23 Jan 2008

Struggling with Vista updates - Vista KB942763 update failure

I have been struggling with any Vista update (i.e. security and regular updates) since some time in December. Does anybody else has similar problems? I get error code 800F0826.
Microsoft provides some information regarding this error, check here - haven't had time yet to go through their solutions though.

Also, loading Vista takes longer than usual and I have a blank screen for a minute before the login screen appears.

-- EDIT --
Apparently, Vista update KB942763 is causing the problem - at least this is the earliest update which failed. I get a different error code for that: 80070643. However, this code seems to refer to some Office update problems - but I don't even have MS Office installed...

I found that this error might be related to the Comodo firewall which I use, see here, however, I' always had Defense+ deactivated, hence at least in my case this can't be the cause of the problem.

22 Dec 2007

SH8 Keyboard

Fortunately, I didn't have much time to google for the Kohji SH8 before I bought it. Afterwards I read a few negative comments where users weren't satisfied with the keyboard of the SA series. Apparently Kohjinsha made some improvements, because the keyboard of the SH8 isn't bad. Of course the form factor is different, but one gets used to this little keyboard rather quickly. The picture below shows the keyboard of the Japanese version:

10 Dec 2007

Vista screen rotation

The screen rotation is a really nice feature of the Kohji - especially in combination with the touch screen. I haven't tried it under Ubuntu yet, since the touch screen isn't working properly anyway (see earlier post), but I use it quite a lot under Vista - mainly to read and annotate pdf files.
Today, this feature stopped working. When I pressed the rotation button, the rotation icons popped up on the screen as always. It let me choose the angle of rotation, but then nothing happened.
Problem/Solution: I updated the Intel display driver a few days ago (or rather Vista suggested to update it to version I just installed the old version which came with the Kohji ( and screen rotation works again :-)

6 Dec 2007

Size comparison I

Unfortunately I have too much to do at the moment, so I can't really play with the Kohji . However here's one first size comparision... the SH8 vs. a DVD case - yes, I do like Shaun the Sheep ;-)

2 Dec 2007

SH8 WLAN with Ubuntu 7.10

The Kohjinsha SH8 has the RT73 USB WLAN adapter.
~$ lspci |grep -i net
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller (rev 01)

Getting the WLAN to work was a bit tricky, but now it's working :-)
Here is what I did:

1) download the source of the current RT73 driver here: http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/rt73-cvs-daily.tar.gz
(I downloaded the rt73-cvs-2007120216 release)

2) unpack with tar -zxvf and read the README file (always helpful)

3) compile the sources (as stated in the README file) with make and install the driver with make install

4) open /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist as root and add the following lines:
blacklist rt2570
blacklist rt2500usb
blacklist rt2x00usb
blacklist rt2x00lib
blacklist rt73usb

(explanation later)

5) If you came so far, you should get the following output:
~$ sudo iwconfig
wlan0 RT73 WLAN
Link Quality:0 Signal level:0 Noise level:113
Rx invalid nwid:0 invalid crypt:0 invalid misc:0

and ifconfig doesn't show wlan0 at all.

6) Do the following
sudo modprobe -rv rt73
sudo modprobe -v rt73

and then start the device with
sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Make sure your wlan adapter is switched on!! (Function key + F4)

You now should get the following output when executing iwconfig and ifconfig:
~$ sudo iwconfig
wlan0 RT73 WLAN ESSID:""
Mode:Managed Frequency=2.412 GHz Bit Rate=54 Mb/s
RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:off
Link Quality=0/100 Signal level:-121 dBm Noise level:-115 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

~$ sudo ifconfig
wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0D:F0:47:00:0B
RX packets:66 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:242 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:3679 (3.5 KB) TX bytes:16434 (16.0 KB)

So in principle everything should be working now and sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning should give you a list of the available wireless networks.

7) configure your wlan network settings, i.e. define the essid, key, etc. of your network. The following is for a network with WEP key and DHCP.

sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid your-network-name
sudo iwconfig wlan0 key your-network's-key

and finally request an IP from the DHCP server.

sudo dhclient wlan0

When you setup your network this way you don't change /etc/network/interfaces and hence you have to do everything from step 6 onwards every time you boot into Ubuntu. It's probably a good idea to get this done automatically, which I will do and post here later. Right now I'm just happy that I can type this post on my Kohjinsha using Ubuntu 7.10 :-)

EDIT: since I don't use the WLAN very often, I put all the commands from step 6 onwards in a little shell script and run it when necessary.

Important message: Sorry, I haven't had time to link to the most useful forum posts which helped me to set things up. References will follow soon... however I wanted to post a few things now before I forget how I did it.

