Elsewhere there are things that we all miss, yet it takes just one to notice...

My own website

For my own website I do not need SEO. Those who view it have come through searches or from my own online profiles. There’s absolutely no need for me to up views on my pages because I class this as a personal blog/diary and therefor I’m not wanting to advertise myself to the world or other outlets. Simple really.

My other website is for that and I’ve already got it covered.

Now back to some coding.

I have been busy actually

Saturday and Sunday I was faffing about with my Odroid U3 trying to get various API’s to play full screen videos on Linux but kept coming up against a brick wall because those API’s are for openGL and not openGL ES. Only Android would do that and I do not want to go down that route. So instead of buying the Odroid C2 which was my original plan I’ve ordered myself an Intel board instead. Can’t wait for it to turn up. The weekend dragged with all the testing and testing.

Tonight I decided to get a spreadsheet together. Being on the extremes of pessimism, the figures still look damn good. It’s given me a positive frame of mind to move on. I will be expanding on the spreadsheet a hell of a lot as this is the first set of figures I’ve started to work with. I plan on getting a full set of test data to start with to get the numbers down to the penny. I’ve still got to price up servers, etc.

Then I got another quick blast at blender. Two things I wanted to get working, alpha transparency for PNG images and playing a video clip in a texture. Yes, I can do them both. And boy, it’s looks good as a 3D rendered movie with transparent images and movie clips playing.

Fullscreen video playlist done

Using Linux and libvlc I’ve finally got what I was aiming for. A full screen video playlist player. And it was quite easy.

The steps to get here:

  1. Monday: Play a media file. A few lines of code did this. And with the addition of one extra line of code made it full screen.
  2. Play a playlist of videos full screen. This is where things went wrong. After one video had finished, the vlc player would quit fullscreen, flash the desktop and then play the next video in full screen. This was not acceptable.
  3. Tuesday: Using the stock Linux libraries to go full screen. This took all of about 20 minutes from start to end. And again, in just a few lines of code. It was a chaotic night at home so I just finished up there.
  4. Wednesday: Just chilled out and watched TV after work instead.
  5. Thursday: I now needed to use the full screen window and attach the videos to it so that the desktop doesn’t appear. By just passing the window ID to the vlc media player, this was done.

Now all I need to work on the managing the playlists over the internet. And order myself and Odroid C2 with a few other gadgets. So far, this is going 100% perfectly.

By my reckoning, I should have a media player that boots up in less than 10 seconds and playing. How awesome…

The hefty part of the coding is about to start…

Having a wind down for the holiday away.

It’s Monday evening now and on Wednesday, my loved one and I are jetting off to Morroco for a break away and much deserved to get away from reality.

However, I’ve already setup a laptop that I’m taking with me for when I get heat stroke, or something else like boredom, for not only keeping in touch with family and friends (when we’re not busy lazying it), with a small ssd. My accounts are not being stored on it just in case but I have installed some essential IDE’s that I use.

When I get back, and as I’ve already setup, I’ve got a test home server running which I can monitor and use while I’m away. A few final touches to it tomorrow evening. With the wifi at the hotel, I’m going to knock up a quick android app to test it out with.

Apart from that, I’m pretty grumpy at the moment. Home is a tip and needs a hand-grenade throwing at it. Worrying about the next week while we’re away. Argh!!!

Anyway… Noisy all of a sudden here…

Java programming

After just over 3 years of programming in Java, I still haven’t sussed out how to actually open up a basic IDE and start a simple UI project from scratch.

This I know from installing Netbeans. Which I’ve used before to create a dedicated server so that client devices can receive images created using Java AWT libraries. That was easy, create a TCP listening thread, accept connections, return renderings of bitmaps in compressed PNG format. Easy.

I’ve also created (which was a UI app) a program that sniffs the UDP broadcast of the IPTV/Digital Signage server (which I wrote), and opens up a custom web interface from the server without knowing the IP address. That was easy with the help of a couple of references from the web. It turned out to be quite a small program in the end and hardly any effort in it.

