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27-Feb-24 ESG Social #6: Embedded Linux Device Drivers

Dear friends of Embedded Systems Development,

After a seasonal break, we are back with more events and talks for you. Our next social will be on the 27 February 2024 (next Tuesday) at HackerGarage:

HackerGarageCalle Marsella 155-Int 105 AColonia Americana, Lafayette44160 Guadalajara, Jalisco

As usual, everyone is welcome, from beginner to seasoned professional in SW/HW engineering. We'll have two talks prepared for you, this time under the umbrella of embedded linux:

Talk #1: Exploring Linux Device Drivers through Raspberry Pi GPIOSpeaker: Josue Hernandez (Oracle)

Abstract: This talk offers an exploration of Linux device drivers using Raspberry Pi GPIO as a primary tool for illustration. GPIO, a simple yet powerful interface for hardware interaction on the Raspberry Pi, serves as an ideal vehicle for understanding the underlying principles of device driver development. Through practical demonstrations and clear explanations, attendees will unravel the complexities of device drivers in the Linux ecosystem.

Note: I am planning starting using gpio zero and move the conversation to the kernel and explain why in that way is possible to take more advantages of Linux as Operating System.

Talk #2: Racing the Beam: An hands-on introduction to writing Games on the Atari 2600 vintage consoleSpeaker: Frank Zeyda (Galois Inc.)

Abstract: In previous talks, we already encountered the paradigm of "racing the beam" when writing games for vintage consoles such as the Atari 2600. In short, this means that CPU and video hardware (the TIA chip on the Atari 2600) have to work tightly together in order to dynamically generate a stable video output as the beam traverses the screen (remember that vintage consoles output to CRT devices).

In this talk, I will give a brief introduction to games development for the Atari 2600, with a few code examples in 6502 assembly language. I will also demonstrate the tools that are needed: the Stella Atari emulator and dasm assembler. For those who like to dig deeper, I shall provide a few references to online tutorials and course material. Lastly, I will explain how the design of the Atari 2600 was a child of its time in terms of the limitations imposed by the hardware, and how important it was for developers to fully understand those limitations and hardware design in order to write effective software - up to the challenge of reading and making sense of schematics of those chips.

Looking forward to seeing you there despite the short notice!

Frank Zeyda

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