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Connect to serial console

Instructions below based on the 'programming cable' sold by http://www.bifferos.co.uk (but should be easily adaptable to any other 3.3V serial cable you have or make)

  1. Plug the pointy-end into your bifferboard, as shown in this image i.e. skip the first hole, and then blue-white-red in the next three holes. I put a small sticker on mine with GTR written on it (to remind me which is Ground, Transmit and Receive). If you plug it in the wrong way round, you may need to reset the serial port. You'll want to place a small peice of folded paper or card between the connecter and the top of the ethernet socket, to angle the pins and keep them firmly pressed into place. Don't move the paper too close to the pins though, cos you might end up pushing the pins out of the holes. I also moved the 'spacer' further towards the 'bend' so that I had longer lengths of pins sticking through the holes.

  2. Plug the USB-end into your computer and then check dmesg, hopefully you'll see a pl2303 device show up as ttyUSB0
  3. If you don't already have it, install minicom on your computer (or I guess you could use hyperterminal on Windows)
  4. I followed the instructions in step 2 of http://blog.pjsip.org/2008/01/02/setting-up-your-linux-desktop-for-blackfin-bf-537-stamp-board-development/ to configure minicom to work with ttyUSB0 (except you need to use a baud rate of 115200 for the Bifferboard instead of 57600)
  5. Plug the power cable into your bifferboard. You should see the following in minicom:
    BIFFBOOT v1.2 32-bit Loader by bifferos (c) 2009
    Redistribution prohibited, all rights reserved.
    Press <ESC>
  6. And then if you've got a kernel successfully flashed to yor bifferboard, you'll see:
    Booting kernel...
    [    0.000000] Linux version 2.6.27.5 (wrt@cent) (gcc version 4.1.2) #1 Fri Apr9
    [    0.000000] BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
    [    0.000000]  BIOS-e801: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009f000 (usable)
    ...along with a whole load of other useful kernel output.
  7. If you 'forget' to plug in a USB flash drive, it'll get as far as:
    [    0.887301] Waiting for root device /dev/sda1...
  8. But if you do plug in a (correctly setup) flash drive, it should load the OS and you'll eventually get to a console session, like this:
    Please press Enter to activate this console.
  9. Press Enter, and this should pop up:
    Biffroot v1.3
    =============
    Bifferboard profile based on OpenWrt Kamikaze, unknown
    See http://www.bifferos.com for info.
    root@OpenWrt:/#   
  10. You can now type in commands as you normally would!
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