I got my BeagleBone in today! In brief it is a high speed (720Mhz) ARM development board that takes a lot of inspiration from Arduino. At 720Mhz, however, there is plenty of juice to run Angstrom Linux or even Android.
It comes with a Linux SD card so I fired it up an gave it a whirl. Out-of-the-box the board runs a web server that runs Node.js and serves a web-IDE called Cloud9. They’ve set up Node.js libraries to make the programming look a whole lot like the Arduino. Check it:
They say it’s not quite ready for prime time and won’t be until sometime in 2012. But the blinky light program worked just fine. Seems like they are off to a great start.
I am thinking about this device as a fixed function server that will serve up a configuration GUI for my access control system and poll the door readers. Right now the Access Control server runs on a normal Ubuntu server, but in a commercial application you’re going to get folks who just plain have a black thumb with computers. These folks can be a real drain on support. This BeagleBone device could possibly be made black-thumb proof.