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Topics - totallymaxed

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1
Users / Dianemo - Looking for Athena Orbiter & UI Layer Alpha Testers
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:42:12 pm »
See the forum post below for details of how to join our Athena Orbiter Alpha test program - make sure you watch the video linked to in the post;

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100008#msg100008

Thanks

Andy

2
Users / Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« on: August 21, 2014, 12:36:41 pm »
First off I know this post will be contentious for many of you...but read on and then respond;

Back in the day when Pluto Inc were first developing Pluto (of which LinuxMCE & Dianemo are direct descendants) the Tech world was very different;

- Crestron were the Elephant in the room (still are?)
- Everything was expensive (I mean everything)
- There were no inexpensive Media Players or SmartTV's
- No inexpensive Tablets and SmartPhones hadn't been invented
- Building custom hardware was difficult & expensive

Its in this context that PXE booted Media Directors were born. They solved several problems in one hit; They enabled a '10 foot' TV based custom UI, they played local CD/DVD discs and could stream video from the Core, they provided local in-room control I/O at essentially zero marginal cost. At the time all these capabilities made incredible sense even though they added complexity. But today they largely don't.

Today the UI has migrated to your tablet or smartphone and is touch driven, we have low cost IP controllable media players and Blueray/DVD players that can play disc media and/or stream video content from anywhere, independent small IP controlled I/O is cheap and easy to install where ever you need it. The Media Director is a hangover from a previous age. It adds cost, complexity and adds considerably to the amount of energy a system consumes. Its another point of failure and a source of many problems both for those building and installing their own systems and for those using systems too.

How many threads here in the forum relate to problems with MD's? I don't know the number but its a big one. And they continue to cause reliability problems in use too. Yes some installations have MD's that don't cause any problems - but most do experience problems at some point. Of course upgrading from one OS release to another is also problematic too in terms getting displays configured and working properly again.

Removing MD's, using Orbiters on tablets or Smartphones and using IP controlled media players/SmartTV's seems to me to be a much better approach overall and its the one we've taken with Dianemo. It improves overall reliability, lowers energy usage, reduces the physical size of your system while improving video playback quality & performance.

For some of us its the challenge of getting our systems working that is the payback and in that sense MD's improve  systems! But I think for most of us we'd like fewer challenges and more smooth and rewarding usage of our systems. After all there are an infinite number of other pieces of hardware you can get a challenge from when integrating that won't stop your family from watching Game of Thrones ;-)

Comments?

All the best

Andy

3
Developers / Building Dynamic Orbiters with JSON/AJAX/HTML5
« on: March 26, 2013, 11:54:21 am »
Here at Dianemo we're in the early phases of exploring the notion of building 'Next Gen' Orbiters in HTML5/JSON/AJAX. The idea being to enable anyone with some modern Web technology skills to be able to design & implement new Orbiter UI's in a Web browser. These Orbiters will not be restricted by the current Web Orbiter implementation or be based in anyway on those ie they will not be based around a series of big whole Orbiter screen bitmaps generated at the Core and displayed in the browser. They will be built & designed like any other HTML5 page.

At present we're in the embryonic stages of implementing some prototype devices at the Core that will expose JSON objects representing some simple devices eg On/Off Lights & Dimmable Lights etc. We're several months, at best, from having enough working to have anyone play around with this outside our team. However it would be useful to be able to gage how many of you with the right Web Development skills would be interested in being involved in testing this capability when we are ready.

So please drop a post into this thread if your interested in getting involved when we are ready and have the right skills (you will need to be familiar with building Web services/sites using JavaScript/JSON/AJAX/HTML5).

Also If you have questions about what we're doing in this area then by all means post them here too... I may not be able to answer every question as we're still figuring this out but I will do my best to answer as fully as I can.

All the best


Andrew

4
If you are a Dianemo S user that has any of the following brands of IP enabled TV/BluRay Player/Media Player's;

- Sony
- LG
- Samsung
- Panasonic

If you have any devices from the above companies and would have some time to test your device with an upcoming update that will add support for IP control to these devices then please PM me or post here in this thread. If you have a device we have not tested support for then you could play a role in testing support for your device.

We expect the first release of IP control to be for Sony TV devices and this should be in about 7 days time. We are testing currently with the Sony BDP-S370 BluRay Player and the Sony KDL-32EX723. Any of the following TV models should work;

KDL-HX920 series
KDL-HX820 series
KDL-HX720 series
KDL-NX720 series
KDL-EX720 series
KDL-EX620 series
KDL-EX520 series
KDL-EX420 series
KDL-EX320 series
KDL-CX520 series

Get in touch if you can help test your IP enabled TV, BluRay Player or Media Player.

