OpenBSD on the Huawei MateBook X (2020)

posted on aug 20th, 2021 with tags hardware, laptops, and openbsd, and last updated on aug 24th, 2021
part of OpenBSD on Laptops series

My old 2017 Huawei MateBook X has been my most reliable laptop and continued to be my daily-use workstation despite trying half a dozen others (and a desktop or two) in the past four years. Every time I’d try a new laptop, certain components wouldn’t work properly, or the keyboard would feel strange, or the screen quality would be poor, or a constantly-running fan or some coil-whine noise would drive me nuts. And every time, I’d return to my trusty MateBook X and everything would just work silently.

I finally have a newer model of the MateBook X and I’m happy to say it lives up to its predecessor and has replaced my 2017 model.

huawei matebooks x

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My Fanless OpenBSD Desktop

posted on jul 19th, 2021 with tags hardware and openbsd

After the disappointment of my X1 Nano and learning that all future Intel “Evo”-branded laptops would lack S3 suspend, I started thinking about returning to my M1 MacBook full-time or building an OpenBSD desktop. I chose the latter, building my first desktop machine in many years.

desktop with screen and new desktop system

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Plaintext HTTP in a Modern World

posted on jan 6th, 2021 with tags networking and retrocomputing

On the modern web, everything must be encrypted. Unencrypted websites are treated as relics of the past with browsers declaring them toxic waste not to be touched (or even looked at) and search engines de-prioritizing their content.

While this push for security is good for protecting modern communication, there is a whole web full of information and services that don’t need to be secured and those trying to access them from older vintage computers or even through modern embedded devices are increasingly being left behind.

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Bluetooth Audio on OpenBSD with the Creative BT-W3

posted on nov 18th, 2020 with tags openbsd, and last updated on mar 22nd, 2021

Fifteen years ago, NetBSD’s Bluetooth audio stack was imported into OpenBSD. From what I remember using it back then, it worked sufficiently well but its configuration was cumbersome. It supported Bluetooth HID keyboards and mice, audio, and serial devices. Six years ago, however, it was tedu'd due to conflicts with how it integrated into our kernel.

While we still have no Bluetooth support today, it is possible to play audio on Bluetooth headphones using a small hardware dongle.

creative bt-w3 plugged into laptop on desk

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Video: C Programming on System 6 - Adding a GUI to diff(1)

posted on nov 4th, 2020 with tags mac, openbsd, retrocomputing, and video
part of C Programming on System 6 series

In the previous episode I quickly ported OpenBSD’s diff(1) but there wasn’t any interface to select files or scroll through the output. I’ve since added a proper GUI with the ability to select files or folders, and in this episode I walk through the GUI and filesystem code and then add a proper Edit menu. I also make a formal release of the code and binary available for download.

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Video: C Programming on System 6 - Porting OpenBSD's diff(1)

posted on oct 28th, 2020 with tags mac, openbsd, retrocomputing, and video
part of C Programming on System 6 series

I’ve wanted a simple revision control system on my Mac since starting development of my IMAP client. Porting a large system like Git or even CVS would be overkill (and very slow), but maybe something small like OpenBSD’s RCS implementation would suffice. For now, just having a diff utility would be helpful so in this video I port the guts of OpenBSD’s diff(1) and show it generating a unified diff between revisions of a C file.

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Video: C Programming on System 6 - Parsing RFC822 Dates

posted on oct 16th, 2020 with tags mac, retrocomputing, and video
part of C Programming on System 6 series

I wrote a utility function to parse RFC822 dates/times sent by the IMAP server, which then converts them to a UTC time. In this video, I hook it into the IMAP parser and add a resource string for the local timezone offset setting, so these UTC times can then be converted to a local time and displayed in the message list.

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