1. OpenMoKo phone

    Yesterday during “Open Source in Mobile” conference in Amsterdam First International Computing’s (FIC’s) introduced “Neo1973” or FIC-GTA001 — the first phone based on the open-source “OpenMoKo” platform.

    Why I’m writing about it? It is that SuperSecretProject device which Mickeyl Lauer was talking about on OEDEM. We were informed that this will be Open, will have some wireless possibilities (but no Irda) but it was nearly impossible to get some more informations (you know: NDA etc). From mickeyl’s talks and posts on his website it was clear that this device will use GTK+ 2.0 as base toolkit. They decided to do not use closed source Qtopia Phone Edition but writing own framework instead.

    The idea of phone device which has phone software installed and rest depends on what user want sounds delicious for me. And as the phone software was built with OpenEmbedded maybe there will be some discounts for us, developers :)

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  2. How to flash BIOS without floppy disk drive

    During building my current home PC I decided to get rid of FDD and disabled it in BIOS, did not connect cable and power into drive (which is still in computer case due my laziness). But how to upgrade BIOS without floppy?

    There are some solutions:

    1. Create floppy image and burn it to CD

    2. Create floppy image and use MEMDISK

    Where to get floppy image? Good one is FreeDOS fdboot.img — mount it via loop, remove directories, put flasher and bios image, umount. Then time for another step.

    If you want to go CD way, you need to start CD writing program (I used K3b) and use you floppy image as bootable image. No need for any other files — you only flash 1.4M. Then boot computer from CD, select ‘Safe Mode’ in FreeDOS and run flasher.

    Memdisk way is a bit simpler. You need to download syslinux package from your distro or built it (I used Debian package). Then you have to find memdisk binary (/usr/share/syslinux/ in Debian) and copy it to /boot/. Then copy floppy image into same directory. Next step is configuration of boot loader (I use GRUB). Add new entry with memdisk as kernel and floppy image as initrd. Then reboot, selecting proper entry from list and select ‘Safe Mode’ in FreeDOS and run flasher.

    Small modification of second step can be skip of configuration editing and usage of GRUB shell to do same.

    I hope that someone will find that howto useful.

    UPDATE: in some places I found informations that memdisk is not good way to reflash BIOS — some flashers refuse to work or breaks.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  3. Goodbye x86

    In last Friday I made architecture change — sold AthlonXP 2200+ which I used during last 3 years and bought Athlon64 3200+ with DFI RS482 Infinity mainboard. This is 3rd such change for me. First it was from 6502 (Atari 65XE) to m68k (Amiga), then to x86.

    Most of time which I spent with computer during weekend was fighting with machine. I made backup of my previous Debian installation and decided to install Debian ‘sid’ from scratch — of course for AMD64. Then I spend few hours to get fglrx driver working (will write more about it later). Now two problems left to resolve:

    • get sound working (I have atiixp: codec read timeout messages which are known bug related to ACPI probably)
    • get KDE working properly (Control Center list only one module but I have all of them installed)

    But even with those problems I’m satisfied. Machine is fast (can be overclocked by ~25% if needed), I have faster gfx card then before (had Matrox G400 and Nvidia GeForce 4 MX440).

    And now I have OE build running — building my own umbaumba distro for spitz.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  4. 30 months of OpenEmbedded and me

    During discussion with some users on #openzaurus channel I discovered that about 30 months passed since I’m using OpenEmbedded for building software.

    First attempts were used to build extra packages for my SL-5500 running OpenZaurus 3.3.6-pre1, then I built OZ “3.5.0” for it and worked on getting OPIE working correctly when compiled with gcc 3.4.x (loading 40MiB large libqte2/libqpe1 inside of gdb to get backtraces). Time passed, new machines appeared: first Zaurus C760, then Linksys WRT54GS.

    My wrt54 runs under OpenWRT distribution so I’m able to build additional packages for it with OpenEmbedded (MACHINE=”wrt54” DISTRO=”wrt54oe” combo) and they works. Of course they are unofficial because OpenWRT team use own buildsystem.

