January 2021 Software Updates - OLED SPI and more

Hi all,
I just wanted to write a bit about the latest update to pi-top software to pi-topOS’s release software repository, now available via apt software update!

December OS release

In December, we released a large update for a number of pi-top software packages and produced a new pi-topOS image for the website (pi-topOS-sirius_C781_2020-12-22_04-11-42, which can be downloaded here). This update brought a lot of changes, but regrettably also introduced a couple of issues.

The most notable issue that we found was that, in some cases, users would see their pi-top [4]'s miniscreen show the [4] logo on boot, only for it to disappear once the system had booted.

Notable issues and subsequent development effort

We have now identified that this was caused by the OS accidentally telling the pi-top’s hub to switch the OLED’s SPI bus (i.e. change the GPIO pins used for communication). This meant that the OLED was trying to use SPI0 instead of SPI1, but the software on the device did not yet have the ability to handle this state.

In this update, we have added the ability to change the SPI bus that the OLED uses, and also ensured that any code that makes use of the OLED will continue to work seamlessly when the bus is changed.
With this software update, the OLED should resume working, but the SPI bus will still be set to 0 instead of 1. If you need to change the SPI bus for any reason, please refer to our CLI documentation.

See below for a list of other changes in this release:

Bugs fixed

  • pi-top [4]'s OLED should no longer have its SPI bus changed without user involvement
  • Windows Firewall no longer prevents pi-top [4] OLED menu from detecting if a device is connected via the pi-top display cable (USB Ethernet interface)
  • OLED menu now shows WiFi strength bars again

New features

  • Out-of-the-box two finger right-click and three-finger middle-click touchscreen support (via touchegg)
  • Set OLED SPI bus from CLI

Other changes/improvements

  • pi-top CLI now responds faster, and importing some parts of the Python SDK is also faster
  • Miscellaneous code refactoring, which shouldn’t cause any functional changes

I hope that this helps to clear up any questions that you may have about this latest update.

We think that this is an important update, but we have a few more changes to make before we are ready to release a new OS image on the website. This should be coming in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that!


@pi-topJorge thanks for the update :slight_smile:

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