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Open Hardware: Zigbee and Arduino

  • Philips Hue Bridge v2.1

    I recently bought a Hue Bridge to experiment a bit with Zigbee and 802.15.4. Following two posts for the hardware version 2.0 and some comments about the differences to version 2.1 I was able to get shell access on my 2.1 hardware. As there is up to now no complete guide I describe here, what I did: Opening the case is straigth forward. Just remove the two lower nubsis at the bottom and unscrew the two torx screws; then carefully unclip the bottom.

  • $10 HelTec CubeCell LoRa Board Features Cypress PSoC 4 MCU

    The board can be controlled with AT command, but it also supports Arduino programming in Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You’ll find documentation and code samples on Github, as well as on Heltec’s own website. The company provides an example of battery life considering a connection with the LoRa gateway every 15 minutes. In this case, an 80mAh/3.7V battery would last for 3 months, but they did not mention in which mode they performed the calculation.

mesa 19.2.4

Hi list,

I'd like to announce mesa-19.2.4, which is available immediately. This is an
emergency release, to fix a critical bug found in the 19.2.3 release which
causes incomplete rendering on all mesa drivers. This release contains a single
patch to fix that bug, anyone using 19.2.3 should immediately upgrade to 19.2.4
or downgrade to 19.2.2.

Dylan
Read more Also: Mesa 19.2.4 Released As Emergency Update After 19.2.3 Broke All OpenGL Drivers

The Secrets of Docker Secrets

Most web apps need login information of some kind, and it is a bad idea to put them in your source code where it gets saved to a git repository that everyone can see. Usually these are handled by environment variables, but Docker has come up with what they call Docker secrets. The idea is deceptively simple in retrospect. While you figure it out it is arcane and difficult to parse what is going on. Essentially the secrets function create in memory files in the docker image that contain the secret data. The data can come from files, or a Docker swarm. The first thing to know is that the application running in the docker image needs to be written to take advantage of the Docker secrets function. Instead of getting the password from an environment variable, it would get the password from the file system at /run/secrets/secretname. Not all images available use this functionality. If they don't describe how to use Docker secrets, the won't work. The files will be created in the image, but the application won't read them. Read more

fwupd and bolt power struggles

As readers of this blog might remember, there is a mode where the firmware (BIOS) is responsible for powering the Thunderbolt controller. This means that if no device is connected to the USB type C port the controller will be physically powered down. The obvious upside is battery savings. The downside is that, for a system in that state, we cannot tell if it has a Thunderbolt controller, nor determine any of its properties, like firmware version. Luckily, there is an interface to tell the firmware (BIOS) to "force-power" the controller. The interface is a write only sysfs attribute. The writes are not reference counted, i.e. two separate commands to enable the force-power state followed by a single disable, will indeed disable the controller. For some time boltd and the firmware update daemon both directly poked that interface. This lead to some interference, leading in turn to strange timing bugs. The canonical example goes like this: fwupd force-powers the controller, uevents will be triggered and Thunderbolt entries appear in sysfs. The boltd daemon will be started via udev+systemd activation. The daemon initializes itself and starts enumerating and probing the Thunderbolt controller. Meanwhile fwupd is done with its thing and cuts the power to the controller. That makes boltd and the controller sad because they were still in the middle of getting to know each other. Read more