Monday, September 26, 2011

My first remotely useful Arduino sketch

I want to use the arduino to interface a small graphic LCD to my satellite set-top-boxes.
The problem with most of the boxes you can buy today is, that they only have a one-line, 12-16 character text-only VFD display and no longer the nice credit-card sized graphic LCDs the old dbox2 or dreamboxes had.
Most new boxes have an USB port,though, so interfacing the LCD via USB is pretty easy.
The code (both arduino and a small test program for the box) is here on gitorious. The protocol is primitive but pretty efficient on RAM and it does recover from errors surprisingly well. The update rate of maybe 10 FPS is enough for this kind of usage.
Now I need to implement some "display driving daemon" which can be interfaced easily with the set-top-box software.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Android Update brings PAN/NAP to Motorola defy

After my summer vacation, I finally did the official update on my defy, which brought the thing to Android 2.2.2.
Since Motorola had obviously done quite some customizing to the original 2.1, not too many obvious differences were there: "Mobile Hotspot" was present before. The design theme (which is something I could not care less about...) was already like 2.2 before and the horrible "MotoBlur" interface is still there, so I thougt "well, it's mostly some bugfixing under the hood".

Today, I wanted to finally look into the bluetooth dialup problems I had with the device: NetworkManager was somehow not happy with the responses to some AT commands it got before, resulting in non-working Bluetooth "tethering". Back then, I did not care too much and chose to just use WiFi instead, but today I decided to look into it.

What can I say? The software update upgraded the Bluetooth tethering from dialup (rfcomm/serial/ppp) to PAN/NAP. Which I like much better as it is more "natural" anyway.

Yet another bug I don't need to tackle anymore :-)

Update: The same is possible using the "Wireless Tether for Root Users" app from the android market. Just make sure that you start tethering before pairing the device using bluetooth applet, I'm not sure if there is a way to add the PAN interface to an aready paired device, at least I did not find one, so just checking the "Do you want to use the device for internet access" box during pairing is easiest.

Of course I don't expect this to work with KDE, but it works very well with nm-applet and bluetooth-applet from GNOME.