Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?] - Plan9

This is a discussion on Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?] - Plan9 ; > On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote: >> > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote: >> > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit, >> > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and ...

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Thread: Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

  1. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    >> > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >> > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    >> > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    >> > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    >> >

    >>
    >> A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    >> got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    >> viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    >> some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    >> we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    >> low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    >> designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    >> me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    >> don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.
    >>

    >
    > What are your requirements that disqualify Plan 9? Or is just a "feeling"?
    >
    > Coraid puts Plan 9 in their storage products. It's performing a
    > useful task, and you don't even need to know it's there. But it's
    > still powering the device.
    >
    > Small and simple can still be beautiful and elegant :-)
    >


    You read the thing, right? I said that, with our display device, it's probably
    only feasible to work at a terminal. We connected the display to a Windows
    machine to test it. You can read a standard 80x24 terminal, but barely.

    Plan 9's support for just plain, old, no-windowing-system terminal
    use is pretty much nonexistent, so there's a good reason.

    Yes, we could cook up a lib/profile that automatically starts a big rc window,
    but you still need to use a pointing device of some kind. Yes, we can strap on
    a trackball, but I'd like to try reducing the amount of equipment hanging from
    my belt. If somebody would like to donate a Twiddler keyboard, then I'd be all
    for trying Plan 9.

    John


  2. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    > > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    > > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    > > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    > > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    > >

    >
    > A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    > got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    > viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    > some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    > we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    > low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    > designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    > me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    > don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.


    80x24 eh? So, the provision, or lack thereof, of a "glass tty" is the
    deciding factor?

    I think your decision tree needs to have a few branches grafted on :-)

    ron
    p.s. Due to new workplace health and safety regulations, I am not
    allowed to tell you how to pronounce "glass tty"

  3. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    >>> lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >>> But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    >>> handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    >>> bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    >>>

    >>
    >> A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    >> got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    >> viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    >> some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    >> we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    >> low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    >> designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    >> me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    >> don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.
    >>
    >> John
    >>
    >>

    >
    > 'Ideal' only in two senses:
    >
    > - Very well-suited to having the 'heavy' resources remoted over reasonably
    > efficient (low bandwidth) networking.
    >
    > - lacking a GP GUI (rio/acme are, IMNSHO, a coder's IDE, not a GP GUI), but
    > having lightweight tools to implement one (drawterm, VNC) - so you can do
    > 'locally' only what your app really *must* do locally.


    I'm not really looking forward to dealing with rio at the very low resolutions
    our device uses. The idea of window management on such a display, barring
    the use of wmii or dwm, seems ludicrous.


    > As to 'pointing device' - why not a tilt-disk, 'clit' or trackball? All of which
    > are cheaply salvaged from new or used hardware. Chording the 'Plan9 way' is not
    > an absolute requirement - just one already built-in.
    >
    > Viewing device? 'Virtual reality' headset, perhaps?


    As I mentioned initially, we're using a camcorder viewfinder as the display.
    That means black and white, low resolution (composite input). Until we can
    get club approval (Robotics club), our budget is nil; we're working on
    scavenged equipment.

    >
    > Or go the other way...
    >
    > text-to-speech in an earpiece, speech-to-text from a mic.
    >
    > 'Heavy' CPU to convert bothways accurately is remoted.
    >
    > Might mean the heaviest thing you have to wear is...
    >
    > ...a 'dumb' telephone handset and a thin LCD for graphics when needed.


    Although we do intend to write specialized code for the project, I do not
    want to write a text-to-speech and speech-to-text suite right now.


    >
    > My biggest personal objection to most modern PDA/phone rigs (Blackberry, Treo,
    > et al) is the need to grab a stylus and/or otherwise use BOTH hands when NO
    > hands is a nicer goal, and ONE hand was possible even with the ancient HP-200-LX
    > (thumb-typing).
    >
    > Belt-mount and Bluetooth or similar seems a good idea though.
    >
    > Linux? Far too 'heavy', even stripped - which is not as easy as it sounds if you
    > need even basic functionality). if not Plan9, then Minix3 revanche is lighter
    > (and very Posix compliant)


    Most likely candidate right now is a Linux laptop in a shoulder bag or Slackware
    installed on a mini PC we have in the lab.

    > But might be better-off with DRDOS and GEM. Seriously.
    >
    > Find an HP-100/200-LX (MSDOS, not DRDOS) and see what was possible lo those many
    > years ago with a couple of the right PCMCIA cards and lithium AA batteries.
    >
    > Used to carry a pair of clip leads and external twin D-cell holder to send faxes
    > and login to CompuServe from hotel rooms. Purchased and discarded batteries
    > locally so as to not have to carry the weight or a charger. ELSE 'borrowed' the
    > rechargeable emergency flashlight found in many hotels.
    >
    > 'Too soon we forget' how much could be accomplished with a lowly VT-whatever
    > 'dumb terminal' connected to the right support infrastructure at a mere 1200 -
    > 9600 bps.
    >


    This is what I want. That's why Linux seems like a decent candidate. The hardware
    we're looking at can handle it just fine. It gives us a VT type interface. Couple
    that with campus wireless and we can connect to whatever "support infrastructure"
    we want.


