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Coding under Android

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Don Y, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi,

    Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    to chase down the manufacturer for availability).

    Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".

    Tablet runs Android. So, I can either figure out how
    to root the thing (and then hope I can find docs on the
    various bits of hardware inside) *or* build an emulation
    system *under* Android to give me the environment I want.

    The latter is less "run-time" efficient but may be a
    better short-term bet to get further along with testing.

    Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    (though 7" is awfully large :< ).

    So, how responsive is Android? How rich is the programming
    model (flat address space? protection domains? VMM? etc.)?
    What are the *gripes* about it? And, reasons for each
    "point release" (i.e., are they fixing bugs or fixing
    "missing features")?

    Thx,
    --don
     
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  2. linnix

    linnix Guest

    On Aug 12, 2:50 pm, Don Y <> wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    > touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    > to chase down the manufacturer for availability).
    >
    > Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    > 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".
    >
    > Tablet runs Android.  So, I can either figure out how
    > to root the thing (and then hope I can find docs on the
    > various bits of hardware inside) *or* build an emulation
    > system *under* Android to give me the environment I want.
    >


    Some are easier to root than others. Some even support rooted device
    officially. Just ask them.

    > The latter is less "run-time" efficient but may be a
    > better short-term bet to get further along with testing.
    >
    > Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    > (though 7" is awfully large  :< ).
    >
    > So, how responsive is Android?  How rich is the programming
    > model (flat address space?  protection domains?  VMM?  etc.)?


    It's Linux 2.6 kernel. Each process has linear virtual address space.

    > What are the *gripes* about it?  


    Some are difficult to root. Even so, we got something working on
    unrooted droid via Android Debug Bridge over USB.

    > And, reasons for each
    > "point release" (i.e., are they fixing bugs or fixing
    > "missing features")?


    Android Development tool kits are different. But then, we go straight
    with C anyway.

    >
    > Thx,
    > --don
     
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  3. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    On 8/12/2011 3:02 PM, linnix wrote:
    > On Aug 12, 2:50 pm, Don Y<> wrote:
    >
    >> Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    >> touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    >> to chase down the manufacturer for availability).
    >>
    >> Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    >> 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".
    >>
    >> Tablet runs Android. So, I can either figure out how
    >> to root the thing (and then hope I can find docs on the
    >> various bits of hardware inside) *or* build an emulation
    >> system *under* Android to give me the environment I want.

    >
    > Some are easier to root than others. Some even support rooted device
    > officially. Just ask them.


    I'm looking at some of the no-name Chinese devices.
    Can't afford to shell out 10 x hundreds of dollars
    for "name brand" -- especially when all I *really*
    want is the display+touch panel.

    >> The latter is less "run-time" efficient but may be a
    >> better short-term bet to get further along with testing.
    >>
    >> Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    >> (though 7" is awfully large :< ).
    >>
    >> So, how responsive is Android? How rich is the programming
    >> model (flat address space? protection domains? VMM? etc.)?

    >
    > It's Linux 2.6 kernel. Each process has linear virtual address space.


    That's *all*? I thought android was something new from scratch...

    >> What are the *gripes* about it?

    >
    > Some are difficult to root. Even so, we got something working on
    > unrooted droid via Android Debug Bridge over USB.


    But, that's a consequence of the particular implementation,
    not Android itself. I want to know why I might want to
    *avoid* an Android platform (assume it was "open")

    >> And, reasons for each
    >> "point release" (i.e., are they fixing bugs or fixing
    >> "missing features")?

    >
    > Android Development tool kits are different. But then, we go straight
    > with C anyway.
     
  4. linnix

    linnix Guest

    On Aug 13, 9:38 am, Don Y <> wrote:
    > On 8/12/2011 3:02 PM, linnix wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Aug 12, 2:50 pm, Don Y<>  wrote:

    >
    > >> Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    > >> touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    > >> to chase down the manufacturer for availability).

    >
    > >> Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    > >> 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".

    >
    > >> Tablet runs Android.  So, I can either figure out how
    > >> to root the thing (and then hope I can find docs on the
    > >> various bits of hardware inside) *or* build an emulation
    > >> system *under* Android to give me the environment I want.

    >
    > > Some are easier to root than others.  Some even support rooted device
    > > officially.  Just ask them.

