Friday, December 12, 2008


[09:01:26] The SRM firmware, also referred to as the SRM console, is the boot firmware for computer systems based on the Alpha AXP microprocessor. The acronym SRM originated form the phrase Alpha System Reference Manual. The SRM console is capable of display on either a graphical adapter or a serial connection to a VT100-compatible terminal.

In the context of Beagle, the SRM refers to the System Reference Manual as was written by Gerald Coley and shared at

[09:07:51] A .tar file (Commonly referred to as a tarball) is usually compressed to save disk space. Tar (derived from tape archive) is both a file format and the name of the program used for handling tar files. It is commonly used to assemble collections of files into one larger file, while maintaining file system information.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


[13:49:16] PowerVR is a branch of Imagination Technologies. They develops hardware and software intellectual properties for 2D and 3D rendering, video encoding, decoding, and other related image processing. The PowerVR technology is aimed towards the low-power industry and can be found in many mobile devices.

[12:53:42] Crofton defined ML as "mail list" on December 10th, 2008.

Monday, December 8, 2008


From this point forward, I will name my post based on the days of the corresponding IRC logs, not the day that I create my post.

For Example: Instead of naming todays post 12/08/08 I will name it 12/06/08, because I am reviewing December 6th's IRC log.


[05:47:15] A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is commonly used for mass production purposes. It supports and connects electronic components by using conductive pathways etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It may also be refered to as a printed wiring board (PWB) or etched wiring board. A PCB populated with electronic components is a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA).

[17:07:59] There have been people who have had a touch screen working with the BeagleBoard.

[12:22:17] A QFN (Quad Flat No leads) is an integrated circuit (IC) package used on printed circuit boards. The package comes with an exposed thermal pad that increases thermal preformance by providing an efficient heat transfer path when soldered directly to the PCB.

[15:37:13] Koen said on 12/6/08 that the best way to use dsp through gstreamer is by using the CE gstreamer plugins.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beagle IRC questions: Answered

This is my first of many post to come regarding unanswered questions on the BeagleBoard IRC logs. The format will be as follows:

[link] answer and info.

* The link will be the reference to the question or issue. The "-name-" will be reserved for the person who answered the question/provided the information.

[18:16:02] Some SD cards do not work because the Beagle is 3Volts and some cards want 3.3Volts, even though 3Volts is within specs.

-Gerald Coley-

Also, some of the less expensive SD cards at Fry's (Patriot brand) have been known to have trouble booting. It seems that MicroCenter house brand cards work better.

-Bernie Thompson-

Sometimes faulty SD cards work if you reformat the SD card and recopy the information.
-Gerald Coley-

[19:32:11] Opkg error 2 occurs when there is either a network connection issue or a spelling error.

-Jason Kridner-

[08:02:49] If a RX line on beagleboard is having hardware problems, then RMA is the only way to fix it. You can check if it is bad by following the diagnostic page on the wiki.
-Gerald Coley-

[08:10:47] If you test the serial connection on the BeagleBoard and nothing echos in the terminal, then follow the test in the Rev B5 System Reference Manual. It will show you how to make sure that everything is correct, including your cables.

-Gerald Coley-

[11:30:38] TP22 is a test point that allows you to use a scope to see the RX signal from the level shifter to the serial port. You can find it by tracing the signals found in the layout files or by looking in the System Reference Manual's figure 78.

-Gerald Coley-

[14:42:21] [14:47:36] If the RX line of rs232 suddenly stops working, the TX line continues to work, and you are unable to send anything via the serial port, then it could mean that the level shifter has failed. To fix it you will need to request an RMA to get the board repaired. Further explanation and information can be found in the BeagleBoard Errata.
-Gerald Coley-

[18:16:42]Options for POP memory to go ontop of an OMAP include Elpida, Numonyx, Samsung, Qimonda, and Hynix depending on what is being looked for.

-Gerald Coley-

[18:17:10]Micron information is easily available. You can also contact Mr. Coley at . Micron is working on a public website and it should be up soon.
-Gerald Coley-

[12:13:30] The BeagleBoard does not have a back-up battery for the clock calendar. More detail can be found in the System Reference Manual.
-Gerald Coley-

[11:57:32] ID pins must be grounded in order for the USB OTG to go into host mode.

