New "Arduino" to beat them all.

And what other tasks might the kernel be busy with? Drawing a picture with GIMP? Playing an MP3?

...R

Robin2: And what other tasks might the kernel be busy with? Drawing a picture with GIMP? Playing an MP3?

...R

If one was say using Linux or Windows, the kernel would be doing plenty of other things like servicing software interrupts such as time, counting system "ticks", servicing other loaded modules such as SSH running as separate threads, reading interrupts as characters arrive at the serial, USB or Ethernet ports and so on. Good enough for ya? You really need to read up on how multitasking (non real time) operating systems work before making comments like that.

dos is still my favored operating system and for MOST daily embedded development tasks (including avr firmware) its 300-400% more productive than my windoze buddies. even pcb rip-n-route. turboc3 is like a breath of fresh air compared to visual .net java man. and except for help, tc2 is close behind and also totally free. i see two types in this world, those who like to do things as simply as possible and get the most out of the least. then the guys who enjoy danging out on that bleeding edge with the newest and most complex tools they can buy. to each his own.

also note that dos is about as close to a realtime operating system as you can get. nice clean square waves coming out that lpt port. and none of the serial killer nightmares of rs232 with “protected mode” os (protect who? lol).

i like this new board and cant wait to get my hands on it. about 1/3th the cost of an equivalent micro atx setup.

john1993: dos is still my favored operating system

That spot for me is reserved for TinyCoreLinux with extra extensions and the JWM GUI, although on a day to day basis I also have to use DOS (to support customers that still use it), WinXP (some software will not run on 7) and of course Win 7. Having said that, I completely understand your liking of DOS for selected apps and to program in, it's a pleasure and I have to say that it comes in as a close second for me.

also note that dos is about as close to a realtime operating system as you can get. nice clean square waves coming out that lpt port. and none of the serial killer nightmares of rs232 with "protected mode" os (protect who? lol).

I also have a computer running Caldera DrDos which runs as my digital logic analyzer (couldn't do it if it was running under a multitasking OS - uses the LPT as the input port) and as previously stated apps for the customers that still use DOS and the other I use as a big embedded system where I test my own 16 bit real mode OS.

i like this new board and cant wait to get my hands on it. about 1/3th the cost of an equivalent micro atx setup.

Exactly what I had in mind.

UnoDueTre: If one was say using Linux or Windows, the kernel would be doing plenty of other things like servicing software interrupts such as time, counting system "ticks", servicing other loaded modules such as SSH running as separate threads, reading interrupts as characters arrive at the serial, USB or Ethernet ports and so on. Good enough for ya? You really need to read up on how multitasking (non real time) operating systems work before making comments like that.

I will deal with your comments in reverse order ...

I think I know enough about multitasking operating systems for this level of discussion. I don't think your distinction between realtime and multitasking is legitimate. What could be more "real time" than responding to a keyboard, updating a screen and playing a DVD?

No.

If it was important for a PC to focus on one activity why would you ask it to or allow it to service SSH or serial, USB or ethernet ports. In my world the user is in control of her/his PC. And almost every MCU/PC that I can think of keeps track of time and services interrupts - including Arduinos.

...R

UnoDueTre: If one was say using Linux or Windows, the kernel would be doing plenty of other things like servicing software interrupts such as time, counting system "ticks", servicing other loaded modules such as SSH running as separate threads, reading interrupts as characters arrive at the serial...

And MSDOS isn't...?

OK, let's assume there is a ton of MS-DOS software out there that people still want to use.

Use of a 'toolchain' implies monitor and keyboard so this device is useless unless you add more hardware to it. In that case you'd be better off buying one of the dozens of existing mini MS-DOS machines that are out there.

More likely is that you wouldn't use this for software development, you'd prepare a special SD card to boot MS-DOS and run a program from autoexec.bat (I assume it can do that). In that case won't you need an RS232 and/or parallel port to do anything useful with it? If that's the target market then why make it look like an Arduino? Surely you'd want something shaped like this: http://www.taskit.de/en/products/minipc/index.htm

So...I still don't get it. Is it supposed to be the 'brains' of a modular PC? If so, where's the rest of the PC...?

It doesn't seem to fit anywhere without adding extra hardware (which will need to be custom-designed for it).

Robin2:

UnoDueTre: If one was say using Linux or Windows, the kernel would be doing plenty of other things like servicing software interrupts such as time, counting system "ticks", servicing other loaded modules such as SSH running as separate threads, reading interrupts as characters arrive at the serial, USB or Ethernet ports and so on. Good enough for ya? You really need to read up on how multitasking (non real time) operating systems work before making comments like that.

I will deal with your comments in reverse order ...

I think I know enough about multitasking operating systems for this level of discussion. I don't think your distinction between realtime and multitasking is legitimate. What could be more "real time" than responding to a keyboard, updating a screen and playing a DVD?

No.

If it was important for a PC to focus on one activity why would you ask it to or allow it to service SSH or serial, USB or ethernet ports. In my world the user is in control of her/his PC. And almost every MCU/PC that I can think of keeps track of time and services interrupts - including Arduinos.

...R

I suspect that you don't know as much as you think you know. By realtime I mean that the kernel is not servicing many background services such as the GUI manager (continuously sends messages which must be intercepted by the kernel and dealt with for things like redraw, terminate and so on) also "communications" services such as serial, USB, ethernet are always running in the background (unless specifically stopped). Yes SSH is but one protocol running under this. Then of course there is the spool manager, APIC, apps running in different threads and the list continues. Think of it as a form of multiplexing. The kernel is multiplexing between so many things that one has no control over which time slot is given to a specific app or service. DOS does not have to deal with all of this, plus one can also use CLI and STI to give a certain app complete control, ever tried that under Windows or Linux? (although in Linux one has the "nice" command which allows for a bit of tweaking).

