Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Looking for new phone

As it looks like I will be sent to business trip to Japan, I found out that I will need to buy yet another phone. I'm quite happy with my Sony-Ericsson K750i right now and I will continue to use it after I return, so I need just short term replacement.

From this comes my requirements:

  1. It must work in Japan. This means 3G phone is needed.
  2. I don't want to spend lot of money.
  3. Should be available on Czech or Japanese market as I don't have time for buying somewhere else.

Currently I have Nokia 6151 and Sony-Ericsson K610i in my viewfinder as they seem to be cheapest 3G solutions available here on market. If you have better tip for cheap 3G phone, just write me on michal@cihar.com, thanks!

PS: Of course I will try my new phone with Gammu. If you want to have support for some special 3G phone in Gammu, just drop me a note. Donations for such phone is welcome :-).

PS2: As I'm already in Japan I also have the phone. At the end I choose Nokia 6234, which was cheapest available solution I could find. Thanks for all hints, one of them guided me to this phone!

Antal - horrible experiences

This time my experience is fresh and horrible. We went after work for some beers to restaurace Antal. Service was really slow and we waited long time till we could order our five beers. When they arrived, there were quite empty to call them half liter of beer.

No matter what we drunk them and ordered another one, this time asking for full beer. Well it didn't arrive and our complain followed. Waiter seemed to be surprised that guest dares to complain and looked very angry. However after some minutes we got full beer. All of us agreed that it was filled with water. This time we found phone number to owner and called there. Owner was at the bar and ensured us, that there was no water in our beers.

We still resisted as we had ordered food. For most of us it arrived, only my colleague didn't get his one. But after several urgencies, it arrived and by accident he had some paper in it.

However we were still strong and resisted and ordered another beer. This time it seemed to be okay. Last surprise came when we payed as waiter calculated somehow two more beers than we have.

Simply avoid this place if you can. Looking at other experiences (in Czech only), we're not alone who has such feeling about this pub.

Gammu test version 1.12.93

I just released new version of Gammu. This release brings lots of bug fixes and should allow to compile Gammu using MSVC and CMake. Full list of changes:

  • Huge gammu/gammu.c split to smaller files.
  • Lot of fixes to allow compilation using MSVC + CMake.
  • Support for push to talk ids (thanks to Pavel Kostromitinov).
  • Fixed PPM parsing (thanks to Pavel Kostromitinov).

Gammu test version 1.12.92

I just released new version of Gammu. This release brings lots of improvements in vCard parsing and is first which includes some (although very limited for now) test suite. Also some more parts of AT driver has been converted to new parser. Full list of changes:

  • Added simple bash completion script.
  • Added some compile time testing.
  • Improved vCard parsing.
  • Fix wint_t and wchar_t detection.

Testing gammu

I finally managed to learn CTest enough to be able to add some test cases to add some automatic testing to Gammu. Well there is not much to test until we have some fake driver for phones which can be used to feed custom data, but at least some parsers can receive testing.

First thing I try to focus on is vCard parsing. I know this is currently tricky and I'm trying to collect as many problematic vCards as possible. For now I have collected some from issues in bug tracker and my emails when people reported some problems. So if you have some vCard which Gammu parses wrongly, please send then to me.

For now 3 of 5 vCard tests fail, but I hope to resolve those problems until release will happen :-).

Debian Maintainers

It looks like everybody is talking about this, so here are my 2 cents. I remember my NM process still very well (I became DD few months ago) and I know very well how painful is to ask somebody to upload packages for you again and again.

On the other side the NM process definitely helped me to produce better packages and I learned some new things. Debian currently has pretty good quality and having such entry barrier helps to this. And I do not thing that the barrier is too high.

Maybe I was just lucky, but NM process was not that long and complicated as I heard before than I actually applied. The only thing that took incredibly long was just delay between DAM approval and actual account creation, but AFAIR it was only because responsible people were busy with release. Otherwise I'd go through NM in 3 months and I feel this is perfectly acceptable time for this and there is no need to split it up by introducing some intermediate level.

Gammu test version 1.12.91

I just released new version of Gammu. This release brings lots of changes in AT phones driver, so please report any regressions from previous releases! Also experimental support for notes over OBEX has been added, but I din't have phone to actually test these, so again testing is very welcome! Full list of changes:

  • Introduced more generic parsing of AT replies, please report any regressions with it!
  • Improved support for Samsung phones.
  • Support for reading network name from AT phones.
  • Add deletememory command line.
  • Experimental support for notes over OBEX.
  • Man page is now partially autogenerated from online help.
  • Elson compatibility, thanks to Bernd Feige.
  • Fix UCS detection, thanks to Bernd Feige.

Hidden Gammu feature - hints

When you connect Gammu to phone, it does several checks on phone (I'm currently talking especially about AT based connections). Some of these checks might result in suggestions on improvements in configuration either in code or configuration. However they are a bit hidden - you need to enable debug log to actually see them.

One of those hints might allow Gammu to do much more with your phone:

HINT: Please consider adding F_OBEX to your phone capabilities in common/gsmphones.c

F_OBEX will tell Gammu, that phone can be switched to OBEX mode, which might provide access to more features than generic AT mode. The word might is important here, because for some phones OBEX does not bring anything new and using it only hides some AT functionality. This is also reason, why switch is not done automatically and you must change sources to do this. I'd gladly accept patches, if you have successfully tested F_OBEX with your phone!

New phone database features

Thanks to suggestion by Georg Lehner, Gammu Phone Database now support additional searching by supported features. So from now, you can easily search which phones support MMS (well I think this list contains few false positives, but that's what users have entered).

In addition to this, you can grab data in CSV format. It does not contain everything what is displayed online, especially emails are not exposed at all, but it might be useful to do some more complex statistics or queries. Format of this file might change in future, so please be smart enough when writing some parser for it ;-).