All the best


Andrew

5
Users / Anyone using or thinking of using the LeGrand BTicino Bus system?
« on: September 28, 2011, 12:01:50 pm »
We just added support for LeGrand BTicino bus bus based systems to Dianemo. Support is implemented as a DCEwhisperer device template and initially we are supporting Lighting, Audio & Video bus components. We intend that over time the remaining bus components will be supported. The BTicino device supports full 2-way bidirectional comms with the Bus.

If anyone here in the forum has any BTicino bus hardware installed or has plans to install any we'd like to hear from you. We'd be happy to help anyone with plans to implement support for BTicino components that have not yet been implemented - please get in touch if BTicino support is something thats of interest to you.

All the best


Andrew

6
Developers / First test of Dianemo 10.10 to Dianemo 11.04 upgrade
« on: July 20, 2011, 05:39:44 pm »
Just a heads up that we have successfully tested the upgrade of a standard Dianemo 10.10 NerveCentre installation to Ubuntu 11.04 using the standard Ubuntu upgrade procedure. We have logged a few minor issues but overall it was a completely painless upgrade with a normal reboot back into Dianemo at the end.

I should stress that this is a test of the process and should not be attempted yet by end users. When we are confident that we have any issues addressed then Dianemo users will get notified that they can Upgrade is the wish too.

Expect more updates on this here in this thread in the coming few weeks. If you have any questions relating to upgrading please post them in this thread to share them with others.

All the best


Andrew

7
Users / Dianemo 1.3 iOS Orbiter Released
« on: July 20, 2011, 10:47:12 am »
Hi all,

We pushed v1.3 of the Dianemo Orbiter App out on Monday and 'magically' Apple approved it yesterday. A record time-scale in our experience at least! The 1.3 App is now live on the App store.

v1.3 adds support for iPod Touch 1G's and iOS 3.1.3 and also implements a number of gesture improvements and other small bug fixes.

All the best


Andrew

8
Just to let everyone know that the new Dianemo Orbiter App 1.2 has been released on the Apple iOS App store. This version implements the new interactive layer that allows for some dynamic UI elements to be delivered without any UI re-design.

Its a free download from the App store and it is compatible with both LinuxMCE 810/10.04 and Dianemo 10.10. To make use of the new Interactive layer in LinuxMCE you must be running the new proxy_orbiter - see the tail end of this thread for details of how to get & install the new proxy_orbiter from svn. There is also a companion QT app TouchOrbiterQT (full source code provided and released under the GPL) that implements all of the iOS App's key features and is intended as a working example for anyone thinking of developing a version for another OS/Device or programming language. TouchOrbiterQT is also a full functional working App and can be used on any OS with the right QT libs installed.

Anyway...we hope you all enjoy the new Apps and also look forward to seeing what cool stuff you can develop around the technology!

All the best



Andrew

9
Users / Preview of new Touch Orbiter UI Capabilities (video demo)
« on: June 18, 2011, 06:03:21 pm »
Here's is a short video of the work my colleague Uplink has been doing on re-engineering the Touch Orbiter to allow it to display dynamic UI elements - currently we support scrolling datagrids... with other dynamic UI elements to follow eg sliders and other dynamic controls. This video was shot in Apple's xCode Development systems device simulator. This is not a mockup I might add this is real code running in the xCode simulator - I will upload some video of this version running on an iPad next week. I will be posting some more video demo's of the new Touch Orbiter in the next few days;

Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMYhB_KNyt0

Once the new proxy_orbiter is installed and a Touch Orbiter 2.1 has been installed on your devices then any current Orbiter screen that uses standard datagrids will automatically get translated into a Dynamic datagrid on your device - this requires no changes to be made in HAD. It maybe though that some UI screens might benefit from a re-design around datagrids however ie the User or Room's screen so that large numbers of Users/Rooms could be accommodated by making the list scroll vertically.

We expect to have the source code for the new proxy_orbiter and a QT based Touch Orbiter 2.1 available for download in about two weeks or so (we were hoping to have this available earlier but we are in the build-up to the CEDIA London Home Technology Event in late June). An updated Dianemo iOS Orbiter 2.1 will be released in early July and will be a free download from Apple's iOS App Store.

Enjoy

Andrew

10
Users / New Version of the Dianemo iOS Orbiter
« on: May 02, 2011, 11:59:59 pm »
Version 1.1 of the Dianemo iOS Orbiter has been submitted to Apple for approval and should be available from the iTunes App store shortly. See more details about v1.1 and some screen pics here;

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter

The new version supports some nice new features including a new gesture driven tab bar UI that can be shown/hidden using swipe up/down gestures when in the Orbiter view (thanks to Foxi352 for that!), an online help view, together with multiple connection profiles (thanks to Uplink for completely re-writing this part of the App) & support for auto rotation in landscape on all iOS device that support it. If you are a Dianemo user then v1.1 supports secure encrypted remote access to your NerveCentre via Dianemo's remote access portal too and allows you to swap between 'Local' & 'Remote' mode for any number of installations.

