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Minimalist laptop for embedded work?

Started by Joerg November 8, 2006
On 2006-11-09, Joerg <notthisjoergsch@removethispacbell.net> wrote:

>>>>>I heard mention last week, that RS232 ports are making >>>>>something of a come-back and are re-appearing in some business >>>>>laptops. >> >> I would applaud that if true, but I have a real hard time >> believing it. >> >>>>Yep, execs can't do without their EEPROM burners. Or do they >>>>frequently need serial console to rack servers? :) >>>> >>>>Seriously, any reason for this supposed trend? >>> >>>Good question, all we could think of was to talk to the >>>emerging Cell Phone Modems ? >> >> All of the ones I've seen in the past few years were USB. > > Exec market or not, a good indicator is usually Walmart. If > they ain't got it, it ain't popular. They do carry a > USB-parallel adapter but I have never seen any USB-RS232 > adapter there.
That jibes with what I've seen on recent laptops. Some have a parallel port but none have a serial port. -- Grant Edwards grante Yow! Join the PLUMBER'S at UNION!! visi.com
On Wed, 08 Nov 2006 23:14:53 GMT, Joerg
<notthisjoergsch@removethispacbell.net> wrote:

>Hello Folks, > >Looks like I'll have to debug code for a small uC (MSP430) in the field >pretty soon. Cramped space, things can be banged around a bit, the >usual. What would be a small, low cost and bare minimum laptop to do >that with? Or is there a nice PDA where a keyboard can connect to? > >The programmers work via USB. The bootloader I may have to provide would >be RS232 but that could be handled via a USB-RS232 converter. In the lab >I use a baseline Dell Inspiron. Works nicely but it is quite large and >the plastic enclosure looks a bit too flimsy for such jobs.
Joerg I use Compaq laptops for field work. I buy them secondhand, through a friend who deals with such equipment. My favourite for field work is a 1GHz Compaq Armada M700 with 392 MB RAM. It comes with serial, parallel, 1 USB, network, modem and PCMCIA. I have added a DVD burner. OS is Win 2000, but it runs Linux ok. Without the DVD it would cost about $300 on eBay. Quite rugged, small and light, about 2 kg. My second laptop is a 1.6 GHz Compaq/HP nc6000 with 512 MB RAM. It has all of the above, plus WLAN and Bluetooth. It costs about twice as muchas the M700. My friend also recommends IBM laptops. The new large plastic laptops are probably only meant for home use, and will not last long in the field. Tom
Hello Tom,


>>Looks like I'll have to debug code for a small uC (MSP430) in the field >>pretty soon. Cramped space, things can be banged around a bit, the >>usual. What would be a small, low cost and bare minimum laptop to do >>that with? Or is there a nice PDA where a keyboard can connect to? >> >>The programmers work via USB. The bootloader I may have to provide would >>be RS232 but that could be handled via a USB-RS232 converter. In the lab >>I use a baseline Dell Inspiron. Works nicely but it is quite large and >>the plastic enclosure looks a bit too flimsy for such jobs. > > > Joerg > > I use Compaq laptops for field work. I buy them secondhand, through a > friend who deals with such equipment. > > My favourite for field work is a 1GHz Compaq Armada M700 with 392 MB > RAM. > It comes with serial, parallel, 1 USB, network, modem and PCMCIA. > I have added a DVD burner. OS is Win 2000, but it runs Linux ok. > > Without the DVD it would cost about $300 on eBay. > > Quite rugged, small and light, about 2 kg. > > My second laptop is a 1.6 GHz Compaq/HP nc6000 with 512 MB RAM. > It has all of the above, plus WLAN and Bluetooth. > > It costs about twice as muchas the M700. > > My friend also recommends IBM laptops. > > The new large plastic laptops are probably only meant for home use, > and will not last long in the field. >
Thanks. Yes, it should be rugged but it doesn't need to be very powerful. All I'd do would be running the IAR suite, modify code, compile and then download via USB. The uC to be programmed are pretty small so compile times are just a few seconds even on a slow machine. -- Regards, Joerg http://www.analogconsultants.com

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