25 years of Red Hat

Years ago I bought Polish translation of “Under the radar” book about how Red Hat was started. Was a good read and went to bookshelf.

Years passed. In meantime I got hired by Red Hat. To work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For AArch64 architecture.

Then one day I was talking with my wife about books and I looked at shelf. And found that book again. Took it and said:

You know, when I bought that book I did not even dreamt that one day I will be working at Red Hat.

Today company turned 25. Amount of time longer than my career. I remember how surprised I was when realised that some of my friends work at company for 20 years already.

This is the oldest company I worked for. Directly at least as some of the customers of companies I worked in past were probably older. And hope that one day my work title will be “Retired Software Engineer” as my wife once said. And that will be at this company.

Donated blood

In past several friends suggested me to go and donate blood. For some reason I skipped that. Until today.

At Red Hat we have those “We are Red Hat week” (WARHW in short) events. Do not ask me what is going on during them as I have no idea (as I work remotely). There are some celebrations in offices but for me closest one is in Berlin (and I still did not visit it).

Since June there is another Red Hat guy in Szczecin: Damian Wojsław. So we decided to do something as kind of celebration of a WARHW. Warsaw office guys had idea to gather and donate blood so we followed.

Took some forms to fill, blood check, quick chat with some doctor and then 450 ml of blood went away ;D

Fridge magnets

All started few years ago when I had no idea for a gift from Orlando. So I brought my wife magnet with “someone came for Florida and I got was that stupid magnet” text. Some time later I started own collection…

Today I reorganised magnets because had to add one but there was no space available. I have around 80 magnets from places I visited and some from places to visit.

Fridge magnets collection

With this amount I had to find a way to not loose track. So I created a map:

And small request at the end: if you live in one of places with red marker and there is an option that we meet (conference, other event) then would be great if you bring me magnet ;D

Read of scrambled sector without authentication

My daughter is in 1st class of elementary school. One of things she has there is English. For which they use a “Super Sparks Student 1” book from Oxford University Press. Book came with CDROM disk (marked as DVD Video). There are 73 audio files (mp3) and one short movie on it.

But why I write about it? Because I think that we live in an era when CSS means Cascading Style Shits rather than Content Scramble System. But not everyone thinks like that.

So back to DVD^wCDROM. Let’s copy data from it. Audio tracks went fine but problems started when tried to copy video:

[ 3701.096102] sr 5:0:0:0: [sr1]  
[ 3701.096105] Sense Key : Illegal Request [current] 
[ 3701.096109] sr 5:0:0:0: [sr1]  
[ 3701.096114] Add. Sense: Read of scrambled sector without authentication
[ 3701.096117] sr 5:0:0:0: [sr1] CDB: 
[ 3701.096119] Read(10): 28 00 00 01 8e e3 00 00 01 00
[ 3701.116089] sr 5:0:0:0: [sr1]  
[ 3701.116096] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE

Took me a while to remind myself what it means. Scrambled disk! When it became useless? 2001? 1996? No — 1999 (according to Wikipedia). So just 15 years ago…

I think that Oxford is quite orthodox/conservative but IT goes on faster than they expect.

Took me few minutes to compile libdvdcss, libdvdread and dvdread then it was just simple “sudo dvdread /dev/sr1 >english.iso” plus extracting files from disk image. Would be faster but you know: I use Fedora (patents, mp3, decss are not accepted in repo).

Road trip dates setup

So this year we are going to Moomins World, Naantali, Finland. All dates are set, PTO granted, car checked.

Trip will start on 5th July with Szczecin -> Łódź trip. There I will take my 6 years old daughter Mira to event named “Old computers & games” to show her which kind of computers I used. Then Łódź -> Olecko to visit my mother. Will spend few days there.

And then crazy trip starts. Friday 11th will take us to Klaipėda, Lithuania to see dolphins. Next day we go to Rīga, Latvia through Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai, Lithuania. Look around and on Sunday -> Tallinn, Estonia where we will spend ~24h as this direction is mostly to not drive everything in one day.

Then ferry to Helsinki, some sightseeing and on 15th we will go to Turku and stay there in yet another hotel.

Finally on 16th July plan is to spend whole day in Moomins World in Naantali. Walk, see, take photos and have a good time.

Next day equals Tampere. Moomins museum and visiting Thomas Ruecker. Then quick run to catch ferry in Helsinki so we can spend some time in Tallinn again and do some proper sightseeing. Similar with Riga and finally Devils’ Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania on last day.

Few days of rest in Olecko and go back home probably through Gdańsk.

I hope that it will be the adventure. One of those nasty disturbing uncomfortable things which you remember for long ;D

10 years ago I got write access to OpenEmbedded

It was 8th May of 2004 when I did first push to OpenEmbedded repository. It was BitKeeper at that time but if someone wants to look then commit can be seen in git.

I will not write about my OE history as there are several posts about it on my blog already:

It was nice to be there through all those years to see how it grows. From a tool used by bunch of open source lovers who wanted to build stuff for own toys/devices, to a tool used by more and more companies. First ones like OpenedHand, Vernier. Then SoC vendors started to appear: Atmel, Texas Instruments and more. New architectures were added. New rewrites, updates (tons of those).

