Posts Tagged ‘card’

Raspberry Pi – Cheap portable credit-card sized single board Linux computer box

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Reading Time: 3 minutes

RaspberryPi tiny-computer running Linux and free software Logo

Not of a the latest thing out there but I believe a must know for every geek is existence of Raspberry Pi mini computer Linux board. It is a geek credit-card sized mini PC on extremely cheap price between 25$ and 35$ bucks (e.g. Raspberry Pi model A and Raspberry Pi Model B).

Raspberry Pi hardware you get for this ultra low price is as follows:

  • Broadcom BCM2835 system on chip
  • ARM Mobile processor model ARM1176JZF running at 700 Mhz (overlocking up to 1Ghz is possible – overclocked RP is called Turbo 🙂 )!
  • VideoCore IV GPU with 512 MBytes of ram
  • No Build hard disk or solid-state drive but instead designed to use SD-Card as a Storage
  • two video outputs
  • composite RCA and an HDMI port
  • 3.5mm audio output
  • 2 or 1SD/MMC/SDIO card slot (depending on device model A or model B)
  • Micro USB adapter power charger 500mA  (2.5 watts) – Model and 700mA (3.5 watts)

Raspberry PI mini computer hardware running Linux explained picture

The idea of whole device is to make cheap affordable device for pupils and people from third countries who can't afford to pay big money for a full-featured computer. Achievement is unique all you need to Raspberry Pi credit card sized device is external keyboard a mouse, SD-card and a monitor, this makes a 700Mhz featured almost fully functional computer for less than lets say 80$ whether used with a second hand monitor / mouse and kbd :). A fully functional computer or full functional thin client for as less as 80$ yes that's what RaspberryPi is!

It is recommendable that SD-Card storage on which it is installed is at least 4GB as this is part of its minimum requirement, however it is best if you can get an SD-Card of 32GBytes whether you plan to use its whole graphic functionalities.

Raspberry Pi Hardware is not too powerful to run a version of Windows as well as there is no free version of MS-Windows for ARM Processor, so basicly device is planned to run free software OSes GNU / Linux. 5 operating systems are working fine with the mini-board device as time of writting;
 

  • Raspbian – Debian "Wheezy" Linux port
  • Pidora – Fedora mixed version ported to run on Raspberry Pi
  • Risk OS port
  • Arch Linux port for ARM devices
  • Slackware Arm
    FreeBSD / NetBSD
  • QtonPi

Recommended and probably best distro port is for Debian Squeeze

To boot an OS into raspberry PI dowbnload respective image from raspberrypi.org

– Use application for copying and extracting image to SD-Card like Win32 Disk Imager – whether on Windows platform

Win32DiskImager burning raspberry PI mini Linux card board computer box image

– Or from Linux format SD-Card with gparted (N!B! format disk to be in FAT32 filesystem), extrat files and copy them to SD-CARD.

Once Raspberry Pi loads up it will drop you into Linux console, so further configuration will have to be done manually with invoking plenty of apt-get commands (which I will not talk about here as there are plenty of manuals already) – you will have to manually install your Desktop … Default shipped Web browser in Debian is Midori and due to lack of ported version of flash player for ARM streaming video websites like youtube.com / vimeo.com does not work in browser. There is a Google Chrome for Raspberry Pi port but just like with Midori heavy object loaded websites works very slow and thus not very suitable for multimedia.

raspberry pi cheaest portable linux powered computer sized of a credit card

Raspberry Pi device is very suitable for ThinClient use there is a special separate project – Raspberry ThinClient Project – using which a hobbyist can save 400$ for buying proprietary ThinClient.

RaspberryPI linux as a free software hardware thinclient picture

 

The Driving Polygon – My adventures of learning to drive a car

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Today the day was pretty normal for which of course I have to thank to Our Awesome God :)I didn’t have much work, I stand up somewhere around 11 o’clock. I did my usual morning exercises.By the way since I started practising everyday exercise I feel physically better. After that I prayed a bit.Afterwards I red the road regulations and laws book (as I mentioned in my previous bloggings I have starteda driving license courses). Somewhere around 12:30 Gery did called and asked me if I’m willing to go outfor a coffee. I accepted and we saw each other infront of the fountain. Because all the tables outside wasoccupied we and in the coffee itself was too hot we decided to move to the Kukla coffee. We coffeed a bittalked about stuff shared how our lifes are going etc. etc. After that I had to go to the college becauseI need a copy of my school completion diploma because my driver lessons teacher requires as well as therest of the documents my ID card, a picture etcetera, etcetera. In the college I met Todor Dyankov who wasteaching me at Statistics and in Marketing II at the college and Ertan also Nina the librarian, I have tosay all of them are pretty cool :). Ertan showed me what he has made using Adobe’s flex product andexplained how convinient it’s usage is for creation of books and various other web based sort of manuals.Later at home I red more some chapters of the road regulations book. After which in 18:45 I went to the stomatology(this is the usual place where driving teachers park their cars and where we met with my instructor), he askedif it’s possible to change the driving lesson to be in Tuesday for 18:30 to be honest I haven’t had much choice since theteacher had some urgent job to do. Right after that I went to my mother and father grocery shop because previously wehad a stipulation that I my father and a close family friend (Georgi a namesake) would go somewhere out of the city becausethe 32 hours for which it suppoed that I had to be ready for the exam were far from enough for me to become a proficient driver.Eventually we went with my father’s car (Opel Astra) to a place which was before used as a Driving Polygon and is a perfectplace for a novice driver like me. The most hard thing for me in governing the car was starting the car from first speed usingthe clutch pedal simultaneously with the “gas” pedal. With some practice there I can say I got better at starting the car on 1st speedalthough still it’s pretty hard for me to move the car on 1st speed from stopped position when the car is on a small hill.After that we went out of the polygon and I drive on the road of Bogdanovo village. Right after we went back to the city.I went to see Bino because I have promised him to go out for a walk together. We had a nice walk in the city park, I came backhome I went to see my grandma just like I often do lately I stood there for 20 minutes and went home, ate and here I’m now blogging :)END—–

Flight to Dubai via Istanbul, my Dubai first impressions and how it feels to be in Arab country

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Burj Al Arab and the 360 degree club

On Sunday I had a flight to Dubai – the the United Arab Emirates. The flight's goal is to do some business meetings with potential investors willing to invest in Cadia Holding 's Ofsshore Solutions
I'm employed as IT & Security Specialist and business consultant as well as doing the system administration for the company

The company has already scheduled a business meetings to look for new investors in order to finance the current company offered products and services as well as finance its entrance in the field of biometrics technology for the people to allow people to pay in stores with no need for plastic cards only using a finger partial imprint and a code.

