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David Schwartz

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David Schwartz last won the day on February 19

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  1. David Schwartz

    tiny computer for Delphi apps

    If that was the answer, then neither Apple nor Google would be investing in the development of "Car-play" and similar platforms that are designed to extend and even replace the crapware that car manufacturers install at the factory and never update. What benefit does BT offer to me if I want to have Google Maps show up on my display rather than the junk built into the car? My car has BT, but so what? It's only used for audio and alerts from my phone -- yes, including text messages! Don't ask me why because it doesn't show them unless I'm parked, in which case I'm not going to bother reading them through the car's screen. BT is a data channel. That's all. WiFi is higher bandwidth, but nobody has seen fit to built it into a vehicle's core yet as a way to replace the CAN plug. Maybe they're concerned about little things like security and privacy? It would be a heckofalot easier to have an open WiFi connection for cases like Uber/Lyft drivers who've got passengers who want to connect their phones to the car's audio system. When I did that for a while, and kids would get in and want to connect via BT, it typically took half of the ride time just for them to get everything to connect. After a few times, I just told them, "Sorry it ain't happening". Sometimes they'd get in and have an aux cable they wanted to plug in. I'd just say, "Nope, someone broke my plug. Sorry."
  2. David Schwartz

    tiny computer for Delphi apps

    Sorry, but I've seen many that are simply largish-screen monitors (24"-27") with a small computer attached to the VESA mount on the back. I see these in banks, places with self-help customer services, and similar places. You're thinking of "old-school" things. Not that they don't exist, but this is a popular use for NUCs. As for the "reliability" question .... I once had a contract to do some evaluation of COTS stuff for a military outfit that was wanting to know about the reliability of COTS vs. similar "mil-spec" boards. It surprised them to learn that some COTS boards they were considering actually had better reliability metrics (except for one thing that was easily resolved) than their comparable mil-spec devices, at 10% of the cost per unit. They decided it made sense to order 3x more of the COTS products and maintain a larger inventory of spares rather than order more mil-spec devices. They also expanded their search for qualifying COTS devices as the cost-per-unit was so much lower. In certain applications, you want ruggedized hardware to minimize the risk of random failures at times that would be hard to get replacement parts. But there are situations where it's simply overkill, and making replacement parts available is far more cost-effective than using fully-ruggedized devices. If you have a data collection device out in the middle of a corn field that's supposed to relay data every 5 minutes, and it would take more than a couple of hours to replace, sure, use something more rugged. But if it's sitting in an office with A/C and heat and there are people constantly there who can recognize a failure and address them when they happen, then it's probably cheaper to go with something cheaper and have spares in the back room. Then again, if Management prefers to hire people for minimum-wage and give them the least amount of training required, then the equipment is probably regarded as more reliable than the people, so that approach probably isn't viable for them. At the end of the day, like most things, it's a trade-off. My employers give me Dell computers that are notoriously unreliable, both the hardware and Windows. But they seem to prefer them over Apple for whatever reason. I've been using Apple hardware since 2006 for my own needs, and have had far fewer problems than the equipment given me by employers. Yet how many times do we hear people say they think Apple's stuff is just "toys"? I guess it's all a matter of perspective.
  3. David Schwartz

    tiny computer for Delphi apps

    If they're so concerned, why did they do away with interface controls that you could touch and adjust without having to divert your attention from the road to their "touch-screen" interface that reacts to the slightest whisk of a finger and leaves no clue what you touched or how you ended up where you're at? Nobody is ever going to convince me that a UI that is touch-sensitive and doesn't offer any way to do things without looking at it is in any way "safer" than one that does. The map won't let me edit anything while the car is moving, but if I'm using it for navigation and I happen to brush the screen, it can change state and get messed-up and I have no idea what I did or how to get back to where I was. It connects to my phone and tells me I have a new text message. It forces me to divert my attention from driving to focus on the screen long enough to press a button, and instead of simply reading the text message to me (via text to speech), it displays a message on the screen telling me it cannot show me the message while I'm driving! What kind of idiot designed this and what committee decided it's a "safe" design? Google lets me use my voice to find a destination; the car's nav forces you to enter everything via the touch-screen starting with State, City, address or name. It's effing worthless IMHO compared to what I can get on my phone with a couple of voice commands and touches. I'm sorry, but the current crop of touch-based UIs is far more dangerous than using my phone. Yet states are passing laws to prevent people from using their phones instead of the more dangerous crap that car manufacturers are delivering. Not because they're designed to be safe, but because they're designed to be flashy and make you hope you don't miss your far more flexible mobile devices. Never mind that most people upgrade their devices yearly, and vendors are constantly tripping over themselves to add new features and make them more and more useful. Compare that to car manufacturers who basically design what's in a car 2-3 years before it goes on sale, and IT IS NEVER EVER UPDATED! Unless, of course, their horrid UI ends up causing so many crashes that the resulting lawsuits force them to do a recall and issue an update. When I took my car to the dealer for an oil change recently, I asked the service manager when I can expect Toyota to download a software update to the car to improve the battery life and efficiency, the same way Tesla does it on a quarterly basis. He just gave me a blank look and shook his head.
  4. David Schwartz

