New Comvette updates are now available!

Hello,

This has been a very long time coming! I last posted Comvette software updates back in May of 2019. So, I just wanted to let you know that after many updates and improvements I’ve posted the latest version of Comvette!

A number of things have changed in this release:

  • The Comvette GUI received a major facelift in order to make it conform more closely to the early C4 Corvette design aesthetic. Comvette no longer looks like a Windows 95 application grafted into the Corvette dashboard.

  • The Comvette GUI now employs a font (Eurostile) that closely resembles the font used by General Motors on the C4 dashboard instrumentation.

  • The Comvette GUI colors can now be customized by editing the comvette.ini file in the [COLORS] section.

  • The Comvette GUI now remembers the function (FM Radio, Music Player, etc.) that was displayed at shutdown and displays that function again when restarted.

  • The FM Radio GUI now remembers the station that was tuned at shutdown and tunes that station again when restarted.

  • The FM radio module has been completely rewritten and the radio performance is greatly improved.

  • The GPS recorder is now functional. It records GPS data to industry standard .GPX files which can be uploaded to Google Maps or other GPS visualization sites to generate viewable and/or printable records of your travels. It also lets you record way-points so you can make note of interesting things you see along the way.

  • The way video is displayed can be selected from the “Options Menu” (Tap the Corvette logo in the upper left corner of the Comvette application to display the options menu). You can now select “Fill”, “Stretch”, or “Letterbox”. Fill will expand the video image both vertically and horizontally to fill the video display area without altering the video’s aspect ratio. This means the video may be clipped. Stretch will stretch the video image to fill the display area. This means that the video’s aspect ratio may be altered. Letterbox will display the video image within the display area with empty black bars in the unused areas around the video.

  • The “splash” and “shutdown” programs have been removed from the Comvette source code. The “splash” program was just a silly time waster to put something visual onto the screen while Comvette loaded and prepared to run. And the “shutdown” program was incorporated into the Comvette application itself.

  • The Comvette Raspberry Pi image file should be a bit friendlier to first time users as the image now runs on a Raspberry Pi without needing to have any external hardware attached (like the FM radio module or the GPS etc.) This should make it easier to quickly evaluate Comvette if you just want to see it run and play with its basic music and movie player functionality.

  • The Comvette Raspberry Pi image file is now provided as a shrunken image which will expand to fill your Micro-SD card when it is first booted in the same way the stock Raspbian OS image expands to fill your Micro-SD card when it is first booted. This should allow the Comvette image to be easily deployed to various sizes of Micro-SD cards. And it reduces the time required to download the image.

  • I have adopted a Reverse-Hungarian notation convention in Comvette’s source code. Unlike regular Hungarian notation, variables now have their scope and type appended to the end of the variable rather than the beginning. So gintMyVariable (scope=global, type=integer, name=MyVariable) becomes MyVariable_gint (name=MyVariable, scope=global, type=integer) I find that this more helpful than standard hungarian notation because it allows similarly named variables to be grouped together without regard to their scope and type.)

  • The Raspbian Start Menu has been modified to include the Comvette application, the Cataloger application, and the Xojo Remote Debugger.

There are many other changes included in this release and a lot of additional code comments and code clean up. I hope you take the time to download the latest image and let me know what you think.

-Wes

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Comvette can be found here: The Comvette Project

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