Posts Tagged ‘Google’

The first biological portable computer

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

This is not exactly a technical post, but I had to bring it online.

I am proud to be one of the first persons, if not actually the first one to own a biological portable computer (BPC). You will find no other such thing, I think. I have searched Google, after all.

Although the docking station, or Biologic Electronic Interface (BEI) looks quite similar to the IBM X40’s docking station

The docking station, or Biological Electronic Interface (BEI)

You can see the difference. Unfortunately, in this picture you cannot clearly see the micro conductors which are used in the BEI plug, which is, actually, the method of connecting a simple and regular USB mouse to the BPC.

The BPC has the ability to self support. It is self propelled, and will walk(!!!) back to the BEI whenever the need arises. It has the computational power of hundreds of normal PCs, and although it runs its own unique OS, it has a simple interface which accepts commands. In the picture below, you can see the BPC in its docking station, charging.

The BPC inside its docking

As said, accepts commands, but only seldom performs them. It’s a prototype, and yet has a way to go. It has to fit the docking better (this prototype BEI has been developed as a case study), and should go through more modifications until it can be sold commercially. Yet, very impressive.

ACPID and Xorg problem solved

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Well, all it required was a little search using Google, and Voila! It appears that I needed to add inside my xorg.conf file the line Option "NoPM" in the ServerFlags section. Restart to X, and it was solved. Just like that.

Nokia’s AMR, and Linux conversion

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

First and foremost, although I’ve purchased a new display card, I haven’t installed it in the computer yet, as my NVidia has decided to behave. Maybe it’s something to do with some specific build of Firefox, as it’s the only main package changed during the last two or three days.

Second, I’ve tape-recorded into my cell an event, and wanted to play it, afterwards, on my desktop. I discovered that it’s being saved in AMR format, which is rather annoying, and uncooperative. Google brought me this site, pointing to an important place on the web. Them both gave me a hint. I’ve been able to download Nokia’s package, and although it got compiled, it segfaulted, so using the second site, I’ve noticed the changes required both to the Makefile and to the codeĀ  itself, and it works correctly now.

Second, I’ve had problems with the script. I’ve altered it a bit, to fit my needs, and it’s attached here covert-amr-to-mp3.sh.txt.

You need to copy the compiled “encode” and “decode” to /usr/local/bin in this case, because it’s the right place for them.

It works correctly now, and I’m as happy as I can be. Got some good laughes out of these records.

One more thing – As today I’ve started working heavilly with VMWare, I’ve discovered a bug in it. I will probably verify it in the near future, but it can be replicated following these steps:

1) On an existing Win2003 Ent. Server install VMWare GSX 3.2.1

2) Check “Host Settings” to make sure it uses “C:Virtual Machines

3) Create a storage partition on another disk, formatted to NTFS, and mount it to “C:Virtual Machines

4) Repeate step 2. Use “Browse” to set it up right, if you’re not sure.

5) If you don’t have enough space on your C:, for example, less than the default Virtual Disk of 4GB, even if your mounted partition “C:Virtual Machines” does have enough space, VMWare wizard will complain about “not enough space”, and will not continue.

6) Setting drive letter to the storage partition and defining VMWare to use it works correctly.

So I’ve encountered it, and will try to repeate it on the next server I get to use. Could be interesting if I can actually reproduce it. Didn’t find anything about it in their documentations and knowledge-base.

Something else today

Monday, August 15th, 2005

Well, during the weekend, I got rather lazy. I haven’t done half the things I’ve had in mind, so I tried to spend some of today for the sake of these things. Nada. Wasted my time on work, and work, and then some more work, I’ve done nothing useful whatsoever.

During night time, I’ve decided I’d do these things yet. So far, one of my major
capital projects would start by me installing Linux on a computer lend to me by a friend. Easy, you say. True indeed. However, I’m out of blank CDs, I’ve got FC3 extracted files on one of my network shares (nfs, of course), and I have a bootable cd of FC2. No go. I’ve tried making the poor on-board sis network card netboot, and already have full bootnet (pxe) supporting environment, but nada. Nothing. Tailing the logs of the DHCP server, the client doesn’t even bother querying for IP address. It just won’t work. Adding another Davicom NIC (DM9102AF), proved to be a waste of time as well. The card wasn’t fully operational. I will just have to buy new blank CDs…

Searching somewhat in Google, I might be able to solve it, just with an additional directive, or so. If so, I will publish here my relevant configs.

Orinoco Solution (so far)

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

Well, my Orinoco 802.11b mini-pci card had this weird thing – sometimes it failed to start up after suspend. Why? I don’t know. I wasn’t able to understand the cause of it, and not being a coder, I had some hard time tracking kernel driver problems.

The error message was the following one:

orinoco_lock() called with hw_unavailable (dev=c1256800)

eth1: Error -110 setting multicast list.

Google is my friend. It can be yours as well.

I searched for Orinoco_pci modules, and was able to come up with this:

http://www.nongnu.org/orinoco/

Ok, so I can understand my driver version is 0.13e, which comes with the Kernel, but this version didn’t seem to do the work quite right, so I had to test a newer version, way newer. I downloaded the external module pack from here (direct link to the tar.gz I’ve downloaded) and tried to compile it. I failed. Badly. I was not able to understand the cause of the failure. More experianced coder would have solved it by now, but I was not able to. I got this, in general:

orinoco_pci.c:330: error: too many arguments to function `pci_save_state’

orinoco_pci.c:347: error: too many arguments to function `pci_restore_state’

I persumed it was right – the function got one argument too many, so I tried to find another example of this function by running grep "pci_save_state" and "pci_restore_state" /usr/src/linux

I got few files, all using only one argument, So I had to change the file orinoco_pci.c in two places:

pci_save_state(pdev, card->pci_state); on line 330

pci_restore_state(pdev, card->pci_state); on line 347

Based on the examples seen in the kernel tree itself, I’ve changed these two lines to the following:

pci_save_state(pdev);

pci_restore_state(pdev);

I was surprised it managed to compile correctly (tons of warnings, but no errors). I was able to manually load the module for testing, and after careful backup of the original modules, I replaced them with the newer ones.

Tested since yesterday, and so far It seems like my other wireless card, the PCMCIA card, has become a waste of money. I guess I can still use it to scan for networks…

Since there was no place in hell I was able to find this piece of information (me not being a coder), I am putting this online, for all who ever need it to watch and see.

Cheers.

Ez