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Fez Panda II - 3 Days, 3 Problems 2/3 Solved


#1

First problem; cannot connect to device, cant ping. Solved by Flashing to latest firmware. If the necessity of doing this is mentioned in the docs, I must have skimmed it.

Second problem; some issue regarding the references to the GHI SDK, reinstalling the library to c:/GHINETMF41SDK seemed to fix it. This may not be the actual solution, but seemed to work for me.

Third problem; system.notsupportedexception when trying to use the Bitmap class. After much searching for a solution, this appears not to be solvable - not enough memory on the Fez panda so bitmap is not included in the library.

I think I’m going to try to load my jpegs bit by bit using some low level write operations similar to how the logo in the Panda demo app loads but using a micro SD card. I’m not sure how fast this can be done.

A better solution would be to use the SD card as a swap file and re-enable the Bitmap class but I guess nobody has done that yet? Come on Microsoft/open sourcers :slight_smile:

Anyway, all good fun but maybe I should have waited on the Spider for decent graphics on the LCD.

I hope that this post might help someone solve the above problems quicker than I did.


#2

Have you followed the steps? If so then you wouldn’t have ran into any of these problems. http://tinyclr.com/support/ and there you will see “My First Project”

Bitmap, graphics, full networking requires tons of RAM and so it can’t be implemented on a single chip, especially JPEG decoding. Take a look here at “Graphics” http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/compare/


#3

This is a very common newbie mistake, it is mentioned in the very first paragraph in the ‘Getting Started’ section of the ‘Beginners’ guide and there used to be big flashing notices everywhere on this website but that did not seem to help either.

That does not sound right.

Usually when we get new stuff we get so excited that it is easy to forget to read through the instructions before diving in. Following the tutorials step-by-step is the best route to success. I noticed this with some university students working with FEZ boards, when they did not follow the directions at first they had some troubles.

There is not enough RAM on the processor to support bitmaps. If you are using the FEZ Touch screen there is a utility program included that converts an image to a file that can be included as a resource in your project. This lets you use flash to hold the images instead of RAM.


#4

Regarding the Firmware flashing - yes I see it on page 5 of the guide. I also saw another warning when I started this thread “The #1 mistake is not having latest firmware. Learn how to update the firmware.”. This must be a pretty common complaint. Sorry for bringing it up.

I’m also probably mistaken about the SDK folder issue I had. Must have been something else.

I see the source code for loading a modified image file from flash but I’m not sure how many images you can get on there. Looks like the SD may be the way to go here but even then it may require a multi-step process.

Thanks again.


#5

You could pull an image (in a simple array format) from an SD card but this will take up RAM. Saving the images as resources uses flash memory. Neither method is perfect for every use case, but you could use a combination of both if you need to.


#6

When the bitmap resource is loaded, so that it can be used in the application, is it still referenced from Flash or is a copy loaded into RAM?


#7

I bet no one knows the answer for this one but I do :slight_smile: It is references if it is BMP but copied if it is JPEG/GIF


#8

Thanks Gus for a quick response. Why is there a difference? Where can I read more details about this for other resource types?


#9

I know this and I have no idea where this info came from! But this is very smart from the NETMF team.