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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-21-2006, 11:57 PM
Chris Carlen
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Default Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Hi:

I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
devices.

The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.

I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
critically important to work correctly.

I will need to connect to the following devices:

Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)

Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)

Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)

In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
need to be sure I can work my present tools.

Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other tools?


Thanks for input.



--
Good day!

________________________________________
Christopher R. Carlen
Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
[email protected]
NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
"BOGUS" from email address to reply.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 12:57 AM
Joerg
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Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Hello Chris,

>
> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> devices.
>
> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>
> I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
> serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
> of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
> critically important to work correctly.
>
> I will need to connect to the following devices:
>
> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
>
> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>
> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>
> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
> and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
> get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
> need to be sure I can work my present tools.
>
> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other
> tools?
>


I don't know how their docking stations work but I'd be suspicious.
Programmers often bit-bang the parallel port directly and that typically
doesn't work if they chose to simply convert USB-parallel in the dock
station.

My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
genuine parallel port.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:13 AM
Howard Long
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

"Chris Carlen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>
> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>
> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812, and
> perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably get
> into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just need to
> be sure I can work my present tools.
>
> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other
> tools?


Coincidentally only today I was discussing using a Spectrum Digital XDS510PP
on a Dell with someone. They were unsuccessful with three different PCMCIA
card parallel ports, and they did not have a 'proper' port replicator. By
'proper' I mean a real hardware parallel port appearing at 0x378 on IRQ7.

I suggested some workarounds that I have used very successfully on Toshiba
laptops for the SD JTAG PP emulator and await the reply. These include
moving the phantom internal parallel port to somewhere else (eg, 0x278 or
0x3BC) and sometimes having to hack the .inf file that comes with PCMCIA
parallel port adaptors.

If the port replicator is a Dell unit designed specifically for the laptop
and does _not_ simply replicate parallel ports via a USB port, then you will
probably be OK. Forget it if it's a USB-type replicator.

Good luck, Howard


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:15 AM
Uwe Bonnes
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Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

In comp.arch.fpga Joerg <[email protected]> wrote:

> My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
> genuine parallel port.


PCMCIA Cards might be another option...
--
Uwe Bonnes [email protected]

Institut fuer Kernphysik Schlossgartenstrasse 9 64289 Darmstadt
--------- Tel. 06151 162516 -------- Fax. 06151 164321 ----------
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:19 AM
Joerg
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Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Hello Uwe,

>
>>My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
>>genuine parallel port.

>
> PCMCIA Cards might be another option...



Yes. Although I was cautioned by TI that the MSP430 JTAG programmer
might show some quirks if I did that. In the end I switched all tools to
USB.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:47 AM
Isaac Bosompem
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work


Joerg wrote:
> Hello Chris,
>
> >
> > I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> > PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> > devices.
> >
> > The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> > and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
> >
> > I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
> > serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
> > of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
> > critically important to work correctly.
> >
> > I will need to connect to the following devices:
> >
> > Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
> >
> > Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
> >
> > Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
> >
> > In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
> > and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
> > get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
> > need to be sure I can work my present tools.
> >
> > Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other
> > tools?
> >

>
> I don't know how their docking stations work but I'd be suspicious.
> Programmers often bit-bang the parallel port directly and that typically
> doesn't work if they chose to simply convert USB-parallel in the dock
> station.
>
> My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
> genuine parallel port.
>
> --
> Regards, Joerg
>
> http://www.analogconsultants.com


You can get an IBM Thinkpad (I have a P3 1.13Ghz T23, very happy with
it). These laptops have very good reputations. The newer models (T60)
seems to have dropped the parallel port for the extra vent. But if you
don't mind a used/slightly older model you can pick up the Thinkpad T42
which has a parallel port. Also considering that my ol' T23 was
released in like 2001 and is still working without any defects is
amazing! Built like tanks these laptops are.

-Isaac

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:52 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

I use a dell with docking station for Parallel Cable IV. It works but for
some reason you can't undock when the parallel port is used for anything. I
had to manual diasble the parallel port in the bios to get a clean undock.
So I pitched PC4 and went with a USB cable.

-Clark

"Chris Carlen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi:
>
> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> devices.
>
> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>
> I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
> serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
> of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
> critically important to work correctly.
>
> I will need to connect to the following devices:
>
> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
>
> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>
> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>
> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
> and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
> get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
> need to be sure I can work my present tools.
>
> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other

tools?
>
>
> Thanks for input.
>
>
>
> --
> Good day!
>
> ________________________________________
> Christopher R. Carlen
> Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
> Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
> [email protected]
> NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
> "BOGUS" from email address to reply.



