Lost the plot
I received one of these on Monday. My previous experience was with trying to use a first-generation Intel NUC in an embedded application, which lead me to conclude that Intel doesn't really understand embedded (it needs a 19V power supply, WTF?). Let's see if Galileo is different.
Unboxing with Galileo, there's the board, a power supply, and a booklet of disclaimers in umpteen languages. No instructions at all.
OK, go off to the website to read the quick start guide. Set up the Arduino software, it tells me to update the firmware. But my board has newer firmware than is available in the download bundle, fail.
Right, try the LED blink demo, that works.
Now, I want this as a Linux box, so lets see if we can get Linux up. Write an SD card as per the instructions. Put it in and power up. Nothing happens. No serial output, no LED flash.
Of course there's no display so I can't see if it's booting. Reading the instructions, boot messages and EFI menus go to the serial port. Which is not the USB port I'm attached with, but the weird 3.5mm jack. For which no cable was supplied. The instructions helpfully say you need to make a serial cable. But most computers don't have serial ports any more. 3.3V serial to USB dongles are common now, and I have one available. But the jack socket is RS232 levels, which it won't do. So I need to make a 3.5mm to DB9 adaptor, and then have a full RS232 to USB adaptor so I can plug it into a computer.
To even see the boot messages.
After all this palaver (ie some minutes), the LED is flashing, so something must be happening. But I don't have ethernet handy (I'm at work, getting stuff on the network is time consuming, laptop has no ethernet port), so I have no other means of interacting with it. /dev/ttyGS0 is the Arduino programming USB serial provided over a USB Gadget driver, which is fine except ttyGS0 doesn't work until the board has booted - and you can't enable a terminal on ttyGS0 without having the board booted and already logged into it. Normal Arduino boards have a USB-serial converter onboard which solves all these problems - not this one.
The SD card is the kernel and a .ext3 file on a FAT partition, so I can't even try traditional mount-the-SD-on-a-PC tricks. (Well I could loopback mount the .ext3 but this is getting awkward)
Plus the distro is weird (Yocto). It doesn't run vanilla distros like Debian, so I can't just image an SD card and go. (Actually someone has almost managed that, but it doesn't like libpthread for some reason, and images aren't yet available). Yocto looks OK for deploying embedded Linux in a commercial environment, but rebuilding your distro from scratch isn't something you want to do when casually hacking.
Of course, none of this is mentioned in the quickstart guide - and there's only a fairly sparse forum to fall back to.
Hardware-wise, there are two full-speed I/O pins, the rest are via I2C. That's hopeless for bitbanging any kind of protocol. It's actually a Linux box running an 'Arduino environment' as the only process. A worse idea I couldn't imagine. Why did they think Arduino was a sensible environment to target?
And the Quark chip runs finger-burningly hot.
I'd really love a small, cheap, Intel board with either GPIO or USB (it's to be a JTAG server for some third-party JTAG tools that's only built for x86). But I'm wondering whether to cut my losses at this point as they clearly have no idea. Maybe someone will do a Raspbian for it and solve all the problems - until then it'll live in the ever-growing pile of abandoned dev boards.