Hardware Interfacing on the BeagleBone

Photo of the BeagleBone ARM Cortex based development board.

The BeagleBone is an ARM applications processing platform that runs Angstrom Linux and provides a lot of 3.3V I/O connections, for more background see my unboxing and getting started article. In the unboxing review I ran a bit of bundled java-script that flashed a light on and off, but there's much more to using I/O on this powerful processor. Like with most embeded controllers these days half the effort is in getting the right function selected and enabling the pin drivers. There are several steps and modes of operation which I'll go through separately. I'll discuss command line tools and python control here, but there is a pre-written javascript library called bonescript.js that comes pre-loaded on the board that provides an Arduino-like syntax and runs on the node.js javascript interpreter, I'm not going to discuss that here as it is under heavy development and has only very rudimentary features at the moment. I'd recommend having a look through the code if you have a BeagleBone, it's accessible from Cloud9 IDE on port 3000 via a web browser.