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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:58 AM
John Williams
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Hi Chris,

Chris Carlen wrote:

> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> devices.
>
> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.


I use "the world's most expensive parallel port" (TM) - a Quatech SPP-100 in my
Dell Laptop. Paying $200 for a PCMCIA interface + voltage drivers is painful,
but the thing works just fine with the Xilinx tools. You do need to override
the ECP base address, there's an environment variable you can set. Google
comp.arch.fpga's history for this topic, you'll find it discussed at length over
the years.

Regards,

John
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:04 AM
Brad Griffis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Chris Carlen wrote:
> Hi:
>
> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> devices.
>
> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>
> I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
> serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
> of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
> critically important to work correctly.
>
> I will need to connect to the following devices:
>
> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
>
> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>
> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>
> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
> and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
> get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
> need to be sure I can work my present tools.
>
> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other
> tools?
>
>
> Thanks for input.
>


I've currently got a Dell D400 which although it has a serial port, does
not have a parallel port. The docking station does have the parallel
port and I have used without any issues for the entire 3 years I've had
it. When I'm away from my docking station I've used a Quatech PCMCIA
card to get the parallel port interface and that worked pretty well for
the most part, though not as seamlessly as the docking station since it
took a little bit of monkeying around to get the right driver.

A co-worker of mine has the M90 (or maybe M70?) and I know he does work
through the comm port on the docking station and I haven't heard him
make any complaints. In fact, he's been quite happy with the
performance of his laptop. It runs Linux through VMware faster than his
old desktop could run it natively!

By the way, USB JTAG emulators for TI DSPs have been out for quite a
while. A good low-cost emulator for c2000 DSPs is JTAGjet from Signum.
Spectrum Digital also now sells newer versions of the eZdsp with a USB
interface rather than the parallel port interface.

Brad
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:23 AM
larwe
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work


Joerg wrote:

> I don't know how their docking stations work but I'd be suspicious.
> Programmers often bit-bang the parallel port directly and that typically
> doesn't work if they chose to simply convert USB-parallel in the dock


The dock stations I've seen are generally adapters to buffer the super
I/O chip in the laptop.

Super I/Os still have legacy ports in them.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:27 AM
larwe
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work


Chris Carlen wrote:

> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)


The STK500 is very well-behaved and works well over USB-to-RS232
adapters.

I have a JTAG-ICE mkII and although I can barely get it to work once in
a blue moon, it should be equally "easy" to use on your Dell

> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)


Upgrade to the DLC9 Platform Cable to work with Xilinx FPGAs.

I use two laptops for all my non-day-job embedded work: an Averatec
AV3715 (used exclusively for the Xilinx stuff as it has USB 2.0; the
laptop is extremely low quality and should be considered a disposable
machine) and an HP ZE4805WM. I mainly use MSP430, PowerPC (inside
Virtex-4 and also on remote Linux boxes), ARM (I use serial debugging
with gdb stubs on the target, though I do own a Macraigor Wiggler) and
AVR (via an Olimex USB-to-serial-to-JTAG adapter that looks like a
JTAG-ICE mkI).

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:32 AM
Chris Carlen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Howard Long wrote:[edit]
> If the port replicator is a Dell unit designed specifically for the laptop
> and does _not_ simply replicate parallel ports via a USB port, then you will
> probably be OK. Forget it if it's a USB-type replicator.
>
> Good luck, Howard



The tough part is finding out what it has before I buy it.



--
Good day!

________________________________________
Christopher R. Carlen
Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
[email protected]
NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
"BOGUS" from email address to reply.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:35 AM
Chris Carlen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Isaac Bosompem wrote:[edit]
> You can get an IBM Thinkpad (I have a P3 1.13Ghz T23, very happy with
> it). These laptops have very good reputations. The newer models (T60)
> seems to have dropped the parallel port for the extra vent. But if you
> don't mind a used/slightly older model you can pick up the Thinkpad T42
> which has a parallel port. Also considering that my ol' T23 was
> released in like 2001 and is still working without any defects is
> amazing! Built like tanks these laptops are.
>
> -Isaac



Unfortunately, my company has a "permitted" set of laptop models. There
are some IBMs and HPs though, so I might take a closer look at those.

I have to do some re-thinking about whether I really want to pay for a
large screen and do any real work on it, or if it will be just for
transferring hex files from my real desktop PC to targets in various
labs in my building. If I forego the intention of doing real work on
the laptop, then I can consider all 3 makers' products. Hopefully one
has a parallel port, but in 2006 I doubt it.



--
Good day!