    tiny computer for Delphi apps

    I started my professional career working with embedded systems for nearly a decade, so I guess that's why hardware like this catches my eye. This isn't particularly useful for ordinary office tasks or testing or anything like that. But it would be great for a standalone kiosk, or some kind of dedicated application. For years you needed to use an embedded OS and special tools to build stuff that ran on specially-designed hardware. Today you can get a Raspberry Pi for under $50, sure, but you can't build stuff that runs on it with all versions of Delphi. Lazarus and FreePascal perhaps, but those are a lot more limited than a standard Delphi release. This little box includes Win 10, and for the price, the hardware is practically free -- most of the cost is likely going to Microsoft for the Windows license. While that does not excite me, the fact that it's possible to use the same toolchain to build an app for a simple embedded application that runs on an otherwise standard Win 10 platform is far more inviting than the prospect of having to use a whole separate toolchain instead. I can't tell you how many projects I worked on where Management would order special hardware and compilers for builds, but then try to "save money" by not buying the debugger, so we had to use link maps and assembly output from the compiler for debugging off-line. I've always had this vision of little functional building blocks, like "smart" Lego blocks, that perform specific functions and can be plugged into a network and used to solve specific problems. A great example of this is being able to plug your phone into your car and access stuff on it like media, email, messaging, and calls, as if it's built-in. Most vehicles come with something provided by the auto company that built the car, and you're stuck with whatever they want to provide. It's a huge expensive effort for them to add, and it ends up being a political and economic decision for them because they want to retain control. I have a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime and one of the biggest complaints on a forum where Prime (and Prius) owners hang out is Toyota's adamant refusal to add this ability to their vehicles. They offer a horrid UI design and the same crappy mapping that auto manufacturers have used for 15 years. The stuff on our phones seems like it's light-years ahead. When I bought the car, the sales guys bragged "It has Google Maps now!" I don't know what part of their mapping is from Google, but the overall experience is the same crappy mapping I had in my 2012 Prius and in a Garmin GPS from 2005. I hear that Toyota has finally broken down and will be adding support for Apple's car interface to a couple of (non-Prius) models for 2021, but everybody else is out-of-luck. Why is this such a problem for them? Because 100% of their computing platform is dependent on a proprietary hardware design, proprietary embedded OS, proprietary interfaces, and a desire to keep total control of the user's experience. Why? Risk. It's pretty absurd when my iPad Mini has more computing power than the stupid crap they include at the factory and want you to believe is "the best available technology". Yeah, right. They just don't want to get sued by some problem your phone might have caused while you were driving. Look how long it took car manufacturers just to offer a common 1/8" stereo AUX-IN jack to allow people to plug-in their iPods! As far as risks go, I can get why a brand new 787 jet employs CPUs on it that are equivalent to what Apple used in 1990 -- they want stuff that is absolutely rock-solid and has millions of hours of flight time and testing time on it. But I don't need that level of reliability simply to select the tunes I want to listen to while I'm driving, or to display maps. Alexa is another example of an embedded system, but it's an approach that scares me in terms of its ability to expose everybody to unethical and even illegal purposes. But that's a discussion for another day. 🙂 That's how I think of embedded systems that affect consumers -- standalone functional building blocks that use standardized software and interfaces to allow developers like us to offer customized features they just can't get any other way. I started my career in 1979, and this kind of utilitarian application of small standalone computers seemed "just around the corner" in the mid-80's. Here it is 2020 and in spite of a huge proliferation of fully programmable portable computers (a la mobile devices) and almost unlimited access to connectivity to everything, we don't seem any closer to this than we were in the 80's.
  5. David Schwartz

    missing debug\*.res files

    so perhaps the release folder got removed from the search path, then? I'll check that. Thanks. BTW, I don't usually use Debug DCUs although I seem to get them more often than I want. It's super annoying hitting F7 to step into a function call and end up in a long chain of RTL code that is totally irrelevant.
  6. David Schwartz

    missing debug\*.res files

    If they don't get installed there, where is the compiler expecting them to be?
  7. David Schwartz

