a kind of SSH server; I like being able to log in from whatever system at whatever location, and find my familiar development environment just like I left it.

Recently I got myself a Raspberry 4 as well, which serves double duty as "laptop" (combined with a portable monitor, a power bank, and a BT keyboard), and web / media player (hooked up to the TV).

I didn't employ either in capacities like file server etc., because I have dedicated hardware for that purpose; I'm not really into stuff like programming robots etc., either. As they run Raspbian and sport plenty of RAM / CPU power, I am not sure if they really qualify as "small".

I could of course count my smartphone as a "small" computer, I'm using mine (running Termux) with the same keyboard I linked above. And yes, I am doing PDCLib development on my smartphone. ;-) Either through SSH on the Raspi 3, or locally (bash / vim / clang / gdb) if the connection is bad. That's why you see "#ifdef __ANDROID__" in some of the sources. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:43 pm 
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Solar wrote:
I could of course count my smartphone as a "small" computer, I'm using mine (running Termux) with the same keyboard I linked above.

Never heard of Termux, I'll have to try it :) .

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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:55 pm 
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I've screwed around with the Arduino and ESP8266, I personally am not that much of a microcontroller computer kind of guy but I still enjoyed using them. I also have a Raspberry Pi.


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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:33 am 
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nexos wrote:
Never heard of Termux, I'll have to try it :) .


Bash on Android. Complete with apt package manager and all. As simple as that, as great as that. 8) Do read the docs, there's much that isn't readily apparent just from looking at the app / shell. (Like the "proot" package providing "termux-chroot" to set up the non-standard Android environment "the proper way" for anything that expects e.g. includes in /usr/include and binaries in /usr/bin.)

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 Post subject: Re: Single board/modular/small computers
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:45 pm 
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Solar wrote:
I've got a Raspberry 3 serving as a kind of SSH server; I like being able to log in from whatever system at whatever location, and find my familiar development environment just like I left it.

An always-on personal server with remote login is great! :D

Solar wrote:
I could of course count my smartphone as a "small" computer, I'm using mine (running Termux) with the same keyboard I linked above. And yes, I am doing PDCLib development on my smartphone. ;-) Either through SSH on the Raspi 3, or locally (bash / vim / clang / gdb) if the connection is bad. That's why you see "#ifdef __ANDROID__" in some of the sources. ;-)

Cool. :) I have Termux and Gforth on all my Android devices. BBC Basic for SDL too; that's a surprisingly complete programming environment, but Gforth is a little more convenient. Also formerly Androwish (TCL/TK) and Inferno (a hosted OS), but they weren't so much fun. Gforth is being annoying with a slew of new short words causing redefinition message spam, so I'm considering building Pforth with SDL or maybe a modified FreeForth. Oh... I also have a more complete Linux chroot in USerLand, but don't really have a use for it. Bochs too, in the form of lBochs, but the port isn't quite comfortable; the app isn't in the app carousel so you have to switch to it via its notification. I should try the other port or see if there's a Qemu port, but I don't actually code on my tablet all that much. ... Can we even count Android devices as SBCs any more? :lol:

On the actual topic, (oops!) I have 3 BBC Microbits and an Arduino Mega. The microbits are medium-large microcontrollers: ARM core, 128KB flash-ROM and 16KB RAM. Unfortunately, I had one of my uber-tired phases after they were delivered and I haven't done anything with them. It's more convenient to work on my OS stuff in (desktop) Gforth anyway. I'm planning to get a new desk soon, or rather 2 corner desks. I'll have lots more room for all this.

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