Hi, all -
I've decided to self-tutor in the area of embedded Linux. (I have embedded
experience, and some Linux experience, but not together). I was thinking of
getting a beaglebone for experimentation. I can't be more specific, because
I don't know what I want to yet, other than learn some new skills.
I have a few questions, if you please:
1. is the beaglebone platform a reasonable choice?
For what ? If you mean cost effective way to self teach embedded Linux.
2. is there a particular model I should favor?
A what ?
3. in the old days, we needed special devices (like flashers) for
downloading programs. Do I need anything like this to use the board?
No. You download or create a Linux image yourself. Copy it to sdcard, and
either run that or use it to copy files to the eMMC.
The questions you're asking are subjective and rather broad. Which honestly
most of what you're asking is something you're going to have to determine
The beaglebone is much like the Raspberry Pi. In that it runs Linux, and is
able to communicate with, and have an effect on devices connected
externally. So either would work. However, where the beaglebone differs in
the shear amount of I/O it's cable of. The hardware is far more open, and
the beaglebone though it's amm335x processor has two PRU's( Programmable
Real-time Unit ).
So where the Raspberry PI may have the advantage with "ease" of use in some
cases. The beaglebone is far more flexible( in my opinion ). You can roll
your own Linux image, thanks to Robert Nelson's eewiki guide, and customize
to your heart content. The PRU's can handle a lot of Real-time tasks as
well, without Linux getting in the way. So if you need something
deterministic, the PRU's are probably what would be handling that task. All
while communicating with Linux through . . . well most likely a set portion
of memory in one way or another.
The Raspberry PI( rPI 3 in my own case ) is a pretty cool piece of
technology to play with. But if you're serious about embedded Linux, with a
very open hardware( and software ) model. Then the beaglebone is the place