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Thread: I am testing multi-zone and.....

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    I am testing multi-zone and.....

    Just an observation/theory. I have a full two zones in the car and the 3rd should be complete this summer. I am playing with / testing version 0.9

    I have noticed (and possibly mentioned in the forum elsewhere a while ago) that there are some issues with assigning inputs to zones.

    I just started browsing the SVN sources so cannot validate my "theory" yet, however...

    I think that input device naming may be the issue. I noticed that, in the zone settings screen, if there is more than one identical input device name it only shows once in the list. My thought is that somehow identical text names are being condensed such that only unique names are used. It might explain why I notice issues with assigning devices.

    This issue may carry on to audio zones as well. I had added two identical USB headsets which generate identical device text descriptions and had issue trying to set them up as different zones. Enough issue that I could not do it successfully. I resorted to buying another different headset and could see two different zones.

    These are just observations. And my "thinking" may be out-of-whack, it's just based on other coding experience.

    Cheers,
    John
    Last edited by jmullan99; 05-13-2011 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention version.
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  2. #2
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Hope you don't hate my answer, but I would just give up on the built in MZ feature. It doesn't seem to work right in any front end because of all the hardware variation and limitations with software.

    Upon testing, using touch screens on all zones is tedious. There is only one pointer and all zones have to share it. There are other things like keyboard and joystick assignments and what not, which are also limitations.

    In the end, the best thing to do is run something like VirtualBox and have virtual machines. You have a fairly upgradeable board, so I would bump up you processor and ram. Put a quad core in and make the system 4 GB instead of 2. That way each of the rear zones get a processor core and 1GB of ram each. Then the main zone (your zone) gets 2 processor cores and 2GB of ram. Whats nice about VirtualBox is that you can tell what USB device goes to what screen, in fact you can do it with any hardware that is connected to the machine. So far I have been playing with 2 zones on my setup and it works fairly good. Setting up a VM is so simple too. You install VirtualBox, install the OS inside of it. Program what hardware goes to what, and have fun. i am able to set a sound card, keyboard, touchscreen per OS with no issues. i would look into it if I were you. You may be able to get away with running all 3 zones on a dual core setup (make you main zone 1 processor core, then have the rear zones share one), but you will most def have to upgrade to 4GB of ram.
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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Ha ha. No. I don't hate your answer. In fact, it sounds like something I would like to experiment with. I know a guy with VMWare and we could make up some VMs to use.

    The only issue I see is if there would be shared hardware. Like GPS maybe. But a port sharing utility on the host OS might work.

    John
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    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmullan99 View Post
    Ha ha. No. I don't hate your answer. In fact, it sounds like something I would like to experiment with. I know a guy with VMWare and we could make up some VMs to use.

    The only issue I see is if there would be shared hardware. Like GPS maybe. But a port sharing utility on the host OS might work.

    John
    I tried VMware and for a Car PC environment, it sucks. VMplayer is a bit better as far as Car PC use. VirtualBox though is perfect. Its easy to use with automatically scaling virtual HDD. Also its easy to assign hardware to each PC. Setting up what screen what OS shows up on is also easier with VirtualBox. With VMplayer its so bloated, hard to set stuff to reliably because every time you restart the PC, all the USB and hardware settings for that VM get reset to zero.

    As far as GPS and sharing, I don't think its doable. Remember, a virtual machine acts as its own equipment. As far as its concerned its on its own hardware. I tried to do sharing and the results where nasty, and thats with a touchscreen, so imagine a GPS thats always sending data. Why do rear zones need GPS? if anything, buy a second GPS and assign it to the rear zone. That will eliminate all headaches.

    If your friend knows VMware, then tell him you want to experiment with VirtualBox. Number one, its free. Number two, if he knows confusing VMware, then VirtualBox will be so simple for him, it was even simple for me and I'm bad at this stuff.