    John "Plan 9 Koolaid" Floren


  4. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    >> > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >> > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    >> > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    >> > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    >> >

    >>
    >> A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    >> got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    >> viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    >> some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    >> we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    >> low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    >> designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    >> me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    >> don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.

    >
    > 80x24 eh? So, the provision, or lack thereof, of a "glass tty" is the
    > deciding factor?
    >
    > I think your decision tree needs to have a few branches grafted on :-)
    >
    > ron
    > p.s. Due to new workplace health and safety regulations, I am not
    > allowed to tell you how to pronounce "glass tty"


    Well, Ron, as explained elsewhere, our display gets hard to read pretty easily.
    Even 80x24 may be too small for continued use; it's something that will need to
    be tested. If you or anybody else wants to send us a better head-mounted
    display, do it. For now, I'm going to concentrate on using the (free) display
    we have... people were apparently productive for 40+ years using only TTYs,
    glass or paper as it may be.

    John


  5. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    i didn't really understand why being limited to 24x80 (or whatever) was
    an inherent block to the use of plan 9. indeed you wouldn't use
    rio, but that's just a program and you can run another.


  6. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:

    > Well, Ron, as explained elsewhere, our display gets hard to read pretty easily.
    > Even 80x24 may be too small for continued use; it's something that will need to
    > be tested.


    I'm with Charles on this one. I do a lot of work with Plan 9 systems
    that don't use rio or any wm for that matter. On those systems, the
    network is everything. Maybe you're not going to run connected.

    But, in our case, we had systems w/o a graphical display, that I
    needed to run connected, and I would have been very unhappy doing
    those systems with anything but Plan 9.

    I see your point re the display, but based on our experience, I still
    think Linux is going to limit you in the end.

    That said, there's lots more tty eye candy for Linux these days ...
    some things are truly easier with Linux. Just none of the network
    things.

    thanks

    ron

  7. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    >
    >> Well, Ron, as explained elsewhere, our display gets hard to read pretty easily.
    >> Even 80x24 may be too small for continued use; it's something that will need to
    >> be tested.

    >
    > I'm with Charles on this one. I do a lot of work with Plan 9 systems
    > that don't use rio or any wm for that matter. On those systems, the
    > network is everything. Maybe you're not going to run connected.
    >
    > But, in our case, we had systems w/o a graphical display, that I
    > needed to run connected, and I would have been very unhappy doing
    > those systems with anything but Plan 9.
    >
    > I see your point re the display, but based on our experience, I still
    > think Linux is going to limit you in the end.
    >
    > That said, there's lots more tty eye candy for Linux these days ...
    > some things are truly easier with Linux. Just none of the network
    > things.
    >
    > thanks
    >
    > ron


    Plan 9 fails for GUI-less use. If we go to a GUI system at some point,
    I think it may be back in the running, but consider the current
    requirements. We need something:
    -That has a good CLI
    -That can handle wireless
    -That has a lot of CLI-oriented applications

    Linux has support for a *lot* of wireless cards. It's based on a system
    that was designed for CLI use. It's got emacs, so I guess that answers
    all questions about CLI-oriented applications.
    Plan 9... working at the plain old command line, can you even interrupt
    a program? The two main editors are GUI based (not gonna use 'ed'). As
    seems apparent, it has far fewer supported wireless cards. It runs on
    fewer machines.
    Somebody, quick, send me a decent head mounted display, a Twiddler,
    and a little machine that can run Plan 9 with supported wireless. I'll
    set it all up, use it to access csplan9. Then I'll post pictures on the
    wiki. Until then, I guess I'm still gonna end with Linux.

    John


  8. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > Until then, I guess I'm still gonna end with Linux.

    cool! good luck.


  9. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    Skip Tavakkolian wrote:
    >> Until then, I guess I'm still gonna end with Linux.

    >
    > cool! good luck.
    >
    >


    '....end with Linux'.

    Perhaps Wyeth Consumer Healthcare might be interested in such 'out of sight '
    wearables. No shortage of openings...

    ;-)


    Bill

  10. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    > Plan 9 fails for GUI-less use. If we go to a GUI system at some point,
    > I think it may be back in the running, but consider the current
    > requirements. We need something:
    > -That has a good CLI
    > -That can handle wireless
    > -That has a lot of CLI-oriented applications
    >
    > Linux has support for a *lot* of wireless cards. It's based on a system
    > that was designed for CLI use. It's got emacs, so I guess that answers
    > all questions about CLI-oriented applications.
    > Plan 9... working at the plain old command line, can you even interrupt
    > a program? The two main editors are GUI based (not gonna use 'ed'). As
    > seems apparent, it has far fewer supported wireless cards. It runs on
    > fewer machines.
    > Somebody, quick, send me a decent head mounted display, a Twiddler,
    > and a little machine that can run Plan 9 with supported wireless. I'll
    > set it all up, use it to access csplan9. Then I'll post pictures on the
    > wiki. Until then, I guess I'm still gonna end with Linux.
    >
    > John
    >
    >


    Although this it slighty diverts from wearable to pocket-able,
    I've used Inferno emu over Linux on a handheld [1] for 6 months now,
    and i've find it comfortable enought, to continue using it.
    (and recently it's got bt network support, even i've not used it yet)
    So i would consider this another alternative.

