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Hi ALL, I have recently been given an old laptop so I can set up a timing system, this will be light bridge based but(as always!!!)there is one slight problem-----The laptop runs on linux rather than windows,, so I was wondering if anyone knows any downloads that work on this(laptimer2000 does not) or shall I try and convert it to windows?
Many thanks for all help Mike
Sorry should mention this is for HO scale
 

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Simon Platten
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Linux unlike windows can run several different GUI's, this is the Graphical User Interface or shell that means you don't have to use just the terminal interface. You really need to specify what flavour of Linux and what GUI you are running.

Linux is quite a simple system to work with because it doesn't have all the HAL stuff that Windows 2000/XP and 7 puts in the way, meaning you can talk directly to the hardware.
 

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Your best bet maybe to try wine http://www.winehq.org/

Depending on what packages the windows software uses you may find wine will let you run something, for example Race Coordinator uses .net4 which I don't think has been ported to linux yet. You may also find issues with device drivers depending on what your connection method is.

If your happy to fiddle give it a go, if you want to get it working as quickly as possible then I'd rebuild it with Windows (should be able to find xp fairly cheap I would think).
 

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Trevor Gordon
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Or sell the laptop and get a raspberry pi. There are heaps of people working on it, and it comes with python and instructions(web based via internet searches ;-) ) and it has easy to use io ports. Oh I just realised you'd have to get a screen too. Maybe better off with the laptop. ignore me.
 

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Simon Platten
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Raspberry Pi sounds very interesting, I have my name down for one at RS, but no sign of it yet, my colleague brought his in, very impressive for the money, you can plug it straight into a HDMI TV.

On the down side, there is very little information available on the board I/O, so unless you can find this, its a bit of a non starter.
 

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Living the Life!
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The Arduino board is a lot simpler and cheaper for such a simple task as a timer ......... there are many examples of timing code around and you can use a multitude of sensors.

It will even interface to a Linux system - quite easily
 

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Simon Platten
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Arduino is easy to use and the IDE is free, but in order to make it do anything worth while you need to start adding shields, which is where it can start to get expensive.

If you just want to interface a serial or parallel device to linux then you would need to write a device driver to so this, this is much easier on Linux than on Windows, but still a big deal if you aren't a coder.
 

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QUOTE (-Sy- @ 23 Jul 2012, 10:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>in order to make it do anything worth while you need to start adding shields, which is where it can start to get expensive.
Have to disagree here. I for instance use an Arduino in my wireless throttles. I am interfacing to an RF chip using the SPI connections, the two buttons as digital inputs and 3 A-D inputs from the throttle resistor and the Curve & Brake pots, no additional components. Lots of good stuff can be done without a shield.

Of all the microcontrollers & their associated development systems I have used Arduino may not technically be the best, but hands down it was the easiest to interface to & get up and running with code doing useful jobs.

However unless you are a real Geek and want to spend your time messing about with code as opposed to getting on with the job in hand, then your best bet for things like lap timing is always to stick with Windows, and the applications that are readily available. Don't even think about device drivers...

Rich
 

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None of this is helping the OP who was asking for software to run on Linux, if there is none for laptop running Linux then there is no way a raspberry PI will help him, since when all is said and done it is just an under powered Linux box.

Also the OP doesn't say what method of input to the laptop, I'm guessing it would need to be USB, but if it's say trackmate then I don't think there are any drivers for Linux.

Slingshot
 

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QUOTE (Slingshotx @ 19 Jul 2012, 17:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>if you want to get it working as quickly as possible then I'd rebuild it with Windows (should be able to find xp fairly cheap I would think).
Actually think your first bit of advice is the most useful, which I endorsed in my post. However as others started to raise alternatives also commented on them as well.


All that said the OP seems to have dissapeared?

Rich
 

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Horlicks Hero
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I think a Linux based timing system would be a great solution. Lots of people have older hardware hanging around that won't run the latest versions of Windows, but will happily run Linux. And by using one of the plethora of lightweight GUIs, you could save an old box from the rubbish heap and have a system that actually performs well for the task at hand. Also, Linux is available for free (as in beer), which is not true of Windows. If you want to run Windows, you either need a genuine licence to keep it legit, or choose to run with a pirated version. And since they don't sell XP licences any longer, buying a *new* legit licence for an older machine is not really all that feasible. Sure, a lot of them will still have the old OEM licence sticker on them, but that's not always the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Many thanks for all replys,,,yes I did dissaper for a while have had a mishap at football and now cant move properly(knee ligaments),,,The input method is parrele port there is a windows sticker on bottom of machine so does anyone know where I can download a copy of windows? Anywhere from 98 should do fine want to keep this really cheap so I can spend my hard earned on new cars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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QUOTE (pne4ever @ 24 Jul 2012, 11:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Many thanks for all replys,,,yes I did dissaper for a while have had a mishap at football and now cant move properly(knee ligaments),,,The input method is parrele port there is a windows sticker on bottom of machine so does anyone know where I can download a copy of windows? Anywhere from 98 should do fine want to keep this really cheap so I can spend my hard earned on new cars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Windows 98 seems to go from around 10-15 quid on Ebay, Obviously you have the key so if you know anyone that has a copy you could borrow it, sorry I don't have any OEM Microsoft stuff at all.

Also be aware that there are several variants of most MS stuff that uses different keys, i.e there's an OEM version (probably what most people run) and usually various other variaties.
 

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Google your make and model of laptop and version of Windows shown on the licence sticker and you should be able to find a download the correct version.

Don't forget, OEM licenses are (mostly) only good for the machine they are attached too.
 

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The operating system make many times, the differant in accuranzy.
So the best way to use a good timingsystem is to have a very small device at the track.
It could be a Raspberry, arduino or something simular.
Then the timing data is sent to a Java collecter or the site is build by Ajax! And this is in ewery webreader, wathewer on Linux , windowsx or another Os.
Completle free from mashine and / or operating system.
 

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http://www.flipsideracing.org/projects/fslapcounter/

You can use this software natively on linux. There is a fsdio driver that can read from an arduino board for slot cars.

You could easily just get some optoisolators and have a timer running in a few hours. You don't need many inputs so there is no need to buy a shield. If you need a shield then get a prototyping shield like this one from adafruit for 12 bucks.

http://adafruit.com/products/51

If you need any help with the circuitry pm me and I can help you.

Bryan

AC2Car.org
 
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