spicyjack is currently certified at Apprentice level.

Name: Brian Manning
Member since: 2001-03-16 05:40:42
Last Login: 2007-03-04 19:49:36

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Homepage: http://www.antlinux.com

Notes:

Visit my Wiki for a good idea of what I may currently be working on. I use the wiki for storing ideas for projects that I come up with, it's helped me organize my ideas, for which I'm very thankful.

My active projects:

  • Running Linux on the Fujitsu Lifebook S-4546
  • stream-db: a perl-based database driven MP3 file streamer, sends MP3 files to an [Ice|Shout]cast server
  • streamcast: a perl based MP3 file streamer. streamcast is a lot less work to set up than stream-db, as it doesn't use a database
  • streamcast and stream-db are due to be merged back into a single project, A rewrite of the code is underway and it would be nice to maintain only one project instead of two.
  • php-stream: A PHP front end to stream-db; lets users log in and make requests, keeps statistics, and more
  • Antlinux: A smallish Linux distribution for use with systems that run from CD-ROM/floppy/CompactFlash card. This project is the umbrella project for all of the mini-projects I'm currently working on:
    • Anywipe - a floppy based 'wipe' utility, used to scrub magnetic media
    • tkboom: A GUI cross-platform Doom game launcher, written in Perl & Perl::Tk. I'm using prboom as my test program, but when I'm done, it should work with any Doom port.
    • PortaBoom: PortaBoom is a standalone mini distribution of Linux. PortaBoom's main goal is to allow people to play the game of Doom on any Intel machine with a CD ROM drive, regardless of what operating system is installed on the hard drive. PortaBoom will boot from a CD ROM, and once booted, start a framebuffer X server for gameplay and interaction with the system. PortaBoom will use tkboom for the user interface inside of X.

Recent blog entries by spicyjack

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misc

Props to Stellarium. It's a star/planet identification program, it's an excellent tool for figuring out what everything is up in the night sky. It's commercial grade open-source software, which is always nice too.

Fujitsu Lifebook S-4546

I gave this computer to my mom about two years ago. I put Debian Woody with KDE on it for her, along with OpenOffice as the main "productivity tool". She hated it. She's so used to using Microsoft Office, and she doesn't have the time to learn something as different as Linux is to Windows, that I relented and put Windows 2000 on it. I'm sad I had to do that, but it was a lesson learned, I guess.

misc

I've been super busy with school, so much so that I don't have extra time to work on any of my side projects. I get about 10-15 hours of homework a week, on top of working full-time. I should be done with school by the end of 2005, being done with school can't come too soon, I keep coming up with crazy ideas for projects.

I've purchased two Apple laptops since my last diary post, one runs OS X full time while the other will dual boot OS X and Linux. OS X has a very seksi interface, I prefer it when I'm doing papers for school and whatnot. I miss all the GNU tools however, and how a lot of the applications/games I use are written on Linux, and can sometimes not compile on OS X. The Powerbook (manzana) runs OS X, and the iBook runs both OS X and Debian (Sarge) GNU/Linux, and will most likely run in Linux most of the time. There's an application for PPC Linux machines called Mac On Linux that will let you run OS X apps on Linux. Can't wait to try it out.

I've gone through a lot of hardware within the last year or so, I now have two small computers running at my house 24/7, one computer acts as the backup to the other one, so that if one dies, I should be able to plug the running one back in whereever it's needed with only minor configuration. I've sort of discovered that for me, hard drive backups are the cheapest and least painful method of backing things up. I had a nice tape drive for a while, but tapes are a PITA if you have lots of storage, and tape libraries are way outside of a hobbyist's budget.

12 Dec 2003 (updated 2 May 2004 at 21:50 UTC) »

Fujitsu Lifebook S-4546

Compiled kernel 2.4.22.  I've added the following patches:

To patch the different drivers, use the following commands in /usr/src:


patch -p1 -d /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/wireless/ < orinoco-0.13d-patch.diff
patch -p1 < linux-2.4.22-ntfs-2.1.4c.patch
patch -p1 < squashfs1.3r2-patch
patch -p1 < usbdnet-2.4.20-patch

The usbdnet patch barfs, if you want to use it you'll have to hand-edit the kernel source to add the rejected patches in.  It's pretty straightforward, open the *.rej files, and copy and paste the text into the files that need to be patched.  Those files are:

  • drivers/usb/Config.in and
  • drivers/usb/serial/Makefile

I created new sets of files that describe how the laptop is configured and running for kernel 2.4.22:

One thing I did forget to do was build the base SCSI driver as a module, the system complains when it boots.  I'll redo it shortly.

