Looking for recomendations for low end single board computers
I'm a professional software engineer with a mix of experience in Windows and embedded development currently working for "the corporation" on WinCE development. I've been hankering to set up at home to do a bit of embedded development, initially just for interests sake but with a possible angle towards some contracting/consulting.
I'm looking for a family of small single board computers (thinking high end 8 bit through to low end 32 bit uCs) to play with, with a view to developing embedded web servers, data gateways, remote control widgets and the like.
Things I'm keen on..
- A simple and free RTOS
- A development environment based on GCC
- A S/W framework based on some flavour of open source model, with an enthusastic user community colaborating on components and libraries
- A low cost development kit (this is only a hobby for now, so not prepared to spend thousands to get started)
- a selection of modules available including development boards, encapsulated units ready to clip to a DIN rail and go and core modules that can be piggybacked onto simple carrier boards for custom H/W developments. (I'm primarily a S/W guy and quite apart from lack of experience I don't have the resources at home to do anything but the most basic of H/W)
Had a bit of exposure to Dallas Semiconductor TINI modules a 3-4 years back, which also have some of the attributes I'm after, are these still a live product? At the time it seemed that they did everything advertised, but ran out of puff just at the point we tried to pull everything togther to build a real product. Have they got any better?
Quite like the modular H/W architecture of some of the Advantech ADAM gear, but their S/W framework just aint what I'm after.
Anyone out there got any other suggestions of toys I should be looking at, or links to good online catalogs?