-Gerald Coley-

[17:01:56] There is a free OrCAD viewer you can use to that allows clear, magnified reading of the BeagleBoard schematics. Otherwise you can contact Gerald at and he can provide you with the PDF files.
-Gerald Coley-

[21:49:09] Some possibilties for PoP capable maufacturers include DDI, MEI, and Streamline.

-Gerald Coley-

[03:11:51] On some Rev B4s, epoxy may be found on the U9 chip (it may be easily mistaken as a burnt out chip). The epoxy was used in an attempt to help fix the U9/U11 issue, but was unsucessful. Such Rev B4s may not boot properly. If this is the case, follow the RMA process, send it back for repair, and it will be fixed.

-Gerald Coley-

[20:42:44] A beagleboard can NOT provide 1080P. 720P is the most that the BeagleBoard can support.
-Gerald Coley-

Monday, November 17, 2008


[18:55:26] Rev C beagleboards have not yet been released.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


[15:33:02]"strace" stands for "system call trace". [17:57:35]OMAP3 includes an ARM Cortex-A8 which uses the ARMv7 instruction set. OMAP3 is not ARM 11 based. ARM11 is the previous generation of ARM processors and uses the ARMv6 instruction set. The ARM Cortex-A8 is capable of running all ARMv6 instructions as well as ARMv7 instructions which provide some memory savings advantages without any significant loss in performance. The ARM Cortex-A8 is the first super-scalar ARM and is capable of executing 2 instructions per clock cycle.

Monday, November 3, 2008


[03:56:39] emeb_mac stated that not all DSPs are vector-based. [04:21:12] Emeb_mac also stated that FEC stands for Forward Error Connection. [13:41:00] Crofton said that cmem is the thing that allocates contiguous memory.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FYI: BeagleBoard IRC channel

The entire IRC logs are questions and answers. Most of the questions are troubleshooting. Occasionally, nobody is able to help the person or answer the question. Rarely is the case when a troubleshooting problem is not solved. Most unanswered questions are request for information (ex. Has such-and-such been made?) or a request for experience-oriented help (ex. Has anybody worked with the angstrom demo and tried such –and-such). There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but most of these questions are left unresponsive. Sometimes, when a person’s question has no response they ask again later, and get an answer, which leads me to believe that nobody on the channel saw the question when it was first posted. This is where the bulk of the unanswered questions come from.

10/17/08 - 10/18/08

[18:15:39] BThompson pointed out that the difference between a mini-A USB and a mini-B USB, is that the mini-A has angled edges on the bottom, whereas the mini-B has a square edge on the bottom. Also, mini-B is able to work in "client mode". Mini-A would cause the client mode to fail.

[02:52:17] Nathanm mentioned that some monitors are picky about frequencies, and may be responsible for an error message "mode not supported". [15:25:53] According to mru, X-loader is responsible for loading U-boot and the "ROM loader loads X-loader into sram. X-loader can then set up dram and load U-boot there." [15:28:23] Contrary to what the IRC log says, IVA stands for Interaction Value Analysis. It is a mathmatical model of orginizational behavior. For more information see Additionally, IVA can also stand for the imaging and video accelerator block that includes the C64x+ DSP in the OMAP35x applications processors.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10/15/08 - 10/17/08

[17:35:10] A Segmentation Fault (SegFault) is an error that can occur durring the operation of computer software. It occurs when a program attempts to access a memory location in a non-permissible way, or when it is not allowed to be accessed. [07:40:53] Kulve explained on October 16th, that ES3.0 is an engineering sample usually of the CPU. It is basically a version number of the chip.

[14:14:30] Duke Nukem is the name of a game series. This series includes Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem II, and Duke Nukem 3D. The first two Duke Nukem's were platform-games. The first Duke Nukem was a sidescroller for the GameBoy Color. Duke Nukem 3D, is a first person shooter computer game and is the third game of the series.

