1. I have got BeagleBoard C3

    In the morning I got text message from DHL courier with request to contact about package. This was total surprise as I did not had idea what it can be…

    Few minutes ago package arrived and I now I finally know what it is and who sent it. It is brand new BeagleBoard C3 (so newest version) from German division of Texas Instruments. Why I got it? It is not written anywhere in package… I know that I am not the only one — Nils also got such package.

    What will I do with it? For start I will replace B7 version which I got from Bug Labs with C3 to get USB EHCI port working instead of my hacked OTG cable. In next week I will get some extra hardware for it so it will be more in use that B7 is now.

    I think that I will try to stack B7 with C3 with BeagleBUG module — but this will make my current case for BB obsolete ;(

    It was looking like board is broken:

    Texas Instruments X-Loader 1.4.2 (Feb 19 2009 - 12:01:24)
    Reading boot sector
    Loading u-boot.bin from mmc
    
    U-Boot 2009.01-dirty (Feb 19 2009 - 12:23:21)
    
    I2C:   ready
    OMAP3530-GP rev 2, CPU-OPP2 L3-165MHz
    OMAP3 Beagle board + LPDDR/NAND
    DRAM:  256 MB
    NAND:  256 MiB
    Using default environment
    
    MUSB: using high speed
    In:    serial usbtty
    Out:   serial usbtty
    Err:   serial usbtty
    
    Texas Instruments X-Loader 1.4.2 (Feb 19 2009 - 12:01:24)
    

    Never mind did I load U-Boot from SD card or from NAND the situation was the same — reset loop…

    The solution? Throw away usb cable, connect BB to direct port instead of hub or use external AC to provide power. Now board boots and works fine.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  2. Gained new skill: plumber

    Few days ago we noticed that our kitchen sink is leaking. After investigation it was water line which needs replacing.

    On Saturday I disassembled whole kitchen sink and checked which else parts would be nice to replace (washers, pipes etc). Wife decided that we will also change tap (kitchen retractable spout mixer type). Visit in local store gave me needed components and then fight started.

    Took me 3 hours to finally mount everything in place without any leaks (but I had to disassemble it few times to fix mounts) but final result is nice — no water under sink and new shinny tap.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  3. VoIP at home

    Yesterday I received package with old device: T-Com Speedport W500V. It is ADSL modem with router, WiFi accesspoint and VoIP bridge functionality. Internally it is just standard set for such equipment: MIPS SoC from Broadcom, 16MB of RAM, 4MB of Flash storage.

    After connecting it to my laptop I disabled most of functions (DSL, AP, DHCP/DNS/HTTP Proxy daemons etc) and tested VoIP calls (with Tlenofon as provider). It worked without any extra configuring — I think that this is due to BitSwitcher firmware which was installed instead of original one.

    Today I disabled LAN port, configured WiFi to work as a client and moved W500V with analog wireless phone to shelf in corridor. What people see is just base for phone — rest is hidden in wall cupboard and operate over WiFi.

    W500V
    W500V

    And this is how yet another Linux box got added to my collection… But this one got something to do on first day ;)

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  4. OEDEM 2009

    This year OEDEM will take place in Cambridge, UK during second weekend of November (7-8th). People who wants to arrive there are requested to inform Phil Blundell by mail.

    We did not decided on agenda yet but we are at gathering ideas now.

    And if you want to join me I will fly from Berlin Schönefeld airport on Friday 6th November by Ryanair to London Stansted and then by train.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  5. ELC Europe 2009

    In October there will be Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Grenoble, France. And this year I will talk there.

    It will be “Hacking with OpenEmbedded” presentation in which I plan to cover some non-standard uses of OpenEmbedded build system. Also I was invited to take part of ST-Ericsson workshop where I will present Poky Linux and Ångström on ST Nomadik based NHK15 developer board.

    If you want to meet me there I will arrive at Thursday evening and leave on Saturday’s morning. Traveling Szczecin -> Berlin -> Amsterdam -> Lyon -> Grenoble (same way back) will take most of those days…

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  6. NHK15 arrived

    Some time ago Andrea Gallo from ST-Ericsson called me and proposed participation in their workshop during ELC Europe. It will be about NHK15 developer board which is based on STn8815 cpu (arm926 core + dsp). I will present Poky Linux and OpenEmbedded based environments on it.

