Category Archives: Rockbox

http://www.rockbox.org/ is a portable music player software/firmware

First time for Steering Board

Some years ago in the Rockbox project (2008 to be exact), we started the Rockbox Steering Board (RSB). A board with the intention of having a core group that would take final hard decision when consensus was not reached among developers, or when conflicts arise or whatever.

I was voted in as member of the board in the first RSB and I’ve been a member of it since. We have annual elections where we vote for 5 trusted persons to attend the board that potentially will make decisions for the project’s good.

But no real crises turned up. No discussion was so heated it wasn’t handled by the developers on the mailing list or over IRC. No decision was needed by the RSB. And time passed.

In February 2011, the first ever case for RSB was brought to us by a member of the project who felt there was potentially some wrong-doing going on or something that was done was against our established procedure.

The issue itself was not that easy to deal with, and it also quickly showed that all five of us RSB members are busy persons with lots of stuff going on in our own ends so each round of discussions and decision-makings took a really long time. In the end we really had to push ourselves to get a statement together and published before the pending release.

I think we did good in the end and I think we learned a little on how to do it better next time. But let’s hope it’ll take another few years until the RSB is brought out again… Thanks Jens, Marianne, Frank and Björn for a job well done!

Rockbox

Rockbox on Maemo

Nokia-N900Thomas Jarosch has been quite busy and worked a lot on the Rockbox port for Maemo, it is the direct result of the previous work on making it possible to run Rockbox as an app on top of operating systems. It is still early and there are things missing, but it is approaching usable really fast it seems

The work on the app for Android has also been progressing over time and even though it is still not available to download from the Android Market, the apk is updated regularly and pretty functional.

Going to FOSDEM 2011

Fosdem 2011We’re going to FOSDEM again. This year we’ll ship over the entire company (all three of us) and we’ll join up with a few fellow Rockbox hackers and spend a weekend in Brussels among thousands of fellow free software and open source hackers.

During this conference, 5-6 February, I’ve submitted a libcurl-related talk to the embedded-room that wasn’t accepted into the regular program, but I’ve agreed to still prepare it and I then might get a slot in case someone gets sick or something. A bit ungrateful as now I still have to prepare my slides for the talk but there’s a big risk that I’ve done it in vain! I’ve also submitted a suggestion for a second talk in the opensc/security room (also related to stuff in the curl project) but as of now (with but 16 days left) that schedule is yet to be announced so I don’t know if I’ll do a talk there or not.

So, I might do no talks. I might do two. I just don’t know. We’ll see.

If you’re a friend of mine and you’re going to FOSDEM this year, please let me know and we can meet and have a chat or whatever. I love getting faces to all the names, nicks and email addresses I otherwise only see of many people.

Update: My talk in the security room is titled “libcurl: Supporting seven SSL libraries and one SSH library” and will start at 14:15 on Saturday the 5th of February.

Rockbox seen on iPod Classic

Rockbox tiny

After a very long time of work, a very very long time since these devices were introduced on the mp3 player market, the hard working guys from freemyipod.org have produced something on yet another device. This is the same group that previously was called linux4nano and worked so long and fiercely to get code running on the 2nd generation iPod Nano and the 4th generation iPod Nano.

At the end of December 2010, Michael “TheSeven” Sparmann announced that he was running custom code including music playback on the iPod Classic. The (sometimes) so called 6th generation.

Robert Menes spiced up the story today by showing us a live picture of a Classic device that now actually is running Rockbox:

Rockbox on the iPod Classic

Awesome work Michael, truly impressive. I hope a lot of Classic owners soon will be able to try out Rockbox for real. Rockbox is said to not yet be very stable or functional, so there’s a lot of room for more hackers and developers to join in and help us improve!

The award for me

I was asked what the Nordic Free Software Award that I received last year meant to me. This was my response that I now repost here for the public to see:

Daniel WinnerTo me, the NFSA is a recognition from my own kind. A really big thumbs-up from within my own team. From fellow hackers who know.

