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Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#1
Hello Folks!

For those interested in astronomy and/or my 'Mephemeris' application, I was inspired to develop a desktop clock applet based on the following thread:

http://www.internettablettalk.com/fo...ad.php?t=16720

I was especially inspired by the 'pyclock.py' example presented in that thread. I decided to try making an 'astronomy flavored' desktop applet myself, using Python. Python is the only way that I could attempt this, but a current limitation in the Hildon desktop Python bindings also limits what I can currently do. This applet again uses the incredibly valuable 'PyEphem' libraries.

In any case, I packaged what little I had, and put it on my web page (like the other stuff):

http://darethehair.googlepages.com/software.html

That page has a few more screen shots, as well as links to the 'deb' file, and the 'README' file as well -- if you want to find out more about it before installing it.

WARNING: Even though this applet has not caused *me* any problems, you should use it on your own risk. If you do, let me know what you think of it. I tend to think of it more like 'eye candy' than something seriously useful

Here is a small screenshot showing one of the configurations, along with the 'normal' clock widget:



NOTE: Now upgraded to version 0.22 (bug fix!)

P.S. Don't be intimidated by the large size -- one of the options is to turn off the text info, which makes it fairly compact i.e. just three bars or three concentric circles.

Last edited by darethehair; 2008-11-09 at 13:58. Reason: Indicate new version
 

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#2
Nice app !
This app (and pyEphem) did install successfully !
One note:
There is a config-based position in it
[location]
longitude: -98.13
latitude: 49.18

Why not let this update by the GPS ?
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darethehair's Avatar
Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#3
skatebiker:

Thanks for confirming a successful (and easy?) installation.

Yes, I have also considered adding my 'GPS' code from Mephemeris into MChronos as well, but the main problem is that there is no way to allow the user to control *when* the GPS lock is desired, because there is currently no way (see README) to put buttons/menus on the applet to do so. If, instead, an option was put into the 'ini' file to activate 'GPS' mode, it would either need to do so just after starting, or (say) every minute. So this would complicate it a bit -- but if enough people want GPS, I could try to do so

P.S. Let me know in the 'Mephemeris' thread if my final advise has helped or not.
 
Posts: 542 | Thanked: 117 times | Joined on Sep 2008 @ 52 N, 6 E
#4
Maybe you can ley update the GPS position when there is a fix (e.g. when using Maemo mapper). When no GPS program is running then the last position will be shown.
Might be an option ?

If you are interested, I have Javascript code (which runs in any browser) for calculating eclipses to 1 minute accurate. Maybe you can use it for your astronomical appltcations ?
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darethehair's Avatar
Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#5
OK folks, some gentle prodding has encouraged me to release a slightly newer version of 'MChronos' (0.22 instead of 0.19), with the new feature of being able to utilize a bluetooth GPS (using the 'python2.5-gpsbt' library, just like on 'Mephemeris'). This includes 'location', as well as current 'time' (if you so chose).

See the README file (in the web link at the top thread) for more info. The 'deb' link has also been upgraded to point to the new version.

At this point, in order to proceed with more enhancements, I would need people to tell me they are using it, and have some ideas of what would make it even better.

P.S. No one has ever told me (including in the 'Mephemeris' thread) whether the 'python2.5-gpsbt' library also communicates with the internal N810 GPS receiver or not (?). I know that it works fine on my Holux GPSlim236 receiver.

NOTE: Sorry for releasing version 0.21. When I detected the bug, I quickly fixed it and uploaded 0.22.

Last edited by darethehair; 2008-11-09 at 14:00. Reason: Bug Fix Release
 
darethehair's Avatar
Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#6
skatebiker:

1) From what little I know, it would be neither wise nor possible to depend on the GPS fixes established by *other* applications for one's *own* program. In my case, at least, I have used my own code to seek out a GPS fix.

2) The Javascript eclipse code would be interesting to have all on its own, but I doubt that I would be able to easily convert it to Python for use in my own programs. I have already encouraged the writer of 'PyEphem' to consider adding 'eclipse' code to his library, which (theoretically) could ultimately be added to Mephemeris.

Last edited by darethehair; 2009-05-26 at 16:59. Reason: Typing mistakes
 
darethehair's Avatar
Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#7
Hello Folks:

The other day I noticed that the nice multi-colored 'daylight' bar on my MChronos applet was completely black. I investigated and found a bug i.e. at my latitude, the 'astronomical twilight' now occurs *after* midnight, which messes up the color bar for the summer months.

Long story short: I have tried to address this issue, and the related issue of not dealing with 'extreme latitude' calculation issues, and released version 0.24 just a few minutes ago:

http://darethehair.googlepages.com/software.html

If you get the new version, be sure to let me know if it still works for you (especially if it works *better*). Also be sure to save your 'ini' file settings!

This is the first time that I built the 'deb' file using the 'py2debian' process, and because of this version 0.24 now *also* exists in the 'extras-devel' repository. I figure this is a nice small safe app to test those processes with -- and I would appreciate it if someone could try it out from there. If it works, it will be the first app that I will then post into the 'extras' respository.

Thanks!
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darethehair's Avatar
Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#8
This is crazy.

I noticed today that my MChronos applet was absent from the screen. All efforts to start if fail to show anything. I have even turned my clock back to May 26th (last working state) and it doesn't work. I have re-installed as well. Debugging is almost impossible, due to the nature of the applet.

Question: Is anyone out there using this applet? Does it work for you? If so, can you provide your 'mchronos.ini' settings?

I am totally confused!
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Posts: 59 | Thanked: 15 times | Joined on Feb 2008
#9
Originally Posted by darethehair View Post
This is crazy.
I noticed today that my MChronos applet was absent from the screen.(
Same here. Whenever I click on the the applet check box from the menu (and click the OK button), nothing happens and when I go to the applet menu next, the box is back to being unchecked. The other applets (including Morrery) work fine.
 
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Posts: 273 | Thanked: 97 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Manitoba, Canada
#10
Thanks belanger...

Even more crazy...the applet did not work this morning (again). I started to add some debugging file 'write' statements to it, and it started to work. I took them out again, and it continued to work. I put the original Python app back (just to make sure), and it still worked!

From over 20 years in the computer world, one of a programmer's worst scenerios is a bug that cannot be reproduced. If I didn't know any better, I would say that the fault cannot be with MChronos itself -- but I realize that to blame the OS is even more crazy.

Hmmm...maybe it has to do with the 'time of day' or something very subtle for it to behave like this! Anyways, I will keep an eye on it.
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