#touchbook IRC Log


IRC Log for 2010-02-19

Timestamps are in GMT/BST.

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[1:25] <_koen_> DJWillis: that elementary theme looks quite nice
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[5:55] <josch> Aard: wait, the tb itself is missing rtc?
[5:55] <Aard> josch: no, only a battery backed rtc
[5:55] <josch> ah i see
[5:56] <josch> i'd like to have a tb but dont have a credit card :(
[5:57] <DJWillis> Does the TB not use a big cap to hold the RTC while the batt is changed? That's what we do with the OpenPandora.
[5:58] <josch> you probably dont change the tb's battery that often :)
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[5:59] <josch> DJWillis: how is the pandora going? i heard production is already underway finally :)
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[6:40] <DJWillis> josch: thats just about the crux of it, firmware (as is expected) has some rough edges and the WiFi driver is a LOT slower then ideal but it's all comming together well, I have a cased up 'near final' unit and frankly it's quite nice being able to pick it up and take it with me ;).
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[6:50] <josch> :)
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[9:10] <mervaka> hey, is there any way of getting more gain from the antenna? seems pretty weak.
[9:12] <Corsac> which antenna?
[9:21] <mervaka> the ralink wifi
[9:21] <mervaka> cannot get it to connect anywhere on uni campus :<
[9:29] <diroots> mervaka: I noticed the wifi antenna is weaker on TBOS than on the ubuntu OS (for the 2010.01b release)
[9:31] <Corsac> for me the antenna is a physical thing, and the ralink chip as no external one
[9:31] <Corsac> so I fail to see what you mean :)
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[9:34] <diroots> dongle*
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[10:16] <Meizirkki> Hmm, when you remove all USB devices and boot TB, what happens? Batterylife doubles.
[10:16] <Meizirkki> I charged my TB for 5 hours and it has ran for 9 hours already
[10:21] <arthurjohnson> My wife so wants one!
[10:23] <mervaka> this is in TBOS
[10:32] <Noume> Meizirkki: What else did you expect?
[10:33] <Meizirkki> Noume, i had no expectations really
[10:34] <Meizirkki> as a user of Nokia n810 i do understand how much wifi (for example) effects the batterylife
[10:34] <Noume> hum, i suspect, there's much room for improvements
[10:35] <azaghal> Hm... Can't you power-down those devices?
[10:35] <Meizirkki> azaghal, I had both BT and wlan dongles removed completely
[10:35] <Noume> mobile phones can drain batteries with wifi within hours, while they last several days during standby
[10:36] <Noume> I guess the only way to power down them is either soldering in a switch that cuts +5V or removingem
[10:36] <Meizirkki> The point is, there was barely enough battery for the Touch Book to turn on (took several tries) and when it boots, it's on for 9 hours
[10:37] <Meizirkki> I mean WTF?
[10:37] <Noume> I see ;)
[10:37] <Noume> If you have some expertise in electronics and you studied the schematics, you'll know why
[10:38] <Noume> The power companion is designed for use in smartphones and small embedded devices, not for notebooks ;)
[10:38] <Meizirkki> Noume, yes i know that, i have some ARM device experience
[10:39] <Meizirkki> I have studied nothing but i guess the boot-up issues are related to powering the USB devices. (It's the critical part of booting up the TB when low battery)
[10:40] <Noume> a redesign should have a separate dcdc convertor for +5V that should be capable of supllying at least 1.5A
[10:40] <Noume> -l
[10:41] * Meizirkki thinks there's a hardware bug
[10:42] <Meizirkki> TouchBook could run for hours, but not turn on, when the battery is low enough
[10:42] <Noume> You're not alone and be assured that this is not the only hardware bug
[10:43] <tommd> What hardware are you guys using? Rev 1B?
