October 8, 2017

Canon DSLR IR remote control app for Android

Posted at 6:30 in Software . | 0 Trackbacks | 0 Comments

   Building off of the remote app framework that was used for the Logitech Squeezebox remote control app, made a quick update to control Canon DSLR cameras using infrared (IR) remote control for phones equipped with such. The control functions are 1) immediate shutter release; or 2) 2 second delayed shutter release.

Rather than spending the $23 on the Canon official remote called the RC-6 or spending $9 on the less capable remote by Amazon basics... spent some time to research the IR pattern, update my app, and draw a couple of icons.

More info after the click.

See it!



October 1, 2017

Motoactv hacking: Updating golf info

Posted at 2:20 in Software . | 0 Trackbacks | 27 Comments

   Ongoing theme of many products or features that I enjoy are either discontinued, modified, or closed down. This occurrence happened when I brought my motoactv out to the Torrey Pines North golf course. In preparation I reset to stock firmware, rooted it, and then downloaded the California courses through the official app.

The next day got to the first tee and the yardage did not match the scorecard. We were paired with some strangers, so I asked if something changed recently. They said the course was re-designed last year mainly swapping the back nine with the front. This article provides more details of the changes.

The redesign meant I couldn't use my motoactv as a range finder for the day. No problem, use the course markers and estimations for the day. However, there's an upcoming tee time next week and I needed to make things right.

As you see, course info from 2012 would not cut it.

More info after the click.

See it!



September 22, 2017

Squeezebox IR remote control app for Android

Posted at 2:16 in Software . | 0 Trackbacks | 4 Comments

   In a typical way many products or features that I enjoy are either discontinued, modified, or closed down. This application brings together two instances of this. Samsung has seemingly stopped supplying IR blaster feature on their flagship smartphones and tablets. Logitech discontinued the Squeezebox product line. So, let's bring them together and make an app for that!

More info after the click.

See it!



May 3, 2009

Birth of WakeDisp Tool for Windows XP

Posted at 15:55 in Software . | | 1 Comments

This is a tool I created to work around what I will define as bug-fix extortion. In my life I have a general purpose low wattage server. Even with it's low wattage it is still desirable to allow it to go to various sleep states or complete power down. As with many servers there is no monitor, also known as a headless machine. It is able to be woken remotely inside my LAN by the Wake-On-LAN functionality. It was my first time to use it, although I had been aware of it for years.

Wake-On-LAN (WoL) allows me to sit on my couch or at my desk and wake the server up, so the file shares become available and the daemon processes run to accept client input. However, there's a single snarl in the situation and that is achieving remote administration through VNC after the WoL wakes the machine up. The error when attempting the VNC is "SelectObject to CompatibleDC failed: The operation completed successfully (0)".

Some research into this problem gave me the following insight:
http://www.realvnc.com/pipermail/vnc-list/2006-April/054680.html

From: James Weatherall jnw "at" realvnc.com
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 17:07:23 +0100

Hi there,

VNC Enterprise & Personal Editions 4.2 will include the fix
for this issue.
I'm afraid I don't have a timeframe for the fix making into
Free Edition at
present.

Regards,
Wez @ RealVNC Ltd.

Here we are now a few years later and the fix never made it into the Free Edition. While I like the product and would like to support the company, this is a fairly strange way to operate in my opinion. So, I made this tool to wake up the graphics adapter when a WoL event comes in. This tool lives with no UI other than the stuff you see in the service manager. It probably only works on Windows XP and I have no idea about installation with permissions less than administrator.

Download it Here

See it!



July 18, 2008

Sneak Preview: HandiDct

Posted at 14:05 in Software . | | 0 Comments

It has been a while since I updated. I have been a little scatter brained plus I was hard at work on some software to help me learn some stuff. Since it is in a finalised UI form I thought I would post it. This will hopefully give you something to look forward towards.

The software is a hopefully lightweight Korean and English translator dictionary. It uses an open source dictionary that can be found on the web and a whole bunch of code behind it for the user interaction and the input method editor. Much of that input method editor code was lifted from my free krinput software. The code is highly portable, it just uses some basic Windows primitives. In fact, the same exact code base is running on Windows and Windows CE.

