1/28/2013

The world's first computer art?

The year is 1956. You are a mainframe programmer writing software for a U.S. military computer. You have the opportunity to create the first art to be displayed on a computer screen. What would you draw?

I love nature, so I'd probably choose a tree or a flower or a mountain — something that would be seen as a universal symbol of beauty. As it turns out, the programmer who created the first computer art chose a somewhat different form of beauty: a pin-up girl.

I kid you not.

You can read the entire story on the Atlantic website.

1/23/2013

Prefer your whitepapers in German? Have I got a link for you

Germany has long been a strong market for QNX technology, particularly in the industrial, medical, and automotive sectors. Consider, for example, the many cars from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche that ship with QNX technology on board.

It's no surprise, then, we've been redoubling our efforts to publish our latest technical whitepapers in German. So if you sprechen sie Deutsch (I hope I said that right) better than you speak English, I invite you to visit the German section of our whitepapers page.

Papers include:

  • Wann genau benötigt man ein Echtzeitbetriebssystem?
  • Funktionale Sicherheit komplexer Software-Systeme – Teil 1
  • HTML5 – die Zukunft des In-Car Infotainment?

    For the full list of papers, click here.

  • 1/16/2013

    New wallpaper for your BlackBerry PlayBook — QNX concept car 2013

    Our good friend (and ace graphics designer) Michael Ball took some excellent photos of the new QNX technology concept car, just before it was shipped to 2013 CES. I thought this photo looked especially cool when displayed on my PlayBook tablet, so I converted it into a wallpaper that you can download from my Flickr page:



    To download the wallpaper to your PlayBook:
    1. Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulleroux
    2. Tap the wallpaper.
    3. A larger image will appear. Tap Actions, then tap View all sizes.
    4. An even larger image will appear! Tap Download the Large size of this photo.
    5. Your PlayBook will ask you to enter a file name. Type something meaningful, such as concept_car_wallpaper.jpg, and tap Save.
    6. From the PlayBook home screen, tap Pictures, then tap Downloads.
    7. Tap the wallpaper you want, swipe from the top of the screen and tap Set as Wallpaper.

      You're done!

    Using Crank Storyboard to create an automotive user interface

    Just how adept is the QNX CAR application platform at supporting a variety of user interface technologies and toolkits?

    From the beginning, we've promoted flexibility as a key quality of the QNX CAR application platform. For instance, the platform lets you work with a variety of user interface technologies, including HTML5, Qt, OpenGL ES, and others. What's more, it lets you blend UI components built with different technologies on the same display, at the same time. You're not forced into using a single API or toolkit.

    When it came time to build our new technology concept car, we decided to put this flexibility to the test. After all, the whole point of the concept car is to demonstrate the capabilities of the QNX CAR platform. So, for the first time, we tried building a user interface with the Storyboard Suite from Crank Software.

    How well did the QNX CAR platform and Storyboard work together? I think the results speak for themselves. For instance:



    Of course, this photo can't demonstrate the smooth animations and snappy performance of the car's user interface. For that, I recommend one of the videos shot at CES, including the excellent video from TI.

    So why did we choose Storyboard? For one thing, it allowed our concept team to take UI components created in Photoshop and import them directly into their live design. Rather than spend days or weeks recreating the UI in code, the team's engineers were able to start with what the UI designer provided. Which made prototyping and fine-tuning the UI a lot easier.

    Mind you, that wasn't the only reason the team used StoryBoard. But instead of listening to me blather about it, check out this video:



    Key takeaway: If you're building a UI for your QNX-based system, you owe it to yourself to check out Crank's Storyboard Suite. You can learn more on the Crank website.

    1/15/2013

    Missed the latest QNX Source newsletter? No worries!

    If you follow this blog, you may have noticed that I encourage everyone to sign up for the QNX Source newsletter. It is, in my humble opinion, the best way to keep tabs on the latest QNX videos, press releases, products, software updates, webinars, and whitepapers. (Mind you, I write the newsletter, so perhaps I'm not so humble after all. :)

    Seriously, though, I encourage you to subscribe today. If you want to know what you're missing — or if you missed a recent edition — no problem. We're now archiving past issues on the QNX website.