    Few days later board arrived at home in a big carton box filled with stuff.

    Box contents
    Box contents
    All accessories
    All accessories

    As it is shown on picture above package contains everything needed to use board. From top-left:

    • tv out cable
    • board
    • debug board (serial + ethernet)
    • miniUSB cable
    • speakers + battery cable + wifi antenna
    • ribbon cables to connect debug board
    • PSU (5V)
    • UK/EU/US power plugs
    • headset
    • serial cable

    By default board comes without operating system flashed. The only thing available is test picture which can be used to test does device works at all:

    Test picture
    Test picture

    NHK15 offers many connectors:

    • audio in/out
    • SD/MMC slot
    • battery connector (cable included, battery not)
    • speakers (separated left/right — both are included)
    • WiFi antenna (board uses same chip as Nokia tablets)
    • FM antenna
    • TV out (cable included)
    • miniAB USB device/host port
    • camera (daughterboard with image sensor included)
    • debug board (which provides serial + Ethernet ports)
    • ETM/Nexus ports
    • SIM socket

    There is 128MB of memory and 128MB NAND + 256MB OneNAND for storage. Connection with world can be done over serial, Ethernet, WiFi or Bluetooth. Screen has WVGA resolution and touchscreen attached.

    Bottom side of board
    Bottom side of board

    Now I have Linux running on it but plan to switch to Poky Linux (supported) and OpenEmbedded based systems (Ångström for start) soon.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  7. Defining good Contacts application

    What defines good Contacts application? Some will say that it depends on device which runs it, but I think that it is not true.

    I am using Nokia E66 phone. It is running Symbian S60 3rd Edition FP1 (what ever it means). As a phone it has phone book called “Contacts”. Simple application which allows to have unlimited amount of entries with quite big set of possible fields. But phone also has GPS unit and is able to connect to Internet via WiFi, Bluetooth and GSM. Why I mention it? Because default address book ignore those elements…

    So what should good Contacts application do? Except standard fields like phone numbers, SIP “numbers”, email addresses, web addresses, home/work addresses, birthdays, anniversaries, pictures, notes… I think that things like GPS coordinates for each address would be nice — add “Drive/Walk to” functionality and you get phone which can really be named “Navigator” (IIRC there was PalmOS powered PDA with that function).

    Next thing which would be nice (especially with flat rate for GPRS) would be integration of IM communicator. Why I have to launch separate application to check who from my friends is available on Jabber, Skype, ICQ, GaduGadu, AIM, MSN etc. Why not have device auto login into those networks to check who from entries in address book is available to chat/talk with. And then let me choose do I want to make GSM call or Skype, SIP or other VoIP call. This will also remove situation which is present in most multi-protocol communicators: few entries for one person just because it use 7 accounts on 5 protocols. And let integrate all chats in one application with SMS/MMS stuff — this is done on Palm Pre according to their promotion videos.

    And all those things should sync with external servers of course. So if I have Facebook account then let it fetch my connections from there and merge into address book — this is done on Palm Pre already. But let it be also second way (if user choose to) — so phone will check who from my contacts have a Facebook account and send join request.

    Next thing: groups… Symbian has groups support and this is working, user can even define conferences numbers for groups and few other things. Next step should be linking contacts — you know: wife, kids, secretary, co-worker who do your job when you are on vacations… PalmOS Agendus had something like that, Symbian has only imitation (it is possible to enter person name but thats all).

    Will there be such application? Maybe one day…

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  8. Hacking UI for small resolutions

    One of devices which I have on desk is BUG on which we are using Connection Manager (connman) to manage Ethernet/WiFi connections. It works nice but there are problems with connman-gnome (small application which shows information from connman).

    The problem is that we have QVGA resolution screen and UI for connman-gnome expects at least VGA. The result is not nice:

    Original look
    Original look

    The main part of screen is occupied by list of network interfaces and nothing more can be seen.

    I lack GTK+ skills to rewrite application to have more sane UI but decided to try anyway. Dropped most of spacings, icons were removed (there is ‘Connected/Not Connected’ text for each interface), changed width of widgets and application is more usable now:

    New look
    New look

    Some spacing should be added in few places but other then that it looks better then it was before.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
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