Quozl's Granite Communications Videopad VP5 Base Station BS5 Daemon for Linux
11th July 1999
vpd - Granite Communications Videopad Base Station BS5 Daemon
Granite Communications sells some
rather novel radio terminals with backlit LCD keypads that they call
Videopads. No video involved, as such. Quozl obtained a couple of
keypads (VP5, shown here) and a base station (BS5) unit as they were being dumped.
They came with full documentation and a C language development
environment that ran on MS-DOS.
Quozl then implemented some test programs along with a base station
protocol driver on an OpenVMS/VAX machine. Recently Quozl ported the
program to Linux as a user mode daemon. The program communicates with
the BS5; it resets, initialises, and enables RF transmission and then
awaits packets from Videopad units.
While not immediately suitable for use, it does demonstrate a
working implementation of Linux communications with the BS5 and could be
used as the basis of further work.
- vpd.tar.gz source code for daemon and portions
of host back-end code for test programs.
Videopad Test Programs
Although not being made available here, the test programs were:
- vpt.c - accepts serial data from a Mantis Micro Products
DIGITEMP multi-channel temperature sensor and delivers it to
another VP5 via the BS5.
- vpb.c - a remote control for Quozl's home control system, the
Butler, which sends commands via RF to the BS5, then to the VAX, which
forwarded them over serial connection to the Butler.
- vpc.c - a commuting data logger, which gathered timing data from
regular motor vehicle trips and downloaded it transparently to the VAX
by RF on arrival home.
- vpf.c - a simple hierarchial object filing system, retaining just
a description, object number, and enclosing object number.
- vps.c - an alternative implementation of the
Videopad Application Development on Linux
The application development environment for the Videopad product is
called TOUCH-C, and is a C compiler and linker developed by Microtec
Research. The tools provided function adequately on MS-DOS, and work
fine under version 0.66.7 of dosemu, the Linux DOS emulator. The
MCCM77 compiler causes a segmentation violation on 0.98.0 onwards of
Quozl would like to hear from anybody developing applications on
Videopads with Linux, so as to share experiences. Please send mail.
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