No more breaks

Since this week I’ve been doing lots and lots of work on lscube, of which I wanted to blog but I’m afraid I won’t have much time to do that right now, I wanted to take a break this weekend, to relax, rest, and play a bit. Nothing went like I wanted, and I actually think I won’t try to take again a break like this anytime soon.

Yesterday almost went like I wanted, I worked a bit on my ruby-bombe project, removed the pending notice on some specs actually implemented some functions on it, although it’s still unable to read. I set up the SysRescueUSB key but then i had to finish a support request on a Vista laptop. Could be worse, but Vista by itself is a problem for me: I cannot connect Vista laptops to my router directly, they kill it! I have to connect them through one of my laptops (my mother’s or mine) or through Yamato. I have no idea why. Okay no problem. I finished the cleanup, and the laptop was ready to go.

Today, I was woken up very early since I was to be at home by myself, which also called for a good morning of relaxing playing with the PlayStation… yeah sure. First my brother in law dropped by with my nephew to pick up some of his tools that were left here, then I finally cleared out some tasks for a job I have to do, which called for testing, after lunch.

But while I finish set up the stuff for this job I also decide to set up another side job I was commissioned, of which I’ll try to blog in another moment since it’s really interesting to me and I might actually release it as Free Software afterward. For this job, though, I need Windows, since it’ll have to run on Vista. I have an XP license (not OEM, thus not tied to a box) but it was set up to work on the laptop, since that was the most powerful box I had at the time, and Enterprise was not VT-X capable so I wouldn’t run it there virtually; now the laptop is no longer the most powerful machine at home, and I don’t care much about playing on XP, (I only have two games running there and they should work fine on Wine nowadays), so I wanted to move it out, reclaim the free space on the laptop, and install it on VirtualBox. Unfortunately as soon as VirtualBox starts, Xorg crashes, and it does not wake up the video card when it starts back.

Two hours of fiddlings later I get to find out:

  • gnome-settings-daemon, updated today, does not always start properly; no clue why yet;
  • SDL applications were killing my Xorg, I noticed this with tuxtype before, and the same happened with VirtualBox;
  • the reason why Xorg couldn’t wake up the videocard was the framebuffer; since I don’t even use the framebuffer when SSH is not working (I love serial consoles) but rather the laptop so I can have cut and paste, I just disabled it and I live happier now;
  • the Xorg crash was in the VidMode calls;
  • the Xorg crash was already reported as FreeDesktop bug #17431;
  • the Xorg crash was caused by SDL bundling its own X11 libraries !

So once again not following to the letter the policy that tells us to always use system libraries wasted more of my time than it should have. I guess this is life for you.

On the other hand, I need Mono for the commissioned work I talked above, but Mono in Portage is currently very badly present, since compnerd hasn’t bumped anything in quite some time. Today I opened a few bugs around for Gtk# for instance, and I hope I’ll be able to bump a few things in my overlay and force-feed them to Portage in a week or two.

On a different note, I start to have some hardware cravings, in particular I currently have no free USB port, no Ethernet cable and just one USB to serial adapter left, this is very suboptimal. I guess as soon as my job pays me I’ll be getting a self-powered USB hub so that at least I can replicate a few extra ports. I have a crimping tool for Ethernet cables but it does not do Cat5E cable, and I wanted to buy Cat5e if I was to buy more new cables…