In the meantime I have the following tasks to complete before posting:

  • Test to ensure functionality
  • Port to other bit depths (I only tried 16 and 32 bit)
  • Test on Windows CE 2.0 and higher (I only tried on Windows CE .NET 4.2)
  • Shrink memory size if needed for that Windows CE 2.0 device class
  • Port to allow using on non touchpad/mouse/trackpad devices, like Windows Mobile

Now for a few screenshots, so you can know what to expect forthcoming.

English to Korean with Soft English Keyboard and IME




Korean to English with Soft Hangeul (Hangul) Keyboard and IME




Korean to English with Soft Keyboard Hidden




The About Box



I have one or two more Windows CE devices coming in to test the low color depths and older version. Still have to test on multiple processor types as well. I expect I can post the software for download in another 4 weeks. Stay tuned here!



June 18, 2008

krinput for Windows CE H/PC Updated!

Posted at 11:25 in Software . | | 0 Comments

A reader pointed out a flaw when using this program on a Jornada 720, since I didn't have one it took some time to acquire it. After receiving the unit, I fixed the error that renders it fairly unusable where the menu from the system tray was not appearing to allow activating or exiting the app. The screen is a bit shorter than I had thought about when making the UI for the about box, so I fixed that also.

Changes in version 1.0.1
June 17, 2008
- Make 2nd About box, so it is not chopped off for small vertical screen resolutions.
- Fixed menu not operating when double clicked from system tray icon.

Previous write-up and usage instructions: Click Here!

Download Link: Click Here!



ScrnGrab for Windows CE H/PC Updated!

Posted at 11:20 in Software . | | 0 Comments

Since I had new equipment (Jornada 720) and an obvious flaw pointed out by a reader, I went in here to update and test with the new equipment. It was my first Handhelp PC with 16bit color depth to test on and it failed! I fixed that failure, some graphical thing in the about box due to small screen, and the tray icon menu not popping and posted. Note, no changed to the Windows app at this time.

Changes in version 1.0.1
June 17, 2008
- Make 2nd About box, so it is not chopped off for small vertical screen resolutions.
- Fixed so 16bit display screen capture works in H/PC environment.
- Fixed menu not operating when double clicked from system tray icon.

Previous write-up and usage instructions: Click Here!

Download Link: Click Here!



April 22, 2008

Korean Hangul IME for Windows CE H/PC

Posted at 12:05 in Software . | | 4 Comments

   The previous post alluded to this tool. Basically, I was trying to make a screen shot of this, so I could add this to the page/blog. Now that the tool was made, the screen shots taken, and I have a few moments it is time to share. The problem I was trying to solve here was that I was not able to type in Hangul on my Windows CE devices since they're from the North American market. I am building some stuff where many contents are shared and accessed from many device types in home and around the Earth. Part of my content is stored in Hangul, so access and searches on it require typing in Hangul.

This tool was developed as a stand alone application due to the fact that I was not able to easily find an override to the TranslateMessage API on Windows CE. If I was able to do that, I'd probably have let you type directly into the app you are using. Secondly, I was also unable to find a method to override or install a new IME with the developer's SDK on Windows CE 2.11. I am sure platform builder would allow it, but there's still a high likelihood that I may not be able to run that code on otherwise unaltered devices. I tried to ease the burden of this limitation of typing into a stand alone application. Two things were done to help with the usability and user experience. First, it is conveniently accessed via the task tray window near the system clock. Second, as you type the contents will be captured to the clipboard so you can easily paste into the target application that you wanted to input Korean text into.

Download it Here

This was not too difficult to build, but there's some prerequisites that you will need to do on your own that I am unable to provide, because I am releasing free I can't bear a license cost on externalities. You will need a Korean font to load to the device, I used one that I purchased in a Korean English dictionary for Pocket PC. I uninstalled the software from the Pocket PC and sits in a drawer, so I thought I'd make use of it as a single user. The spirit of the license seems reasonable that I can get use out of the font in one instance and in one place to be run by me.

