The Shikra "just works" out of box. Other than the FTDI drivers, it needs no client-side software. You don't even have to terminal into it (w/ minicom, putty, screen, et al) as you do with the BusPirate (and other tools). This is actually its strength. Because it works entirely in hardware, it is several orders of magnitude faster than tools like the BusPirate for tasks like dumping flash with SPI, extracting firmware with JTAG, etc.
Even though the Shikra works out of box and requires no configuration, we wanted to provide a utility (for those interested in "going deeper" and tweaking the device functionality by programming the onboard EEPROM memory. What follows is a primer in simple binary data manipulation techniques (with Python) and a bit about hardware in general.
Where to start?
Sneak peek of full EEPROM layout:
An interim on Struct packing and unpacking
Writing String configuration data
Changing pin options
This pin configuration data is stored in the space between the string pointers and the actual strings.