RPi media center

I don't know what this means in raspbian:
$ sudo dmidecode -t baseboard # dmidecode 3.0 Scanning /dev/mem for entry point. # No SMBIOS nor DMI entry point found, sorry.
A search has someone saying:
dmidecode can't work on RPi, RPi doesn't have a BIOS
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Mike Easter
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Mike Easter
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I think my previous problem w/ losing sticky keys even after I solved the expiry problem was from the 'twokey' situation knocking off sticky.
So, now I'm going to turn stickykeys on, twokey and latchlock off in one command and then expiry to sticky.
$ xkbset st -twokey -latchlock $ xkbset exp st
That way an accidental two key won't unset the sticky. And I definitely don't want latchlock.
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Mike Easter
Reply to
Mike Easter
The Kodi folk want to give a "home cinema" feel to their interface. They haven't really understood that the great thing about a cinema is that there is a projectionist setting the system up and handling the scheduling and programming -- the "user" just has to sit back and make himself ill on over-priced fizzy drinks and popcorn.
No, I'm being a little unfair ...
.. but my point is that a keyboard/mouse (or wireless mini-keyboard with trackpad) allows interaction that is SO much richer than can be achieved with a TV remote and a clunky on-screen menu. I can't see why anyone would deliberately emulate 1960s (1950s?) TV technology when there are better things available.
AFAIK Kodi doesn't give you the option of controlling the thing from a smartphone ... but if it does (now) do that, that's probably a step forward.
I've recently started using Netflix on my dumb-ish TV, and the easiest and cheapest way for me to do that is to use a ChromeCast device attached to the TV and control it from my Android phone. Apart from the fact that the phone and the ChromeCast dongle occasionally lose sight of one another and one or the other (but you have to guess which) needs restarting or disconnecting from the WiFi for a few seconds so that they can find one another again it works quite well. The fact that I can also cast the BBC's catch-up TV, my photo collection, YouTube, etc., to the TV in the same way is a bonus.
It's the kind of thing I'd like to use a Pi for, but the ChromeCast makes it so easy ... and there are issues with Netflix's DRM on Chromium on the Pi that I don't have the time or inclination to investigate.
LibreElec, Kodi, OSMC, and Xbian are all inbred cousins; a lot of code is common to them all. A lot of good work has gone into them, but they seem to share the notion that it's "cool" to give a computerized media management system an obsolete UX.
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Cheers, 
 Daniel.
Reply to
Daniel James
On Sun, 04 Aug 2019 12:45:09 +0100, Daniel James declaimed the following:
Remotes of that period had just two buttons... Power and Volume. And volume tended to be "mute, low, medium, high" IN SEQUENCE.
And the remote functioned by sending an ultrasonic whistle chirp (each button compressed a bellows against a spring loaded valve -- when the pressure was high enough, the valve would open and the air would pass through a tuned frequency whistle port; different frequency for power vs volume).
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
I remember mine, it was chrome. Channel up/down as well. I think the 4 functions were power, sound, up, down. The sound could go in 1 direction in 4 steps and cycle, mute low med hi as I recall.
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Mike Easter
Reply to
Mike Easter
OK; my first step/s instead was installing Kodi on a live Mint 19.2 w/ persistence (from mkusb) connecting to LAN by ethernet (or wifi), installing Kore app on a Blu android 6.0 connecting to LAN by wifi, accessing and controlling the Mint Kodi w/ the Blu Kore touchscreen. The 18.3 Kodi on the Mint was obtained from the .ppa rather than the earlier one in the repos.
Next I'll do it w/ Kodi on the Raspbian. That will be repo v. based; I hope it is just as simple.
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Mike Easter
Reply to
Mike Easter
I never knew that early ultrasonic remotes were mechanical whistles operated by the buttons. I thought even ultrasonic remotes were electronic (battery-powered oscillator feeding piezo transducer). Presumably later ones were, to allow greater variety of frequencies for more operations (DTMF for channel buttons, as for tone dialling on a phone except higher frequencies; channel up/down; volume up/down; off/on) or else coding of binary pulses to send various functions over two frequencies for 0 and 1.
I presume the same coding could be used for either ultrasonic or infra-red, just using that code to modulate either two different US frequencies or two different IR frequencies.
Was the choice of ultrasonic rather than infra-red driven by the need to be mechanical rather than electronic at the remote, or was there some reason why ultrasonic was preferable to IR irrespective of whether it was generated mechanically or electronically?
I remember the VHS machines we used at school (in the sixth form, my prefect "posting" was in the audio-visual room, so I was in my element!) were top-loading, with arbitrary non-linear counters (ie not counting in minutes and seconds) and with *wired* remotes, so neither ultrasonic nor infra-red. They had the ability to play at 2x speed with reasonably intelligible sound (there was some form of pitch shifting to prevent the Pinky and Perky effect) or to play at various slower-than-normal speeds without sound.
Reply to
NY
Another US strategy was 'banging' an aluminum rod which emitted the US tone.
I don't know, but that might've been how mine worked. I never disassembled it, but the clunk seemed/ felt/ sounded/ more like a hammer blow than an 'accordion'.