Since the font to hold the Hangul character set can be large and the aged Handheld PC are relatively small in memory availability and most have externally expandable Compact Flash memory capabilities, I added a nice feature which lets you keep the font on the compact flash and still be registered with the Windows CE operating system. This will save a precious chunk of device storage at the expense of requiring the compact flash to be inserted when using the program.

After the link you can see a couple screenshots taken of the program on a Jornada 820 and a Pencentra 200 (with HPC2000 upgraded ROM).

See it!



April 21, 2008

Screen Capture for Windows CE H/PC

Posted at 3:51 in Software . | | 0 Comments

   A tool created out of necessity. I was trying to create a screen shot or screen capture for the next post and had a bad color issue, where some greys turned into purple and pink somehow. Tried another one I could find online and it put extra data info into the palette range, which severely impacted coloring. Rather than spend more time in the web search and trial and error to find one for this increasingly de-popularized platform for free, I thought it might be worth it to write one on my own.

Download it Here


The first steps towards that effort were fruitful and took a very short time. I was using a PC development and testing environment, but when I put it through the Windows CE compiler I came across unsupported API. Then I did it a different way, but still when I hit the Windows CE compiler I had some bad links for unsupported API. Who is to say they make this stuff easy?

After hacking through all I could think to do, I was able to get a functional program that I could test successfully in 16bit and 32bit on the desktop PC under XP and in 8bit on Windows CE 2.11 and Windows CE 3.0 (HPC Pro and HPC 20000 versions).

After the link you can see a couple screenshots taken with the program and further instructions for use.

See it!



April 14, 2008

Fun with Copper Pt. II

Posted at 7:02 in Living . | | 1 Comments

More fun with copper pennies. This time involved an engraver (as seen on TV). After dulling the engraver practicing on glass and not being able to carve more into the empty beer bottle my interest shifted to a penny. I figured that the engraver had enough life to scratch metal and it worked.

Now the tip is too dull to do anything more, so luckily it comes with two. Doing a web search proved there's no ordering replacement tips.

Anyway here is the result!



March 12, 2008

Hardware: USB On/Off switch

Posted at 13:25 in Living . | | 1 Comments

Since I am now doing some developments based on the top of the giants of Rockbox founders. I had recently mentioned here the birth of one tool to help with something I am porting to run on my mp3 player. Well, going through the porting process was causing a lot of plug/unplug for software loads and resets. I didn't want to wear out or break the pads on either the laptop, the Sansa cable, or the Sansa itself. Rather than daisy chaining a lot of USB cables, I decided I needed to build a switch.

The switch allows me to remove a USB peripheral without removing any physical connections. This was the final product:



click for full size image.

Click the next link to see more background info and photos.

See it!



March 6, 2008

Update to BMPToBDF (bmp2bdf) Tool v1.0.1

Posted at 1:30 in Software . | | 1 Comments

   Introduction to the BMPToBDF tool. This is a command line tool (useful for calling from command prompt or from makefile), a windows application, and a DLL that you can incorporate into your project for conversion of BMP into BDF.

Download it Here

Changes since v1.0
Feature Additions
- Add support for all paletted bitmap depths (1,2,4, and 8)bpp
- If generating a font with a space character, there was no way to do that well. Now it can be specified by including in the range of the start value and having enough bitmap glyphs that can encompass the value 0x20 or 32. Input controllable width of this space character.

Bug Fixes
- Fixed BDF Parameter DWIDTH, it was lacking a 2nd value
- 1st pixel from bitmap was lost, due to 0 init and check
- Overall BDF Parameter BBX height was not accurate. Base on overall height, not tallest char.
- Fix BDF Parameter PROPERTIES:FONT_ASCENT, related to the above.
- BDF Parameter ENDFONT was missing. Added in now.
- Fix problem when black is not the 1st palette entry of the bitmap.


BMP is a windows bitmap, you can find these all over the place. BDF is a bitmapped font file format, commonly used in UNIX/LINUX XWindows, but also used in the Rockbox environment. Scalable fonts logic occupies a lot of space and processing, so bitmapped fonts are common in the world of embedded devices. Maybe you have some other use for BDF and for this tool.

See it!



