pavelmachek's Journal

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14th May 2005

10:08pm: More fun with disks...
Guess what I got while copying data from broken toshiba 2.5" HDD onto external USB disk?

May 14 20:20:27 amd kernel: kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
May 14 20:20:27 amd kernel: EXT3 FS on sda1, internal journal
May 14 20:20:27 amd kernel: EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
May 14 20:27:57 amd log1n[3168]: ROOT LOGIN on `tty5'
May 14 20:28:17 amd pam_limits[3253]: wrong limit value 'unlimited'
May 14 20:32:24 amd kernel: SCSI error : <1 0 0 0> return code = 0x8000002
May 14 20:32:24 amd kernel: sda: Current: sense key=0x4
May 14 20:32:24 amd kernel: ASC=0x4b ASCQ=0x0
May 14 20:32:24 amd kernel: end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 122597839
May 14 20:59:11 amd -- MARK --

Fun, fun. OTOH toshiba disk started to work better when I opened the window (that decreased temperature in room from ~23C to ~21.5C). Now it is back to normal speeds, and no ill effects can be seen. Or maybe it was because I took disk out to let it cool and generally played with it?

Strange thing is... I can see errors in syslog, but at command line level, no errors are reported. Is kernel doing retries for me?
1:45pm: Another day, another failed toshiba harddrive
I had really unlucky thursday, 12th: first horse kicked me, then another horse destroyed its rope, and then I left my keys in the stables. Bad, bad, bad.

So I had to return to stables at friday, 13th. Fortunately keys were there, and I took mare with her foal out. It went okay (which is quite good, considering this was first time foal got out of stables). I thought "hey, lucky friday 13th".. but not so fast.

I kept running one of my notebooks on for few days non-stop as a small "home server". At friday night, I was debugging Billionton bluetooth CF (works now), and server felt strangely slow over ssh. I did not investigate. (Mistake).

Today server started giving I/O errors. BAD. I'm now rsyncing data out of it... getting ~1MB/sec linear throughput thanks to all the successfull and sometimes unsuccessfull resets. Funny thing is that smart *still* thinks disk is healthy.

9th May 2005

12:44am: hard disk problem
...and a big one. Hard disk in my primary machine failed... in quite a funny way. It had obvious problems (slowness, many retries), yet smart diagnostics claimed it is okay. I even ran "long" test -- one hour -- and it said "ok". Then I tried to read my data and it failed in under minute.

Thanks, toshiba.

[Well, it was notebook, and its tiny legs kept falling down; I kept supergluing them back but gave up month ago. That means that machine was running very slightly tilded... I thought notebooks are designed to survive that?]

I guess I should put it into the oven... That definitely helped to disk in my compaq evo ;-). [I mean, really; I had very nasty overheat because I left notebook with failed harddrive running in my backpack, and harddrive recovered.]

8th May 2005

11:33pm: Eurotel broadcasts CellID using Cell Broadcast
...and that's nice, that should make it possible for mobile phone to locate itself in java... It is broadcasted on channel 471. (It took me almost an hour to find this info...). Few days ago I made "map for mobile phone" (using, at, in combination with location info... it should be interesting.

6th May 2005

12:58am: Windows malware problem
...I never realized how bad it is. We tried to repair Windows 2000 machine that was sitting on internet. It did have antivirus, but not a firewall, and was not up-to-date. It was a mess... antivirus complained about new viruses being deleted in maybe 10 second intervals. We launched scan, and it found 5 different trojan horses, one of them in >20 copies. Ouch. We installed firewall but we still were getting blackmail "your computer is too slow because of spyware" messages. Bad.

Firewall apparently did not help, new trojans were appearing even with firewall up. [And we were not picking them using IE... Machine even had firefox]. I guess that machine is beyond repair. Problem is that windows XP install with all the applications is going to take more than 5 hours :-(. I don't understand how people can live with Windows...

4th May 2005

12:24am: account
I got an account on, and am pushing my git trees there (mainly as a kind of backup, but perhaps I'll be able to merge with Linus some day).

25th April 2005

6:52pm: Filling mmc with mp3-s for nokia 6230 not as simple as it sounds. For one, it is quite worth it to recode mp3s in different bitrate, and to increase their volume (because otherwise mp3 player is unusable unless you are in the middle of quiet wood). I searched net a bit, but found nothing interesting... so I made my own.