Speaking of updates… According to statistics from Ohloh.net I am still in top 5 contributors in OpenEmbedded and Yocto project 😉

There were commercial devices on a market with OpenEmbedded derived distributions running on them. I wonder how many Palm Pre users knew that they can build extra packages with OE. And that work was not lost — LG Electronics uses WebOS on their current TV sets and switched whole development team to use OpenEmbedded.

Since 2006 we got annual meetings and this year we have two of them: European as usual and North America one for first time (there was one few years ago during ELC but I do not remember was it official).

There is OpenEmbedded e.V. which is non-profit organization to take care of OE finances and infrastructure. I was one step from being one of its founders but birth of my daughter was more important 😉

And of course there is the Yocto project. Born from OpenedHand’s Poky helped to bring order into OpenEmbedded. Layers (which were discussed since 2006 at least) were created and enforced so recipes are better organized than it was before. It also helped with visibility. Note that when I write OpenEmbedded I mean OpenEmbedded and Yocto project as they are connected.

I remember days when Montavista was seen as kind of competitor (“kind of” because they were big and expensive while we were just a bunch of guys). Then they moved to OpenEmbedded and dropped own tools. Other company with such switch was Denx. 3 years ago they released ELDK 5.0 which was OE based and made several releases since then.

What future will bring? No idea but it will be bright. And I will still be somewhere nearby.

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday. The day which reminds me how I got to where I am.

I used Amiga in 90s. Met lot of people, got new friends etc. Years passed and when I met some of them again they (+Mirosław Baran, +Monika Szczygieł) introduced me to local community of Palm users. It took me one more year to became Palm user (m105, sj30) but then I knew that I want to go that way.

Another year and I had Sharp Zaurus. And pile of devices started to grow… Interesting job offers went few years later.

I still have my first Palm M105. Maybe it is good day to check is it still operational. 

Time to plan vacations

This year I want to take my family for long trip. But not just a trip but Moomins influenced one because my daughter likes to listen when we read books about them.

So from Szczecin to Olecko (where my mother lives) for few days. Lakes, few old friends, family. Then go north.

Through Lithuania to Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia. Sight seeing here and there to not just drive through all those countries. But probably skip Vilnius as it is on a side.

Then ferry to Helsinki, walk around for a day. And the next step would be Moomin World in Naantali, Finland. No idea how much time it requires. From there to Tempere to visit Tampere Art Museums Moominvalley.

The whole trip needs to be in July when Mira has vacations. And it is also the only time when Finland has summer (but have to check which days 🙂

Have to check where to stay, who to meet (Riku? Thomas? probably few more), which way to go, what to see. And also I need to get new ID for Mira.

Hope that it will be a great adventure ;D

Boże Narodzenia a książki dla dzieci / Christmas and children books

English version below

Idą święta. W sobotę Mira poprosiła bym przeczytał jej książkę o Bożym Narodzeniu.

Książka była tłumaczona z innego języka. Innej kultury.

Nie żebym miał coś przeciwko indykowi na Wigilię, kalendarzom adwentowym czy świętemu Mikołajowi zostawiającemu prezenty w nocy. Ale wolałbym przeczytać coś bardziej osadzonego w naszych realiach.

Zarówno u mnie jak i u Ani w rodzinie św. Mikołaj przychodzi w okolicach “pierwszej gwiazdki”, zadaje pytania młodszym i starszym. To jest część świąt, której brak byłby odczuwalny.

Nie potrzebuję rozrywać “Christmas Crackers” z drugą osobą, zamiast indyka wolę w ten dzień rybkę.

Mirze różnicę w porze prezentów wyjaśniliśmy w prosty sposób: św. Mikołaj nie ma czasu by odwiedzić wszystkich wieczorem więc niektóre dzieci dostają prezenty w nocy.

English version

Christmas is comming. On Saturday my daughter Mira asked me to read her book about it.

Book was translated from other language. Other culture.

I do not have anything against turkey on Christmas Eve, advent calendars or Santa leaving presents during night. But I would prefer to read book more related to our way of handling Xmas.

But both in my and Ania’s families Santa arrives around “a first star”, asks some questions, requests songs etc.

I do not need to pull Christmas Crackers with other person (did it once) and prefer fish rather than turkey on Christmas’ Eve dinner.

Our explanation on different timing of leaving presents was quite easy: Santa does not have enough time to visit everyone during evening so children in other countries get their presents during night.

Chrismas Eve in Poland in wikipedia

From a diary of AArch64 porter

One day I will go to software conference with an axe or a knife and will turn a place into slaughterhouse…

During last few weeks most of my work was related to fixing build issues on AArch64 platform. That’s what I do since September 2012. Just operating system changed from OpenEmbedded to Fedora. And there are days when I want to kill.

Kill who? Software developers. Some for shipping few years old copies of config.{guess,sub} files. Others for inventing crazy ways of abusing autoconf usage. My latest find was fakeroot.spec which has this precious jewel:

for type in sysv tcp; do
mkdir obj-$type
cd obj-$type
cat >> configure << 'EOF'
#! /bin/sh
exec ../configure "$@"
chmod +x configure
%configure \
  --disable-dependency-tracking \
  --disable-static \
  --libdir=%{_libdir}/libfakeroot \
  --with-ipc=$type \
cd ..

By default "%configure" macro updates config.{guess,sub} files. But it does it in place. So no luck here.

There are countless packages like that. Code for 3rd-party libraries bundled with code may have them as well.

So if your package uses config.{guess,sub} files then please take a look and do an update of them with new release.