OpenZaurus time is over – long live Ångström

Some time ago new kernel hacker joined team of people working on 2.6 kernel for Zaurus machines — Thomas Kunze gave us SD/MMC driver for collie and works on other subsystems to get this machine working. As result collie got added into list of Ångström supported devices and test images were generated.

Also during last time people were asking Koen Kooi when Ångström is going to be released. He usually answered that it depends on OpenZaurus release plans (OZ first).

But we lack developers to work on two distros in one time. Release of OpenZaurus 3.5.4/ took me few months of work as I had to organize beta testing program, build images, fix bugs, find someone to work on documentation, build feeds. Then due to limited access to main mirror I had to work on upgrades feeds. Those tasks will be split to more people in Ångström.

As a result I was going to tell world that there will be no new OpenZaurus releases ever. But I did not wanted to sound like dictator — I asked other developers on openzaurus-devel ML what they think. There were 3 options:

  1. we release OpenZaurus 3.5.5 for all Zaurus models
  2. we release OpenZaurus 3.5.5 for Collie/2.4 only
  3. we close OpenZaurus history and switch to Ångström

During week twelve persons replied — no one chosen option 1st or 2nd…

So Ångström is a future for our machines — and many others already supported in OpenEmbedded. End of OpenZaurus does not mean that Zaurus models are obsolete or that users need to switch to pdaXrom or Cacko.

It needs work to create nicely working distribution which will use up-to-date technologies, will base on current software etc. Personally I do not even plan to look at 2.4 kernel for Zaurus any more — it was ‘created’ in such bad way that… no comment

What does OpenZaurus meant to me?

For me it was really nice to have OpenZaurus on each Zaurus model which I had in my hands. It started with SL-5500 collie which I bought for quite big amount of cash (about 2/3 of my month salary), then was C760 donated by Richard Jackson. Later I got SL-5600 and SL-6000 donated by anonymous donor from USA. During OEDEM I got SL-C3000 from Mickeyl and gave him SL-5600 instead. Now SL-C3000 is in Rolf Leggewie hands and SL-6000 waits for developer which would like to work on improving support for it (SL-5600/6000/C3000 are OpenEmbedded project devices).

Thanks to OpenZaurus I started to use OpenEmbedded. First as stupid novice, then advanced user finally one of core developers. Without playing with those systems I would not be the person which I am today. Since I left my previous work as PHP programmer I finally do what I like to do (and I am paid for it).

Without playing with it I would not have all those gadgets/toys which I have here.

I would like to thanks for some persons:

  • Chris ‘kergoth’ Larson for starting work on OpenZaurus distro
  • Michael ‘mickeyl’ Lauer for maintaining OZ
  • Richard ‘rp’ Purdie for maintaining Linux-2.6 for all Zaurus models
  • John Lenz for starting work on getting Linux-2.6 working on collie
  • Dirk Opfer for Tosa part
  • Graeme ‘xora’ Gregory for being one of most active Zaurus developers
  • Koen Kooi for maintaining Ångström distro
  • Scott Bronson and Simon ‘lardman’ Pickering for work on OpenZaurus documentation
  • Thomas Kunze for work on SD/MMC driver for collie
  • all other OpenZaurus hackers

For all time which they spend on getting Zaurus machines supported.

WPA in Debian and Poky

During last week I switched my home WiFi from insecure WEP to WPA2.

Why not used WPA before? My x86 test machine was ProGear which use Orinoco PCMCIA card (no WPA support) and I also used Tosa with that crap called wlan-ng (also no WPA support). Now I have USB Ethernet card and PCMCIA->CF adapter so both can be connected via wire or with CF WiFi card (Prism2 with 1.8.4 firmware so WPA out-of-box).

But since I use Dell D400 as x86 test machine ProGear is not powered — I will probably put it on shelf to get some desk space free (there is no such thing as big enough desk — just ones that are not cluttered yet).

But how to get WPA working in Debian, Poky, Ångström, OpenZaurus or other distros? You basically need few things:

  • WPA-Supplicant
  • card with good driver (so no Orinoco or wlan-ng crap)
  • proper configuration
  • network with WPA

First I configured “maluch” (D400). Installed wpasupplicant package and discovered that it is not supported out-of-box. README propose two methods:

  1. Use only one network and configure network in /etc/network/interfaces
  2. Roaming networks with extra scripts

I decided to follow 3rd way where you need to edit /etc/network/interfaces just to tell wpa-supplicant which config it has to use and which driver:

iface eth1 inet dhcp
        wpa-driver wext
        wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/config

This way wpa-supplicant is started automatically with /etc/wpa_supplicant/config file as configuration. This file also contain all networks which you want to connect. It can be edited by hand or using external tools — wpa_cli or wpa_gui (QT3/QT4). Have to check does it works ok with other networks then my home one but it should work.

