1. System updates repository online

    Took me less time that I thought — Maemo5 updates repository is on-line.

    How to use it? Instruction in few simple steps:

    • Fetch GnuPG key which I used to sign repository.
    • Add it to APT on Nokia N900: “apt-key add apt-key.asc
    • Add my repository to APT sources by storing following line in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/system-updates.list file:

      deb http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/download/maemo/repos/system-updates/2009.51/ ./

    • Run “apt-get update” or use Hildon Application Manager (H-A-M) refresh function.

    • Run “apt-get upgrade” or check did H-A-M listed some upgrades and tell him to install them.

    So far my repository contains Modest with fix for bug #6541 and “Maemo 5” metapackage altered to allow system updates to be installed. Sources of all packages are provided of course.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  2. System updates repository for Maemo5?

    My Nokia N900 uses Maemo5 in latest version: 2009.51.1 which still have many bugs open. Some (like 6541) were fixed already but users have to wait for next firmware drop from nokia Maemo team to get them. Of course date of such “gift” is unknown (it can even never happen) so how to solve problem now?

    I spent some time digging in Modest git tree to gather changes which will fix #6541 bug. Result works fine on my device, patch is quite small (less then 2KB) but system components updates are not allowed to be pushed into Extras repositories on maemo.org website.

    So how to share such useful update? I think that will create repository for such system updates. Maybe will add some other packages there (for sure my version of “mp-fremantle-generic-pr” will be present so updates will be installable without breaking firmware upgrades).

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  3. My expansion board for BeagleBoard

    Using BeagleBoard as development platform means lot of cables as I need:

    • serial cable
    • power cable for BeagleBoard
    • USB hub
    • power cable for USB hub
    • USB Ethernet dongle
    • Ethernet cable

    So by default my BB setup looks like this (here with B7 version so OTG used instead of EHCI):

    BeagleBoard in a box
    BeagleBoard in a box

    I decided that I need to do something with it. The idea was to make simple expansion board which will just gather all components on board connected to BeagleBoard. First sketch was this (without keeping aspect etc — just elements):

    BeagleBoard expansion sketch
    BeagleBoard expansion sketch

    I presented it to few people with better electronic experience then mine and got few nice suggestions.

    After few days of collecting elements and soldering/glueing I got first version working:

    First version - top view
    First version - top view

    USB Ethernet dongle is glued to PCB, USB Hub needs mounting and it’s power cable has to be replaced by better solution. But the good thing is that I have power, serial, Ethernet connectors on one side without any special cables:

    First version - side view
    First version - side view

    When BeagleBoard is placed on top all what is needed to get it working is connecting 3 cables: power, serial and EHCI:

    All mounted - back view
    All mounted - back view

    Audio, S-Video and HDMI connectors are on same way as rest so all cables are in one side:

    All mounted - side view
    All mounted - side view

    The problem appears when reversed BeagleBoard has to be mounted on top… I have such one with BeagleBUG extension. Extra distances helps but cables are not so nice then:

    All with reversed BeagleBoard - side view
    All with reversed BeagleBoard - side view

    Notice that SD card in this config is harder to reach.

    All with reversed BeagleBoard - other side view
    All with reversed BeagleBoard - other side view

    Serial cable is twisted but still do job.

    Another view
    Another view

    Audio and video connectors are easy to reach but on other side of board ;(

    Ugly mess
    Ugly mess

    Yes… that hub needs replacing — note ugly way of attaching power to it.

    Anyway this works and allows me to have all cables in one place instead of jungle of them.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  4. Are Maemo5 developer tools obsolete?

    As it can be read in many places Maemo is based on Debian. The problem arrives when someone asks “which version of Debian?”…

    The answer is “oldstable” (etch) + parts from “stable” (lenny) + some updates from “testing” (squeeze). But what does it mean for developer?

    1. If you maintain Debian packages and want them to build for Maemo5 prepare to refresh your memory for (officially deprecated) Debhelper v5 (Debian uses v7 since Lenny).
    2. If you use Debconf then you are out of luck rather — 1.4.70 is not even from Etch…
    3. If you use Subversion then do not even try to touch repositories which you will checkout under scratchbox — 1.4.3 from Etch is too old for working with repos fetched with today’s 1.6.x versions.

    For me it looks like they just refreshed Maemo from OS2007 times again and again and again without considering rebasing on newer release. But why?

    On #maemo-devel channel I got answer that this was probably due to sticking with crap^Wscratchbox which has that old stuff. But moment…. Maemo is product made by Nokia, big company with big money, so why no one got paid to update it to at least Lenny?