    >
    > I'm looking at some of the no-name Chinese devices.
    > Can't afford to shell out 10 x hundreds of dollars
    > for "name brand" -- especially when all I *really*
    > want is the display+touch panel.
    >
    > >> The latter is less "run-time" efficient but may be a
    > >> better short-term bet to get further along with testing.

    >
    > >> Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    > >> (though 7" is awfully large  :<  ).

    >
    > >> So, how responsive is Android?  How rich is the programming
    > >> model (flat address space?  protection domains?  VMM?  etc.)?

    >
    > > It's Linux 2.6 kernel.  Each process has linear virtual address space..

    >
    > That's *all*?  I thought android was something new from scratch...


    The user layers is totally different (but not new) from MS or X, but
    the kernel is fairly standard.

    >
    > >> What are the *gripes* about it?

    >
    > > Some are difficult to root.  Even so, we got something working on
    > > unrooted droid via Android Debug Bridge over USB.

    >
    > But, that's a consequence of the particular implementation,
    > not Android itself.  I want to know why I might want to
    > *avoid* an Android platform (assume it was "open")


    Our reason to root it is to start a custom layer, and avoiding the
    GUI. Why bother with G when we don't have much UI interactions.
    However, your situation might be different.
     
  5. On Aug 13, 11:38 am, Don Y <> wrote:
    > On 8/12/2011 3:02 PM, linnix wrote:
    >
    >
    > > On Aug 12, 2:50 pm, Don Y<>  wrote:

    >
    > >> Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    > >> touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    > >> to chase down the manufacturer for availability).

    >
    > >> Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    > >> 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".

    >
    > >> Tablet runs Android.  So, I can either figure out how
    > >> to root the thing (and then hope I can find docs on the
    > >> various bits of hardware inside) *or* build an emulation
    > >> system *under* Android to give me the environment I want.

    >
    > > Some are easier to root than others.  Some even support rooted device
    > > officially.  Just ask them.

    >
    > I'm looking at some of the no-name Chinese devices.
    > Can't afford to shell out 10 x hundreds of dollars
    > for "name brand" -- especially when all I *really*
    > want is the display+touch panel.
    >
    > >> The latter is less "run-time" efficient but may be a
    > >> better short-term bet to get further along with testing.

    >
    > >> Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    > >> (though 7" is awfully large  :<  ).

    >
    > >> So, how responsive is Android?  How rich is the programming
    > >> model (flat address space?  protection domains?  VMM?  etc.)?

    >
    > > It's Linux 2.6 kernel.  Each process has linear virtual address space..

    >
    > That's *all*?  I thought android was something new from scratch...
    >
    > >> What are the *gripes* about it?

    >
    > > Some are difficult to root.  Even so, we got something working on
    > > unrooted droid via Android Debug Bridge over USB.

    >
    > But, that's a consequence of the particular implementation,
    > not Android itself.  I want to know why I might want to
    > *avoid* an Android platform (assume it was "open")
    >


    Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the
    Android SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results
    if you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    Now that I think about it... if you have root maybe there is a way to
    get some un-authorized native code running? I personally haven't tried
    that.

    With Android you are buying into the UI for the form factor. Getting
    "support" for Android or the SoC specific kernel might be pretty
    lacking as well (source is really fragmented, the last android or
    kernel for that device, if any have existed before, might be really
    old...) I would look at just putting on a regular GNU/Linux install on
    the device if you want more control and performance and the end use
    doesn't _have_ to be Android. Linaro.org might be of interest?


    So what are you really using it for? You do know that the SDK and
    tools already provide an emulator right?
     
  6. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Bryan,

    On 8/13/2011 5:12 PM, Bryan Buckley wrote:

    [attributions elided]

    >>> It's Linux 2.6 kernel. Each process has linear virtual address space..

    >>
    >> That's *all*? I thought android was something new from scratch...
    >>
    >>>> What are the *gripes* about it?

    >>
    >>> Some are difficult to root. Even so, we got something working on
    >>> unrooted droid via Android Debug Bridge over USB.

    >>
    >> But, that's a consequence of the particular implementation,
    >> not Android itself. I want to know why I might want to
    >> *avoid* an Android platform (assume it was "open")

    >
    > Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    > when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the
    > Android SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    > applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    > the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    > Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results
    > if you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.


    You *can't*? If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying
    the kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    > Now that I think about it... if you have root maybe there is a way to
    > get some un-authorized native code running? I personally haven't tried
    > that.
    >
    > With Android you are buying into the UI for the form factor. Getting
    > "support" for Android or the SoC specific kernel might be pretty
    > lacking as well (source is really fragmented, the last android or
    > kernel for that device, if any have existed before, might be really
    > old...) I would look at just putting on a regular GNU/Linux install on
    > the device if you want more control and performance and the end use
    > doesn't _have_ to be Android. Linaro.org might be of interest?


    I get nervous with the "chinese garage shops" (even if they
    are multimillion dollar organizations!)

    > So what are you really using it for? You do know that the SDK and
    > tools already provide an emulator right?


    Ideally, give me an X server and a means to export access to the
    various devices on the box and I should be able to do what I want.
    And/or a means of loading (smallish) applications/services into
    RAM (so I can alter the device's characteristics)
     
  7. Nobody

    Nobody Guest

    On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:

    >> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    >> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    >> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    >> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    >> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    >> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results if
    >> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >
    > You *can't*? If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    > kernel interfaces are *hidden*?


    "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    third-party "app" developers. Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem.
     
  8. dp

    dp Guest

    On Aug 14, 12:01 pm, Nobody <> wrote:
    > On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:
    > >> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    > >> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    > >> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    > >> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    > >> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    > >> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results if
    > >> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >
    > > You *can't*?  If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    > > kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    >
    > "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    > security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    > third-party "app" developers. Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    > locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    > at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    > and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..


    That seems to be the trend, everybody wants to sell you a TV set.
    You are supposed to use the remote, no more.
    Which can also be an opportunity to some of us, of course.

    Dimiter

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments

    http://www.tgi-sci.com
    ------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/sets/72157600228621276/
     
  9. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    On 8/14/2011 2:01 AM, Nobody wrote:
    > On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:
    >
    >>> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    >>> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    >>> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    >>> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    >>> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    >>> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results if
    >>> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >>
    >> You *can't*? If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    >> kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    >
    > "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    > security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    > third-party "app" developers. Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    > locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    > at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    > and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem.


    I don't think that reasoning applies to the chinese knock-offs.
    They just want to undercut the "mainstream" sellers.
     
  10. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Dimiter,

    On 8/14/2011 3:37 AM, dp wrote:

    >> "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    >> security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    >> third-party "app" developers. Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    >> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    >> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    >> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >
    > That seems to be the trend, everybody wants to sell you a TV set.
    > You are supposed to use the remote, no more.
    > Which can also be an opportunity to some of us, of course.


    I think that's also what *customers* want. They don't want to
    understand their products... just *use* them.

    I'm embarassed at the number of "broken" items folks give me
    (knowing I can either fix or salvage something from them).
    After investing some time trying to figure out *what* is
    broken, I'll approach the donor to *ask* what was wrong and
    I'll get a dubious reply. If I press the issue, it often
    resolves to: "Oh, we just wanted to get a newer model..."

    <shrug> So, now they've handed off their responsibility for
    figuring out what to do with the device to *me*! :-/

    [P.S. I'll have updated pix for you, soon. Lots of progress,
    here! Yay!]
     
  11. linnix

    linnix Guest

    On Aug 14, 2:01 am, Nobody <> wrote:
    > On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:
    > >> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    > >> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    > >> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    > >> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    > >> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    > >> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results if
    > >> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >
    > > You *can't*?  If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    > > kernel interfaces are *hidden*?


    Yes, you can. We are running native C program on Android 2.1 via ADK.
    The only problem is that we can't start it in init script without
    rooting it. In theory, we can run a custom window manager on the
    hardware itself. Afterall, it's just Video4Linux.

    >
    > "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    > security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    > third-party "app" developers.


    Not if you know what you are doing. May I ask people to google or do
    it before making informed opinions.

    > Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    > locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    > at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    > and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..


    That's why there is a better chance of "rooting" a no-name chinese
    model. Don't get it from phone companies.
     
  12. dp

    dp Guest

    On Aug 14, 6:08 pm, Don Y <> wrote:
    > Hi Dimiter,
    >
    > On 8/14/2011 3:37 AM, dp wrote:
    >
    > >> "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    > >> security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    > >> third-party "app" developers. Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    > >> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    > >> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    > >> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >
    > > That seems to be the trend, everybody wants to sell you a TV set.
    > > You are supposed to use the remote, no more.
    > > Which can also be an opportunity to some of us, of course.

