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[Lcdproc] lcd-nut patches offered; made to work with NUT v2


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  • From: tronic163 AT evilphb.org (Dan Foster)
  • Subject: [Lcdproc] lcd-nut patches offered; made to work with NUT v2
  • Date: Sat Mar 18 08:24:02 2006

NUT is the network-based UPS status data reporting and monitoring
utility. lcd-nut basically fetches data from NUT and dumps it to the
LCD, nicely formatted and all.

Just as a heads-up:

I've taken Wayne, Flavio, and Kit's excellent work (lcd-nut, perl-LCDd,
and UPS::Nut, respectively) and modified them to work with NUT v2, along
with lcdproc (and William/Scott/others' work).

The existing lcd-nut and UPS::Nut code base was already decent, but was
NUT v1 API-only. NUT introduced major API changes that were enforced
starting with version 2.0.0.

I had my new CrystalFontz 634XE working great with all this stuff within
about 24 hours of receiving it, after some lcd-nut/UPS::Nut hacking.

Right now, the LCD is flipping between 'lcdproc K' mode and the lcd-nut
UPS information mode every 4-6 seconds, to hopefully ward off serious
LCD screen burn-in. Looks great, too!

I've got this combination working: APC Back-UPS Pro 650, NUT 2.0.0,
lcd-nut 0.10 + my patch, perl-LCDd 0.03, UPS::Nut 0.04 + my patch,
lcdproc 0.4.5 and Linux kernel 2.6.15.

A friend with a CFontz 635 got it working with whatever his UPSes are,
NUT 2.0.0, lcd-nut 0.10 + my patch, perl-LCDd 0.03, UPS::Nut 0.04 + my
patch, lcdproc from CVS as of yesterday, and Linux kernel 2.6.16.

The only weird issue he is seeing is that he was unable to get 'lcdproc
K' and lcd-nut to coexist with it flipping between the two every 4-6
seconds as desired. He can only get one of the two to run at a time.

The only real significant difference is that I am running lcdproc 0.4.5
and he is running lcdproc with yesterday's CVS code.

He thinks it may be related to priority-related changes in some way, in
lcdproc. We are continuing to debug this issue; mostly just waiting on
him to find some free time to poke further at it.

He had to run with the cvs tree to get the 635 driver support, so that's
why he isn't using 0.4.5. No big deal, should probably be reasonably
simple to work around this issue, I think.

I'd prefer to release a single version of the patches integrated with
any mods he makes, once we've looked at it further. So I'm just
mentioning my mods and recent success, because this is a pretty handy
tool! I'll send the URL to the patches once finalized.

Much appreciated to the original authors' work, including Wayne, and
also for him hosting the source trees at his webbastards.com site, along
with the great lcdproc stuff.

I don't mean to knock any other LCD vendor; they're all good guys, but
wanted to single out CrystalFontz for extra praise for going the
distance to make good stuff and support the open source community, too,
with hardware datasheet, driver contribution, offering Linux and Windows
tools, stuff that works well, etc. The other mfrs' LCD screens do look
nice.

My lcd-nut related patches basically ripped out NUT v1 API support and
put in NUT v2 API support, simply because I don't have NUT v1 handy.

So there's some integration work for Wayne iff he chooses to integrate
my patches, but wasn't really too many changes, because it was already
reasonably well written.

I also made local Gentoo overlay ebuilds for perl-LCDd, UPS::Nut, and
lcd-nut, since they don't already exist in Portage. I'd probably have to
make a customized lcdproc ebuild to package a particular CVS snapshot.
Integrated fine with my setup via a Portage overlay.

Local overlay ebuild means that they aren't in the official Gentoo
Portage tree, but can be trivially set up 'separate' from Portage in a
way that neither clashes.

It's trivial. One-time edit of /etc/make.conf and untar'ing my tarball
is all that is required.)

Should be easy to make equivalents with RPM, APT, etc., but I don't have
these platforms or recent experience in package creation with these.

My two patches alone are about 10K; my Gentoo ebuilds + tarballs are
about 70K? Nothing big.

I use IRC a bunch (and have for about 15 years), including various
freenode channels so maybe I'll drop by #LCDproc sometime.

I'm planning on getting a small SBC (single board computer) with at
least one USB port so I can plug in a CFontz 634XE or CFontz 635 LCD
display, then plug the SBC into the UPS.

And I'd nail the LCD display to my wooden backboard on the wall, right
above the network connection, so it's easy to visually monitor status.

That way, I will have constant status display of remaining battery power
even when running off UPS battery, instead of having to plug my
power-hungry and non-critical Pentium 4 desktop into the UPS.

I'm looking at either a WRAP or a Soekris SBC system. Looks nice.

lcdproc and the other tools are the perfect and ultimate tools to
integrate various bits of data and present it in a meaningful and
useful way!

-Dan




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