Fourth impressions, featuring real live use cases

Mikko Rauhala mjrauhal at
Fri Aug 3 01:23:32 CEST 2007

Figured I'd do at least one more, since there's some actual live use
cases here.

Turns out, by the way, that there is no USBnet problem. It was just
OpenMoko deciding to put Neo to sleep after a few minutes if there
aren't any GUI apps present, irrespective of the Neo being plugged in,
having usbnet activity and/or playing music. Reported it anyway, as well
as the (still real) microSD write problem.

For the meat of this post, let's first consider the BT PAN instructions
They work. Remember that pand needs to be started at both ends before ip
and routing setup.

This frees Neo LAN-wise from the USB cable whereever you have a
bluetooth-enabled computer. Most laptops nowadays have BT, and for those
that don't and the desktops, USB dongles come cheap. The range and speed
won't be incredible, but enough to be useful.

Now, what to do with a wireless network on the couch? Hmm, browse the
web? Sure. OpenMoko's browser is a bit buggy, and less than fully
featured at this point, though. But didn't we run a remote firefox in
the last episode over the USBnet? Why yes, yes we did. So, fire it up
over our BT PAN. Could be snappier, but works quite usably. A limited
use web pad it is. Not very mobile, of course, so all you working on the
browser, please continue ;)

What's next that's wireless and useful on the couch? How about a remote
control. My computer doubles as a telly and a video player, and lirc
always seemed too much of a bother. Plus with a phone as a remote,
there's one less box to worry about.

I'd prototyped a terminal-based python remote before, used it a bit with
s60putty. Basically just runs eg. aumix and totem commands based on
keypresses from the terminal session. Primitive, but works. Adapted a
bit for handy use with Neo's on-screen keyboard, and made a short script
to run the program via ssh from the Neo. The result: a semi-handy

Making a better one might be a good exercise project; scratches my itch,
is useful, shouldn't take long to get basic functionality. A simple GUI
with just several large buttons to start with; configurable button sets
and status indicators maybe later. Either run the program remotely from
the controlled host (probably this route for prototyping) or have an ssh
session in the background to the controlled host (would be better for
the final product). Program executes predefined commands on the
controlled host in response to button presses. Hopefully will be
energetic enough on the weekend to see about it.

At least some of the weekend will probably be consumed at the local
Assembly Summer 2007 party, though. Got a free pass as an infosoc
activist TV guest today. Briefly pointed at my Neo on the show as well
as to a few people around the Ubuntu desk. As for future propaganda,
I've got two OpenMoko talks scheduled for this autumn, at the FUUG
cruise and a Helsinki Linux theme night.

For now, good night, and good mokoing.

Mikko Rauhala   - mjr at     - <URL:>
Transhumanist   - WTA member     - <URL:>
Singularitarian - SIAI supporter - <URL:>

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