A mentioned earlier, I have a XEM 3001 from Opal Kelly. I bought it for simplicity. Simple it is — supported, however, it is not.
Issues thus far:
- The FrontPanel software, a utility for doing quick-and-dirty PC interfacing with the device, is only supported on a handful of Fedora releases. No source means no can make run on other platforms. Until this January, they only supported Fedora 5 and 7. Absurd.
- Support is conducted via their online forum. Cute, except they rarely respond with any real info. A lot of “oh, we’ll do something about that real soon now.” Be prepared to hear back a caustic reply. The customer is always an idiot, after all.
- The RAM3001 module — an addon for the low end XEM boards to give them some memory — isn’t really supported with the XEM3001. Sure, they say it is. It’s not. They have sample code for interfacing for all other modules. They’re response? Oh, you should be able to figure out what to do based on the source for the hardware you don’t own. So, you know, familiarize yourself with some other hardware you have nothing to do with.
I’m sure that experienced engineers can get around this. Experienced I am not. They market their products to students. Bummer.