All About BeagleBoard

We'll be talking about BeagleBoard projects, communities, and hacks!

Friday, October 13, 2017 12:00 pm PDT - Friday, October 13, 2017 12:30 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Jason Kridner will be hosting the Hack Chat this week.

This Hack Chat is at noon PDT, Friday, October 13th.

Time Zones got you down? Here's a handy count down timer! 

The BeagleBoard was first developed in 2008 and has an active community. The BeagleBoard is an Open Source single board computer used in many neat projects on

We especially like Bela, an Open Source audio processor for embedded DSP, interactive installations, and any project that needs sound!

We're excited to welcome Jason Kridner to host this week's Hack Chat. Jason is one of the co-founders of and has been working on the support and development of the BeagleBoard since the beginning. 

Jason will discuss and where it's going. We'll talk about Linux, pro-making, and education hacks. These are all communities within and we'll learn more about where these communities intersect.

Digi-Key has generously offered to give away two PocketBeagle boards to the best idea submitted. Please use our discussion sheet to submit your idea. It can be something you are already working on.

If you are working on a BeagleBoard hack, please list your link in the discussion sheet!


The HackChat this week is about We will discuss:

  • and the direction it's moving in
  • Communities using BeagleBoard
  • Education
  • Projects using the BeagleBoard

There will be a giveaway for the two best BeagleBoard ideas or projects submitted!

  • All About Beagle Board HackChat Transcript Pt.2

    Shulie Tornel10/13/2017 at 20:54 0 comments

    Jason Kridner @AdityaPrakash23 I can clearly say yes because you say "very basic". The big question is how basic is basic. A BeagleBone can do face recognition using the OpenCV demo code (unoptimized) at about 5-10 frames per second. Lots of room to optimize, but that is probably a reasonable proxy for the type of ML algorithms that you'd run. Running a neural net algorithm doesn't have to be crazy CPU intensive, but you have to look at how many nodes you need. Cloud training is clearly making things much easier.

    Seth I see labor as a major, small-time effort in the expensive range. I have tried backing US mfg. but prices have soared. I can tell, esp. in my state. Louisiana has been an oil field marketplace. I am sure you have oil field related markets for embedded systems.

    Shayna From Jacob : "The barrier of entry for PRU development seems pretty steep, any recommendations on getting started with PRU development?"

    Jason Kridner @Seth lots of factors to roll in this discussion. I think the fact that we can make PocketBeagle in the US cost-effectively such that everyone in the chain gets a bit of profit and not selling as a loss-leader is a pretty big statement.

    Seth yep!

    AdityaPrakash23 @Jason Kridner So a basic neural net might work?

    Jason Kridner yeah. As far as starting with PRU... My blinky LED example is at it uses the remote-proc stuff rather than UIO. I think it is pretty easy, but I know it really needs to be even easier.

    Seth I get so "up and at 'em" with USA mfg. These days, it is sort of a touchy subject. So, back to the bone!

    Jason Kridner @Chris Gammell did you catch that? :-D anyway, botspeak is a beginning-user's assembly language.

    Shayna From @Sai Yamanoor : "Is it possible to program the PRU on the Beagle in an Arduino like environment? I learned about PRUduino. WOuld I be able to use third party libraries as-is or do I have to port them to use it?"

    akqwy "Getting to PRU"

    Jason Kridner I tried to gather some starting stuff at, but it is still a bit heavy.

    Soul_Est @Seth I read you on that. Schiit Audio pulled it off but it really depends on the product. As you said back to it.

    Seth Yep.

    Jason Kridner my next plan is to create a botspeak interpreter as a kernel service, unlike the python attempt done by previous GSoC student. then, you can simply "cat" high-level assembly into a socket to get code for the PRU. nd then I'll create a little Firmata daemon for it. What's important to me is to make something that is easy to get started, but then is really practical for making a real product.

    zakqwy "Don't be a PRUde -- BBB programming with Chris" sorry I'll stop

    Jason Kridner Something I think I kinda missed the mark a bit still on BoneScript.

    Seth So Jason, I have been on the google groups and on the #beagle on IRC. I have been overwhelmed by the support of the products produced by the people.

    Garrett Mace And you start the processing with a marble rolling down a ramp turning on a fan that blows a USB drive into a port

    Seth Oh yea...are you still going to produce BoneScript more?

    Jason Kridner @Seth in a good way?

    Seth Yea.