    One other thing I want to mention is that make sure you have enough HDD space. On my setup, I decided to use 10GB per zone. If you plan to have your zones feature rich though, then I would bump it up to maybe 20GB per zone. My MZ setup though is only for video, internet, music, and thats about it. All the media for all zone, in fact all systems in the car, come from a USB media drive.
    Last edited by HiJackZX1; 05-13-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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    Maximum Bitrate Borte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmullan99 View Post
    I think that input device naming may be the issue. I noticed that, in the zone settings screen, if there is more than one identical input device name it only shows once in the list. My thought is that somehow identical text names are being condensed such that only unique names are used. It might explain why I notice issues with assigning devices.
    I corrected a bug in the code last week (but hasn't commited it yet) that prevented multiple devices from showing up in the multizone setup. I tested with two mice's and two keyboards on my computer and it worked fine. All my different audio units showed up also.

    Be aware though that if you're runnning fullscreen with multiple screens and only one input source then all screens will react to the same input. In other words the same click will happen on all screens. So testing fullscreen with multiple monitors requires multiple input sources to behave correctly. Running windowed works just fine though.



    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    Upon testing, using touch screens on all zones is tedious. There is only one pointer and all zones have to share it. There are other things like keyboard and joystick assignments and what not, which are also limitations.
    This is not completely true. The multizone setup in OM works with concurrent touch on multiple monitors. That's the purpose of the input source mapping to each screen. No it does not give you multiple cursors (limitation of windows) but it does give multiple mouse/keyboard with concurrent usage. As far as I know OM is the only frontend to pull this off.
    Last edited by Borte; 05-14-2011 at 07:07 AM.
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    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borte View Post
    I corrected a bug in the code last week (but hasn't commited it yet) that prevented multiple devices from showing up in the multizone setup. I tested with two mice's and two keyboards on my computer and it worked fine. All my different audio units showed up also.
    Good news indeed. I can't wait to try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borte View Post
    Be aware though that if you're runnning fullscreen with multiple screens and only one input source then all screens will react to the same input. In other words the same click will happen on all screens. So testing fullscreen with multiple monitors requires multiple input sources to behave correctly. Running windowed works just fine though.
    Indeed I had noticed that behaviour. I leave both zones windowed for the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borte View Post
    This is not completely true. The multizone setup in OM works with concurrent touch on multiple monitors. That's the purpose of the input source mapping to each screen. No it does not give you multiple cursors (limitation of windows) but it does give multiple mouse/keyboard with concurrent usage. As far as I know OM is the only frontend to pull this off.
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  7. #7
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Oh wow that's cool. When will OM sort out GUI stuff. That's what's keeping me from using it right now. Also MZ did not work for me, but I think its because 5 of the displays are on USB to VGA adapters.
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  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Borte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    When will OM sort out GUI stuff.
    What do you mean? When OM will get a better looking default skin? Is that what you meant?
    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    Also MZ did not work for me, but I think its because 5 of the displays are on USB to VGA adapters.
    MZ with screens including usb to vga works fine for me. And I'm also running 5 displays on my dev computer, I don't have 5 soundcards or 5 keyboards but 5 screens, 2 keyboards and 2 mice worked fine.
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  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Wow. I was going to note that I have one direct DVI and one USB DVI in the car and no problem with driving both at the same time, even with two movies running.

    But your dev setup trumps me!

    Cheers
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  10. #10
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borte View Post
    What do you mean? When OM will get a better looking default skin? Is that what you meant?MZ with screens including usb to vga works fine for me. And I'm also running 5 displays on my dev computer, I don't have 5 soundcards or 5 keyboards but 5 screens, 2 keyboards and 2 mice worked fine.
    Yes, sorry for not being clear. Yes the the skin. i dont know why, but the default skin just does not do it for me.

    Wonder what could be going on with mine then. I think im going to have to wait till I get the final MZ system built. Then I can really test the way I want to.

    ---------- Post added at 01:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by jmullan99 View Post
    Wow. I was going to note that I have one direct DVI and one USB DVI in the car and no problem with driving both at the same time, even with two movies running.

    But your dev setup trumps me!

    Cheers
    What USB>VGA adapter are you guys using?
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