Friday, October 24, 2008


[16:55:28] VLC is a portable multimedia player, encoder, & streamer that supports a audio/video codecs and file formats. It was the first player to support playback of encrypted DVD's on Linux. VLC includes a large number of free encoding/decoding libraries.
[16:58:04] MMC is a type of removable flash storage device. MMC can also be Microsoft Management Console, a component of Windows 2000 and Windows NT that allows system administrators to configure and monitor the system.

[16:58:04]MLC (stands for Multi-Level Cell) is a memory element capable of storing more than one bit of information. MLC NAND flash uses multiple levels per cell, allowing more bits to be stored. This differs from SLC NAND (Single-Level Cell), which uses only one level per cell. Most MLC NAND stores four states per cell (the four states yield 2 bits of information per cell).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


On Monday, I created a Wiki page for terminology commonly used and found within the IRC channel and BeagleBoard set-up. Here is the link:

[14:14:38] Until recently, most people on the IRC channel were copying and pasting the user name of whom they were trying to reply to. They found out on October 13th that if type in the first letter of the user name and press tab, it does the job for you. [21:26:05] gcohler provided that TWL4030 was an original part, which was recently upgraded to TWL5030. Therefore most things still have TWL4030. A compatible device to the TWL5030, called the TPS65950, will be offered to customers at all volume levels.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


[06:46:48] An Enhanced Host Controller Interface (EHCI) is a high-speed controller standard that only provides USB 2.0 functions. It needs a "companion controller" (OHCI or UHCI) to use USB 1.1 devices. [10:36:49] Kulve recommends the 2007q3 compiler for beginners. [12:08:06] HW is short for "hardware".

SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) is a technique used in achieving data level parallelism, as in a vector processor. [12:34:01] SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) is a SIMD instruction set extension to the x86 architecture. The x86 archetecture was introduced in Intel's Pentium III series processors in the year 1999. SSE contains 70 new instructions.

[15:16:09] An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application designed to maximize programmer productivity by providing tightly-knit components with similar user interfaces. [21:16:14] Felipec stated that"One advantage of c++ is that the templating system pretty much act as macros, and in that sense the resulting code can be more optimal than C code... but c++ projects usually get insanely abstract".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


[05:48:04] "ISDN" is an acroynym for Integrated Services Digital Network or Isolated Digital Network. It is a circuit-switched telephone network system network that, unlike the classic telephone system, integrates speech and data on the same lines.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Well, today was a very busy day! I did not get hardly any time to review the logs, but this is what I was able to accomplish today...

[00:12:20] IVA (Interaction Value Analysis) is used to model organizations using 1-on-1 interactions between the members as a proxy for all value-adding activities in the organization. The IVA approach can be combined with Game Theory. Game Theory is a branch of applied mathematics (commonly used in social sciences, biology, engineering, etc.) that attempts to capture behavior in strategic situations where an individuals success in making choices is dependent on the choices of others.

IVA would typically mean the imaging and video accelerator in the OMAP35x on this channel.

[00:20:14] OS stands for Operating System. An operating system (software component of a computer) is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the computer resources.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


[05:21:12] A BeagleBoard is "bricked" when it no longer boots in its routine way. Nathanm placed a link to a page that explains how to recover ("unbrick") a broken BeagleBoard. This is a great advantage of the BeagleBoard, since most closed systems and some open systems cannot be easily recovered once they are "bricked". [06:32:06] Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) was originally designed for printed circuit boards, though it is now primarily used for accessing sub-blocks of integrated circuits and debugging embedded systems. The JTAG interface also allows device programmer hardware to transfer data into internal non-volatile device memory.

[09:58:16] "memcpy" is one of many C functions. [10:02:06] xv is a shareware program responsible for displaying and modifying digital images under the X Window System. xv can be run from either a command line or a graphical interface. [11:52:04] wxPython (a free software) is a cross-platform wrapper for the Python programming language.