The new version is fully iOS 4.3x compatible (it requires a device running iOS 3.2 or above) and supports iPod Touch (3g & 4g), iPhone, iPad & iPad2. The App is compatible with both LinuxMCE 8.10 (and 10.04) & Dianemo 10.10 and is a free download from the iTunes App store.

Please download the v1.0 version if you have not already and you will automatically get notified when v1.1 is available.

All the best

Andrew

11
Developers / New Touch Orbiter & Proxy_Orbiter in development
« on: March 31, 2011, 03:11:11 am »
This is a 'Heads-Up' or sneak pre-view of some work in-progress both here at CHT & by some collaborating Dev's;

We're working on some new software ideas that we think will really open up some exciting new possibilities for both those in the community who want to move the Orbiter forwards and out of the stagnant situation its been in for some time now and also for those UI designers who are constrained both by the limitations of todays Orbiter and also by the tools we have today for designing new UI's - namely HA Design & Quick Designer. As with our earlier work on Web Orbiter 2.0 and subsequently on Touch Orbiter we hope that this new software will spark the communities imagination and will trigger loads of new and exciting ideas from the community.

So what are we up to? Firstly we are not releasing any software today...but we will be in about 4-5 weeks time. Well were doing a number of things in parallel - some of which are approaching being complete enough to release to the community (all code & docs will be GPL from the get go by the way) which is why I am taking the opportunity to mention them in this thread as a pre-cursor to making them available in early May 2011. Firstly we are doing a pretty much from the ground up re-write of Proxy_Orbiter that will re-engineer it so that it does not render screens as it does today but instead 'renders' XML and that XML will describe screens and the visual elements they contain or are constructed from ie the canvas or backdrop, the buttons and other UI controls and other UI elements that make up any screen. Those UI elements can contain bit maps of course...but the new Proxy_Orbiter will not hand-off pre-rendered screens to Orbiters.

So outwardly the new Proxy_Orbiter will talk XML and inwardly it will interface to the rest of the system pretty much as it does now - the objective is to make this new Proxy_Orbiter a 'drop-in' replacement for todays Proxy_Orbiter in that respect. Of course this new outwardly facing XML will mean that new Orbiters will need to be created that can interact with this new XML API and so we are also building some new example Orbiters, one implemented in Qt (we like Qt and thats about as deep as it goes :-) ) & we hope also one for iOS that will use the new XML API exposed by the new Proxy_Orbiter and these will act as implementation examples for those interested in developing new Orbiters ie just as we did with Web Orbiter 2.0 & Touch Orbiter. Again we will release the full C source code for both the new Qt and iOS Orbiter's so that anyone wanting to write another implementation can pore over our C code and understand how we implemented it - this we hope will make it much easier to build new Orbiters for any OS using any dev environment on any device. Again this is the model we used for Touch Orbiter in particular and we hope it will trigger an avalanche of new Orbiters for all manner of devices...and potentially this even extends to Orbiters running on MD's too...

So that all sounds great...but your asking why is this so exciting both for software developers & for UI designers? Firstly the XML API will free the software developer to implement the UI using whatever UI elements/widgets etc the OS/Platform she/he is developing for supports ie a new Android Orbiter can look like an Android App and can exploit any UI widgets/controls available, same goes for iOS, or Qt or Clutter. Because the XML API does not deal with pre-rendered screens/bitmaps the new Orbiters are not constrained and can utilise the full range of UI elements/controls/widgets that are available on that device/OS/Platform such as dynamic scrolling lists on say Android or iOS devices for example or some super animated dynamic equivalent in an Orbiter built in Clutter maybe.

Once this new XML API is in place it will also enable some other exciting things...such as new WYSIWYG visual UI design tools to be developed to make designing/testing new UI's or updating existing ones fast and simple to achieve. And these new tools will we hope make UI design/development much more accessible to many more people here in the Community - and we hope this new accessibility will attract new design orientated members to join us here.

So thats about it for now... we're announcing this now so that we can warm people up to the idea get a little feedback here in this thread, answer some questions and generally get things explained as we move closer to releasing the code/API etc. Right now we're in the final phase build up to release and in the coming weeks we will have some other announcements too relating to some other areas of the system... DCErouter is one of these areas. So expect some more on that soon.

