Coffee Break - February 28, 2021

  • S02E21
  • February 28, 2021

bp9 hopes to restart development efforts on his pinetime with new pogo pins and talks about the role of ofono on his pinephone. Solbu is the packager for the Mageia distro which releases version 8 soon. Solbu posts a brain teaser and leaves us all stumped. Doug continues to have issues with his RasPi entertainment system and his cat supervises from the chair. It's SSH keys this time. Peter's GPS clock works much better when he puts the GPS antenna outside where it can see the sky. bp9 is joined by Solbu, Doug and Peter.

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Topics Discussed:

- looks like he can restart development on the pinetime because he ordered a set of pogo pins to fit the programming pins on the pinetime.
- Will likely put infinitime on the pinetime intially but with the pogo pins, will later try building his own program.
- Peter asked if I tried blu-tack to hold the pins in place on the pinetime for programming but bp9 did and did not have much luck with that. :-)
- Laments the postal service that took 2-3 MONTHS to deliver third class mail :-)
- Notes that his UBPorts pinephone main board is an older revision that will not activate any USB-C dongles.
- The pinephone main board needs to be replaced or modified by removing some components that drive the USB-C port.
- Notes that the pinephone hardware is all open hardware except for the Quectel modem.
- Understands ofono a bit better now: ofono does not open any kind of graphical display like bp9 originally thought. It only drives the modem at low-level (with AT commends), and expects to be called by some other process to be told what to do.
- The process on the pinephone that opens windows and calls ofono is called "Calls" :-) It was renamed gnome-calls for about a month, and then renamed back to its original name.
- Although bp9 uses xubuntu, he does not use any of ubuntu's main desktops like Gnome or KDE.
- bp9 uses XFCE as his main desktop because it gives him access to the root window.
- bp9s root window displays XEARTH, a constantly rotating view of the earth from the sun's point of view.
- Notes the full-circle of Microsoft vs. linux: They sold UNIX, then had a strong rivalry with linux, then embraced linux.
- Mentions CORBA protocol, and specifically the message bus, with the importance of the order of the messages.

- Relates that he is the packager for linux distro Magea. It is a fork of Mandriva (previously Mandrake), which is RPM-based.
- Also bought Connectiva, so they made Mandriva a portmanteu of Mandrake and Connectiva to get Mandrive.
- There are hundreds of distros out there to choose from.
- Once all the mirrors are updated, he will download about 200GB of the mirror so he has a local copy!
- He will pull all 32-bit and 64-bit packages plus source packages.
- He likes to have a local copy.
- Poses a brain teaser: Who first sold unix? Answer: Microsoft sold XENIX.
- We discuss the incredible cost of unix. If unix prices were reasonable back then, would the open-source industry still be as strong as it is now?
- Lots of discussion about the origins of linux as a printer driver way back when :-)

- Is having more issues with his Raspberry Pi as an entertainment system.
- It won't finish booting because it wants SSH keys?
- bp9 thinks ssh keys might be needed for package servers, but Solbu does not agree because packages are signed with GPG keys.
- Solbu thinks the boot process is stuck trying to gather entropy data for generating the SSH keys, whether Doug plans to use SSH or not.
- Solbu recommends either just moving the mouse, or opening a terminal and entering command `find /` to list all files on the filesystem. This should provide lots of random data for entropy.
- Since this is a text console, the mouse option probably won't work.
- Should be able to use Ctl-F2 to open another tty terminal and might allow login from there.
- Doug wonders about the difference between desktop and server distros and bp9 and Solbu agree the only difference is the packages that get included in the distro by default.
- Doug's cat supervises from the top of the chair to make sure we all behave :-)

- Relates stories about old PCs that had to have motherboards replaced because the PIN was set in the BOIS and could not be reset!
- Will be getting his first shot this week. The second one is a real pain.
- Peter's GPS clock works much better when he puts his GPS antenna outside.
- Peter discovered 5 volts on the GPS antenna, which makes sense because it is powered.
- Wants to know about RS-232 commands to retrieve the time from the device.
- bp9 thinks those commands still have to resemble English because most keyboards will not type Chinese characters.


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