I finally used my new alarm clock for it's intended purpose, to wake up far earlier than I would normally be inclined. I set the alarm with the "at" command, playing an ogg file previously downloaded off of and groggily awoke to music of my choosing.

Admittedly, my search began looking for a replacement for an aging music player, which had no built-in speakers, so didn't work as an alarm clock. Some time ago, the headphone jack broke, so it had kind of functioned as a glorified clock with 6GB of storage and a very little screen...

I wanted something more capable; one of my requirements was that it would be feasible to run Debian a well as being relatively portable. I ended with something a little overpowered for an alarm clock...

Hello, openpandora!

Sporting a 1GHz ARMv7, 512MB of ram, 512MB built-in storage, two SD card slots, wifi, nearly full keyboard, 800x480 touchscreen, useable mouse nubs, 10 hours of battery life under active use... so it's nearly a netbook replacement. Yay, feature creep!

It's far lighter than my netbook and fits in the palm of my hand. It fits in my pocket, but barely.

Didn't spend much time using the OS it came with, Ångström. There was already a wiki page about running Debian squeeze using the armel port, but the hardware looked like it could run armhf.

Used qemu-debootstrap to build a Debian Wheezy armhf image on an SD card, and figured out the relatively simple process of booting the kernel shipped with it with an alternate root device. And it worked!

But the kernel was a litle bit older than what's was in Wheezy, at the time, so I spent a couple days getting the kernel to build from the latest linux sorce package in Debian. There was a pandora git reposiory for linux 3.2.39, and most of the patches applied cleanly(those that didn't seemed already applied with the newer version). After a few build cycles, managed to get a working kernel, though haven't yet trimmed down the kernel config to my liking. Ideally, it'll get sufficiently upstreamed to be able to use the omap kernel variant.

Also put together a package that configures the keyboard map, touchscreen and some cpu frequency scaling settings. Still need to document all that.

Spent a week without a laptop or other computer while traveling... and the openpandora running Debian Wheezy held up pretty well.

Posted Sat Jun 1 22:23:58 2013 Tags:

For many years, I've been meaning to write about various things in some sort of online journal. I'd like to tie together various parts of my life, such as my technical work in Debian, LTSP and other Free Software, Software Libre, and Open Source Software projects, but also my passion for Aikido, and other ideas that inspire me, such as pleaching.

As with many new things, I struggled to name this journal. I even struggled with calling it a journal as opposed to a Blog, though blog always sounded a bit... brief and kind of blunt for my liking. So journal it is. But I still didn't even really have a name for it.

Recently introduced to the concept of pleaching, essentially weaving living, growing branches togther, I was drawn to the concept, but admittedly, the sound of "pleach" or "pleaching" also carried some hint of harshness in it. Looking into synonyms, weaving, plait, braid... braid, yes, I typically wear my hair in a pair of braids... It has enough meaning to get by on... But that's too plain... so I borrowed from Spanish to come up with "trenza".

So, thankfully to all involved, most of these posts will probably not be about picking names for things. I have a bit of backlog about some technical projects I've worked on that I'd like to write about, so I'll start with a few of those...

Posted Sat Apr 27 20:55:42 2013 Tags: