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.
Table of Contents
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.
For some reason I like small laptops and the constraints they place on me (as long as they’re still usable). I used a Dell Mini 9 for a long time back in the netbook days and was recently using an 11” MacBook Air as my primary development machine for many years. Recently Microsoft announced a smaller, cheaper version of its Surface tablets called Surface Go which piqued my interest.
In the past couple weeks I contributed to a bunch of different open source projects in different ways and I thought I’d write about some of them.
I’ve been using an OpenBSD laptop as my workstation a lot more lately, probably because most of my hardware just works now and I don’t have to think too much about it. The touchpad works when I touch it, I can be confident that when I close the lid, the laptop will fully suspend and then fully resume again when I open it, WiFi works all throughout my house (although it’s not terribly fast), and my web browser is fast and stable. What amazing times we live in.
In the past, one thing that frequently kept me going back to my Mac, aside from iOS and Android development, was 1Password. I have a ton of logins for websites and servers, and because my browsers are all configured to clear cookies for most websites after I close their tabs, I need frequent access to passwords synced across my laptops and phones, and 1Password has great apps for all of those except OpenBSD.