The Toshiba Linux Utilities

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Sunday, January 27th 2002

A new version of the stable version of the utilities has been released. Hopefully I will with a new development series in the near future. This will include the start towards hibernation under Linux, though it is going to require running specialised kernels to work.

Monday, June 25th 2001

To celibrate the fifth aniversary of me writing my original port of the fan.exe program to Linux I have released version 2.0 of the Toshiba Linux utilities. I can hardly believe that it is so long since I was sitting in the old Cobolt-60 machine room at Aberdeen General hospital doing by Masters project in Medical Physics. When during a particularly hot and sunny spell, I decided to try and port the program to Linux so my hands didn't get so sweaty as I worked.

This version also adds a program to set/remove the ownerstring on laptops that support them. For fans of Windows there is now a Windows version of the fan program if you excuse my terible pun. It's shareware mind you but registration is cheap. If enough of you register I might be able to afford a new laptop and some better debugging tools than I currently have.

Saturday, May 19th 2001

Due to unforseen problems with the ISP that is handling the domain there may well have been problems with the website over the last three or four days. In addition any emails that may have been sent to myself will have either been returned with undeliverable errors or are still working their way to me. If you have had an email return please resend it. I have not been knocked over by a bus or stopped working on the Toshiba Utilities.

The short of it is that the ISP went into liquidation and were then taken over. They then just cut the link and started moving everything over to different servers. I am not really pleased with the situation and given that renewal comes up in two months time I will be looking for alternative provides that are more financially secure.

Monday, February 5th 2001

In case you thought that I had fallen of the edge of the earth or that development had stopped, I have released a new version. This version has a number of small enhancements and bug fixes see the ChangeLog for details. The main one is a change to the warning message for all those dunderheads that can't read the documentation and then wonder why thet get "this computer is not supported messages".

There is a new utility called tbacklight which turns the LCD backlight off, use with care as when the LCD backlight is off you can't see anything on the screen. The bug on the Battery Options page of tuxtime-conf where option menus stayed greyed out has now been fixed. There is also an update to the kernel module, however all this does is add detection of the Fn key for more models. The supplied kernel patch in the tarball is against 2.2.18 only. There is a port to 2.4.x of the module, this was not done by myself and it will be a while till I bring up to date with version in the tarball.

For those who are wondering what I have been doing for the last year, well this is all done in my spare time, of which I have not had much in the last year. On top of that I have been working on reverse engineering new stuff so I can write more utilities/drivers in the future. This is time consuming work and does not yield anything for you to see at this point in time. Hopefully some exciting new utilities will be the result of this work latter this year. However there is no timetable for it's completion so don't bother asking.

Saturday, January 29th 2000

Released a new version of the utilities. Thanks to George Betzos the version of hotkey in this release can be made to work on all models bar the Libretto's. Please see README.hotkey for more information if it does not work on your laptop. This release also see the debut proper of thotswap which allows IDE/ATAPI devices to be swapped in the SelectBay® without a reboot if you are using a 2.2.x or later kernel.

This release is getting close to the planned 2.0 stable release.

Monday, December 13th 1999

It would appear that Toshiba are having great difficulty in providing the documentation on how to get the Machine Identication numbers from the BIOS. I have been asking for this information now for over a year and it is becoming something of a hassle to finishing TuxTime. I have taken another look at the problem and have got a routine that works on a Tecra 750CDT, Tecra 780DVD and Satellite 310CDT. It's a bit fudged at the moment but appears to work.

Wednesday, November 24th 1999

New shapshot with a version of TuxTime that should be quite useable on older machines. On the newer models such as the Tecra 8000's and Satellite 4000's etc. it will have a few difficulties but should still run.

Wednesday, November 17th 1999

Added some more links to the pages and included the new Toshiba run mailing list on the Mailing list page. There is also a new snapshot of the Toshiba Linux Utilities. Hopefully this version should be a lot more stable than previous versions due to improvements in the assembler which interfaces to the SMM mode of the laptop. I am also in the process of reworking TuxTime, see the TuxTime page for more details.

Monday, November 9th 1999

I had an email from Toshiba today and it looks like I might be getting my hands on the documentation for the new Machine Identication numbers!

Sunday, August 29th 1999

Added a page with details of the the mailing lists related to running Linux on a Toshiba laptop and how to subscribe to them.

Tuesday, August 10th 1999

Finally managed to get a responce from Toshiba Computer Engineering. Though it appears that my request for information on the Machine Identification numbers (model numbers really) each laptop has embedded in the BIOS is unlikely to be answered anytime soon. It looks like Toshiba might end up forcing my hand over this one.

Wednesday, June 30th 1999

It appears that Toshiba are now going to support Linux. You can find their site here. Though it was very slow for me. I have sent them an email with some very specific questions on how to get hotkey working on current laptops. I wait to hear back from them but apparently they are snowed under with email's. Please don't email Toshiba unless you have some specific information to request.


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