Pyra Arrived! First impressions and issues


fritata

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After much delay, my Pyra has arrived! I intend to make a video later, but this will serve as a brief overview of my experience.

Overall, I really like the device hardware and software. mpv, telegram, firefox, and chromium work immediately out of the debian repo. debian and *MATE are a little infuriating to use due to general unfamiliarity, but xfce installed easily albeit with various issues (Manually switching the audio using the xfce pulse-audio plugin from speakers to headphones does not work, screen + keyboard turning off when the lid is closed doesn't work, but likely could be scripted within xfce easily.) The wifi seems fast initially but seems to disconnect or have bad packet loss resulting in a poor or no connection. I have this issue with other embedded type devices in my house and I suspect it's because of something strange with openwrt and my specific router, but I am not certain. Additionally, the audio situation is a little strange. Using the 3.5 mm jack in the back has quite a bit of audio interference from somewhere. Opening windows, scrolling webpages creates audible noise heard through wired headphones, and opening new apps/windows makes the audio stutter. I also disabled the 4g modem to save battery through the right click menu on networkmanager, after which the modem never appeared again, even after reboots.

It's situations like this that make me wish I knew linux troubleshooting better; these issues will take some work to identify and fix.

As for the hardware, the case looks amazing, the keyboard backlight looks noticably uneven and is okay. The dpad/face buttons are great, the L/R and L2/R2 feel amazing, but the nubs feel so-so. As stated elsewhere on the forum, you can't click the nubs down and move them while pressed, otherwise it drops the nub press. Additionally, the touch screen is hard to press near the edges. (Also noted elsewhere) Some screen elements don't respond to touch in *MATE and I don't know why, could be user error. I don't care and will use xfce instead.

Battery life and charging are not optimal. Charging is best done with the device off via micro usb. It it very slow. The kernel governor is set to on-demand rather than powersave by default, so I expect massive gains to be made by simply changing kernel settings myself. (Note that battery life judgements were made with max brightness, max keyboard brightness, bluetooth wifi and 4g on, as well as having a web browser streaming youtube for music). I averaged 2.5-4 hours of battery life.

I hope this post isn't too negative. There is much work to be done.
 
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Askarus

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Use MATE (It's the default I guess. Or did they switch to KDE?)
It has a lot better touch support than XFCE.
And they both feel a lot alike.
I am a long term XFCE user but did stick to MATE on my Pyra prototype as it has far better touch support.
 

fritata

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Use MATE (It's the default I guess. Or did they switch to KDE?)
It has a lot better touch support than XFCE.
And they both feel a lot alike.
I am a long term XFCE user but did stick to MATE on my Pyra prototype as it has far better touch support.
Whoops, you're right, it's MATE not KDE. I find I can't click on some menu options in the MATE menu using the touch screen.
 

levi

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Whoops, you're right, it's MATE not KDE. I find I can't click on some menu options in the MATE menu using the touch screen.
Yes, there is an issue where touch sensitivity round the edge of the screen is less than optimal. You'd be better learning to use the nubs to move around the pointer and click on things.
 

fritata

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Attached a hastily rendered gif of the touch issue. I am not bothered by the edges issue, this is a bit different.
xfceMATE.GIF
 

elw3

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That IS touch support.
An application supporting touch screens differs between touch and mouse, non aware stuff simply uses everything as a mouse.
As mouse a touch screen will always report a click, as a touchscreen it can report two presses or an area for stuff like zooming gestures etc.
So a possible explanation is that the screen is pressed somewhere else, eg the screen frame and mate understands the stylus press not as click but as zoom gesture.
Just a wild theory tho, not having checked this on my own system.

I hope this post isn't too negative. There is much work to be done.
Honest words are always more productive than bumsucking in my opinion.
After all we need to know where problems are before talking about how to correct them.
 

Letalis Sonus

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Don't forget about the pressure curve. The resistive touchscreen reports a range of pressure, if the application itself processes the pressure level it might just have a bad idea about what is still mouse movement and what is already a click.
 

fritata

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Don't forget about the pressure curve. The resistive touchscreen reports a range of pressure, if the application itself processes the pressure level it might just have a bad idea about what is still mouse movement and what is already a click.
I considered that, and I didn't show it due to gif size constraints, but I recorded trying different press and lift off times, even pressing and holding before releasing on an app, as well as tapping/pressing much harder. Inkscape seems to react the same across MATE and xfce, so perhaps it is a pressure setting in MATE. As for the ghost touch theory, I can debunk that because on this screen tapping in two places simultaneously results in a touch halfway between the two.
 

EvilDragon

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The default MATE menu doesn't support the touch properly. That's a known issue at the moment.
You can add a different menu (it's preinstalled) that works with the touchscreen.

Or you use the nubs or the Pyra-Button / DPAD and Enter to go through the menu.
 

Askarus

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At least when I tried MATE had touch scrolling support in the file manager and XFCE had not.
That is why I decided to stick with MATE.

ALSO Mate does better integrate dark theme than XFCE for some few programs.

If you are satisfied with XFCE, stick with it. I use it on my laptop and like it a lot.
I just felt like MATE was a little bit more convenient on the Pyra for me than XFCE.
 

matzesu

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Well I ditnt pull out my Stylus on the Pyra that much often, only when the GBA Emulator crashed and locked the Nubs Mapping, or to maximize the PlayStation Emulator Window ..
Most of the time I use the Nubs as they work perfectly..
 
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fritata

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Yo! I figured out the WWAN issue. Basically, disabling broadband disables the modem (duh) so it won't show up in lsusb or similar. Because the NetworkManager hides the menu option to disable it, it isnt apparent how to get it back. You have to use the terminal. Simply "nmcli radio wwan on" bring it back. (takes some time to initialize).
 

Bosbeetle

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Yo! I figured out the WWAN issue. Basically, disabling broadband disables the modem (duh) so it won't show up in lsusb or similar. Because the NetworkManager hides the menu option to disable it, it isnt apparent how to get it back. You have to use the terminal. Simply "nmcli radio wwan on" bring it back. (takes some time to initialize).
Thanks this is good to know.
 

elw3

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Its actually rfkill you need to enable/disable it, this isnt even pyra specific tho.
 

fritata

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Its actually rfkill you need to enable/disable it, this isnt even pyra specific tho.
I think that may be a separate issue, disabling it manually just requires a simple command to reenable, but i think if I power down the pyra by just pressing the power button instead of through a menu or if I take out the battery, the modem gets put in a state where it has to be enable/disable cycled, and the difference is in the kernel buffer messages, where it looks like either the modem or the hub can't receive power, but I'd have to test it further.
 

elw3

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Yes thats what rfkill does, cutting/enabling the power....
 

levi

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Software can't do that without hardware support. What hardware support the Pyra has for cutting power is something I'm not quite up-to-date with at present. Perhaps if I grok the schematics again it will resolve.
 
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