# Fill 6230 memory card with some mp3s
# Copyright 2005 Pavel Machek <>
# Usage: fillphone 

doit() {
for A in "$1"/*; do
    df -h $MMC
    echo $A -> $I.mp3
    lame -h --scale 3 --abr 48 -m m "$A" /tmp/delme_fillphone.mp3
    cp /tmp/delme_fillphone.mp3 $MMC/$I.mp3 || ( echo Done -- disk full; rm $MMC/$I.mp3; killall fillphone; exit )


mkdir $MMC
mount /dev/sdc1 $MMC

if [ "a$1" != "a-c" ]; then
    rm -r $MMC/*.mp3
while [ "a$1" != a ]; do
    doit "$1"
12:29am: Congratulations to Microsoft...
...for finally debugging their Window$ to run on x86-64 platform... Only 2 years and 4 days too late :-P.

(SuSE linux enterprise server 8 was released 22 april 2003.)

24th April 2005

11:55pm: Linux-based phones
Motorola is making them for some time now, but they do not seem to be available in europe (does anybody know where they sources are, BTW? Their modified Linux kernel should be available...). Some German firm seems to be making them too (notebook-like clamshell design with qwerty, NICE!), but they do not seem to be available at all. But hopefully they'll become more common now: Philips 960 should be based on 's C8000 platform, which is Linux-based according to CellON.

If you know where to get one, be sure to let me know.
12:49am: git games
I have tree git trees now... Only to figure out that I'll probably not be able to make Linus pull from me. cogito uses one object directory for all the local forks, and linus would pull lot of junk if he did rsync from me :-(

21st April 2005

10:41am: Updates... nokia 6230 mp3/wav support
I got wgs64 to s-jtsk conversion from few places, with permission to GPL it... Good. Now all I need is someone to hack qgis --display X,Y,zoom_level options....

I played a bit with java on 6230... The language is pretty ugly, forcing me to do stuff like try { } except (ex) { } with exception being ingored just because compiler is too paranoid. Bad. On plus side I made it produce sounds (so mujmail now has "wait for new mail, then tell me" mode), but all it could produce was midi or simple tones. Is there easy way to force it to play mp3 (or wav? but that would probably be even harder)...
10:37am: skype
I got skype working... It works surprisingly good over EDGE. Of course, latency is just horrible, so it is more "push-to-talk" without need to push.... and it is hardly usable for normal conversation. (I expected it not to work at all.....)

19th April 2005

1:27pm: Geography
American Army has database of places and their geographical (wgs-84) coordinates, available for download. Very handy. Unfortunately, almost all czech maps are based on S-JTSK system of coordinates, which is something quite different. Oops.

Now, there should be about 1000 different small utilities to convert between wgs-84 and s-jtsk. Apparently they are, but they seem to be written in visual basic and without source. I *know* I have seen C++ sources somewhere on web, but could not find them now :-(.

Oh and btw greetings to Mirek Spousta and Johanka Dolezalova. I did not realize people actually read this :-).

11th April 2005

3:03pm: Novells web system is piece of ****
I was forced to two different usernames, and 5 different passwords by now. All with strange rules such as "at least 6 characters long, must contain numbers, may not contain word "Novell"". And then they send you html email with "your password is about to expire, please click here"... If I wanted to phish for some passwords it would be very easy. Of course I wrote those passwords down, I'm not going to memorize 5 different passwords just because some paranoid idiot feels better that way. Oh and then you have "secret question / secret answer", no limits on characters, can be used to reset passwords.... Obviously they don't care about security. And they actually try to spam you when you create your account "receive notifications" checkbox is on by default. Plus you must provide your phone....

In the emails they tell you not to complain (actually complain to helpdesk, except there's no helpdesk). Ouch.

10th April 2005

10:39pm: EDGE detected in my place
Suddenly, network started feeling too fast (while testing 6230). I did some quick computations, and they were too good to believe -- 16KB/sec on GPRS. Then I confirmed it by 15KB/sec average download. So it seems that Eurotel now has EDGE in my home. Good, very good.

