Yay, I started meddling with my wearable computer again, read my other blog postings if you don't know what I'm talking about. Now I know why it seemed like my display cable suicided when I was demoing this thing, it was because of two things.
First, I had lots of troubles because of my cables so it seemed like it was the obvious culprit, second, that got my attention, so I didn't get that those AA batteries could not possibly run the computer and the display for a long enough time. When I jacked them on my laptop, it worked fabulously.
Now, I've got some positive news about my display, that is it works almost flawlessly now. Pictures are a bit shaken, hard to shoot them with my camera as it doesn't fit too well... Screen is actually readable now better than in these pictures, even though it still has a bit of shadows toward right. Hard to believe I've gotten this far without needing to pay an arm and a leg.
I've also just gotten an absolutely flawless black and white picture, but not for consistently enough to get a picture of it. It's much more readable than my best achievement with colours.
This picture show how it was before, and still is before I do the magic.
And this is how it is after I've done it. The magic is to hold the display connector tightly with my fingers, and they must touch both cables, dunno why, but don't care as long as it works. I need to connect them somehow now.
This is the crude connector I'm talking about.
It's time for another Linux-based Pandora update! Videos and photos after the jump.
So, last summer I molded my wearable computer plans into a reality. I now have, kind of, usable wearable computer. That kind of is because it's still not ready, because I've done nothing with it since then. Still need the keyboard, though I've found a fellow who has made one and promised to make me one too. Also the display cable or something made a suicide just minutes before I was starting the demo today. I did have pictures with something on it's screen, but it's just not the same. Battery system also needs an update, currently it runs on 4 AA batteries quite well.
Today I was demoing the thing and our lab at school, it was a success and my wearable was competing at least equally for attention with a Tuxracer mod that allows you to play it with a snowmobile. And that's old thing and still the main attraction when we have "open doors day" at our school.
I had a lot of people asking if I have patented the thing or if I invented it first and if I plan to start selling those soon and such things. Answer to all of these is, of course, a strict no. First, I've still got (at least) 2,5 years left to graduate (and I've already built my ultimate goal, let's see what I'll get for my thesis :p), so I'm not going to create a business before that, if at all. I also haven't and am not able to patent it (though they do get really odd patent all the time), because I've not done anything really new anyway. I'm using Beagleboard with Linux (surprise), hacked myvu crystal (Gregor Richards has videos of it in youtube), open source spiffchorder as a keyboard, well I did make my own menu based interface with C, but I seem to have deleted it... So everything has been made before and there are lots of prior art, but it's just a simple techdemo and I've already got some ideas (pretty good, at least in my mind) how to make use of it commercially if I decide to go that way. I was instructed by a teacher to go to demo it to a certain global company.
But my real issue is this. I don't want to get rich. I don't want to make be a businessguy managing things, I want to make technology with wearables or something! But I don't really want to be the grunt coding everything or building the boards, product development feels nice. So I'd need to hire me a manager or something to handle the dull things, even though it usually goes the other way around. Also, I have something against the normal company way of keeping things secret and patenthoarding and stuff. I'd prefer to keep my clients by trusting them, not keeping secrets and being mean. Also I'd prefer to fight in fields that no others are in, and being the best there after they do come. Even if they are bigger and will fight dirty. But I still would like to afford eating.
It feels so hard to base a business on my ethics. It kind of feels unfair, like there's no choice for being unfair myself. I'd like to be proven wrong on that.
But then again it would be hard to not to accept to sell everything to someone paying millions, unless it was Microsoft. Well, even then... It really would be wonderful if there was no need to work for living, and could do whatever I wanted to. But I'm sure that I'd start wanting wrong things and might become something I don't want to be. Money and power are some dangerous things...
I should really finish my wearable soon so I could do some real-life testing.
In anticipation of the upcoming OpenPandora console release, some videos of the OS and final case have recently been posted.
I will share them with you.
and Verizon announced a landmark partnership
to bring several Linux-based Android phones to the Verizon network, a great network that has seriously been lacking in high tech phones unlike T-Mobile (Android
), Sprint (Palm Pre
), and AT&T (iPhone
), who have had high tech phones to peddle to their customers for quite some time.
Product Based on New Version of Moblin™ Technology Offers Robust Netbook Experiences
CITY, State, September 22, 2009 – Today, Asianux demonstrated Midinux 3.0, a consumer Linux product based on Moblin™ technology version 2, an optimized open source Linux operating system project for rich Internet and media experiences on Intel® Atom™ processor based devices.
Asianux has been developing the Moblin-based Midinux Operating System since the inception of the Moblin Project. Now Asianux is developing Midinux 3.0, which is fully compatible and optimized for Moblin v2 technology and features clutter-based 3D UI and applications ready to be customized for any Intel® Atom™ processor-based MID. Asianux announced Midinux 3.0 Early Access Program on August, which gives partners an opportunity to access the Midinux 3.0 OS build, schedule, and features early in the development cycle.
