OLPC where to go development advice.

Paul Breed Paul at Rasdoc.com
Fri Jan 30 19:42:13 EST 2009

I subscribed to the dev list for some development advice for the OLPC.

My reason for using the OLPC is not to help in the developing world,
it because I'm working on a long term project in the Mojave Desert and
unit is robust and the display can be read in the noon day mojave sun.

The project is a Rocket. My 22yr old son and I are  working on it together.


I'm a very skilled embedded C/C++ programmer. (Full bare metal 
custom, not linux/uclinux see www.netburner.com)

I also used to make my living doing professional custom UI's in mfc 
/windows 98/xp/nt etc...

I love working on the command line, but am weak in the linux 
configuration area.

My son does webserver python stuff buy has ZERO gui experience, I 
have lots of GUI experience but exactly 2 days of python experience.

I basically want the OLPC to be a front panel for the headless 
embedded computers that
run the rocket.

My telemetry system and the main computer on the rocket are all 
communicating with UDP
packets. Where needed the acknowledgement occurs at the application 
layer, not the network layer ala tcp.
I do this for better control of the real time latency where it matters.

The operational communications is all advisory and tuning, we have 
separate hardware radio abort systems.
The setup and configuration operations are not real time, but we 
still use the UDP
system so we don't have two different comm prototcols.

So I need to setup to send/receive UDP packets based on some buttons, 
combo boxes and spin controls.
Draw a few simple graphs/2d plots etc....
I've already written the apps I need in windows/mfc and total time 
invested on the PC side is about 2 weeks.
So I want to recreate them here.
I've been playing with the pygtk both on a windows PC and the OLPC 
and it seems like I can write
what I need to.

My questions are going to be a mix of both pyGTK /Python and linux on 
OLPC questions.
So I'm looking for the right venue to ask.

I have several specific questions right now:

I can't use the WiFi as 2.4Ghz is already used and I don't want interference.
I've ordered a Ethernet USB dongle that is supposed to be OLPC compatible.

If I just plug that in will the OLPC  recognize it and use it?

How do I configure that network port with a static IP configuration?

How do I tell pygtk on the PC to open with a window the same size 
(pixel wise) as it will be on the OLPC?

Can I plug in something that looks like an external USB keyboard and 
have it recognized?

How hard is it to modify the pygtk keyboard focus navigation stuff so 
I could use the OLPC in tablet mode
rather than laptop mode?

Is there any simple way to reclaim the OLPC key that changes display 
orientation so I could have
one more ui button in tablet mode?

I need three different apps, Configruation, PRelaunch 
checklist/countdown and Fligth status.

I need to be able to quickly switch between all three
One Big app with notebook/tab style pages?
Or three apps, if so how do I switch quickly on the OLPC?

Do I want to leave the stock OLPC software in place or would I find a 
more traditional linux installation more friendly.
(Or at least less wierd)

Where could I go and get a linux image that will just run on the OLPC.

If I went to a traditional Linux distro could I do GTK UI's in C/C++ 
on this machine?

Thanks for any help on what is really an off topic post....


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