    One of my common targets is MACHINE=”native” which I used for OPIE development or building needed tools on remote machines where it was easier then pestering administrators to install ‘mc’ or ‘git’.

    Recently I used OE to build system for omap5912osk developer board used by CELF in their testlab. Creating new distribution was interesting because I learnt lot about how ‘task-base’ works and why it is good solution for our targets.

    Soon I will have new target — this time it will be x86 based webpad. But I will write more about it when it arrive and start working.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  5. Machine power

    During my work on OpenEmbedded project I have access to misc computers used for builds. Mostly they are AMD64 or Intel Pentium D ones running in 32 mode.

    One day I got access to build machine inside of company intranet. To get to it I have to login on ‘router’ one which only work is serving few pages and giving access to intranet ones. And man.. its also speed daemon…

    Sometimes I feel that my home machine is from other era..

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  6. Sony Ericsson k750i - why I like it

    After one month I can write something more about my phone.

    Bad things:

    • It can not be in one pocket with keys — case is scratched and display got some scratches too.
    • FM radio sometimes mute for few seconds — not good when you go to work and there is nice song played.
    • Opensync can duplicate addressbook with ‘UnNamed’ entries.
    • No possibility to turn off sound on making photos.

    Good things:

    • When I want to send SMS/MMS I can select from list of last recipients, select from contacts or enter number. None of my previous phones had list of last recipients.
    • All those animations on sending, calling are not annoying — they are simple and give proper info.
    • Delivery reports are linked to SMS/MMS like it should be done. When I had Nokia phone I had to think to which message I got report.
    • Recurrent alarm — I set it to working days at 08:00 so I do not have to use my wrist watch as alarm clock.
    • FM radio — it was usefull when I was on OEDEM (do you know that Berlin has 29 FM stations?)

    One day I will have to check how newer version of opensync works with this phone.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  7. Firefox 2.0 released

    IN Tuesday Mozilla Foundation released Firefox 2.0 version. Many websites wrote about it so I will not list what is new. There is one more reason to not do it — for me most of those new features are not new — during last 2 years I mostly use nightly builds of Firefox^W Bon Echo — first it was 1.5 nightly when other people used 1.0.x line, then I used 2.0 nightly during 1.5.0.x times.

    Many extensions needed a bit of hacking (mostly bumping of MaxVersion), I had to edit my favorite theme (LittleFox) to get proper displaying but it was easy. Some authors were releasing updated (mostly ‘developers’) versions for 2.0-pre/rc versions.

    Yesterday I tried Firefox^W Minefield 3.0 and now I have to decide will I use 2.0 or move to 3.0 version. One of nice things is plugin for del.icio.us bookmarks integration, which replace normal bookmarks. But installing it also means user cannot create non-del.icio.us bookmarks so I will rather remove it..

    Anyway with release of Firefox 2.0 it is time to switch — from 1.5.0.x to 2.0 for ones and 2.0 -> 3.0 for me.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  8. Prezentacja

    Wczoraj prowadziłem wykład o OpenEmbedded w ramach cyklu wykładów organizowanych przez PLUG Poznań. Miałem zacząć o 18:00 ale uznaliśmy z organizatorem, że zaczekamy z 10 minut (na sali było 8-10 osób). Ostatecznie było około 20 osób.

    Mówiłem około godziny, po czym padło kilka pytań — ogólnie miałem wrażenie, że wiele osób nie wiedziało zbytnio o czym mówię. Nie wiem czy było to spowodowane moim wystąpieniem czy faktem, że projekt OpenEmbedded jest mało znany w Polsce.

    Po wykładzie przy kawce kolega z pracy zaskoczył mnie najbardziej mówiąc

    Nie miałem pojęcia, że OpenEmbedded jest tak dużym projektem. Myślałem, że to coś do palmtopów…

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
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