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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] need help with a windows app :(
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Re: [vox-tech] need help with a windows app :(



On Tue, 18 Sep 2001, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

> hello all,
> 
> i'm trying to reverse engineer the protocol for the polaroid pdc 700 digital
> camera (currently unsupported by gphoto).
> 
> i'm using "comlite32" to snoop on the serial port of a windows machine while
> downloading thumbnail images from the camera.  it gets the data, and in
> fact i THINK i may have the init string that this camera uses to identify
> itself to windows applications.
> 
> the problem is comparing saved buffer files.
> 
> * they aren't written as text files, so i can't simply scp them over to a
>   linux box and view them.

scp is perfectly happy with binary files.

> 
> * there doesn't seem to be an "export to text file" option.

Crappy software. :)

> 
> * comlite32 doesn't seem to be able to send its buffer to a printer!

This is windows software? Did you pay for it? If not, did you expect it to
be useful?

> 
> * when i try to compare two saved buffer side by side, it crashes windows
>   with an "illegal operation" error.

Not sure how you are doing this... with views presented by comlite or via
some other method?

> 
> this is exasperating!  comlite was written to reverse engineer serial port
> hardware, but how are you supposed to do this when you can't even compare
> saved buffers to look for common strings?
> 
> the plan is to write a library that gphoto2 can use to access this camera
> (and i also have the polaroid pdc 2300Z which i'll work on next).  but i need
> to understand comlite better, or else get a better tool.
> 
> has anyone used this program?

No.

> has anyone used something similar under windows?

No, but I used a program for DOS a few years back that came with a special
serial cable that allowed me to listen in with a third computer.  That
program had numerous options for saving files.

You could a) wire to /dev/ttyS0 from the Winbox with a null modem and wire
from /dev/ttyS1 to the camera with the camera cable, and use sersniff
(http://www.earth.li/projectpurple/progs/sersniff.html) or equivalent, or
b) borrow the sniffing cable from me if hardware handshaking is a problem
and record the data streams as they go by.  To get synchronization in
option b, you might need to write a program to monitor both serial ports
(or modify sersniff).

Disclaimer: I haven't used sersniff, but it is designed for this problem.

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