Ruixiang Du

MCU Programming Tips

Here are some tips that might be helpful to improve your code for microcontrollers. It’s not a complete list but most of the issues mentioned here are commonly seen during the lab sessions of ECE2049 at WPI and probably from any code by new embedded programmers.

C/C++ Logging Frameworks

My goal is to find a lightweight, high-performance logging library for use with C/C++, mostly for robotics control and navigation applications. Ref[1] lists a lot of available C/C++ Logging libraries:

Setting Up Development Environment for MCUs with Open-Source Tools (2)

As introduced in part one, you should have source files, startup code and a linker script at hand first, then compile, assemble, link them to get an executable file, and finally convert the executable file to a binary file that your MCU can understand. In this part, I will explain how to do all these work in detail. I keep figure 1 from the first part of this article for easy reference.

Setting Up Development Environment for MCUs with Open-Source Tools (1)

A lot of articles can be found from the Internet talking about this topic. It looks as if you can easily set up the development environment for MCUs by following these instructions. That can be true if you really understand how everything works inside the process of cross-compiling. If not, you probably will get some problems. The main issue, which makes most of the online articles to be not helpful enough, is that most of the authors just give instructions that are specific to a set of tools with specific versions, not telling you why you need to do each step. Very often you find doing the same thing just doesn’t work on your computer, because you’re using a different version, or working on a different operating system. You have to Google a lot to find every missing piece to get your tool chain fit and complete.

Site Migrated from Octopress to Jekyll

Finally I’ve decided to move my site from using Octopress to Jekyll. I’ve used Octopress for about one year. It is easy to set up a personal website using Octopress when you are totally new to static site generators. But when you know more and want to do more customizations, it becomes a little too complicated (at least for me). At first I planned to wait a little bit for Octopress 3.0 to be released and see if it can give me some surprise. But after reading this discussion post, I started to think if I should move to Jekyll. As the author of Octopress mentioned, “Essentially, Octopress 3.0 will be better suited to Jekyll users than Octopress users, at least initially”. So what would you think after seeing this statement?

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