Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

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Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:49 pm

Time for a new release. Here is v0.7 of the RSS Reader!

As usual the ZIP file includes the code for VIC-20 and C64. I also included a copy of srowe's RS-232 wedge, which improves the reliability of user port RS-232 on the VIC-20 (by patching the bugs in the kernal routines.)

The RSS Reader code has a bunch of important bug fixes, and is *much* more reliable on VIC-20 than previous versions. Support for eight CBC and eight New York Times is built in, together with a kiosk mode that will cycle through feeds forever. Kiosk mode actually works pretty well now.
Attachments
rss-0.7.zip
RSS Reader v0.7
(11.22 KiB) Downloaded 8 times

norm8332
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby norm8332 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:02 pm

Just ordered a Wimodem, cant wait to try this!

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:05 pm

Let me know how you get on with the RSS Reader! The WiModem is a nice piece of hardware.

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ral-clan
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby ral-clan » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:21 pm

Note that the WinMODEM defaults to 2400 baud when you get it from Jim Drew. You have to reset it to 1200 baud to use it with a VIC-20, or you will get garbled feedback from the WinMODEM.

I did correspond with Jim about this and it's possible he's already shipping WinMODEMs with the default of 1200 baud.
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Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:44 pm

I somehow managed to reset my WiModem to 1200 baud using the VIC-20 and MightyTerm.

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ral-clan
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby ral-clan » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:35 pm

I did too.

You set your terminal to 2400 baud and send the 1200 baud change command to the WiModem. It will respond with gibberish, but will understand the command. Then change your terminal program to 1200 baud and check everthing works (try an ATI command to get modem status) and then if it's working, save the settings as default to the WiModem.

It seems that at 2400 baud the WiModem can receive properly from the VIC-20, but anything it sends to the VIC-20 is garbled.
Image Music I've made with 1980s electronics, synths and other retro-instruments: http://theovoids.bandcamp.com

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:20 pm

I added a baud rate selector to the RSS Reader so it can operate at 300, 600, 1200 or (theoretically) 2400 baud. I spent some time trying to write code set the modem speed using AT*Bxxxx but I wasn't able to get it to work for some reason and decided to leave that for the user to do in their favourite terminal program (MightyTerm in my case.)

I have also made a number of other refinements to the program - better scrolling routine that looks smoother, fixed a bug in the word-wrap code, made the flashing border optional (have to press 'B' to activate it now.)

I guess I will make a new release soon, once I have done a quick test that I didn't break the C64 version.

norm8332
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby norm8332 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:01 pm

I have tried this and I like it a lot, but when I leave it running in kiosk mode it always eventually disconnects/stops. If I check the modem, it's disconnected. Not sure whats going on. I have the latest modem firmware. (1.7). I used the modem on some BBSs and it works great at 2400, but when I use 9600 on a C128 or C64 I have no good CTS/RTS flow control working. It either crashes the modem with an error and it resets or just drops characters randomly. I guess the flow control is being worked on by the modem's maker.

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:28 pm

I have been looking into this issue. I think that the data stream is getting terminated prematurely somewhere in the WiModem (rather than the RSS Reader app dropping characters, which I am pretty sure is not happening.)

I have been playing with RTS/CTS flow control, but when I enable it on the modem with AT&K1 the modem crashes (Soft WDT Reset.) Jim Drew is working on a new firmware which he thinks may fix this issue.

Once we have the new WiModem firmware, I will enable RS-232 flow control and see if that helps!

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:32 pm

Jim Drew just released firmware v1.8 for the WiModem (ATUPDATE to update it!)

I am testing v1.8 with flow control enabled (AT&K1) using the RSS Reader.

So far so good ... but I have only been testing for ten minutes so far.

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:34 pm

OK - I spoke too soon - it just hung on me again ... so it seems that whatever is causing the RSS Reader just to quit in the middle of a feed is still happening. Perhaps it is not a flow control issue though.

However WiModem v1.8 is an improvement in that I can enable flow control with AT&K1 and it doesn't immediately crash the modem!

In fact, I can actually pause and unpause the modem like this and it seems to work:

Code: Select all

// Pause modem
POKE(0x9110, PEEK(0x9110) & 0xfd);

for (d = 0; d < 10000; ++d);

// Unpause modem
POKE(0x9110, PEEK(0x9110) | 0x02);


This means that I can now support a pager view or a pause function rather than having to display the data as soon as it appears on the screen.

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:35 pm

Hi folks - I thought it was time for a new release. Here is v0.8.

This version of the RSS Reader has a few notable improvements. I have a feeling v1.0 is not far away!
  • Added BBC News as a provider. There are now 24 feeds to choose from - eight from CBC, eight from BBC and eight from New York Times.
  • The border no longer flashes by default. This may be turned on by pressing 'B' during a news feed.
  • It is now possible to pause the feed using the modem's hardware flow control. Press RETURN or SPACE to pause and any key to resume. The border turns black when paused. Press any key to resume.
  • Scrolling is now smoother, with less visual artifacts.
  • There is an initial menu for choosing baud rate.
  • Fix to a minor line wrapping bug.

Versions for VIC-20 and C64 are attached. srowe's RS-232 wedge for the VIC-20 is also included in the ZIP file.

Be sure to use the latest WiModem firmware [v1.8] and to turn on hardware flow control with AT&K1 if you wish to use the pause function. See the README file (in the ZIP) for details.
Attachments
rss-0.8.zip
RSS Reader v0.8
(13.57 KiB) Downloaded 8 times

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:45 pm

Something else for you WiModem users out there ... This is a simple BASIC program for setting the modem baud rate. You first choose the current baud rate using f1, f3, f5, f7 and then the desired baud rate. Works on VIC-20 and C64.
Attachments
SETBAUD.zip
(694 Bytes) Downloaded 6 times

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craftsman1234
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby craftsman1234 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:44 pm

Hey I just want to add how much fun this is. Nice idea for the Vic's smaller screen size.

I'm using a GGLABS RS232 card running to a Raspberry PI (TCPSER). At 1200 baud is runs fine except for the random lock-ups that other have noted with Jim"s modem as well. Can't seem to find a pattern to the lock-up. One time it ran for 45 minutes.

Still great work.

It will be great if you can get it where we can add other RSS feed. I'd like NASA and Breitbart feeds.
Commodore Pet 4032, Vic-20, 2 C64, 2 SX64, PAL 64c, 128DCR. Commodore Since 1980

Bobbi
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Re: Release: CBC News App (RSS Reader)

Postby Bobbi » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:40 am

I would love to get to the bottom of the issue with the random lockups. It is interesting to hear that it occurs with a device other than the WiModem. It seems that when we request a URL with a longer body (such as New York Times RSS feeds) then sometimes the body is truncated in the middle. I have a simple test program (without the XML parsing) which shows the same behaviour.

I do plan to make it so that users can add their own feeds eventually.

Glad you enjoy the program. I like to leave it running all day on my TV in the living room :)


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