Archive for September, 2016

This legacy PC BIOS USB boot problems

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Believe it or not in 2016 I came across updating some aging x86 hardware, and it did not want to boot from our usual T2 USB pen drive disk images. After some research and debugging it turned out syslinux has the answer:

On these BIOSes, you’re generally stuck booting them in USB-ZIP mode.

A standard zipdrive (both the 100 MB and the 250 MB varieties) have a “geometry” of 64 heads, 32 sectors, and are partitioned devices with a single partition 4 (unlike most other media of this type which uses partition 1.) The 100 MB variety has 96 cylinders, and the 250 MB variety has 239 cylinders;

And this stupid hack indeed works, sigh. PC BIOS programmers, a very special kind of bread, … :-/

Dell XPS 15 and Linux - a developer’s dream

Friday, September 16th, 2016

This is one of the few and longer review articles I write on this site, for two reasons. First of all I am pretty dissatisfied with Apple’s laptops (and workstations) for a decade, and second Dell provided me with XPS 15 to try for a few weeks.


Screen on a serial port

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Although I use and develop on Linux for a very, very, very long time it never had the idea to use screen as a terminal emulator on a serial port for an embedded board.

Turs out that is very well support and just works:

screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

Innovation under Tim Cook

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Meanwhile at Apple HQ:

Tim: Hm, our year over year sales are down, again. How can we innovate to get this up again?

… hm, head-scratch, nose poke, silence in the audience, …

Tim: ok lets also take away the headphone jack so at least every iPhone user also needs to get a new one and third party companies pay us more Lightning port chip royalties.

Not really what we ask for in regards to better battery life or updates Mac line, … not to say the display word, …

Welcome to the brave new Apple, … run by bean counters, … :-/