________________________________________
Christopher R. Carlen
Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
[email protected]
NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
"BOGUS" from email address to reply.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:36 AM
Chris Carlen
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Anonymous wrote:
> I use a dell with docking station for Parallel Cable IV. It works but for
> some reason you can't undock when the parallel port is used for anything. I
> had to manual diasble the parallel port in the bios to get a clean undock.
> So I pitched PC4 and went with a USB cable.
>
> -Clark



Which Dell model?

That's strange. What if you just "turn it off?"



--
Good day!

________________________________________
Christopher R. Carlen
Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
[email protected]
NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
"BOGUS" from email address to reply.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:38 AM
CBFalconer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Joerg wrote:
>
>> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
>> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
>> devices.
>>
>> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
>> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>>

.... snip ...
>
> I don't know how their docking stations work but I'd be suspicious.
> Programmers often bit-bang the parallel port directly and that typically
> doesn't work if they chose to simply convert USB-parallel in the dock
> station.
>
> My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
> genuine parallel port.


I agree. When everyone caves in and buys these emasculated
machines, they just encourage the manufacturers to save the few
pennies it takes to make a real system. Same goes for desktops and
for ECC memory.

Please don't remove attributions for material you quote.

--
Some informative links:
news:news.announce.newusers
http://www.geocities.com/nnqweb/
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html
http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html



--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:40 AM
Chris Carlen
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Brad Griffis wrote:[edit]
> A co-worker of mine has the M90 (or maybe M70?) and I know he does work
> through the comm port on the docking station and I haven't heard him
> make any complaints. In fact, he's been quite happy with the
> performance of his laptop. It runs Linux through VMware faster than his
> old desktop could run it natively!


Any chance you could ask your coworker if he's used the parallel port,
and what for?

> By the way, USB JTAG emulators for TI DSPs have been out for quite a
> while. A good low-cost emulator for c2000 DSPs is JTAGjet from Signum.
> Spectrum Digital also now sells newer versions of the eZdsp with a USB
> interface rather than the parallel port interface.



Hmm, I didn't see that yet. I have about 3 of the parallel port ones :-(.

But I could order some new ones if they have USB.

It seems the cheap $345 one is still parallel.

http://www.spectrumdigital.com/produ...0037c302e5298b

Need to spend $1800 to get a JTAG emulator. I'll likely do this at some
point anyway, but I'd still like a working parallel port.

--
Good day!

________________________________________
Christopher R. Carlen
Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
[email protected]
NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
"BOGUS" from email address to reply.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 03:07 AM
Joerg
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Hello Chris,


>> You can get an IBM Thinkpad (I have a P3 1.13Ghz T23, very happy with
>> it). These laptops have very good reputations. The newer models (T60)
>> seems to have dropped the parallel port for the extra vent. But if you
>> don't mind a used/slightly older model you can pick up the Thinkpad T42
>> which has a parallel port. Also considering that my ol' T23 was
>> released in like 2001 and is still working without any defects is
>> amazing! Built like tanks these laptops are.
>> -Isaac

>
>
> Unfortunately, my company has a "permitted" set of laptop models. There
> are some IBMs and HPs though, so I might take a closer look at those.
>


And the "permitted" ones aren't always the best deal for the job. Most
folks in the corporate world spend north of $1500 on laptops, just by
default. In my lab I am using a low end Inspiron for the same purpose
you are planning. Ok, no parallel port (the one in the office does have
it) but it was only around $500. Works fine. I am also using it for the
occasional email from there, take in pictures, do audio FFTs and other
stuff. I believe they offered a docking station for it with a (real)
parallel port but I decided to forego that and switch my programming
tools to USB so I'd be able to use them on the road.

The only downside with low end laptops is that their enclosures are
often on the flimsy side.


> I have to do some re-thinking about whether I really want to pay for a
> large screen and do any real work on it, or if it will be just for
> transferring hex files from my real desktop PC to targets in various
> labs in my building. If I forego the intention of doing real work on
> the laptop, then I can consider all 3 makers' products. Hopefully one
> has a parallel port, but in 2006 I doubt it.
>


Don't count on it :-(

Cart mounting: I found it advantageous to have a desktop bolted into the
bottom. Two reasons: It made the cart heavy and lowered the CG so there
is less chance of tipping. Then, they are pretty modular and sturdy.
Lots of things can go wrong in labs. If the parallel port gets fried you
can (on older models) just plop in a new card and be back in business.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 03:33 AM
Steve Underwood
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Chris Carlen wrote:
> Hi:
>
> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> devices.
>
> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>
> I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
> serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
> of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
> critically important to work correctly.
>
> I will need to connect to the following devices:
>
> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
>
> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>
> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>
> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
> and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
> get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
> need to be sure I can work my present tools.
>
> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other
> tools?


