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Kernel and OSD2

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David Rowe tells me that my name is now in the linux kernel sources. I am glad I found a mention for a miniscule help done for David. His work with various projects are worth taking look at. Especially the Blackfin based Asterix port. There are very few people in the world who contributes to such “less-sexy” projects. But what David has done is probably as important a work as GNOME or GNU Emacs.

Past weeks, I had been hacking with the Neuros OSD2 which is based on TI DM6446 processor. I could get the basic kernel up and running. I could also get the framebuffer working. I thought of getting a simple application running. Then started the nightmare. Compiling any simple application which uses the DSP on the processor needs tons of TI written software which goes by strange acronyms like dsplink, cmem, codecengine, dmai, xdc etc etc. Some of them are provided with source but without makefiles, so that they are not buildable. Some of them have very strange directory structures, on one of the software archive, there are two directories at the same level, one is called “package” another called “packages”. Isn’t that funny and wierd ? One of the software (xdc?) has hardcoded names of Montavista toolchain built in, they needed to be changed and recompiled. The git version of the kernel has many features missing, making it just a name-sake port and not very useful. Who wants to just get the command prompt over serial working and type afew sell commands over shell? Such pleasures last for afew minutes and then one realises the reality that some real applications should be running in there.

Even after all these nerve wracking stuff, the application could not be used or compiled with full features. They used non-standard kernel include files, older kernel interfaces specific to TI capture/display device drivers etc. Finally I decided to give up. Many many hours of personal time was wasted, not to mention the money wasted in buying tools like debugger, a USB tv tuner card etc.

I have this Neuros OSD2, a Beagleboard, an XDS100 debugger, a Hauppage WinTV HVR-900 with composite input cable etc for sale. I will probably buy some good books with the proceeds. Do email me, if anyone wants those hardware.

Read more: VU3RDD Station Log


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