linux

TRUE and FALSE

Mhh, Andrew Morton cleans up the Linux kernel code...

We have no less than 65 implementations of TRUE and FALSE in the tree [...]

The patch implements TRUE and FALSE in include/linux/kernel.h and removes all the private versions.

The patch also kills off a few private implementations of NULL.

(via Stuart Yeates)

Linux 2.6.16 Upgrade [Update]

I have upgraded my kernel to Linux 2.6.16 today with some consequences:

  • The "SysKonnect Yukon2 support (EXPERIMENTAL)" option supports my network card just fine now, no need for external sk98lin drivers anymore (gah, I bet this URL will break in a few hours). For googling purposes: I have the following card: Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8036 Fast Ethernet Controller (rev 10).
  • As I have reported before, my disk drive cannot be talked into using DMA without this kernel patch. The patch does not apply to 2.6.16 anymore, so I have fixed it. May I present: my first Linux kernel patch (IIRC), sent off to the LKML today. Let's see if this gets in the kernel...
  • The kernel now includes the ipw2200 driver (not the most recent version, though), which allows me to use my Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG wireless network card without having to use external drivers. However, the driver does not allow you to put the card into monitor mode. The code is there, it just isn't enabled, for whatever reason. I have created a trivial patch, but it seems that someone else has already fixed this issue. Just in case anyone cares, here's my patch:

    diff -Naur linux-2.6.16.orig/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.c linux-2.6.16/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.c
    --- linux-2.6.16.orig/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.c    2006-03-20 06:53:29.000000000 +0100
    +++ linux-2.6.16/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.c 2006-03-24 01:27:15.000000000 +0100
    @@ -38,6 +38,9 @@
     #define DRV_COPYRIGHT  "Copyright(c) 2003-2005 Intel Corporation"
     #define DRV_VERSION     IPW2200_VERSION
    
    +#define CONFIG_IPW2200_MONITOR "y"
    +
    +
     #define ETH_P_80211_STATS (ETH_P_80211_RAW + 1)
    
     MODULE_DESCRIPTION(DRV_DESCRIPTION);
    

    You should better copy+paste the patch from the HTML source or it might break...

  • There doesn't seem to be a loop-aes patch for 2.6.16, so I probably cannot mount my encrypted volumes. I'll try the latest release (for 2.6.15-*) tomorrow, if I'm lucky the patches still apply to 2.6.16...
  • If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you need this cumulative patch against the 1.0-8178 NVIDIA Linux x86 drivers, or else they won't compile.

Update 2006-03-24: The loop-aes v3.1c patches apply just fine. I almost forgot to mention the NVIDIA changes...

Greenpeace, E-waste, Linux Ecology-HOWTO

Greenpeace has asked companies to minimize the usage of toxic substances (English article) in computers and other electronic devices at this year's Cebit.

Hewlett Packard, LGE, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Sony Ericsson have assured Greenpeace to reduce toxic substances in their products in the nearer future. However, many other companies have ignored Greenpeace so far. For example: Acer, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, IBM, Lenovo, Panasonic, Siemens and Toshiba. I'm listing the names of these companies here in the hope to increase public pressure on them a bit ;-)

Although I'm not a member of Greenpeace (yet?), I do support the ideas and work of Greenpeace, and especially the above E-waste article made me think. We're all using more and more computers, PDAs and other gadgets — especially the geeks among us. I think we all should (at least to a certain degree) care about how this affects the environment.

I have fired up a search engine and looked for some hints about what you can do as a computer geek in order to help save the environment — guess what... there's a HOWTO for that, the Linux Ecology-HOWTO! (I'm beginning to think that there's no topic out there anymore, which hasn't been covered in a HOWTO by some Linux geek ;-)

(via netzpolitik.org)

Motorola A780 - My Shiny New Linux-Based Smartphone

Motorola A780
Motorola A780 Accessories

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones

It seems that I have become quite a gadget-whore lately. I'm spending all my money buying one gadget after the other, no end in sight...

Anyways, I finally got one of those fabulous Motorola A780, a Linux-based smartphone. Getting one turned out to be way more complicated (and expensive!) than what I thought it would be.

In the beginning, all sounded quite good: my cell phone contract with o2 is two years old soon, so I can get a new (cheap) cell phone. Stupidly enough, o2 doesn't offer the A780 in their shops and there seems to be no way to order one either (they do offer other Motorola phones, though). After asking the same questions in different o2 shops multiple times (and almost giving up), I accidentally saw the A780 in the local Saturn (a German electronics store).

And indeed, they sell the phone, and they can even prolong my contract with o2 (there's a dedicated o2 employee working in the Saturn store), so that I can profit in the form of a cheaper phone. Or at least that's the theory... In practive, however, I have a student-contract (saves me some bucks) which has the stupid "feature" that it can only be prolonged in o2 shops. Guess what, the Saturn guys cannot give me the A780 as they can't prolong my contract, and the o2 shop simply doesn't have the A780 at all. Argh!

After grumbling, asking around, googling, and even more grumbling, I finally decided to do the following: I got a new "dummy" o2 contract in the Saturn (yes, I'll have to pay that for 2 years) which enables me to get the A780 and to get it cheaper. I'll keep using my old contract and my old SIM card for simplicity and leave the new one untouched. If you take into account the money I'll spend on the new contract it doesn't save me too much money, but at least it's distributed across two years... I'll terminate my (new) o2 contract tomorrow, to make sure I don't forget about it (I don't want to have it any longer than the 2 years I'm forced to live with)... Stupid, stupid world we live in. Nobody should be required to perform such "hacks" in order to get the phone he/she wants...

Enough ranting now, here's some juicy details about the phone:

  • ARM CPU (at 400 MHz, I think)
  • 48 MB RAM, 48 MB on-chip flash memory, 256 MB Transflash card
  • 240x320 touchscreen
  • 1280x1024 built-in digital camera (can record videos, too!)
  • USB (device, host, OTG)
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS (+ it comes with CDs with maps of Europe)
  • Plays MP3s and videos
  • Can send SMS, MMS, emails, and has an IM client
  • and lots more great stuff...

For details on the hardware see this wiki page.

The only thing which I'm missing is WLAN, but once USB host support works (the hardware does support it), you can easily use a WLAN USB dongle...

I'm pretty sure I'll be having lots of fun with this thing, and I'll quite probably be contributing to the OpenEZX project, which was started by Harald Welte (of gpl-violations.org fame) and tries to create the first 100% Free Software GSM-phone using the Motorola A780 and similar phones. Judging from these blog posts by Harald, running your own 2.6 kernel on the phone is not too unrealistic anymore, and telnetting into the phone (via USBnet) seems to work fine already...

Expect more spammingblog posts about the A780 in future...

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