I use a Dell M70 for just this kind of thing - I often need a genuine
parallel port for a development tool that bit bangs the port. The
docking station for the M90 is exactly the same as for the M70. Some
notebook docking stations use USB between the computer and the docking
station. Dell doesn't. The parallel port is the genuine article. Some
notebooks with genuine parallel ports have rather low drive capability
(a lot of Thinkpads are like this) and some tools won't work reliably
plugged into them. The Dells never give this kind of problem.

It would be great to get a genuine parallel port in a modern machine -
especially a big one like the M90 with plenty of space for the socket.
However, they seem to have gone completely from the market. Whether you
like or hate the Dells, the reliability of the parallel port on their
docking station is a major selling point for a number of engineering users.

Steve
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 03:37 AM
Steve Underwood
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Isaac Bosompem wrote:
> Joerg wrote:
>> Hello Chris,
>>
>>> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
>>> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
>>> devices.
>>>
>>> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
>>> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>>>
>>> I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
>>> serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
>>> of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
>>> critically important to work correctly.
>>>
>>> I will need to connect to the following devices:
>>>
>>> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
>>>
>>> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>>>
>>> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>>>
>>> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
>>> and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
>>> get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
>>> need to be sure I can work my present tools.
>>>
>>> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other
>>> tools?
>>>

>> I don't know how their docking stations work but I'd be suspicious.
>> Programmers often bit-bang the parallel port directly and that typically
>> doesn't work if they chose to simply convert USB-parallel in the dock
>> station.
>>
>> My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
>> genuine parallel port.
>>
>> --
>> Regards, Joerg
>>
>> http://www.analogconsultants.com

>
> You can get an IBM Thinkpad (I have a P3 1.13Ghz T23, very happy with
> it). These laptops have very good reputations. The newer models (T60)
> seems to have dropped the parallel port for the extra vent. But if you
> don't mind a used/slightly older model you can pick up the Thinkpad T42
> which has a parallel port. Also considering that my ol' T23 was
> released in like 2001 and is still working without any defects is
> amazing! Built like tanks these laptops are.
>
> -Isaac
>

As a notebook computer, the Thinkpads are head and shoulders above
anything else in the market. As a parallel port device they have major
problems. They seem to use a weak driver for the port. A lot of embedded
and industrial stuff which works fine on any desktop machine, and most
older notebooks, will not work with a Thinkpad.

Steve
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 03:40 AM
Steve Underwood
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Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Anonymous wrote:
> I use a dell with docking station for Parallel Cable IV. It works but for
> some reason you can't undock when the parallel port is used for anything. I
> had to manual diasble the parallel port in the bios to get a clean undock.
> So I pitched PC4 and went with a USB cable.
>
> -Clark

Interesting. I've never had that with my M70. I just sleep, hibernate or
undock the machine, and all is well. The only thing to watch out for is
that things have completed before you pop the docking station off the
computer. Things go horribly wrong if you don't.

Steve
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 04:17 AM
Brad Griffis
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Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Chris Carlen wrote:
> Brad Griffis wrote:[edit]
>> A co-worker of mine has the M90 (or maybe M70?) and I know he does
>> work through the comm port on the docking station and I haven't heard
>> him make any complaints. In fact, he's been quite happy with the
>> performance of his laptop. It runs Linux through VMware faster than
>> his old desktop could run it natively!

>
> Any chance you could ask your coworker if he's used the parallel port,
> and what for?


He hasn't used it. Based on my experience with the parallel port on the
D400 docking station I would expect it to work well.

>> By the way, USB JTAG emulators for TI DSPs have been out for quite a
>> while. A good low-cost emulator for c2000 DSPs is JTAGjet from
>> Signum. Spectrum Digital also now sells newer versions of the eZdsp
>> with a USB interface rather than the parallel port interface.

>
>
> Hmm, I didn't see that yet. I have about 3 of the parallel port ones :-(.
>
> But I could order some new ones if they have USB.
>
> It seems the cheap $345 one is still parallel.
>
> http://www.spectrumdigital.com/produ...0037c302e5298b


I could swear I've seen an F2812 eZdsp with USB on it. Perhaps it was
the socketed R2812 eZdsp with an F2812 in the socket.