BTW I started to like nokia's FM radio. It is actually usable (unlike that on ericsson k700) -- you can actually activate it using voice command, and then you can select stations by simply pressing button on hands-free. On k700 radio can not be controlled without taking phone out of your pocket -- that means it can't be controlled, period.

Also nokia (by some magic, or probably software bug) can access network while computer is connected over its GPRS. (I wonder how it works, two machines, one network connection, no NAT?!) That means that you can check mail on phone while computer is doing some downloads. Nice.

[As a side note MujMail now works on 6230, and is actually better than nokia's client. Which is very easy... I'll have good reasons to develop MujMail now.]

9th April 2005

3:43pm: 6230 has some nice features, too
Its web browser is good enough to post entry on livejournal. Good. It also renders slashdot in almost usable way. Synchronization with mobical started to magically work. Unlike k700, you can actually activate radio by voice command. Nice.
10:29am: More Nokia rants
Nokia was so kind and put e-mail client into 6230. Unfortunately, it is very poorly integrated with the rest of system... It actually asks you for permission before communicating with network because they did not mark java program "trused". What's worse, that client does not really allow deleting of mails, making it unusable. Oh well, good reason to do some more mujMail development.

On the plus side, you can select any melody for incoming SMS (which ericsson was not able to implement, yet :-(; plus ericsson uses same melody for incoming email and incoming SMS, which is *really* annoying).

8th April 2005

12:43pm: Trouble with batteries
I finally managed to make Tony's dyn-tick patch to work... It did interfere badly with cpu frequency scaling... kind of understendable.

Now I'm searching for a way to measure power consuption... evo N620c internal ampermeter seems to be only updated when I [un]plug the cord. nx5000's internal ampermeter does not update under CPU load [or something like that]. Arima's ampermeter seems to work, but athlon64 machine is not exactly ideal for playing with power consumption... and then I have external ampermeter with only 2W accuracy :-(. I *was* able to measure ~0.6 W power difference between HZ=100 and HZ=1000 long time ago, so dyn-tick could help quite a lot.

7th April 2005

11:50am: BitKeeper and nokia 6230
There will be no free BitKeeper in near future. Good; at least it will be possible to get openzaurus sources in a reasonable way. It also means that open source SCM's will get all the testing they need. Good too.

I exchanged my old ericsson t68i with my brothers nokia 6230. Nokia is better phone... but its controls are completely stupid. It does not use side buttons for anything usefull (ericsson use them for scrolling and faster typing without T9). Menus are almost impossible to navigate using numeric shortcuts. You have to enter your passwords twice (fun on phones keyboard)... Lets see if I can live with that.

3rd April 2005

12:35am: pm_message_t has chance
Apparnetly akpm understands what a pain s/u32/pm_message_t/ over whole tree is, and merges patches quickly. We may still get u32 vs. pm_message_t confusion solved for 2.6.12, good.
12:28am: alcatel 303 repair
Pavel Moravek gave me old alcatel phone ("it no longer charges, so it is useless, I'll throw it away"). I thought its charger will be compatible with my alcatel 501... Electrically it is, unfortunately it just plain does not fit (unless you use a little force).

I started playing with that phone, and found that I can actually charge its NiMH battery using two needles and 4.5V power supply. Good. Then I searched a web a bit and that told me that interface at the bottom is very prone to failures... which fit symptoms perfectly. So I opened it (using knife, ouch; and it was actually *very* easy to disassemble), and found that trace from 12V simply rotten away... I tried my luck with soldering iron and after few tries phone charges. It is good to know that soldering iron is still usefull with modern electronics.

1st April 2005

1:38pm: bluemote, GPSes
In the last days I played with bluemote a bit; I got it to state when media can be nicely controlled from my t68i cellphone. Nice.

I'm now searching for reasonable GPS. It should be cheap, have some minimum UI so that it can be used stand-alone, and have serial interface so that can be used comfortably from zaurus... I've seen advertisments for xr5 gps for CZK3500 ($110 or so), but xr5 is really a joke. No serial interface, manual written by monkey, and not even graphics display. Well, if it had serial it would be acceptable...
1:15pm: First
Heh, so I now have my own blog. Actually this is second one, first one is about horses and in czech, and not really done by blogging software, at atrey. There are some rather nice pictures there.
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