    Good that Mer people use quite recent Ubuntu as a base for their distribution which should make development for it easier (ignore fact that there is very small user base). But this project needs lot of love still.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  5. 2009 timeline

    The end of 2009 is ended. Was it good year? For me it is hard to tell…


    • got Atmel AT91SAM9263-EK — my first own developer board. I used it to test most of my images during 2009.
    • moved Zaurus to drawer — no need for it anymore as I have better platform to test stuff on (ok, VGA > QVGA but on-board ethernet is nicer then wifi)


    • FOSDEM — this year I was there and as always it was worth to be there.
    • got own branches on Poky Linux git server to get easier way to contribute
    • Koala Nano PC joined my devices and started discussion “is hdparm good for testing devices”. Now I know that it was not good choice. Maybe one day I will run better set of benchmarks.
    • offered serial cables for BUG device for free — sent few during year. Now new BUGbase uses iPod connector so Handylink cables are useful only for JTAG.
    • played a bit with syncing mobile devices and failed. OpenSync really needs new stable release.



    This was month of getting new toys:

    And they forced me to do some hardware updates:





    • NHK-15 board arrived from ST-Ericsson. It is nice board with interesting features. Too bad that there is no kernels newer then 2.6.20 for it (to make full use of it).
    • T-Com W500V arrived — I bought it to have VoIP functionality with normal analog phone. Need to move it to my room probably as it is too unstable to be used over WiFi :(


    • Finally we found time for some vacations and visited my parents. It was nicely spent time.
    • new BUGbase available worldwide — this one has WiFi, Bluetooth inside so not need for BUGwifi module. And no more HandyLink as iPod connector took it place. Too bad that BUGdock is not possible to buy (FCC not certified etc).
    • got third BeagleBoard — this time from Texas Instruments Germany. I think that I won it during LinuxTag.




    • Nokia N900 arrived and I have to admit that it is quite nice device. Software is not so nice — already filled some bug reports.
    • After few days of playing I sent N900 back to DDP — there were bad pixels on screen.
    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  6. What will next firmware release for N900 brings?

    What will next firmware release for N900 brings? That is common question asked by too many people. Some of them wants impossible things, some wants magic, some mention realistic things. But what really will be included? That’s other story…

    I can write what I found in bugtracker (numbers at the end are internal build numbers):

