This is a really old page, you may find this more current, if not necessarily any more interesting :)

Hugh's Diary

Thursday 28-9-2000

Got firmware into the prototype USA-49W (four ports - nice unit). Paulus is hacking on other bits in the driver because he wants the USA-28X going with his G4 cube. Given his obvious driver writing prowess he should have it complete by the end of the week :)

Martin Nightingale is visiting today, highlight so far has been a more than passable rendition of Motorheads' Ace Of Spades. Wish I'd had a tape recorder and/or digital camera, sharply dressed gentleman wearing a suit and tie, playing Martin Schwenkes rather careworn six string acoustic singing Lemmy's finest...

Thursday 7-9-2000

A new world record for not updating my diary... Ok, since the last entry I've had two weeks off work with the Flu (the real thing my doctor happily informed me :) Two weeks leave to move house and otherwise been mucho busy in between.

Going to pick up on the Keyspan stuff next week plus do some long overdue work on Gnokii, at least that's the plan anyway.

Thursday 27-7-2000

Got the keyspan drivers working with the USA-19W in basic form, plus you can now change baud rates and that sort of exciting thing :) Code seems to be pretty stable though a chap in France is having some problems with the USA-19 and a backport to 2.2.x.

Thursday 20-7-2000

Updated drivers page to make it a bit more usable for getting a quick update on where things are up to. Added a work in progress directory for people who want the absolute bleeding edge.

Wednesday 19-7-2000

Got a few hundred lines worth of coding done last night on the keyspan drivers, mostly framework stuff but it's starting to take shape nicely.

Rachael is getting better.

Tuesday 18-7-2000

Rachael has a virus so we had our first housecall from the doctor last night, thankfully it's just a winter bug that will clear up in a day or two. Haven't been that worried for a long time.

Bit more on the Keyspan driver last night and today, characters go in/out a bit better and have started the framework required to do ioctl/termios handling. Sent patch to Greg. More info on the driver page.

Monday 17-7-2000

Some more Keyspan hacking, can get characters in as well as out now, just not always very well...

Tuesday 11-7-2000

My first addition to the kernel went in to 2.4.0-test3 today via Greg Kroah-Hartman who maintains the overall usb-serial tree, more details here. Has quite made my day actually! /:^)

Wednesday 5-7-2000

Been a busy month work wise, not much exciting to report. Found a house that we'd like to buy and Rachael is standing up and cruising between bits of furniture.

Got a chance to hack on the Keyspan drivers a bit these last few days. Neato!

Wednesday 7-6-2000

Helped a colleague out with a hardware problem today, seems the hub they'd bought cheaply in the US didn't like getting 12V AC at it's nominal 7.5V DC input. Guess the polarity was correct half the time at least... Should only take 15 minutes to clean the remains of the filter cap out of the rest of the innards :)

Saturday 3-6-2000

Walked to the shop for paper and bread with Rachael again, this time I didn't resist the urge to stop at Tilleys. Lovely coffee...

Friday 2-6-2000

Got the 5160/6160 initialisation stuff working. Turns out the ACK messages that come back from the phone are a different format to the others and hence my parsing code was getting upset.

Saturday 20-5-2000

Took Rachael for a walk down to the shops to get bread and a paper, resisted the urge to stop at Tilleys for a coffee. Very Domesticated. Was really quite cold and foggy but we both rugged up and that was OK, toddlers look decidedly cute with mittens and beanies for some reason! She fell asleep on the walk back up the hill only to wake when I tried to put her back in her cot. Hey ho. She's crawling all around the place and any cables are now fair game. Will need to buy a wireless lan card I think :)

Busy couple of weeks work wise, we moved into our new offices at 54 Marcus Clarke Street, much more room and quite a nice view. Will put some pictures up at some stage.Work was completed on time and under budget, a credit to TT Architecture and A + P Leemhuis who did the fitout.

Called a feature freeze for gnokii earlier in the week so we can release 0.3.2 - we're up to _pre23 which is kinda stretching things and besides it will be good to get the data call functionality out into wider usage. Did some tweaks on the AT emulator so it's no longer case sensitive and tidied up the RLP/data call related code for the 3810 series.

mbp brought in "BASIC Computer Games" which caused a wave of nostalgia throughout the office. I still have a copy somewhere too I think (it's a yellowy/orange cover with a cartoon of a geek and robot) I'm in the process of building VICE (a Commodore 64/PET/4016 emulator) so I can take a walk down memory lane...