Then same configuration on Zaurus C760 running Poky — Prism2 card in CompactFlash slot. Connecting to network works out-of-box now. On Nokia 770 all I need to to was entering WPA-PSK key.

The worst part was MS Windows laptop — I had to remove all networks from list of preferred ones, reboot and then enter WPA-PSK key to get it working.

Now it should be harder to connect to my network 😉

Attending GUADEC?

Yesterday Koen asked me on #oe will I attend GUADEC this year.

22:59 [koen] hrw: attending guadec?
22:59 [hrw] koen: not planned to
23:00 [koen] mallum and I thought it would be funny to bring you there

I do not think does it have sense for me as KDE guy to visit GNOME conference. I do not have plans to switch GUI environment and I think that GNOME team too much tries to make usage simple as possible. For me they oversimplified it already. And when last time I used G* (Ubuntu 6.10 LiveCD) I had a feeling that it does not fits me — Terminal application (most used application at that time) which need reconfiguring to be usable, which hijack F10 key to enter menu… ARGH

But I looked at price of flight connections and discovered one interesting thing. PLL LOT (Polish airlines) are something to avoid if want to flight from Poznań to somewhere else. Same flights checked on Lufthansa website costs 2/3 of LOT price. Someone takes quite lot of money just to sell someone’s other offer isn’t it?

80’s music

Today I have 80’s evening. All after few clicks in Wikipedia… That was a time..

In our part of world (East side of Iron Courtain) it was hard to get western music. Those years I was fan of Eurodisco, Spacesynth type of songs.

Those Saturday nights when Bogdan Fabiański in “Studio Stereo zaprasza” played whole albums. I remember that it was at 22:00 with half hour break at 23:00 for some kind of audio book. From time to time some of friends got original tapes but most of available music was “officially” pirated (we lacked law which would take care of it).

Now many videoclips from 80’s are available on services like YouTube so I watched some which I nearly forgot but also many which I did not saw before. Too bad that many times they are low quality or have too big compression level with low of coloured artifacts and other bonuses…

And those moves, turn-arounds — funny isn’t it?

BTW — did you know that torn jeans mode was created by accident?


I was at cinema and watched ‘Sunshine‘ movie. It was long time since I watched SF on big screen…

Story is easy — the Sun is dying, Earth is frozen so people create big bomb and plan to detonate it inside of our star. During flight they find previous mission ship etc, etc… Finally they complete their mission and everything is good.

But amount of goofs is big… After explosions in oxygen plant they discovered that amount of oxygen is too small for return trip and can be too small to complete mission. But why they keep air on whole ship? Keeping air in only needed parts will give them extra time probably… And there are few others but I already spoiled too much 😉

Anyway I enjoyed movie but it is one of those which you can see once and do not want to see again.

Feel the power of USB

Today I got few USB gadgets:

  • Ethernet card (Damicom 9601 based)
  • RS232 cable
  • multi-port card-reader with USB 2.0 hub integrated (powered)

So during restructure of my USB network I tried to connect all my USB devices to desktop. With two external hubs I got out of ports…


12:00 hrw@home:~$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 055: ID 0a46:9601 Davicom Semiconductor, Inc.
Bus 001 Device 054: ID 058f:6362 Alcor Micro Corp.
Bus 001 Device 053: ID 0fce:d016 Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB
Bus 001 Device 036: ID 058f:6254 Alcor Micro Corp.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 059: ID 0525:a4a2 Netchip Technology, Inc. Linux-USB Ethernet/RNDIS Gadget
Bus 003 Device 058: ID 0424:223a Standard Microsystems Corp. 8-in-1 Card Reader
Bus 003 Device 057: ID 1457:5122
Bus 003 Device 056: ID 0421:0431 Nokia Mobile Phones
Bus 003 Device 055: ID 058f:9254 Alcor Micro Corp. Hub
Bus 003 Device 053: ID 04bf:0319 TDK Corp.
Bus 003 Device 046: ID 0a81:0205 Chesen Electronics Corp. PS/2 Keyboard+Mouse Adapter
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 011: ID 04b8:082f Seiko Epson Corp.
Bus 002 Device 010: ID 046d:c70a Logitech, Inc.
Bus 002 Device 009: ID 046d:c70e Logitech, Inc.
Bus 002 Device 008: ID 046d:0b02 Logitech, Inc.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

