Well, all my exams are finally over (most of them went ok) so it's back to play time and today's plaything is a TINI
It's a small (SIMM sized) Java processor that can drive a couple of serial ports, a 1-Wire net and Ethernet (10BaseT). Although the TINI itself is only SIMM sized, the connection board is a fair bit bigger; though still pretty tiny.
The SDK contains a Java app that is supposed to load the firmware via the serial port and could I get it going? Could I bugger. I spent about 4-5 hours swapping serial cables/making serial cables/swapping computers. At one point I even had it plugged directly into the back of a computer just to eliminate cabling from the equation. After a while I decided that I couldn't possibly make it any worse and decided to play with the last option left - supply voltage. Now, the manual says it takes 5V +/- 5%, but (despite the LED being on at 5V) it only came to life at 7.5V. Aggh! Anyway - it's working now.
It starts up a telnet and ftp server and you can upload preprocessed Java class files to it for execution. On the 1-Wire port I currently have a DS1820 temperature sensor (which says that it's 21C in Systems at the moment). Hopefully in future there will be a number of TINIs around the department with a number of DS1820s monitoring comms and machine rooms.
If you like, you can reach it (for a while at least) at tincan.doc.ic.ac.uk.