The flight from Sofia to Istanbul was about 1 h and 15 minutes and it went quite smoothly thanks God. It seems Sofia's Airport has changed a lot since my last flight before more than a year and half to Dotmund Germany.
Now Sofia's airport looks way more modern than before, which means Bulgaria is slowly but surely developing it's infrastructure 😉
Sofia Airport long distance view

I used an electronic ticket for the flight which was pre-purchased by Cadia so what, all I had to do on the airport is show a copy of my e-ticket and immediately, they hand me in the fly ticket necessery to check in for the airplane

I should say the flight with Turksih airlines was really enjoyable and the plane we flight with felt much more secure compared to the WizzAir's airus.

It is true the last time I flight with with Wizzair's Airbus it was in January and the weather was quite bad as there was harsh winter with a lot of snow and this might be the reason, why my flight with them felt so shaky.

Anyways before entering the plane I had to go throught the regular security procedures, where I had to remove all kind of metals in bas, pockets etc. and go through a metal scanner, they sa an (anti terourisim) measure, besides that one of the airport security personnel checked me thoroughfully if I dont' bring any kind of objects hidden in m clothes. Generally during the check up with the metal scanner and the check up person I was treated like a criminal …
The Turkish airlines, stewardesses and the service was wonderful and we were given a not too bi but decent lunch (my first time I eat in airplane ;)).

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Airport

The flight as went smoothly and we were in Istanbul about 12:00 at midday, after coming down from the bus we were transferred with a bus from the plane like 1 or 1.5 km to Terminal 2 (the terminal of arrival scheduled).
I travelled with another colleague Krasimir, so we had to check our Tickets in the ticket office and let them issue us the flight ticket based on the e-ticket.
After a quick check of our International travelling passport, so called red passpower we were let to enter the duty free zone full of stores for food, beverages, clothes, parfumes suits cafeterias and everything, tech equipment stores, book stores, turkish ice-cream, duner kebaps and mostly any kind of shops and tings one can think of.

AtaTurk airport Istanbul picture
Ataturk Airport Istanbul

Something that catched my attention was that actually the model of how things are ordered and what they sell, the elevators the materials for building in the airport was very much like how things are in westerm country.
I thought it's a bit sad that everybody, everyone is following a modern design and a specific kind of order of things literally followed after the way things are in the western world. This somehow kills partially the uniqueiness of the country's culture and gives it a taste of the west, where the original culture and traditions the country possess somehow stay in the background.

What made me a bad impression on the airport is the too high prices of food and drinks. I just took one coffee (cappucino) and it costed me the solid sum 5 EUR!!
I was even fooled by the Turkish guy as if converted the coffee price from Turkish currency (Liras), when I calculated the price of the coffee was actually about 4 euro.

I've also spotted that in Turkey they're big nationalists. I've been told by Krasi the airport of Istanbul is called Ataturk and it appears this is the biggest airport in all Turkey. I've noticed in the bookstores we went through many many books even in English talking about the greatness of Turkey's first president Ataturk. There is no doubt that Ataturk has done a lot for internationalizing Turkey, it seems in Turkey they consider Ataturk as a national hero, but in my view it is a bit too much, somehow it looked like Ataturk's great respect in Turkey is comparable to the Chineese's love for Mao Dun ….

We had to spend some 4 hours with Krasi before the time for the second fly comes, so we had 4 hours to take a general look over everything offered in stores on the airport to kill some time

I was quite amazed to see so big variety products and goods on the same place, there was basicly everything one needs except furniture offered ont he airport.
The bookstores English books was reallya lot, where I should say it was quite good that about 40% of the books to be sold, were in English (quite odd especially if I take in consideration that most of the Turkish people I know couldn't speak too good English).

The flight to Dubai was scheduled for 16:45 in the afternoon, so 40 minutes earlier I and Krasi went again through the metal scanner again and thanksfully this time we were not searched for guns and bombs by airport police.
 

Emirates Company Logo

The airplane, we flied with was Boeing 777 – really a beatiful flying machine. We were lucky to travel with two other Bulgarians Nikolay and Gergana, who were flying to Chennai India for some kind of personnel training of some company personnel for the company http://Yazaki.com (an international company producing vehicles components) .

Emirates Boeing 777 nice airplane

Emirates airlines's organization service and convenience was really incredible! Emirates has done a great, job really. I had a lot of fun in the airplane in the flight, as they had every passenger sit with a touch screen display computer with a joystick similar to the ones with playstation.
< img src="https://www.pc-freak.net/images/emirates_passenger_personal_touchscreen_computer_Boening_777.jpg" alt="Emirates Boeng 777 Passenger personal computer touch screen device" />
A Boeng 777 Passenger seat view , the passenger touch screen device mounted on seats back

The little touch screen computer had a number of capabilities the passenger could watch a movie, get information about Dubai play his favourite old fashioned games like Pong, Asteroids, Galaga like, Checss, Arkanoid and like 10 outhers of classic games I know from my childhood.
Besides that the passenger's flight personal computer was equipped was even capable to make satellite phone calls chargable directly from VISA or Mastercard Debit or Credit card. The telephone was embedded with the joystick, so on the back of the control device joystick one has the satellite phone, the phone had the capability to call passengers who are inside the plane. To call another traveller inside the airplane you just need to have the passenger seat number.
As a computer security hobbyist, I've noticed one major problem with the phone calls in between airplane travelling passengers.
By default each sit's phone was sett upped to automatically answer phone calls from other passengers, Which means that if I'm a malicious abuser I can easily just call random people in the airplane and do social engineering pretending to be the plane Commander, stewardess or any other personal from the plane crew 😉
On the other hand calling random people, by getting advantage of how the system "hole", could easily give you the opportunity to make yourself random friends or share contacts with people from around the world 😉

Another handy thing about the onboard touch screen computer, I've noticed is the possibility to listen music from a list of a huge database with music. Also a huge database like (300+) movies ready to be seen was available, as well as some serials and some popular podcasts as well as the device even supported e-mail check and some basic internet functionalities (which unfortunately had to be used only after payment with a debit or credit card :|).

Emirates Passenger personal computer touch screen incredible device
Emirates / Skywards Passenger personal computer touch screen device

In the middle of the 4 hours and 15 minutes flight, we were handed in a good portions of dinner meals, which obviously was properly selected to be suitable to be easily digestable and vitaminous food. Also alcohol arabian Coca-Cola, Coffe and tea was offered.

Before the meals was handed in by the few stewards in the airplane, each passenger was handed with a (hot) towel, to carefully clear his hand or face!

Many of the Arabs used the towels to wipe their face sweat, where europeans tended to clean up their hands (probably shows something about the each about arabian and european habits and culture?).