Plan to hook back in to the Keyspan drivers next week once 0.3.2 is released as well as work out why the x160 driver code in gnokii isn't working. Has been nice to do some coding for a bit.

Friday 5-5-2000 to Sunday 7-5-2000

Rally went off well, Possum Bourne and navigator Mark Stacey won the event, no major accidents so was a largely stress free time in HQ. Neal & Coral had a tough weekend but to their credit kept at it despite mechanical failure and kissing a bank on the first day.

Thursday 4-5-2000

Turned out to be quite an eventful week work wise between events overseas and getting ready to move into our new office.

Once again I'm helping out with the Rally of Canberra this weekend so went into headquarters in the evening to set things up computer wise. We run a tracking system to keep tabs on competitors as they progress through the event's stages by having radio operators (coordinated by WICEN) At the start, end and every 5km within competitive stages. Fun, largely thanks to the excellent group of volunteers we have locally who happily go out into the field and play radios!

Thursday 27-4-2000

Any day where you get to use an oscilloscope at work is a good day. Did some more work on getting the 5160/6160 to talk to gnokii. Earlier efforts got most of the way - the phone responds to the init request as expected but then shuts up, turns out it's doing some funky DTR/RTS switching which I'd picked up with a DMM but not the subtleties of the timing.

Fortnight Monday 3-4-2000 to Wednesday 19-4-2000

Visited our head office in San Francisco, caught a cold, missed Lu and Rachael. All in all a brilliant couple of weeks, we've got an amazing team in SF, really nice folk.

One of the more amusing contrasts I found was that I could sit at one of my colleagues houses on a 768kbps ADSL connection that costs her and her housemates about USD$250 a month but the PCS cellphone I borrowed (a Nokia 5160) wouldn't work in most buildings... (Much of the $250 is for 16 static IPs). Don't even talk to me about trying to get a locally purchased GSM1900 phone to work with an Optus SIM, they SIM lock the things. :( Moral of the story: Buy a tri-band phone here before you go and use that or borrow a PCS for the duration of your stay.

Some hints for the Gent (or Lady) visiting SF.

  1. The street names are usually imprinted into the kerb at intersections as well as on street signs as one would expect.
  2. Have at least one meal at Davids on Geary Street (474 - between Mason and Taylor) Simple fare but really nice and as close to home cooking as your likely to find. Map
  3. If you like geeky stuff, try and take a run down towards San Jose and visit Wierd Stuff, Halted Specialties and Action Computer. Weird Stuff and Halted do lots of surplus stuff, Halted also do lots of new components and are good for tools too. Action Computer have mainly computer stuff but also have interesting specials (SGI Indy's for USD$150 for example) They're in the same area as the big Fry's store - one of your local colleagues will be able to point you in the right direction.
More to follow, maybe even some pics.

Friday 17-3-2000

More patches to gnokii including a large one by Harri Yli-Torkko which for some reason refuses to patch automagically so will do it by hand. Adds some missing 3810/8110 series functionality. Listening to Black Noise by FM borrowed from RGB. Nice real Moog solos...

Package arrived from Keyspan to assist in my driver writing effort.

Thursday 16-3-2000

Got it! Made a data call on my 3810 and a borrowed 8110. Went to lunch to celbrate. Woo hoo :) Now gotta take a look at the support code and tidy up the AT emulator a bit.

Wednesday 15-3-2000

Spent the afternoon pouring over raw dumps of my 3810 making a data call with NCDS. Trying to get a working FB38_SendRLPFrame going so can do data calls on 3810/8110 series too.

Tuesday 14-3-2000

Chris Kemp and Pavel had put in some hard yards and got the RLP code in gnokii working late last week. I borrowed Tridge's 5110 and was able to make a data call to a local ISP. Cool!

Was working away this afternoon and thought "Hmm, I know that song" Turns out that Richard Guy Briggs is a Marillion afficianado, had a most agreeable chat about Marillion, Rush etc. He's seen both several times. I'm jealous :)

Monday 13-3-2000

Back in office. We have a lot of visitors at the moment so the office is rather cramped. Fun though.