Even after Android development, writing games and even using FFMpeg to write a media player using the NDK.

I simply just wanted to write (using the accumulated knowledge of Java) a simple multi window/dialog application on my laptop. Wow… It still amazes me how I got through all the previous software developing. Maybe on an evening, I’m just not that focused. But I’m not giving in.

Java may not have the power of C, but it does have a lot that can be used as I’ve mentioned above. I’m finding it simple to handle threading and AWT bitmaps, etc. All I need now is to be able to setup up a display in a window (GL or raster, whichever is the quickest to begin with) and I’ll be happy.

Qt is simple enough for both openGL and normal UI stuff. So now I want to do the same with Java. So far without the UI stuff, I can run anything, ie server side from Java, but UI stuff I’ll just have to persevere with.

I’ll get there. Nighttime coding was something I always used to do. Going to bed when I realised the sun was poking its head up in the morning.

If I can keep this up (future plans)

Many years ago I started building my online profile and populated my old website with lots of content. Unfortunately, all that has gone despite trying to get in touch with the hosting company. It was free hosting.

Now my hosting is paid for so that gives me something if times get dark and finances get short.

The boiler-plate code for a 3D online demo is almost complete but am I hell staying up past 11pm when I have to be up at 6am in the morning.

I have all next week off, so when I am not out on my motorbike getting lost around the country, which I can’t do much anyway until I get paid next, I’ll be at home building up some showcase examples. These I will plan on hosting using webGL. I’ve got a lot of ideas and I plan on getting a good few of them done next week.

My future depends on it now, because I haven’t got the pennies to fill up my tank.

Dev updates for May 2017

There’s actually a shed load of updates, but I doubt I’ll get them all done tonight.

  1. I now have a Java server running which provides Java specific rendering using AWT and other java standard features.
  2. DVB-S is easy.
  3. Using FFMpeg as a general media player for both IPTV/UDP and file/network based streams, including pause and seek.
  4. Finally got round to installing 4 OS’s on my main laptop. Windows 10 and 3 other Linux OS’s.
  5. Manually re-installed a HP tablet with Android OS from scratch.
  6. Erm… Blank…

Stuff to do:

  1. Loads… I’ll remember them probably tomorrow.
  2. Add more code to this website.


Time to get personal…

With a long weekend coming up due to the Easter break and a lot of ideas in my head, I’ve decided to start some more experiments with some serious coding.

Various online profiles will be updated too.

Watch this space…

!false is funny because it's true

New laptop and Linux Mint dual boot

A few weeks ago I bought a laptop, a Dell Precision 4500, i7 2Ghz, 4Gb memory, Quadro 1800M and a 320Gb hard disk, pre-installed with Windows 7.

The first thing I did was to shrink the volume which gave me about 130Gb which I installed Linux Mint 18.3. The dual boot worked fine until I updated the nVidia drivers and lost the resolution of 1920×1080. This is after installing everything, all my programming stuff, 3D stuff, etc. I tried the workarounds online with no joy, I was losing performance.

Anyway, I had a 9.5mm draw replacement which I could remove the DVD drive and put in my SSD drive.

The first three installs of Linux and it freezing randomly, plus sussing out out why in the end the GRUB bootloader was on the wrong drive, I finally figured a way to get it up and running. Initially, after reading that on an SSD you don’t need a swap partition, the last install I went back to the swap partition with the install. And it is now working.

I’ve yet to update the nVidia drivers which I will do sometime soon.

At the moment, I can boot into Windows off the normal HD and Linux off my SSD. It runs sweet. Programming stuff is installed but not yet used. I need a long holiday to really get this beast going. The graphics on this laptop actually run better than my PC (i7 4790, nVidia GTX 730).

The only thing that slows this laptop down is the hard drive and Windows.

Maybe tomorrow I will actually bravely update the nVidia drivers for Linux Mint because I soon want to start experimenting with 3D graphics API’s for desktop and mobile again. And as usual I wish I had just a minute more time to focus on my personal projects.

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