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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Wake-up Command Beta FW Released

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The forums are live, and pretty hot. I should have done this sooner in retrospect, but I don’t think I could have handled the additional work.

I’ve started a forum, you’ll need to register to try this out, but for those who can’t wake up their machine from sleep, this is a fix. It’s not a solution, but a temporary fix.

This temporary fix will allow you to pair a button on your remote with a special command that will tell flirc to send a ‘wake-up’ signal to the computer which is in hibernation or sleeping. This wont be needed in the future, any button will essentially do this.

Here is the link:

Wake-Up Command Beta Release Forum

Please post in the forum with questions/feedback. Don’t use this comment section of the blog.

Happy beta testing!

What’s Brewing

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I’m confident that the v1.0 firmware release has fixed the sleep/cold start issue described in the last post. If anyone is still experiencing this after the firmware upgrade, please, say so.

A special thank you to everyone giving me feedback and testing the non public images. I’m forever grateful for you guys, your patience, and understanding.

Here is what’s on the drawing board for the near future. There are two issues outstanding with the firmware, which I have been making slow and steady progress. Check out this page for past fw release notes, and future firmware feature release notes. This page will get updated with tentative release dates.

I will also be putting together forums. This will bring a social advantage for users to share their setups, post problems, request features, and try/discuss beta firmware releases. This has been a long time coming, but with everything quickly stabilizing, a very important necessity.

But before I start publicly releasing firmware images, I’m going to be taking a break to work on finalizing one of the most important aspects of the project, the API. We will be putting together a C API for users to integrate all of the flirc functionality in their own programs. We will also be releasing source code for a QT GUI which act as an example usage program. All in this time, the public GUI will be updated for better stability.

I will post API news and updates via the blog, as well as share when the forum goes up. Beta firmware releases will all be done in parallel, which will be available to anyone who wants to try them, but I don’t expect to integrate them into the GUI until the API and GUI are stable.

Thanks to all the great customers who make every ounce of effort worth all the hard work.

GUI Version 0.96 and FW 0.8 Released

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Windows is lagging a bit behind and will be posted tonight, however, the GUI is now at v v0.96 and firmware is now at v0.08

Both 64 bit Linux and 32 bit Linux were updated too, I know the 64 bit fell behind, but that shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

The GUI now displays the current firmware version as well as helps with a problem where the device can get stuck in DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade).

The latest version of the firmware has been embedded inside the GUI, and will prompt you before upgrading.

We’ve certainly come a long way, and will take the beta name off everything soon enough.


General Updates

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

My initial round of pre-orders shipped on the date promised. The version of firmware that shipped with those is 0.7, newer than what most people have, which is 0.6. Firmware 0.7 had some general enhancements related to the algorithm so that this RC6 protocol would work better. The occasional remote that doesn’t, I believe is because the remote is operating at a different modulation frequency. I’m going to get to the bottom of that soon, and if this is the case, I may add an ordering option for this.

Because the firmware works a bit differently, this may mean that people upgrading from 0.6 to newer will have to reprogram their remotes. Not the biggest deal, but something of which I tried to effortlessly avoid. There is no way to convert a users configuration file because of the how flirc works.

FW 0.8 is what will be shipped to customers via the 0.96 GUI update. However, I don’t have a handle on the bug where flirc is not detected after sleep. I can’t reproduce this problem so it’s a bit harder for me to tackle. On top of this, I’ve been pre-occupied with windows issues.

GUI v0.94 and 0.95 released. These are general stability improvements and all the download links will be at 0.95 shortly, windows will be tonight most likely.

FW 0.9 will solely address the issue where flirc isn’t being detected after a wake on sleep, unless I magically figure out what’s wrong in the next few days. Here is where you can track fw updates.

I found out why wordpress wasn’t emailing me notifications for comments, so expect quicker responses there too.

Sneak Peek at the Next Release of Awesomeness

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Here is a sneak peek on the latest features of the new software. It’s a massive overhaul of awesomeness. The new architecture will allow you to drop your own XML and Graphics file in a directory, they will automatically show up in the GUI allowing you to make new shortcut windows to share with your friends. Eric has thought about this for a while and it’s scalability is amazing and impressive.

Also included in the next release will be firmware version 0.6, nothing new, but a very important update to improve stability.