March 4, 2008

Birth of BMPToBDF (bmp2bdf) Tool

Posted at 13:12 in Software . | | 1 Comments

   Introduction to the BMPToBDF tool. This is a command line tool (useful for calling from command prompt or from makefile), a windows application, and a DLL that you can incorporate into your project for conversion of BMP into BDF.

Download it Here

BMP is a windows bitmap, you can find these all over the place. BDF is a bitmapped font file format, commonly used in UNIX/LINUX XWindows, but also used in the Rockbox environment. Scalable fonts logic occupies a lot of space and processing, so bitmapped fonts are common in the world of embedded devices. Maybe you have some other use for BDF and for this tool.

Rockbox is an open source firmware software replacement to many common MP3 players out on the market. Firmware is the software that runs on these devices to show you menus, allow you to interact by play/pause/next/back/etc. Usually these hardware manufacturers have a closed end system; that is, they do not allow you to run your own software on their platforms.

Chumby is an example of those who allow you to build your own software for the platform. In the closed case, people take it upon themselves to reverse engineer devices and provide for alternate or enhanced functionality to those devices. Rockbox does for MP3 players, CHDK does for some Canon digital camera, and there's more if you search around the web for open source firmware.

Back to what we have at hand. I am playing around with the Rockbox SDK and found a need for a font that was lacking from the fonts package that they distribute. Basically, needed a small font since my Sansa c250 screen is small with hangul and jamo characters. In the build process they change BDF files into another font format. This meant I needed a BDF input for processing the font I wanted to see on my Rockbox build. This tool allowed me to create that font with MS Paint and generate a BDF which finally generated the font that goes on my Sansa c250. Yea, I know I generally spread interest from thing to thing in a fairly rapid fire. Eventually some pieces may tie together!

More info after the link.

See it!



February 18, 2008

Modifying an EEE PC Preparation Pt. II

Posted at 16:07 in Living . | | 1 Comments

I cancelled the EEE PC that was on order since buy dot com had some lethargic purchasing rules. Instead, with the long weekend I visited a store called MicroCenter which stocks the device. They had the 4G SURF in white in stock, but not the one with the webcam. That should be fine for my intents and purposes. Now that I am an EEE PC owner, it was time to stock up on the missing parts. The OS was pretty interesting, many strides have been made in Linux with Xandros and probably other distributions, however the dual boot situation will cause more hurdles than it is worth to me and I will opt for Windows XP for my device.

The next part of the weekend involved getting a Patriot 32GB USB thumb drive which will be embedded inside the EEE PC. This was costly and bought at the local Frys, at 250$ and a 50$ mail in rebate to eventually knock it down to 200$. The Crucial PC 5300 SODIMM II 2GB memory module was not too bad at 60$ minus an eventual 30$ rebate at Frys. I installed the RAM upgrade and verified functionality. What a hoop to jump through for access to the slot, it involved taking apart the whole bottom portion of the EEE PC. Following this instruction proved the task quite easy (Guide).

The last item to speak of in the Frys expedition was a rotational hub that seems small and popular to embed within the EEE PC. The cost was 15$, but you can do better online. The rest of this article will be explaining the disassembling of it and the mapping of USB signals. Click the next link to see more.

See it!



February 4, 2008

Modifying an EEE PC Preparation

Posted at 2:13 in Living . | | 1 Comments

I have an EEE PC on order after I deemed the Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC) as suitable to me. I would have gone to BestBuy to purchase one, but they have it as online order only. Some people seem to think this is due to the fact that having a non-Windows unit at $300-$400 would hurt margins in sale and re-stocking.

Originally, I was about to purchase an OQO device with the embedded 3G modem for wireless broadband. However, it may be too small in keyboard and it definitely had a high price tag. After some banging around the internet I came across the EEE PC which is in the class of UMPC and has a Solid State Drive (SSD) for storage as well. SSD tend to be more durable for constant lugging around every wheres.

Furthermore, the wizards at the eeeuser website had a forum where people had many innovative hardware modifications to extend the capabilities of the EEE PC. This sealed the deal for me and I promptly ordered one and a RAM module for upgrading. The forum is here.

Click the next link to see how I brushed up on soldering skills to prepare for the arrival of my EEE PC and what I plan to put in the thing.

See it!