Affinic debugger

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RogerClark
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Affinic debugger

Post by RogerClark » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:20 am

Hi Guys

I came across this free debugger (Lite version only), for WIndows, OSX and Linux

http://www.affinic.com/?page_id=109

It seems to almost work, but not quite.

I have a BMP connected (on COM13) and the debugger connects to GDB

I can open the elf file generated by the IDE and the debugger opens the code and seems to be able to set breakpoints.
If I upload via BMP I get a message at the end of the upload that indicates that a breakpoint has been set

But when I actually try to run it, I get a strange error message from GDB

Starting program: C:\Users\rclark\AppData\Local\Temp\build573e50d1526eee9d4d6cbb3c1b67073e.tmp\BLE_beacon.ino.elf
(gdb) Running the default executable on the remote target failed; try "set remote exec-file"?

I suspect though I'm missing some intermediate command

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RogerClark
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by RogerClark » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:35 am

OK

Kinda fixed my own problems here

Firstly, the Lite version which can be downloaded, is actually the same as the professional version, except it runs in Pro version for the first 30 days

(I tried downloading again just to be sure, but I'm pretty sure this is what happens)

Just to check the 30 day timeout of the Pro version, I changed my system date to October and ran it again and the Pro features are disabled, including connecting to GDB.

So it is useless after the 30 days.

But I set my machine back to today's date and it started to work again.

(BTW. This seems strange, as I suspected that as soon as it had expired, I could not re-activate the Pro version.
But all it seems to do is check the date and not write anything to the registry which indicates it has expired and hence locks it into Lite mode)


Next I realised that the reason I could not run was that for the nRF51822 I have to issue 2 extra commands

Code: Select all

monitor swdp_scan
which should respond with

Code: Select all

Target voltage: Not Implemented!
Available Targets:
No. Att Driver
1 Nordic nRF51 0x0084
and

Code: Select all

attach 1
And there is a small single line at the bottom of the debugger window that is not labelled but seems to be the direct command entry window

So I entered those commands, and I seem to be able to remote debug the nRF51822 code compiled in the Arduino IDE

Edit.

BTW.
The site I downloaded it from looks rather inactive, I suspect this is almost abandonware.

I also heard that the beta versions - prior to 1.0 did not have any timeout, so if they are still out there on the web it may be a legitimate way to have a non time limited debugger

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zoomx
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by zoomx » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:15 pm

RogerClark wrote: But all it seems to do is check the date and not write anything to the registry which indicates it has expired and hence locks it into Lite mode)
It must write somewhere the installation date.

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Pito
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by Pito » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:57 pm

Pukao Hats Cleaning Services Ltd.

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RogerClark
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by RogerClark » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:51 pm

Pito,

I cant access that bog posting, it says I have to register and login ??.


@Zoomx

It does store the installation date in plain text in the registry, but I don't think thats what it uses to determine whether the trial date is over ( though I could be wrong)


BTW.

I have not tried it with the STM32 yet, but on the nRF51 the single stepping seems to jump around.

I suspect this may be a result of compiler optimisation, but I am not sure.


I will try to test it with a STM32 board today.


PS.
I am not sure if it has any command line options for startup, as it would be great if the IDE could start the debugger and open the elf file, and connect to the target (MCU)

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RogerClark
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by RogerClark » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:41 am

Update.

There does appear to be a way to start this debugger and specify the elf file at the command line, and also somehow to load a config file
using the -s option but I can't see how to tell it to connect to the debugger and issue debugger commands to setup ready to debug

I've emailed the company to see if they have any documentation, and to see if they actively support this debugger.

Though I think the cost is too high, and most people who need to debug would probably end up using Eclipse instead (to compile then debug)

zmemw16
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by zmemw16 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:13 pm

the register option reports the site saying "hahaha" :lol: :lol: :lol:

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RogerClark
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by RogerClark » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:47 pm

zmemw16 wrote:the register option reports the site saying "hahaha" :lol: :lol: :lol:
I see what you mean

Actually, I think the debugger was completely re-written after that post, so I suspect even if it was accessible it would be useless.

I read somewhere that the pre-release versions where not time limited, but I looked on archive.org and even the old versions seem to be time limited.
But there may be an alpha or Beta version somewhere which is perfectly usable by not time limited - I've just not found it yet.


If I get chance I will see if I can get my trial version to work with the STM32, but I don't think there is a lot of point as the price is IMHO uncompetative.
(The Windows version is just under $70, and the Mac and Linux versions are nearly $140 !!!)

Considering visual GDB does a lot more, as its integrated into Visual Studio (albeit for Windows only), for $99, I think that Visual GDB is a more cost effective alternative if you want to buy a debugger, as its fully integrated with Visual Studio

If the Affinic debugger had a special "Arduino" price, perhaps $10 or even $15, I think it would be worth considering, but not at the moment ;-(

testato
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by testato » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:02 pm

actually, on the new v2.0 seems that Affinic have a Free lite version and a Por version.
So the Lite will not exire
Lite version is completely FREE to download, use and redistribute. It also works as Professional version for the first 30 days.

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RogerClark
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Re: Affinic debugger

Post by RogerClark » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:02 pm

I dont think the Lite version is any use, as it wont connect to GDB.

From what I recall I tried downloading from both links on their site, but it was the same file in both. Which was a 30 Pro version.

I deliberately made the Pro version expire by changing the date, to see what the Lite version looked like, and found it didnt have the option to connect to GDB.

So I changed the date back to the current date, and got the Pro functions back again.

I really didnt think the Pro functionality would be restored when I out the dates back to the current date ( which was the date in which I installed it), but surprisingly it did start working again.

As a coincidence I tried it again last night, but it could not find the Arduino INO file.
It could be that you have to issue the GDB cd command to move to the temp folder where Arduino puts all the files, but I didnt have time to get it working.

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