Just press the button!

Spent the past few days working through Labs 1 and 2 of the Workbook I mentioned in my previous post.

Lab 1 is all about downloading and installing the various bits of software, including Code Composer Studio (CCS), needed to run the subsequent Labs. It also covers connecting up the demoboard and ensuring that the drivers install and the hardware basically works. A pretty lengthy process, but a necessary one and all done without any significant problem.

Lab 2 moves on to actually building a simple project in CCS, downloading it to the demoboard and checking it runs. It’s often the case when learning new software (or anything else for that matter) that in the early stages you just have to follow the instructions without understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing. You just have to press the buttons like you’re told and trust that all will become clear(er) later on.

The buttons may not always be red, though.

Everything was going swimmingly, or so I thought, until it came to actually building and running the project. Many, many error message! And none of them comprehensible to my untutored brain. At this point there are two possible courses of action:

  • Randomly fiddle with things in the hope of making it work.
  • Ask for help.

One of these is more useful than the other – can you guess which?

Part of the Texas Instruments ecosystem is its “E2E” Community. This is a large collection of forums, blogs and other resources specifically designed to help people learn about and use TI’s products. I signed up, read the rules and posted a request for help. Was pretty sure I’d get a response, but was astonished when it came within minutes of posting, and was from Ki-Soo Lee, the forum moderator and TI employee. That was impressive – all the more so considering that this service is completely free. You can see the full exchange here.

Turns out the problem was a subtle inconsistency between the workbook and the configuration of CCS as it appeared on my PC. I’d inadvertently told CCS to look for an #include file but specified a search path location rather than an actual file. I think. I have some familiarity with the concept of #include files from  previous work on C and PICs, but the implementation in CCS is still very new to me.  Anyway, got it fixed and everything worked as expected.

All for now – next time I may try to get into the workings of some actual code. In the meantime, if you like big red buttons you might want to visit this page.


Author: Chris Hill

Electronic Engineer living on the edge of the English Peak District. Enjoys maths, fell running and gin.

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