Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Altera Quartus II and EDS on 64bit CentOS ... Eclipse won't start!

In a HHGTTG way* I will point out now to avoid any undue stress that Eclipse is now working fine (well seems to be as far as I have had time to test at the moment) so thankfully I can get on with learning about FPGAs, NIOS II and other geeky things :)

However, I thought I'd record my trials in getting this working so that anyone else that hits the same problem can fix it - or possibly suggest what I did wrong in setting everything up in the first place.

Anyway, we're having a look at FPGAs at work at the moment and they've purchased a little DE0 Nano board (available from Farnell in the UK prices £66.06 - need to save up as I want to buy my own to use at home now!).  I downloaded the Quartus II 13.1 Web edition from Altera which includes all the design tools and EDS (Embedded Development Suite) for these experimenter boards.

The software claims to support 64bit RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 (I went for the CentOS equivalent) and setup a VM.  Download (or a 7.5Gb ISO - eeek) and installation all seemed to go well and I followed the instructions in the readme to install a couple of 32bit libraries.

To cut a long story short; I was in a rush and just expected everything to work.  And in fact Quartus II did seem to startup fine.  Eclipse however, didn't start at all.  And more annoyingly, it just failed silently without any clue as to why.  I ran the eclipse-nios launcher as well as the eclipse executable directly.  No errors they both just start, appears to do some thinking and then quit :(  Weird.

After some investigation (ran strace and had a look at what it was doing) it became clear that I was missing a load of 32bit libraries!  Installed these and voila, Eclipse all working now :) 

While 'researching' for this blog post I came across the actual installation/licensing instructions/release notes which contain the following

"The following RPM packages are required to install and run the Altera Complete Design Suite (ACDS)
on systems running Red Hat Linux Enterprise 6:
• 32-bit libraries: compat-libstdc++-33.i686, expat.i686, fontconfig.i686, freetype.i686, glibc.i686,
gtk2.i686, libcanberra-gtk2.i686, gtk2-engines-2.18.4-5.el6.centos.i686, libpng.i686, libICE.i686,
libSM.i686, libuuid.i686, ncurses-devel.i686, ncurses-libs.i686, PackageKit-gtk-module.i686, tcldevel.
i686, tcl.i686, and zlib.i686
• XWindow libraries: libX11.i686, libXau.i686, libXdmcp.i686, libXext.i686, libXft-devel.i686, libXft.i686,
libXrender.i686, libXt.i686, and libXtst.i686
• GIMP toolkit: GTK+2
• For more information about RPM packages, visit the Red Hat website"


So, ultimately RTFM! 

I think I've got alot of RTFM to do with all this stuff now so will post when I've managed to understand some of it and maybe got something running!


* - I just re-listened to the audio book of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and it makes reference to stress being such a serious problem in the Galaxy that to avoid further increasing this the following points would be made clear about no-one getting hurt apart from a bruised upper arm. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Script, script and more script

This year I'm going to try and learn some more geeky-type stuff, specifically I'd like to have a go at some Ruby (and Rails) coding, bit more Python, CSS3, HTML5, PowerShell, and lots of other stuff.

As an aid to memory I'm going to dump a load of stuff I find out here so that I can always go back and see what I (should have) learnt.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

This week I have been mostly ...

... recovering from a very busy and enjoyable weekend and trying to get through the mountain of photos and videos that I need to process! In fact last week I was chipping away at that mountain and expect I'll be doing the same next week as well!

Anyway, as well as Dr Sketchy's flashmob on Saturday the highlight of the weekend has to be the Miss York 2012 final.  I was thrilled to be one of the photographers there for the evening and it was a fantastic show and everyone had a wonderful night.

Hopefully this week will be a little less busy and I can get the rest of my pictures processed before I take even more!


Friday, 3 February 2012

Project 365

Several friends have been doing the photo-a-day thing for a while now and I finally decided I should try this aswell.

Rather than be sensible and, like my friends, just take pics with phone camera or something simple I'm going to go completely over the top and use my DSLR for all the images!  This could maybe get a little irksome sometimes but it's also a good challenge and means that I should have my camera with me whereever I go and can maybe get some other shots as well.

Anyway, for anyone interested, here is a link to my Project-365 album on FaceBook.

Dating (again?)

Having just split up from an on/off relationship for about the 4th/5th, but most definitely last, time I find myself in the position of having to endure the whole dating thing.  I was going to say "again" there but then I had a think.

I don't believe I've ever really done the dating thing!  I've been lucky in the past to meet friends-of-friends, who I just get on with really well, and like immensely (hardly surprising given they are close to people I'm close to) and thing have gone quite rapidly to the "going out with" state.  Well, that's the way I've always seen it because I'm an incurable romantic and am inclined to believe all that mushy stuff about love at first sight.

Well, it's early days yet anyway but I should really alert my friends to start searching for any prospective dates because I've pretty much found no-one suitable on PlentyOfFish or GaydarGirls!

Friday, 20 January 2012

And now for something completely different ...

Had to have some pics on here at last, and these are some of the items I got from Ikea the other day while we were having a mad girls shopping trip.  Okay, maybe not the most obvious things to buy but they should hopefully come in useful for upcoming photoshoots :-)


6 weeks on

Doesn't time fly.  It'll be 6 weeks on Tuesday since my surgery and certainly I've made alot of progress since then but there is still a fair way to go and I'm not completely back to normal in a physical sense, lots more healing and getting back in condition.

Thankfully there is little to report, I seem to be healing fine, I haven't needed any pain killers for some weeks now and my dilation routine is trundling on, still at three times a day.  All, fairly uneventful which is really how I wanted it.  I'm still rather tired though and I've not got back to my previous routine of getting up early and having very full, active and energetic days. 

I guess this is to be expected, not because there's anything in particular that is preventing me getting around now it's just that I've spent alot of time being fairly inactive and it takes a while to get back up to speed.  I'm generally sleeping okay now and I just need to get early nights and regular exercise - even just a walk at lunchtime - to get fitter.  It's a few weeks off yet but I'm looking forward to being able to swim for the first time in several years and I'm hoping that'll really help.

I'm back at work next week, though starting slow and, thankfully, working at home so that I can accommodate my dilation routine into the day.  Since it's taking me around 1hr for dilation I'm obviously not going to be managing a full day of work either but at least I'll be doing something useful and I'm more than fit enough to sit on my bum in front of a computer so might as well :)

How do I feel?  Well, I feel normal.  There's no great change in mood or revelation, it's just nice to be as I should be now and, while there'll still be a few things to get use to and experience, essentially now I just feel like I'm not really thinking about the surgery and the changes it's made, I'm back to getting on with my life and concentrating on everything else; which is exactly how it should be :)