I tweeted asking if anyone would be interested in a Q&A, and to my surprise, I got many Q’s to A.
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.
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.
Lenovo has finally made a smaller version of its X1 Carbon, something I’ve been looking forward to for years.
Fifteen years ago, NetBSD’s Bluetooth audio stack was
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
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.
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.
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
implementation would suffice.
For now, just having a
diff utility would be helpful so in this video I port
the guts of
and show it generating a unified diff between revisions of a C file.
Now that my Mac 512Ke is able to use PPP for native TCP/IP, I wanted an easy way to do PPP between it and an OpenBSD server on my network. I initially did this with a physical serial cable, but was later able to do it over TCP so I could retain the use of my WiFi232.
I used OpenBSD on the original Surface Go back in 2018 and many things worked with the big exception of the internal Atheros WiFi. This meant I had to keep it tethered to a USB-C dock for Ethernet or use a small USB-A WiFi dongle plugged into a less-than-small USB-A-to-USB-C adapter.
Microsoft has switched to Intel WiFi chips on their recent Surface devices, making the Surface Go 2 slightly more compatible with OpenBSD.
Back in 2017, I bought an Arduboy, a fun little Arduino development system which integrates an ATmega32U4 8-bit CPU, 32Kb of flash storage, 2Kb of RAM, a 128x64 pixel OLED display, some buttons, a speaker, and a battery in a Gameboy-like package.
OpenBSD had an
old Arduino package
available without the
Arduino IDE, and it instead included
for end-users to build off of for compiling projects.
But it was all pretty old and crufty and kind of sucked the fun out of tinkering
with a new piece of hardware.
Another year, another ThinkPad X1 Carbon, this time with a Dolby Atmos sound system and a smaller battery.
For two years I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out the source of a driver problem on OpenBSD: interrupts never arrived for certain touchpad devices. A couple weeks ago, I put out a public plea asking for help in case any non-OpenBSD developers recognized the problem, but while debugging an unrelated issue over the weekend, I finally solved it.
It’s been a long journey and it’s a technical tale, but here it is.
I upgraded to AT&T’s U-verse Gigabit internet service in 2017 and it came with an Arris BGW-210 as the WiFi AP and router. The BGW-210 is not a terrible device, but I already had my own Airport Extreme APs wired throughout my house and an OpenBSD router configured with various things, so I had no use for this device. It’s also a potentially-insecure device that I can’t upgrade or fully disable remote control over.
Fully removing the BGW-210 is not possible as we’ll see later, but it is possible to remove it from the routing path. This is how I did it with OpenBSD.
I use a Huawei Matebook X as my primary OpenBSD laptop and one aspect of its hardware support has always been lacking: audio never played out of the right-side speaker. The speaker did actually work, but only in Windows and only after the Realtek Dolby Atmos audio driver from Huawei was installed. Under OpenBSD and Linux, and even Windows with the default Intel sound driver, audio only ever played out of the left speaker.
Now, after some extensive reverse engineering and debugging with the help of VFIO on Linux, I finally have audio playing out of both speakers on OpenBSD.