MJR's slef-reflections


gobolinux Entries

Computer things that puzzle me today

Sun, 27 Apr 2008 17:09:25 +0100
About gobolinux

I can suspend my laptop and it restarts happily enough in X, but playing video results in a strange green square. I've found that starting and killing another X server (like X :1, wait for the grey mesh and then zap it) fixes the problem and I can switch back to my original :0 X and play video again. I wonder if these notes on X suspend and video BIOS by Matthew Garrett explain it.

About debian

Why on earth did someone change the .changes format so swiftly and why does a change that breaks a common upload process (build in a VM, sign on a stable system) only warrant a -devel-announce paragraph under the headline Misc Development News (#6)? "Small news" - my foot!


Tags: debian, gobolinux, software.

Getting Linux InfraRed Beaming to a Palm III with a Belkin USB Device

Thu, 29 May 2008 08:55:01 +0100

I lent someone my old Palm IIIe as a data entry device for an exhibition this week. I don't use it much since I got a Samsung K608i last year. They weren't comfortable with using their smart phone as a data entry device. I can understand that: I'm still pretty slow at phone-typing and it corrupted data when its memory filled recently.

The batteries had been removed from the Palm to avoid them leaking, so it needed reloading with useful Palm free software for data entry. The first problem was that I decommissioned bouncing a while ago and that was the last machine to sync with the Palm. I wasn't keen to pull it out of the store cupboard and connect all the wires, but my current desktop machine nail doesn't have a 9-pin serial port for the cradle and that's the only connector on the Palm.

Actually, it's not the only connector: the Palm has an InfraRed emitter and I have a Belkin F5U230 USB-IrDA dongle thing. I don't use it that often, but it worked enough to connect nail to the internet through my old mobile phone. That was a while ago and I forgot the specifics, but eventually I noticed the key phrase in the irattach man page:-

"Note that there is another USB driver for those devices called ir-usb which is NOT compatible with the IrDA stack and conflicts with irda-usb. Because it always loads first, you have to remove ir-usb completely."

Sure enough, I checked the lsmod output and found ir-usb there, screwing stuff up. A few modprobe -r commands, then I simply ran

"irattach irda-usb"

and saw the irda0 network device appear.

Still one thing to do: beam the actual applications. This was pretty easy because I remembered reading that obexftp defaulted to IRDA sending when I was getting bluetooth working. All I had to do was enter a command like

"obexftp --irda --put db.prc"

and the Palm asked if I wanted to accept it! Yes!

First test with obexftpd for receiving files wasn't encouraging, though and I can't see how to use sobexsrv for this: I'll probably write next week whether we get any data off the Palm! The Palm IIIe is too old to hotsync over infra-red, as far as I can tell. I've got a roundabout route through the K608i but it doesn't seem to be very reliable. Anyone got any expert tips?


Tags: gobolinux, hardware, life, phones, software.

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