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Mike Easter
Reply to
Mike Easter
Blu Kore to Raspbian Kodi now working.
The Kore could use a little different interface to enable accessing alternate Kodi/s. Also, I'm not so adept at navigating that Blu android because of unfamiliarity w/ the UI. As a rare cell user, I do better w/ an older flip-type w/o a touchscreen. It is easier for me to navigate and I only use a cell for voice out and voice or text in. So, I don't need much, such as touchscreen.
I had to struggle some to transition into a keyboard to search Google Play on the android. I'm still not quite sure how I got into the kb.
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Mike Easter
Reply to
Mike Easter
I get it now. My big problem w/ learning navigation w/ touchscreen is that whether a touch works or not is 'unpredictable'. A phone tech I sat next to on an airplane trip tried to teach me how to poke the touch, but I still have unpredictable results. Then, when something doesn't work, I think that was the wrong move, but it was actually the right move but it didn't take.
Now I see that touching the field I expected would give me a keyboard actually works as expected. Doh.
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Mike Easter
Reply to
Mike Easter
On Sun, 4 Aug 2019 19:46:15 +0100, "NY" declaimed the following:
In that day and age -- no IR LEDs, and no microcontrollers to encode/decode data. Two whistle tones (one per button) are easy to decode with simple RC bandpass filters (or even just a high-pass and low-pass), and detected output from filter just kicked a stepper to the next position.
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
On Sun, 4 Aug 2019 12:17:58 -0700, Mike Easter declaimed the following:
The bellows style felt like squeezing a small balloon until it popped -- ie: increasing back-pressure with a sudden release.
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
In the US, Zenith was the first TV manufacturer to introduce a successful wireless remote control, in 1956.
The controller had two, later four, buttons, controlling channel and volume. The two-button control simply advanced the channels circularly, and the volume button rotated through the sequence low, medium, high, mute.
The four-button control had channel up and down and volume (as before), plus power on/off.
The ?Space Command? technology was based not on whistles, but on resonant aluminum rods at two or four different ultrasonic frequencies, which were struck by spring-actuated hammers when the corresponding button was pressed.
This system persisted for more than two decades, when infrared remotes were introduced.
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-michael - NadaNet 3.1 and AppleCrate II:  http://michaeljmahon.com
Reply to
Michael J. Mahon
A reliable ultrasonic remote requires fairly narrow bandpass filters to reject the omnipresent ultrasonic noise. The transmitter also needs to produce a quite robust tone to achieve good SNR.
Even then, it?s necessary to inhibit a response when more than one bandpass filter indicates a signal in order to prevent a hearty ?hiss? from affecting the TV.
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-michael - NadaNet 3.1 and AppleCrate II:  http://michaeljmahon.com
Reply to
Michael J. Mahon
And the hammer/rod type felt like loading a spring until it triggered the hammer with a ?click?.
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-michael - NadaNet 3.1 and AppleCrate II:  http://michaeljmahon.com
Reply to
Michael J. Mahon
Indeed which is why my kodi installations (Android based TV boxes) have mini keyboards which combine the functionality of TV remote and keyboard/mouse (you wouldn't want to type a lot on it but it's way better than navigating an on-screen keyboard with arrow keys). They're very cheap and come with USB dongles that present as HID devices over USB.
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Steve O'Hara-Smith                          |   Directable Mirror Arrays 
C:\>WIN                                     | A better way to focus the sun 
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Reply to
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Wow. Fascinating. Thanks.
I don't think I ever saw a TV with remote control until at least the mid 1970s, and by then the technology was firmly in the i/r age.
I only knew remote control of TVs was "a thing" when I was young because I'd seen an episode of an American show (my memory says it was "My Favorite Martian", which was shown over here in the mid 1960s, but I could be wrong) in which one of the characters (a teenage boy) was watching the neighbour's TV through a window, and had somehow acquired (stolen? duplicated?) a remote control so that he could change the channel.
I had no idea, at the time (aged no more than about ten), how such a thing might have worked ...
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Cheers, 
 Daniel.
Reply to
Daniel James
I imagine working an ultrasonic remote through a window might be artistic licence because I'd have through that the glass would have attenuated the ultrasound a lot - as it would to an IR remote as well.
I'd no idea that ultrasonic remotes went back to the 1960s. I'd thought that they were available only a few years before IR remotes - maybe late 70s or early 80s. How wrong I was!
Reply to
NY
d
The first remote control I ever saw was in the middle eighties, but the TV in question was several years old at the time. It was fully electronic and had many buttons, but it worked through ultrasound.
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Reply to
Axel Berger
On Mon, 05 Aug 2019 12:03:52 +0100, Daniel James declaimed the following:
formatting link

... though I distinctly recall my grandfather's TV having two buttons on the remote.
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber

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