[personal profile] mjg59
There's a story going round that Lenovo have signed an agreement with Microsoft that prevents installing free operating systems. This is sensationalist, untrue and distracts from a genuine problem.

The background is straightforward. Intel platforms allow the storage to be configured in two different ways - "standard" (normal AHCI on SATA systems, normal NVMe on NVMe systems) or "RAID". "RAID" mode is typically just changing the PCI IDs so that the normal drivers won't bind, ensuring that drivers that support the software RAID mode are used. Intel have not submitted any patches to Linux to support the "RAID" mode.

In this specific case, Lenovo's firmware defaults to "RAID" mode and doesn't allow you to change that. Since Linux has no support for the hardware when configured this way, you can't install Linux (distribution installers will boot, but won't find any storage device to install the OS to).

Why would Lenovo do this? I don't know for sure, but it's potentially related to something I've written about before - recent Intel hardware needs special setup for good power management. The storage driver that Microsoft ship doesn't do that setup. The Intel-provided driver does. "RAID" mode prevents the Microsoft driver from binding and forces the user to use the Intel driver, which means they get the correct power management configuration, battery life is better and the machine doesn't melt.

(Why not offer the option to disable it? A user who does would end up with a machine that doesn't boot, and if they managed to figure that out they'd have worse power management. That increases support costs. For a consumer device, why would you want to? The number of people buying these laptops to run anything other than Windows is miniscule)

Things are somewhat obfuscated due to a statement from a Lenovo rep:This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft. It's unclear what this is meant to mean. Microsoft could be insisting that Signature Edition systems ship in "RAID" mode in order to ensure that users get a good power management experience. Or it could be a misunderstanding regarding UEFI Secure Boot - Microsoft do require that Secure Boot be enabled on all Windows 10 systems, but (a) the user must be able to manage the key database and (b) there are several free operating systems that support UEFI Secure Boot and have appropriate signatures. Neither interpretation indicates that there's a deliberate attempt to prevent users from installing their choice of operating system.

The real problem here is that Intel do very little to ensure that free operating systems work well on their consumer hardware - we still have no information from Intel on how to configure systems to ensure good power management, we have no support for storage devices in "RAID" mode and we have no indication that this is going to get better in future. If Intel had provided that support, this issue would never have occurred. Rather than be angry at Lenovo, let's put pressure on Intel to provide support for their hardware.

Many deep questions about Star Trek

Sep. 17th, 2016 08:50 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Watched "Where No Man Has Gone Before" on the wall with the new projector! OMG!

Notes:

Massively shiny velour shirts!

Cannot remember how my perceptions must have changed from watching this till age 10 on a tiny black and white TV. Maybe saw color stills and just... in my mind my memories of it are in color! But they can't have been.

They carry around little stacks of what look exactly like bright colored 1990s floppy disks. Kirk has some on the bridge on the edge of his command chair, and they have them in sick bay, and everyone has their own stacks in different colors in the conference room. They have sort of built in ipads in the desk.

I adore the giant lithium power packs!

The psychiatrist, Dr. Dehner, is wearing pants. Yay, pants! Hilarious space purse on a big strap. The doctor (not McCoy yet) has both a giant leather space briefcase and a leather tool box on a strap.

The scene where Kelso gets strangled by the giant cable really was familiar. Once the cable started to move I remembered being impressed by that scene when I was fairly small.

It did not seem to occur to Dr. Dehner (even though I kept screaming it to her) that it was up to her and her mighty ESP equipped womb to bear the entire new race of Esper gods! It didn't occur to Kirk either!

Everyone is very into the constant racist aggressions on Spock! I know that only gets worse, too.

Can't wait to rewatch the whole original series... in order.... well rough order anyway.

Exhausted to the bone

Sep. 17th, 2016 03:13 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Deeply exhausted. Pep talking myself and asking zond7 to tell me reassuring things.
Last week I made the call at work to delay the release and then things got a bit better and caught up, and were looking good. But then Thurs. early afternoon this big old security issue drama unfolded (not really a drama, but oddly hooked into existing drama situation). Other stuff kept popping up in demanding ways. I did feel kind of happy that my friend is now running some things in another department, and I was able to support her reasonbly well and am also just like so glad she is incredibly capable and a good leader for that area. I also said no to many other things/teams who wanted a thing that is impossible.

Yesterday was long and draining. I had to wake up this morning and work a bunch. Then MORE things came up. I wrote a half assed email to deal with the more things, and cced people so that if it is overly half assed, one of them will correct it. (Also, so that the others who are newer can know the sort of thing you should do, even if my email isn't the best example of its kind).

Went to the cafe with Milo and caught pokemons and had a bagel and I finished the 3rd draft of one more poem. Then he went off to catch the bus to his dance class. (Popping..... he is learning a lot)

I tried to work further on the translation and kept realizing I was just staring off into space.

Then as I looked at what was left realized I left out 2 solid pages of a dense prose poem right near the end. It is about Nixon and Elvis, Vietnam and probably also about pinochet somehow. Fuck!!!!! OK. deep breaths!

Grocery shopped and got extra groceries for my friend. I am worried about him.

Exchanged messages with Mars woman who came up to me in the restaurant last night and we agreed to meet some time soon. Maybe I will have a nice local poet friend? I need poets to babble with.

I felt sort of despairing but then came home to lie in the sun in the flowery back patio with zond7 and the cat. I also sat on the side path and did some very minor weeding and watered the plants. All like, 100 times what I was able to do even a week ago!

But my overwhelming feeling is of sadness and failure like, "I should be able to crank at this translation for at least half a day.... if not all day... like 8 hours of work". Despite all evidence to the contrary that I have never, ever done this and have max 3 hours translating/poeting in me at the best of times.

Something about it being 1pm and you realize you have nothing left of energy!

I am resting and enjoying the day! I am nurturing myself and being nice to myself and I get to live in this nice place. Not beating myself up for not finishing the translation project.

I would like to ship the work stuff and have some feeling of relief, and I'd like to not have this book hanging over me. 10 more pages or thereabouts.

I emailed the editor what I have so far (just past the long airplane poem). Oh, god! I hope he doesn't hate it! It all feels kind of clumsy and in my usual M.O. I know it would take me ANOTHER YEAR at this pace to feel happy with it. At least 6 months. I need to look at 1 poem per day and like, meditate on them and let them cook. Also i have so many questions and uncertain bits. Oh, my god.

Super hoping I dont have to get together & ship another build at work (not inherently hard, but hard because it is the weekend and it's a process across several teams). now, on the other hand, I am proud both that I called the delay when I thought we needed it, and that I am capable of hustling (and getting everyone else to hustle, i hope only when necessary.)

I may have it in me to cook some dinner.... Actually that is amazing as a week ago I could not stand up to brush my teeth....

I think I am also having some withdrawal emotions/shakiness from the prednisone (day 2 off of it completely)

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terriko

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