X11 slowness on vortex86sx

Today I played a bit with Vortex86sx based device again. This time I wanted to get X11 working on it.

In short: it “works”. Default driver should be “sis” but it fails with messages which shows that libpciaccess has a problem on that device:

(EE) SIS(0): Unable to map IO aperture. Invalid argument (22)                                                                
(EE) SIS(0): **************************************************                                                              
(EE) SIS(0):                       ERROR:                                                                                    
(EE) SIS(0): Could not map MMIO area                                                                                         
(EE) SIS(0):                   END OF MESSAGE                                                                                
(EE) SIS(0): **************************************************                                                              
(EE) SIS(0): **************************************************                                                              
(EE) SIS(0):                       ERROR:                                                                                    
(EE) SIS(0): SiSMapMem() failed                                                                                              
(EE) SIS(0):                   END OF MESSAGE                                                                                
(EE) SIS(0): **************************************************                                                              

I switched to “vesa” driver — it works, gives 1280×1024 resolution. But it is so sluggish… Even my few years old Zaurus c760 is faster (I checked how Vortex86sx works with VGA resolution).

Tried also “fbdev” driver — same slowness. All was done with full X.org server not “kdrive” one.

Thinking about LCD monitor change

Looks like I will have BeagleBoard soon which is great. But project will require also graphical output from it so here goes small problem — how to display it?

Currently I have 20″ LCD which is capable of 1680x1050px resolution and have two video inputs:

  • DVI where my desktop gfx card is connected
  • D-Sub where I have Koala NanoPC connected

BeagleBoard require DVI or HDMI input so I can not connect it to current panel. So there are few choices:

  • buy cheap 17-20″ LCD with DVI input and connect BB to it
  • buy FullHD (1920×1200 or 1920×1080) monitor with DVI/HDMI/D-Sub and use instead of current one.
  • like second option but use current one with BeagleBoard
  • do not buy any and use VNC to look what does BB display

OK, buying cheap LCD is not a problem — there are lot of them in local shops. The bigger problem is when I want to buy FullHD one. So far I created list of panels which are not an option and similar list of worth considering ones. So the choice for now looks like this:

Monitor Resolution DVI D-Sub HDMI Pivot TV tuner Notes
iiyama B2409HDS 1920×1080 + + 1 +
Samsung 2494HM 1920×1080 + + 1 +
Samsung 2333HD 1920×1080 + + 2 + no height regulation
Samsung 2493HM 1920×1200 + + 1 + not available anymore
Samsung 2693HM 1920×1200 + + 1 +
iiyama E2607WS 1920×1200 + + 1
Samsung T240 1920×1200 + + 1 no height regulation
LG W2452V-PF 1920×1200 + + 1 no height regulation

Can someone suggest other options?

Five years with OpenEmbedded

It is hard to believe but I started using OpenEmbedded 5 years ago…

When I was planning to buy Zaurus I did not know that this device will give me great new hobby and that hobby will change into well paid job. Today I have few OpenEmbedded powered devices on my desk (or under it) and none of them is used as PDA. New devices are on a way to me or on a “need to order soon” list. Many devices passed thought my hands due those 5 years (for example most of Zaurus models which were donated to OE landed on my desk before was given to our developers).

I learnt a lot about (cross) compiling, know how to play with many different tools used for building and I am good at creating patches.

Ok, there is one bad thing in it — my last application was written for AmigaOS over 8 years ago. Since then I touched code in many projects but never wrote application from scratch. But if we all would be programmers who would work on OE? 🙂

New interesting devices

Recently few interesting devices appeared on a market. And they have high geek factor D:


SheevaPlug from Marvell contains MV88F6281 cpu running at 1.2GHz with 512MB of DDR2/800 memory. Other nice things are:

  • 1GbE network controller
  • 512MB of NAND for storage
  • USB 2.0 controller (up to 480Mbps speed)
  • RS232 serial port
  • SDIO slot
  • U-boot as bootloader

Everything in small package and for only 99 USD. I think that this will be nice addon to my collection of ARM devices (it is also one of fastest available ones).

Touch Book

Few days ago Koen Kooi wrote on his blog about Touch Book. It is ARM (TI OMAP3) based combination of tablet and netbook. Composed from two detachable parts it can be tablet (one part) or netbook (two parts connected).

There are few things in it’s design which make it special:

  • 8.9″ 1024×600 touchscreen
  • up to 15h on battery (in netbook mode)
  • two internal USB connectors to hide dongles inside
  • six USB connectors in total
  • just 0.9kg
  • no fans, no moving parts
  • opensource design
  • runs Ångström based distribution

Total price is 399 USD for netbook or 299 USB for tablet. Too bad that they offer selling to US only — but this can be handled by US friends D:

To get one or to not get one is tricky question. Current design lacks any video output so using it instead of laptop will be hard (no way to show presentation slides) but size, weight and battery time are interesting. I will definitely track their progress.

BeagleBoard C2

At the end of March new version (C2) of BeagleBoard has to be released. It has 256MB ram compared to 128MB of currently sold B7 version and also working EHCI USB port (B7 offers only one OTG port). I planned to buy this version but now I am not sure about it — Touch Book looks too interesting D:

WordPress plugins which I use on this blog

Cliff Brake asked me which plugins I use on my blog for spam protection. I decided to write about all plugins which I use here.


First part would be widgets which are used in sidebars:

Spam related

I used Spam Karma 2 before but it is not maintained anymore. Now I use simpler ones:


“Do not believe in statistics which you did not faked” or what to use to track visitors:

Content related



OK, theme is not a plugin 😀 I use plaintxtblog by Scott with few modifications.