Topic: Computers Adventures in UTF-8

12:08pm, Wednesday 18 July 2007

I read that the new release of Debian had vastly improved UTF-8 support, so I gave it a whirl.

It was very simple - "dpkg-reconfigure locales" just about covers it - but I have to say that all the UTF-8 support in the world isn't going to help if, for historical reasons, your .bashrc contains the line

export LESSCHARSET=iso8859


One unexpected side-effect is that all the Russian spam which had previously rendered as "??? ??? ???" now looks like this: "ЮР. УСЛУГИ (ПОДРОБНЕЕ)". Babelfish reckons that's some sort of 419 scam...

Topic: Computers Helpdesk ticket of the day

9:08am, Tuesday 3 July 2007

[elided]'s desktop has developed a chirp and a bit of a gurgle.

Could be indigestion resulting from having swallowed a bird...?

Topic: Computers Adventures in Bluetooth

3:21pm, Friday 25 May 2007

Or, terse and lightly-edited notes on how to get a Belkin F8T001UK USB Bluetooth adapter to work on Debian Etch, and make it talk to a Palm Tungsten E2.

Just plugging the adapter in, lsusb says:

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0a5c:2033 Broadcom Corp. BCM2033 Bluetooth
I installed a bunch of likely-looking packages:
  • bluetooth
  • bluez-utils, bluez-firmware, bluez-gnome
  • obexpushd, ussp-push
With bluez-firmware installed and the firmware copied from /usr/lib/firmware to /lib/firmware to fix a silly file location bug lsusb says:
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0a5c:2001 Broadcom Corp.
At this point, btscanner or "hcitool inq" should show the presence of the Palm. (And whatever else happens to be nearby.)

I don't generally use Gnome, so I had to compile /usr/share/doc/bluez-utils/examples/passkey-agent.c.gz (there's a Makefile), and manually run gnome-panel and "passkey-agent --default 1234" in order to pair the Palm with the computer. Once that's done you can quit gnome-panel; it's not needed again.

With that done, sdptool browse provoked a response from the Palm which was a good sign.

Transferring files, Palm to PC

Install obexpushd, then run obexpushd -B -d and on the Palm, do Menu -> Send. Received files end up in the current directory.

Transferring files, PC to Palm

Install ussp-push, then run ussp-push --debug "Dave's TE2"@ bluetooth.txt bluetooth.txt to transfer a text file as a memo. It also works for .jpg (to the Media app). You might need @1 or @9 if it doesn't work first time.

Network connection sharing

Edit /etc/default/bluetooth:
  • enable dund
  • set DUND_OPTIONS="--listen --persist" (choose some unused network)
Run /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart

Edit /etc/ppp/pap-secrets:

# client server secret    IPaddrs
mypalm   *      PaSsWoRd  *
Edit /etc/ppp/options to set a DNS server or two.

Create a network connection on the Palm: in the Bluetooth app, tap Setup Devices -> LAN setup -> select the PC -> fill in the username and password from the pap-secrets file.

Turn on masquerading on the PC:

echo '1' > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE
iptables -A FORWARD -i ppp0 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A FORWARD -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
Now web browsing, ssh, etc from the Palm should work.
Topic: Computers PalmOS bug

11:27am, Tuesday 1 May 2007

Note to self (and to Google): a Palm Tungsten E2 crash at the end of the hotsync process with the error PIMSDataMgr.c, Line:135, checkRecordChunk means chunk is null... can be fixed by doing pilot-xfer --Purge -b somedir to remove the deleted records.

Topic: Computers Seen in passing

8:21am, Friday 27 April 2007

Linux kernel, arch/parisc/kernel/setup.c around line 267:

panic ("No CPUs found.  System halted.\n");

Hmm... there's a flaw there...


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Dave Holland <>
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