    >
    > I think that's also what *customers* want.  They don't want to
    > understand their products... just *use* them.


    Hi Don,
    yes, of course that is the underlying reason. But I would not
    underestimate
    the "public", they just consume what is available, it is hard to say
    which is cause and which is effect on that. Anyway, too busy at the
    moment
    to do more than idle thinking on the "opportunity" :).

    Dimiter
     
  13. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    On 8/14/2011 8:33 AM, linnix wrote:
    > On Aug 14, 2:01 am, Nobody<> wrote:
    >> On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:
    >>>> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    >>>> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    >>>> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    >>>> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    >>>> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    >>>> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better results if
    >>>> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >>
    >>> You *can't*? If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    >>> kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    >
    > Yes, you can. We are running native C program on Android 2.1 via ADK.
    > The only problem is that we can't start it in init script without


    Ah, OK. Init starts some java-oriented "shell"?

    > rooting it. In theory, we can run a custom window manager on the
    > hardware itself. Afterall, it's just Video4Linux.
    >
    >> "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    >> security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    >> third-party "app" developers.

    >
    > Not if you know what you are doing. May I ask people to google or do
    > it before making informed opinions.
    >
    >> Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    >> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    >> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    >> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >
    > That's why there is a better chance of "rooting" a no-name chinese
    > model. Don't get it from phone companies.


    *Really*? I figured buying one of these was "you're on your own!"

    Is there a high degree of similarity between products that makes
    this possible? Or, do you have to hope to find someone who
    has already done some/all of the work on your *particular*
    model?

    (I don't put much faith in the "model numbers" on much of this
    knockoff stuff... sort of like buying Rollex [sic} watches!)
     
  14. On Aug 14, 1:24 pm, Don Y <> wrote:
    > On 8/14/2011 8:33 AM, linnix wrote:
    >
    > > On Aug 14, 2:01 am, Nobody<>  wrote:
    > >> On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:
    > >>>> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    > >>>> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    > >>>> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    > >>>> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    > >>>> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    > >>>> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better resultsif
    > >>>> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >
    > >>> You *can't*?  If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    > >>> kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    >
    > > Yes, you can. We are running native C program on Android 2.1 via ADK.
    > > The only problem is that we can't start it in init script without

    >
    > Ah, OK.  Init starts some java-oriented "shell"?
    >
    >


    Just download the Android source and start exploring.

    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > rooting it.  In theory, we can run a custom window manager on the
    > > hardware itself.  Afterall, it's just Video4Linux.

    >
    > >> "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    > >> security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    > >> third-party "app" developers.

    >
    > > Not if you know what you are doing.   May I ask people to google or do
    > > it before making informed opinions.

    >
    > >> Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    > >> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    > >> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    > >> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >
    > > That's why there is a better chance of "rooting" a no-name chinese
    > > model.  Don't get it from phone companies.

    > *Really*?  I figured buying one of these was "you're on your own!"
    >
    > Is there a high degree of similarity between products that makes
    > this possible?  Or, do you have to hope to find someone who
    > has already done some/all of the work on your *particular*
    > model?
    >
    > (I don't put much faith in the "model numbers" on much of this
    > knockoff stuff...  sort of like buying Rollex [sic} watches!)


    In my experience you are correct in assuming you are "on your own."
    There are some devices that have a lot of people in the community
    getting the hardware working with more recent software (Pandaboard,
    beagleboard, newer phones..) Devices that you buy have software that
    is usually forked at a specfic release (from Google and SoC maker) and
    further developed by the person selling you the device. You are lucky
    if there is an effort to keep refreshing the SW.

    Sure rooting a no-name device might be easier... reason being is the
    bootloader is locked down!!! But what kind of resources will you have
    with the device support in SW...
     
  15. linnix

    linnix Guest

    On Aug 14, 11:24 am, Don Y <> wrote:
    > On 8/14/2011 8:33 AM, linnix wrote:
    >
    > > On Aug 14, 2:01 am, Nobody<>  wrote:
    > >> On Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:19:58 -0700, Don Y wrote:
    > >>>> Well... performance for certain applications are pretty lacking since
    > >>>> when programming an Android app you are limited to java and the Android
    > >>>> SDK. There does exist the NDK for more performance critical
    > >>>> applications... but it seems like a pain to use. For example, look at
    > >>>> the state of computer vision or even just imaging algorithms on
    > >>>> Android... pretty abysmal. Whereas you could get much better resultsif
    > >>>> you could just have the ability to code the thing in C.

