Random knowledge I.

25 January 2007

If you're a Newton user, you've no doubt considered picking up the ObEx stack for NewtonOS, which allows your MessagePad to communicate with other PDAs, such as the Palm Pilot or the HP Jornadas. I highly suggest that you spend the $40us to do so, you won't regret it. It can be tricky at first to get working, though. I spent a good bit of today trying to figure out how to beam entries from the Dates application to a Palm Vx unit, and here's how I did it: First, you need to set up the time at which to start the transmission. Open the In/Out Box application on your Newton (by default it's in the Extras Drawer) and hit the (I)nformation button in the bottom-left corner. Select the Beam Preferences button. Tap the When Beaming drop-down list and select Specify When. Now go back to the application you want to transfer a record from (in this case, Dates) and bring up the slip for the event you want to transmit. Tap the envelope button, then tap Beam. An envelope should appear. Tap the drop-down list to the left of the stamp and select ObEx. Tap the Encode as drop-down list and select VCS, which is the native PalmOS datebook entry format. Then tap the ObEx button in the lower-right corner of the slipand your entry will transfer in a couple of seconds.

If you are running Linux on a laptop computer using a v2.4 series kernel and your wireless network card suddenly stops working on you one day, then there's a good chance that something bad happened to your configuration in /etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts. One day, when I was using my laptop computer, I found Kabuki unable to get on the Lab's wireless network. Running the iwconfig utility returned a few things that I hadn't expected: The NIC's ESSID field was set to "unspecified" and the wireless access point's MAC address was set to "44:44:44:44:44:44", which was confusing to say the least. After a lot of head scratching, cursing, and rebuilding Kabuki's kernel, I finally tried running the initialisation procedure that the PCMCIA-CS suite is supposed to whenever the card services daemon detects the insertion of a card. The following command line brought her wireless NIC (A D-link DWL-650) on line:
root@kabuki# /usr/local/sbin/iwconfig eth0 essid "ESSID of WaveLAN"

Slackware Linux v8.0 and above gives you the option of formatting all of the partitions you create as ReiserFS. Don't waste your time searching for hacked bootdisks (like you did with Slackware v7.x).

The University of Pittsburgh starts selling parking permits two weeks before the semester begins. Permits for the fall semester are made available halfway through August, permits for the spring semester go on sale 1 December.

Opening stories in multiple tabs in Mozilla makes it much easier to read everything in a timely manner.

To access the BIOS setup screen on a Toshiba Tecra 8000, hold down the ESC key while powering the unit up, then press the F1 key when it prompts you to.

If your wireless NIC suddenly stops synching with your access point, turn off WEP on the AP and remove the key from your card's configuration. Reboot and try again. No, I don't know why this has to be done. Yes, it works (I just did it last night).

When configuring wireless network cards under Linux, make sure that the scheme you define for a given setup (for example, the scheme for the office) has corresponding settings in both /etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts and /etc/pcmcia/network.opts. If you've got one set up but not the other, the card services daemon will get confused and the weird configuration will make everything act flaky.