Dubai side view from the airplane before the landing was really amazing, I've never seen so much light concentrated on one place never ever in my life, landing went pretty smoothly thanks God, though it felt a bit more risky than the landing done by the Turkish airlines, pilots.
Maybe there is difference in the landing because it was done during night time and probably landings in night time a way difficult task for the pilot.

Just like in Istanbul, after going down from the plane, via the plane step-ladder we were transported to the Airport with Buses (I was told by Krasimir that, the bus transportation is used becuase, it's a way cheaper than using the equipment for "hot tie" to connect the plane with the terminal via "tuble".
Also maybe its difficult in terms of parking the airplane as the airplane has to drive like 1.5, 2km and park this is an astonishing amount of petrol plane fuel 😉

Anyways just to sum-up my first flight with Emirates/Skywards it was more than enjoyable and nice, everything from the plane take off through the overall airplane experience to landing felt like a veery well crafted, organized and stricktly managed process. It felt like verything happening is perfectly tuned, again really nice feeling 😉
Interestingly inside th airplaine they had a stewardesses which were either Malaysian or Indonesian. The reason for tat was probably because Arabs are crazy about chineese and the variations of yellow races as I've heard from Baky (an Egyptian) as well as from some few Egyptian colleagues I had.

After we went down from the bus transporting us to Dubai's terminal arrival terminal 3, which I think is the only terminal dedicated for visitors in Dubai, we couldn't freely anter Dubai, but we were supposed to go through a biometric security measure the airport here implemented few years ago an Eye Scan .

Dubai Airport Arrival in United Arab Emirates - Airport Terminal 3

The organization on the airport and the information that we were supposed to have the eye scan in order to enter Anyways after some questioning near few of the airport desks and offices, we found or way to the device place where the eye scans took place.

The eye scan process is quick and not that scary as it sounds, they ask you sit on a chair cover left eye, then cover right eye and open the eye widely to make a picture of the iris, then based on some algorthim for interpreting the data and through a complex IT develoepd system a check is done against a database of well known criminals and if no match is found you're given a seal which lets you in Dubai.

The only concern, I have is once they took your eyescan they have this information stored so basicly they have your biometric data and if the information is stolen or send to third parties you can never know, but that's how it goes you know it's life, if you don't do the eye scan you can't go in.
You don't have the option to just choose if you want to have the eye scan or not … My company boss tried to cheat them and walk through inside Dubai without ahe eye scan as he said he went through the eye scan so man times, but still he was obliged to go through the eye scan in order to be let in the city.

After the eye scan on the airport, we had to line up on a long line with arriving people waiting for being let in Dubai, show the copy of the visa with the eye scan seal to airport police officer. He checks the seal the visa, the international passport and then one is asked to stay in front of another camera snd they take a picture of him, once again a security measure …
This is just crazy, I understand that security is important but the measures implemented today on airports are inhuman and even abusive, not to mention they break any privacy one can have in today's world … I'm even scared to think about how a security check on an airport will look like 20 years from now.
Anyways after all the aforementioend checks we were FINALLY allowed to enter Dubai, what first striked me was the size of the buildings, its the first time in my life I've seen a buildings of this amazing size, just incredible!
Also all the buildings are all in color lights and are flashing like spaceships, probably requirement to make sure no airplane tries to land over some of the buildings at night time 😉

Roland, a part time tech consultant for Cadia Holding and a colleague, took us up from the airport and drove us to the hire apartment in Jumeirah Beach, Rimal 6 – ap. number 53, where we're currently settled.

Jumeirah Beach Residence Rimal
Jumeira Beach Rimal buildings

I'm very thankful Roland was there otherwise if we were supposed o pick up a taxi, they would have charged us at least 80, 90 EUR! for bringing us to the apartment.
The prices of transportation here and in general prices are a killing onse. I guess this is pretty normal especially if you consider the countless amount of money invested in Dubai.
Honestly Dubai looks like a paradise on earth, everything is amazingly well organized, as well the technology involved everywhere is on a perfect and a better level than almost everything, I've seen in Holland, Germany and probably almost every other of the Western Europe countries.

Something strange that took my attention here was that in every big mall or big store, they have a special prayer room, which are suited for pracicing muslims to do they're 5 times daily prayers 😉
Here in Dubai I was shocked to see many of the native arabic ladies to be completely wrapped up inside mostly black dresses, where the man were often dressed in a complete dress without a zipper called thobes as well as a sort of a hat like long veil very similar to our orthodox christian priest monks viels.

Dubai man with Thobes in order smiling ;) Dubai man with Thobes lined in order smiling

The veil like dresshing the man wears has a ring on top of the head which has some kind of muslim symbolism probably I'm not aware of. An interesting thing, I've found out here is that this veil for the hat has colors, if it's red this means it's Saudi Arabia a white one means usually the man is from Dubai and the nearby regions o something like that.

When we went out of the airport here the temperature difference was killing it was like 35 Celsium degrees at 21:00 o'clock night time!!

I'm actually lucky to come here in Autumn, temperatures on Autumn are acceptable at night it's like 20-25C and in day usually 35-40C.

The private apartment, where we're accommodated is amazing, it's big like a place, it has everything a flat TV, wireless internet, 2 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms etc.
To enter the buillding one needs to use his special ID card which is secured by a bar code, which has to be tagged on a bar code reader on the building entrance door.
Dubai itself seems more international at times, even than Western europe, you can see everything in Both English and Araabic, so you can understand basicly everything. Everyone speaks from the lowest employee to the office workers an acceptable English and thus communication is not a constraint like in Holland, where many people speak English which is too much influenced by German and german lingual structure.

I'm very thankful to God for blessing me to come to this nice place, now I'm laing over a nice coach and blogging.
By so far, I've seen two of the biggest Dubai Malls and some general architecture, all is collosal in size and reall amazingly built. I've heard from people quality of buildings is not that good as everything is being built in too short time and with cheap materials and by Indian labours who earn like 5 dollars a day. I'm not sure though how truthful is this as I think the quality of the apartment, we're accommodated is great.

Each room is equipped with a Clima, so the temperature inside is steady 22- 24C degrees. The body shock when you go out hence is really severe as usually there is like 10 or 15C degrees difference in temmperature.
Climas are, good but they create too much noise at night it's a bit noisy, but maybe with time one can get used to it.
The cars I saw here in Dubai are amazing, all the cards are really really expensive maybe the cheapeast car in Dubai worths no less than 10 000 o 20 000 EUR.
Euro, Dollars and the official UAE currency dirham are accepted everywhere in shopping malls and food stores and this is really nice.
The taxi drivers charge normal prices here, I was out with Jure and we took taxi few times and each time for like 5-7 km distance, the taxi charged approximately 30 AED per drive.
Random Taxi in Dubai

The Taxis are all luxurious cars with a (airconditioners) climas, it seems they have a metro already operating here as well as comperativfe cheap transportation with buses, but I'm not sure if something could be really cheap here 😉
Everywhere I went here I can notice something really beautiful in terms of either mostly modern design with arabic elemnts or technology. The elevators here are really quick. To go to the last stage of the 36 stages building here in Dubai it tooks the elevator no more than 1 minute 😉
The food here in Dubai seems decent, though its not that good like naturally grownned products or a chicken or cow who was rised in a private farm.
Anyways the food here in United Arab Emirates seems to be way better than the food in Holland and Germany, where it is a bit like plastic.
I don't know if its because of the Sun excessive warmth, God's grace to me or what but I should mark, here in Dubai and maybe in rest of UAE one feels warmer than in Western Europe.

