Some time last year I was probing some TV-out issue on OMAP 2430 boards with Steve K. Gerald Coley walked in and started collecting inputs on software requirements for a 99$ board. I had not seen him before, I was wondering how can a board be made at 99$ that too on a processor like OMAP. I just continued with my debugging, when steve K asked me if I have any further inputs. I said, what ever board it is I need a UART port. Gerald nodded his cute head and left the cubicle.
After few months, I was introduced to this board called "Beagle" priced at 149$ by Jason K, then I saw Gerald C explaining about the board with a small printout. I was really amazed... Can you believe this? If I remember I had asked for a UART and look at this 3" by 3" (inch) board... it has DVI, NAND, S-Video, MMC/SD/SDIO, my favourite UART, USB HOST, USB OTG, AUDIO OUT, AUDIO IN, JTAG connector, DDR. More than these, it has OMAP3 on it - which is a beast in processing and a lame lamb in Power requirements.
For a person like me who has seen OMAP on boards like H2, H3, H4, SDPs and innovators this was something that I can ever think of.
I started working on Linux porting for this board, our REV1 was not so sucessful but did work for many devices, Gerald and Jason were confident of making another rev. I was just working on other boards and with in a month or so Gerald comes with the dark orange board, this time the board just worked ... I got wonderful support from Steve K (USB OTG), Jeff (remote debugging) and Daren (for u-boot logo)... this took me into a new world.
Then what next? I had never worked with Jason K before, he always talks so politely that you can't even predict what is his next move, with in few days he got a rocking webpage. We worked on creating logo, with the help of Michael Sandoval and others, we started preparing brochures, wikis, demos etc. Jason took this small dream of Gerald to a state beyond my imagination,
Slowly we started discussing with community and in no time we found greatest and the best contributors like Dirk Behme, Steve sakoman, Nishanth Menon, Koen, Philip, DS2, and so many on Beagle IRC ... (who ever is reading and does not find their name... sorry about that it is just an example). Community just started contributing with out a single line support from us.
With in months time we had Angstrom running with OE builds, ubuntu, SGX and DSP codec demos and can you believe it Mans got 720p MPEG4 DEMO running on ARM Cortex A8...
With worldwide support we have successfully demostrated beagle at multiple conferences.
But the day is getting nearer when we will be (ia) announcing the availability of this board or our dream to world. In couple of weeks from now boards should be available for all....
Till here it was a tough journey but today we have a beautiful and strong community around us to support the initiative called beagleboard.org.
Learn more about this initiative at BeagleBoard.org, there are cool videos of Jason to present our views and ideas on BeagleBoard and open source in general.
Let me sleep now, tommorow I have to complete the wiki with new set of validation procedures for BeagleBoard, all is set just have to upload the images and write the wiki page.
I am just proud as I am innovating with BeagleBoard.org.
Are we really innovating today?