Workshop computer for $15

Discussions on various computer platforms and operating systems used to run Shapeoko mills.
twforeman
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by twforeman » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:15 pm

Just to make a comment - you can usually pick up a pretty cheap laptop at a used computer store and install one of the large number of Linux variants on it and it will happily run UGS and bCNC (and others) to talk to your Shapeoko.

I run LinuxMint and bCNC on my ancient laptop and it works great for controlling my S3. For an added bonus you can also run DropBox on most Linux variants so when I create my GCode on my desktop upstairs I can then put it in DropBox and it appears on my laptop. No sneakernet needed. :)
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Jimf
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by Jimf » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:31 pm

Can't really help with your problem but the name PINE64 really brought back some old computing memories. My first computer was a Apple][ clone called Pine64. Short for Pineapple 64k. It was a kit that was bought from a advertisement in the old Byte magazine days circa 1982 or so. I had to hand solder all the dip sockets and parts. To my amazement it worked on first power up and used it for years until I went to college. Got a 8088 PC clone next. I still have it in storage.

RoguePirin
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by RoguePirin » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:15 pm

Jimf wrote:Can't really help with your problem but the name PINE64 really brought back some old computing memories. My first computer was a Apple][ clone called Pine64. Short for Pineapple 64k. It was a kit that was bought from a advertisement in the old Byte magazine days circa 1982 or so. I had to hand solder all the dip sockets and parts. To my amazement it worked on first power up and used it for years until I went to college. Got a 8088 PC clone next. I still have it in storage.
That's a fun bit of trivia, thanks for sharing. I entered the PC market with an 8086. It ran at 4.77 MHz, but it had a Turbo switch that let it run at an amazing 8 MHz!!! We started out with an amber monitor, and then were blown away when we upgraded to the 4-color glory of a CGA monitor. :lol:


P.S. I got all the prerequisites of bCNC installed now on the Pine64. Hopefully, I will get bCNC up and running this weekend.
Shapeoko 3 #677, Nyloc nuts, ¾" HDPE base with t-nuts, Dewalt 611 w/Super PIDv2

AnonymousPerson
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by AnonymousPerson » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:22 am

RoguePirin wrote:We started out with an amber monitor, and then were blown away when we upgraded to the 4-color glory of a CGA monitor.
Kings Quest at all? ;)
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Jimf
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by Jimf » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:00 am

My first PC clone had the same turbo switch so maybe it was a 8086, I forget. No color for me, Hercules mono was all I could afford back then.

RoguePirin
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by RoguePirin » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:04 am

AnonymousPerson wrote:Kings Quest at all? ;)
Absolutely! Kings Quest III was my favorite; trying to type in the spells quickly, without making a mistake, before the wizard came home was so stressful! I also played the Space Quest games (and Leisure Suit Larry, too). They were all great until the replaced the typing interface with the point-n-click mouse system. That took all the challenge out of it.
Shapeoko 3 #677, Nyloc nuts, ¾" HDPE base with t-nuts, Dewalt 611 w/Super PIDv2

RoguePirin
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by RoguePirin » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:19 pm

OK, I have everything all setup and "working" on the Pine64 board. I say "working" because I haven't actually connected the SO3 to the Pine64 yet. The only hurdle that I have left is that the community-made Ubuntu image only supports a 1920x1080 screen resolution, and my setup in my workshop has an old 1280x1024 monitor. At my desk in the house, I have a 1920x1080 monitor, so I have been using that to get the system up and running. bCNC is installed and starts up just fine, so I just have to take my desk monitor to my workshop and test it. If that connection test works, I will have to get a used 1920x1080 monitor for the workshop.

I also added a Logitech keyboard/mouse combo that uses their wireless unifying receiver. This will allow me to mount my Pine64 board to the VESA mount holes on the back of the monitor and not have to worry about running connection cables.
twforeman wrote:For an added bonus you can also run DropBox on most Linux variants so when I create my GCode on my desktop upstairs I can then put it in DropBox and it appears on my laptop. No sneakernet needed. :)
Actually, since this is a Linux variant, I just created a shared folder using Samba, and now I can drag and drop files over the network without the need for the 'cloud'. No sneakernet needed, which, I agree, is awesome!
Shapeoko 3 #677, Nyloc nuts, ¾" HDPE base with t-nuts, Dewalt 611 w/Super PIDv2

RoguePirin
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by RoguePirin » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:17 am

Unfortunately, I am unable to get the Pine64 board to work with the SO3. The SO3 just doesn't show up in the list of available ports in bCNC. I took a look at a few SO3/linux threads here on the forums, and from what I can tell, the communication over the USB port is straight serial. The SO3 should show up as a CDC device if the linux image is setup for it; specifically, if the kernel has cdc-acm support built in.

From what I can tell, the ARM linux port that the community has created doesn't have cdc-acm support in the kernel. At least, this is what I get when I run the modprobe command:

Code: Select all

sudo modprobe cdc-acm
modprobe: FATAL: Module cdc-acm not found in directory /lib/modules/3.10.65-4-pine64-longsleep
I have requested that the author of the kernal package please add support for it, but I have not received a reply to my request. Does anyone on this forum know if I can add the module without having it added in the kernel; like maybe through an apt-get command or something? Or does the kernel have to support it before the module can be installed? I am relatively new to linux, so I hope my questions make sense.
Shapeoko 3 #677, Nyloc nuts, ¾" HDPE base with t-nuts, Dewalt 611 w/Super PIDv2

dogsop
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by dogsop » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:08 pm

Here is an article from Hackaday on the state of the Pine 64.

http://hackaday.com/2016/04/21/pine64-the-un-review/

The author was able to get Ubuntu to load but found that it didn't work very well. His comment is that the current state of the software support for the board is very poor and that at this point the board isn't ready yet.

RoguePirin
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Re: Workshop computer for $15

Post by RoguePirin » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:48 pm

dogsop wrote:The author was able to get Ubuntu to load but found that it didn't work very well. His comment is that the current state of the software support for the board is very poor and that at this point the board isn't ready yet.
I agree with his overall statement that the Kickstarter campaign fell short of its promise. It appeared as if the 4 operating systems (including Ubuntu) were working and available, only to find out AFTER THE CAMPAIGN that the board was compatible with them "according to the specs on paper." Thankfully, some community members have stepped up and are offering their time for free to help out. My Ubuntu install is rock solid... for what I want. The reviewer also has the lowest/cheapest configuration possible (with only 512MB or RAM). I have the 2GB version, which also includes a beefier CPU.

If you accept the fact that this is a DIY hobby/development board, and not a commercial board ready to use off the shelf, then you expect to have to get your hands dirty and deal with a steep learning curve (kind of like the SO3 :) ). I am getting to know more about Linux/Ubuntu than I ever thought I would (kernel command lines?). But it is interesting (and sometimes frustrating).

If you want to use the board as a media center PC, or run some fancy 4K movie kiosk, the board is definitely not there yet. If all you want is a simple GUI interface to bCNC to send text GCode over the USB port, this board rocks in its current state! Now, if I could just get CDC-ACM enabled in the kernel, I could actually talk to the SO3 :D.
Shapeoko 3 #677, Nyloc nuts, ¾" HDPE base with t-nuts, Dewalt 611 w/Super PIDv2

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