[TriEmbed] hardware stuff

Alex Davis alexd at matrixwide.com
Wed Jul 1 10:07:38 CDT 2020

I bought a TL866 II Plus USB programmer to flash EEPROMs on my retrobrewcomputers.org CB030 SBC. By Aliexpress standards, it wasn't cheap (~$40 I think), but the software is pretty good and it's fast at programming. I didn't buy the SMT adapters, since I only need to program DIP stuff at the moment.

Another CB030-related purchase was an "Altera USB Blaster" clone. They're all over EBay and Aliexpress and pretty cheap. I bought an "expensive" one (~$8) which came in a nicer plastic case. Altera/Intel Quartus II is rather obtuse but I succeeded in programming the Altera Max CPLD on the CB030.

Both of the above are from the "diymore" seller on Aliexpress btw. No point in using ebay, since you wont find any actual US sellers for this stuff.

For ESP32, I've been really enjoying the TTGO boards. Less than $20 gets you an ESP32 with an e-paper display or a nice IPS LCD.

I have not been doing much embedded stuff lately. I'm trying to focus on my AWS Cloud Architect Associate cert and learning about pytorch/CUDA neural-net stuff. The little NVidia Jetson Nano board is really good considering the price and the free courseware. Just be sure you use the course-specific OS images, as the generic desktop one needs more setup with pytorch and tensorflow libraries. On my "gaming system", I learned the hard way most tensorflow stuff is still on 1.x, which in practical terms means holding back on running the latest of other stuff. If you want to play with tensorflow on Ubuntu, use 18.04. 20.04 defaults to python 3.8, which is not compatible with tensorflow 1.x. Supposedly 2.0 is backwards-compatible, but it requires code changes which I didn't want to mess with.


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