Happy 1st Australian Birthday to me! ;-)

Today was Australia Day / Invasion Day (depending on your point of view) and it’s the first anniversary of my becoming an Australia citizen.

Didn’t get to do much to celebrate though as we’re in the middle of a massive backup recovery at work which has been keeping me very busy recently (24+ hours of extra work busy to date) and about which I’ll blog more when I get the chance. For now all I’ll say is don’t trust your hardware RAID controller and boy am I glad we’ve got good backups! 🙁

ENOKOGAN – Kogan Agora is dead (for now)

Oh well, so much for the dream, this was on the Kogan blog this afternoon:

I’m disappointed to have to tell you that the Kogan Agora has to be delayed indefinitely. This delay comes due to potential future interoperability issues.

Sounds like this was partly due to wanting to keep the device compatible with future Android versions needing better screens:

One of the potential issues is the screen size and resolution. It seems developers will be creating applications that are a higher resolution than the Agora is currently capable of handling. […] In order to fully appreciate the feature-rich applications Android developers will be creating in coming months and years, the Agora must be redesigned.

I hope that whatever they come up with still has a real keyboard..

btrfs for 2.6.29

This news from Chris Mason on the linux-btrfs mailing list:

Hello everyone,

Just a quick note that Linus merged the btrfs unstable repository into the mainline kernel. I’ll cut a new stable release of btrfs-progs on Monday to go with it (for now the unstable repo is the best choice).

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the code, tested, reviewed, documented, helped organize and otherwise helped Btrfs get as far as it has. It wouldn’t have been possible without you.

There is a lot of work to do before we can really declare Btrfs finished, but this is a huge step forward.

Yay! Congratulations Chris.. 🙂

For those who want to know more about btrfs, please check out its wiki page..

Echo suppression fix for Qt Extended 4.4.2 on OpenMoko Neo

I’d previously posted a patch for echo suppression for Qt Extended on the OpenMoko Neo, but it was completely bogus! 🙂

So I went back to the drawing board and changed it to use the AT%N0187 command to enable both noise reduction and echo suppression in one hit as I worry that the original method of using a command for each would result in the previous command being undone. I also added them to a couple of other places where
they looked like they’d be important such as on initialisation and on wake from suspend.

I’m using a slightly earlier version of the attached patch (only removed two comments and inserted some blank lines) on my Neo at the moment and it seems to be working fine – on a test call from a train I was told there was no echo (with the volume at max and mic gain right up) but that I “sounded like I was in a bathroom”, i.e. there was a bit of reverb. 🙂

I’m not convinced that it’s completely foolproof as I don’t know if it’ll remain enabled if I get two incoming calls without a suspend in between.

But it’s still a lot better than what I’ve been having to put up with since I got this going!

I’ve attached both the echo patch to this post and the compiled version of the Neo plugin that is running on my phone. To use it you will need to scp it onto your Neo and then:

root@om-gta02:~# cd /opt/Trolltech/Qtopia/plugins/phonevendors/
root@om-gta02:~# mv libneovendor.so libneovendor.so.orig
root@om-gta02:~# mv /home/root/libneovendor.so .

Once you’ve done that reboot the phone and you should be using the new version!


Extreme Ironing

You’ve heard of lots of extreme sports by now and probably the Extreme Games, but you’ve probably not heard of Extreme Ironing..

The sport that is ‘extreme ironing’ is an outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. It involves taking an iron and board to remote locations and ironing a few items of laundry. Our Guinness World Record attempt will be for the most number of divers underwater ironing at the same time.

It’s being done to raise money for the UK’s lifeboat organisation (and registered charity) the RNLI and is on the 10th January 2009 at the UK National Diving & Activity Centre near Chepstow.

btrfs RAID1 benchmark on Dell E4200 with 128GB SSD

Having previously posted some nice XFS Bonnie++ numbers on the work Dell E4200 I use I thought I’d redo these after having migrated to a RAID-1 configuration of the experimental btrfs filesystem. As SSD’s are not necessarily as reliable as spinning disk yet for data integrity I wanted a system that could spot this and correct for it, so I created two equal size partitions on the SSD and created the filesystem with mkfs.btrfs -d raid1 /dev/sda10 /dev/sda11 before mounting it with the ssd mount option.

Version 1.03c       ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random-
                    -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks--
Machine        Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP  /sec %CP
sys26            2G           27458  23 21782  19           108478  39  3079  21

                    ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create--------
                    -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete--
              files  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP
                 16  7542  99 +++++ +++  5818  99  7232  99 +++++ +++  5638 100

real    3m30.808s
user    0m0.404s
sys     0m55.599s

Whilst the raw numbers are nowhere near as good you have to remember that this is doing checksumming of all the data and mirroring it across the two partitions I created for it and, if it finds a problem with the data, will try and recover using the data on the other partition. It’s also still in development!

Propaganda and Gaza

There’s an interesting article by a BBC correspondent on the BBC website talking about “Propaganda war: trusting what we see?” that raises doubts about the veracity of a YouTube video put out by the Israeli government claiming to show a rocket attack on a lorry being loaded with Grad missiles.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem though disputes this story, itself claiming that it was a mistaken attack on a lorry being loaded with oxygen cylinders by Ahmed Sanur, his family and workers – at which point the Israeli’s changed their tune:

The Israeli response was that the “materiel” was being taken from a site that had stored weapons.

Sadly the Israelis are deliberately making it hard for people to confirm or refute their claims:

Israel has bolstered its approach by banning foreign correspondents from Gaza, despite a ruling from the Israeli Supreme Court.

which immediately makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide.

Unfortunately as the reporter is being critical of Israels policy of denying foreign correspondents access he gets accused by readers on that article of trying to side with Hamas (same strategy as accusing those being against the stupid useless mandatory content filtering proposal here in Australia as being pro child porn), which obviously gets his goat, his response to that is:

I do not believe anyone’s “propaganda.” We seek to verify all claims, from whatever source. One of the main claims in Gaza at the moment is the serious situation for the population. Having reported from Gaza many times over the years, I know how crowded parts of it are and how dependent the people are on food aid from the UN. This means they have no other source of supply but equally, if the system is working, they should be getting enough to get by on. The problem is that foreign correspondents cannot get in to establish the exact situation for themselves.

Before I get accused of similar pro-Hamas leanings I’d just say that I consider all violence by both sides to be wrong, unjustified and completely counter-productive. As Ghandi said “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind”. I have my doubts that there will ever be a lasting peace in that area. 🙁