Midinux 3.0, which integrates the latest open source software, supports the latest Intel MID platforms and provides an attractive and optimized UI for MID since it is based on the latest graphics technology such as Clutter, DRI2 and KMS. In addition to the revolutionary UI, Midinux 3.0 supports telephone function including voice call and SMS, bringing users a great up-to-date mobile internet experience. PC Sync Tool is a synchronization suite exclusive to Midinux 3.0. With PC Sync Tool, users can keep their contacts, calendar, tasks, e-mails and bookmarks synchronized between their PC and their MID. It also backs up the user's data on their PC and restores them when needed.
“I’m glad that Asianux has been cooperating closely with the Moblin community,” Yang LiGuang, the President & CEO of Asianux said, “Asianux will continue to contribute to Moblin.org. Moblin v2 makes Asianux deliver more easily the best high-performance OS to our clients. I believe Asianux Midinux 3.0 will bring additional brilliant solutions to clients in the coming future.”
Moblin v2 technology, which is currently available for netbooks, is the latest from Moblin.org, an open source community that supports the creation and distribution of Linux-based operating system products for Intel Atom-based platforms, including netbooks, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), nettops, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and embedded systems. Intel launched Moblin in June 2007 and incubated the project until April 2009 when the Linux Foundation became the host of the community. Intel continues to contribute key technologies and work with the developer community to advance the effort.
”The alpha of Asianux’s Midinux 3 is a great example of the Moblin open source community driving innovation in the Mobile Internet Devices (MID) space,” said Doug Fisher, vice president of Intel’s Software and Services Group and general manager of the System Software Division. “Asianux’ commitment to the Moblin Project will allow them to fully utilize Moblin’s capabilites to deliver unparalleled user experiences on Intel® Atom™ processor-based MIDs.”
Asianux is working with such system manufacturers as NNN to deliver Midinux to a range of customers in multiple industry segments.
Looks like Nokia officially announced the N900
today. Good for them. I really like the ARM Cortex A8
SoC platform, such as Texas instruments OMAP 35x series
, and I wish we had more devices on the market running it. Specs
are awesome. Check them out:
Microsoft and Nokia announced they are working together to put a version of Microsoft's Office productivity applications on Nokia handsets.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin working together immediately to design, develop and market productivity applications for mobile professionals, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile to Nokia's Symbian devices.
The applications will be available first on Nokia's Eseries phones, which are optimized for the business market, but eventually will extend to other Nokia handsets. Putting Office applications on Nokia handsets is a savvy business move for Microsoft, and will also help both companies compete against their mutual rivals Apple and Research in Motion.
Many experts expect that this could result in a wide range of quality mobile devices and still have the same seamless integration with the Exchange, Office Communications Server, Microsoft Office applications and other Microsoft backend servers and applications.
However, some say this means the failure of Windows Mobile.
It's not easy to predict who will be right, but time will tell.
So, last time I wrote about my to-be wonderful keyboard. It's still not working.
I'm not really that good with electronics, and wouldn't be surprised to have just messed up some simple thing that I'm now overlooking. Ampmeter tells me that power and data comes and goes, and also something happens when I press the keys, but it still isn't recognised by a computer. It should be, and it shouldn't need any drivers other than the standard USB keyboard. Doesn't show even on lsusb or dmesg.
Once, or a couple of times when I tried it with Windows, it did see there was something in the port, but it said it didn't know what it was and needed to install driver. Haven't seen even that for a while. And no, nothing happens with the keys.
I think the problem may be the board, which was made for me. Also it could be the parts I should have inspected more closely, as they were also handed for me. But it could be that they are just fine and I have messed up.
But, time goes on and I sadly have no longer time for making the keyboard obey. I'm not yet giving up on the wearable project, it's going just fine. That Spiffchorder is not a critical part of my build. The keyboard should be quite easy part and it doesn't even have to be the Spiffchorder. I'll continue it if I still have time after everything else.
I'm also enjoying some success again now. Today I got myself a two-sided mirror, or a beamspitter or a half-silvered mirror like some people like to call it. I have used a lot of time online searching for a cheap one that is of good quality and such. Then I found it.
Have you heard of a game dubbed Khet? It has something to do with Egypt, red and silver pieces and mirrors and obeliks and such, seems like you need to control the light that's shot from somewhere and mirror it somewhere, I wouldn't know as I never played it or read the rules.
The interesting thing about Khet is that it has an expansion pack. There's a booster pack consisting of 2, yes, two beamsplitters that you can use either to split the light in the game to three lights, or to mirror your wearable display to your eye and have a see-trough display.
I received my order today and I can recommend them. Although I haven't yet tried them with my display, they seem great. I have seen some dubbed as narrow-band or broadband beamsplitters, it seems you can quite easily pick which colours you want to have reflected or such, and there's still lot I don't understand about them and now it seems that I'll never have to.
These are also big. So big that they don't even have a warning about suffocating kids on the package. Like four times as big as I thought it could be. It's 3.8cm*4.6cm That is all wonderful, because I can most probably cut a ten fitting pieces from one of them, it makes full twenty from both. Did I tell you I paid about 13€ for it with shipping?
