linux

Why you should read your log messages from time to time [Update]

I didn't notice this for months. I was only able to use ca. 900 MB of my 1024 MB of RAM. It only happened accidentally that I read through my logs and noticed this:

Dec 26 19:33:37 localhost kernel: Warning only 896MB will be used.
Dec 26 19:33:37 localhost kernel: Use a HIGHMEM enabled kernel.
Dec 26 19:33:37 localhost kernel: 896MB LOWMEM available.

After setting the "High Memory Support" kernel option to 4GB and a quick kernel recompile, I can now use my full RAM. Nice, eh?

Update 2005-12-31: Thanks a lot to all the people pointing out (via comments in the blog and emails) that there's a better way to do this!

22C3: Impressions, lectures, hacking, bb ported to iPod

Train Station

It's day 2 of the 22C3 congress — time to post some stuff.

I've been travelling to Berlin by train with Daniel Reutter, taking a bunch of photos with my new PowerShot A610 (see photo on the right, for an example). You can browse the 22c3 flickr group for more photos.

We've listened to quite a lot of lectures already, and many more will follow. Especially the keynote by Joi Ito was really great, the network here works most of the time (wired net, as well as WLAN), so everything's fine for now...

As far as hacking is concerned, we played around with iPodLinux a bit. We managed to port aalib to the iPod an then (more interesting) we also ported bb, the portable text-mode demo. There are some issues on both the 4g iPod and the 5g iPod we tried this on, but we're working on it... We have documented the ports in the form of HOWTOs (currently Debian-specific) in the iPodLinux wiki (aalib, bb).

bb on a 4g iPod
bb on a 5g iPod photo 1
bb on a 5g iPod photo 2

Up next: porting Ruby to the iPod.

Update 2006-01-05: This post made it to Symlink a few days ago.

My new toy: the Canon PowerShot A610, and how to use it with Linux

My new Canon PowerShot A610

So, I finally got myself a new digital camera — the Canon PowerShot A610. Judging from some, good reviews I read, it looks like the best option for my purposes and for the price I'm willing to pay.

It's a 5 megapixel camera, it has a 4x optical zoom, it's pretty fast, can do videos (640x480 at 30 fps) etc. etc.

Of course, it only comes with a 16 MB SD-card which is a joke, so I'll need to get something like a 1 GB card soonish.

It seems to be pretty well-suited for macro photography (1cm minimum distance), see the samples on the right.

Scrissors
Pen

Linux usage:

Using this camera with Linux is not as simple as mounting it as an USB mass storage device. Instead, the camera uses the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) for file transfers.

Fortunately, the wonderful gphoto2 (apt-get install gphoto2) supports that, so I can easily get all images and videos off the camera with a simple

gphoto2 --get-all-files

(actually, the camera is only "supported" in the current gphoto2 CVS version, the latest stable release, 2.1.6, doesn't really recognize it — but it still works ;-)

As I now have a pretty solid digital camera (compared to my last one), and I've also been gifted a good book on digital photography, I hope to be able to improve the quality of the photos in my photoblog quite a lot in the nearer future.

In any case, I'll sure have some fun with this new toy...

17 Mistakes Microsoft Made in the Xbox Security System

Nice. Very nice. The Xbox-Linux / Free60 team around Michael Steil has published a paper / wiki page called 17 Mistakes Microsoft Made in the Xbox Security System. I'm currently reading the paper, but I'm not quite through yet (the PDF is 13 pages long). It contains a very detailed analysis of the 17 types of mistakes Microsoft made (they made most of them multiple times)...

The paper and the findings will be presented at the 22C3 in Berlin — this is one of the lectures I will definately be attending, that's for sure!

Quoting from the article:

"[Conclusion: ]The security system of the Xbox has been a complete failure.".

Also nice: the earlier (now obsolete) version of the paper was called The Hidden Boot Code of the Xbox — or "How to fit three bugs in 512 bytes of security code" ;-)

(via Golem)

iPod as RSS reader?

I noticed iFeedPod, which seems to be an RSS Reader for the iPod. It sounds like it syncs the feed items from your computer to the iPod for "offline" reading. I really like the idea, but the implementation is Mac-only and only free as in beer (not free as in speech) as far as I can tell.

Does anybody know of a similar software which runs on Linux and is Free Software? Do I have to implement it from scratch?

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