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New Release Coming Soon

July 14th, 2013, by Phil

We be releasing a new version of the NETLab Toolkit in the next week or two. This new version will include many improvements and bug fixes. We’ll post complete release notes when the release is up, but I wanted to highlight a few of the improvements.

  • Serial Input & Output – We frequently get requests to support this or that device, and since we can’t support everything we thought it would be helpful to have the ability to have a generic ability that allows you to interface with the toolkit.So we’ve added the ability to send and receive data to any serial device. Right now, this is built into the new AnalogIn and AnalogOut widgets, where you can send numbers out to any device, and receive numbers in from any device. This is helpful if you want to control some new device on the Arduino or any other system (e.g. BeagleBone). For example, if you want to control a stepper motor on the Arduino, you can use any board you choose, use the sample code from the maker of that board, and just modify the Arduino sketch a little bit to accept serial data to control the motor.
  • KeyboardIn – If you want to use the Makey Makey or any keyboard input you can now use the KeyboardIn widget to listen for any key press, and output the value of that key. In addition, you can tell the widget to listen for a specific key and it will output 500 if that key is pressed, but ignore any other key
  • We’re finally on GitHub – All the source code for the toolkit is finally on GitHub. It’s just be Ewan and me (Phil) working on this, and we simply haven’t had time until now. Enjoy!
  • Runs on BeagleBone Black – We’ve done preliminary testing of the Hub on the BeagleBone Black, and it does in fact work. So we’ll go ahead and release a preliminary Linux build of the Hub for those of you who want to experiment. We recommend running the Oracle JVM on BBB rather than the OpenSDK, since the Oracle version has assembly code for Angstrom and runs faster. Note also that the experimental HTML5 widgets also run successfully in the Chromium browser on the BBB.

We’re working on the docs right now for the new release, so you may see changes popping up as we complete them. But we may not get all the new documentation done by the release date. Please be patient.

More news to come in the next couple months about the future of the NETLab Toolkit – Be assured we have big plans and will keep you posted.