Gmu status update

2012-05-08 13:55
Since it has been a little quiet around the Gmu development, I wanted to give short sign of life.
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USB controlled SPÖKA night light

2012-03-12 10:28


This is an IKEA SPÖKA light. It is a small night light resembling a little ghost.


Originally powered by an internal rechargable battery, the light is controlled by a single button. When pressing that button it starts cycling through various color combintations. When you press that button again it freezes the current color. That's all it can do. Depending on the model the colors can be a combination of either blue and green or red, orange and blue.

Inspired by another SPÖKA mod I decided to also modify such a light, but instead of wirelessly communicating with the device, I wanted to be able to control it through USB. As the power requirements of the SPÖKA light are very low, it can easily be powered through the USB as well.
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Linux 3.2.1 for Arch Linux on the Pandora

2012-01-16 13:54
notaz has updated the Pandora Linux kernel git repository. There is now a Linux 3.2 branch available, which I have used to create a new ArchLinux Pandora kernel package. Unfortunately the keyboard issue still has not been resolved in this kernel tree, which is why I again had to manually revert the changes that introduced the keyboard glitches. I don't know why this is still not fixed, but in the new kernel package the keyboard works just fine, of course.

I highly recommend to update to this new kernel, as it comes with several Pandora specific improvements, compared to the previous 2.6.37 kernel:
  • More stable wifi connections
  • Shutdown from within Linux (e.g. with 'halt') works now
  • The second sd card slot works
To update to the new kernel, run the following command as root:
# pacman -Sy linux-pandora
Pacman will ask for a confirmation that you want to replace the kernel26-pandora package with the new linux-pandora package, which you should reply to positively by pressing 'Y'.

At this point you should restart your system. You can do that by executing 'reboot' as root.

Afterwards you might want to upgrade the rest of your Arch system:
# pacman -Syu
It is always a good idea to update the installed packages with pacman every now and then.

For those who might want to compile their own Pandora kernel, you can use my kernel configuration, if you like.

Using the Pandora's USB-OTG port for connecting USB devices (ArchLinux)

2011-11-15 13:52
The Pandora console comes with two USB ports - an ordinary USB host port and a Mini-USB port which is USB-OTG compliant. Unfortunately, the USB host port is not fully USB compliant, because it does not support USB full speed and low speed devices. Most (if not all) USB HID devices like mice and keyboards are USB low speed devices and as such they do not work when connected to the USB host port without a USB 2.0 hub in between.

Pandora + Mouse

The Mini-USB port on the other hand supports USB low speed and full speed devices with a passive adaptor (Mini-USB-A plug to Standard USB-A socket). That means one can attach a USB mouse to the Pandora without a USB hub using the OTG port.
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Sapphire Radeon HD6850 repair

2011-11-07 15:11
Replacement of dying fan on a Sapphire Radeon HD6850

I've got a Sapphire Radeon HD6850 graphics card where the cooling fan was dying. It did no longer cool properly and at the same time caused extensive vibrations and noise. With that fan, under load the card immediately reached out for temperatures above 100 °C. I did not want that to happen and so I decided to replace the fan, which turned out to be not as easy as I would have guessed.

Radeon 6850
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