All the best


Andrew

12
After a lot of intense development work and testing we now finally have an iOS Orbiter available for LinuxMCE - big thanks to Foxi352

Search for 'RoamingOrb' in the App store either on your iOS device or from inside iTunes on your laptop or PC (you will need a valid iTunes account to download the App - but it is free)

Foxi352 has done a brilliant job getting RoamingOrb 1.01 out the door and I can tell you the Apple App approvals process threw us a 'curve ball' at the 11th hour...but we worked around that and 1.01 is up on the App store. A bit of a milestone in so many ways really;

- Firstly its an App many people here in the community have wanted for a long time now
- Its an App developed by a developer who is new to the community - we need many more too!
- Its an example of how if you focus in on a limited part of this project and your given the right docs and support/encouragement you can achieve a lot very quickly
- ...and lastly but definitely not least its the first small(ish) step on a path to a re-engineered model for Orbiters and building UI's for LinuxMCE (its not the only path to this...witness the great research & experimentation going on here in Clutter by tschak909 and others)

Now as ever with software development, and this is elongated by the App development process under iOS, RoamingOrb 1.01 is missing a number of refinements that are now in testing. Expanding testing beyond a small group is not easy under iOS because each iOS devices UDID has to be 'burnt' into the App before release...but I am sure there will be an updated RoamingOrb App in the near future that will incorporate a number of refinements. Having said that the 1.01 release has gone through a lot of testing by Foxi352 and my team at CHT on every current iOS device platform (iPad included) and all current iOS device releases and we believe it is incredibly stable. In fact I can honestly say that I have never seen any kind of fatal bug at all during testing.

As to speed...yes its blindingly fast compared to all other Touch Orbiters and in use I think you will quickly find it a joy to use - I do ;-)

Now in the next few weeks alongside RoamingOrb 1.01 CHT will release another iOS Orbiter, Dianemo iOS Orbiter, which is based on the RoamingOrb codebase (a later revision than 1.01 though) but with a number of enhancements and also a number of features that are only relevant to Dianemo installations. Foxi352 is the lead Dev for both versions by the way. The Dianemo iOS Orbiter (we may change its name...as it does not roll off the tongue!) will also be Free to download from the App store and will be fully compatible with both Dianemo & LinuxMCE. I will outline the Dianemo iOS Orbiters features soon here.

The source code for both RoamingOrb & Dianemo iOS Orbiter will be freely available soon too - probably in the svn but possibly via the Wiki (you'll know as son as this is decided)

See here for RoamingOrb Wiki page; http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/RoamingOrb

See here for Dianemo iOS Orbiter Wiki page; http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter

All the best


Andrew

13
We'd like to see what devices/platforms you can port the Touch Orbiter too. Touch Orbiter is a simple front-end app that leaves all of the LinuxMCE complexity running on the Core and requires a very minimal understanding of the LinuxMCE architeture to implement it on a fresh platform. Porting Touch Orbiter to you favourite client device or OS only requires knowledge of that devices Dev requirements - making the port really simple to achieve. We have a fully implemented reference implementation with complete source code available on the Wiki page below;

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Touch_Orbiter_-_for_the_CUWIN3500_in-wall_Touch_Panel

So if you have a favourite platform or OS then why not try a port of Touch Orbiter as your next project :-)

All the best


Andrew

PS **** Please put you code into the svn even at an early stage in its development...doing so will help others thinking of starting a port and also it gives people & opportunity to help if you hit a problem...share your code 'early n often' !

14
Users / Touch Orbiter - a new approach to Touch Based Orbiters
« on: July 13, 2010, 04:40:02 pm »
Touch Orbiter is a new approach to creating Orbiters for any device where MD capability is not required. It builds off the recent work we have been doing on Web Orbiter 2.0 in that it uses the proxy_orbiter as its backend but Touch Orbiter does not rely on a Web Browser and is a native Application on the device it is running on. The Wiki will be expanded in the coming days and weeks with information on how to setup Touch Orbiter and also importantly how to take the reference implementation and port it to other device (full source code is now provided)...thats the exciting part as Touch Orbiter allows you to create a Touch orbiter for a new Device without having the overhead and complexity of the Orbiter source code to contend with - if you know a modest amount about the target device and writing software for its OS then you should be able to quickly port Touch Orbiter to it...thats the hope anyway :-)


So please take a look at the Wiki page below (Sourc code is now provided & we provide a full make script to that sets up everything for you and compiles the reference version...just copy that onto your WinCE device and your done pretty much);

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Touch_Orbiter_-_for_the_CUWIN3500_in-wall_Touch_Panel
All the best


Andrew

15
Users / What devices are you running Web orbiter 2.0 on?
« on: July 09, 2010, 02:49:54 pm »
Hi all,

If your looking at Web Orbiter 2.0 on your system we'd love to hear what devices your using it with and what experiences you have with these devices. Please post here or even better add your experiences/new devices to the bottom of the Wiki page below;

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Web_Orbiter_2.0

We'd love to see the widest possible list of devices on the Wiki so please let us know what your using Web Orbiter 2.0 on!

All the best


Andrew

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