    missing debug\*.res files

    wow, that's weird. Last Friday I started getting compile errors saying it could not find controls.res, tbutton.res, and another. It was late in the day and I forgot about it. Today I tried to build a different project and got the same errors. I looked in the folder and nothing was there. The folder is in the search path, tho. I copied them from the release folder and they disappeared about 5 minutes later.
  8. David Schwartz

    missing debug\*.res files

    looks like there might be some security app the IT guys installed that thinks they're a threat
  9. David Schwartz

    missing debug\*.res files

    Anybody have any idea what would cause all of the .res files to get deleted from the ...\lib\win32\debug folder? (Actually, there's one left: FireDAC.VCLUI.PanelTreeButton.res) There are 49 in the \release folder.
  10. David Schwartz

    tiny computer for Delphi apps

    It says it comes with Win 10 installed, but you can also install Linux. I didn't want to start a debate about running Delphi on this. I wouldn't want to. I was thinking of it mainly for use with embedded or dedicated Delphi apps.
  11. David Schwartz

    tiny computer for Delphi apps

    I don't know if you can run Delphi on this (maybe D7) but you can surely run small and modest-sized Delphi apps on it. Maybe even use it as a tiny web host for kiosks or demos. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chuwi-larkbox-world-s-smallest-4k-mini-pc?secret_perk_token=2ec0a2d6&fbclid=IwAR0cxLgK8Nm7pLcx04GdkAbwKtnuGw46UqG_k2irYqkARFn-h_ya6YhP42M#/ What would YOU do with one of these? (I'm just curious. I'm not involved with this in any way other than I love finding tiny computers.)
  12. David Schwartz

    problem with graphic image DL

    [this seems to have gotten lost at the end of my other message] I set up a TWebBrowser in one tab on a form and the image processing stuff in another tab. I can drag-n-drop the image link from Chrome to an area at the top of the form. It switches to the 2nd tab and I click a Process button. That causes the browser to navigate to the image, which it loads into the browser window. Perfect. Now I just need to grab it. But ... while I'm getting the height and width of the image from the target image, I'm not getting the image to show up most of the time. Sometimes, but mostly not. I'm finding the image files on the page using IHTMLElement2.getelementsByTagName('img') and grabbing the first one (since I know that's all there is on the web page). img := getFirstImage; Image1_frame.Height := img.height+2; Image1_frame.Width := img.width+2; rnd := img as IHTMLElementRender ; rnd.DrawToDC(Image1.Canvas.Handle); Image1 is aligned to Client on a panel Image1_frame. So I set the frame's H & W -- they get set ok. But the image is usually not visible. It's just white. I see that DrawToDC is deprecated, but I haven't found what to replace it with. What am I missing here?
  13. David Schwartz

    Trying to DL image yields a web page instead

    ok, I set up a TWebBrowser in one tab and the image processing stuff in another tab. I open the ticket and can drag-n-drop the image link to an area at the top. It switches to the 2nd tab and I click a Process button. That causes the browser to navigate to the image, which it loads into the browser window. Perfect. Now I just need to grab it. But ... while I'm getting the height and width of the image, I'm not getting the image to show up most of the time. Sometimes, but mostly not. I'm finding the image files on the page using IHTMLElement2.getelementsByTagName('img') and returning the first one (since that's all there is on the page). img := getFirstImage; Image1_frame.Height := img.height+2; Image1_frame.Width := img.width+2; rnd := img as IHTMLElementRender ; rnd.DrawToDC(Image1.Canvas.Handle); Image1 is aligned to Client on a panel Image1_frame. So I set the frame's H & W -- they get set ok. But the image is usually not visible. I see that DrawToDC is deprecated, but I haven't found what to replace it with. What am I missing here?
  14. David Schwartz

    Trying to DL image yields a web page instead

    hmmmm ... now that's an interesting approach ... I'll still need a way to select each individual DL link because the way we do things in this case uses the same ticket to collect these requests up for a whole month, as there can be a dozen requests or more. We only want to deal with the latest ones, and there might be one, two, or even three at once.
  15. David Schwartz

    Trying to DL image yields a web page instead

    Yeah, I woke up this morning thinking it's probably looking for a login cookie. I wonder if there's some way to have the http component look up the cookie in the other browser's cache? I'm clicking and dragging from browser window A to the app, and I guess the http component looks like an unrelated browser window B. I don't really want to force the user into a second login. That said, I could add Name + Pwd fields to this little app and save them, but that's getting into a very muddy area here.... There are a few Authorization events in IdHttp component: * OnAuthorization * OnProxyAuthorization * OnSelectAuthorization * OnSelectProxyAuthorization I guess Right-Click --> Save As ... runs in the security context of browser window A, but a drag&drop runs in the context of browser window B. I wonder if I can set up a proxy of some kind? They really should be the same context.
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