I'm melting.

Jun 12, 2006 / 0 comments

This is silly. We get our few days of summer and suddenly we all can't cope with the heat. Or at least I can't. Especially when my neighbours decide it means they can play loud music that I really don't like (I don't do doof doof, sorry doop), or when it is music I like it's too distorted to actually be enjoyable. And if I shut the windows it just gets hotter and hotter inside. sigh. Sometimes I wish I worked in an air conditioned office again.

Spent all weekend being too hot and avoiding writing my UKUUG talk for the end of the month. It's done and submitted now; thanks to #alug, Simon and Paddy for constructive criticism. Now I just have to produce some slides.

Not much else happening. I have a u-boot patch for the E3 against their current git tree, but I haven't heard anything back about my JFFS2 compile patch so I'm not sure whether they'll take it or not. I've sent it off to Mark for comments first.

Kathy's disappeared to New York with her sister again, leaving me at a bit of loose end. Off to the Fat Cat on Wednesday with the other Simon which can't fail to be nice.

And, er, that's it really. I suppose I should go to bed.

Hello? Is there a problem with the line?

Jun 3, 2006 / 0 comments

My E3 is currently sitting running KPhone/Pi under OPIE. Annoyingly I currently have to have a USB mouse attached due to lack of a suitable pointing device on the E3, but I'm sure that's solvable in time.

More disappointing is the fact that it doesn't really work. :( I can successfully SIP register with my local Asterisk instance, and dial voicemail successfully. I only hear a fragment of the "Chameleon mail" prompt and attempting to send DTMF to choose a mailbox doesn't work either - I don't know if this is because I leave it too late or if they don't get sent at all.

OpenEmbedded doesn't have any other OPIE based SIP or IAX clients, nor anything text mode that I can see. I found ZiaxPhone but it seems to be closed source so I can't rebuild it. Guess I'll have to find a text mode client and try to work out if it's KPhone, the audio driver or the E3 not being fast enough that's the problem.

Silver vs White Gold vs Platinum

May 17, 2006 / 0 comments

So I need to get a wedding ring. Given I hope to wear it for the next 50+ years and that I've worn a ring in the past I figured something more interesting than a plain band would be nice. Many years ago Kathy bought me a silver Celtic style ring I was fond of, but unfortunately I lost it a while ago, which was upsetting, so I thought it would be nice to get a wedding ring that was similar to the lost ring.

However. I don't like gold. So the logical choice seemed to be white gold. Until a jeweller told me that it was plated which would wear over time and require replating every few years. Which is a bit offputting. Anyone any experience of this? I've seen mention of getting it replated with a thicker than normal coating, which makes it less likely to require regular updating?

The other options seem to be silver or platinum. Does anyone have silver wedding rings? Does it last well enough? It's a lot cheaper; is that the only reason why they're not common or is there something more fundemental? Platinum is more expensive than white gold, but that's not a huge issue for the last ring I plan to wear. Is it harder to work though, making it less likely that I'll find what I want?

I found a ring at Ortak that I like, but no platinum option and I'd want to see it before buying, so online is out. Can anyone suggest a decent jeweller to talk to in Norwich? I've had a look around but not seen anything matching what I want. Alternatively I guess I can look in London.

Sort of stranded at my parents'

May 15, 2006 / 0 comments

I went back to Northern Ireland for the first week of May. Vicky and Branwell were getting married on the 5th, so I figured I'd go home the weekend before (with the bank holiday), work a 3 day week, then come back on the Monday. Plenty of time to see my folks, some friends, and relax.

I did end up feeling a little stranded at points. My parents live in Newry, and I don't know anyone there any more. Public transport in NI is dire and I didn't have access to a car (even if I'd been insured for Mum's she's far too busy for me to be able to borrow it for any length of time). Kathy was in Banbridge (15 miles away) and there were people in Belfast (40 miles away) but it wasn't like I could just pop out and see them.

However, what I did realise is that there's a social system in place back "at home" that I could easily slip back into. I spent the Bank Holiday afternoon pottering round Belfast with Jake, Paddy and Peter, ending up in The Kitchen. It was, as it always is, good to see them. Later I went out with Kathy, Mal and Miranda for dinner. At Vicky and Branwell's wedding I saw a bunch of people I probably haven't hung out with in 5+ years, all of who were chatty and friendly; the wedding was a good day/night. I didn't have time to see ct, though it would have been good to.

I'm sure I could slot back into a similar setup in Oxford, but I found it surprising and comforting to realise I still have that in Northern Ireland.

E3 booting without help.

May 14, 2006 / 0 comments

I've been quiet for a couple of weeks now; I went home to my parents for just over a week at the start of May (more on that later), then last week was spent catching up with various bits after being away, and then the past few days I've had a cold (just in time for the weekend, yay!). Meh.

Anyway, as such I haven't been fiddling a lot with the E3; still stuck at the point where I could get it to load my second stage loader from NAND, which would then load u-boot, which would then load the kernel, but not getting anything from the kernel after decompression. Whereas if I loaded the second stage loader over the serial port it all worked fine.

Figuring that Amstrad's PBL must be doing something different depending on which method you use (NAND/serial) I had a look at the config registers to see if anything was different. Nothing obvious. I enable the low level kernel debug output and find it is booting ok, but that it freezes as soon as it tries mutex_lock in clk_register. Odd. So I disable CONFIG_DEBUG_MUTEXES and all of a sudden it works. My E3 boots into Linux unattended. Woooo. I think.

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