More tea please.


I long for the day when I can do things like this:

Almost everybody enjoys one editor more than others – so why don’t we embed them in all text-areas?

My editor-of-choice is EMACS, and I’d really like to be able to use all of it’s features in all of the text-boxes and text-areas that I experience whilst browsing. EMACS multi-tty support would be particularly cool combined with this (in fact – it would almost certainly be necessary to make it viable!).

This guy agrees with me!

Posted at 1:04 pm on Saturday 23rd June 2007

Using an ICD 2 from a Virtual Machine

I want to be able to program and debug PICs with my MPLAB ICD 2. Unfortunately, Microchip doesn’t spec the USB interface to the ICD 2, so unless I reverse engineer it there’s not much I can do but use the Windows software they provide.

I don’t like windows.

So, I installed Windows Server 2003 in the version of QEMU that the KVM people produce. The install ran really smoothly up until there were 39 estimated minutes remaining. It then took around 4 hours to complete. I installed MPLAB in the VM, plugged the ICD 2 into my laptop and then “plugged” it into the VM’s USB. One of those annoying little “you’ve just done something” balloons appeared and I selected “automagically locate driver”. It failed to find a driver. Urgh.

I then thought “Hmm. I haven’t actually tested that MPLAB works in the VM”. I ran MPLAB. It said something along the lines of “MPLAB doesn’t work in this operating system”. Damn.

Take 2

So, I started to create a new VM containing XP. Many hours later I had a fresh install of XP. Installed MPLAB. Ran MPLAB. Worked. “Plugged” ICD 2 in. No magic bubble. Rats.

“Perhaps I need SP2… I’ll run Windows Update.”

I ran Windows update. Many many many hours later I have SP2 installed. Plugged in ICD 2 and joy – magic bubble appears. Automagic search for driver successfully installs the driver.

From when I’ve used the ICD 2 before, I remembered that when one plugs it in, you get two magic windows “device connected” beeps – and one has to install two drivers. I’d only installed one on the VM and the magic bubble generator appeared to have run out of fuel.

Then I noticed that the USB Device ID of the ICD 2 had changed. Presumably the first driver changes it in some way after loading firmware into the ICD 2. Telling QEMU to connect the second device caused Windows to locate the device and to generate another magic bubble.


I ran MPLAB and it successfully updated the “operating system” on the ICD 2:

I have yet to try it with a PIC… That’s the next step :-)

Posted at 12:56 pm on Saturday 23rd June 2007
One Comment

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