[Opendispense] Device programmer

Nick Bannon nick@ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
Mon Sep 29 11:50:41 2003

In the August 2003 Circuit Cellar I found a couple of interesting
things - an 802.11b microcontroller based system incorporating a TCP/IP
stack and a bitbanged PCMCIA interface and... an ad for a USD$333
GALEP-4 pocket universal programmer.

I've seen the programmer before, it's a cool idea, it's a parallel port
device with a FPGA and a ZIF socket on top. You download a definition to
it and it can provide arbitary voltages to arbitary pins, to program
EPROMs, flash, PICs, AVRs, ...

Extra PLCC adaptors et al. aren't that cheap - USD$111 and up on the
Conitec pricelist, not sure what the going rate for other brands is.

It's battery powered, which means it runs fine off a notebook.

The problem was that it needs Windows software to run, which might be
fine, but if the company dissapeared or gave out no new updates it
could end up somewhat limiting, like whatever DOS or Win3.1 programs
needed to drive the other two non-functioning EPROM programmers hanging
around the UCC.

However! They've now got alpha quality Linux software, which makes me a
whole lot happier that they're actually happy with going cross platform
and not leaving us with a $500 dead-end doorstop.

I think we should get one, and thought I might run it by youse all


   Nick Bannon   | "I made this letter longer than usual because
nick-sig@rcpt.to | I lack the time to make it shorter." - Pascal