Random notes: when messing around with the wlan settings, trying many different things, which I found on various websites, I came to one stage where iwconfig showed the following

wlan0 RT73 WLAN ESSID:"my-network"

Mode:Managed Frequency=2.412 GHz Bit Rate=54 Mb/s
RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Link Quality=0/100 Signal level:-121 dBm Noise level:-115 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

i.e. the essid was set to the right network, but I got a link quality of 0/100, which isn't too good obviously. iwlist wlan0 scanning showed the available wireless networks though. If I remember correctly this happened, because I blacklisted not all of the modules listed in 4).

Touch screen

It would be nice to use the touch screen under linux. However, unfortunately the touch screen isn't working yet (for me). This is the device:

~$ dmesg | grep PenM

[ 8.232000] input: DIALOGUE INC PenMount USB as /class/input/input2
[ 8.232000] input: USB HID v0.01 Mouse [DIALOGUE INC PenMount USB] on usb-0000:00:1d.3-2

I found an ubuntuforum thread here, which describes installing Ubuntu Feisty on a Kohjinsha SH6. The Ubuntu driver can be found on the PenMount website: http://www.penmount.com/down_2_1.php
After installation with sudo ./install.sh (Penmount 6000 [USB]) and restart of the X server (CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE) it is supposed to work - but for some reason it doesn't. I will keep you up to date...

-- EDIT --
After I got my first comment on this post (thanks!) I tried what was suggested, i.e. I changed the device from /dev/input/event0 to /dev/input/event2 in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Unfortunately this didn't solve the problem. I then had a look at the README-ubuntu again, which cames with the driver and I realised that the PenMount USB Driver isn't loaded, because /proc/bus/usb/devices didn't even exist. I mounted the USB file system

mount -t usbfs none /proc/bus/usb

In the readme the same command is given with usbdevfs, however this does not work (you will get the error message unknown filesystem type 'usbdevfs') , since apparently the USB filesystem has been renamed to usbfs.)

Now, I find a Penmount entry here
~$ sudo more /proc/bus/usb/devices
T: Bus=04 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=01 Cnt=01 Dev#= 2 Spd=12 MxCh= 0
D: Ver= 1.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs= 1
P: Vendor=14e1 ProdID=6000 Rev=a4.b4
S: Manufacturer=DIALOGUE INC
S: Product=PenMount USB
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=a0 MxPwr=500mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=03(HID ) Sub=01 Prot=02 Driver=usbhid
E: Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS= 5 Ivl=1ms
E: Ad=02(O) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS= 5 Ivl=1ms

and /proc/bus/input/devices contains the following

I: Bus=0003 Vendor=14e1 Product=6000 Version=0001
P: Phys=usb-0000:00:1d.3-2/input0
S: Sysfs=/class/input/input5
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=event5 js0
B: EV=b
B: KEY=30000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: ABS=3

This kind of looked like I had to use /dev/input/event5 in xorg.conf. But after restarting the X server again it still didn't work. However if I do the following

sudo xxd /dev/input/event5

I get some funny output like this and it gets more if you touch the screen

0000000: d0a9 5647 8053 0b00 0300 0000 5501 0000 ..VG.S......U...
0000010: d0a9 5647 8653 0b00 0300 0100 9302 0000 ..VG.S..........
0000020: d0a9 5647 8853 0b00 0000 0000 0000 0000 ..VG.S..........
0000030: d0a9 5647 4f5b 0b00 0100 1001 0100 0000 ..VGO[..........
0000040: d0a9 5647 545b 0b00 0000 0000 0000 0000 ..VGT[..........

- so at least something is happening... :-) - still not enough though! Any ideas what to try next?

1 Dec 2007

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) on the SH8

I was positively surprised by Windows Vista, which I haven't tried before, but a computer is only usable if it is capable of running Linux. I considered OpenSuse and Ubuntu since I used both in the past, however I eventually chose Ubuntu, because of its massive support by the community (ubuntuforums!). Furthermore I was keen on testing the new Ubuntu release ;-)
I did the installation via an external CD drive, however a network boot/install is also possible. The install process itself didn't make any problems. Even the screen resolution was automatically set to 1024x600.

What worked out of the box:
  • - Synaptic touchpad
  • - 1024x600 screen resolution
  • - brightness, scroll and mouse butoons on the right hand side of the screen
  • - pointer on the left hand side of the screen
  • - USB 2.0
  • - SD card slot
  • - soundcard
  • - ...
What I could fix:
  • - WLAN (see guide above)
What I'm currently struggling with:
  • - touch screen (USB Penmount)
So far untested:
  • - Bluetooth
  • - CF card slot
  • - external display
  • - webcam
  • - microphone