Rockbox on Sansa View?

Sansa ViewOk, since we have Rockbox on Sansa e200 and e200R working and the support for the c200 series in the pipe, I feel it is about time to make a statement about the possibilities to get Rockbox for the new Sansa View player: it is (most probably) a totally different beast hardware-wise, so it will require a new port with all the associated hard work.

And no, SanDisk has not been in touch with us any further, so I would say it is highly unlikely they will donate any players or similar to us this time.

Once we get to see a detailed dissection with nice hires pictures we can tell for sure, but their talk about 30fps H.264 video in 320x240 resolution implies a major change.

As a summary, the View is indeed SanDisk's iPod Nano killer with double the flash size for the same amount of money, with a microsdhc-port, claimed longer battery life and only slightly thicker.

A funny detail: SanDisk previously did another player called Sansa View that they put on hold just before the summer!

Dissecting iPod Touch

iPod TouchiFixit ripped apart an iPod touch.

Unfortunately these guys continue to just publish lores camera images instead of hires scans, but this pic shows the (Samsung) chip with the Apple logo on it.

Apparently this has a Wolfson codec while the new iPod Classics use a Cirrus chip!

The touch and the iphone seems to have a lot in common internally. Not too surprising really...

The touch is a whopping 120 grams beast, while I thought the SanDisk Sansa e200 players were heavy with their 75 grams...

GSOC Mentor Summit 2007

Rockbox was a participating mentor organization of Google's Summer of Code 2007, and I was the organization administrator in our end. It turned out to be a rather easy job and in the end I didn't end up mentoring anyone.

GoogleNow they're arranging a Summit in Mountain View, California in the beginning of October (like they obviously did last year) and Rockbox as organization is invited to send three representatives. They are even graciously funding people to go there, and they pay for a night at a hotel and food. Very grand indeed.

If my life had been different at this point I would've been thrilled to go there. Now, with two small kids it's just not practically possible. I've already stretched my "allowance" from my family by the upcoming week-long trip to China in mid-October. So while it wouldn't cost me personally much money-wise, it unfortunately doesn't fit right now.

UFS in all devices!

Micro SDApparently a lot of electronics companies, including Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Micron Technology, Spansion, MTMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments are planning to introduce yet another memory card due to release 2009. This time they call it "a common flash memory card format" (UFS - Universal Flash Storage) - which is kind of amusing in my view. Aren't all memory cards "common" in one sense?M2 card

JEDEC published a PDF press release about it, saying amongst other things:

"The UFS specification is expected to accommodate greater efficiency in the design of memory cards for card manufacturers and end-product designers. The standardized interface will also reduce the system design burden for embedded applications.

The next-generation flash memory specification is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009, with a draft specification available in the first half of 2008."

Anyway, decreasing the vast amount of various different formats could be good for end-users. Perhaps. We'll see...

curl and libcurl 7.17.0

Just a short while ago I uploaded the 7.17.0 packages to the curl site, updated the front page, mailed the announcement and submitted an update on freshmeat.

The previous release (7.16.4) was done in haste due to the security issue we got reported, but this time we took our time and I think we've done a pretty good job. The upcoming weeks will tell for sure...

cURLChanges this time include the new OS/400 port, the fact that curl_easy_setopt() now will copy all strings passed to it (previously it referred to the strings the application still had to keep around), SCP and SFTP support now requires libssh2 0.16 or later, the LDAP libraries are now build-time linked like all other third part libs and no longer run-time dlopen() like before and LDAPS is now supported. We also have at least 27 mentioned bug fixes, and possibly a few more actually done but not detailed in the release notes.

There's no soname bump this time, although there have been a fair amount of return code name changes (with backwards compatible #defines added to make older programs still possible to compile), but we have started to add stuff in the TODO that we want to do the next time we actually decide to bump again. The previous bump did cause some havoc so I've learned to not use that card too often...

Unless something bad creeps up, I'm hoping for a good two months or so until 7.17.1 is due. With my autumn plans it might just take a little while longer as well. Time will have to tell.

Enjoy!

DOS means Text Based

I find it very amusing that Windows users all so often refer to the command line as DOS, and I've tried to figure out how we still today frequently get to read users refer to the ancient operating system.

It was in fact still called "MS-DOS prompt" back in windows 98, as shown in this little picture:

windows 98 MS-DOS prompt

I found that even Microsoft themselves refer to the commands you use on the command line as "MS-DOS commands", so perhaps this is a primary reason? Even the producers of Windows confuse and mix the terms "command line" and "MS-DOS"...

When they launched Windows XP they no longer called it MS-DOS Prompt, it was then plain and simple "Command Prompt":

Windows XP command prompt!

We've also seen end users in the Rockbox project refer to the interface as DOS or DOS-style, and there is really nothing what so ever in common with MS-DOS in Rockbox. It is just (by default) a basic text-style interface. It is clear that to many people, a text-based interface be it a music player or a command line window, means DOS.

People are weird.

I am Rude and Mean

I'm the maintainer and admin of a few different open source packages, perhaps most notable in the curl project but I also poke on c-ares and libssh2 and I do a fair amount of work on Rockbox and hang around in a few other projects as well.

I write around 400-500 emails a month, the majority of them to the mailing lists of the projects I'm involved in. I try to respond to questions I know the answer to.

A stop signI'm not sure if I've grown even more grumpy recently or if the world is going downwards, but I've recently been called rude and a scammer in public mailing lists after having answered to mails with a meaning that the guys asking the question isn't exactly trying hard to read up on this, understand the area nor are they reading my answers very good. So what if I'm not always the perfect gentleman or say the right "social" words, I am a hard core tech guy and I answer and talk technical stuff and specific details all day long. That's what I do and that's who I am.

So, I just wanted to let the rest of you know: I am rude and mean and you should know better than to ask anything in a forum I frequent. Or then you can of course stand up against the whiners and help educate the world on how to ask questions and why spoon-feeding users on mailing lists isn't a good idea.

Sticking out your chin in the harsh internet reality, one should expect to get hit like this every now and then and you need to grow pretty thick skin to not let the bad guys get to you. Nonetheless, people in general are nice but it is just too easy for people to get upset and send away very rude mails without any kind of aftermath.

(But I must admit I found the threat to discuss me at a future Zend conference hilarious!)

Form Submit Honeypot by Mistake

During the summer 2001, me and my wife toured Vietnam and we had a great time. For that occasion I set up a little online diary that would allow us to post entries while on the road, to allow our families and friends back home to be able to keep up with what we were doing.Boats in Vietnam

Fast forward to present day: the diary "submit new entry" form is still left on my site, and while it no longer works (it hasn't worked for many years) - it is still one of the most visited pages on my site! It seems the automated spam bots find it and submit crap to it... the crap doesn't end up anywhere to be seen nor is it even stored on the server, but it clearly identifies evil machines! Isn't that a honeypot as good as any?!

So far during September 2007, no less than 309 unique IP addresses have issued a POST on that page..

Picture Rockbox on a Camera

Canon Powershot A550Obviously the CHDK guys have working code for Canon's (and other's) Digic II powered cameras, and reading their wiki they use plain arm-elf for the job and... yeah so does Rockbox and... yeah, well it certainly at least opens a possibility for a Rockbox branch for these toys!

Of course there would be porting involved and I don't know how these cameras have on the audio front, but those are all just details...

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