#qi-hardware IRC log for Monday, 2013-01-28

mammothhi everyone. any body knows about bios?08:05
wpwrakah, wasn't that the part of CP/M that implemented device-specific functions ?08:14
wpwrakyeah, i remembered it correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP/M#Basic_Input_Output_System08:16
mammothyeah thats the bios i'm talking about. I need to get my hands on its source code. 08:17
larscmammoth: http://coreboot.org08:18
mammothyes i have been there. thanks. but i need intel based motherborad bios source code08:19
mammothlike the recent core boards08:19
larscwell, I guess you need to talk to intel then08:19
wpwrakhmm. were intel involved in the making of the BIOSes of CP/M ? that's an interesting question. at the beginning, maybe, while people were using 8080 and 8085. but then, zilog pretty much took over with the Z80.08:36
wpwrakoh, and is it CP/M 2.x, CP/M 3, or another version ?08:37
wpwrakthis page has quite a bit of CP/M sources: http://www.cpm.z80.de/source.html08:38
mammothwpwrak I'm trying to find recent bios of intel core based motherboards source code08:40
mammothso that i can re write coreboot08:41
wpwrakoh, that's a very different kind of BIOS then ! generations later.08:41
wpwrakpity. the old stuff had a certain charm to it ...08:41
mammoththanks for your help \m/08:44
lindi-mammoth: note that nowadays there's also the embedded controller that does some tasks09:35
lindi-mammoth: bios updates for laptops often also update the code running on the EC09:35
mthI want to merge the "packages" branch of gmenu2x back into "master"11:21
mthanyone available to test it on the NanoNote after the merge?11:21
viricdoes anybody know what's required to do to get long lasting li-ion batteries?21:35
whitequarkviric: controlled charge/discharge21:38
viricyep, I imagined so.21:39
whitequarkafaik you generally need to keep your discharge current under 10C, and charge it with millivolt precision with a specialized controller21:39
whitequark(10C) that's in the datasheet for your battery21:39
viricis that what notebooks do?21:39
whitequarkviric: yeah21:39
whitequarkthey also have some quite complex circuitry for balancing the cells21:40
whitequarkyou likely don't need that21:40
viricwell I know some people that manually discharge completely and recharge the batteries21:40
viricin notebook21:40
whitequarkidiots21:40
whitequarkunless the battery is really old21:40
viricI thought the same21:40
whitequarkand I'm talking 2002 or so.21:40
whitequarkgoogle for "smart battery system"21:41
viricAnd keeping the battery not charged also destroys it quite quickly21:41
whitequarkyou can actually hook into the system and reuse notebook batteries21:41
viric(From my experience)21:41
whitequarkcheck out TI's eval kits21:41
viricahm interesting.21:41
viricI take note.21:41
whitequarkI know a guy who did that21:41
viricdoesn't li-ion blow up?21:41
whitequarkviric: it does21:42
whitequarkbut you need to torture it quite a bit21:42
whitequarkeven the most simplistic battery controllers prevent that21:42
whitequarkwell, not quite. undervoltage is what's they protect from. overvoltage sometimes goes through.21:43
viricok21:43
whitequarkgood ones monitor all three: overcurrent, overvoltage and undervoltage21:43
whitequarkand they also check for the actual capacity, enforce correct charging cycles, etc.21:43
viricthank you21:47
wpwrakshouldn't "full discharge" be okay ? i.e., the controller ought to stop the discharge before it reaches damaging levels.22:31
wpwrakall this assuming you don't intend to long-time store the batteries in that state, which they would of course resent22:32
whitequarkwpwrak: I guess the problem was in storage22:36
wpwrakah, the "let's keep them safe and drain all that dangerous energy before they go in the locker" fallacy :)22:40
wpwrakone big problem with batteries is that each technology has its own set of rules and use instructions often got mixed up. or, in some cases, appear to have gotten mixed up but weren't.22:41
wpwrake.g., the "give your li-* batteries a full charge before first use" would sound like coming from the NiCd era, but it could also be for the benefit of "smart" battery monitors that determine the battery capacity that way. (the monitors will eventually figure it out even if you don't do this, but they may show an incorrect capacity until then)22:43
viricyes, problem in storage22:44
viricis there any good way to store a battery?22:44
viricli-ion22:44
wpwrakthe best way is to avoid storage :) because whatever you do, they will age.22:47
viricaha22:47
viricwhat about batteries in shops?22:47
whitequarkviric: 50% of charge, and then cool it down22:47
whitequarkthey're generally charged to 50% at the factory.22:47
wpwrakthe second best way, is you charge them. i've seen recommendations ranging from completely full, at least half full, to something like a quarter full.22:48
wpwrakand then keep them in a cool place. not sure if fridge is okay or if it's too cold.22:48
whitequark^ that22:48
whitequarkI guess you should avoid moisture.22:48
whitequarkobviously.22:48
wpwrak;-)22:48
whitequarkotherwise, remember that 10 K of temperature translates to 2-4 times slowdown of chemical reactions22:49
wpwrakc'mon. when the fridge light doesn't work, you can use your li-on plus moisture as alternative illumination :)22:49
wpwrakalso great for de-icing :)22:49
whitequarki.e. cooling them from 300K to 270K generally slows down self-discharge ~27 times.22:49
whitequarkalso applies to food, decomposing corpses, etc.22:50
whitequarkwhatever's in your fridge.22:50
wpwrakso you're saying 0 C is fine for long-term storage ?22:50
viric:)22:50
larsc0K is better ;)22:50
whitequarkwpwrak: never said that, through I don't see any immediate problems with 0C22:51
