After a week of thoughts and assumptions I finally succeeded getting some sort
of image from v4l interface of my MOTOROLA MING A1200. The image below is a
pbm’ized CAMERA_IMAGE_FORMAT_RAW8. As I have no experience with the digital
cameras internals the decoding may take a while.
In case you wonder what’s the thing on the image: It is the top part of Nokia
6021 on a white background :). There is MOTOVISION application from Chineese
dev’s that can capture the camera output. The only thing that it looks like it
displays the video fullscreen and then reads framebuffer device. I don’t like
this approach. The source for drivers is available from Motorola so there are
chances that my “caming” app will be usable shortly (and Open Source, of course
Your A1200 is no longer read-only. tmr at motofan.ru
has reported that a new firmware mod is available that moves all data to expanded jffs2 partition. No
more cramfs, everything is mounted rw, confirmed :).
I've been using Motorola A1200 for a month and can say that I like it very much.
I'd like to express my deep respect to Motorola designers working on the
exterior design (the transparent flip is not only cool but highly practical),
and Motorola programmers that have built linux phone that is actually usable.
Ever thought of checking the time but had to open the phone to see one, just
take A1200, click any button and you will see the time. Got new SMS? read it
without opening the flip. Well, you can even reply to it with some stock
phrases like “Merry Christmas” or “I love you” or “I arrived safely” :). You
can even use camera. After you plug in your “round plug” headphones you can use
Voice Recognition. Too bad that you have to press a button on the phone to
start controlling it remotely (time to write headphones button daemon?). The
transparent flip is simply great.
Unfortunately it looks like every new phone is more and more protected from
user. I remember Mitsubushi Trium Mars that had an awesome network monitor back
in 2000. Nokia 6021 had nothing extra and Motorola A1200 had locked the
software choice to J2ME applications only which is a shame provided how J2ME
applications stand out in terms of GUI and possibilities to interact with other
And even with J2ME apps the sky is not clear. e.g. Google Mail screenshot shows
how useful this application is. With “valid.username” it says “You provided
(valid.username)” though, hmm…
MidpSSH works fine, Talkonaut (pretty strange name) and its derivative, Gizmo5
work great. But they can not be started via Contacts menu say if I have a
contact with xmpp account.
User interface flickers a lot while scrolling. Something that is not happening
in 3D games like bundled Andretti Racing 3D, and it is really annoying,
especially compared to Windows Mobile-driven communicator where scrolling
happens smoothly even in thumbnail mode (list mode helps a bit).
Opera browser is working fine. It does its job great but this phone lacks
landscape mode support, so you can not rotate the text in most applications.
You can do this in built in Picsel Viewer to read documents or install Opera
Mini. The major drawback is that you can not select text on the page if you
activate “Grab and scroll” function which makes your phone look like iPhone
with finger scrolling…
The reception is very good. I had no problems receiving or making calls.
Instead my provider, “life:)” was having difficulties keeping the calls or
finding free slot to put a call.
The camera is 2 Megapixel “EZX Camera” as v4l capabilities request says. It
does its job well in sunlight but tends to make pictures blurry indoors, It has
got no flash. It is usable but keep your single-purpose camera with you to make
great photos. The video is not only low-framerate (i guess 10) but it is
non-uniform. Looks like hardware framedrop is happening here and the quality is
pretty low (memory bandwidth bottleneck?). Still the camera is accessible via
V4L so I’m going to make it work as webcam, if time permits :(
But before you can do actual GNU/Linux things on this phone, you will need to
refash it with firmware that allows installation of unsigned packages. Respect
to motorolafans.com and motofan.ru folks for reverse-engineering and building
Motorola has no plans releasing EZX SDK to the community that will certainly
bring raise of interest from people dealing with OpenMoko and Opie, this will
also allow multimedia/connectivity/PIM/whatever applications that will surely
compete with other Motorola phones. Something that Motorola does not want. So
these features are being investigated by the community by trial and error path.