People don't smile too much here especially the people who work on the lower levels of job, clear indicator that they don't earn good money.
I like that they don't smile too much as this reminds me in Bulgaria, where you can see sour faces a way more often than a smiled one.
Here people look a bit less soury than in Bulgaria.

I will be in Dubai 6 more days, so I'll have a clearer picture in my head about the place after some few days. Nevertheless from what I've seen so far, I'm really very amazed and very thankful to God to leeting me see all this new interesting things and culture.
I should take the time to find and take a look in the more traditional places here. Pitily globalization is seriously destroing the local people culture here, and you can't feel the real culture besides the arabic kind of dress, the mosques , prayer rooms and some entwisted muslim architecture with the modernistic buildings.
It will be very nice to see some real camels, elephants or some typically arabic kind of things 😉

Summing it up, the overall atmosphere here, the organzation of thingsm the business climate and infrastructure is something we europeans should learn from.

HasciiCAM supposed to stream ASCII video over the network on GNU / Linux

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Richard M. Stallman (RMS) Face portrait rendered in ASCII art from a video with hasciicam
To continue with my lately ASCII centered articles I found hasciicam
hasciicam is a program to stream ASCII video over the network on Linux and probably can be easily made working on FreeBSDtoo.

The project concept is interesting in a matter of fun (play) point of view, however not too usable as we all know ASCII character looking faces doesn't look too pretty.

Below is the Debian (Squeeze) package description:

noah:~# apt-cache show hasciicam|grep -i description -A 7
Description: (h)ascii for the masses: live video as text
Hasciicam makes it possible to have live ASCII video on the web. It
captures video from a tv card and renders it into ascii, formatting the
output into an html page with a refresh tag or in a live ASCII window or
in a simple text file as well, giving the possibility to anybody that has a
bttv card, a Linux box and a cheap modem line to show a live ASCII video
feed that can be browsable without any need for plugin, java etc.
Homepage: http://ascii.dyne.org/

On hasciicam Project webpage is it is stated as a hardware you need to have:
 

"As hardware you need to have a webcam or a videocard supported by "video 4 linux", most of the gear you can buy around should work well."

To install and test it I run:

noah:~# apt-get --yes install hasciicam

Though it is stated on the project website supposed to work display video fine with most 'linux ready' webcams, it didn't with this very standard one.

Here is the exact WebCamera model as identified to the kernel:

noah:~# dmesg|grep -i camera
[ 1.433661] usb 2-2: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[ 10.107840] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[ 10.110660] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/input/input11

By the way, I use the very same CAM daily on for Skype video calls as well as the Camera is working with no problems to save video or pictures inside Cheese

Here is the exact WebCamera model as identified to the kernel:

noah:~# dmesg|grep -i camera
[ 1.433661] usb 2-2: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[ 10.107840] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[ 10.110660] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/input/input11

The just installed deb has one binary file only /usr/bin/hasciicam. To test it with the camera I issued:

noah:~# hasciicam -d /dev/video0
HasciiCam 1.0 - (h)ascii 4 the masses! - http://ascii.dyne.org
(c)2000-2006 Denis Roio < jaromil @ dyne.org >
watch out for the (h)ASCII ROOTS

Device detected is /dev/video0
USB2.0 Camera
1 channels detected
max size w[640] h[480] - min size w[48] h[32]
Video capabilities:
VID_TYPE_CAPTURE can capture to memory
!! error in ioctl VIDIOCGMBUF: : Invalid argument

Unfortunately as you see from the output, it failed to detect the web camera model.
The exact camera besides its kernel detection naminf is a cheap external USB 2.0 (fake brand / nonanem) "universal" Web PC Camera (SUPER .3mega pixel)

For those who have a further interest in building and installing hasciicam on other Linux platforms than Debian and Ubuntu or whoever wants to look in the code check check Project webpage is. For those who are less of programmers (like me) the project is written in C programming language and uses aa-lib in order to render the video to ASCII.

On the site you will notice two totally schizophrenic looking pictures of presumably the project head developer …

hasciiart video streamed ASCII screenshot of some crazy looking guy smoking marijuanna or smth

As I read in man hasciicam manual page it's said to be able to generate ascii plain text and html files as well as directly to write the output to console, which later probably can be streamed via the network.
Pitily as it didn't detect my camera I couldn't make some testing of its network capabilities.

A Streaming of ASCII couuld be done through pushing the .html output to a webserver and setting a php or javascript to loop through and refresh the browser over the uploaded files every sec or so.

Also I assume the ASCII video output saved in plain console could be streamed via netcat or some tiny scripted perl or bash script and directly observed via a telnet or ssh connection.
One playful way I can think of checking a stored video without the use of FTP is to login via ssh and do:

$ ssh someuser@somehost
$ watch -n 1 "cat video-ascii.html"

🙂

Well something disturbing about hasciicam from a (purely Christian point of view) is it was developed by some kind of non profit organization called RastaSoft on the project website, some of its authors has written JAH BLESS.

As I didn't succeeded seeing it working, I'll be interested to hear if someone who red this article and give it a try can report the web camera model used.

Selecting Best Wireless channel / Choosing Best Wi-FI channel for Wireless Routers or (How to improve Wireless Network performance)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Wireless AP
Below are some valuable advices on Wireless Access Point initial install and configuration to better off your Wireless connection.It’s worthy to note that the 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi signal range is divided into a number of smaller bands or “channels,” similar to television channels. I decided to run my wireless on channel 12 since this there was no other wireless routers operating on that frequency, though most routers are preconfigured to spread it’s signal on channel 6.

There is a difference in channels available for setup for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks in the United States and the European Union. In the USA the wireless channels available are from (1 to 11) whether in the EU it’s in the range of (1-13). Each of the Wireless channels run on a different frequency.