You also wrote that all micros (including the Arduino) keep track of interrupts, yes that is true but do you think they happen in picoseconds? The more interrupts, the more time you loose dealing with a specific function/service/app, simple as that. But why am I telling you, you already knew it, so you say.

fungus:

UnoDueTre: If one was say using Linux or Windows, the kernel would be doing plenty of other things like servicing software interrupts such as time, counting system "ticks", servicing other loaded modules such as SSH running as separate threads, reading interrupts as characters arrive at the serial...

And MSDOS isn't...?

No where near, simply because it has do deal with much, much less.

fungus: OK, let's assume there is a ton of MS-DOS software out there that people still want to use.

Use of a 'toolchain' implies monitor and keyboard so this device is useless unless you add more hardware to it. In that case you'd be better off buying one of the dozens of existing mini MS-DOS machines that are out there.

It does not imply that at all. You forget that both the PC where the toolchain can be installed and the target board are both X86, so the development could be done on the PC then transferred to the target via SD card or what ever. This is how it is done on any X86 based embedded system.

More likely is that you wouldn't use this for software development, you'd prepare a special SD card to boot MS-DOS and run a program from autoexec.bat (I assume it can do that). In that case won't you need an RS232 and/or parallel port to do anything useful with it?

Have you looked at the ports it has?

If that's the target market then why make it look like an Arduino?

Partly because of marketing and partly because the shields meant for the Arduino can also be used with it.

Surely you'd want something shaped like this: http://www.taskit.de/en/products/minipc/index.htm

Sure that would work too but it's only a 386 and the cost?

So...I still don't get it. Is it supposed to be the 'brains' of a modular PC? If so, where's the rest of the PC...? It doesn't seem to fit anywhere without adding extra hardware (which will need to be custom-designed for it).

That is exactly the point, you buy the barebones system and only add what you will need. Makes perfect sense to me. Surely it's the same concept as with the Arduinos? You only add SD card, sound, video, motor drivers and so on if you need, otherwise save the money.

UnoDueTre:

fungus: Surely you'd want something shaped like this: http://www.taskit.de/en/products/minipc/index.htm

Sure that would work too but it's only a 386 and the cost?

I'm not talking about price/CPU, I'm talking about shape/connectors.

UnoDueTre: Makes perfect sense to me.

Not to me.

The only thing I can think of is that there's an army of people out there who are used to working with x86 microcontrollers and who might like another option.

OTOH I bet most of them are building/maintaining expensive machines where $150 saving is meaningless and lack of electrical robustness and crappy connectors would put them off. How many of them will think, "Dude! I can use Arduino shields!!!" when faced with lack of their usual I/O ports?

OTOH maybe it's just me...

fungus: I'm not talking about price/CPU, I'm talking about shape/connectors.

That unit/product that you linked to, is just another version of a X86 board but complete with extra ports, connectors and housing and if that is what one is looking for great, but it does not have the flexibility of the 86Duino where one adds stuff only/if needed.

UnoDueTre: Not to me.

Each to their own.

fungus: The only thing I can think of is that there's an army of people out there who are used to working with x86 microcontrollers and who might like another option.

and the fact that existing code will work unchanged.

OTOH I bet most of them are building/maintaining expensive machines where $150 saving is meaningless and lack of electrical robustness and crappy connectors would put them off. How many of them will think, "Dude! I can use Arduino shields!!!" when faced with lack of their usual I/O ports?

That is where good engineering practices come in, not every board/unit/product is suitable for every application/environment. Surely you not comparing the processing power of a X86 to an Arduino.

OTOH maybe it's just me...

it could be.

yes, it looks like theoretically, at half grand, one could buy a dozen of these for the price of one of fungus beloved taskit boards. i say theoretically because i just tried to buy one and... guess what...? vaporware.

if (not when) these ever become availalble i predict cost will not even be close to $40. ive been using embedded pcs since they first became available and have a pretty good idea what they go for. uno... due... TROLL?

I heard a new (to me) acronym on the radio today that seems to fit this new item perfectly.

WOMBAT

Waste Of Money Brains And Time

...R

john1993: uno... due... TROLL?

Are you accusing me of being a troll?

no, nor would op be suspect. more like gullible victims, ie such as myself (but maybe taking some advantage of your name to make my point). anyway it looks like a marketing ploy, a typical trick chinese hucksters use to feel out potential interest.. ive seen this before. again, i predict if the product ever does materialize it will be for a lot higher cost. a LOT higher.

of course id love to be proven wrong. win-win. either im right or ill have an incredibly valuable source of small pc.s,

john1993: of course id love to be proven wrong. win-win. either im right or ill have an incredibly valuable source of small pc.s,

Some things about simply don't add up to me, either. How will that thing run "Windows"?

Maybe Windows 98 in command line mode...I dunno. I don't think Windows will even boot without a graphics card.

john1993: no, nor would op be suspect. more like gullible victims, ie such as myself (but maybe taking some advantage of your name to make my point).

Then please edit your post as I take exception to my forum name being used in that manner.

anyway it looks like a marketing ploy, a typical trick chinese hucksters use to feel out potential interest.. ive seen this before. again, i predict if the product ever does materialize it will be for a lot higher cost. a LOT higher. of course id love to be proven wrong. win-win. either im right or ill have an incredibly valuable source of small pc.s,

It would be very unfortunate if this item did in fact turn out to be vapourware. I got quite excited about it, oh well back to the mini ATX form factor then.