Sunday, 29 April 2007

Turn to deal with the display...

Dave from suggested this to make the
resolution 800x480

As for xorg.conf, I added the following to the "Monitor" section:

Modeline "800x480" 44.32 800 832 1000 1032 480 489 496 505

And then simply added "800x480" in the modes list for 24 bit color.

Note that doing that got me 800x480 in GDM, but as soon as I logged in GNOME
would switch to 800x600. To make GNOME cooperate, I had to do the following:

gconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/gnome/screen/default/0/resolution "800x480"

Note that I'm using the VirtualBox display driver so I have no idea if any
of that will work with a *real* video driver. Let me know if it works

But I'm afraid this doesn't seem to work here. When I put those lines in the
xorg.conf I get a message in the Xorg log saying that resolution is not
supported and then going to 640x480 ....

If anyone got this working in a non-virtualized envirnoment, please let me know.


Details about setting up Wifi

Ah! I forgot one detail (although I'm not sure how relevant it is):

the "stock" version of wireless-tools that came with Fedora was giving errors
about incompatible versions with the wlan driver, so I updated it through yum. I
updated it to:

[root@kohji ~]# rpm -qa wireless-tools
[root@kohji ~]#

And with this version there were no more error messages when using the iwconfig

Details about setting up Wifi

As promised ...

In order to get the wifi working I got the driver provided by Kohjinsha and
searched in it, and found that it was compiled in a Fedora Core 4 environment,
so I decided to install that (I have no real preference for any particular
distribution), so I'm happy with that one.

After installation of Fedora I tried to insmod the module, but it complains

[root@kohji ~]# insmod /home/angelv/kohji_drivers/wifi/w89c35-wpa37_Linux26/w35und.ko
insmod: error inserting '/home/angelv/kohji_drivers/wifi/w89c35-wpa37_Linux26/w35und.ko': -1 Invalid module format
[root@kohji ~]#

It turns out that cannot load it because the "version magic" in the driver is
different to what is expected, so I just opened the binary file with an editor
and changed one number

I get this in /var/log/messages:
kohji kernel: w35und: version magic '2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 686 REGPARM 4KSTACKS gcc-4.0' should be '2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 586 REGPARM 4KSTACKS gcc-4.0'

So I have to change the 686 in the driver file to 586. (Is this dangerous? Well,
I don't know for sure, but let's continue).

With the changed file, we can now do:

[root@kohji ~]# insmod /home/angelv/kohji_drivers/wifi/w89c35-wpa37_Linux26/w35und_test.ko
[root@kohji ~]#

And in /var/log/messages I get:

Apr 29 19:11:53 kohji kernel: Adapter =d0240280
Apr 29 19:11:53 kohji kernel: WbWLanInitialize(1)
Apr 29 19:11:53 kohji kernel: ******BB3c is 00000000
Apr 29 19:11:54 kohji kernel: WbWLanInitialize(2)
Apr 29 19:11:54 kohji kernel: usbcore: registered new driver w35und
Apr 29 19:11:54 kohji kernel: SIOCSIWESSID test

So all looks fine.

For the moment I have one problem. If I do this when the WIFI option (Fn+F4) is
off, and then I try to switch it on, then I cannot get it to work, but that's
easy. After switching it on, I just remove the module and load it again and all
is good:

[root@kohji ~]# rmmod w35und
[root@kohji ~]# insmod /home/angelv/kohji_drivers/wifi/w89c35-wpa37_Linux26/w35und_test.ko

in /var/log/messages:

Apr 29 19:16:19 kohji kernel: Adapter =d06b0280
Apr 29 19:16:19 kohji kernel: WbWLanInitialize(1)
Apr 29 19:16:19 kohji kernel: ******BB3c is 00000000
Apr 29 19:16:20 kohji kernel: WbWLanInitialize(2)
Apr 29 19:16:20 kohji kernel: usbcore: registered new driver w35und
Apr 29 19:16:20 kohji kernel: SIOCSIWESSID test
Apr 29 19:16:25 kohji dhclient: DHCPREQUEST on wlan0 to port 67
Apr 29 19:16:32 kohji dhclient: DHCPREQUEST on wlan0 to port 67
Apr 29 19:16:32 kohji dhclient: DHCPACK from
Apr 29 19:16:32 kohji NET[3270]: /sbin/dhclient-script : updated /etc/resolv.conf
Apr 29 19:16:32 kohji dhclient: bound to -- renewal in 38903 seconds.

[root@kohji ~]# ifconfig wlan0
wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0D:F0:2D:DF:8C
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::20d:f0ff:fe2d:df8c/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:44 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:42 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:7770 (7.5 KiB) TX bytes:4970 (4.8 KiB)

If someone is curious, the wlan0 configuration file reads:
[root@kohji ~]# cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0


[root@kohji ~]#

Perhaps this info is too verbose, but I hope it helps someone.


Saturday, 28 April 2007

Wifi working in my Kohjinsha with Linux!