[10:43] <Noume> I should get mine in a few weeks. i am planning to add another power companion for 5V, so this issue should be gone by then ;)
[10:43] <Noume> maybe it allows for a small hard drive to be installed
[10:43] <Meizirkki> tommd, yup, Rev 1B here
[10:44] <Noume> Has anyone ever considered a touchbook with nvidia Tegra? i guess that one would be great ;)
[10:45] <Noume> i am really missing a connector for ethernet and external monitor
[10:45] <Meizirkki> Noume, if i'll ever get a netbook it will most likely be Nvidia Tegra powered
[10:46] <Meizirkki> After destroying my TB's case it's not a netbook anymore :P
[10:46] <Meizirkki> tablet
[10:46] <Meizirkki> But i like it
[10:46] <Meizirkki> Many times faster and better than my good'old n810
[10:47] <Noume> the tbs unique features and tegra combined would be uber ;) Maybe add GBit LAN and HDMI and then you're done ;)
[10:47] <Noume> and of course onboard wifi and bluetooth with switches *dreams*
[10:48] <Noume> a car cradle would also be great
[10:48] <Aard> Noume: I guess it should be possible to put the wifi chip in low power mode; I doubt gbit ethernet will be of much use for the devic
[10:49] <Meizirkki> ^
[10:49] <Noume> not with the omap3 i guess
[10:49] <Meizirkki> I have never missed ethernet port
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[10:49] <Meizirkki> rt73 can do powersave mode
[10:50] <Aard> missed it yesterday, when I had flaky wifi, but it's quite rare. I guess I'll buy a usb adapter one day
[10:50] <Noume> gbit won't be of much use with an omap3, but with a tegra it will
[10:50] <Noume> afaik tegra features pcie lanes
[10:53] <Noume> usb wifis tend to trade off reception for small form factor
[10:53] <Noume> You might just get one with rp-sma vonnector and add a decent antenna
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[14:46] <tommd> Any cool projects going on right now? I saw AArds hardware-hack for an I??C RTC - any others?
[14:50] <tommd> gregoiregentil: Do you have any interest in L4 or other micro-kernel / small TCB tasks? Or perhaps you are too busy being a business man to indulge in unjustified technical explorations?
[14:51] <gregoiregentil> Aard hack is fun indeed!
[14:51] <Corsac> a friend of mine was interested by the tb and asked me about a webcam hack
[14:51] <Corsac> but I didn't know if there was any
[14:52] <Corsac> (but he already ordered anyway)
[14:52] <gregoiregentil> We did one webcam hack and it's working quite well. You can try to find on ebay or on google any USB webcam stick
[14:53] <Corsac> and just dig a tiny hole in the case?
[14:53] <gregoiregentil> then you can wire it to the board, and you can make a small hole in the top plastic (it's what we did). All drivers are in the kernel
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[14:53] <gregoiregentil> Back to Aard: Note that there is a small carveout. The I2C lines are supposed to be pulled up to VCC. Unfortunately, the resistor are placed on the bottom board and not on the main board.
[14:54] <gregoiregentil> This means that if you want to have the those pulls-up, you need to have the bottom part plugged.
[14:54] <gregoiregentil> Nevertheless, I have done some tests and it seems to work even without the bottom part.
[14:54] <gregoiregentil> As for the question of tommd: I'm always interested by new stuff. I'm not sure what L4 would bring to me
[14:55] <gregoiregentil> if you could clarify
[14:55] <Aard> gregoiregentil: I explicitely tested it without the bottom part, and it works fine (though the kernel rtc driver does not work yet)
[14:55] <gregoiregentil> OK. Good. BTW Do you have an I2C analyzer?
[14:56] <gregoiregentil> My guess is that the OMAP is doing some pulls-up for I2C (the same it can do it for GPIO)
[14:56] <gregoiregentil> internally I mean
[14:56] <Aard> I'm currently unsure if I should fix the kernel driver, or go for a userland utility to set the touchbooks rtc clock on startup
[14:57] <Aard> no. we hooked it up
[14:57] <gregoiregentil> I don't know. First, there is a tool named i2c-tools
[14:57] <Aard> to an oscilloscope to see if we're writing to the right bus, but that's about it
[14:57] <gregoiregentil> http://www.lm-sensors.org/wiki/I2CTools
[14:57] <Aard> for software I've been using the i2c commandline utility from gumstix
[14:57] <gregoiregentil> that may be useful
[14:58] <gregoiregentil> is it the same as lm-sensors.org?
[14:58] <gregoiregentil> Also, you may want to take a look at the BQ27100 driver on I2C that we are using for the bottom battery gauge.
[14:58] <gregoiregentil> You probably want to do something similar I guess. You need also to modify the board file.
[15:01] <Aard> the lmsensors tool seems to be more powerful, though the one I'm currently using might be enough for my needs
[15:02] <Aard> the linux rtc infrastructure does provide a driver for the chip I'm using, but so far does not detect it. I'd guess it might have something to do about it being on i2c bus 3
[15:03] <Aard> the userland solution might be more interesting, though, since it would allow people doing the rtc hack while using the default kernel
[15:03] <tommd> Gregoiregentil: I ask from a security standpoint. To be honest it likely wouldn't bring anything to you any time soon but the TB, being based on OMAP, is perhaps the first computer system in a decade that is small enough for a reasonably complete failure analysis. This is of interest to groups that deal with security and correctness. Such groups also like micro-kernels and small TCBs for the same reason.
