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Jun 26

22 days

Shop is finally open!

Unbelievable!

We thought we'd never get there... After countless promises of "opening soon", "almost there", "check back next week" and the likes, I am very pleased to announce that the Dooba shop is now finally open for business!

Why the ridiculous wait, you ask?

I did not want to open before the ioNode was tested enough. Same goes for the SDK and core libraries. It took me a while to gather enough experience and feedback with these.

What I really wanted to avoid was to have people start using Dooba stuff and then radically change fundamental things - I personally hate this nightmare of constantly changing the very basics of a system / framework / technology.

This of course does not mean that Dooba will not evolve. The point here is making sure that I'm not going to completely re-think the SDK or the ioNode just three days after you've started playing with this stuff.

What to expect

For now, I'm starting with just the basics: the ioNode, a few modules and some nice t-shirts.

I am currently putting together some really cool kits that will help you build incredible projects. First up are the Remote-controlled vehicle kit and the Portable MP3 player kit.

Also, I have more amazing modules coming up for your projects, including motion sensing, GSM/3G, Ethernet, and more!

As always, don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter to get all the updates :)

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Jun 18

30 days

Reaching higher

Hello again!

Time for some important news!

Over the past year I've been working pretty much non-stop to improve the ecosystem, offer more capabilities, better hardware modules. I wanted to build a better Dooba experience in general.

Here we will try to cover the most significant changes. Though we will inevitably omit many things, keep in mind that everything you need is documented on the new Dooba Wiki.

So let's start with the heart of all this - the ioNode.

It was time

After almost two years of use, I had collected interesting experience and feedback and was ready to re-design the ioNode.


The new ioNode

It now features a more efficient layout, allows breadboarding of the SPI bus (previously was an issue), and just looks much better :)

A better SDK

The SDK is probably the part that has evolved the most. The list of improvements would be too long to enumerate but most importantly, the SDK now features the Substrate system - a powerful way to generate the underlying bricks for any application with minimal code. This even allows you to "describe" your hardware platform using a beautifully simple syntax. It is also capable of fetching dependencies on remote git servers and allows dependency version management.

Generic Frameworks

Having drivers for hardware chips or modules is great, but what's even better is having those drivers integrate into generic frameworks that allow applications to be constructed as if an operating system was present.

The VFS & generic storage model

Using the new Virtual File System (VFS), you can now access files accross any storage device, through any file system. While at the time of this writing only a FAT32 driver is provided, we will continue to support more file systems as time progresses, and even implementing your own file system driver is a piece of cake.

The generic storage model defines a common interface for any storage device.

We already provide a driver for SD cards (including MicroSD etc...) as well as MBR partition support.

Graphics framework

The all-new Graphics framework allows drawing text, shapes, tilesets and images on any display device.

Network sockets

Communication across the internet have never been easier - thanks to the network sockets library.

So easy in fact, that we also implemented an HTTP library, supporting both client and server operation! That's right, we can host web applications on a microcontroller!

We also provide a ESP8266 WiFi driver to get you online in no time.

UI Framework

One of the big additions is the UI framework, Yolk.

Yolk relies on the previously-mentioned graphics framework to build generic graphical user interfaces on any display with just a few lines of code.

Yolk offers many possibilities for custom styles, designing custom components, plugins or input layers.

It even includes utilities such as a generic file browser or a customizable status bar.

This is only the beginning

I wanted to complete at least these fundamental frameworks and features before presenting anything. This is why I've waited so long before giving any sign of life.

However now that this is complete, I can begin to work on the next steps for Dooba. The roadmap (sorry, that part is not public yet!) is already filled with new tickets and I have a lot ahead of me.

So don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter if you haven't already done that - you'll be the first to know about all the new updates!

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Jun 18

30 days

Dooba is back!

Hello! It's been a while...

Yes, it's been almost a year since I last posted anything... But that doesn't mean I've been sleeping all this time - quite the opposite in fact!

For the past years Dooba was very much a "side project" for me. I decided I wanted to get more committed and take things to another level. The first step in doing that was re-thinking the infrastructure around Dooba.

Getting serious

I started to feel like the Dooba infrastructure (servers, repositories, management, etc...) was lacking in many aspects.

So the first order of business was migrating from Redmine to something more complete and better suited to something like Dooba.

Repos & Project management

After evaluating some options I decided to go with Atlassian's tools - Bitbucket for the repositories and JIRA for project management.

Documentation system

One of the major reasons for migrating away from Redmine was the documentation system. While the wiki features offered by Redmine are interesting and certainly useful, I needed something more advanced. I decided I would go with MediaWiki, the software that powers Wikipedia.

Proper hosting

Until very recently, the complete Dooba infrastructure (DNS, Web, DB, E-Mail, Repos, ...) was hosted on my personal (eresse.net) dedicated server.

So the next item on the list was figuring out some proper hosting for this infrastructure. I went with OVH VPS service to have a dedicated virtual server on which I could host the website (what you're looking at right now) and the wiki.

For the e-mail, I finally went with Google's G Suite which allows much smoother management for a decent price.

Next steps

Now that I had everything in place, it was time for some cleaning up and making things more 'production-ready'. The time had come to update the modules, libraries, even the SDK.

So stay tuned for the big updates coming very soon - sign-up for the newsletter if you haven't already done it!

166

Mar 14

over 1 year

First videos of the Trill phone are online!

In case you haven't heard already, we now have a GSM/3G mobile phone module for the ioNode (the module is a complete phone).

I've personally been using this phone for about 3 weeks now, and so far I'm very satisfied with this.
Moving away from my smartphone was a little disturbing at first, but very soon this was replaced by a great feeling of freedom :)

I finally took the time to make some quick videos of the phone in operation.
I will try to add more in the coming days.

Receiving a call:


Ring ring!

Replying to a SMS:


Ring ring!

If you're looking for more details on Trill, check out the documentation on source.dooba.io.

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162

Mar 06

over 1 year

Introducing Trill - an open-source 3G mobile phone

You read that correctly, I'm talking about a complete GSM/3G mobile phone, based on the ioNode!

As explained previously, I've been hard at work for the past half-year putting together this new "module" for the ioNode and writing all of the firmware libraries for it.

Features

* 128 x 64 OLED display
* 16 buttons + 5-way mini-joystick
* Microphone & earpiece
* MicroSD card slot
* MicroSIM card slot
* MP3 decoder, headphone amplifier and 3.5mm stereo jack
* Vibrator

Pictures

I also designed a basic plastic case using Blender.
My Ultimaker 2 Go printer did take quite a few hours to print all the parts, but the result turned out very satisfactory.



The documentation is available here.

I'll try to add more pictures and videos in the coming days.

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