The lower the number of the channel is the lowest the radiating frequence band on which data is transmitted .Subsequently, increasing the channel increases the frequency slightly. Therefore the higher the channel you select on your AP the lesser the overlap with other devices running on the same channel and thus the lesser the possibility to overlap and interference.
It’s quite likely that you experience problems, if you use the default wireless channel which is 6.
If that’s the case it’s recommended to use either channel 1 or channel 11. In case of interference, i.e. overlap with other wireless networks, cellphones etc., there are 2 possible ways to approach the situation. In case of smaller interference, any change in channel on which there is no wireless device running could fix it up. The second way is to choose a wireless channel for your router in between 1,6 or 11 in (The USA) or 1,7,13 in Europe.
Up to 3 networks can run on the same space with minimum interference, therefore it would be a wise idea to check the list of wireless routers in your and check if there are others running on the same frequency.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post I initially started running my wireless on channel 12, however after I discovered it is recommended to run your wireless router either on channel 1 7 or 13 in Europe I switched my D-Link DI-524 wireless router to transmit it’s signal on Channel 13.

I should testify that after changing the wireless channel, there was quite an improvement in my wireless connection.For instance before I change to Channel 13 (when my wireless internet was still streamed on channel 12) my wireless had constantly issues with disconnects because of low wireless signal.

Back then My wireless located physically in like 35 meters away set in another room, I can see my wireless router hardly connected on like 35%, changing to channel 13 enhanced my connection to the current 60% wireless router availability.

It’s also an interesting fact that Opened Wireless networks had better network thoroughput, so if you’re living in a house with a neighbors a bit distant from your place then you might consider it as a good idea to completely wipe out Wireless Router security encryption and abandon the use of WEP or WPA network encryption.

In case if all of the above is not working for you, you might consider take a close look at your Wireless Wireless LAN pc card and see if there are no any kind of bumps there. Another really interesting fact to know is that many people here in Bulgaria tend to configure there Wireless Access Points on channels either 1,6 or 11 which is quite inadequate considering that we’re in the EU and we should use a wireless channel between 1, 7 or 13 as prescribed for EU citizens.

Another thing not to forget is to place your wireless in a good way and prevent it from interferences with other computer equipment. For example keep the router at least few meters away from PC equipment, printers, scanners, cellphones, microwaves. Also try to put your wireless router on some kind of central place in your home, if you want to have the wireless signal all around your place.

At my place I have a microwave in the Kitchen which is sometimes an obstacle for the Wireless signal to flow properly to my notebook, fortunately this kind of interference happens rare (only when the Microwove is used to warm-up food etc.).Upgrading 802.11b wireless card / router to a better one as 802.11g is a wise idea too. 802.11g are said to be like 5 times faster than 802.11b.

You can expect 802.11b wireless network to transfer maximum between 2-5 Mbp/s whether 802.11g is claimed to transfer at approximately (12 to 23 Mbp/s). If even though the above prescriptions there is no wireless signal at some remote place at your home, you might consider adding a wireless repeater or change the AP router antenna.

By default wireless Routers are designed to be omni-directional (in other terms they broadcast the wireless signal all around the place. Thus is quite unhandy if you intend to use your Wireless net only in certain room or location at your place. If that’s the case for you, you might consider upgrading to a hi-gain antenna that will focus the wireless signal to an exact direction. Let me close this article with a small diagram taken from the net which illustrates a good router placement that will enable you to have a wwireless connection all over your place.

improve wireless router placement diagram

FreeBSD Jumbo Frames network configuration short how to

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Reading Time: 6 minutes

FreeBSD Jumbo Frames Howto configure FreeBSD

Recently I wrote a post on how to enable Jumbo Frames on GNU / Linux , therefore I thought it will be useful to write how Jumbo Frames network boost can be achieved on FreeBSD too.

I will skip the details of what is Jumbo Frames, as in the previous article I have thoroughfully explained. Just in short to remind you what is Jumbo Frames and why you might need it? – it is a way to increase network MTU transfer frames from the MTU 1500 to MTU of 9000 bytes

It is interesting to mention that according to specifications, the maximum Jumbo Frames MTU possible for assignment are of MTU=16128
Just like on Linux to be able to take advantage of the bigger Jumbo Frames increase in network thoroughput, you need to have a gigabyt NIC card/s on the router / server.

1. Increasing MTU to 9000 to enable Jumbo Frames "manually"

Just like on Linux, the network tool to use is ifconfig. For those who don't know ifconfig on Linux is part of the net-tools package and rewritten from scratch especially for GNU / Linux OS, whether BSD's ifconfig is based on source code taken from 4.2BSD UNIX

As you know, network interface naming on FreeBSD is different, as there is no strict naming like on Linux (eth0, eth1, eth2), rather the interfaces are named after the name of the NIC card vendor for instance (Intel(R) PRO/1000 NIC is em0), RealTek is rl0 etc.

To set Jumbro Frames Maximum Transmission Units of 9000 on FreeBSD host with a Realtek and Intel gigabyt ethernet cards use: freebsd# /sbin/ifconfig em0 192.168.1.2 mtu 9000
freebsd# /sbin/ifconfig rl0 192.168.2.2 mtu 9000

!! Be very cautious here, as if you're connected to the system remotely over ssh you might loose connection to it because of broken routing.

To prevent routing loss problems, if you're executing the above two commands remotely, you better run them in GNU screen session:

freebsd# screen
freebsd# /sbin/ifconfig em0 192.168.1.2 mtu 9000; /sbin/ifconfig rl0 192.168.1.2 mtu 9000; \
/etc/rc.d/netif restart; /etc/rc.d/routed restart

2. Check MTU settings are set to 9000

If everything is fine the commands will return empty output, to check further the MTU is properly set to 9000 issue:

freebsd# /sbin/ifconfig -a|grep -i em0em0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 9000freebsd# /sbin/ifconfig -a|grep -i rl0
rl0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 9000

3. Reset routing for default gateway

If you have some kind of routing assigned for em0 and rl0, network interfaces they will be affected by the MTU change and the routing will be gone. To reset the routing to the previously properly assigned routing, you have to restart the BSD init script taking care for assigning routing on system boot time:

freebsd# /etc/rc.d/routing restart
default 192.168.1.1 done
add net default: gateway 192.168.1.1
Additional routing options: IP gateway=YES.