[15:04] <gregoiregentil> Aard: A kernel solution is much better (but more painful to elaborate) because it will work on all distributions out of the box
[15:05] <gregoiregentil> it's why I have tried to put so many things in kernel, this way it can work on AIOS, Ubuntu, Gentoo...
[15:06] <Aard> gregoiregentil: true, though I'm unsure how linux behaves if two rtcs are present. the rtc subsystem accepts almost no parameters; I suspect I'd need to make sure to load the driver for my rtc first, and I haven't found a way to do so yet
[15:08] <gregoiregentil> you should ask the linux-omap mailing list. I don't have answer to this question
[15:09] <Aard> that's not omap specific
[15:09] <tommd> Is anyone else here interested in developing Linux Gadget driver code for the TB? One of my ideas for a project is basically to implement the Linux "root_plug" LSM example correctly. That is, use a cryptographic challenge-response so a host computer (such as your desktop or laptop) won't work without the TB plugged in.
[15:10] <gregoiregentil> Not sure what I should answer :-) That's definitely interesting but not on the highest of my todo list
[15:10] <tommd> Another possibility would be to integrate with LUKS, but I expect that to be more difficult.
[15:11] <tommd> gregoiregentil: Yeah, most my interests aren't a good business case for you and I'm fine with that - but figured I'd ask the room if there is interest.
[15:11] <gregoiregentil> Sure. Other people may be interested indeed
[15:12] <Corsac> tommd: luks by itself is quite easy
[15:12] <Corsac> tommd: now if the touchbook can be set to device mode (gadget) you can just put the key on it and provide it to luks
[15:12] <tommd> Corsac: Yes - I've looked at it before. OTOH, correctly storing a key split on a USB gadget is something I am unclear on - particularly when the gadget is implemented as a Linux driver.
[15:12] <Corsac> on the main host
[15:13] <tommd> Mostly I'm not sure how to get persistent storage from a Linux gadget driver.
[15:13] <Corsac> tommd: though I fail to see the point anyway :)
[15:14] <tommd> Corsac: The idea here (correct or not) is that your gadget (which is a TB for us, but in the general case could be something smaller) will remain as secure or more secure than your other (security critical) computer.
[15:14] <tommd> At any rate the security wouldn't be harmed because 1) presumably we aren't introducing a vulnerability in the USB device code on this host 2) this is a key split, not the full key, on the gadget.
[15:14] <Corsac> tommd: why not using an usb key?
[15:15] <Corsac> tommd: it easier
[15:15] <Corsac> it's
[15:15] <tommd> That is a possibility, but requires some understanding of USB keys, file systems and mounting at boot time. I'm looking for something lower level and easier to verify.
[15:15] <Corsac> tommd: and it's not less secure, unless you want to use trustzone stuff to make the touchbook decrypt something to get the key back to the main host
[15:16] <Corsac> tommd: just put the key on the root of usb key and you're done
[15:16] <tommd> Not really, but thats a nice thought.
[15:16] <Corsac> tommd: sure it is
[15:16] <Corsac> tommd: I already did that, multiple time
[15:16] <Corsac> and now there's a script included in examples/ folder in luks to do just that
[15:17] <tommd> I guess we are arguing past each other. I'm arguing there is a case for a simpler protocol that doesn't involve user space (for Linux) and requires less code - the USB mass storage driver is absurd.
[15:18] <tommd> At any rate, my first goal is more of a root-plug gadget driver. Second is any LUKS concerns.
[15:18] <Corsac> it still fail to see the point :)
[15:18] <tommd> Thats ok! :-)
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[15:53] <Aard> here's the documentation about the rtc hack: http://bwachter.lart.info/blog/article,208/
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[17:51] <Aard> gregoiregentil: got it registered as rtc. now rebuilding the kernel with the original rtc, and both drivers linked in to see what happens...
[17:51] <gregoiregentil> Cool!
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[18:29] <Aard> gregoiregentil: there's some issue with initializing on cold boot (either the kernel is booting to fast, probing the device before it's ready, or the init sequence in the driver is buggy). apart from that it's working fine
[18:29] <Aard> the ds1307 driver gets registered first, making it rtc0 when such a device is present
[18:32] <Aard> http://www.pastebin.com/m34124f6e
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