    [1] http://www.caerwyn.com/ipn/2006/12/i...ngsten-t3.html

    --
    salva

  11. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:

    > Plan 9 fails for GUI-less use.


    Plan 9 fails at anything that it doesn't succeed at.

    This is the Plan 9 cycle of existence:

    Since it's not good at X, people don't make it good at X. So they
    don't use it for X. Since they don't use it for X, it's not good at X.
    Since it's not good at X ..

    It reminds me of the recycling mobius strip.

    There's only way one out of this cycle, but it's painful.

    Plan 9 CLI interface is, right now, where the Unix CLI was when I
    started using it -- minus, of course, DEL. That's pretty easy to fix
    -- well, trivial, in fact, to fix. In fact, someone I know has fixed
    it. Solution left to reader. It's not a character builder, as it is
    too easy.

    Is there a fundamental reason that Plan 9 can not be a CLI system like
    Unix? No.
    Is anyone going to do it? Guess not.
    If you had a decent Plan 9 CLI system, would it be nicer for these
    network widgets than Linux? My experience says yes, because even an
    indecent plan 9 sytsem is better for wireless network widgets.

    ron

  12. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On Thu May 17 12:40:05 EDT 2007, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:

    > It's got emacs, so I guess that answers
    > all questions about CLI-oriented applications.


    oh yes it does. like the sound of one hand clapping.

    this really has nothing to do with plan 9. perhaps this
    discussion should be moved to alt.os.emacs.

    - erik

  13. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > Plan 9... working at the plain old command line, can you even interrupt
    > a program? The two main editors are GUI based (not gonna use 'ed'). As


    so, you think that you can interrupt a program in rio because it uses draw?

    if linux is such an answer to your prayers, as you say, i'm not quite sure why
    you bothered to post to this list.


  14. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    >> lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >> But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,


    Misquote. The above is Bill Hacker's reply to my part in the rant
    (for the record, no offence taken).

    ++L


  15. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > There has to be a better way.

    There is a better way, but the decision makers are getting their
    salaries by towing a line, not being innovative. They have been
    brain-washed into that frame of mind and they will not budge. In the
    meantime, the marketeers keep rasing the expectations and, as long as
    Moore's Law is not shattered, the engineers keep delivering.

    Only Moore can break that vicious circle and the likelyhood that it
    will be in Plan 9's favour is minimal. In fact, when the vicious
    circle breaks, all bets are off.

    ++L


  16. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    > i'm not quite sure why you bothered to post to this list.

    i know: you're trying to make us jealous,
    but we've already got one ...

    GUARD: Oh, yes, it's very nice-a [To Other Guards] I told him we already got one.


  17. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On Thu, May 17, 2007 at 10:18:43AM -0700, ron minnich wrote:
    > On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    >
    > >Plan 9 fails for GUI-less use.

    >
    >[...]
    > Plan 9 CLI interface is, right now, where the Unix CLI was when I
    > started using it -- minus, of course, DEL. That's pretty easy to fix
    > -- well, trivial, in fact, to fix. In fact, someone I know has fixed
    > it. Solution left to reader. It's not a character builder, as it is
    > too easy.
    >
    > Is there a fundamental reason that Plan 9 can not be a CLI system like
    > Unix? No.
    > Is anyone going to do it? Guess not.


    Since I will need it for KerGIS (the BSD licenced revival of the CERL's
    GIS called GRASS), it may happen someday

    KerGIS uses range from handhelds (for data taken on the ground) to huge
    computing power needs for some treatments.

    Every problem I stumbled upon and about which I thought: it could be
    great if... Plan9 has an answer, or can be extended to have one.

    Look at the amount of code of GPLed GRASS. Look at the amount of code of
    the BSD version (KerGIS). I started alone.
    I'm still alone. But things are done. Slowly for some parts (there are
    priorities), but done. If one wants, one can
    --
    Thierry Laronde (Alceste)
    http://www.kergis.com/
    Key fingerprint = 0FF7 E906 FBAF FE95 FD89 250D 52B1 AE95 6006 F40C

  18. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    On Wed, 16 May 2007 18:26:12 GMT
    lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:

    >
    > As for the real alternative, which is for Plan 9 to become more
    > Linux-like which means more Windows-like


    I see people say this all the time here but it makes no sense -- unless
    maybe those who say it have only ever seen linux with KDE?
    I'm typing this in sylpheed running in ion3. Doesn't look or feel a bit
    like windows to me...
    Most of my work is done from the command line.
    How exactly do you believe this is windows-like?



  19. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > How exactly do you believe this is windows-like?

    Because it's the same bloated crap code.


  20. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > Most of my work is done from the command line.
    > How exactly do you believe this is windows-like?


    So you're representative of the majority of Linux users?

    Windows has a command line too. Does that make it Unix-like?

    ++L


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