Softbank Robotics Choregraphe Software Incompatible With Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina

Update: Softbank Robotics support confirmed that this is a problem and their recommendation is just a workaround. They told me to use a virtual machine with Ubuntu. Sigh. (18 November 2020)

It was time again to get my hands onto our Nao robots and since I just had received a new Mac laptop I took the opportunity to download the latest version of Softbank Robotics/Aldebaran’s Choregraphe software (version 2.8.6.23).  It turns out that the newest version is incompatible with the latest version of Mac OS X (10.15.7 Catalina). It cannot be installed.

Here is what happens. You can download only the newest version of the various software packages from the new Softbank Robotics website. If you need an older version then you are out of luck since the links to old Aldebaran website are simply broken. You only get the information that the community website has been discontinued.

But okay, lets try the latest greatest. Mac OS X has a security feature called Gatekeeper to only allow the execution of that prevents the execution of any program by unidentified developers. You will get an errors message:

““choregraphe-suite-2.8.6.23-mac64-setup” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified.”You need to click on “Cancel”. Normally you would now go to your security settings and allow this app to open anyway at the bottom of the windows:

This will then fire up the installer app again. And you get another warning message:

“macOS cannot verify the developer of “choregraphe-suite-2.8.6.23-mac64-setup”. Are you sure you want to open it?”

You can now click on “Open”, which should start the installer app. Instead the installer quits and never progresses. You could then try to bring back the option in Mac OS X to allow apps from any developer by using a little bit of Terminal magic:

sudo spctl --master-disable

After a reboot you can try your luck again opening the installer and you get this error message:

““choregraphe-suite-2.8.6.23-mac64-setup” is an app downloaded from the internet. Are you sure you want to open it?”

After clicking “Open” the installer quits again and you are unable to install Choregraphe. Notice that the error messages points again at the discontinued Aldebaran community.

Dear Softbank Robotics, it seems like your software needs some updates and your support website seems also in desperate need for some updates. Please, we paid thousands of dollars for your robots, don’t let them die like this.

Does anybody have a solution for this problem? Does anybody have an older version of Choregraphe available? Maybe we need to setup our own download archive to be able to maintain our robot buddies.

New LEGO Color Guide Published

I am proud to announce that the fourth edition of the Unofficial LEGO Color Guide is now available. The printed book is available as a paperback and hardcover from Amazon and other resellers. An eBook (PDF) is available from Lulu. The paper printing process has a limited color space and hence I recommend the PDF if you need to have best possible representation. Head over to Minifigure.org for more details on the book.

New artwork for LEGO 18836pb04 shield

A drawing of the 18836pb04 LEGO shield.

The LEGO Classic Castle shield 18836pb04 is part of the collectible Minifigures series. Time to create a new drawing of the artwork. I have to find a way how to incorporate this new shield in my previous poster and t-shirt.

18836pb04-lego-shield

Keyboard Mapping of C64/VIC-20 on Raspbian

Keyboard mapping of the C64 Maxi keyboard.

After I integrated a Raspberry Pi 4 into a C64 Maxi, I wanted to start actually using it. Once I got my fingers onto the keyboard I realised that what is printed on the keys is not what would appear on the screen. Here is what is printed on the keys:

The layout of the C64 keyboard does not follow the ANSI standard. It even has some keys that related back to programming in BASIC, such as RESTORE and RUN STOP. Here is what a typical 60% keyboard would look like:

The difference between the two is market here:

Some keys produce the expected result while other have a very different function. Here is what the actual input is when you press the keys in Raspbian using the ANSI 104 (US) keyboard layout in the settings:

It would be great if there was an easy way to re-map the keys but this would require a little bit of work on the command line and in several configuration files. Still, it would be great to have an actual Cursor UP and Cursor LEFT key. I will look into this.

LEGO Brick Dimensions and Measurements

The LEGO bricks are precisely designed to fit perfectly together. There is a 0.2mm gap between bricks next to each other. The gap between two bricks stacked on top of each depends on how careful to pressed them down. Of course there are several websites that show you the exact measurements, but some of them were a bit confusing or even broken.

LEGO 2×4 Brick (3001)

I enjoy working in 3D so I used Fusion 360 to create this technical drawing of the LEGO Brick. You can download the model over at GrabCAD and the PDF file from here.

lego-2×4-brick-dimensions-measurements-3001

LEGO 2×4 Plate (3020)

This plate is 1/3 of the height of a normal brick. You can download the model at GrabCAD and the the PDF file from here.

lego-2×4-plate-dimensions-measurements-3020

LEGO 1×4 Technic Brick (3701)

The technic bricks have a hole in the side for pin connectors or axles to go through. I had to cut open a brick to get the exact design of the inside tubes right. The model is available at GrabCAD and the PDF file from here.

lego-1×4-technic-brick-dimensions-measurements-3701