The list contain:

  • USB Cup heater with integrated USB 1.1 Hub
  • Nokia 770
  • Sharp Zaurus C760
  • FIC Neo1973
  • Davicom Ethernet card
  • EPSON Stylus DX3800
  • TDK Bluetooth 1.1 dongle
  • Logitech Bluetooth 2.0 EDR dongle
  • PS/2 -> USB converter with optical mouse connected
  • Hama multi-port card reader
  • no-name multi-port card reader
  • no-name multi-port card reader with integrated USB 2.0 Hub
  • Sony Ericsson k750i phone

As result I got:

  • 14 usb-storage devices
  • 3 serial ports
  • 3 network interfaces
  • 3 input devices (Logitech Bluetooth need to be switched from HID to HCI)

And everything was working, needed /dev/ entries were created and HAL managed to show me proper tree with all devices. Both hubs were powered during test.

Now I disconnected most of them and left only needed ones.

Pingwinaria 2007

W trakcie tegorocznych Pingwinariów miałem okazję wygłosić prelekcję o OpenEmbedded. W porównaniu do poprzedniej prezentacji (w Poznaniu) słuchacze wiedzieli o czym mówię. Padły ciekawe pytania (część znałem wcześniej z dyskusji z wieloma osobami), dyskusja przeniosła się później w różne miejsca.

Impreza była ciekawa i w następnym roku też tam będę (chyba, że coś mi wypadnie). Spotkałem wiele osób znanych mi dotychczas raczej tylko z sieci, kilku znajomych jak i wiele innych interesujących postaci. Jedną z nich był Tomasz Zieliński dzięki któremu mogłem podładować baterię w Neo1973 — spędziliśmy nieco czasu dyskutując o projekcie OpenMoko (Tomek miał prelekcję w tym temacie), przedstawiając telefon(y) i projekt żądnym informacji uczestnikom Pingwinariów.

Warto było być 🙂

Prezentacja do pobrania

Dell D400 – installation report

OK, system (Debian ‘etch’) was installed and then upgraded to ‘sid’. Everything is working with Linux (kernel 2.6.18 from Etch):

  • ACPI reports battery status, battery is charging without problems.
  • Dell Wireless 1450 card works — I only had to install bcm43xx firmware (which I took from Cafuego’s Sarge Backports repository). There is also other way — Debian contain package bcm43xx-fwcutter which extracts firmware from Windows drivers.
  • Gigabit Ethernet works with tg3 kernel module (tested with 100Mbps Ethernet only).
  • CPU Frequency scaling works with speedstep-centrino module and provides wide range: 1600MHz, 1400MHz, 1200MHz, 1000MHz, 800MHz, 600MHz so it is possible to extend battery life with it.
  • Backlight control (via Fn+Up/Down buttons) works — it is handled by hardware/BIOS probably.
  • Touchpad was wrongly recognized — it is not Synaptic but ALPS so edit of /etc/X11/xorg.conf was needed. All informations what to change are described in README.alps (part of xserver-xorg-input-synaptic package). Idea found on Ubuntu blog.
  • Suspend to disk works, suspend to RAM also works.

In other words — no problems yet — everything works like it should.

Dell D400 arrived

Dell D400 and Debian Installer

Yesterday evening I got Dell D400 laptop from courier. It is 12″ portable notebook with 1.6GHz Pentium M cpu and 512M of RAM. Only harddisk as storage as in such small case there is no space for CD/DVD drive (which is available as external accessory).

More detailed specification:

  • Intel Pentium M 1.6GHz CPU with 2MB cache
  • Intel 855 chipset
  • 512MB RAM
  • 40GB harddisk (5400 RPM)
  • 12″ LCD
  • touchpad
  • trackpoint
  • Broadcom BCM5705M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Broadcom BCM4309 WiFi 802.11/a/b/g miniPCI card (DELL wireless 1450)
  • FireWire
  • RS232 port

Windows XP Professional was installed so I used Debian Win32 installer but then I broke something in installer so as result machine stopped booting from HDD. Today after half of hour spent on fighting with PXE Boot I have Debian 4.0 ‘etch’ installer running.

The plan is to have Debian ‘sid’ (as I have on desktop) on crypted LVM and use this machine as x86 build machine (some things in OpenEmbedded does not work properly on my amd64) and for conferences so I will be able to read my mail with normal tools. Due to fact that it has RS232 port it will probably also work as machine for checking kernel logs from Zaurus machines (usable for helping with SD/MMC driver for collie).

I will write more when system will be working — now it is still fetching packages to install.