I know I had said that the monitor resolution was a priority, but this seems
not to be a big issue, while wifi was proving quite ellusive for those who had
tried it (at least according to a couple of blogs and forums I had visited), so
I decided to join forces... and the good news is that wifi is now working fine
in my Kohjinsha. I will post details later on, but this very e-mail is being
sent without cables attached... (for those who cannot wait, I used the driver
provided by Kohjinsha, with a minor change). I still want to do a few tests to
know exactly under which conditions it does work and whether it gives any
problems, but this is a first step in the right direction.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Fedora Core 4 installed

OK, Fedora Core 4 is now installed (dual boot with Windows XP). Both OSs boot
OK: so far so good. Linux has some problems that we will have to deal with
during the coming days. Here are the first two I will deal with: both of them
very important:

1) The monitor resolution is set at 800x600 but the LCD is actually 800x480. You
can see all the screen OK, but the fonts are not as criap as they should
be. With Windows this was a matter of pressing Fn+Esc and then the new
resolution would be available (and your eyes thanked you for it), but with
Linux I will need to investigate.

2) The pointer is a bit flaky. If there is no other load in the system, the
pointer seems to be OK, but the moment you start loading something and then
trying to move the mouse, your pointer can go anywhere in the screen, very

Linux for the Kohji

Well, it couldn't be otherwise, and at some point I had to switch over to linux
for the Kohji. I started right now, and will note on my progress here. I know it
is not going to be really easy (mainly for the drivers for the esoteric wifi
card), but hopefully I will manage to get rid of Windows in it. (I had a nice
setting with Windows and Cygwin, but it was starting to be quite slow, so I
decided to go for the real thing...)

Saturday, 3 February 2007

One week with my toy...

It's been a week with my Kohji now. It has been a pretty busy week, so
I haven't done much with it, except configure my mail and news reader
(which will cover the 90% of my time spent with the Kohji). The right
combination has come with Cygwin, Emacs and Gnus (a screenshot of which can be seen in the picture, quite usable really). I have switched from
Emacs - VM, which I was using until now, because Gnus offers good
support for IMAP and offline mode, which is my intended use for the

Next week I will have to tune everything (mainly the keyboard).

Thursday, 25 January 2007

My new toy has arrived...


at last I got my Kohjinsha SA1F00B. It arrived on the 22nd, but I was away from
home, so I couldn't put my hands on it until yesterday. On the same day I
received the WIFI Router that Orange was sending me for free, so it was perfect

In the end there was no local tax to pay, so the TOTAL price for the Kohji was
739.45 Euros (738,19 for the computer itself, and 1.26 for the AC adapter cable
for Spain). Not a bad deal.

So far I haven't tried many things as this weeks is specially busy, but last
night I managed to install the WIFI router so I could try the Wifi connection,
which works flawlessly, and the same for the Ethernet connection.

As posted in other places, the keyboard is not great, but I think it is
usable. I just installed the software I will be needing in a regular basis, and
I will post again when I get more details to share.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Kohjinsha Mailing list

I'm still waiting for my Kohjinsha computer, and while reading about it in the
Internet I read a worrying blog about a Kohjinsha owner that found that its
display is broken... ( I'm not sure if
he managed to get it fixed, whether it was due to humidity or something
temporary... Anyway, I hope he fixed it and that it is not something that will
happen frequently to these machines...

At the same time I decide to create a Mailing List where owners of the Kohjinsha
machines can discuss tips, tricks, etc. about it. We are few outsied Japan, the
manuals are in Japanese, so I think it would be nice to have a common place for
sharing our experiences with it. The group webpage is

Anybody is welcome to join.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Bluetooth mobile as a modem

The title says it all. For the moment I will put here some links that explain how to do it. I'm not sure yet, though, whether the mobile has to be special, or my trusty GX15 will do. We'll need to experiment. For the moment here are the links:

WIFI Router and Bluetooth phone...

Until I receive the Kohjinsha laptop, I can set up a number of things to make working with it a true portable experience ... Well, the first one is to get WIFI connection around my house. Until now I only had one computer, which I connected to the Internet via a USB ADSL Modem. I talked to my ISP (Orange), and I was going to buy a router for 60 Euros, but in the end I managed to cajole them into giving it away for free... (The story is a bit long, since they will send me first one which I have to reject, and then they will send me the free one... Let's wait and see what happens...). So WIFI connectivity is, somehow, sorted.

The other thing I was planning to buy was a Bluetooth mobile, with the idea of using it as a modem when I was out. By doing a search in EBay I found that my present mobile (a Sharp GX15) has Bluetooth already!! (I should've read the manual, shouldn't I? :-) ). So, now I just have to learn to use it as a modem, and voila! I should have Internet access anywhere.

So, today was a good day. I was expecting to pay 60 Euros for the router, plus another 40-60 Euros for the mobile, and I found that I will have both for free! I should invite the family for a dinner out!

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Kohjinsha purchase made!!!

Just today I did send the money for my new Kohjinsha.... Not a bad deal: €738,19 (original price $938.00) taken into account the currency exchange fee paid to PayPal, for the SA1F00B model which is similar to what I wanted to buy originally, but with a 80GB hard disk (the full specs of both models can be found at Anyway, I still have to wait to see how much I will end up paying for local taxes... Delivery is supposed to take place tomorrow, and hopefully I will have my new toy by next week, all the way from Japan.