pwnd by lenovo

I did't want to write anything about it. I wanted to attribute it to coincidence and bad luck, carry on with my life and forget about it, but after today I can't.

Let me tell you what happened:

02.06.2009 I try to wake my Thinkpad X200s from suspend and the backlight stays dark. Something like this happened before and was cureable by rebooting, but this time it's not. After reboot I'm greeted with the Lenovo logo - I can barely make it out if I hold the display against the light. Great. So I switch the laptop off again and let it sit there for a while without a battery, but the display stays dark. The lid switch also generates ACPI events so that is not the culprit. I guess I'll need to inform Lenovo. Luckily I got the 3 year on site service extension.
03.06.2009 09:32 I report the issue to the IBM/Lenovo ESC (electronic service call) system. Here's what I wrote:

DISPLAY BACKLIGHT STAYS DARK. DISPLAY ITSELF STILL WORKS, ONLY THE LED BACKLIGHT DOESN'T. THE LID SWITCH ALSO SEEMS TO WORK (IT CAN WAKE THE PC, SO IT'S NOT STUCK) MY GUESS: EITHER MAINBOARD OR DISPLAY (BACKLIGHT) BROKEN

A little later they call me and I'm informed that a service tech will probably be here tomorrow. So far so good.
04.06.2009 12:17 The service tech is here (was a nice guy) and he brought a replacement inverter for my CCFL. Wait, what? I bought an X200s with LED backlight. I even said so in my problem description. I provided the model number (7459-5KG) which if you [google][1] for it states it has got an LED backlight. Since I had to provide machine/model number as well as serial number I would have expected the IBM ESC system to filter out the replacement parts that do not make sense (like an inverter card for a model with LED backlight), but it seems that is not the case. (This wasn't the first time - some months ago the hook keeping the battery in place broke and they sent the wrong replacement part)
05.06.2009 20:30 Another service tech arrives - this time with the right part. After he replaced the display panel though we found out that it was cracked. Gah! So the next ETA for the repair will be Tuesday, June 9th. I'll see what fun arrives then.

I wouldn't have said anything on any individual issue. Errors do happen, that's unfortunate, but so is life. All this together though is really making me wonder whether my next laptop will still be a Thinkpad. Unfortunately I see no real alternative except maybe for one of the Toughbooks.

So if anyone is wondering why I'm not on IRC, responding to mails now you know. Hopefully on Tuesday normal operation will resume.

Posted by daniel 06/06/2009 at 00:05


Freerunner deep-sleep standby time

I've been playing around with the #1024 recamping problem for some time now, testing stuff Joerg and Dieter come up with and it seems that the latest workaround seems to address the problem (ironically enough all of Openmoko's problems seem to be solveable by increasing a capacitor). There are some other issues that surfaced during these tests, but I'm pretty sure that this is just the framework behaving badly when the calypso actually goes into deep sleep.

One thing I have asked myself over and over was if all the hassle of hunting bug #1024 was worth the gain we would have from deep-sleep. So once I've found a version of frameworkd that played somewhat nicely with the deep-sleep mode of the calypso I started measureing the battery life.

What I did was just run

 root@om-gta02 ~ $ while true; do
 > date
 > mdbus -s org.freesmartphone.odeviced /org/freesmartphone/Device/PowerSupply/battery org.freesmartphone.Device.PowerSupply.GetInfo
 > sleep 5
 > done >> battery-data

in a terminal while waking the phone occasionally. The phone crashed one evening and spent one night turned off, but I tried to compensate for that by keeping it turned on for an hour or so. I didn't use the phone except wake it up every now and then to collect data and make a phone call (at 0% capacity) to ensure that GSM was still up and running.

So here's the result:

Battery diagram

143 hours - almost 6 days worth of standby - not bad for a phone that barely lasted 6 hours in the beginning. So it seems that all the hard work in getting bug #1024 fixed really is worth it.

Unfortunately the remaining problems with deep-sleep make the phone unusable as a regular phone (as does bug #416). If you've got time please help by testing gsm0710muxd or fso-abyss and the framework with deep-sleep.

Posted by daniel 03/06/2009 at 20:23