    Jason Kridner @Seth yes, I'll still do BoneScript updates....

    Seth In a good way...I have had all sorts of assistance, even when I did not deserve it.

    Jason Kridner though I've floated the idea in small circles to make the RPC-server an installable rather than pre-installed component.I think JavaScript is a great development language (/me ducks), but most Beagle users never really go down that path. I need to do things the Beagle community loves. 

    Garrett Mace I'm not against Javascript. I even use it for ESP8266 stuff

    Jason Kridner For @Sai Yamanoor , I think...

    Read more »

  • All About BeagleBoard HackChat Transcript

    Shulie Tornel10/13/2017 at 19:42 0 comments

    Jason Kridner Gerald Coley and I started up as a lunch conversation in 2007. Both of us were TI employees at the time (I still am), but we wanted to make OMAPs (mobile phone chips) more accessible and I suggested making something that helped the Linux community was the way to go about that. I started programming when I was 8 when my mom got a TRS-80 to run her home business. I then spent every dollar I could get at Radio Shack building "Electronics Mini-notebook" projects. This little skunkworks project seemed like a great chance for me to help make sure other people had that kind of experience.

    Shayna Thank you for joining us @Jason Kridner !

    DrivenMadz Love it when general lunchtime convos turn into products!! good job sticking with it!!

    Shayna Just a reminder to all that we're prioritizing the questions on the sheet -- off-topic discussion can start once those are through, time permitting :)

    Norse @Jason Kridner Does TI provide any help or resources for you, or did you do this the two of you on your own?

    Shayna Ready to get started, @Jason Kridner ?

    Jason Kridner @Shayna sure.

    Garrett Mace Jason are you me?

    zakqwy Those mini-notebooks were GREAT!

    Shayna Hehe

    Shayna First one's from @Daren Schwenke "Why oh why are not more people using the beaglebone?"

    Jason Kridner @Norse I got my boss to put up $25k for the first board layout and prototypes.

    Jason Kridner Gerald and I had a theme in the early days....

    Jason Kridner it was "keep TI out of TI's way"

    Jason Kridner so, we always tried to keep it independent.

    Jason Kridner Starting funding came when Digi-Key placed a purchase order for the first 10k boards, and the TI reputation obviously helped with that a lot.

    Jason Kridner Over time, we launched the non-profit Foundation....

    Shayna Reminder that additional questions should go on the sheet or saved for open discussion. Don't forget your project ideas!

    Jason Kridner then, we eventually altered the leadership and now I'm the only TI employee on the board.

    Jason Kridner we have a 5 member board (all volunteers) and a paid executive director.

    Garrett Mace Good way to prevent tunnel vision

    Jason Kridner pretty much everything else is either paid for by TI contributions to the community, manufacturer contributions to projects or Foundation sponsored contracts.

    Jason Kridner My role is as the community manager, website hack and general product definition.

    Jason Kridner Ultimately, the less of me the better and I really do try to make this a community project.

    Shayna Any thoughts on @Daren Schwenke 's Q?

    Jason Kridner Activities like the Google Summer of Code and contributions from community members like @Kumar, Abhishek and @Michael Welling really keep things going.

    Jason Kridner Anything else I should say about me before going into questions?

    mumi Yes, favorite color?

    Daren Schwenke You could layout the virtues of the platform, such as PRU's and such.

    Jason Kridner Guess I could say I'm a 25 year veteran of TI and have done everything from ASIC design, product engineering, audio/video codec software, board design and I dunno.

    Jason Kridner @Daren Schwenke k, I can try to give an intro to what makes "products" interesting.

    Jason Kridner We started with mobile phone chips, but moved to more industrial chips over time.

    Jason Kridner The most popular board is BeagleBone Black that features an AM3358. That's an industrial focused ARM processor with a good mix of peripherals that makes it nice for building electronics prototypes and products. the PRUs are the generally killer feature that keeps it really relevant today, even after it has been out since 2013. they are 2 200-MHz RISC microcontrollers...

    Read more »

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AVR (lordKiCAD) wrote 10/11/2017 at 11:11 point

gonna see about working from home so I can drop in for this one!

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oshpark wrote 10/09/2017 at 22:28 point

Should be an exciting HackChat!

Anyone that wants to develop derivatives or expansion boards ("capes") for BeagleBone or PocketBeagle, please let me know: We like to help Open Source Hardware projects get made.

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