Feb

13

I’d noticed that one of the developers had added a dependency on gpsd to the image build. Unfortunately gpsd depends on python-ncurses when you use –python in the build. While I’m sure they tested first, there is no .bb for python-ncurses in oe dev. Since this is preventing me building I am removing the dependency on gpsd from my builds. This allows me to build as normal. It is also preventing the build of gpsd but older versions should still work.

This should only affect people who build from oe dev and not the om version and should be fixed at some point. Although I am unsure as to why Openmoko is depending on gpsd anyway, at least at this stage.

Update: This should now be fixed. I’ll be rebuilding today’s build and making them available soon (busybox currently broken). Thanks go to Michael “mickeyl” Lauer…



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February 13, 2008 14:23

Jan

23

TrackMe on the Neo

14 years ago, at the end of January | 4 Comments

Remember when I mentioned my tracking application for the TomTom Go? Well last night I found a little bit of spare time so I could port it to the Neo 1973. I say ‘port’, it wasn’t so much Tracker1a port as a ripping out of the TomTom specific stuff and adding a little GTK interface. It’s not massively impressive to look at but it is actually my first GTK application. There is quite a bit of hard coded stuff in there at the moment but I do intend to move this to a config file. Currently, if the distance between the previous and current positions is below a certain threshold, a packet is not transmitted at all and position checks only occur at 15 second intervals. The data that is sent out is encrypted with a very simple algorithm, but I’m more interested in low cpu usage and speed at this point. I’m also going to be fairly honest about the state of the code at the moment, it’s not a pretty sight at all. I need to put together something on the server side to decode the packets, I know I have it somewhere, it’s just a matter of locating it.

I did wonder if the application should have an interface at all or if it should just run in the background, ‘secretly’ so that if someone stole your Neo you might actually be able to trace it.

The one thing that this did show me, however, is that you can’t actually run gllin for a particularly long time. I think it’s a minor fix but it does tend to fill up the free space on the Neo with its log data. I guess just disabling this might help, though I haven’t actually bothered to poke around with that just yet.

The other news is that to build this application I used the new toolchain and I have to say it makes life a whole lot easier. As a result I will also be building the toolchain at regular intervals and providing downloads via my buildhost. Sorry, but I can only build 32 bit versions at this time.



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January 23, 2008 14:53

Nov

30

Openmoko gllin EULA

15 years ago, at the end of November | 2 Comments

Most people are now aware that the gps driver for the NEO 1973 is available once you’ve accepted the EULA, although strangely you can’t look in the docs folder to get at the GPL/LGPL notices or the readme until you’ve agreed to it. I can’t see a specific reason for this and it’s probably just a configuration error.

Aside from all the shouting at the end of the EULA, there is one sentence that did catch my eye and it was fairly early on.

“…removal of the Software from a country in which it is licensed shall automatically terminate this license.”

Notwithstanding the fact that I could pretty much guarentee that neither you or I would happen to know in which countries it is licensed in, apparently if you happen to wander into a country that is not on this list you just lost the right to use the software. I think it’s only fair to know the boundaries, can we have the list please.

Since the EULA doesn’t allow the distribution of the binary .ipk file I’m afraid that you aren’t going to see this in any non-official images either. I’m not even sure that it’s practical for the official images to contain it. What would be useful, however, is if the ‘firstboot’ scripts checked your SD card for the .ipk and automatically installed it for you. I’m fairly certain that I’ll start putting this into my images shortly.

Although it’s a binary only .ipk it is at least a step in the right direction and at least GTA01 owners can now legally use their gps.



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November 30, 2007 10:53

Nov

21

Here I am, right here

15 years ago, mid-November | 7 Comments

Some time ago I wrote what I called the “Ramius” edition of my tracker application for the TomTom Go. The limitations of the Go SDK caused more than its fair share of grief and I shelved the project, hoping to revive it later. Now I’m thinking that it’s time to bring it back to life.

At the moment I’m selling my house in The Netherlands and moving back to the UK. Until the house sells I flit between the UK and Holland every couple of weeks. I’ve taken to using the Chunnel for this because it means I can drive through the night rather than have to bend to the ferry or flight schedules. The trouble is, my wife gets worried that I’m going to crash and burn. She does this every time I do the trip, in either direction. She wont go to bed until she knows that I’ve at least got to the Tunnel.

I brought the original code out of my archive and started looking at it, removing anything that was TomTom specific. I’m pretty sure that I’ll have a workable solution fairly soon, I may butcher the openmoko-agpsui2 application a bit too, just to add a face to the tracker application code. Obviously, it will need a network connection of some sort so I’ll be looking at starting and stopping a gprs connection, or using wifi when the GTA02 arrives.

On the topic of gprs and network connections, I was mulling over some points in my mind about this. Nobody wants their Neo to pull an iPhone, and give us all large bills because of roaming, so there needs to be some mechanism where the user can deny or allow access to things like gprs connections. These could be based on dates, times, even locations with the built in gps. The problem is not that it is difficult to do, the problem is that we need to be able to force applications to use an API to open gprs and wifi conections, and possibly even access the gps. There’s a whole kettle of fish here. Openmoko is opensource, not the Google kind of ‘opensouce’, the real kind. That in itself poses a few questions and perhaps some not so nice answers.

If we want to force people to use an API, then we have to make sure that they can only use the API and not bypass it. If they can bypass it, it’s useless because the malicious ‘l33t h4x0r’ is going to abuse your connection. The problem is, since we are opensource, the same abuser can simply replace the API. Sure you still have to install the application, but just think about it. Right now how many places do you update your Neo from with ipkg? If any one of those gets compromised or the owner deliberately alters packages, the first you’ll know of it is when you bill hits the mat with a thud rather than the usual ‘ftht’.

We can think about signed images or signed packages etc but that is not really going to help, this is opensource. As an application developer I’m going to want to publish applications, I don’t really want to have to get them certified or signed by someone else just so other people can use them. If you alert the user that an application or package is not signed, you know that they’ll just click ‘ok install it anyway’ and ignore it.

I think I’m going to have to ponder this one a little longer.



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November 21, 2007 14:49

Nov

18

A face in the machine?

15 years ago, mid-November | 2 Comments

Some people have been seeing things. Faces. Faces in their Neo’s. Don’t worry, it’s not your imagination it’s me, and I mean that literally, peering at you from under the clock. It’s not some vanity thing, it simply means you’re running one of my builds and allows you to quickly identify that fact.

If you ssh into your Neo and you are running one of my builds, then you will also find a file called

/etc/release

with the release date and time of the image, for example

ScaredyCat release qtopia-image-200711181035

The file appears in both my Qtopia and ScaredyCat builds but, as always, the standard Openmoko builds I do are unaltered so do not contain anything other than what is normally there – at this point that’s nothing, but may change in the future.

If you want to change the picture it’s a fairly simple procedure, either replace the file

/usr/share/pixmaps/wallpaper.png

with the file you want or change the gconf entry

/desktop/poky/interface/wallpaper

and make it point to the file you want to use. For example,

gconftool-2 –config-source=xml::/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults –direct –type string –set /desktop/poky/interface/wallpaper /media/card/mypicture.png

You will need to restart the Openmoko-Today application which, for most people, will mean a reboot of ther Neo.



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November 18, 2007 20:21

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