    >
    > >>> You *can't*?  If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    > >>> kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    >
    > > Yes, you can. We are running native C program on Android 2.1 via ADK.
    > > The only problem is that we can't start it in init script without

    >
    > Ah, OK.  Init starts some java-oriented "shell"?


    Yes, all we need is to change it to start our own. Alternatively, we
    use a micro with USB Android Debug Bridge to start it.

    >
    > > rooting it.  In theory, we can run a custom window manager on the
    > > hardware itself.  Afterall, it's just Video4Linux.

    >
    > >> "Applications" are supposed to be written in Java, for portability and
    > >> security. Native development is intended for hardware vendors, not
    > >> third-party "app" developers.

    >
    > > Not if you know what you are doing.   May I ask people to google or do
    > > it before making informed opinions.

    >
    > >> Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    > >> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    > >> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    > >> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >
    > > That's why there is a better chance of "rooting" a no-name chinese
    > > model.  Don't get it from phone companies.

    >
    > *Really*?  I figured buying one of these was "you're on your own!"


    But it's better than buying from the phone company whose main purpose
    is to hide everything from you.
     
  16. mk

    mk Guest

    "Don Y" <> wrote in message
    news:j2477j$tm$...
    > Hi,
    >
    > Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    > touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    > to chase down the manufacturer for availability).
    >
    > Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    > 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".
    >
    > Tablet runs Android. So, I can either figure out how
    > to root the thing (and then hope I can find docs on the
    > various bits of hardware inside) *or* build an emulation
    > system *under* Android to give me the environment I want.
    >
    > The latter is less "run-time" efficient but may be a
    > better short-term bet to get further along with testing.
    >
    > Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    > (though 7" is awfully large :< ).
    >
    > So, how responsive is Android? How rich is the programming
    > model (flat address space? protection domains? VMM? etc.)?
    > What are the *gripes* about it? And, reasons for each
    > "point release" (i.e., are they fixing bugs or fixing
    > "missing features")?
    >
    > Thx,
    > --don


    Don - rather than end up with a load of stuff you don't want take a look at
    the Noritake Itron ISmart TFT modules - www.itrontft.com
    The look pretty good value for money - I haven't tried them (and have no
    connection with them) but I have them on my list for the next time I need a
    little LCD display.

    Michael Kellett
     
  17. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Bryan,

    On 8/14/2011 12:22 PM, Bryan Buckley wrote:
    >>>>> You *can't*? If it's the "Linux 2.6 kernel", then are you saying the
    >>>>> kernel interfaces are *hidden*?

    >>
    >>> Yes, you can. We are running native C program on Android 2.1 via ADK.
    >>> The only problem is that we can't start it in init script without

    >>
    >> Ah, OK. Init starts some java-oriented "shell"?

    >
    > Just download the Android source and start exploring.


    That;s exactly what's wrong with most OSS: you're just left
    poking around without a roadmap or any framework that tells
    you what you might find -- and *where*. No whitepapers,
    no specifications... you're lucky if you get a breakdown of
    the "source tree" (which is often of little value as the
    directory names give about the same amount of information!)

    >>>> Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    >>>> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    >>>> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    >>>> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >>
    >>> That's why there is a better chance of "rooting" a no-name chinese
    >>> model. Don't get it from phone companies.

    >> *Really*? I figured buying one of these was "you're on your own!"
    >>
    >> Is there a high degree of similarity between products that makes
    >> this possible? Or, do you have to hope to find someone who
    >> has already done some/all of the work on your *particular*
    >> model?
    >>
    >> (I don't put much faith in the "model numbers" on much of this
    >> knockoff stuff... sort of like buying Rollex [sic} watches!)

    >
    > In my experience you are correct in assuming you are "on your own."
    > There are some devices that have a lot of people in the community
    > getting the hardware working with more recent software (Pandaboard,
    > beagleboard, newer phones..) Devices that you buy have software that
    > is usually forked at a specfic release (from Google and SoC maker) and
    > further developed by the person selling you the device. You are lucky
    > if there is an effort to keep refreshing the SW.


    I am not concerned with folks keeping "-current". Rather, I'm
    concerned about finding the information I need to "go my own way".
    E.g., you don't care if an SBC manufacturer keeps his "BIOS"
    current -- esp if you aren't planning on running "DOS" on that
    platform!