    Just click here to visit the newsletter archive, and you can catch up on a whole years' worth of news. (You'll notice that we didn't issue a newsletter in December — but believe me, January will be a doozy.)

    1/14/2013

    Evaluation software for EtherCAT "PLC in a box" now available for download

    In August, I introduced you to a brand new PLC reference platform created by Freescale, IsaGRAF, KPA, and QNX Software Systems. The purpose of the platform is simple: to provide a pre-integrated solution that can significantly reduce the time and cost of developing PLCs and other industrial systems.

    Good news is, the software stack for the platform is now available for download. Here's what you get:

    • ISaGRAF PLC firmware
    • ISaGRAF 6 workbench for IEC 61499 and IEC 61131-3 standard PLC programming languages
    • KPA EtherCAT master stack
    • KPA EtherCAT Studio
    • QNX Neutrino RTOS for the Freescale QorIQ P1025 tower module

    To download the platform software, visit the QNX website — you'll need to set up a MyQNX account, if you haven't already. To run the platform software, you'll need a Freescale P1025 tower module, target slaves, and some software utilities. To learn how to obtain these components, visit the Freescale website.

    1/11/2013

    QNX at 2013 CES: The media's take

    The show ain't over yet, but already, media coverage of the QNX concept car at 2013 CES is pouring in faster than my modest brain can handle. I'm still catching up, but here, in no particular order, are my favorite stories so far.

    I'd love to hear what you think of what the media is saying. So before you go, let me know!







    Car Design NewsQNX Car 2 at CES 2013 (video)







    TechnoBuffalo — Chevy, Ford, and QNX at CES 2013 (video)






    That's it for now. I aim to post some more stories and videos early next week. Stay tuned.

    This post originally appeared on the QNX auto blog.

    1/10/2013

    QNX-powered Chevy Mylink drives home with Best of CES award

    Congratulations to the infotainment team at Chevrolet! Their next-generation Chevy MyLink system has just won a Best of CES award, in the car tech category. The competition judges were particularly impressed with MyLink's user interface and integration with the car's instrument cluster.

    The MyLink system was one of two QNX-powered finalists in this year's competition; the other was Garmin's K2 infotainment platform.

    Chevy plans to roll out the new version of MyLink later this year.

    This post originally appeared on the QNX auto blog.

    Two QNX customers, Chevrolet and Garmin, shortlisted for 2013 Best of CES awards

    Who doesn't love to win an award? Last year, for example, we were absolutely thrilled that our QNX CAR application platform drove home with a Best of CES award. Heck, I'm still excited!

    But here's the thing. All of the products and services that QNX offers are designed with one goal in mind: to make our customers successful. The more our customers succeed, the more QNX succeeds. Which is why I am doubly excited today. Because not one, but two customers have nabbed finalist spots at this year's Best of CES awards for their QNX-based products: Chevrolet for its second-generation MyLink system, and Garmin for its K2 infotainment platform.

    Congratulations to our friends at Chevrolet and Garmin — I'll be rooting for all of you!

    The winners of this year's Best of CES awards will be announced today, at 11 am PT.

    This post originally appeared on the QNX auto blog.

    1/09/2013

    Now on YouTube! First video of QNX technology concept car

    Yesterday, some friends from Texas Instruments dropped by our CES booth for a demo of the new QNX concept car. The cameras were rolling, and here's what they caught.

    Mark Rigley, head of the QNX concept team, did a fantastic job of guiding TI's Michael Guillory through the car's many features, including the gorgeous HD display powered by TI DLP technology and by a TI OMAP 5 processor. Check it out:



    My favorite part? The exceedingly cool video conferencing. What's yours?

    This post originally appeared on the QNX auto blog.

    1/08/2013

    QNX unveils brand new concept car (hint: it's a Bentley)

    If you haven't visited the QNX auto blog today, you've been missing all the action. This morning, QNX Software Systems took the wraps off a new technology concept car, based on a specially modified — and drop-dead gorgeous — Bentley Continental GT.

    Here's an example of what you've been missing:



    I've posted many other images on the QNX auto blog, along with guided tour of the car's many features. So what are you waiting for? Check it out.