NEHA Laptop

Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:00 am

KevinGale wrote:Have you tried the screens you have? It doesn't need to be visible in direct sunlight but as long as it is visible in the shade when outside on a sunny day it will be fine.

If you need to order something we can get one of the clubs to reimburse you for it I'm sure. They will just need a receipt.


I'm more than happy to donate working laptops. I always feel guilty that I can't make time to come early to set up or stay late to clean up after events, this is the least I can do. I'll bring a pair of laptops to the banquet, I think the screens I have will be just fine.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:44 pm

I don't think this changes anything immediately, but it's worth noting:

...Because it has an ARMv7 processor, it can run the full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10.


$35 raspberry pi 2

It's running arm7 architecture rather than x86, and I don't know anything about the timing application or what it would take to port over ... but a 3w timing computer for $35 is worth taking note of.

For the last six months we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:07 pm

I'd have to rewrite the app. It's written in a old version of Delphi that is only available for Win32.

Truthfully I'm way overdue to rewrite it anyway. This is the third version of the program that handles results. First version was written in basic on a TRS80 Model 100. Then there was a second version written in C++. I'll probably write the next version in C# which will run on lots of stuff these days. I've been thinking of restructuring the database as well and changing the database engine to Firebird. We have also talked about implementing the timing in something closer to the hardware and just have the laptop pull from that device.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:13 pm

Oh and currently the printed results are generated using MS Word via it's COM interface. It's kinda fun to watch a MS Word doc get typed in at warp speed and then format on the fly. There is a bunch of special code that uses tricks in Word to adjust interline spacing and use fractional font sizes to maximize the font that can be used and still fit the results on one page. If i do the C# rewrite I'll probably be looking for a library to do this same logic while generating a PDF natively. It's a bit of work and I keep putting off starting it.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:21 pm

I've never written anything for Windows, all my work tends to be in Python/Bash/Perl for Linux. These days, I generate my PDF's using Pandoc, but I think Scribus and its API would be good options for you. Scribus is essentially a templatizing application that allows you to input values as you like, generally using plugins or their API directly. They're all free (in every sense). I'd be happy to discuss this a bit more, but I only bring it up because you mentioned a complete rewrite. It's not necessarily better in any way than writing it in C#, it would simply run on more different platforms, and theoretically be easier to extend down the line.

http://wiki.scribus.net/canvas/Help:Manual_PDFintro
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:41 pm

drummingpariah wrote:I've never written anything for Windows, all my work tends to be in Python/Bash/Perl for Linux.


And that is it in a nutshell. I've written for various flavors of Unix (but not Linux), OS/2 and Windows. But nothing but Windows for many years. It's hard enough to get motivated to rewrite the app for the 4th time and if I do you can be sure I will use the tools I use every day at work. The chances of learning a new toolset and rewriting are effectively zero at this point in my life. I just don't have the time or interest. With C# and Mono I should be able to at least make it open source with a rewrite if it happens. So someone could run it on Linux and maintain it with free opensource tools. I think that is about the best I can offer.

I'm more than willing to pass the torch on to anyone who wants to do it. I've been doing it for more than 20 years and I'm willing to retire from the job at any time. :lol:

And I don't mean that in a "If we don't do it my way I'll take my toys and leave" way. I'm more than willing to help out if anyone wants to take over with new ideas. That is how I got the job.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby drummingpariah » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:54 pm

I totally and completely understand where you're coming from and agree with that stance. I can't take over this season (especially without seeing the logic and problems you've already solved with the existing system), but if it's still worthwhile next season, I may be able to make a meaningful contribution. I'm still working out which way is up on our hills, so I'm hesitant to promise any additional commitments.

I'm not trying to kick off the holy war discussion of Windows vs OSX vs Solaris vs TI-83, but I do see value in having an open-source application for a group that doesn't have enterprise-level infrastructure already. Under ideal circumstances, that's the direction I'd go. As it is, I'm happy to have a timing system that works consistently as long as you don't up and quit racing and make try to support that app ourselves (I would consider that an unlikely circumstance).

If you can get it running using Mono, that addresses all of my cross-platform concerns.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby RacingFrog » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:11 pm

Let's discuss on Saturday evening. If you can bring a copy of the app, I'll have a look at it.
If I can find some time, I'll give it a shot. I can do pretty much any language and platform but the GUI might be in French only! :D
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby KevinGale » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:58 am

RacingFrog wrote:Let's discuss on Saturday evening. If you can bring a copy of the app, I'll have a look at it.
If I can find some time, I'll give it a shot. I can do pretty much any language and platform but the GUI might be in French only! :D


OK, but fair warning anyone who does this is taking on a major commitment. I can't even count the number of times I have worked half a day n the hill instead of driving. You will have to train people on any new software and provide on going technical support.
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Re: NEHA Laptop

Postby RacingFrog » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:07 am

KevinGale wrote:
RacingFrog wrote:Let's discuss on Saturday evening. If you can bring a copy of the app, I'll have a look at it.
If I can find some time, I'll give it a shot. I can do pretty much any language and platform but the GUI might be in French only! :D


OK, but fair warning anyone who does this is taking on a major commitment. I can't even count the number of times I have worked half a day n the hill instead of driving. You will have to train people on any new software and provide on going technical support.


I have done that with the Rallycross live timing, I know it's going to be a significant investment in time for training and support. But I'll train you first Kevin ;)
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