4. Change MTU settings for NIC card with route command

There is also a way to assign higher MTU without "breaking" the working routing, e.g. avoiding network downtime with bsd route command:

freebsd# grep -i defaultrouter /etc/rc.conf
defaultrouter="192.168.1.1"
freebsd# /sbin/route change 192.168.1.1 -mtu 9000
change host 192.168.1.1

5. Finding the new MTU NIC settings on the FreeBSD host

freebsd# /sbin/route -n get 192.168.1.1
route to: 192.168.1.1
destination: 192.168.1.1
interface: em0
flags: <UP,HOST,DONE,LLINFO,WASCLONED>
recvpipe sendpipe ssthresh rtt,msec rttvar hopcount mtu expire
0 0 0 0 0 0 9000 1009

6. Set Jumbo Frames to load automatically on system load

To make the increased MTU to 9000 for Jumbo Frames support permanent on a FreeBSD system the /etc/rc.conf file is used:

The variable for em0 and rl0 NICs are ifconfig_em0 and ifconfig_rl0.
The lines to place in /etc/rc.conf should be similar to:

ifconfig_em0="inet 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 media 1000baseTX mediaopt half-duplex mtu 9000"
ifconfig_em0="inet 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 media 1000baseTX mediaopt half-duplex mtu 9000"

Change in the above lines the gateway address 192.168.1.1 and the netmask 255.255.255.0 to yours corresponding gw and netmask.
Also in the above example you see the half-duplex ifconfig option is set insetad of full-duplex in order to prevent some duplex mismatches. A full-duplex could be used instead, if you're completely sure on the other side of the host is configured to support full-duplex connections. Otherwise if you try to set full-duplex with other side set to half-duplex or auto-duplex a duplex mismatch will occur. If this happens insetad of taking the advantage of the Increase Jumbo Frames MTU the network connection could become slower than originally with standard ethernet MTU of 1500. One other bad side if you end up with duplex-mismatch could be a high number of loss packets and degraded thoroughout …

7. Setting Jumbo Frames for interfaces assigning dynamic IP via DHCP

If you need to assign an MTU of 9000 for a gigabyt network interfaces, which are receiving its TCP/IP network configuration over DHCP server.
First, tell em0 and rl0 network interfaces to dynamically assign IP addresses via DHCP proto by adding in /etc/rc.conf:

ifconfig_em0="DHCP"
ifconfig_rl0="DHCP"

Secondly make two files /etc/start_if.em0 and /etc/start_if.rl0 and include in each file:

ifconfig em0 media 1000baseTX mediaopt full-duplex mtu 9000
ifconfig rl0 media 1000baseTX mediaopt full-duplex mtu 9000

Copy / paste in root console:

echo 'ifconfig em0 media 1000baseTX mediaopt full-duplex mtu 9000' >> /etc/start_if.em0
echo 'ifconfig rl0 media 1000baseTX mediaopt full-duplex mtu 9000' >> /etc/start_if.rl0

Finally, to load the new MTU for both interfaces, reload the IPs with the increased MTUs:

freebsd# /etc/rc.d/routing restart
default 192.168.1.1 done
add net default: gateway 192.168.1.1

8. Testing if Jumbo Frames is working correctly

To test if an MTU packs are transferred correctly through the network you can use ping or tcpdumpa.) Testing Jumbo Frames enabled packet transfers with tcpdump

freebsd# tcpdump -vvn | grep -i 'length 9000'

You should get output like:

16:40:07.432370 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63903, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 85825:87285(1460) ack 668 win 14343
16:40:07.432588 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63904, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 87285:88745(1460) ack 668 win 14343
16:40:07.433091 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63905, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 23153:24613(1460) ack 668 win 14343
16:40:07.568388 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63907, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 88745:90205(1460) ack 668 win 14343
16:40:07.568636 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63908, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 90205:91665(1460) ack 668 win 14343
16:40:07.569012 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63909, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 91665:93125(1460) ack 668 win 14343
16:40:07.569888 IP (tos 0x0, ttl 50, id 63910, offset 0, flags [DF], proto TCP (6), length 9000) 192.168.1.2.80 > 192.168.1.1.60213: . 93125:94585(1460) ack 668 win 14343

b.) Testing if Jumbo Frames are enabled with ping

Testing Jumbo Frames with ping command on Linux

linux:~# ping 192.168.1.1 -M do -s 8972
PING 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 8972(9000) bytes of data.
9000 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_req=1 ttl=52 time=43.7 ms
9000 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_req=2 ttl=52 time=43.3 ms
9000 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_req=3 ttl=52 time=43.5 ms
9000 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_req=4 ttl=52 time=44.6 ms
--- 192.168.0.1 ping statistics ---
4 packets transmitted, 4 received, 0% packet loss, time 3003ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 2.397/2.841/4.066/0.708 ms

If you get insetad an an output like:

From 192.168.1.2 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
From 192.168.1.2 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
From 192.168.1.2 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)
From 192.168.1.2 icmp_seq=1 Frag needed and DF set (mtu = 1500)

--- 192.168.1.1 ping statistics ---
0 packets transmitted, 0 received, +4 errors

This means a packets with maximum MTU of 1500 could be transmitted and hence something is not okay with the Jumbo Frames config.
Another helpful command in debugging MTU and showing which host in a hop queue support jumbo frames is Linux's traceroute

To debug a path between host and target, you can use:

linux:~# traceroute --mtu www.google.com
...

If you want to test the Jumbo Frames configuration from a Windows host use ms-windows ping command like so:

C:\>ping 192.168.1.2 -f -l 8972
Pinging 192.168.1.2 with 8972 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.1.2: bytes=8972 time=2ms TTL=255
Reply from 192.168.1.2: bytes=8972 time=2ms TTL=255
Reply from 192.168.1.2: bytes=8972 time=2ms TTL=255
Reply from 192.168.1.2: bytes=8972 time=2ms TTL=255
Ping statistics for 192.168.1.2:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 2ms, Maximum = 2ms, Average = 2ms

Here -l 8972 value is actually equal to 9000. 8972 = 9000 – 20 (20 byte IP header) – 8 (ICMP header)

Boost local network performance (Increase network thoroughput) by enabling Jumbo Frames on GNU / Linux

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Jumbo Frames boost local network performance in GNU / Linux

So what is Jumbo Frames? and why, when and how it can increase the network thoroughput on Linux?

Jumbo Frames are Ethernet frames with more than 1500 bytes of payload. They can carry up to 9000 bytes of payload. Many Gigabit switches and network cards supports them.
Jumbo frames is a networking standard for many educational networks like AARNET. Unfortunately most commercial ISPs doesn't support them and therefore enabling Jumbo frames will rarely increase bandwidth thoroughput for information transfers over the internet.
Hopefully in the years to come with the constant increase of bandwidths and betterment of connectivity, jumbo frames package transfers will be supported by most ISPs as well.
Jumbo frames network support is just great for is small local – home networks and company / corporation office intranets.

Thus enabling Jumbo Frame is absolutely essential for "local" ethernet networks, where large file transfers occur frequently. Such networks are networks where, there is often a Video or Audio streaming with high quality like HD quality on servers running File Sharing services like Samba, local FTP sites,Webservers etc.

One other advantage of enabling jumbo frames is reduce of general server overhead and decrease in CPU load / (CPU usage), when transferring large or enormous sized files.Therefore having jumbo frames enabled on office network routers with GNU / Linux or any other *nix OS is vital.

Jumbo Frames traffic is supported in GNU / Linux kernel since version 2.6.17+ in earlier 2.4.x it was possible through external third party kernel patches.

