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DPRG: software donation

Subject: DPRG: software donation
From: Jim Brown jbrown at spdmail.spd.dsccc.com
Date: Mon Jun 16 14:16:13 CDT 1997

>     For the record, the NON educational price of NT, in Canadian
> dollars is $400.

Likely to be a bit out of our range. $^)

> I have seen Linux on CD for as little as 5 bucks.

yep.
 
> > 2.  Users having it installed on their desktop PC:
> > 	Windoze95: nearly everone
> > 	Linux: just a few
> >
>     Do you mean users in your group in users in the world? :)

I suppose we'd then have to rename the robot from GARP to WARP!  :)
	(Group autonomous robotics project)
	(World autonomous robotics project)

Other possible project diversions:
	The underwater version could be called CARP. 
	The musical version could be called HARP.  (harmonious ...)
	The camoulflague version could be called TARP. (terrain ...)
	And when the project get's of age we'll call it AARP
	(I hope no one takes offense at that pun).
 
>     Could you be more descriptive in what you mean by "other"
> hardware?

I've heard that there's a real problem that there's bound to be
some piece of hardware that ya wanna use, won't be compatible with
Linux.  Is that true?

> And, having done video capturing under Win95/NT for a
> feedback system, it is slow as heck! :)  Although you can get
> 30frame/sec to screen (most cards bypass windows and blit right into 
> video memory), it can take well over 1 second to just GET a 640x480
> image into a buffer.  Frame based capturing on PCs is still not all
> that hot.

Yep, been there.

>  I would think that this wouldn't be a very high priority
> when you can take a few off the shelf TI compenents and use them to
> capture right into an embeded processor.  However, if you are bent on
> doing PC side capturing, then you are right in that Linux will
> probably not have drivers for it

It would be nice to offload video capture to a perifreal
embedded processor, but unless it's a dsp and something with a
lot of memory, can it do it and do recognition on the image?
Otherwise, sending an entire image via serial all the time seems like
not a good idea.  A smaller image might be ok, but still a lot
of data.  A 320x240x256 color image is 76K of binary data.
I think there's a parallel port video capture thing for $99-$150,
but that's probably the same deal with 1 frame every second or
two.  That might be fast enough, and could work with either
platform.

> (but would be VERY easy to write
> since most capture cards just use off screen ram and then copy that
> over the bus.).

good point - just snag it from the video memory.
  
>     I can say that in all the years I have used Linux, I have played
> with the kernal once, to add sound card support.  And to do this only
> required me to answer a few questions in an automated script.  You
> might be surprised at just how slick some of the distributions of
> Linux have become.  Debian, RedHat, and Slackware now all support
> resgistries and dependancy packages, so you can upgrade/downgrade
> entire parts of the install via an nice little menu. :)

Interesting.
 
>     11.	Support
> 
> 	Win95: Costly. And if problems are found, they are not likly
>                to be fixed or addressed my Microsoft.
> 
> 	Linux: Free. You can usually mail the auther or group working
>                on that area and get them to fix/enhance things.

Yep.

BTW, There's no such thing as bugs only undocumented features.  ;)
 
> 	Linux: Comes with source.

yep.

>     I realize that many people in your group don't use Linux, and
> maybe are not familure with the concepts that UNIX uses.  It is very
> different from those of the Win32/MS world.  However, there is a
> REASON why developers HATE the Win32 evironment for development once
> they have tasted the UNIX way, as the UNIX way (although it has a
> steeper learning curve) does not place any ceiling on what you want to
> do.  Win95/NT has a very shallow learning curve, but there is just
> only so far you can go before you hit the top and can go no further.

yep.
 
>     I see the world of computer users as being a little too lemming
> like these days I guess, and always felt that the last front to fall
> would be those of us that hack and tool around with computers and
> robotics. :)

I repent!  ;)
 
>     And I would really like to see the reasons for NOT using Linux in
> favor of Win95. :)  

Ahh, ya caught me off guard again.

> **** Microsoft(tm) is not the only choice. ****
<grin>


- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Brown                jbrown at spdmail.spd.dsccc.com or jbrown at why.net
                         http://users.why.net/jbrown  
                         http://www.dprg.org (Next meeting June 14th)

Work:  972-519-2868      My employer won't claim these opinions.    
Home:  972-495-3821      So I'm giving them away for free.   

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