viricWhy battery shops don't have fridges, like meat shops?22:51
whitequarkviric: you still have to deal with moisture22:51
wpwrakhint: don't keep evidence too long. you should plan to clean out your enemies at least once per year, mid-winter22:51
viricbatteries in properly closed boxes22:51
wpwrakviric: fridge = costs money :)22:51
whitequark^ also that22:51
larscviric: the ammount of power consumed by the fridges is probably more than the power saved22:51
whitequarkthey don't self-discharge _that_ fast22:52
viric:D22:52
whitequarki guess something like half a year will pass until it's near 0%22:52
whitequarkthey sell them uicker22:52
wpwrakthere's also general aging while in storage. i think this isn't directly related to self-discharge22:52
whitequark*quicker22:52
viricSo, nowadays buying a 'new' battery for a very old mobile phone...22:52
viricmeans low chances of the battery working at all22:52
viric(if it was in some store for years922:52
viric)22:52
wpwrakviric: you buy a "new" battery made for the old form factor22:53
whitequarkviric: exactly22:53
whitequarkviric: never been able to find good batteries for nokia 331022:53
viricwpwrak: aren't 'form factors' just a way to disallow you buying "a new battery made for..." ?22:53
wpwrakand don't plan on adding your old expensive li-ion batteries to the family heirloom, to passed down generation upon generation :)22:53
viricwpwrak: meh.22:54
wpwrakviric: naw, there are many 3rd party battery makers. i think the original makers don't care anymore at that point22:54
viricumh interesting22:54
viricI bought a very cheap battery for a phone...22:55
wpwrakof course, the 3rd party batteries may not be the greatest quality22:55
viricI'd like to see how well it goes.22:55
wpwrakand it seems unlikely that they can sell them very quickly22:55
viricright.22:55
viricit's a dead end22:55
wpwrakbut it's your best bet (unless the original maker still sells "good" ones)22:55
wpwraki have an old samsung x830 that's now on a 3rd party battery. the original one had a standby time of just some 4-5 hours and talk time < 1 minute.22:56
wpwrakthe 3rd party battery, less than a year old, already shows signs of aging, but may be good for another year before it becomes unusable22:57
viricumh that 'old' 'new' battery looks at 50%22:58
wpwrakdoesn't sound too bad22:58
wpwraki wouldn't worry at 50%. the decline can go a lot further.22:58
wpwrakwhat sucks is if you have a device that needs battery power to make it through some load surges. then even having permanent external power may not be enough for stable operation.22:59
viricwe'll see. :)22:59
viric?23:00
viricah a battery to get big currents?23:00
wpwraklike a phone. it may need more energy than the external source can provide for brief moments. so it relies on the battery to provide that. if your battery is really dead but you don't actually need mobility, that would limit the option of "solving" the battery issue by simply leaving it connected to a charger23:01
larscmy laptop for example limits the cpu speed to 800MHz if no battery is plugged in23:05
whitequarklarsc: thinkpad?23:09
larscyes23:10
whitequarkthey for sure have some intelligent power handling23:10
whitequarkeg a friend's thinkpad had a power failure somewhere in the DVD drive23:11
whitequarkguess what, a balloon pops up [that was windows] which informs him that his DVD drive was shut down due to an overcurrent condition23:11
wpwraknice :)23:11
wpwrakothers would have used the more traditional smoke signals23:12
larscit even makes these decisions based on which power supply is used, if I'd use a 90W power supply instead of a 65W power supply it wouldn't limit the cpu speed23:12
wpwrakthat's almost too smart :)23:13
whitequarkalso they are probably the only vendor with completely correct ACPI tables23:13
whitequarkbecause they went straight to Intel and asked them to write it.23:13
whitequarkcost him $$$, of course.23:13
whitequark*them23:13
whitequarkI almost wish I bought thinkpad X1 instead of this UX32VD23:15
wpwraki always thought correct and complete ACPI tables were proven to be impossible, Goedel-style :)23:15
whitequarkbut the keyboard and touchpad are eww.23:15
wpwrakgotta love the trackpoint, though23:16
wpwrakthey're about the last ones that still have that. i can't express in words just how much i hate those touchpads23:16
whitequarki feel the same about trackpoint23:17
wpwrakwell, you can disable it if you must :)23:17
whitequarkthinkpad would also have some other advantages to justify its cost, 2x of my current notebook23:18
whitequarkie not having to do echo on >/sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:00:14.0/power/control after each wakeup.23:18
whitequarktook me several months to figure out23:18
larscI once had an interesting bios bug where it would always limit the cpu speed whenever the power supply was plugged in, even though the battery was also present. running on battery only was fine though.23:19
whitequarkbios bugs are fun for sure :/23:19
larscit's quite confusing if suddenly everything is running slow and you don't know why23:20
whitequarkoh look, several new "update EC firmware" in the bios changelog. if I don't appear again the update went wrong.23:20
qi-bot[commit] Werner Almesberger: ubb-la/ubb-la.c (do_bufs): don't skip 122 nibbled (for evaluation) (master) http://qi-hw.com/p/ben-blinkenlights/4ffd61023:45
qi-bot[commit] Werner Almesberger: ubb-la/ubb-la.c (xfers): wait for END_CMD_RES instead of DATA_FIFO_EMPTY (master) http://qi-hw.com/p/ben-blinkenlights/18a822b23:45
qi-bot[commit] Werner Almesberger: ubb-la/ubb-la.c (xfers): instead of waiting for event, use hand-optimized delay loop (master) http://qi-hw.com/p/ben-blinkenlights/14b7a9c23:45
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