Week Monday 6-3-2000 to Friday 10-3-2000

In Sydney for the Linux/Open Source Expo. Tiring being on your feet all day but lots of fun. Had lots of people ask "What is Linux ?" This is a good sign...

Week Monday 28-2-2000 to Friday 3-3-2000

Spent the week getting ready for Linux/Open Source Expo.

Wednesday 23-2-2000

Morning: same routine as yesterday except about 40 minutes later and no neat idea came out of it :(

The Mackerras have kindly given us a collapsible wooden playpen. My undestanding of such devices was that you put the child inside hence protecting everything outside. Apparently parental wisdom on the matter is that you in fact put the thing(s) you want to protect inside and the child outside. Sort of like IP firewalling and script kiddies I guess. Have temporarily set the playpen up for testing, pics to follow.

Tuesday 22-2-2000

4:30am, Canberra, Australia. A baby cries in the next room, her father stirs, wakes and plods to her cot. Sleepily he re-wraps her swaddling for the "n"th time and returns to bed. Before he can drift off to sleep, he has the briefest flash of inspiration, a true hack. He fails to fall asleep and instead spends the next hour designing, scheming, the code and schematics tumbling before the minds eye. RAA/VMS is born.

5:35am sleep comes, to be disturbed by the same beautiful baby girl just 40 minutes later. :)

Wednesday 16-2-2000

A chap in Germany has written an article about gnokii for possible publication in a German Linux magazine. As neither Pavel or I speak German, Andreas was kind enough to provide a URL for an automatically translated version so we could check it out. One of the more quirky translations was the line "During Wolfgang's shrubs from Hamburg were the reason a small young dog, which tried its new teeth out at the cable." I think what was intended was more along the lines of "The need for Wolfgang to make his own cable came about thanks to a young dog which decided to chew his original cable." Whilst automated language translation still has a way to go, it's cool to see an article about gnokii. Thanks Andreas. :)

Had dinner with the residents of Chateau RustCorp, excellent company and food. Ate too much though...

Monday 14-2-2000

Good to see Allan has got his diary online. Long overdue.

Listening to Dream Theater's latest offering "Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes from a memory". Prognosis on first listen: not for the musically faint hearted. There's bits of everything in there though - The Wall era Pink Floyd, Rage era Queensryche, funny sound effects, all sorts. I'm guessing unless you're a die-hard DT fan you should listen before you buy. Now that Jordan Rudess is playing keyboards with them I was guess I was sorta hoping for Liquid Tension Experiment with vocals, this album is no such thing but worth a listen none the less.

Implemented my aforementioned plan for re-organising, moving and generally munging the gnokii CVS repository. If you ever have occassion to do this sort of thing, set aside a good chunk of un-interrupted time as it's pretty painful. The general approach is;

This approach should ensure that you keep the revision history of the various files. It doesn't seem to do any harm if you just move the RCS files around but with this approach you get a record of deleting the files when you move them which makes retracing your steps somewhat easier.

Saturday 12-2-2000

Figured it was time to get a diary on line, if only to provide occassional counterpoint to the writings of some of my colleagues. Smithee in particular can be unreliable.

Rachael laughed this morning, which was pretty cool though I was half asleep at the time.

Off to watch the Swans play Richmond this afternoon with Lu's cousin and her partner. Cheer, cheer the red and the white... Those unfamiliar with AFL (Australian Football League) may care to peruse the AFL homepage. I'm told it's not dissimlar to Irish football except the ball is ovoid rather than spherical.

Thursday 11-2-2000

Hacked around with the new gnokii repository which will be hosted on (Thanks to Tridge & Tim) The challenge is to incorporate our new directory structure without losing version history for the source files. Pretty sure I've got is sussed - now just need time to implement it.

Pre History

Some events that occurred before I started my diary that may provide some useful context...

Saturday 27-11-1999

We have a beautiful baby girl, Rachael.

Thursday 11-11-1999

Started work at Linuxcare. Ozlabs employee #4!

Saturday 27-5-1995

Married Lucy. Most excellent.