The unofficial SDK is available, it is not complete, not 100% working, but this
is a great work. OpenEZX project is providing us with user-friendly way to
install various common *nix utilities (heh, yesterday I used scp to transfer a
file to a web server because the target computer nearby could not use bluetooth
:) ). And I would happily dump the bundled Real Helix Player because it does
not want to play my ogg files, it does bad job displaying the movies (heh, I
could not make it show any decent video – used mplayer instead). I would rather
make those “You have active forwardings enabled” messages not blocking the UI
during the call (learned to use hardware button instead of “End”)… but we need
the interface to the computer hardware and that is hidden. For now.
So in the end we have a linux computer running inside your pocket, not yet
fully customizable but a great present to a computer geek. The more geeks we
have with a1200 the more features will be reverse-engineered :)
So this will conclude this lengthy post and I would like to remind you that “It
is certainly a phone” (as told by Moss from IT Crowd).
into gspca2 (thanks to Ihor Catson for pushing this patch to the maintainer :))
Two weeks ago I bought a cheap webcam device Logitech QuickCam Express. Upon
purchase we were not sure that this will work under Linux, the reports were
positive, but you will never know for sure what hardware is inside today.
Having heard of Micael Xhaard and his awesome work
to make webcams function under linux I decided to give it a try.
The camera is working fine, the sensor is spca561 (Sunplus) revision 012A which
radically decreases the possibility of brightness/contrast control. It is done
in software layer under Windows driver and there are few things that are
configurable in hardware. The max resolution is QCIF 352×288 (640×480 under
windows is done via software scaling).
The configurable items are exposure, gain, red/blue balance (which i guess is
called white balance). spca561.h has nice implementation of brightness/contrast
being controlled via exposure and gain, probably it will need to be done in
decoder, but then we don’t have v4l interface to control these values.
So the only thing that was bothering me was white balance, i.e. I too brown
(due to high red value as compared to green/blue). This was configurable by
sending appropriate numbers to module parameters GRed/GBlue/GGreen but I missed
the ability to fine-tune this while already broadcasting the video.
So i took gvim and hacked up white balance setting support via whiteness setting.
You can find dozens of HOWTOs online about how you can easily create your own
certificate authority. But most of them miss a very important point – for your
root CA certificate to be really regarded as "CA", it should be generated with
basicConstraints=CA:TRUE in openssl.conf file.
This page contains HOWTO that
helps you create a real CA, note -extensions param to openssl req.
Turns out that Google Talk server fully supports MUC, but, being in beta stage
the conferencing capabilities are not advertised so that xmpp-compatible
clients will not detect their presence. But it does exist. Assuming that you
have google account and google talk/gmail access, follow these steps to create
Update: For some reason you can now create chat rooms directly without messing
up wit the web interface: Any room with id private-chat-%8x-%4x-%4x-%12x and
server groupchat.google.com will do. You can use uuidgen to create GUID for
such room. Credits go to Ulrikhe for finding this out,
Hello, I’ve been using Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) for quite a long time and I was
pleased with the quality of the artwork of the gtk2 themes. The only thing that
was out of place was the missing padding (i.e. the theme was not applied to
them) of the tooltips:
Fortunately, some google keyword combination in search has finally brought me
to the launchpad bug report #129699. The hint for the gtk tooltips has changed
from gtk-tooltips to gtk-tooltip thus making themes that were not tested using
the latest gtk loose the theme settings for tooltips. By changing the hint in
the gtkrc file the padding was restored (Murrine Y snippet from gtkrc):
2012-11-15: This turned out to be a completely different issue. Will remain
here for historical purpose. In fact, my attempts at solving this issue caused
iSCSI outage for other people.
Finally. At least some light after months of “ifdown/ifup…”. I’ve even written
the ifreset script to make this not so unpleasant… So, I’m writing this after
my laptop started the network during the boot sequence! This is still a
workaround but somehow closer to the real issue. Comment out the following line
It turns out that as soon as driver module gets loaded into the kernel, udev
starts ifup which is not capable of bringing wpa_supplicant but still marks the
interface as up (writing wlan0=wlan0 to the interfaces state list). During the
boot sequence ifup is started again but won’t do anything as the interface is
already marked as “up”.
Hope this helps at least somehow. I have a PCMCIA device which is never removed
though… If you comment that section out, you will not have your network started
automatically if you insert your usb card so you will have to restart
networking after that. In case your card is not going to be wandering anywhere,
this can be pretty safe.