Although I'm a software engineer, I do, occasionally *gasp* have to interact with hardware. Of course that's an oxymoron, but what I mean is there are of course, a large number of programmers work on mainly client-server software that runs on commodity hardware (i.e. UNIX,Linux/Windows) and their biggest worry is which direction the directory slash faces - windows\ or linux/ - Aah!
So, let me share with you my experience of hooking one of these guys up to my laptop via a serial cable. Crazy, I know. Now on Windows, standard procedure is to fire up HyperTerminal -- seemingly the only application in Windows that hasn't been updated since Windows 3.x. It makes Minesweeper look like a 3D interface out of 'Minority Report.'
Getting to the point -- I thought "there's got to be something better than the compuing equivalent of smashing rocks together." Now, I'm perfectly comfortable with a real console window, so I went about trying to see if good ol' Cygwin can help me out here.
I found this link, which isn't exactly a step-by-step tutorial, but it was enough to help me figure it out. Given the following settings in HyperTerminal:
- Connect Using: COM1
- Baud rate: 9600
- Parity: none
- Stop bits: 1
- Flow Control: Hardware
This translates (roughly) to the following TTY settings:
$ stty -F /dev/ttyS0 9600 crtscts clocal
And after you've done that... Nothing happens! Now what? Ok, now I can do this:
$ cat /dev/ttyS0
and see the console output from the device in my local console! Sweet.
Now it's not perfect -- for some reason, 'less' didn't quite work; to get around it I did this:
$ cat /dev/ttyS0 >> ilon.console.log
$ less ilon.console.log
.. [ then press 'F' to tail that log ]
So this worked fairly well. I'm not sure if this would work if the console needed to accept input, but this is still an improvement over HyperTerminal :)