Updates

Wow, so it’s been a while since I’ve done this. Let’s see if I remember how to do it :).

Clear back on the 14th of July, I had to take my laptop in to have the hard drive replaced. It turns out that something was wrong with the logic board that was making my hard drives fry after a year of use. It only took a couple of days to get it back (the Apple dealer here had to send it in to Apple to get it fixed) and now my laptop is back in action.

While all of that was happening, I received an email from my web hosting company that I had failed to pay for the last 6 months. I thought this was strange, but Andrew told me that this company (OLM) has a horrid billing department with no concept of automatic billing. I had been considering for a while switching services because they also had no concept of SSH port forwarding or TLS/SSL to encrypt passwords for email. I ended up purchasing a Linode and started the process of transitioning my web site and mail server over to my new server. I had quick crash courses in DNS, Apache, Exim, Postfix, Dovecot, SSL, TLS, SASL, and server security and finally put up my server live on the 26th or 27th of July. Everything, so far, is working well (thank you Ubuntu).

The only thing left to do is figure out how to organize my mail on the server into folders so I can IMAP in (with TLS and SSL which is set up) from anywhere and read my mailing list mail in an organized fashion. I’m thinking that I’ll have to figure out how procmail works in order to do that. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

September and I also just celebrated our 1st anniversary this past Wednesday. This first year really flew, but it was fun. I wouldn’t trade it, even for an iPod ;).

With all of this going on, I haven’t had much time to work on Coaster. Since I’ve got my laptop back and my server is now hosted in a sane place with sane billing, I can focus on Coaster more. I keep postponing the release for 0.1.5, so I’m not going to set another date. It’ll just have to be a surprise.

The wait will kill me

I just ordered a new iBook battery from the Apple Store (since after running a script in OSX that someone told me about, I found out my battery is at around 39% capacity) and I have to wait 2-3 weeks for it to ship. That’s nuts. I also ordered Radtech’s Pawz to replace my iBook’s non-existent feet. This should help with the heat of my iBook a lot. I had to refrain from buying any other cool toys for now… at least until our tax returns come in ;).

A slow death

So, I’ve figured out that my iBook’s battery is dying. I’ve tried recalibrating it (several times, in fact) with no luck and I’ve even tried resetting the PMU and that doesn’t help either. I get about 2 hours of battery life in OSX and 1 1/2 hours in Linux. When I first got it I was getting around 4 1/2 to 5 in OSX and 3 1/2 to 4 in Linux. If my battery isn’t covered under my AppleCare Protection Plan, I’ll have to use $127 from my tax returns to buy a new one. Hopefully a dying battery isn’t an act of God (see section 2.e.ii).

In the Market

I’m looking for a new laptop backpack or carrying case. It has to have enough room to carry a few books (like my Stroustroup) a mouse, the power cord for my iBook, and some other miscellaneous cables (plus my 12″ iBook!). I took a look at a few bags and I’m quite pleased with the options I have. The first place I looked was RadTech (because I’m going to get their laptop feet since my iBook’s are long gone) and found a couple bags I liked. I also saw a cool glove. Then I checked out Apple’s store to see what they had, and I found one that looks promising. Does anyone out there have any suggestions for me? Also, what other cool iBook accessories do people have that they can’t live without? Let me know :).

Bluetooth tales…

Word of advice: if you’re getting an iBook and you think you will ever use Bluetooth with it, make sure you get the Bluetooth option installed when you order it (it’s $50 extra). Otherwise, you’ll be paying more than that to get the module installed aftermarket. I took my iBook in today to get the module installed and I now have a Bluetooth enabled laptop. It’s pretty slick!

You’re getting very sleepy

Benjamin Herrenschmidt is the man. The week, he posted some patches to the debian-powerpc list for sleep on the Aluminum Powerbooks and iBook G4’s (basically, the new laptops with ATI cards). After 4 patches and relentless testing from eager users, I think he has it. There are only two flaws that I see: after resuming, sound is quieter than it was before sleep; and I woke my laptop up this morning and the screen had lines all over the place. The second one sounds like a sync issue on my lcd, but the sound issue is probably an ALSA issue. But the great thing is that my laptop now sleeps in Linux! Thanks Ben!

UPDATE: I think I figured out the LCD problem. I had my iBook on AC when I slept it, and when I resumed it, it was on battery power. I’ll talk to Ben this afternoon about it to see if that would affect it.

Coaster commences

I got a call 10 minutes after I left work yesterday that my laptop was done. I went in, picked it up, transfered my backups over to it, and I’m now in the process of transferring those backups to my windows box. Long and tedious… but worthwhile. I hope to upload the changes I have to the main Coaster branch today. At least I don’t have to use Windows anymore :).

Stalled

So, I took my iBook into the local Apple Authorized Service place and they were very cool. The only thing that isn’t cool is that my iBook is gone for 5-10 days. This does not make me happy :(. This means that Coaster development is stalled until I get my iBook back. Sorry guys! I do have everything backed up, so I’m not worried about the Coaster build directory. Thank goodness for tar over ssh :).

On a better note, I asked them about getting a Bluetooth card/chip and antenna put into my iBook aftermarket and they said they would see what they could do. The guy actually sounded hopeful that he could get one in. The biggest challenge for them will be getting the antenna, but maybe they’ll tell Apple that my antenna (which is non-existant) crapped out on me as well. If not, it won’t hurt for them to try.

Troubles in computer land…

Well, it’s official… my iBook’s hard drive is dying (it’s not dead yet!). The cool thing is that it’s covered under warranty, so getting it replaced costs me nothing but shipping & handling. But wait! There’s more! There seems to be an Apple Authorized Service Provider here in town, so it won’t even cost me shipping & handling! What a complete blessing. The only thing I’m going to have to pay for is the backup of the hard drive. I’m going to back up the most important files on my desktop PC at my parents’ house tonite (stuff like my Coaster branch, my ssh keys, and other various settings like GConf) in case they can’t get all the info off the drive (or can’t read XFS partitions).

Bluetooth

I’m looking to get into the Bluetooth craze, but my iBook is not equipped with Apple’s preconfigured Bluetooth module (and you can’t get it installed aftermarket, from what I can tell). So, I guess that leaves me with the option to get a Bluetooth USB dongle. I know Apple recommends the D-Link DBT-120 but I don’t find it aesthetically pleasing (because it doesn’t match my iBook at all). Does anyone else out there know of another Bluetooth USB dongle that will work in Linux and OS X?