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LinuxGuy
03-23-2008, 06:03 PM
I've been looking through the Serializer documentation and realized this does not have to be used with MSRS to be useful. :happy: Since it just accepts commands through whatever interface is plugged onto it, I could see using this with Linux also. :happy::happy:

I do have one question about the Serializer though. What micro is used on it for intelligence? Is it an Atmel AVR? PIC? dsPIC? Other? You'll never guess why I want to know.. :veryhappy:

8-Dale

roboticsconnection
03-24-2008, 12:04 PM
Absolutely!!! In fact MSRS is by far the most difficult framwork to use w/ the Serializer. MSRS is very powerful, but somewhat difficult to pick up at first. It requires you to think in a totally different way regarding application development, and that stumps people at first. If you aren't looking for a largely scalable, networked solution at first, but just want to develop some onboard intelligence for your robot, you're better off w/ the Serializer .NET or C++ lib.

You would like the .NET or C++ library interface MUCH better! With a little tweaking, you should be able to get the C++ lib to compile under Linux. It's on our TODO List in fact. While James Y. Wilson wrote the C++ lib for the Serializer and plans to port it to run under Linux, I may help him out soon, since he's pretty busy.

We use a PIC micro onboard the Serializer.

Best Regards!

Jason Summerour
President,
Summerour Robotics Corp
Microsoft MVP
www.roboticsconnection.com (http://www.roboticsconnection.com)

LinuxGuy
03-24-2008, 06:31 PM
Absolutely!!! In fact MSRS is by far the most difficult framwork to use w/ the Serializer. MSRS is very powerful, but somewhat difficult to pick up at first. It requires you to think in a totally different way regarding application development, and that stumps people at first. If you aren't looking for a largely scalable, networked solution at first, but just want to develop some onboard intelligence for your robot, you're better off w/ the Serializer .NET or C++ lib.
I realize the .NET framework and C++ is the preferred and currently only real supported environment for the Serializer. However, if I were to get a Serializer, I would want to use it with Linux or UNIX. I am not opposed to using Windows - I am just opposed to proprietary Windows only solutions I can't see under the hood with, so to speak. :veryhappy:


You would like the .NET or C++ library interface MUCH better! With a little tweaking, you should be able to get the C++ lib to compile under Linux.
I think I will give this a try and see how it goes.


It's on our TODO List in fact. While James Y. Wilson wrote the C++ lib for the Serializer and plans to port it to run under Linux, I may help him out soon, since he's pretty busy.
This is excellent! I am always happy when I see a company who is forward thinking in a cross platform way. These are the products I would rather support.:happy::happy: If you need a tester, I am interested. :veryhappy:


We use a PIC micro onboard the Serializer.
Is it possible to get at the PIC on the Serializer and write custom code for it? I am working with PICs and dsPICs now for various projects, including W.A.L.T.E.R.

I only wish the Serializer had more analog I/Os (eight or a multiplie of eight). I have a lot of stuff that is going to need analog I/O.

8-Dale

Alex
03-24-2008, 07:48 PM
I am just opposed to proprietary Windows only solutions I can't see under the hood with, so to speak.

Actually Dale, after many MANY painful years of dealing with this, Microsoft finally decided it was a good idea to release their source code for the .NET libraries:

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/10/03/releasing-the-source-code-for-the-net-framework-libraries.aspx
http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/01/16/net-framework-library-source-code-now-available.aspx

LinuxGuy
03-24-2008, 09:54 PM
Actually Dale, after many MANY painful years of dealing with this, Microsoft finally decided it was a good idea to release their source code for the .NET libraries:

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/10/03/releasing-the-source-code-for-the-net-framework-libraries.aspx
http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/01/16/net-framework-library-source-code-now-available.aspx
Wow, I did not know this! The Mono project must be using these then. I will definitely have to check this out and see if there are any nasty strings attached to using them. Thanks much for the info!

8-Dale

roboticsconnection
03-24-2008, 10:00 PM
Dale,

Yes, if you have a PIC programmer, you can stick a 5 pin dual row header into the programming header socket, and connect the programmer to them (press down firmly), and reprogram the firmware in the Serializer. If you do, you will blow away the bootloader and firmware. We do not warranty the Serializer if you do this either.

I'm looking forward to getting the Serializer C++ lib working under Linux. Last week I installed VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/) on my laptop (running XP Pro as the virtual host), and then installed Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/)as a virtual guest machine. :cool: This way, I can develop for both OSes on one computer. I'm going to use this environment for working w/ the Serializer C++ lib, and see if it works with the usb ports.

If it does, I'll put together a 'How To' to pimp this FREE solution for developing on multiple OSes, and post on the site. :cool:

Best Regards!

Jason Summerour
President,
Summerour Robotics Corp
Microsoft MVP
www.roboticsconnection.com (http://www.roboticsconnection.com)

Matt
03-24-2008, 11:12 PM
As always, thanks Jason for making a great platform with awesome capabilities :)

LinuxGuy
03-24-2008, 11:13 PM
Yes, if you have a PIC programmer, you can stick a 5 pin dual row header into the programming header socket, and connect the programmer to them (press down firmly), and reprogram the firmware in the Serializer. If you do, you will blow away the bootloader and firmware. We do not warranty the Serializer if you do this either.
Ah, good! Do you release the current sources to what is already on the serializer? This would enable one to build it and reflash the PIC if needed, as well as modify it to suit specific needs. I will have to get a Serializer if you release the full sources to current firmware. This is an excellent case where Open Source really works well in my opinion.

I'm going to check into the Mono Project (http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page) closer and see what might be done using it. I have had it installed on my last Linux install, but have not installed it on the new install yet (Kubuntu). This really does look like C# for Linux from what I have seen so far.


I'm looking forward to getting the Serializer C++ lib working under Linux. Last week I installed VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/) on my laptop (running XP Pro as the virtual host), and then installed Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/)as a virtual guest machine. :cool: This way, I can develop for both OSes on one computer. I'm going to use this environment for working w/ the Serializer C++ lib, and see if it works with the usb ports.
I chose to go the dual-boot route until I can get a case and power supply for my third PC build. This one will be Linux only and then my main PC will probably end up Windows only.

8-Dale

roboticsconnection
03-24-2008, 11:19 PM
Dale,

We're going to release the Serializer .NET Lib source soon, but not the firmware. We've worked too hard and long on it, and we still haven't sold enough to justify all of the time we've spent on it, so we need to keep it close to the vest, especially since it's nice and mature at this point.

The Serializer .NET lib should work just fine under Mono. Mono seems to be pretty solid.

Hey Matt! I like your Avatar! I can't wait until WALL-E comes out!

Best Regards!

Jason Summerour
President,
Summerour Robotics Corp
Microsoft MVP
www.roboticsconnection.com (http://www.roboticsconnection.com)