Monday, August 20, 2018


A lot has happened in the last month since my last post.

I needed to begin accumulation of sensor information from multiple remote Raspberry Pi/Arduino combo systems. Who would have thought it would be so involved. Days drift by, then weeks, then months. And still, only partial success.

About 7 years ago, I started the transition from desktop to embedded. I had a fully working desktop 3d scene viewer and schematic block control system that was fully functional using Wago and National Instruments sensor systems. Now, after 7 years of work, embedded is only partially working, that is, the control environment works great, the 3d side and the authoring side, well, are pitiful.

The exclusively desktop system wasn't bug free,  but, at least, it worked flawlessly after being authored.

I have to admit  though, I've added a tremendous amount of changes. The system now supports inexpensive sensors. It works on Raspberry Pis, on Android and Linux and Windows and Apple desktop operating systems and it speaks remotely. I believe I'll be able to release to the maker community when the remoting side is finished. I believe they need something like Hal.

Currently, when using multiple Arduinos on one Raspberry Pi, the Usb ports rename themselves and then Hal can't find the right sensors. It might be the last big bug, who knows? That should be the last block keeping remoting from working.

I'm back to thinking I'm going to give away the 27 years of work I've devoted to Hal.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Word Search

The Word Search program works. It's written in the older style windowing desktop system so it leaves a lot to be desired. Later, I'll convert it to Qt's QML, which will look and feel like a smartphone app. Yet it works on Android smartphones and can be downloaded from the Google play store. Type in my name 'Pierre Chicoine' or multiple word search Urantia and it should send you to it. When Qt, the software system I use, is updated to run Webassembly which is a new way of us mere language people to write to browsers, Ill be able to do Apple phones.

There is a hinky selection system that I cannot fix as it belongs to a system that I have no control of but it doesn't get in the way too much.

There are several things that it does.

1. You can select multiple words and you will receive all paragraph references within the Urantia Book in a list that when clicked will open the book and fill one paper with your search words highlighted. If you click on the paragraph tab then all the paragraphs in the book will open that satisfies your word search.

2. You can 'OR' search, the 'AND' is silent so if you type 3 words, it will return all the references where those 3 words appear in one paragraph.

3. When a word is clicked on in the word search, the thesaurus words that relate to that word appear in a box to the right. All the thesaurus words are unique to the book. They can replace your search word, which helps.

4. There is a tab that can be used to search for word distance between words. That is, give me all references for word that are 5000 words apart and all reference for those will be returned.

5. There is a tab form that has all the words in the book. It can be used to find all the words that start with a certain word and they can be added to the search box. For instance: Type 'ap' and all words that start with 'ap' like apple, aptitude will appear when the button is clicked.

6. There's a table of contents that is organized in a tree and can be used to jump rapidly to anywhere in the book.

7. There's a suffix system which I will incorporate into the search later. Not explanatory as yet.

When you click on the Words tab for the first time, it takes a few seconds to fill in. After that it's immediate. It needs a little wait icon.

Later, if I get a chance, I'll start adding the ability to click on Internet references. As of now, there's only 55 users, so I guess I have to make it friendlier.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hal and the trip to Paradise and Word Search.

It takes a lot of time to develop a worthwhile program. Word search is not complete and won't be for another year or more. Even more  for the 3d trip to Paradise that works on smartphones. It will though, unless I'm gone from this world or simply can't work any longer.

For the last few months I've spent most of my time developing Hal, my automation program, splitting some time for the word search. Hal was used in the creation of the trip to paradise, which only worked on Windows and Linux and didn't have much of an audience, although the people who used it liked it. Now the world has moved on to smartphones and tablets. Hal automated the Power Plant at Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa and still runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The thing about desktop computers, except for Linux, there's no easy installation system like Google Play and Apple Store that are tested for viruses so the trust level is pretty low. Android and Apple, though, test the installable programs for viruses and trojans, so it is safe to install and not worry about these major problems.

Most of my work has been on desktops and I've done quite a few programs for many a company since 1981 or so. The Word Search program is basically a desktop program that can run on smartphones. It will, though, be converted to a more modern user interface and will look prettier and be more friendly. I had to get it working though, and so I put off the conversion to QML from Qt, a nice phone interface, because I didn't need it. Using the interface, though, has so many limitations that it's time to make the switch. Hal will also take the switch to this new interface system and the trip to paradise will be done in it also. Although I don't have the time for the trip to Paradise as I am currently updating Hal to work with cameras and after that Hal will then use artificial intelligence in many of it's systems. I will split my time about 80/20 between Hal and the Urantia work like the word search system. 80 Hal, 20 Urantia.

Anyway I'll be updating this blog fairly often now.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

QML time

There are two main bugs on word search. After those I will begin the conversion to QML language for the interface on the word search. That way it'll be more friendly to smartphones.