[12:11:39] GNU Radio, now an official GNU project, is a free software toolkit for learning about, building, and deploying software-defined radio systems. The GNU radio is a signal processing package intended to give ordinary software people the ability to utilize the electromagnetic spectrum. [12:53:13] The Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) is a high-speed USB-based board used to make software radios. It is intended to be a relatively inexpensive hardware device with an open design and free software to be integrated with the GNU Radio. It's design provides the flexibility for developers to make their own daughterboards for specific needs.

Monday, October 6, 2008


[11:10:42] glibc (a common free and open-source software component) is the C standard library released by the GNU Project. [11:11:30] The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is a set of compilers produced for various programming languages by the GNU project. The GCC is a key component of the GNU toolchain and is the official compiler of the GNU system. It is the standard compiler for most modern Unix-like computer operating systems. GCC is also available for most embedded platforms including the Playstation and Sega Dreamcast.

[11:26:24] VMware Player is a free virtualization software package that allows the user to run guest virtual machines(VMs). Freeware tools and websites are used for creating VMs and mounting, manipulating, and converting VMware disks & floppies, allowing the user to create, run, & maintain virtual machines. VMware also sells (non-free) tools for manipulating and hosting (running and maintaining) virtual machines.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

09/16/08 - 09/18/08

[03:30:14] FFmpeg is a computer program that can record, convert, and stream digital audio and video in different formats. It is a command line tool that is made up of open source libraries.
[03:35:30] I also learned that LPC is a programming language. It is object-oriented and originated from C, placing it in the family of C-like programming languages. It has also evolved into the Pike programming language, which is used for various internet services, multimedia apps., and system admin task. The abbreviation LPC stands for "Lars Pensjo C", derived from the original developer, Lars Pensjo. LPC is also the Linux Plumber's Conference and several of the community people were there at the event in Portland, OR (PDX) this year.

[19:07:22] As embarrassing as it is to admit, up until today, I believed that "git" was one of those mean name-callings. I saw it quite a bit in the IRC logs. [14:54:03] However, git is actually a software source code management project. It is known for it's speediness and was created for Linux kernel development. Many high-profile software projects (Linux kernel, server, etc.) use Git for revision control. I feel so smart right now...

[21:50:17] PLD stands for Programmable Logic Device. It is an electronic component used to build reconfigurable digital circuits. A PLD differs from a logic gate as it has an undefined function at the time of manufacture, whereas the logic gate has a fixed function. Before the PLD can be used in a circuit it has to be programmed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

09/13/08 - 09/16/08

[08:22:56] Thumb mode is a mode on ARM processors that allows improved code-density. [08:22:45] 'cmp' is a command line program for Unix operating systems. It compares two files and writes the results to the standard output. Standard output is a stream where a program writes it's output data. It is the text terminal that initiates a program. [19:20:46] Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS) is used to manage storage systems under Linux.

[00:31:55] LHC stands for Large Hadron Collider, the worlds highest-energy particle accelerator with the purpose of colliding with opposing beams of protons or lead (two types of hadrons) at up to 99.99% the speed of light. It is used to test various predictions of high-energy physics. [19:21:51] International Building Code (IBC) is a model building code developed by ICC. A model building code develops and maintains a standard organization independent of jurisdiction responsible for enacting it. IBC is also a trade show were several community members participated.

[08:31:36] Koen mentioned on 9/16/08 that "...angstrom supports uclibc and eglibc, so it adds the libc-type in the directory tree".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

09/12/08 - 09/13/08

[01:41:47] ARM Cortex-A9 will have a fully pipelined VFPv3. The A9 has not been shipped yet. [03:47:11] MLO is an X-loader on an SD card. [03:07:43] Often referred to as a NAND operation in Boolean algebra and digital electronics, alternate denial states that at least one of its operands is false. NAND is an abbreviation for "not and". NAND also refers to a type of high-density flash storage device that utilizes that type of logic gate.

I have noticed that "VFAT" shows up a lot in the IRC logs. FAT stands for File Allocation Table and is a computer file system architecture developed by Bill Gates and Marc McDonald. It is the primary file system for many operating systems, including Microsoft Windows. VFAT is an extension to FAT for long file names. It is also known as "Virtual FAT". The VFAT driver appeared before Windows 95.