Intermediate Version Update – v0.92

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

There was an update posted tonight for linux 32 bit, and OSX which addresses a problem when you save a configuration file. This crashed the application and also happens on windows and linux 64 bit, but those updates are coming soon.

This was a very intermediate update. I wanted to address that issue before the next release which is going to be big, I’ll post about that in a couple of days as it rightfully deserves it’s own article.

Flirc v0.91 Linux 64 bit released

Monday, June 27th, 2011

I’ve updated the 64 bit linux binaries, although you can download the 32 bit deb file and install it just fine on a 64 bit OS.

The reason this would work is because I’ve temporarily given up on static linking. I don’t know why, but for some reason, the static compile of the QT GUI was horribly slow, and created artifacts on the screen. I eventually compiled the libraries again with a bunch more options enabled and got the application to run without the artifacts, but it was still extremely slow. I felt it was not acceptable in the standard of quality I want to set. So I bit the bullet and compiled dynamically adding all the necessary dependencies.

The font also doesn’t look funny in the GUI anymore, so overall, I may just leave it like this. I spent far too much time compiling the QT libraries, and I’ve got more important things to do.

Here is our list of goals:

1. Finish filing patent on proprietary algorithm powering flirc.

2. New version of GUI with more programming views

3. Update video with new GUI on home page.

4. Documentation and Help Section of the Site

5. Firmware wake from suspend support

6. Firmware repeat key detects


A Thank You and an Update

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I very special thank you to all those that have purchased and provided invaluable feedback. I’m extremely grateful for all the support and wonderful comments that I’ve received.

We’re working extremely hard on the next release which will have a lot of cleanup and include a lot of the customer feedback.

Something that is in our current software, not reflected in the video on our homepage, is an advanced programming view. Check out the image below.

Along with the default minimalistic window, there is this advanced mode which will allow more custom programming. Want to have an application launcher linked with ctrl+F4? This is easily done on our current release. We will be making this a bit more obvious while cleaning up the menu’s and removing some of the daunting advanced features.

Some customer’s have mentioned that it has been painful trying to find out which keyboard shortcuts exist in XBMC. They do the research, open up our advanced window, and pair those keys. Chris (scofie?) had a great idea and said, why not have a window with XBMC, WMCE, and Boxee shortcuts. Hit the button, and pair it with a key. Bloody brilliant, so that’s going to make it’s way into the next release as well. I’ve contacted Brian Tom, our amazing designer, who is accommodating his busy schedule to do the design. If he can’t get it to us sooner than a week, I’ll make two updates.

Another thing I’m actively investigating is: ‘what the hell is wrong with our linux build’. I spent all this time building a static image for easy distribution and the performance is not only super slow, but there are artifacts all over the advanced window mode. A number of customers noticed it and I’ve spent days re-compiling the QT libraries with different configure options trying to figure out why this is happening. The performance and artifacts don’t exist on the dynamic build. The QT developer community has not responded to my post either. I’ve tried different versions of QT, you name it.

If anyone has any other feedback, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section or shoot me an email.

After this next release, we’ll start working on a new firmware release to address the interkey delay sticking that some users see when hitting buttons rapidly.

Again, thank you everyone.

Linux Releases

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Linux has been a fun treat. I am a little baffled why this was so much work. Creating a .deb file was not as simple as I thought it was going to be. To get what I needed to get done, I actually downloaded several existing deb files, like putty, and unpacked them and examined the various files inside.

Once I got it, I created a script to generate a deb file for me, but it still needs work.

I’m a huge fan of static linking. There are several programmers who make the argument, it will bloat programs and it isn’t good practice. I say, Pfff!

Flirc as a static compile in linux, is 8.6 MBytes. What is it when it’s not a static compile? About 1 MByte. So what are the downsides? My server is going to send more data. It will take up more space on client computers. What is the upside? I don’t have to deal with dependency nightmare that is arguably the major flaw in Linux. Worth it…

I’m still having issues with libusb, so I I currently have two binaries. A 64 and a 32 bit. They have been posted on the Linux Downloads Page.

Check out the bottom, add the repo to your source.list file and get automatic updates. Please remember to send me feedback.

Windows Beta GUI Available

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

The downloads section has been updated to include the new Windows GUI. The software is packaged in a beautiful installer that installs the driver, CLI, and GUI with minimal effort. A special thanks to Eric, one of the brightest engineers I know and I’m happy to be working with him.

The Linux GUI will be available shortly.