ooxml vs odf

OOXML vs ODF

There’s this saying that a picture is worth more than a thousand words… The picture above is a cropped rip-off linked from the groklaw-article this picture will take you to. It is quite simply the OOXML standard suggestion next to the ODF one.

Yes.

Rockbox on the e200R models

As Austin Appel posted on the Rockbox mailing list (early this morning, euro time), Rockbox now runs on the SanDisk Sansa e200R models.

In the end, it shows there really isn’t much difference between the two e200 versions. The Rhapsody models have a modified USB stack somehow that makes it hide the second “hidden” partition in which the bootloader and system software (mi4) is stored.

The Rhapsody bootloader doesn’t allow bootloader updates, and it also actually verifies the digital signature in the mi4 files, so in order to allow Rockbox we have to do a rather funny work-around: use e200tool to make it start the plain e200 bootloader and use that bootloaders recovery mode to upload a binary-patched version of the Rhapsody bootloader. The patched version puts back the old flawed signature check from the vanilla e200 series.

When the old broken BL signature check is in place, we can “upgrade” the target using the normal means and just put a Rockbox bootloader mi4 and the Sansa will then nicely load and run that.

MrH’s take on e200R

sansa e200RGiven the recent e250R i2c rom dump, MrH brought an analysis of what the rom actually contains and it is indeed the pre-bootloader code that loads the bootloader from the NAND flash and starts it. The perhaps most interesting part is that the e250R’s i2c rom dump is identical to the vanilla e280 one we have… meaning that they both load the bootloader the same way!

So here’s MrH’s suggested steps (keyed in on the wiki page by me) to convert your R model Sansa to make it capable of loading and starting the Rockbox bootloader.

Sony Ericsson w580i on Windows

Sony Ericsson w580iI have a fairly new phone, the Sony Ericsson w580i and I think it is a neat little thing.

I’ve been using it as a usb-storage device at home under Linux without any problems, and I’ve pretty much filled my extra 4GB M2 card with music from my collection.

Today I decided to try to get a picture from my phone to my work PC (which is running… eh, Windows XP) and guess if I’m up to a shock: it doesn’t talk to the phone. It claims it can’t find any drivers for it and for some reason it doesn’t just go for usb-storage (even though we know now that it is OHCI compatible – at least).

Crap. On the Sony Ericsson site they offer the Sony Ericsson PC Suite 2.10.38 (for Windows Vista/XP) which is a whopping 44.8 megabytes! And all I want is to access my phone as UMS. Grrrr.

Once installed, I can access the phone fine but now I get that bonus popup annoyance windows that repeatedly asks me if I want to reboot the computer so that the new stuff can take effect…

LED displays, part II

Yes, I got to see the character problem several times more (on bus 178 and 670) after my previous LED display post, and I also got it confirmed by friends who saw it on other buses. It hadn’t been fixed, but clearly the displays in some buses show the correct letters.

pålsundsvägen on display, august 31 2007 17:22 on the 670 bus

I contacted some friends I know have some connections on the bus company, and according to “BL” all systems are supposed to be fixed and should display the letters correctly… He did say that he has forwarded my question onwards so hopefully we’ll get some further updates on this soon.

I got a nice quote forwarded from BL about this and it says that this is a failed installation by the techies that installed the sign on these buses. He (the person who wrote what BL forwarded) also said that if there appears “single buses” with this failure still present he wants to know the bus number to be able to fix…

So, if you read this and get to see the dreaded ü-letter on a bus, take a note on the bus number and time (and I believe the “vagnnummer” – the unique vehicle number printed on the outside of the bus) and report it. You can just post a comment to this entry if you can’t find a better place to post it.

(BTW, the photo is taken with my w580i phone and darn is it hard to take photos in the bus. When the bus finally stops at this particular stop, the sign switches text to the end station name so I could only take photos of the sign while driving…)

Rockbox on c200 and mi4code

Mark Arigo announced his successful port of Rockbox to the Sandisk Sansa c200 series, and following those footsteps MrH brought mi4code 1.0.1 with built-in keys for the most recent c200 firmwares.

While on the subject of mi4 based players: If you are the owner of a Sandisk Sansa e200R model, please help us out a bit by running e200tool on your target and get a dump of the i2c rom for us!

(Update: we got a dump, thanks. No need for more at this point.)

curl on Fedora uses NSS

I noticed curl on Fedora suddenly started using NSS for TLS/SSL, as I believe the first distro out there.

I’ve been under the impression that Debian is the only distro shipping it built with GnuTLS.

I must admit I enjoy seeing more use of curl’s wide support of various underlying technologies, and it also makes it more certain that they will remain working and even get improved as we go. When we add support for things and they never really end up getting used those features just risk serious bitrotting and slowly dying away when the code changes but nobody uses them.

LED letters on buses

This week, me and my family have rented a house in the Stockholm archipelago and I’ve been commuting back and forth to work using buses I don’t normally go with (670 and 603 to be precise).

In many of the Stockholm buses there’s a rather big LED-display situated in the ceiling in the front and often somewhere in the middle of the bus, normally displaying the route number and end station and at each stop it displays the name of it while a recorded voice reads out the name of the stop in the speaker system.

While sitting there I noticed how it would display “Pülsundsvägen” instead of “PÃ¥lsundsvägen” (that is with a German letter ü instead of the Swedish letter Ã¥) but I didn’t think much more of it then.

LED display

Another day I happened to go with a complete different bus through a different area and yet again I noticed how the display used the ü instead of Ã¥ while the recorded voice used the letter Ã¥ and I was convinced someone in the bus company must’ve bought a German system or similar and very strangely got satisfied with this very strange-looking graphical choice of letters. The fact that ü was chosen is funny, since we’re kind of used to simply use a in Sweden when Ã¥ isn’t available. I also find it funny that so few people seem to mind.

This morning on the bus when I decided to mention my recent findings to a friend, I was shocked… now this bus actually showed Ã¥ just like it should.

This makes me so puzzled. Was I only dreaming? Do they use different displays/drivers in different buses? Did they do a software upgrade exactly this week that is removing this flaw?

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