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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Ben NanoNote vs. Zipit Z2

2011-09-26 10:44
It's been a while since my last entry, so here is a little something. As requested, here is a little Ben NanoNote vs. Zipit Z2 comparison.

Zipit Z2 and Ben NanoNote

The machines have both a very similar shape and size and their specifications are also not too different. While the Ben NanoNote was meant to be Open Source hardware the Zipit Z2 was built as an instant messaging device for teenagers and was then repurposed by the hacker/free software community as a more or less general purpose Linux computer.
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Gmu 0.8.0BETA1 released

2011-06-08 13:18
Here is a new Gmu release with some new (long awaited) features. The two most notable features are internet streaming audio support and the graphical spectrum analyzer. Just like with the 0.7.0 series I start the 0.8.0 series with a beta release, mostly because there were many changes to the code base.

Gmu (track info view with spectrum analyzer)

Changes since the last release include:
  • Internet streaming audio support on network-enabled devices (for web radio, currently mp3 only)
  • Graphical spectrum analyzer
  • Support for PLS playlist files
  • Fixed time display bug for very long playtimes
  • Window icon for platforms running Gmu in a windowed environment
  • By default Gmu's file browser now advances to the next file when adding a file (optional)
Probably less interesing for the ordinary user:
  • Configurable verbosity on stdout (with the -v flag)
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