debxo 0.3 release

david at david at
Sun Nov 2 15:13:48 EST 2008

On Sun, 2 Nov 2008, pgf at wrote:

> andres wrote:
> > On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 06:44:14 -0800 (PST)
> > david at wrote:
> >
> > > thanks for doing this. I never thought that putting KDE or Gnome on
> > > any system would seem like a speedup, but it definantly does.
> > >
> > > so now that the basic system is working, where do I get started to
> > > enable the less common features of the XO?
> > >
> > > specificly
> > >
> > > 1. controlling the backlight (and therefor the video mode between
> > > monocrome and color)
> i suggest searching for things like this -- last year's
> g1g1 users have done a lot of work supporting the XO h/w under non-sugary
> environments.

well, I was hoping that with an open hardware platform running opensource 
software there would not be a need to search forums for reverse engineered 
'secrets' or 'hacks', but instead such information would be readily 
available (ideally already documented, but possibly in the "that's so 
obvious that we didn't think to write it up" catagory for the folks who 
are experts on the system.

>  my variation on the backlight thing:

thanks, this is exactly the type of thing I was looking for.

why did you store the brightness in a file instead of reading the 
beightness and mode from the /sys hooks?

> > >
> > > 2. recognising the game keys and mapping them to keys/actions
> >
> >
> > I haven't worked on either of these yet.  If you (or anyone else)
> > get it working, please either email me or edit the DebXO wiki
> > page to describe the process.  I'm more than happy to include
> > that stuff in the next release.
> >
> on a couple of ubuntu-based thin client machines i have i run a
> very simple daemon that eavesdrops on an /dev/input/eventN node
> in order to support special multi-media keyboard keys.  i suspect
> it would be easy to adapt this to supporting the XO special keys
> if there's not already a packaged way of doing it.  (the keys
> invoke arbitrary scripts, and iirc, they're active in either
> console or X11 modes.)

is this the 'right' way to do this on a linux system? or is there some way 
that is more seamless (at least for cases where we want button presses to 
become normal keys instead of invoking scripts)?

> (btw, if there's very much debxo talk, it might be worth setting
> up a separate list, since support for other distributions is
> somewhat off-topic for this one.)

true, but this information is not specific to debxo, it's specific to the 
hardware, and I don't think that there's a seperate 'hardware 
support/development' mailing list. if the details of how to deal with the 
hardware specifics have not already been written up on the wiki somewhere 
that would reduce my query to a simple URL link, then they should be.

I'll gather up the information that I find and am pointed at to try to 
create such a page.

things that I can see as possibly needed

game keys

extra keyboard keys

lid sensors

the 'slider' function keys (I seem to remember hearing Jim Getty say 
something along the lines of the standard X input mechanism can't handle 

the four items above should be available with or without X running, 
including some ability to set things so that they become 'normal' 

EC interface (battery info and charge status). this may show up under the 
power interfaces, but from what I've seen on this list the firmware <-> 
system API is still being tweaked with, so I don't see how a standard 
system would know it.

backlight controls (documented in the script pointed to above, thanks 

stylis pad (another comment said that this feature was going to just 
disappear from future versions, I'm disappointed to hear that)

information on accessing the mesh mode of the wireless (normal mode works 
just fine). given the state of mesh networking, and the ability to do 
ad-hoc normal networking, I'm not sure of how needed this is, but for 
completeness it should be documented)

hardware encryption engine (does this show up to the kernel as an 
available encryption device? (it would be handy if at least the 
development builds of the kernel enabled /proc/config.gz for all xo 
distros (including the OLPC builds) it costs about 10k 
compressed, 40k raw)

things that probably work, but I'm not doing something right

the camera is showing up, but I'm not getting usable images from it with 
the default kde tools

mic input (kmix sees the sound device, including DC input mode, which I 
didn't expect, but I haven't sucessfully recorded anything yet)

is there anything else that may need special handling?

David Lang

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