I ditched lilo and installed GNU GRUB instead.  What's really cool is that GRUB supports splashimages, the splashimage will be set as the 'wallpaper' when GRUB starts.  I got the information about how to set up GRUB splashimages from the GNU GRUB splashimage HOWTO.  Here's the GRUB menu.lst file that I'm using to load the splashimage and also set up PCMCIA schemes, and here's a thumbnail of the image I'm using as the splashimage:

http://www.antlinux.com/lifebook/sunspot-bootlogo.png

It looks most excellent!  The already-formatted splashimage shown above can be had here:  http://www.antlinux.com/files/linux/graphics/sunspot-bootlogo.xpm.gz

I've also been toying with ALSA, I upgraded the laptop to ALSA 0.9.6 with no problems.  I tried to make some changes to my asound.conf and ALSA specific additions modules.conf file so that I can get rid of the errors that the ALSA modules throw when they load on bootup. The asound.conf

file has a reference to a few web pages that explain what the settings do. To use the ALSA additions to the modules.conf file, save the file linked above to /etc/modutils, and then run update-modules.  This will automatically add the options and aliases listed in the file to /etc/modules.conf.

streamcast/stream-db

Work on the DocBook documentation continues, I got some of my changes that I put down on my paper notes back into the XML sources. I figure I'm about half way done with the documentation. I also have a lot of ideas about re-writing the code so that it all runs from one single file, and calls functions from different modules depending on how you want to run the application (with database support or without database support). We'll see if I ever get to put my ideas into real code...

Fujitsu Lifebook S-4546

More e-mails about the Lifebook.  From Klaus Rudolph < lts-rudolph {at} gmx DOT de >, he was having problems with the FN key on the keyboard.

I found your website with your linux usage report for the lifebook. I have the same lifebook but can?t get the function keys to work.I can?t switch sound on/off or the screen brightness with the FN+Fx keys under linux. I installed a suse linux 8.2 with kernel 2.4.20. An older linux (suse 7.3, kernel 2.4.10) works well. Can you give me an idea where to search for. Is there any deamon to start? Any add on to install? I don?t touch my bios settings so I don?t have any idea :-(

I've never had a problem using the FN key to raise/lower the volume, and raise/lower the brightness of the LCD panel, it's always "Just Worked" ™ for me with no problems.  Subsequent e-mail said:

The problem comes up with using acpi by default in the actual kernel. With the parameter "acpi=off" at the grub prompt or in the /boot/grub/menu.lst the acpi switches off and the FN+Fx keys work again. 

So don't use current version of Linux ACPI drivers with theselaptops :). 

Werner Heuser < Werner.Heuser {at} web DOT de > has his own Lifebook S-4572 page, which links back to these pages.  Since I'm in the process of changing domains, I asked him to update his page to reflect my domain change.  He also has a website that deals with laptops and Unix at http://www.tuxmobil.org.

Fujitsu Lifebook S-4546

I've received 2 different e-mails over the last two days for different things on the laptop. First one is from Andrew Wei <andrew.wai {at} wild dot com dot uk>, he writes:

Hi Brian,
Just some updates regarding the fujitsu laptop and linux.
I managed to get dri working on my laptop but with only
4MB it only runs at 640x480! I actually managed this prior
to the mach64 was in mainstream X with info from          
http://www.retinalburn.net/linux/index.html     
                                           
I have also managed to get the modem working. See
http://linmodems.technion.ac.il/resources.html.
Use the SmartLink chipset.  Some reports of version 2.7.14
having problem dialing out so I used version 2.7.10 and
managed to connect using wvdial on Redhat 9.                                                   

Second e-mail is from Jan J. Wiktorowicz <victor {at} horyzont dot com dot pl>, and he writes:

Hi Brian  after 3 sleepless nights I have got modem in
S4546 working. Just use smartlink modem drivers (version 
2.7.10 is actually working), to obtain from 
ftp://ftp.smlink.com. As your page is the only valuable page
about S4546 and linux I think you can put mentioned link 
there.

Also, a few more things; being the tech junkie that I am, I started another laptop page for my Toshiba Satellite Pro 490XCDT. If you've got one, I've got mine dialed in (finally, ALSA was kicking my ass), go over and sneak a peek. I'm also in the process of changing my domain, antlinux dot com will be the domain I use now for all of my projects.

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