July 31st, 2006

USB sucks

First I thought it is Linux that sucks. We did some quick measurements
with AC ampermeter; Windows ate 10W at minimum backlight and Linux ate
-- wait for it -- 15W during installation, 17W during runtime. Ouch.

(To put it into perspective, that means 7.5 hours with extended
battery on Windows, versus 4.4 hours with Linux/GNOME).

I promptly deleted both Windows and GNOME, but still, on console, with
self-compiled kernel, I was getting power consumption in range of
14.6W (5.1 hours). I started to investigate WTF is going on... then
realized I have this small fingerprint reader on USB.. and that
probably forces USB to stay on and wastes power.

And yes I was right. USB removed, and we are down to 11W (6.8
hours). So what does USB suck? 2 hours of my battery life...

hdaps documentation

IBM has an article at their developerworks website, describing how to use hdaps sensors in their thinkpads to enter "knock codes". (Pretty useless and potentially harddisk damaging feature, but hey, it looks like nice toy).

Unfortunately, the same IBM did not provide documentation to the sensors, and drivers had to be reverse-engineered from some IBM person describing code in plain english. We have half-working driver (does not work for my x60) that can't be properly supported because we have not seen the docs.

And now IBM uses the same (undocumented, reverse-engineered) driver to show how cool they are. Am I the only one to find it insulting?