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Old 02-16-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
KevinShort
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Python/Pygame successfully running on Kobo Touch

I recently managed to get python and the pygame module working on my Kobo Touch.
So I whipped up a couple of quick examples, and I put them, along with python and
pygame, in a KoboRoot.tgz file. Here's a download link.

Install it by extracting the zip file and copying the KoboRoot.tgz file to the .kobo
folder on your Touch. Now telnet into your Touch and run:
Code:
ln -s /mnt/onboard/.python/bin/python /usr/bin/python
To start the examples, just do:
Code:
python menu.py
Pressing the Kobo's home button when running an example will take you back
to the example menu. In pong, the power switch will flash the screen.

As would be expected, pygame has a couple of problems on the Kobo.
  • Sometimes pygame will hang when trying to start its display. When this happens,
    pressing CTRL+C seems to snap it back into action.
  • The refresh rate of the e-ink is pretty bad. I know it can do better, the web browser
    can display black-and-white animated GIFs quite well in partial-refresh mode.

You'll most likely want to stop the Kobo's graphical application, Nickel, before you
start the pygame examples. You can do so with:
Code:
killall nickel
Please note that when you want nickel to start running again, you'll have to press
the small reset button on the back of the Touch, or run the command:
Code:
reboot
How it was done
I compiled python and pygame on a virtual debian arm machine,
and I then copied python and the necessary lib*.so files to my Kobo. Quite easy.
Here are the tutorials I followed to setup a virtual debian arm machine.
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Last edited by KevinShort; 03-19-2012 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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Very good news.
I'll try it this weekend.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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After a bit of work, I've gotten a Tetris clone running on my Kobo Touch!
Here's a video

Also, pygame should now be able to load all image formats normally supported,
not just .bmp files. You can download the updated pygame here. Install by
copying KoboRoot.tgz to the .kobo folder on your touch. Tetris is installed in the
directory "/mnt/onboard/.python/"

Last edited by KevinShort; 03-19-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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That's very impressive!
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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Really cool, I just tried it and considering that it's an E-Ink display it works really well. Also, I'm surprised that pygame runs that fast.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
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Hi,

I had a dream that one day ... ah- and KevinShort could combine theirs efforts so that the games could be started without having to telnet the Kobo.

It would be great .
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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Thanks to ah-'s work, I was able to create a "book" that started the games,
but there is a big problem. If pygame is started while nickel is running,
pygame will wait forever until I press CTRL+C. The holdup is caused by
SDL (which pygame uses) calling the ioctl VT_WAITACTIVE. But if I start
pygame through a "book", I have no way to press CTRL+C, so the Touch
just freezes. You can read a few more details here.

Last edited by KevinShort; 04-02-2012 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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I figured out how to restart nickel without rebooting the Touch, so Tetris can now
be started from the Kobo's home menu using ah-'s plugin interface!
The plugin, with an updated version of Tetris, can be downloaded here.
Extract the file and copy KoboRoot.tgz to the .kobo directory on your Touch.
You must open the library once to start the plugin.

Pressing the home button or pulling the power switch will end the Tetris game
and send you back to the Touch's home screen.

This is HIGHLY experimental, and things might not always work right!

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Last edited by KevinShort; 04-10-2012 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:05 AM   #9
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Kevin, doesn't work for me. No Tetris and no Tweaks. No errors either.
I'm back to the original Tweak...
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:25 AM   #10
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ok for me
install first ah-'s plugin interface
then tetris kobo plugin
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS64 View Post
Kevin, doesn't work for me. No Tetris and no Tweaks. No errors either.
I'm back to the original Tweak...
Which firmware version are you running? Did you get the "Installing" screen
after copying KoboRoot.tgz to your Touch? I just did a factory reset on my
Touch, upgraded to 1.9.17, and then installed my Tetris plugin with no problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quek1982
ok for me
install first ah-'s plugin interface
then tetris kobo plugin
Installing ah-'s plugin interface first shouldn't be necessary, since my plugin will
just overwrite ah-'s.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #12
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I tried it again, it did not work. I saw the installing screen, but after that my before installed tweaks were gone but nothing new, no tweaks, no tetris.
Firmware is 1.9.17 with telnet enabled.
Installing the "normal" tweaks works fine.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #13
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Amazing work, I am impressed. However the Tetris is not the ideal game for e-ink display. I hope you are going to port another games :-). I would really like to see puzzle games in it - a sokoban game for example.
Another interesting application would be a gamebook-player. I have created html versions of some of my childhood-favorite Fighting Fantasy books, converted them to epub, it is really fun to replay those books nearly 30 years later on my Kobo - and tapping a link is much more comfortable than turning pages several times a minute. However the pen-and-paper statistics and a dice are still mandatory to enjoy them: these could be replaced by a python app...
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:51 AM   #14
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hello.
to get it works i needed to:
1-factory reset the kobo
2-upgrade to 1.9.17 firmware
3-install lastest tweaked interface
4-install tetris.

it's realy works great for an e-ink reader.
i would be great to add more game adapted to e-ink (chess game, go game, reverso, sokoban, all puzzle like ^^)

thanks for your works !
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #15
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I don't know if it's related to my hacking, but since after turning my Touch off yesterday
it has refused to turn back on. The only feedback I get from it is a green light when I plug
it into my computer. I had the same problem the day after I first bought my Touch, but it
eventually turned on after I let it charge for awhile. I'm not sure what to think.
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