1. Manually increase MTU to 9000 with ifconfig to enable Jumbo frames

debian:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

The default MTU on most GNU / Linux (if not all) is 1500, to check the default set MTU with ifconfig:

linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0|grep -i mtu
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1

To take advantage of Jumbo Frames, all that has to be done is increase the default Maximum Transmission Unit from 1500 to 9000

For those who don't know MTU is the largest physical packet size that can be transferred over the network. MTU is measured by default in bytes. If a information has to be transferred over the network which exceeds the lets say 1500 MTU (bytes), it will be chopped and transferred in few packs each of 1500 size.

MTUs differ on different netework topologies. Just for info here are the few main MTUs for main network types existing today:
 

  • 16 MBit/Sec Token Ring – default MTU (17914)
  • 4 Mbits/Sec Token Ring – default MTU (4464)
  • FDDI – default MTU (4352)
  • Ethernet – def MTU (1500)
  • IEEE 802.3/802.2 standard – def MTU (1492)
  • X.25 (dial up etc.) – def MTU (576)
  • Jumbo Frames – def max MTU (9000)

Setting the MTU packet frames to 9000 to enable Jumbo Frames is done with:

linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

If the command returns nothing, this most likely means now the server can communicate on eth0 with MTUs of each 9000 and therefore the network thoroughput will be better. In other case, if the network card driver or card is not a gigabit one the cmd will return error:

SIOCSIFMTU: Invalid argument

2. Enabling Jumbo Frames on Debian / Ubuntu etc. "the Debian way"

a.) Jumbo Frames on ethernet interfaces with static IP address assigned Edit /etc/network/interfaces and you should have for each of the interfaces you would like to set the Jumbo Frames, records similar to:

Raising the MTU to 9000 if for one time can be done again manually with ifconfig

debian:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.0.5
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.254
netmask 255.255.255.0
mtu 9000

For each of the interfaces (eth1, eth2 etc.), add a chunk similar to one above changing the changing the IPs, Gateway and Netmask.

If the server is with two gigabit cards (eth0, eth1) supporting Jumbo frames add to /etc/network/interfaces :

iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.0.5
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.254
netmask 255.255.255.0
mtu 9000

iface eth1 inet static
address 192.168.0.6
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.254
netmask 255.255.255.0
mtu 9000

b.) Jumbo Frames on ethernet interfaces with dynamic IP obtained via DHCP

Again in /etc/network/interfaces put:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
post-up /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

3. Setting Jumbo Frames on Fedora / CentOS / RHEL "the Redhat way"

Enabling jumbo frames on all Gigabit lan interfaces (eth0, eth1, eth2 …) in Fedora / CentOS / RHEL is done through files:
 

  • /etc/sysconfig/network-script/ifcfg-eth0
  • /etc/sysconfig/network-script/ifcfg-eth1

etc. …
append in each one at the end of the respective config:

MTU=9000

[root@fedora ~]# echo 'MTU=9000' >> /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth


a quick way to set Maximum Transmission Unit to 9000 for all network interfaces on on Redhat based distros is by executing the following loop:

[root@centos ~]# for i in $(echo /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth*); do \echo 'MTU=9000' >> $i
done

P.S.: Be sure that all your interfaces are supporting MTU=9000, otherwise increase while the MTU setting is set will return SIOCSIFMTU: Invalid argument err.
The above loop is to be used only, in case you have a group of identical machines with Lan Cards supporting Gigabit networks and loaded kernel drivers supporting MTU up to 9000.

Some Intel and Realtek Gigabit cards supports only a maximum MTU of 7000, 7500 etc., so if you own a card like this check what is the max MTU the card supports and set it in the lan device configuration.
If increasing the MTU is done on remote server through SSH connection, be extremely cautious as restarting the network might leave your server inaccessible.

To check if each of the server interfaces are "Gigabit ready":

[root@centos ~]# /sbin/ethtool eth0|grep -i 1000BaseT
1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full
1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full

If you're 100% sure there will be no troubles with enabling MTU > 1500, initiate a network reload:

[root@centos ~]# /etc/init.d/network restart
...

4. Enable Jumbo Frames on Slackware Linux

To list the ethernet devices and check they are Gigabit ones issue:

bash-4.1# lspci | grep [Ee]ther
0c:00.0 Ethernet controller: D-Link System Inc Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (rev 11)
0c:01.0 Ethernet controller: D-Link System Inc Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (rev 11)

Setting up jumbo frames on Slackware Linux has two ways; the slackware way and the "universal" Linux way:

a.) the Slackware way

On Slackware Linux, all kind of network configurations are done in /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf

Usual config for eth0 and eth1 interfaces looks like so:

# Config information for eth0:
IPADDR[0]="10.10.0.1"
NETMASK[0]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[0]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""
# Config information for eth1:
IPADDR[1]="10.1.1.1"
NETMASK[1]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[1]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""

To raise the MTU to 9000, the variables MTU[0]="9000" and MTU[1]="9000" has to be included after each interface config block, e.g.:

# Config information for eth0:
IPADDR[0]="172.16.1.1"
NETMASK[0]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[0]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""
MTU[0]="9000"
# Config information for eth1:
IPADDR[1]="10.1.1.1"
NETMASK[1]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[1]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""
MTU[1]="9000"

bash-4.1# /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 restart
...

b.) The "Universal" Linux way

This way is working on most if not all Linux distributions.
Insert in /etc/rc.local:

/sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000 up
/sbin/ifconfig eth1 mtu 9000 up

5. Check if Jumbo Frames are properly enabled

There are at least two ways to display the MTU settings for eths.

a.) Using grepping the MTU from ifconfig

linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0|grep -i mtu
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:9000 Metric:1
linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth1|grep -i mtu
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:9000 Metric:1

b.) Using ip command from iproute2 package to get MTU

linux:~# ip route get 192.168.2.134
local 192.168.2.134 dev lo src 192.168.2.134
cache mtu 9000 advmss 1460 hoplimit 64

linux:~# ip route show dev wlan0
192.168.2.0/24 proto kernel scope link src 192.168.2.134
default via 192.168.2.1

You see MTU is now set to 9000, so the two server lans, are now able to communicate with increased network thoroughput.
Enjoy the accelerated network transfers 😉

 

How to increase brightness on Fujitsu Siemens Amilo PI22515 notebook with Slackware Linux

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Increase LCD screen brightness on Fujitsu Siemens Amilo laptop with Linux Slackware

A friend of mine has Fujitsu Siemens Amilo laptop and is full time using his computer with Slackware Linux.

