Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I suppose if I continue to let this blog stagnate I should at least point out that I no longer work at Sun and is no longer under my control (though I did write all the content there for what it is worth)

Cheers James

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


On the rare occasions that I post new content I will post it at my new home I'm not migrating posts so this blog will stay indefinitely.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wet Nokia E71 Reset for idiots

If like me you are an idiot and you decide that it is a good idea to take you brand new Nokia E71 phone on a very wet Motorcycle ride. You to will likely discover in the Cafe at the other end that you have an very wet phone that no longer turns on. If this sounds like the brain dead sort of thing you would do then try the following.

Step 1
Take the battery out and put the phone in the airing cupboard for a couple of days.

Step 2
Turn it on.

Step 3
If after this it says "Phone failed to Start up - Contact retailer" try holding down the green button the 3 and * button (don't bother holding down the Function button that you would normally use to get numbers) and turn the phone on with the power button. Keeping holding the buttons until the phone boots into the startup wizard. If you lucky you will be back at a blank phone.

Step 4
If your even more lucky you will have synced your contacts with another computer or server and can just re-sync them to get your numbers back.

Step 5
Don't be such a fool again.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Synergy OpenSolaris

I've been a big fan of Synergy for years and getting it to compile on OpenSolaris is just a question of installing SUNWxorg-headers:

Grab the Synergy source and unpack then cd to the directory and install the SUNxorg-headers:
james@ickle:~/Download$ tar xf synergy-1.3.1.tar
james@ickle:~/Download$ cd synergy-1.3.1
james@ickle:~/Download/synergy-1.3.1$ pfexec pkg install SUNWxorg-headers

then it should compile as normal:
james@ickle:~/Download/synergy-1.3.1$ ./configure
james@ickle:~/Download/synergy-1.3.1$ make
james@ickle:~/Download/synergy-1.3.1$ pfexec make install

As an example here is my synergy config file:

james@frank:~$ cat /etc/synergy.conf
section: screens
meta = alt

section: links
right = frank
left = ickle
right = douglas
left = frank

The meta = alt line under douglas is to make synergy play nice with a Mac as a client.

The result is three machines with one keyboard and mouse.

x40 opensolaris

Have been playing with OpenSolaris on the laptop again and, have discovered that the although SpeedStep is not supported on my old Dothan Pentium M using the Solaris Speedstep drivers. The frkit seems to allow the acpi to combine with the Gnome CpuFreq to step my CPU successfully.

So now I have CPU speed stepping which stops my laptop toasting me to death when i use it under OpenSolaris.
Still waiting on 6644080 to be fixed in build 95 so I can see if suspend will work though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 Strategy Planning Meeting

I just listened in on the call for the OpenSolaris (Indiana) community strategy planning meeting to get a bit of an idea where the OS is going. It seems that the road map includes a number of nice bits for the planned 2008.11 release. Some much needed work on the performance of pkg and PackageManager, an update to Gnome and a move to more open development and rudimentary SPARC support.

The Development plan included things like a planned move to a Mercurial repository for the beginning of August from the current SCM. The plans have the goal of eventually having non Sun community members able to make putbacks.

The repository system was described in more detail including how and related. From my (fairly limited!) understanding it appears that will be where the Sun supported releases will live as well as encumbered, paid and other resources that are not going to be generally available in the same way or under the same licences as OpenSolaris itself. will continue to be where the bleeding edge stuff lives, and will have a quick release cycle to conincide roughly with SXCE (bi-weekly builds). There will also be a stable version availble from and there was mention of a proposed /contrib repositery for Open Source software from the community - if this means community maitained projects like songbird, beta builds of software or others things is not clear to me at the moment. Slides for this talk given by Tim Cramer and Dan Roberts are hear.

Stephen Hahn went into further detail about the way IPS works and the slides he used includes some nice information on the clever bits of IPS like bandwidth efficiency (when updating packages only get individual files needed) and publication safety (packages with incomplete dependencies denied published state).

Dave Miner talked about the Automated Installation (with the some SPARC support) in preview form hopefully making an appearance in the 2008.11 release. Which should make deployment on a larger scale an easier task. Other features like Solaris 10 co-existence (without jumping through hoops) and proper Zones support in the BE management side of things is also due. More details in his slides.

There was some further discussion about hardware compatibility and the HCL list being out of date, at which point I discovered that the Device Driver Utility has the ability to upload your machines specifications to the bigadmin HCL list.

The use of Sun Ray was also mentioned, with OpenSolaris having a nicer desktop experience than Solaris 10 the ability to get Sun Ray working might help with the adoption of Sun Ray as it can provide a more modern environment to the end user. It looks like this work is underway though no time estimations where mentioned.

Overall I got the impression that the people behind OpenSolaris are trying hard to push both usage and adoption as well as trying to fix some of the shortcomings of Solaris to make it more attractive to the Web 2.0 companies, the hobbyists as well as the Enterprise users. It's not there yet but I can see it coming, exciting times to be rejoining Sun!

Transmission Bittorent Client OpenSolaris

Missing from the default OpenSolaris distribution install is a Bittorent client. While not in a binary Svr4 package of Transmission is available from hear and seems to work ok once I had installed libcurl

pfexec pkg install SUNWcurl
gunzip SFEtransmission-1.21-sol11-i386.pkg.gz
pfexec pkgadd -d SFEtransmission-1.21-sol11-i386.pkg