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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Technical matters, smartphones and Linux computers

First if all for smart phone users, both Android and iOS.

Have recently come across two apps which may be of interest to those having trouble with their home network.

Fing (works on Android and Apple) .
This will show you your router, and everything on your network, including ip addresses and mac addresses. It also has a full set of tools for maintaining your network.

WiFi Analyzer (Works on Android - there's an identical named app in the Apple store but not sure if it is the same).
This will show you where the best signal is in your home, and also which is the best channel to use - i.e. will also show neighbours signals in your home if they are near enough to you - with their channels. It helped me to find an optimum place to set up my Repeater (I have thick concrete internal walls!) and also which channel would give me best coverage. Has a lot more besides.

Now for Ubuntu Linux users. There is some good news coming out for all those with problems with their hardware. I'll start it off to wet your appetite, and give you a link at the end so you can read the whole article:

Anthony Wong, Project Technical Lead at Canonical, presented our process for improving hardware support in Ubuntu at our 2011 Hardware Summit.  He did such a good job that I asked him to distill the essence of his presentation into a blog post.

This is what he had to say:

Ubuntu has always been dedicated to providing a great user experience to support a wide variety of hardware on the desktop, by installing the necessary drivers seamlessly during the system installation. Having said that, there are lots of things happening behind the scene to deliver this level of hardware support that is among the best in Linux distributions.

Canonical has been working closely with many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for several years in shipping Ubuntu on laptops, desktops and servers. Lots of hardware issues have been found and fixed so that all the major hardware in the machines can be operated correctly.

One of the missions of the Canonical Hardware Enablement (HWE) Team is to track and drive code changes from OEM enablement projects into future Ubuntu releases and upstream. We have a concept of n+1 fixes which we do our best to make sure that those bugs are corrected in our next (that is, n+1) release.

The following two diagrams illustrate how HWE collaborate with upstream maintainers and our kernel team in order to have code fixes flow from OEM projects to Ubuntu distribution and upstream (click on the images to enlarge).

The first scenario depicts the case that a hardware bug is found in an OEM enablement project and no known fix has yet existed.There are generally two ways we can proceed from here, one is to have our engineers develop a fix and submit to upstream, the other one is to report the issue to upstream and work with them until a fix is done, which can then be merged into our kernel. In the former case, once our fix is acknowledged by the upstream maintainers and committed to their git tree, we can then merge it into our n+1 kernel and update the current release via the Stable Release Update (SRU) process.

Read the rest of the article here.


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