> Need to spend $1800 to get a JTAG emulator. I'll likely do this at some
> point anyway, but I'd still like a working parallel port.
>


No, you don't need to spend that much for c2000:

http://www.signum.com/Signum.htm?p=jtagjet.htm

Click on "compare models" near the top and you'll see JTAGjet for c2000
is only $595 and I bet performance is better than what you see with your
parallel port emulator. Note however that this will not work with any
of the c5000/c6000 DSPs whereas your current PP emulator will.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 04:52 AM
Dennis
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Isaac Bosompem wrote:

>
> You can get an IBM Thinkpad (I have a P3 1.13Ghz T23, very happy with
> it). These laptops have very good reputations. The newer models (T60)
> seems to have dropped the parallel port for the extra vent. But if you
> don't mind a used/slightly older model you can pick up the Thinkpad T42
> which has a parallel port. Also considering that my ol' T23 was
> released in like 2001 and is still working without any defects is
> amazing! Built like tanks these laptops are.
>
> -Isaac
>


Go to www.ibm.com and click on IBM Certified Used Equipment in the Shop
for column. I picked up a T30 with serial and parallel ports that I am
very happy with for about $500. It looked like new.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 08:56 AM
John Adair
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Not a total solution (at least until we write the IP) is our new
Cardbus product Tarfessock1. First out is will be available in about
3-4 weeks time (that is 2 weeks late on our website info) and initially
will offer a Xilinx Cable III lookalike solution as a small part of
it's functionality (Cable IV if we figure what is needed). It also has
a RS232 serial port capabiliy but that might take a couple weeks more
to get into the supporting FPGA builds.

Longer term this board has the capability to act as a full parallel
port and we are designing a connector module to support that as well as
all the other features - RS485, ADC, DAC.

On a more general solution there are parallel port cards available for
Cardbus. I'm not sure if there are any for Expresscard yet. We will
have a solution for Expresscard but not in Q3 and maybe not even Q4.
It's on our roadmap and very likely to happen. Just a question of what
product we bring to market first.

USB to serial adaptors seem work well. Beware of USB to parallel
adaptors. They tend not to work with Xilinx software.

John Adair
Enterpoint Ltd.

Chris Carlen wrote:
> Hi:
>
> I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
> PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
> devices.
>
> The new laptops of course don't offer old-fashioned ports like parallel
> and RS-232. Well, some have serial, but the M90 doesn't.
>
> I will be getting the docking station which *does* have a parallel and
> serial port though, so it should be just fine. There is also the option
> of USB->RS-232 converters. But the dock's parallel port will be
> critically important to work correctly.
>
> I will need to connect to the following devices:
>
> Atmel STK500 (RS-232) and JTAG-ICE (USB/RS-232)
>
> Spectrum Digital eZdsp 'F2812 (parallel)
>
> Xilinx Parallel Cable IV (parallel)
>
> In the future there will likely be a USB JTAG Emulator for the 'F2812,
> and perhaps I'll upgrade to a better Xilinx cable. Also will probably
> get into some Xilinx FPGAs and 3rd party development boards, but just
> need to be sure I can work my present tools.
>
> Anyone have any serious problems with Dell laptops for these or other tools?
>
>
> Thanks for input.
>
>
>
> --
> Good day!
>
> ________________________________________
> Christopher R. Carlen
> Principal Laser&Electronics Technologist
> Sandia National Laboratories CA USA
> [email protected]
> NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and
> "BOGUS" from email address to reply.


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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 09:13 AM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

In comp.arch.fpga Chris Carlen <[email protected]> wrote:
>Hi:


>I'm considering to buy a Dell Precision M90 laptop to replace a regular
>PC on a cart that was used to wheel around and program various embedded
>devices.


"beware" of the batteries..
http://www.tomshardware.se/nyheter/n...ate=1158842777
http://news.com.com/2100-1005-6115710.html

Seems sony batteries = potential bomb.. , due metal dirt inside that cause
spurious shortcircuit.

Anyway I think parallell port is bye-bye. Make a strategy to phase it out.
Problem will just be worse by time. Besides with fpga knowhow you could make
your own hw tools if needed

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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2006, 10:35 AM
David Hearn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Dell Laptop for Embedded Work

Joerg wrote:
> Hello Uwe,
>
>>
>>> My suggestion would be to pay a little more and get a laptop with a
>>> genuine parallel port.

>>
>> PCMCIA Cards might be another option...

>
>
> Yes. Although I was cautioned by TI that the MSP430 JTAG programmer
> might show some quirks if I did that. In the end I switched all tools to
> USB.


Certainly the OpenTV tools which make heavy use of a parallel port do
not work with USB or PCMCIA parallel port devices - I've tried.

We went with a Dell M60 in the end (which is new a couple of years old)
as it had serial and parallel as standard.

D
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