Archive for the 'Hardware' Category

AHCI PCIe SSDs

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

I thought we went from SATA connected (to AHCI board controllers) straight to PCIe connected NVMe protocol. Turns out there was a short time of PCIE connected SSDs with an AHCI controller. And of course Apple used them:

One can never have enough dongles^W proprietary connectors to lock users out, ..! :-/

Finally the first AMD ThinkPad!

Friday, September 21st, 2018

For decades fans of AMD, the inventor of x86-64, GPU infused APUs, and avoiders of a 100% Intel x86 monopoly where longing for a really high end quality machines, like IBM^W Lenovo ThinkPads. The dream came finally true, with AMD Ryzen w/ Vega gfx ThinkPads A285 and A485 this year.

This is a developing story, we will update with a review in a day or two.

Resist NVidia, especially for Linux

Friday, September 7th, 2018

So I do Linux kernel, driver, libraries, gcc, development since 1998. A little bit everywhere, all over the place. X86, ARM, PowerPC, SPARC you name it. I contributed to the Linux distribution ROCK Linux, later became stable release maintainer, and still run the fork #t2sde for embedded and special custom Linux distributions. My company ExactCODE was involved in many embedded projects and development like that, and in 2008 a customer wanted to base a product on the Nvidia Tega SoC, so I wrote Nvidia if they could release us any register level spec, even under NDA, to work on such a project. To my surprise I got an answer, but it was a simple one-liner, and not really what we needed to hear:

How is your Windows CE experience? We are not supporting Linux on Tegra.

Received: from hqnvupgp03.nvidia.com (Not Verified[172.17.102.18]) by hqemgate03.nvidia.com
id ; Tue, 22 Jul 2008 12:56:40 -0700
Subject: RE: NVidia SoC SPECs for Embedded Linux systems
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 12:57:03 -0700

How is your Windows CE experience? We are not supporting Linux on Tegra.

—–Original Message—–

For the currently engaging projects we need solid 3D support in
our portfolio we would kindly ask for the possibility to sign an NDA
to receive register level specs support NVidia’s latest integrated
embedded SoC’s in our boards support offerings.

Just for those why I can not, and will never recommend chips without register level data sheets available to developer, ..!

20 years, and over 400 scanner drivers

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Quite exactly 20 years ago I purchased my first scanner, after saving for years for my first computer: A Pentium 120, at first even running with our old ISA VGA card from my farther’s ageing 386sx25. Lafter, after saving more for my first VGA card, an ELSA Victory 3D w/ S3/Virge3D, it was also time for the first peripherals and of course to get analog material into the digital world I needed a scanner: a c’t mgazine well rated AVision AV630CS. But as Windows crashed too often than not on me, it was also time to migrate to Linux. Remember that was 1998 when few actually heard about it. And of course I had to write my own SANE scanner driver - and the rest is history:

ExactScan.com.

Bluetooth apt-X finally works w/ OpenSource!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

I also finally hcidump’ed which codecs my Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 supports, as the marketing material is often not that detailed and trustworthy. So besides the standard SBC; only apt-X:

# hcidump | grep -i codec
Media Codec - non-A2DP (aptX)
Media Codec - SBC
Media Codec - non-A2DP (aptX)

CLI, manual Bluez connection

Monday, June 4th, 2018

# bluetoothctl

power on
agent on
default-agent
scan on
pair xx:…
connect xx:…

Notes. installing Irix, Octane, O2

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Empty HD:

boot -f dksc(1,3,8)sash64
# boot -f dksc(1,3,8)sashARCS

partition:
boot -f dksc(1,3,7)stand/fx.64 –x
# boot -f dksc(1,3,7)stand/fx.ARCS –x

Install System Software

2 to open media
# insert all CDs

then to install:

keep *
install standard
go

in case of conflicts:

conflict 1a 2a .. .. ..

Obviously, more detailed tips at the usual: nekochan.net, …

AT command notes

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

so it is that time of the decade again, that you need to poke with some AT modem commands, e.g. for 3G / LTE networks, …

Does the SIM card need a PIN?
at+cpin?

Enter the PIN if required:
AT+CPIN=1234

Current network:
AT+COPS?

Update: special service numbers, e.g. balance:
AT+CUSD=1,”*100#”

List of early computing systems [WIP]

Monday, March 12th, 2018

I think we initially had a 286 without HD, nor color graphics
my father’s 386sx25 w/ 2MB RAM for what feels forever
gifted free NEC V20 XT clone thing
Pentium 120
IDT WinChip2 240
AMD K7 Athlon 600
AMD K7 Athlon 1GHz?
Sun Ultra 5 4/2002
Sgi Octane 11/2005
iBook G3 750?

GCC becomes slower and slower

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

As visible on my other posts, also on twitter and instagram I’m working on some vintage machines with our #t2sde the other weeks. Now only did the new GCC versions feel slower and slower, where even EPYC datacenter servers took like twice as long to bootstrap some $sysroot, … I did a quick mips64 build and install to the R10000 mips64 Sgi Octane. A hello-world.c compile is like 20% slower from 4.9.4 to 7.2.0 (N32 user-land):

# gcc –version
gcc (GCC) 4.9.4
# time gcc hello.c
user 0m1.080s

vs.

# gcc –version
gcc (GCC) 7.2.0
# gcc hello.c
user 0m1.290s