Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We have been using Simplicity tool for EFM32 and evaluating on how to make good use of this tool. In that quest we found several tricks and mods around this tool. So we would like to share these useful tips for the benefit of the EFM32 users.



[1] Path Change for Simplicity Installed directory
The location where Simplicity downloads that data is a bit hidden. Or you would need to traverse some path to get to it. We found a way around this by setting up the directory right in a root folder ("C:\energymicro"). So that we can write the make files with ease as well as have relative paths in the include.
  1. First Install the Simplicity studio by downloading its setup from the website
  2. Don’t allow the Simplicity to start downloads or installation at its First run
  3. Now open the "Simplicity Studio.ini" from:
    "C:\Documents and Settings\>User Name<\Application Data\Energy Micro" - Windows XP
    "C:\Users\ >User Name<\Application Data\Energy Micro" - Windows 7 & Windows 8
  4. Edit the Line 2 in "Simplicity Studio.ini"
    [%General]
        install_dir=……
    to
    [%General]
        install_dir=C:/energymicro/
    This would set the install and download directory to the "C:\energymicro\" directory
  5. Now open Simplicity Studio and update. This would install all the files in this root directory that would make accessing the files easier.

[2] Copying Simplicity Installation from one PC to another
Now this is one common occurrence that we needed to copy the Simplicity tool installation in different computers. However installing it from the beginning makes no sense since we already have the files in one pc. Here is how we came around solving this:
  1. First install the Simplicity studio in the Destination PC as shown earlier
  2. Don’t allow the Simplicity to start downloads or installation.
  3. Perform the change in the "Simplicity Studio.ini" as shown earlier in the Destination PC
  4. Now copy the existing "C:\energymicro" directory from the Source PC to the Destination PC in the location specified as per the "Simplicity Studio.ini"
  5. Next open Simplicity Studio to check the installation Destination PC
  6. Ideally all the packages that were installed in the source PC should be now available in the Destination PC as well.
However there is one small problem. That the short cuts for the applications such as "New Simplicity Studio", "energy Aware Designer" .etc. are not available. This can easily be added later. 

[3] Offline installation of Files
Some times if may be difficult to download the installation online. This download can be done offline and then the Simplicity Studio can be directed to update from that specified file. This file for update is a big Zip file nearly 2.6GB. However being able to download it separately ensures that you would not need to have internet connection all the time. The procedure to obtain this file is described in the Energy Micro Forum.

[4] Protecting installed Files from accidental modifications
Some of the directories that contain examples and compilation libraries needs to be protected from unintended modifications. This would ensure that you have security while coding, however this might hinder the updates. To solve this problem we have prepared two batch scripts that would help to perform and restore the changes.
Batch Scrip - Protect.bat - to make the directory and files read only
attrib +R CMSIS\Include* /S /D
attrib +R emlib\* /S /D
attrib +R Device\* /S /D
attrib +R kits\* /S /D
attrib +R an\* /S /D
attrib +R reptile\* /S /D
attrib +R usb\* /S /D
pause


Batch Script - Unprotect.bat - to restore the directory and files 
attrib -R CMSIS\Include* /S /D
attrib -R emlib\* /S /D
attrib -R Device\* /S /D
attrib -R kits\* /S /D
attrib -R an\* /S /D
attrib -R reptile\* /S /D
attrib -R usb\* /S /D
pause


Both these files need to be kept in the install directory of Simplicity ("C:\energymicro") as done in the previous steps.

For this protection we have considered the most commonly used files in projects. Hope that this would be match any generic requirements also. One important thing to remember while using these scripts is that you need to unprotect the files before running an upgrade through Simplicity.

Let us know if you have any more tricks with Simplicity Studio that might be helpful. Also post your feedback and questions on this topic.

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