[QtMoko] no WLAN support nor USB networking with Windows 7 in QtMoko v18? (FR unusability rant)

Brolin Empey brolin at brolin.be
Sat Apr 10 12:42:26 CEST 2010

As you can probably tell, I was very frustrated and in rant mode when I 
wrote my original post.  My problems were caused by my wrong approach, 
though.  I should have booted QtMoko from SD instead of NAND because SD 
is far more flexible, especially when troubleshooting.

QtMoko v18’s lack of USB networking with Windows 7 was caused by its 
2.6.32 kernel config.  I have been chatting with radekp (and others) in 
#openmoko:  he tried to help me by providing new kernel images with 
RNDIS support enabled, but I never got RNDIS working until I switched to 
QtMoko v19.  I know I am a minority Openmoko user because I prefer 
Windows NT over Linux as a desktop client OS, but I still think the 
distro maintainers should have a release checklist to prevent releasing 
a kernel without RNDIS support, for example.  RNDIS support is critical 
for me because I need it for ssh access to my FR.  I know I could use a 
Linux guest in VirtualBox or another virtual machine on my Windows 7 
host, but I have been avoiding installing a VM because I fear it will 
become Yet Another of my countless underestimated projects. 
Furthermore, I have Ubuntu tower PCs at both home and work.  I prefer 
Cygwin over a Linux guest because Cygwin is better integrated with the 
host:  Cygwin uses the same file system, for example.  Anyway, I should 
not blame distro maintainers for not using a release checklist because I 
should ask if their new release contains the features and/or support I 
need before upgrading, especially for a minority case such as RNDIS 
support.  You can read the #openmoko logs on the Web if you are 
interested in my conversations with radekp (and others).

My QtMoko v19 installation in NAND became unusable because my JFFS2 
rootfs somehow got partially corrupted while my FR was suspended 
overnight.  I still do not know how that happened, but I learned there 
is no fsck for JFFS2 only after I needed an fsck to repair my rootfs.  I 
migrated my QtMoko v19 installation from NAND to an 8 GB microSDHC card, 
which I managed to eventually boot with qi-bootmenu.  QtEI restarts when 
I tell it to “Restart Device” or “Shutdown Device”, though, so I need to 
try regular Qi instead of qi-bootmenu.  My ext3 rootfs on SD got 
partially corrupted too, though, and apparently I have lost my entire 
calendar + all of my >400 tasks. :((  I will survive, though:  I have 
tried to spend more effort on progressing than worrying about my 
non-critical data loss.

I should have tried upgrading QtMoko by replacing the kernel image, 
modules, and /opt/qtmoko/ with the versions from the new release instead 
of tarring my current installation, starting over with the new release, 
then trying to copy everything I need from my backup tarball of the 
previous release.  radekp even explicitly mentions this (untested) 
upgrade path in his recent announcements of QtMoko v20 + v21.  radekp’s 
2.6.32 kernel apparently now has support for USB Host, but I do not know 
if it has RNDIS support.

Anyway, sorry about my complaining and ranting.  Sometimes I allow my 
actions to be based on my emotions instead of logical reasoning;  of 
course, I lack control over my emotions.  I want to help improve my FR 
experience, including helping radekp make QtMoko the best and most 
usable FR distro, instead of only complaining without offering 
constructive criticism.  I realise the FR is a community project;  I am 
grateful radekp and others, including Alishams Hassam locally, are 
willing to help me personally.  I know radekp has a wife, 2 children, 
and a full-time (day) job in addition to his (volunteer) role as QtMoko 
maintainer.  I have a full-time day job too, but it is very flexible and 
is in a very supportive and understanding environment.  I have never 
been married and have no children, though.

I have probably forgotten to mention something important in this 
message, but I think it will still be sufficient for now.

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