Hardware Hacks: Arduino Micro, Netduino Plus 2 and OLinuXio
Source: Adafruit Industries
The H's Hardware Hacks section collects stories about the wide range of uses of open source in the rapidly expanding area of open hardware. It's where you can find out about interesting projects, the re-purposing of devices and the creation of a new generation of deeply open systems. In this edition, Sinclair BASIC for the Raspberry Pi, the new Arduino Micro, the Netduino Plus 2, and some competition for the Raspberry Pi.
- Sinclair BASIC for the Raspberry Pi – Under the slogan "code like it's 1982", Paul Dunn has released a Raspberry Pi port of SpecBAS, the implementation of the BASIC from the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. SpecBAS offers all the features of the original language with a few additional things such as improved flow control, better array handling and support for better graphics and higher resolutions. SpecBAS also gets rid of the 48k memory restriction. A binary can be downloaded to run on Debian Wheezy for the Pi. Source code for SpecBAS is available under the GPLv3.
- Arduino Micro – Adafruit Industries has announced the release of the Arduino Micro, a shunk-down version of the Arduino Leonardo that has the same footprint as a stick of chewing gum. It has many of the features of its bigger brother and provides a USB connection with mouse and keyboard emulation. The size means it can be more easily soldered to custom-designed PCBs. The Arduino Micro was designed in conjunction with Adafruit Industries and is currently available only from their web site and from Radio Shack retail stores in the US.
- Netduino Plus 2 – The Netduino Plus 2 is an upgraded version of the .NET-friendly developer board and includes a CPU which, at 168MHz, is four times faster than the original model. It also includes twice the RAM, 384KB of memory for code and an Ethernet interface. The Netduino Plus 2 runs the .NET Micro Framework 4.2, the source code for which is available from the project's CodePlex page and is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.
- Competition for the Raspberry Pi? – The A13-OLinuXino is a small form factor computer board that is somewhat more expensive at €45 but has a more powerful processor and graphics stack than the Raspberry Pi mini-computer. The OLinuXino includes a Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1GHz, a Mali400 graphics unit, 512MB of memory, three USB ports that can be used to connect devices to the board and VGA video output. Unlike the Raspberry Pi, the design of the OLinuXino is open source (excluding the onboard SoC unit) and hardware specifications and source code for the software stack are available from GitHub.