    • bug 3675: backup will loop nearly infinitely for directories containing pairs of symlinks that do not point to descendants because backup is following them — 2009.47-5
    • bug 3728: Modest reports email username / password incorrect when it is correct — 2009.43
    • bug 3762: Performance is unusable on IMAP accounts with a large number of messages in one or more folders (e.g. INBOX) — 2009.46-16
    • bug 4851: libosso assumes that all ARM platforms has VFP instructions. — 2009.50-5
    • bug 4917: wdgt_va_full_12h_time, wdgt_va_12h_hours should be replaced by wdgt_va_full_12h_time_am/wdgt_va_full_12h_time_pm and wdgt_va_12h_hours_am/
    • bug 4976: Add option in modest to add/not add new contact when replying to mail — 2009.50-7
    • bug 5161: Fix some compilation warnings in GNOME version — 2009.46-16
    • bug 5309: Don’t show “Update All” if no updates are available — 2009.45-14
    • bug 5314: Easy to enter ~ ^ ‘ ` ” symbols with 3rd row of special character view — 2009.44-5
    • bug 5315: 3 Mobile SIM card rejected — 2009.47-20
    • bug 5341: Can’t disable email notification - makes notification unusable if you receive lots of mail — 2009.50-7
    • bug 5343: “More…” applications launcher does’t allow scrolling — 2009.44
    • bug 5347: address book cannot import vcards from benq/siemens phones properly — 2009.47-17
    • bug 5384: Confusing empty window shown after deleting unavailable catalogue — 2009.45-14
    • bug 5388: Allow keyboard input to jump to an entry in a list (“type ahead”) — 2009.51-8
    • bug 5413: microb doesn’t trigger onchange — 2009.46-2
    • bug 5415: Contact widgets move to active desktop after merge — 2009.45-8
    • bug 5493: When ISO sensitivity is set to automatic, ISO EXIF value in resulting image is 0 — 2009.47-17
    • bug 5505: DTMF tones are not sent through SIP — 2009.43-2
    • bug 5518: Bluetooth DBUS UI dialogs - wrong args in the example code — 2009.47-5
    • bug 5523: High latency between UI and SIP events being sent — 2009.45-7
    • bug 5527: Page is not rerendered when JavaScript actions increase page length — 2009.46-9
    • bug 5545: Artifacts (visual noise) when tapping screen in Screen Calibration — 2009.46-16
    • bug 5597: First Synchronization between N900 and Exchange 2003 Server always fails — 2009.49-5
    • bug 5601: libsdl: Task switcher area can be a dead area — 009.47-17
    • bug 5602: IP address field in WiFi advanced settings partially hidden (“Recuperar automáticamente direccíon IP” string too long) — 2009.44-5
    • bug 5603: Vertical photos from other devices should fill more space when shown in portrait. — 2009.43-2
    • bug 5605: “Already at minimum / maximum font size.” not translated — 2009.44-5
    • bug 5607: Call forwarding settings not being saved — 2009.46-5
    • bug 5626: Button style in Bluetooth file receive applet is wrong — 2009.47-5
    • bug 5633: No hint that it is impossible to paste an strings containing non-numeric characters into a phone number field — 2009.44-5
    • bug 5676: Audio does not sync with video (and is ultimately unsyncable) — 2009-44.4
    • bug 5687: “Update” progress bar pane misaligned — 2009.45-14
    • bug 5688: Improve zooming — 2009.46-9
    • bug 5694: Application Manager moves to background after start when quickly clicking — 2009.46-5
    • bug 5725: docpurge is not aware of /opt — 2009.46-7
    • bug 5744: Volume slider doesn’t notice when you plug in headphones — 2009.45-7
    • bug 5761: Bluetooth GPS reconnect dialog refuses to go away after clicking “No” — 2009.47-5
    • bug 5768: Inconsistent layout on similar Sharing/VOIP applets — 2009.45-7
    • bug 5857: Inconsistent keyboard behaviour when configuring a static ip address — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 5868: Games do not respect master volume (“sound effects” enabled though) — 2009.51-5
    • bug 5870: Long emails can’t be read - distorted output on screen after scrolling — 2009.50-7
    • bug 5879: Media player track search only matches the beginning of title/artist — 2009.42-9 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 5911: Shaking device switches between landscape and portrait modes — 2009.47-9
    • bug 5945: URL proposals in browser disappear after some hours — 2009.50-7
    • bug 5948: N900 needs to be rebooted if media player fails to play video (h264dec) — 2009.45-7
    • bug 5972: Race condition with hardware shift key — 2009.46-7
    • bug 5993: Home view blurs on triple-tapping the launcher grid icon — 2009.47-17
    • bug 5998: Skype does not allow entering DTMF tones — 2009.44-2
    • bug 6004: N900 sometimes ignores USB data cable — 2009.46-16
    • bug 6017: Clicking the dashboard icon highlights it but does not open the dashboard — 2009.51-8
    • bug 6039: Hanging application menu requires system reboot — 2009.46-5
    • bug 6060: Application manager finishing an installation in background blocks keyboard input — 2009.51-8
    • bug 6100: The menu item “copy” in the browser menu does not work — 2009.46-2
    • bug 6107: Background image settings not restored — 2009.43-9
    • bug 6138: Skype Support>Report problem leads to an error page — 2009.47-17
    • bug 6139: skype: Call does not support DTMF tones — 2009.47-17
    • bug 6203: Rotation in 42-11 is not as smooth as in 41-10 for some third party apps — 2009.47-23
    • bug 6261: Delete dialog text missing a space — 2009.42-5 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 6268: The required #include directives are not documented for Hildon — 2009.51-8
    • bug 6269: Can’t reuse the name of a bookmark that has been deleted — 2009.50-7
    • bug 6349: New email notification leads to blank email instead of email itself — 2009.47-23
    • bug 6361: ‘base’ and ‘more’ applications are visible sametime (messed) — 2009.51-8
    • bug 6470: Charger not recognized when plugged in when in Touch & Key lock — 2009.42-2 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 6530: Drops WLAN connection to Linksys WRT610N after 10-15 minutes — 2009.48-5
    • bug 6544: USA localization displays distance in kilometers — 2009.49-2
    • bug 6570: Double-tapping “Inbox” sometimes opens ‘empty’ Inbox — 2009.46-16
    • bug 6612: File manager fails to show folder sizes beyond 999,9 MB — 2009.45-14
    • bug 6622: nokia messaging doesn’t synchronize selected imap folders — 2009.45-7
    • bug 6669: Browser window checkerboards and repaints when navigated to from multi-task view — 2009.47-5 probably fixed it
    • bug 6675: after failed pairing to bluetooth car kit bluetooth can’t be turned on — 2009.51-0
    • bug 6752: Low power/battery beep does not sound if you’re on a call — 2009.46-5
    • bug 6770: Can’t delete route waypoints in Map application — 2009.47-1
    • bug 6771: Currently active connection should be first in Connections list — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 6792: FM radio transmitter does not play while USB cord is connected — 2009.51-5
    • bug 6807: Wrong default region in E-mail accounts dialog — 2009.48
    • bug 6811: Incorrect entries in the Birthday Smart Calendar — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 6877: Pin / lock code entry dialog reveals digits on backspace — 2009.43-9
    • bug 7027: Changing to next week is very slow — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
    • bug 7067: gtk-icon-theme-name unset — 2009.43-5
    • bug 7073: Changing password on Exchange 2007 makes MfE go crazy — 2009.42-5 (not included in 42-11)

