Channels ▼

Mike Riley

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

March Modness

March 01, 2009

Last summer, I reviewed a modular embedded system for hobbyists, educators and tinkerers called the BUGbase developed by Bug Labs.  Reader feedback prompted additional interest in more programmable, relatively inexpensive embedded hardware systems.  I have spent some time taking a look at a couple of these solutions and will be sharing my experiences with them throughout this month.  Read on for more details.

While the Bug Labs product remains the most approachable to programmers due to its Java interface and relatively easy API, several readers suggested I take a look at less expensive systems that could provide an adequate level of programatic control and flexibility to become more familiar with introductory embedded system development.  After evaluating many of these alternatives, I have narrowed my coverage selection down to the following choices:

Gumstix Overo Earth: I'll take a look at the newest and one of the most sophisticated Gumstix motherboards available today.

Gleason Research Handy Board System: Primarily designed for educators and industrial design prototyping, the Handy Board system and related products provide a wide variety of embedded application opportunities to explore.

Arduinos Pro: I will share my experiences with both the standalone Arduino board (available from various suppliers such as Spark Fun) as well as O'Reilly's Arduino Starter Kit.

Bug Labs BUG: I will revisit the Bug Labs BUG which now features a new OS update and new BUG modules including BUGsound and BUGvonHippel.

There were a few others I saw online but didn't have the opportunity for a hands-on evaluation.  These include such offerings as the Beagle Board and the Virtual Cogs VC21 Portable Computing Kit (their website was not responding last time I checked).  I mention them here for sake of recognizing that other alternatives exist besides the four choices I will be covering each week throughout the month of March.

Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 


Video