I believe nothing can stop me wearing my display on friday, tops.
Then I still have to get a battery, make a case for the beagleboard and accessories and think of how I'll be carrying the whole thing. Then If I have time I'll be worrying about the keyboard more. The keyboard is not going to stop me from calling this project a huge success if things keep going like this.
JoliCloud, A new Linux Distribution aimed at the Netbooks we use, and shooting for the Cloud. Leveraging the Cloud based apps around us. Right now they are in public alpha, but my initial reaction is that if this is Alpha, the Gold is gonna rock.
The literature, etc, from the site, leads me to believe that the creators of JoliCloud Linux, "get it" when it comes to Cloud Computing, and they are committed to aiming at the concept of , always on, always available computing. They are IMHO right. You don't need to worry about syncing 4 or 5 copies of a single data/app/configuration set when you only have 2, current and backup. (You do, do backups of critical data don't you?) You just need that all important way to reliably access it inside the cloud.
Initial look, yielded an "Oh God not another version of Ubuntu" However despite this initial encumbrance it is starting to rock. Just so you know I've run easypeasy, Ubuntu-NetMix, Fedora 11, Debian, Xandros, Kubuntu, Puppee, Slitaz, EEbuntu, Elive, and Mandriva on this so far. So I'm no stranger to the needs of my little Netbook Antique. (An EeePC 701 4G) Configuration of the hardware is pretty stock except for two additions.
1. Two Gigs of ram
2. I run my home dir off of the SD card rather than the internal flash. (much nicer to have a bit of data storage that is my real home not a dos based dir hanging off of the root dir. )This allows me to have executable scripts etc. Just like a 'real' Linux box does. ;)
OK, The installer is casper. 'Buntu's standard live CD tool set. They have you download a tool to flash a USB device to boot the OS for the install. The tool works well enough however if you don't want to use it you can use Unetbootin or the ever present dd to create the disk image on your USB device. They were also kind enough to supply tools for use from OSX and the Windows cacophony. (So that the digitally deprived don't feel bad.) That part went on without a hitch (I tried all 3 methods to create the install key. They worked for me.)
Let the install begin. From the get-go if you've done a *buntu install then it will look and feel very familiar. A lot like hunting rabbits with Elmer Fudd. You know what's going to happen but you still can't resist the urge to follow along. Once it booted all hardware was (as expected) recognized, configure wpa and boom, you are off and running. Ok live CD up so now to take a look around. (The install is pretty standard for any other child of the *buntu, so I won't cover it. Suffice it to say that if you can install *buntu, this will work for you too.)
Initially when you login, you are presented with nothing more than the familiar *buntu netbook UI. But click on the Jolicloud icon and that is where the magic begins. You login to the JoliCloud application (not site, but an honest to god webapp.) and you are greated by an extrodinarily slick UI. Responsive as heck. (Considering that I'm on a first gen EeePC and running a Celeron) and it fit's the screen size like a glove. No left-right scrolling, no playing wheres the OK button. it's all there without feeling cramped.
The Joli Cloud Catalog.
This presents you with an array of cloud and local apps that can be installed to enhance your web experience. Cover everything from Social (Facebook and Twitter) to Business (Zoho word processing Gmail and GCalendar) to Personal need (Google Reader, Medial Players etc.) One click poof it's installed and available to you, Not only on this Netbook but on any other JoliCloud enabled Netbook you login to. I haven't tried that aspect out, I've only one system with it installed so far, but you never know.
Next, thing you notice, No Synaptic. Apt is still there for the Debianites, but synaptic is not part of it. Why? Well because the installer is a part of the webapp. It allows you to be able to maintain that all important security aspect of keeping up with security based upgrades, without opening a new screen just click on the dashboard tab.
The JoliCloud Update Tab
Can't IMHO get much more straight forward than this is. For those who ask, yes, it does separate out security updates from the run of the mill application updates. Enabling you to just do secrity upgrades if that is what will fit you best. It also prioritizes when you are doing a full, update them all, update and does the security first. Nice touch I think.
But a Cloud OS really wouldn't be in the Cloud if it didn't include Social interaction, and JoliCloud seems to have it in spades. Check out the dashboard notification page.
Ok yes the "example' page is a bit lame. But what it does for you is allow you to keep online and in contact without the constant in your face world of IM clients etc.
Over all, and especially for an Alpha release it's stable enough to start using and beating up on. It lacks, at least from my viewpoint a proper bug tracking methodology for consumer bug reporting, but it is heavy as heck with ways for you to contact the JoliCloud team (Twitter, Facebook, IRC etc)
- Usability = 4 out of 5 stars (no one gets 5)
- UI =3.5 out of 5
- Security = Judgement is still out as I'm learning it.
- App selection = 4.5 out of 5
- Ability to distiguish itself from other distro's around it = 4.5 out of 5
- Responsiveness =4 out of 5
- Chance of it staying on my box for a while = High
Like I noted in the title this is only day one. I'll most likely report more later but for now. I'm having fun.