    Impressive list isn’t it? I have to admit that this shows me one thing — integration of Maemo5 in OpenEmbedded will be done sooner then later. Why? Because I want to get such stuff as fast as possible without waiting for official firmware releases.

    Will all those bug fixes end in next firmware? No idea as this is not granted:

    (Note: 2009 is the year, and the number after is the week.)

    A future public update released with the year/week later than this internal build version will include the fix. (This is not always already the next public update.)

    Please verify that this new version fixes the bug by marking this bug report as VERIFIED after the public update has been released and if you have some time.

    To answer popular followup questions:

    • Nokia does not announce release dates of public updates in advance.
    • There is currently no access to these internal, non-public build versions.

    And one more thing — xulrunner 1.9.2 (version used by Firefox 3.6-pre) was tested on N900 and may land in one of next releases (rather not first one).

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  7. Released sources of my Protracker module player

    I just released sources of my Protracker module player. What this application is and what it can do you can read in one of my older posts: I wrote module player in Qt.

    What are features:

    • UI created with Qt Designer (so it is easy to change if you want)
    • separate UI for desktop and other for Maemo5 (automatically selectable during build)
    • Maemo5 uses 3 stacked windows just like UI Style Guide requires
    • uses Phonon to play (with GStreamer modplug plugin underneath)
    • fetching modules from modland archive
    • author/song selection
    • playing next song on song end (with looping on author)
    • seeking (works only in desktop version — bug reported for Maemo5 version)

    Things to do:

    • error handling (especially fetching related)
    • moving of download progressbar to QDialog
    • playing counters
    • favorites
    • playlists

    Everything licensed under LGPL v2.1 — same license as Qt uses. That because I used many Qt examples as base for my application.

    How to get it? I made repository on Gitorius server — go there, fetch, try, comment, share improvements.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  8. Things to check with Nokia N900

    As I have my Nokia N900 from DDP I have just one week to test does everything works properly — after that I am on my own.

    So far I checked:

    • microphone by doing some GSM calls. This also shown that GSM modem works for voice.
    • GPRS data connections — from EDGE to HSDPA (did not checked speed)
    • WiFi connections
    • Bluetooth connections — synced PIM data from my Nokia E66 phone, used headset for calls
    • FM transmitter — played some children songs today during driving with my daughter
    • FM receiver — “FM Radio” application from repository works and plays (app still need work)
    • TV-Out — playing movies on CRT and LCD television sets
    • screen — to bad that I found bad pixels… but good that they are now not later
    • headphones — just included ones
    • USB charging and storage access modes
    • normal charging (included charger and standard Nokia one)
    • keyboard — works, things could be better
    • SIM slot — my card works but slot itself feels cheap and reminds me one from Openmoko phones. I hope that they will get rid of it in next devices — my E66 has better one.
    • microSD slot — works with 8GB card but mechanically it is disaster. Prefer to not use it too often as it can break.
    • main camera — nice photos
    • front camera — complete disaster… Now I know why there is no video calls. hint: install “Mirror” application
    • internal storage

    My feelings after first days? Hardware is nice and (as usual) there is a space for improvements:

    • SIM slot should be changed to sliding one — current one can break too easily
    • microSD slot also should be sliding one — look at Nokia E66 for example
    • give fullscreen button back
    • battery cover should be thicker so device will not bounce on camera when left on table
    • move microusb to right and headphones to left side of device
    • move lock slider to left side (so it will be top when one hand operated)

    I hope that I did not missed anything on list of things to check. I excluded Irda from it because I do not know is it supported at all.

    UPDATE: Eugene Antimirov posted that his N900 from DDP has a problem with playing videos — bug 6823.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
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