Rackable – Taking the Graphics Out of SGI

According to InsideHPC they’ve confirmed the story at VizWorld that Rackable, er, SGI have decided to kill off the entire graphics division at SGI. The original VizWorld story said:

Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm hearing from people within SGI that, as of Monday, the entire graphics division has been eliminated. That includes everyone from the Vice President of the graphics division on down to the engineers.

Very sad to see given that SGI was Silicon Graphics and graphics was where they started off. I wonder what they’ll reverse engineer the G in SGI to be now ?

Puzzled Why You Can’t Enable “atime” in 2.6.30+ ?

If, like Tim Connors, you’re puzzled about why the kernel isn’t honouring your “norelatime” or “atime” options and is keeping the default “relatime” mount option then be reassured it’s not a kernel bug, it’s a bug in the mount command instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Basically to enable the POSIX “atime” behaviour again (for those few cases which require it) the mount command needs to pass the MS_STRICTATIME option to the mount(2) syscall, but it appears that the version in the mainstream distributions is too old to do this. There is already a Fedora bug to backport this, and Tim has just reassigned his existing one to mount.

Microsoft Word Falls Foul of XML Patent

Uh oh, this sounds really bad! LWN is reporting that:

Here is a press release from legal firm McKool Smith, which is quite proud at having gotten a US court to rule that Word violates patent #5,787,499. “Today’s permanent injunction prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML.” The text of this patent is quite vague; if it stands it could almost certainly be used to make life difficult for free software as well.

Microsoft taking a beating for this is not something to celebrate, this is yet another example of how software patents are really bad for all the players in computing.

I Can Haz Android (on an OpenMoko Freerunner)

I have been assimilated. Or at least my OpenMoko Freerunner has been! It’s now running the Koolu port of Android 1.5 “Cupcake” on it, and with a *very* helpful hint from Damian Spriggs on the OpenMoko community mailing list it’s able to make and receive calls and SMS’s. For the record you need to get ADB working and grab a root shell on the phone. Then you can use the sqlite command line utility to set the “provisioned” flag in its DB.

# sqlite3 /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/settings.db
SQLite version 3.5.9
Enter ".help" for instructions
sqlite> INSERT INTO secure (name, value) VALUES ('device_provisioned', 1);

I’ve also found a rather nice application called VCardIO for importing my contacts exported in VCard v2.1 format from KDE’s Kontact addressbook. Now we’ll see how it goes over the next few days!

A New TTY Maintainer for Linux

After the recent orphaning of the Linux TTY code there was speculation about who, if anyone, would be mad enough to take it up next. Well just merged in Linus’s git repository is the answer:

commit 57d7f282271a83fe4ca4bd15eee79be577210210
Author: Greg Kroah-Hartman 
Date:   Fri Jul 31 21:28:16 2009 -0700

    TTY: Maintainer change

    Clearly, I am a glutton for punishment.  I'll see if I can see Alan's
    changes through to the end, otherwise I'll be fending off a lot of bug
    reports for usb-serial devices.

    Cc: Alan Cox 
    Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman 
    Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds 

So the self-described “Maintainer of Crap” has added some more dodgy code to his collection.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So a big round of applause to Alan Cox for starting this dirty nasty work off and another big vote of thanks to Greg for picking it up. A raspberry to Linus for annoying Alan enough to make him give up on a really really tough job. ๐Ÿ™