Introduction to Hardware Protocols

As you begin diving into hardware hacking and reading printed circuit boards (PCB) you will likely come across several common protocols.  This article isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list of content, but rather a quick guide to identifying which protocols are commonly used, what they require, and what common tools will let you interface with them.  I’ll be covering the following protocols in this article:

  • RS-232
  • USB
  • I2C
  • SPI
  • JTAG
  • UART
  • USART

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Multi-OS Boot Build

One of the most frustrating things to do is shuffle various USB drives trying to remember which one you were using last (for persistent OS boots), or which one has the working version of “X” operating system/which installer.  This article covers how to take an external USB drive (whether a large thumb drive or an actual external hard drive) and turn it into a whizbang multi-OS booting device.

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