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Getting back into the project slowly

A project log for openSampler

a hardware sampler based on the raspberry pi running bare metal (so no Linux)

Nick VerlindenNick Verlinden 03/11/2021 at 08:200 Comments

It's been a long time since the last log. A lot has happened for me in this time, and there was no room for openSampler in my schedule. I'm typing this on the train to work, so forgive me if this log contains more typing errors than usual. It makes me think about just how bad mobile phone keyboards are. I keep making the same mistakes because of muscle memory, shurely there must be some ai algortihm to assist me in this day and age...

Anyway, gonna keep this short. I only have about 20 minutes to finish this message. Long story short, i changed from fully self employment in 2020 to 80% employment doing my all time dream job at Cinematek, wich is the Royal Belgian Film Archive. I was lucky enough to be hired as an expert in film restoration and digitization. Fantastic working with film, but also very satisfying cleaning them up digitally. I'm sure many would find this is one of the most boring jobs they can imagine, cleaning dust all day, but to me it's heaven. I'm also buying a house right now, about the worst possible timing. The housing market in Belgium is being flooded by prospects looking for one, and stories are floating around that people are even buying houses just looking at the pictures without visiting them first. That's crazy. My motivation is different, but I managed to find something I really like. So this is taking up al my time for the moment. Well, not all of my time, but I seem to be having difficulty focussing on multiple big projects. I'm constantly thinking about the house project, and sometimes openSampler, but don't feel like working on openSampler unless i know that i can dedicate some time on it, and not just 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there.

So, what about it? Last time i think i talked about getting it to work on the twatch, well it all worked out. It's working well. Yesterday i finally spent some time setting up my dev environment om my new macbook m1. Yeah i bought one, but only after witnessing it at Cinematek where i tested editing 10bit h265 6k anamorphic footage from my gh5, and it worked like a charm. I was so amazed, that I bought a macbook air because my old one could not even play back the videos in quicktime or vlc. Anyway, the m1 comes with it's problems. I installed the parallels desktop technical preview and installed the arm64 version of ubuntu. All works great. Then i installed some dev libraries, nothing special there. Then, i got the the esp-idf. It's not officially supported on arm (yet, they seem to be working on it), so i had to do some tinkering to get it to work. Basically it came down to: compile crosstool-NG myself, register the path, modify the esp-idf install.sh script to bypass the xtensa installation (because it would block you from continuing because there are no precompiled binaries for arm), and then i also had to modify idf-tool.py to skip the checks for the xtensa compilers for the s2 and s3 versions. I dont need them. After that idf.py worked great and i got to compile. Then i tried to flash the watch, but i ran into some permission problems and had to chown the /dev/ttyUSB0 device before it would work. After that eureka! By the way, make sure your vm has more than 2gb of ram, because else the xentsa gcc will not compile and fail at the step installing gcc final binary or something like that. It will say something vuague like the process was killed. I changed my vm to 4gb, and all is fine. 

I also did some home cleaning in the project, made sure everything is nicely seperated. Now i need to implement mouse and keyboard events, and then the ui system should be usuable. Can't wait until this relatively boring task is done, but i'm almost there.

I'm also gonna try and get the gcc compilers for circle working on the ubuntu arm vm, but i dont think it will be a problem, it looks like it already has good arm support.

I arrived in Brussels, talk to you soon!

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