peteg's blog - hacking - mindstorms - 2005 11 02

/hacking/mindstorms | Link

Lesson of the week: don't be heroic. There's a pre-packaged GCC 3.2.2 and binutils available, linked from this rather intriguing summer class at Lund (hello Calle!). Download and install. Trust me, it's much easier than compiling things yourself.

Compiling brickOS itself is still a bit fiddly. I did the following to a virgin brickOS 0.9.0 tree:

  • util/firmdl/rcx_comm.c fails to compile. I later found the firmdl3 program included with brickOS to be useless, so the quickest "get the compile to go through" hack is just to add #define linux near the top of that file.
  • blinks that seems to do it.

The tricky part is talking to the USB tower. Almost all the non-Lego™ Lego™ Mindstorms projects appear to have stalled right about when the USB tower became the only thing one could buy. I take that to mean that the people who got all excited in 1998 or so and did all this wonderful work never bothered with the newer RCXs, and that it seemed to have lost its geek chic by 2001 (excepting the Linux afficiandos, of course, who appear to think that this device is worth a kernel driver... in 2.6.something... say no more.).