Saturday, April 28, 2007

Battery Recall^WExchange

Just found, via the interwebs, that the battery in my 15″ Macbook Pro was recalled^Weligible for exchange almost a year ago although not for safety risks, merely because “… batteries supplied to Apple do not meet our high standards for battery performance.” [sic]. So that’s something. Anyway, since this is useful information, I wanted to add information to hal-info such that other Macbook Pro users would benefit as well. By getting spammed with a popup like this

Useful feature in g-p-m

But as it turns out this data is not easily available

$ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info
present: yes
design capacity: 55000 mWh
last full capacity: 47150 mWh
battery technology: rechargeable
design voltage: 10800 mV
design capacity warning: 250 mWh
design capacity low: 100 mWh
capacity granularity 1: 10 mWh
capacity granularity 2: 10 mWh
model number: ASMB012
serial number:
battery type: LION012
OEM info: SMPN012

meaning it’s hard to match on anything sensible from the fdi file. Maybe this is because it’s a Smart Battery? FWIW, I can see that the sbs driver is loaded. Lazyweb, please help :-) - as comments on my blog are busted, please provide answers personally to me or, preferably, the hal list (requires subscription).

Btw, I couldn’t find this information by poking around in Mac OS X either… but it must be there; I mean, normal non-smart batteries record make, model and serial numbers just fine via ACPI. That’s what we use to tag other recalled battery units. So I’m sure it’s possible to get at. And if Apple wanted, they could easily have similar mechanisms for displaying notifications similar to the ones we have in GNOME. But I can understand it would hurt their bottom line. I guess.. this is one interesting aspect of getting your OS from the same vendor as where you get your hardware.

Anyway, I filled out the form and a new battery is on it’s way. I guess, uh, thanks Apple. Just wish you had notified me earlier and I wouldn’t have to find out this way ;-) .

Update: I suppose this isn’t technically a Product Recall; Apple specifically uses the word Exchange instead. I guess, from a legal point of view at least, there’s a difference. To me, as a consumer, it’s doesn’t make huge difference however… hmm.. maybe we need to add a new property info.is_eligible_for_exchange to the HAL spec to avoid using the word “recall” at all in such situations. I mean, to, uh, cover our collective asses from angry hardware vendors.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Native languages and poisonous people

I think, over the past 3.5 years I’ve been working on free software, I have sent more than 5,000 mails, all in English, to various mailing lists, most of them with more than a few hundred subscribers. It’s always a bit weird (even after living in Massachusetts for more than 2.5 years) to use your second language and I believe it will stay that way the rest of my life. Which is fine and all.

Sketchy Dane

In general, I’ve found that native English speakers are very nice to non-native English speakers. In stark contrast, for example, are natives of my own country Denmark; whenever a foreigner attempts to speak Danish everything becomes a bit weird. One common thing is that the native Danes try to switch to conversation to English because it makes them less uncomfortable. I guess there are many reasons for this difference of behavior; first, Danish is a small, insignificant (and dying) language, most people speak English anyway and not a lot of native English speakers have a second language at all. But it’s also a cultural thing. In particular, I find that it’s very easy to live among the Americans; they’re friendly (actually, I jokingly tend to say “it’s like living with the smurfs”; many, not all though, people here are just more optimistic about the future than in Denmark and the EU.). The fact that English is a second language have never been an issue for me at all.

Sketchy German

Until today. I guess there’s a first time for everything, the topic of my native language came up on the Fedora live cd mailing list just recently. Response here. Time to watch How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People (And You Can Too) again I suppose.

The whole thing just makes me a little sad inside.

Monday, April 2, 2007

hal 0.5.9

I just released hal 0.5.9. Lots of changes including dramatically reduced resource usage, Solaris and FreeBSD support, ACL management, ConsoleKit support and many other things. Get it while it’s, uhm, hot. Hopefully the next release won’t take seven months…

Stupid meme