Friday, July 25, 2008

Bad HP, continued...

So the motherboard got exchanged. That's fine. The MAC address of the ethernet card changed as a consequence, that's unavoidable and no real problem.

But why on earth do they have to change the DMI identification strings of the machines in mid-production?

Before, the machine reported itself like that ("s2ram -n" output):

This machine can be identified by:
sys_vendor = "Hewlett-Packard"
sys_product = "HP Compaq 2510p Notebook PC"
sys_version = "F.0A"
bios_version = "68MSP Ver. F.0A"

Now it reports

This machine can be identified by:
sys_vendor = "Hewlett-Packard"
sys_product = "HP Compaq 2510p (RU537EA)"
sys_version = "F.0A"
bios_version = "68MSP Ver. F.0A"

When I entered it into the s2ram database, I of course used the full "HP Compaq 2510p Notebook PC" string, not expecting it to change within the same model.


But I should have known better: looking at whitelist.c shows, that HP has always had the bad habit of changing those strings all the time (just look at all those different nx5000 entries).

Bad HP, bad...

My cool new machine was already sent back for warranty repair. The external display, connected to the docking station, did not get a signal anymore, so the motherboard had to be replaced. Ok, bad luck, but nothing to worry about. I had another similar machine (nc2400, the predecessor of the 2510p) to use during repair, so it was not that bad. But what really pisses me off is the fact, that i needed to boot Vista, just to reactivate the built-in UMTS card. When I first had to do it after fitting the card into the machine, I was thinking that it might be Sierra Wireless who needs the card to be "activated" or that I just had overlooked some BIOS setting in my eagerness to use the new toy, so I did not bother too much.
But today - I had of course booted Linux and wondered where the ttyUSB* devices had gone - I searched all the BIOS settings and everything, but there was just no device appearing on the USB bus. So I finally had to boot Vista, start HP's "Wireless Manager" and switch it on there.

That's 10GB of valuable harddisk space wasted, just for an UMTS activator program. I hate that.

Shame on you, HP guys. I'm really pissed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cool KPowersave tip of the day

If you got a notebook where changing the backlight brightness via software is possible in linux (check the info dialog you get when left-clicking on the kpowersave icon in the systray), try this: move the mouse pointer over the kpowersave icon and roll the mouse wheel up and down.

Have fun :-)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Triple Dragon continued

This week is entirely dedicated to getting the Triple Dragon started with some usable software - and it is going along quite well.
I feared that I would have to dig down into DirectFB to solve my original framebuffer problems (on the first try I was unable to set the transparency - the setting, which is done with a private ioctl(), was always ignored), since the original software uses DirectFB, but in the end this is fortunately not the case.
The solution was simple: I need to issue the transparency-ioctl() after setting the framebuffer parameters, not before.
Right now, enigma is pretty usable, the "normal" TV viewing stuff is already working. I'm now refining the build system, so that I can tell people what they need to do to build the software, then I'll look at the init scripts etc, so that they can even boot it.
Next thing will be fixing the not yet working stuff - some hardware-dependent like the SCART switching stuff, some software like the media-player and record / timeshift features, but then I'll hopefully have some more people working on the project ;-)