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Getting Started with BeagleBone: Linux-Powered Electronic Projects With Python and JavaScript
 
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Getting Started with BeagleBone: Linux-Powered Electronic Projects With Python and JavaScript [Kindle Edition]

Matt Richardson

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Product Description

Product Description

Many people think of Linux as a computer operating system, running on users' desktops and powering servers. But Linux can also be found inside many consumer electronics devices. Whether they're the brains of a cell phone, cable box, or exercise bike, embedded Linux systems blur the distinction between computer and device.

Many makers love microcontroller platforms such as Arduino, but as the complexity increases in their projects, they need more power for applications, such as computer vision. The BeagleBone is an embedded Linux board for makers. It's got built-in networking, many inputs and outputs, and a fast processor to handle demanding tasks. This book introduces you to both the original BeagleBone and the new BeagleBone Black and gets you started with projects that take advantage of the board's processing power and its ability to interface with the outside world.

About the Author

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist and video producer. He's a contributor to MAKE magazine and Makezine.com. Matt is also the owner of Awesome Button Studios, a technology consultancy. Highlights from his work include the Descriptive Camera, a camera which outputs a text description of a scene instead of a photo. He also created The Enough Already, a DIY celebrity-silencing device. Matt's work has garnered attention from The New York Times, Wired, New York Magazine and has also been featured at The Nevada Museum of Art and at the Santorini Bienniele. He is currently a Master's candidate at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4910 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (4 October 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FNBWNMY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There is only one thing that really bothers me 7 December 2013
By A2life - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an introduction to both programming and electric toying of this powerful development board.
Linux platform is well equipped to the point even bash shell scripting can be used to do a decent hardware hacking control. I believe targeted audience is a weekend hacker and not serious C/C++ programmer. If that is a case, this books serves its target audience well.

There is only one thing that really bothers me.

Following a tradition of Raspberry Pi and Arduino , the first physical demonstration of the board is made on how to turn LED on.
Matt tells us to use 100 ohm resistor in series of LED. the GPIO pin is set up to source the current. With 3.3V output and 100 ohm resistor with LED Vf of about 1.8V, the resulting current will be around 15mA. This is OK for LED that is usually rated for 20 mA but appears to be way over the spec'ed source current of 4mA for this TI SOC. The setup does work (I did try it) and did not destroy my beaglebone but this is probably because the TI chip's design margin and not the GPIOs intended usage. Therefore I would not follow this if I were to use more than a single LED in the same fashion. Adafruit.com's tutorial (written by Simon Monk) recommends the use of 470 ohm resistor instead and warns against the use of lesser value resistor because "it could burn your beaglebone". Derek Molloy's youtube video even shows the set up where GPIO output is buffered by a small signal transistor to turn LED on. Needless to say, I am most comfortable with Derek's solution.

Other than this concern, the book succeeds in showing around the Beaglebone's vast playing ground. I liked the book for covering the broad spectrum of methods to enjoy this board in a relatively small number of pages.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start 14 November 2013
By K9SFN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first shot at the BeagleBone Black. After a bunch is dismal how to do it books over the Raspberry Matt Richardsons book was real breath of fresh air. Everything he suggested worked the first time. His descriptions and explanations were exact and understandable. In a few hours I was reading my Emails and downloaded some business data. After many hours of frustration with the Raspberry books I managed to get an LED to blink.

If you want to get off to good start with open source devices buy the BeagleBone Black and get a copy of this book.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Linux Physical Computing With Built-In Input Output/Excellent Handbook 17 October 2013
By Ira Laefsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Matt Richardson a prominent Maker who also wrote the excellent Getting Started manual on Raspberry Pi and is a Masters student at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program has prepared an excellent handbook on the powerful Beaglebone (and Beaglebone Black). The Beaglebone most recently released for $45 in the Beaglebone Black model has several advantages over both existing Arduino models and the Raspberry Pi. Like the Pi the Beaglebone runs the powerful Linux operating system on a faster and more powerful processor. Like the Arduino the I/O capabilities of this compact processor card include Analog I/O with a built in Analog to Digital Converter and several PWM outputs (this is unlike the Raspberry Pi which has no built-in ADC and only a single PWM output). In addition, the Beaglebone has a Javascript-based I/O control in the Bonescript Language and a Web-Hosted IDE for developing Bonescript Code known as Cloud9.

Mr. Richardson certainly includes a full description of all one needs to get started with the Beaglebone include hardware gozinta's, software setup and use of the IDE as well as Python interfaces; but he also goes well beyond other getting started books in this compact 127 page edition. Projects include a networked outlet timer, use of Python and Bonescript and the Linux Shell to control the board and interfaces, and use of the Xively Internet of Things service (formerly known as COSM or Pachube).

I highly recommend this Getting Started++ guide to the powerful and extensible Beaglebone architecture to both those new to Linux embedded systems and hardware enthusiasts.

--Ira Laefsky MS Engineering/MBA IT & HCI Consultant & Researcher
formerly on the Senior Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise getting started guide to BeagleBone Boards 21 October 2013
By Ross G Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This Make: Getting Started Guide is everything I expected it to be. It has a very thorough instructions on how to get up and running. It covers various ways to "program" GPIO pins such as shell scripting, using the Adafruit GPIO python library, and using bonescript which is based on node.js . I was particularly interested in learning about the BeagleBone because I am curious about the upcoming Arduino Tre and I wanted to know the rationale for combine a BeagleBone and Arduino board into one big board. Although the BeagleBone appears to excel in the Linux side of functionality, programming the GPIO pins appears to be very cumbersome and somewhat Byzantine depending on the chosen method. Furthermore the GPIO's on this system seem quite fragile compared to an Arduino, especially when you need to use the ADC. From reading this book I can clearly see the motivation for the upcoming Arduino Tre.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and quick to get you up and running 19 December 2013
By Luca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Surprised how quick you can get your project going with this book.
I am not so novice (engineer that worked with Unix and Linux for years), but I still learned things I did not know.
But what's really great, is that it's fast... in very little time you can get started with linux, ssh, turn on LED's, Python scripts etc...
Withing 4 hours you learned all you need to get your internet controlled project started. I highly recommended it for the beginner, but also for the intermediate user.
Not to be fooled: this book is not a complete user manual, it just scratches the surface of all the potential of this Beablebone, but it's super fast to do, and touches many aspects of it (GPIO, PWM, Analog I/O, ethernet, python, JS, HDMI, cron, Cloud IDE).

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