In a world where we spend lots and lots of time alone in front of screens during long dark hours, where most of what you do is just silently pushed into source code repositories or consumed by eager downloaders distributed all over the world, getting that kind of positivism is invaluable.

I found it to not only be a very big ego boost, but it also really ignited my desire to do more, to reach further and to prove that my receiving of the award is the beginning and not the end of what I am set to do in our free software world. In my particular case it was a primary factor behind the start of the Foss-sthlm network that I co-started not long after I got the award. I’ve pushed foss-sthlm forwards during this year with several meetings with a hundred or more attendees.

Getting weird looks from outsiders or a thank you from the occasional user is fun, but getting an award from people who actually know what you might have done and what it takes to do it, is priceless.

I’m perfectly aware that I am the super-nerd. I’m not the social guy. I’m not the person who unite crowds or inspire teams to create miracles. I’m a software developer and I design and create code. Lots of it. I debate technical details, protocols and choices on mailing lists. Lots of them. I share as much as possible of all that of course and I’m thrilled that what I do is considered this good and is appreciated to this extent.

Everyone doing volunteer work wants to get recognition for their efforts. I got it. Thank you!

During the social event at FSCONS 2010 when we announced the winner of this year and handed him his prizes, I was also given the prize I never received last year because I wasn’t around at the actual award ceremony then. And of course, these guys love puns so…

Award prizes

From the left: a box with rocks (for my work on Rockbox), a transformer toy (I don’t quite recall the reason for that) and curlers (for my work on curl). Click on the image to see it in full resolution, it is taken with my crappy mobile camera.

My presentation on Reverse Engineering

As mentioned before, I visited the event arranged on Software Freedom Day 2010 here in Stockholm Sweden by the Swedish Linux Foundation (Svenska Linuxföreningen). There, I did a one hour talk in Swedish about how we reverse engineer mp3 players in the Rockbox project, and then I ventured in and told them about Rockbox, what it is and what it does etc. I’ve done basically this talk before. I got lots of good questions and general feedback; I believe the audience mostly appreciated it.

Haxx gets Linus over to the good side

Linus Nielsen Feltzing and I founded Haxx a long time ago, so therefore it is extra fun to welcome him to join me and Björn to work full-time for our small but already now skill-packed company. Starting December this year, Linus will do all his consultancy and contract work wearing his Haxx hat and no other. Employee number three.

He comes from an employment at the same consultant company I was employed by before (and Björn was too a while ago). With this addition Haxx is now having three full-time consultants with more than 20 years of experience each within software development and embedded systems. We have a long and thorough experience in Linux and networks, in embedded and in larger systems.Haxx

Björn and I originally got to know Linus back in 1988 when we visited a “copy-party” in Alvesta Sweden. There we (the C64 demo group named Horizon) competed against the other teams in the demo competition. We won the competition with our demo “Love This Now” while the fellows in Microsystems Digital Technology (MDT) came at second place with their “Bonanza“.

MDT consisted of two persons, and one of them was Linus.

After Alvesta, Linus and Jörgen (the other MDT member) joined Horizon and we’ve known each other since. We’ve worked on the same companies since the late 90s something until the day last year when I started working full-time for Haxx.

Linus is a hardcore embedded developer, working close to hardware and the OS, writing primarily C and assembler code. He has worked a lot with various RTOSes and Linux.

Linus is also known as one of the founders of the Rockbox project together with me and Björn.

Linuxträff 2010

I’ll be brief:

On the Software Freedom Day 2010 (September 18th), the guys in “The Swedish Linux Association” (Svenska Linuxföreningen) are organizing a day with talks and presentations about Linux and foss related subjects, which they call Linuxträff 2010. It takes place in Stockholm city, Sweden.

At that event, in the 11:00 – 12:00 time slot, you will be able to see and hear me do a little talk about Rockbox and reverse engineering to get free software on consumer electronics.

See you there!

selinux-pingvin-gnu-demon