    > Sure rooting a no-name device might be easier... reason being is the
    > bootloader is locked down!!! But what kind of resources will you have
    > with the device support in SW...


    All I need to know is which devices are "where" in the memory map
    (and, documentation for the chipset(s) used). Since these devices
    tend to be pretty densely populated, probing theboard is usually
    impractical. But, inspecting *some* sources (device drivers)
    would give a clue as to how things are wired -- if the chipset docs
    are forthcoming.
     
  18. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    On 8/14/2011 12:24 PM, linnix wrote:

    >>>> Access to the lower levels depends upon how
    >>>> locked-down a particular model is. If the vendor is selling the hardware
    >>>> at (or below) cost, with the intention of making their profit on services
    >>>> and add-ons, they're going to try to keep you locked into their ecosystem..

    >>
    >>> That's why there is a better chance of "rooting" a no-name chinese
    >>> model. Don't get it from phone companies.

    >>
    >> *Really*? I figured buying one of these was "you're on your own!"

    >
    > But it's better than buying from the phone company whose main purpose
    > is to hide everything from you.


    Not looking at *phones* (but I understand your point)
     
  19. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Michael,

    On 8/15/2011 7:23 AM, mk wrote:
    > "Don Y"<> wrote in message
    > news:j2477j$tm$...


    >> Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    >> touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    >> to chase down the manufacturer for availability).
    >>
    >> Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    >> 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".
    >>
    >> Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    >> (though 7" is awfully large :< ).

    >
    > Don - rather than end up with a load of stuff you don't want take a look at
    > the Noritake Itron ISmart TFT modules - www.itrontft.com
    > The look pretty good value for money - I haven't tried them (and have no
    > connection with them) but I have them on my list for the next time I need a
    > little LCD display.


    Interesting devices. A bit pricey in small quantities
    (e.g., ~100-150USD). Aside from that, the two immediate
    impediments are:
    - "Not currently available for sale or use in Asia or North America"
    - "One Time Entry - Contact Details"

    (you know, when I go to buy a *car*, they don't insist on having
    my name, address and email before they'll let me peek under the
    hood... if they *do*, I know its because they want to later
    HARASS ME)

    I'll bookmark the page, though, for future reference. But, I
    think pursuing the android tablet is probably my better option
    at this point. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll need to
    research "popularity" instead of just *features* (in the hope
    of finding something that is "well exposed")
     
  20. linnix

    linnix Guest

    On Aug 17, 8:50 pm, Don Y <> wrote:
    > Hi Michael,
    >
    > On 8/15/2011 7:23 AM, mk wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > "Don Y"<>  wrote in message
    > >news:j2477j$tm$...
    > >> Well, I've been stymied trying to find 4-5" 4:3 LCD
    > >> touch panels (I did find a nice one at 5" but have yet
    > >> to chase down the manufacturer for availability).

    >
    > >> Rather than wait, I am begrudgingly looking at a cheap ($50)
    > >> 7" tablet to advance a bit further towards a real "beta".

    >
    > >> Also, I need a tablet-like device for another application
    > >> (though 7" is awfully large  :<  ).

    >
    > > Don - rather than end up with a load of stuff you don't want take a look at
    > > the Noritake Itron ISmart TFT modules -www.itrontft.com
    > > The look pretty good value for money  - I haven't tried them  (and have no
    > > connection with them) but I have them on my list for the next time I need a
    > > little LCD display.

    >
    > Interesting devices.  A bit pricey in small quantities
    > (e.g., ~100-150USD).  Aside from that, the two immediate
    > impediments are:
    > - "Not currently available for sale or use in Asia or North America"
    > - "One Time Entry - Contact Details"
    >
    > (you know, when I go to buy a *car*, they don't insist on having
    > my name, address and email before they'll let me peek under the
    > hood... if they *do*, I know its because they want to later
    > HARASS ME)
    >
    > I'll bookmark the page, though, for future reference.  But, I
    > think pursuing the android tablet is probably my better option
    > at this point.  Unfortunately, it looks like I'll need to
    > research "popularity" instead of just *features* (in the hope
    > of finding something that is "well exposed")


    These VIA tablet seems pretty good, around $80 including shipping to
    the US. It's a 800MHz ARM9 based processor.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/7-inch-Tablet-P...60837046643?pt=US_Tablets&hash=item3cbb197973
     
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