LOGO program interpreter

A snippet of logo code

I was wandering how to store and represent the programs for the BigTrak. I wanted to stick to the original spirit of the toy and make it programmable via the web so I naturally got to thinking of LOGO commands. Most of my experience with the language was in a program called "WinLogo" ironically running on an Acorn Archimedes not Windows at all.


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.


Server Monitor

Photo of the screen mounted in the front panel of the server.

I've been in the process of upgrading my backup/home media server for a few weeks now. I managed to get hold of an old case from a skip outside a closing down fax/photocopier company. It's a fairly decent case, although it was somewhat 5.25" centric in design. Amongst other things I did to modify this case, I replaced the old drive door with a new completely transparent one with some USB ports and an additional fan for cooling the new compliment of many hard disks. The server is going to be running in a cupboard without a monitor most of the time and I wanted to be able to see at a glance what the system was doing. Inspired by the computer-graphic imaginary servers that are featured in web hosting ads that have a screen on the front, I set about adding a little monochrome LCD.