Video: Maemo 5 alpha on BeagleBoard

March 31, 2009 at 12:24 | Posted in hardware, sdk | 6 Comments
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Here’s a quick video I put together while learning to use the video cam (you’ll notice that pretty soon) 🙂 This is just a basic demonstration of how the Maemo 5 alpha SDK runs on the BeagleBoard. Sorry about the video quality, I’ll make a better one from the eventual Maemo 5 Beta release.. promise!

Check out the Maemo on BeagleBoard site for more information.




Maemo 5 alpha on BeagleBoard

March 13, 2009 at 19:11 | Posted in hardware, sdk | 9 Comments
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After the release of the Maemo 5 alpha SDK, I’ve been working between my other duties on getting it running on the BeagleBoard. The Maemo on BeagleBoard project site has today been updated to include instructions for anyone to do the same.

BeagleBoard running the Maemo 5 alpha Application manager

BeagleBoard running the Maemo 5 alpha Application manager

The alpha SDK has released some content in the form of closed binaries. You are required to accept an EULA to gain access to the closed content and that means a ready-made rootfilesystem cannot be offered as a part of this project.

Instead a full set of instructions on how to build your own rootfilesystem using the Scratchbox1 based SDK is provided. The kernel image and modules are available for download and the kernel build process is documented. I’m not entirely happy with not providing a ready-made rootfs, but the closed binaries prohibit me from doing so. I hope you can understand this.

The provided kernel is buildable from the Maemo 5 alpha kernel sources (2.6.28) plus a sizeable patch which reimplements the display subsystem for BeagleBoard. The dss2 patches originate from the Ångström distribution‘s efforts available in the OpenEmbedded git, but within this project they are provided as one file.

The project’s default kernel configuration includes modules for USB HID, USB ethernet devices and USB mass storage devices. This means that you can use a mouse,  a keyboard, a USB-Ethernet plug or even a USB hard disk with your Maemo powered BeagleBoard — if you also have a powered USB hub, that is.

I was able to install packages from the Fremantle extras-devel repository directly to the BeagleBoard using apt-get. Someone had already uploaded a fun puzzle game Hex-a-Hop and it runs perfectly on this setup 🙂



Maemo and BeagleBoard

February 12, 2009 at 16:04 | Posted in hardware | 3 Comments
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Brussels was foggy and cold, not much warmer than Helsinki at this time of the year. Luckily the tightly packed ULB campus provided plenty of interesting talks and lectures on open source projects in the form of FOSDEM 2009.

Maemo on BeagleBoard

I gave a speech in the Embedded track announcing a newly started project “Maemo on BeagleBoard“, whose idea is to run Maemo software on a BeagleBoard. The project is just taking its baby steps and requires a lot of work to grow up to something really useful.

My slides for the speech can be found from the docs section of:

The project infrastructure has been established and for the time being it just provides instructions how to set up your BeagleBoard to run Maemo stuff using the provided rootfilesystem and kernel image. The current release is based on the Maemo 5 pre-alpha2 SDK, which allows only a very spartan environment because of yet unpublished major Maemo 5 components.

I have high hopes that the upcoming alpha release of the Maemo 5 SDK will have more useful content available. Among other goodies, it will give us a first look at what the new Maemo UI will look like and if everything goes as planned you’ll be able to run the new UI on a BeagleBoard.

Why BeagleBoard?

BeagleBoard is a promising platform to run the new Maemo 5 software since it is built around an OMAP3 processor from Texas Instruments. Maemo 5 supports it too and all the software in the Maemo 5 repository is built with options suitable for OMAP3’s ARM Cortex-A8 core.

With all the fuss about BeagleBoard, you should keep in mind that in the end it is not an official target hardware for Maemo 5. It’s just something that’s low-cost, fun to hack with and processor-wise related to Maemo 5.

More information about the BeagleBoard can be found in:

What next?

As mentioned, I’m putting high hopes on the Maemo 5 alpha SDK release to boost this project further. There’s a lot to improve on the web site and a good action plan is needed to see how to change the packages published in the SDK to better server the BeagleBoard environment.



The short service break that you just experienced…

October 7, 2008 at 8:55 | Posted in hardware, website | Leave a comment

Was performed to add another cpu to the SQL server, which was task switching like crazy. Lost lots of cycles for no good reason. Now the server should have an easier time, but I’ll wait for the statistics to arrive to see what and how much has changed.

Anyway this is again a step in the correct direction. I want to make the site feel fast.

And I am really happy to see the importance of simplicity in the discussion about the redesign. Simple elegant design usually means that it is faster to run.

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