Call for Beta Group

Hey guys, as I mentioned here:

Skewworks has something gigantic in the works. Even a bit bigger than that long post I did. This is a very big project and will definitely take some time, but I’ll need testers from the start. You’ll get everything ROME has to offer (Reusable Objects Models and Extensions, BTW) plus the services from the new coming site EmbeddedIdeas free for the entire beta and at a discount for anything you want to continue after the beta ends.

What do you need to participate? Right now this is limited to CP7 owners with a Gadgeteer board that has either WiFi or Ethernet (Cobra II) preferred.

If you’re wondering why such a big screen with so much power, the initial release video for ROME will show [em]everything[/em] the system is capable of doing. And with firmware updater, packager/installer, SMTP/POP3, etc, there’s only one demo that makes sense: a full operating environment with even more features than Pyxis 2 / Gadgetos.

If you’re interested, please contact me through here: or leave a way for me to contact you on this thread.

Beta starts in 2 weeks. :smiley:

Ooooh, anf G120 is capable to run all that? Would like to see :slight_smile: I’ve got CP7, Cobra II and Spider, so if there’s a free ticket… My email: (removed)

G120 is what the Cobra II is based on, so it will definitely work. I’ve added your email to the beta list. Feel free to edit your post and remove the email if you like.

Teaser screens anyone?


Looks nice! Please add me as well.

Looks like Windows 8! Will it have Metro interface also? :slight_smile:

Done and done.

It will be flat styled, yes. I’m very happy everyone seems to be moving towards flat because it’s so much easier on the CPU and it really allows NETMF to stack up against a desktop GUI.

But we’re not just going flat. Look carefully at the screens. Comboboxes that allow different fonts, colors and images per item. Globally tracked user settings (a la Tinkr2’s SystemColors). Textboxes that allow for “placeholder” text. :smiley:

Just some updated images of ROME running on hardware.

What you can see:
Dropdown list with color bars
Colors changing based on selection
New textbox
New on-screen keyboard
Detecting WiFi

What you can’t see:
BIOS is loading the libraries for WiFi in the background after first checking the device could handle it
BIOS is also loading SQLite (defaults to XML if premium libs not available)
Textbox now supports “placeholder” text (i.e. Type Device Name Here)

I don’t have a CobraII or a CP7. But I do have a Spider (finally got working on my lappy a day ago after nearly a year!) and T35 if you need some testing on a lower power device.

So I assume that Rome wasn’t built in one day … :wink:

How long have you worked on this project and how much code did you re-use from previous projects?

The rest of the mainboards and screens will be supported, but that won’t be until a bit further down the line. Once we get there, I’d be happy to throw you on that beta.

Planning and architecting…over a year. This project will draw heavily from Clix2/Tinkr2’s core (Aphelion), which was actually designed with this in mind, for GUI support. Hopefully that will mean a lot less work to get things up and running.

Of course, that said, so much of ROME is completely new it’s still months away from being useful outside of people messing with it and finding all the broken bits. :wink:

How about Hydra + CP7?

That’ll work, buddy. You got Ethernet available on that one?

Sure. Just have to find time. I’ll be at DevLink or getting ready for it the rest of this week. Maybe next week. It’s looking great! I eventually want to put this on the arcade to allow for switching between games/apps. Will it work with Hydra + VideoOut?

  1. No worries, 2wks until beta starts :wink:
  2. Sure will, 2.1 of my application framework will be included
  3. Any mainboard any screen by the end and yeah that includes non-standard screens like the OLED

Work is going really well over here on ROME and I may actually get the beta out a little earlier than expected. Here’s a look at the boot sequence.

–BIOS checks for GHI premium library support–
If found
[ul]Load USB Libs
Load SQLite libs
Load premium Net libs
Laod USB HID manager
Detect USB HID devices[/ul]

If not found
Load XML settings handler

–Check for existing setup info–
If not found
[ul]Prompt for style (light/dark), highlight color, device name
Prompt for Ethernet or WiFi (if Prem Libs found)
Prompt for dynamic/static IP
Prompt for access point (if WiFi selected)
Check for connection
Prompt for Skewworks account
Validate acct
Prompt for pwd
Save settings

If found
[ul]Restore settings
Check for firmware updates (install as needed)
Check for Application update (install as needed)
Check for Installs
Launch system[/ul]

A majority of this is already done. :smiley:

Latest Update

Project ROME now supports Gadgeteer Mainboards & Modules in Pure NETMF.

[em]Supported Mainboards[/em]
(more to come)

[em]Supported Modules[/em]
6 Button Module (Skewworks)
LiPo (Solder Monkey)
(more to come)

Have just finished the board. Not exactly Cobra II, not exactly CP7, but I think I’m ready! :slight_smile:


Very nice Simon and I see what you mean by having something similar to what I have built.

I see you are using the same Newhaven 5" Cap TFT display. Is this the normal or the high brightness one? I am going to order 3 of the high brightness once I have the board working.

Have you done the touch drivers yet? I am itching to get started but need to wait until next week for the final parts to arrive.

My test of this display with the ChipworkX was good and it looks very nice even with the standard brightness, especially indoors.

@ Dave McLaughlin - It is NHD-5.0-800480TF-ATXI#-CTP, and I don’t think it is very bright, although the quality is still quite good. So it’s probably the normal one. But now I see there’s a much brighter one, according to power consumption. Very interesting. It asks for 60mA, so my current LT1932 driver will not feed it. What is your power supply circuit based on?

Concerning the touch drivers, I’m already working on it. I have simple touch working already, but I want full 5-point touch driver. Hopefully will finish it early next week, and I was thinking of publishing it on Codeshare :wink:

I could also easily adapt CP7 Gadgeteer driver, but I want to use the full potential of the FT5x06 chip.

Looking good! I’m getting the last bits for the initial beta ready. Don’t expect anything giant bit it will automatically install everything it needs to run via the web and update itself according to settings in EmbeddedIdea.

Since you’re not using a standard mainboard your experience might be a little different, but that’s probably a good thing in the end, you can help make sure ROME and EmbeddedIdea both support new/custom hardware. :slight_smile:

@ Simon. I am using the NCP5005 and that is rated for max 50mA so I may need to live with a slightly lower brightness for the time being until I can design in a higher output driver.

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