He is quite happy with Slackware Linux 13.37 on the laptop, but unfortunately sometimes his screen brightness lowers. One example when the screen gets darkened is when he switch the computer on without being plugged in the electricity grid. This lowered brightness makes the screen un-user friendly and is quite tiring for the eye …

By default the laptop has the usual function keys and in theory pressing Function (fn) + F8 / F7 – should increase / decrease the brightness with no problems, however on Slackware Linux (and probably on other Linuxes too?), the function keys are not properly recognized and not responding whilst pressed.
I used to have brigtness issues on my Lenovo notebook too and remember how irritating this was.
After a bit of recalling memories on how I solved this brightness issues I remembered the screen brigthness on Linux is tunable through /proc virtual (memory) filesystem.

The laptop (Amilo) Fujitsu Siemens video card is:

lspci |grep -i vga
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary) (rev 03)

I took a quick look in /proc and found few files called brightness:
 

  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD01/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD03/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD04/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD05/brightness

cat-ting /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD01/brightness, /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD03/brightness, /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD04/brightness all shows not supported and therefore, they cannot be used to modify brightness:

bash-4.1# for i in $(/proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD0{1,3,4,5}/brightness); do \
cat $i;
done
<not supported>
<not supported>
<not supported>
<not supported>

After a bit of testing I finally succeeded in increasing the brightness.
Increasing the brightness on the notebook Intel GM965 video card model is done, through file:

/proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness

To see all the brightness levels the Fujitsu LCD display supports:

bash-4.1# cat /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness
levels: 13 25 38 50 63 75 88 100
current: 25

As you can see the dark screen was caused cause the current: brightness is set to a low value of 25.
To light up the LCD screen and make the screen display fine again, I increased the brightness to the maximum level 100, e.g.:

bash-4.1# echo '100' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brigthness

Just for the fun, I've written also a two lines script which gradually increases LCDs brightness 🙂

bash-4.1# echo '13' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness;
bash-4.1# for i in \
$(cat /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness|grep 'levels'|sed -e 's#levels:##g'); do \
echo $i > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness; sleep 1; \done

fujitsu_siemens_brightness_fun.sh script is fun to observe in changing the LCD screen gradually in one second intervals 🙂

Here is also a tiny program that reduces and increases the notebook laptop brightness written in C. My friend Dido, coded it in just few minutes just for the fun 🙂
To permanently solve the issues with darkened screen on boot time it is a good idea to include echo '100' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brigthness in /etc/rc.local:

bash-4.1# echo '100' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brigthness

I've also written another Universal Linux Increase laptop screen brightness Shell script which should be presumable also working for all Laptop models running Linux 🙂

My maximize_all_linux_laptops_brightness.sh "universal increase Linux brightness" script is here
I'll be glad to hear from people who had tested the script on other laptops and can confirm it works fine for them.
 

Thanks to God I’m in Arnhem the Netherlands! :)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Reading Time: 2 minutes
I had 3 days trip with bus with my girl classmate (Ina). We traveled using the union-ivkoni bus lines. As a wholebeing on the road with bus for 3 days in order to reach some destination is pretty killing. We started the historicaltravel from Kavarna to Sofia and then at 2 o’clock we catched the bus Sofia -> Utrecht. There was big delays in the Serbianand the Hungarian borders. On all the other boarders we and our luggage weren’t checked. We had a bunch of stops on a oil stations.And I have to note everything in the oil stations in europe is pretty expensive. For example one sanwdich costs somwehere aroundalmost 4EU!. I and Ina came at Utrecht at around 6 o’clock and went to the Utrecht’s train station where we took two tickets to Arnhem.At 7 we were at Arnhem and went to the bus station. Originally we expected that there are gonna be welcoming students there and HAN university buses traveling from there to Vivare and the other accommodation places, unfortunately this was not the case. We were absolutely alone at an unknown country again I prayed to God in Jesus name to help me find a way to fix this mess. I went to search for Mobile SIM card, at the end after 20 minutes of walk I asked a police officer near the train station and he told me about a bookstore where I can find mobile SIM cards. I took two of them one for Ina and one for me. I took the T-Mobile mobile. I heard that the prices of conversations between the Bulgarian GSM operator Globul and T-Mobile are cheaper so I decided to give it a try. We called Koko (A College Colleague, who is gonna study HRQM just like me and is going to continue as a 3rd year student in Arnhem Business School, he came instantly in 20 minutes or so with another Bulgarian guy who already studied a year in Arnhem (Drago). Drago didn’t helped much with the traveling bags. But Kaloyan helped a lot. Today I feel the grace of God so real. I pray that he keep me and guide me in the same way in the future too. Another thing to note is that the living room that Vivare selected for me or should I say God make it be for me is just perfect. It has a toilet (!big plus!, a terrace, аsink, a nice bed, A Buro, a lamp and a chair. The room number is with ID K. 111. I think 111 stays for the Holy Trinity (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit) to Whom is and be the Glory the worship and power now and Forever and Ever, Amen!) I forgot to mention that I blocked my mobile telephone while trying to make the T-mobile SIM card work with my Motorola C115, luckily God has thought for this too. It seems Koko has one Mobile apartus he didn’t need right now so he gave it on a good will to me. Again what I can say Our Lord is an awesome God. Now I’m pretty tired and I’m going to bed. I have to mention Arnhem is excitingly charmful city and I really like it, also I’m impressed by the Dutch guys with which I had any work until now.Well for final I can only say: ” I screamed to the Lord and he heard my prayer and delivered me from evil”! Glory to you Lord of Hosts! Amen !END—–

The day wasn’t so bad at all

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Yesterday I was on a birthday of a one girl Krisi she is 18 already. It was a standard teen party. Awful place, I drunk 3 beers and smoked a lot of cigaretes in general we discussed with some ppl Does the Lord exist things. Is evolution real is it possible at all things like this. There was one boy who was keen on Free Software GPL etc. I realized I’m a real psycho after I started to convince him Windows and M$ products are much better than free software :]. After 3 hours speaking like a 15 years m$ user. When walking back for home. I asked my self what the heck? What I did I’m real psycho ;]. Zuio and I broke 1 flowerpot when doing POGO on a Hipodil song. I eat some strange salad with hands ( I pretended to be a Bangla person ) :]. Nomen drunk a lot and got angry at a guy and proposed to start a fight:]. In 5:30 a.m. we were already at home. Our mood got fucked up a little when going back to home. In the morning Papi wake me up and suggested to go to a coffee, I aggreed as usual but I did misunderstood about the place where we decided to see, and waited on other place after that I realized I did a mistake and he meant we have to see each other in the Winter Theather not the Summer One (silly me). After that normal day I eat. I did some server descriptions, played mame in Nomen (I went his home). I was able to start gxmame to work in fullscreen in the end (my integrated video card is doing alot of problems about the games) but I found out the xmame -ef 1 option. That one rules.END—–