Monday Feb 08, 2010

Creating a kiosk app with JavaFX, Sun Ray, Solaris and yeah some middleware...

I set out to see how easy or doable it would be to create a kiosk system that could be used in a Minority Report type of display. Let me state this experiment is in its very very non-Minority Report stage. The first stage of this experiment was simply to create a display mechanism that could be used to broadcast images using Thin Client technology.

So I chose to create a JavaFX application that would talk to Rest based server I set up. Using JSON the JavaFX application would retrieve data to display on the thin client screen. Not to taxing but a good learning experiment.

So what did I learn. JavaFX is a great mechanism for doing this type of display. Sun Ray is a good platform for displaying the information. Note that the as the level of interactivity goes up (aka moving graphics) things can get interesting.

Additionally I learned that a JavaFX application can easily be started from the command line and integrated into a Sun Ray startup script. Hear is my sample script.

#1 /usr/openwin/bin/xset -dpms s off

#2 unclutter -root &

#3 cp /jfx/.javafx_eula_accepted $HOME/.

#4 cp /jfx/.javafx_ping_sent $HOME/.

#4 cd /jfx

#6 javafx -cp JavaFXApplication1.jar javafxapplication1.Main

Not the most complex or proper start script ever written but it got the job done. First thing you will notice is line #1. I used the xset command to disable the power management and screen saver options. This is non starter for a kiosk display. It must never be blank. Also with no mouse or keyboard attached to the Sun Ray you cannot wake it up.

Line 2 is the unclutter command. You can download and compile from Unclutter will hide the cursor if it detects no activity in a given period of time. Sucks seeing that big ole cursor sitting on the screen with no mouse to move it.

Lines 3/4 are needed because the kiosk mode of Sun Ray cleans the user directory (rightfully so) when the session is ends. Well JavaFX will ask the user to accept the usage terms every time it starts and does not find the two files in the users home directory. No keyboard or mouse equal headache.

Finally the line (#6) to start the JavaFX application. Use the properties tab in Netbeans to get the correct name for the Main entry point.

That is it not to bad overall for a simple display. Now to crank it up to see how far it will go before it breaks.

Tuesday Jul 22, 2008

SAMBA almost kicked my butt if not for...

I am now setting up a new demo server. I have always wanted to set up Samba on Solaris for absolutely no good reason. Well I guess since my home network the Mac and PC can share, why not my Solaris boxes. So I set out to prove I could do this. Well I gave up once about 6 months ago. It was not pretty. I was not going to go down easy this time. So I started out following the directions on the Samba site. Not realizing Samba is now included in the 0508 release of Solaris.

After beating my head against the wall for 6 hours I decided to rebuild my box. Actually the automated system update rendered my box in a unusable state and I was forced to rebuild. First time for everything. So now it is 18 hours from when I started. Sun Ray and Secure Global Desktop are installed and working. Have gotten the printer stood up. Now time for Samba once more.

Prior to the rebuild I had followed three sets of instructions, only to lead to failure each time. Now I found these instructions AND followed the three steps. After a quick reboot it worked. I noticed the the Samba server software need to be restarted to pick up changes in shares. You must also mark each share available before it will be seen. I wish I had stumbled upon these instructions about 6 months ago.

Well now everything in the network can share.

Friday Feb 15, 2008

Windows on Solaris x86

So with the recent news that we are joining forces with Innotek on virtualization. I decided to download the beta of VirtualBox for Solaris x86. Wow it is actually installing Windows on Solaris. To be honest I never thought I would see this day. Got it working with NAT. More to come.

Monday May 21, 2007

Widgets for Solaris

Mac has them. Even Vista has them. Now you can have widgets on your Solaris desktop. Glossitope now has a early release of their Java based Widet container. It is available on multiple platforms.

Goto for more inforamtion.

Tuesday May 15, 2007

My dream machine Sun laptop... Hint Hint

If I were to have the dream machine perfect laptop from Sun, I am thinking that I would start with Asus Z84Jp chasis. Of course it would run Solaris 10. I would max the memory out with 4GB of Ram. Yes that is 4GB. I do alot of demos so the memory will come in handy. The only problem I see is that it needs some cardio. As it is kind of portly. It is from the Big and Tall laptop shop. Plus I would swap out that Intel Chip for a Niagra 2. It is the dream machine now :) Some specs... Piano Black Painted Finish Screen: 17" Wide / Glare WSXGA+ (1680x1050) Chipset: Intel 945PM Processor: Core 2 Duo (Merom) up to T7600 (2.33GHz) Memory Support: DDR2 533/667 MHz with max memory to 4GB HDD Support SATA (2.5") Graphics: nVidia 7600 512MB TV Out: S-Video / HDMI Video Out: VGA (regular monitor out) Audio: Azalia Compliant Audio, 4 speakers and one subwoofer, SPDIF LAN: 10/100/1000 - Gigabit Bluetooth Integrated Camera (2.0MP) Ports: 4 USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, 1External SATA Connector, 7-in-1 Memory Card Reader, Exprees Card / PCMCIA slots Weight: 8.8lbs Dimensions: 15 in x 11.3 in x 1.42 - 1.71 in (width x depth x variable height) Optical Drive: DVD-RW Carrying Bag Included

Monday May 07, 2007

Linux vs Solaris

Ian Murdock was the presenter for the Linux vs. Solaris session. Great insigh. He has been brought on board by Sun to make Solaris more compatible with Linux end user. Some of Ian' points... Installation Solaris must support the devices developers use. That would be laptops. Laptops can be the most difficult due to the extreme differences in hardware. User environment The Linux user cannot find their favorite tools like GNU. The start bar is the wrong place. The user environments needs to be more familiar for the Linix user. Compatibility Universes let you select the tools you want to use(ie. GNU tools). Solaris could accomplish this easily with zones. Packaging How to get more stuff. Downloading new applications via apt-get is easy with Linux. Sun needs to bring the same ease to Solaris. One of Linux's biggest minus is backwards compatibility accordling to Ian. Solaris guarantees backwards compatibility.



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