orb3000 · Feb 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

Interview With Recognized Developer AdamOutler Pt. 3 Final

Finally we got to the third and final part of this interesting interview:
If you missed previous parts, you can find them in here for Pt. 1, and here for Pt. 2

orb3000: What would you recommend to anyone interested in entering the
high-level hardware mod world?

AdamOutler: I would recommend getting a hold of some tools and hardware, get
on google and do it!

I’d choose the standard $60 Radio Shack temperature controlled soldering
iron, some breadboards, leds, 1kohm resistors, and a microcontroller. Any
open-hardware development board will teach you how to work with inputs and
outputs. One of my favorite development boards is the Arduino series. Some people may say, “hey, Arduino is not real hardware development, it’s too easy…BlaBlaBla… Whatever, they’re cheap and
work well. let me ask you, if you’re trying to prototype or learn
something, should it be easy or convoluted?. I’ve managed to make several
devices which solve real-world problems using my Arduinos including EMF
detection for locating a source of interference at work and UART processing
for developing Unbrickable Mod.

To really get into digital communications, you’ll want some additional tools
like the Bus Pirate. The Bus Pirate is a universal serial interface used to
communicate with just about anything at low speeds. It’s open-hardware and
known as The Hacker’s Multi-tool.

For troubleshooting and circuit identification, you’ll want something like
the Logic Sniffer. It can record digital highs and lows then display them on your desktop screen where you can run filters and detect logical patterns.

While I’m at it… I don’t think I can hammer this point enough; Use
With Open-Hardware(like OMAP44xx) you can get all the information you need.
With proprietary hardware (like Qualcrapp processors) you have nothing to
work with.

orb3000: Why is your adamoutler.com main site generally down?

AdamOutler: My main webserver is a Texas Instruments EvalBot.
This is a Texas Instruments Development Board with an ARMv3 processor. Its
form-factor is designed to roll around the floor, bounce off walls, turn 90
degrees and keep going. For some reason it came with an Ethernet port, so I
re purposed the device to serve web pages. It does not do a very good job
and it locks up all the time. I could probably use a real web-server instead
of a development board on wheels.

orb3000: Finally, please tell us a bit of the Adam outside the hardware world, what do you do for a living? What is your current device?

AdamOutler: Heh, the funny thing is that what I do for a living is in the
hardware world… I’m an electronics tech. I have been working in
electronics for 13 years. In 1999, I joined the Army as a Radar Repairer
and my job was to keep multi-million dollar Artillery, Rocket and Missile
Radars operational at all costs. I changed jobs to be a Biomedical
Equipment Technician after working with Radars in Iraq.

I’m currently in the Civil Service, but I’m still performing Inspection, PM,
calibration, and rebuilding medical equipment (like infusion pumps, x-rays
and ultrasounds) in a hospital as my daily job. Being a biomed and keeping
things in-line with regulations is a stark contrast to modifying radars.
When I’m at work, non-manufacturer authorized modifications can kill
someone. When I get home and work on mobile devices, I can kinda “let
loose”. The worst that can happen with mobile devices is it breaks. At
work, I could face much worse. :)

My current daily phone is an Infuse 4G. My current Dev phone is a Samsung Captivate. My current development tablet is Nook Tablet.

orb3000: Thanks a lot for your time, any final comments you want to make?

AdamOutler: Yes. Since this will be on the XDA Portal and many
manufacturers will see this..

I believe Google chose OMAP4460 because it is the only truly open-hardware
processor available. Open-Hardware means device manufacturers can be
self-sufficient and modders can get the information they need.
Closed-Hardware means it has a relatively short life-cycle.

Samsung: Your Exynos 4210 processor without datasheets is now obsolete
because you chose to keep 1/2 of the datasheets private. I don’t know of a
single person who, with any sort of planning, would say “hey, I want that
processor because of ${Maintainability, Ease of use, Cost Effectiveness}”
All of these qualities are missing when you lock down your datasheets.

Qualcomm: Is there any benefeit to using a Qualcomm processor? Can you
prove it? As far as I can tell, they’re the Celerons of the ARM world.
About the only benefeit to using a Qualcomm processor is integral call
processor. However if the device manufacturers actually cared about the
device and its ability to work through upgrades they would never use
Qualcomm. Here’s a factoid, Qualcomm does not even let the manufacturers
have access to bootloaders. You do realize that the only reason people are
using your chips in their devices is because they think you might know
something they can learn from right?

NVidia: Sure TEGRA extensions are great, but we can’t program them into the
latest versions of Android without knowledge of how they work. You’ve closed
your hardware and thereby stifled development.

Texas Instruments: Good Job! Other processor manufacturers take note. Texas
Instruments is on the rise in the ARM industry because of decisions made by
all other processor manufacturers. We need more Open-Hardware to work with.

BTW… If anyone has access to Samsung Exynos 4210 Chapter 19, entitled
“Boot Sequence” or similar, I need it. The manual I have stops at Chapter

Thats a lot of knowledge!. Hope you all have enjoyed the interview, if so please share it, want someone to be interviewed? Let us know!
Thanks for reading.

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orb3000 is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. @orb3000 News Writer & Forum Moderator @xda-developers. Windows Phone/Android enthusiast, like HTC and flashing! 100% cert. free of i-products Xalapa, México View orb3000's posts and articles here.
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