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Classroom development dilema

Question asked by Al on Jan 14, 2015
Latest reply on Jan 25, 2015 by kaltofen.jupp
I am teaching a course on embedded programming and am having some logistics issues I am hoping someone might be able to help with here.

I have taught a class using the STM32F3 before but I had a linux environment available to setup the GNU tools etc but this time (different actual course) my classroom does not have Linux available and it will be a month or more before the 40 computers can even have a possibility of having this change made by IT.

The classroom computers are Windows 7 enterprise and they let you install anything you want but on reboot they are restored to the configured state.

What I need is:
  • Some sort of development tool chain etc that I can have the students setup quickly on these computers each class
  • A way to download the code via the st-link USB connection
  • A debugger of some sort that the students can use
  • The course is supposed to be Assembler centric (yes I know the world uses C but the course outline requires mostly assembly)
I have looked at the trial versions of some of the IDEs but they seem to use a registration code that I am sure will be an issue after re-registering the software on each new install.

Use of a virtual machine has been an issue last year due to the st-link driver causing blue screens.  I don't think these computers have a virtual machine installed on them but if the blue screen issue is fixed and there is a quick VM that can be installed that might work?

Because the semester has started time to get setup is important.

I am taking over this course with a new updated perspective.  The previous course had them use Arduino boards but this involved these purely software students connecting up LEDs, push buttons etc and we wanted to avoid that.  The STM32F3 is nice as it has a lot of IO built in, not to mention ARM is 95% of the market so more relevant.

So, does anyone have any suggestions or direction to point me in?