I’ve tried a few ‘blog’ approaches over the years and haven’t found what I was looking for, namely simple hosting with enough low-level editing capability to include code snippets and diagrams while having some kind of commenting system.

I first used Google’s blogger service but the editor and syntax were terrible and nothing ever looked right. I then unfortunately tried to use Google+ as a blog and that definitely doesn’t work – its editor is awful and it’s extremely feature-limited, all you can really do is bold things.

That brings me to this, github’s pages feature and Jekyll for static-content blogging. Now I can include code snippets, diagrams, links, and whatever, I can use disqus for comments, and I can control the look and feel while managing the whole thing in git and editing with vi or online via github’s built-in text editor. I used poole to set things up so I didn’t even have to deal with ruby stuff. Awesome!

GNU tools

I dug up a couple links to potentially useful posts on Google+, please check these out if you’re working on MCU firmware using GNU tools:

openocd improvements

I’ve been involved in a few openocd improvements over the past year or so,

  • You can now use the STLinkv2 adapter to trace (via the SWO pin in SWD mode) on Cortex M3, M4, and M4F microcontrollers – Google+ post about it it’s a simple implementation for now using port 0 and logging directly to a file. I started wirting a simple parser for that file, it’s called swo-tracer.
  • openocd supports CMSIS-DAP debuggers and that includes Atmel’s EDBG adapter which is built into their Xplained Pro development kits for Cortex-M microcontrollers – Google+ post about it …I added support for the very nice low-power SAM4L Cortex-M4 MCU (scripts, Flash driver, etc.) as well as the low-cost new SAMD20 and SAMD21 MCUs and their respective development kits. Give it a try!
  • I made a minor change to openocd’s JLink driver and now JLink-OB (that’s onboard) adapters work in openocd – Google+ post about it …this lets you use the debugger included on various vendors’ development kits. The change is simply a different USB PID and different endpoint addresses, it turns out the onboard adapters are otherwise identical.
  • I took a first stab at adding support scripts for TI’s TMS570 Cortex-R4 MCU. TI have made it impossible to write a proper Flash driver but at least there are now scripts for debugging in openocd, plus Seth LaForge from Google did awesome work on making the TMS570’s BE32 mode work properly as it was a gray area in ARM’s ABI and TI took some liberty with how it’s implemented.


I have a few things planned with regard to openocd. My TODO list includes:

  • adding SWO trace support for Atmel’s EDBG adapter. This is actually quite easy but now that there are two trace-capable adapters (STLinkv2 and EDBG), I need to find a reasonable way to integrate general “tracing” functionality into openocd and hook them up to that.
  • helping with the TMS570-related changes that are coming in.
  • helping to test the SWD reorganization changes and other ARM stuff, including an attempt at supporting SWD on JLink adapters.