[00:16:34] ALSA stands for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. It is a Linux kernel component intended to provide device drivers for sound cards. An ALSA driver is simply a sound device driver. [00:17:06] OSS is an abbreviation for Open Sound System, a standard interface for making and capturing sound in Unix operating systems. It is also sometimes refers to the software in a Unix kernel that provides its interface. In such a scenario, the OSS can be considered a device driver or collection of device drivers for sound controller hardware.

[01:32:06] McBSP is the synchronous serial port on the OMAP's. It is used to generate the I2S stream for the CODEC. McBSP is an acronym for Multi-Channel Buffered Serial Port. [06:53:46] Texas Instrument's Zoom is an MDK (Mobile Development Kit). It has a nice display/ touch screen panel and controller. It also has a built in stereo speakers and a 3.1 megapixel camera. Very spiffy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

09/09/08 - 09/10/08

[03:36:06]OMAP2 and OMAP3 can run ARM and DSP together. IVA2.2 is the Imaging, Video, and Audio accelerator sub-system, used in OMAP35x. [11:17:53] Quetoo is OpenGL only. Polymide is an orange, high temperature plastic tape that does not get melted by solder. It is used frequently as a heat shield and an insulator. It is more commonly known as kapton tape. [00:31:03] I learned that there are no royalty fees for the Beagle Board. [00:32:41] I also learned that the Beagle Board is meant more for learning OMAP, versus it being used to build systems.

[07:41:43] Angstrom uses opkg. opkg is a lightweight package managment sysem based off of Ipkg. The upgrade includes (but is not limited to) the ability to re-organize and clean up source codes into sub directories, mark auto-installed packages, and contains an additional command line for the purpose of removing "auto installed" packages. [09:01:19] Bitbake makes its packages by using ipkg-build(package). Even so, both packages are the same, regardless of whether or not it uses opkg or ipkg in the root.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Hello. My name is Ashley Raines and I am an intern at Texas Instruments. I will be working with the Beagleboard and its clients. I expect to post something new every day that I work at TI, in regards to what I have learned.

09/05/08 - 09/08/08

9/5/08 IRC logs
By viewing this day's log, I learned that to connect a Beagle Board a null modem cable and IDC10 to DB9 an AT/Everex adapter is required. I also learned that the IDC10 adapter has a black female connector on one end which is used to connect to the Beagle Board. The other end of the adapter is a DB9 male adapter connected to a metal bracket. A picture can be found at

9/6/08 IRC logs
I found out that the Beagle Board is far more affordable than others of its kind on the market. I learned that you can compile kernels on the device, as long as there is enough room available. The Beagle Board is what people use to start "projects". It is essentially a little ARM computer. It has the storage, RAM, CPU, and graphics card, all in one.

9/7/08 IRC logs
Digi-Key is not out of stock with Beagle Board and should be receiving approximately 200 boards per week. It is recommended to get a 5V power supply for the board and a serial adapter and cable. The Beagle Board has OMAP3530 ES2.1, not an ES 2.2, as believed on the IRC channel ([09:51:13]).

There is an Ubuntu port for the Beagle Board ([09:49:31]). There is no arm7v version of Ubuntu ([09:48:57]).

FFmpeg uses the NEON SIMD unit and handles a lot of video codecs ([09:34:27]). Fmod is not an opensource, therefore it does not run on Linux. It does however run on xbox, ps, and power pc (older mac). Beagle Board is popular in the handhelds! ([10:19:03])

([10:10:09]) The desktop manager and Linux kernel requires 30MB of RAM when idling at the desktop. However, you can change the Windows Manager to something lighter, and then the memory would suffice for a virtual reality chat.
[10:14:50] Opengl es driver (for 3d support) is expected to be available at the end of the year.

9/8/08 IRC logs
My boss plays hockey.
[03:14:08] Apparently, attempting a daughter board on top of the Beagle Board does not work out so well, and would be better if it were on the bottom or sitting off to the side connected by a ribbon cable.
[03:14:11] JRC stands for JTAG Route Controller.