All posts by kaytat

SPP server for Windows

I have posted a simple protocol server for Windows on GitHub:

There is more technical info in the README of that project.

The server will probably require a little configuration from the user.   The reason is the WSAPI loopback used for capture does not allow for programmatically changing the sampling rate.  Since the SPP player requires a certain format, the user will  have to set the properties of the playback device to match.

Here are the steps to do so for a Win7 machine.  First open up the “Playback devices” from the system tray.



Choose the “Properties” button of the sound card being used:



Choose the format the best fits SPP.  SPP defaults to 16bit 44.1kHz, but it will also support 16bit 48kHz.



A corresponding update to SPP has been posted on the Play Store that adds an option to choose either 44.1kHz or 48kHz for the sampling rate.

New raspbmc

I had the auto-update for raspbmc turned off so I decided to update.  The UI performs much better with this version.  I did have some more remote issues.  The “back” button and “i/more” button on the remote didn’t work anymore.

The fix was to update the XML files related to the remote.

First .xbmc/userdata/Lircmap.xml

  <remote device="devinput">

And then .xbmc/userdata/keymaps/keyboard.xml


This maps:

  • left arrow/back to back
  • i/more to info
  • asterisk to the context menu
  • play/pause works as expected

Starting a new X session

I like the idea of virtual desktops and it’s a nice tool, but what I really wanted to do was to start a completely separate X session on my Ubuntu box.  A bit of googling suggested that I create a separate user account (so that the two X sessions don’t conflict with eachother) and that I run the X session on a different terminal from where the X session was launched.

So I did that.  I created a test account, hit CONTROL-ALT-F4 to get to the terminal, logged in with my newly created account, and ran this command to start the new X session:

startx /usr/bin/gnome-session -- :1 vt5

And that seemed to go fine but all that gave me was this blank Ubuntu screen on terminal 5:


So close, yet so far.  After playing around, I found that to start the whole Unity experience, I needed to enable the Unity plugin in compiz.  So, I hit CONTROL-ALT-T to bring up a terminal:


And from the command prompt ran:

ccsm &

And then clicked the check box next to “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”:

Nice.  The gnome session fallback is easier to setup since that doesn’t use compiz and the whole UI starts immediately:

startx /usr/bin/gnome-session-fallback -- :1 vt5


Raspbmc and HDMI audio

I found recently that I didn’t hear any audio from HDMI.  Googling revealed this:

Following those tips, I ssh’ed into the rpi and did this:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

And added this at the end:


Then hit control-o to write out the file, control-x to exit, and reboot.

I remember having done this before and I realized my previous change was probably overwritten by a recent auto-update. So just in case, I disabled the auto-update feature from “Programs->Raspbmc Settings”.

Raspbmc and the remote – round 3

Another update, another battle with the remote.


I did all the usual stuff, as mentioned in the previous posts.


Looking at the logs, it turns out all this module stuff is already built into the most recent kernel. I even see the tell-tale “fixing aureal” message in dmesg. I added the changes to /etc/rc.local, but no success. Only the mouse worked.

After a bunch of trial and error, I think there’s some sort of conflict between lirc and eventlirc. Only after I started killing a bunch of lircd processes did the remote start sputtering to life.

My fix right now? Yet another “what am I doing?” hack. Here it goes.  Start from a fresh build/image.

ssh into your raspberry pi using putty

# sudo nano /lib/udev/lircd_helper

This will bring up an editor. Skip the first bunch of lines that start with #.
Right before you see

logger -t "lircd_helper" ACTION ${ACTION}

add the following

# I don't know why this works.  It just does.
logger -t "lircd_helper" Crash and burn.
exit 1;

logger -t "lircd_helper" ACTION ${ACTION}

To exit, the editor, hit control-o (to write the file) and then control-x to exit. And reboot.  No custom kernel.  No downloading headers.  None of that.  Just a hack to stop lircd from running.

All this does is prevent lircd from running. This seems to allow eventlircd to run. Which seems to be the key.

This is how I feel:


 … a little bit Pacquiou and a little bit Marquez …

Raspbmc – RC5

RC5 is out so I tried it, hoping that with the kernel headers, the addition of the module would be easier.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure what they mean by “kernel headers available” but I was unable to see any headers when I installed the new version.

To get the remote working again, I had redo the same steps as before.  Luckily my Ubuntu box had all the stuff left over from before so it was really quick.

Actually, the only additional change was just before running the make menuconfig command, I made sure I had the proper kernel config.

So on my Ubuntu box, assuming the “chroot” had already been run:

cd /
scp pi@ .
cd /raspberrypi-linux-*
zcat ../config.gz > .config

The kernel configuration is stored in config.gz, but it’s compressed. zcat uncompresses it.

Just need to change the IP address for your rpi.

Also, I found that the remote control would sometimes not respond and looking at the logs, I found that this fix wasn’t working. Adding a delay in rc.local seems to help:

# Sleep for a little bit ... seems to help
/usr/bin/logger rc.local sleeping for 5 seconds 
/bin/sleep 5
/usr/bin/logger rc.local sleeping done

# module magic stuff
/sbin/rmmod usbhid || true
/sbin/modprobe hid-aureal || true
/sbin/modprobe usbhid || true

The logger should put messages in /var/log/syslog on the rpi.