0 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2014 2:07 PM by SpiderKenny

    Galileo and Me - What I'm doing with Galileo. [BLOG POST]


      (I was trying to post this as a blog post, but that feature isn't available on Makers at the moment, it seems.)

      I thought I'd share a few thoughts about what I'm doing with Galileo.

      I think the first thing I'd say is that I am learning. I'm learning a lot, and learning fast. Galileo is the first time I've really started to use Linux as an application platform.


      My history is that I'm an embedded electronics engineer with over 28 years experience in the field. When I started in electronics you could go to Radio Shack (Tandy in the UK) and buy every component needed to build an IBM Compatible PC-XT. I don't mean motherboard, DIMM, Video card - I mean components not modules. You could buy processors, interrupt controllers, ram chips (yes ram chips, not ram modules!) and breadboard it all together and build an IBM Compatible PC-XT with an 80x25 character display.


      The first computer I owned was a Mattel Aquarius (Introduced in 1982 and nicknamed 'the system for the 70s') - it ran a stripped down version of Microsoft Basic. I did a full disassembly of the Aquarius ROM and wrote an Aquarius Emulator about 20 Years ago.


      The first operating system I used was CP/M, and then PC_DOS and MS_DOS 1.0 - early versions of MS-DOS didn't even support directories, and the only text editor was a line-editor (edlin) which could only display what you typed - the file buffer was in your head!



      Since then I have worked continuously in electronics, with one or two forays into commercial software along the way. I have designed and built, prototyped, and tested boards for all kinds of clients in all kinds of industries. Everything from high quality audio systems to automated control systems for the Film and Video industry. (Camera motion recording and replay, repeatable gun-shot patterns and so on).

      More and more lately I find that I 'integrate' rather than develop new hardware. More and more time is spent doing firmware and Apps. Quite often it's a mater of choosing a platform and developing Apps to implement functionality.


      Future and Learning

      Someone once said the half-life of an engineer is about 2½ years, so I'm always learning new things, new approaches and new technology. That's one of the reasons that Galileo appeals to me so much. While working as an electronics consultant, I am also studying a Master's Degree in Computing for Commerce and Industry, and Galileo is going to help me.


      For my master's research project I will be looking at distributed wireless systems that need synchronous data delivery. I can't say too much, but lets just say that I need to be able to carry out tasks on separate Galileos with a timing difference of no more than about 1 ms. Each task requires a stream of data. Each Galileo will be at a different location in a building, and it might be necessary to have the Galileos build and manage their own Mesh network as the furthers ones may be too far away from the wifi router, but close enough to each other to build a mesh.


      So I'll be researching: synchronous delivery of data over wifi; task timing control; drift and how to measure it without impacting the main task; mesh networking and so on.

      I'll be looking at 802.1AS (Time synchronisation across heterogenous bridged LANs) and possibly developing new protocols and methodologies.


      The Master's Research project is very expensive, and I am going to need dozens of Galileo boards too, but I hope it will be worth it. I'm trying to attract sponsorship from various sources and I'll let you know how it goes. I also have blog at my own site where I'll be reporting on progress.