21 December 2005

USB2 card reader, new laptop (round one)

I’ve modded my little snatch-stuff-from-the-camera script to fetch from a usb-storage device mountpoint, naming the images using the exif(1) utility, like so ($TODAY is the directory that the script has chosen to put the images into):

LIST=$(find $(mount | gawk '/^.dev.sd[a-d]1 / { print $3 }') -iname '*.jpg')
TOTAL=$(wc -l <<EOL
for i in $LIST; do
t=$(exif -t DateTime $i | gawk '-F: ' '/^ Value:/ { print $2 }' | sed -e 's/://g' -e 's/ /_/g')
echo -ne " $n/$TOTAL ($[$n * 100 / $TOTAL]%): dsc${t}_${n}.jpg \\r"
cp $i $TODAY/dsc${t}_${n}.jpg

Now I need to figure out how to get it into the script chain invoked by hotplug(8) when a card or camera is plugged in. Mandriva have this set up to invoke a little dialog, which fires up Konqueror aimed at the newly-plugged device (if you agree) so you can drag’n’drop photos:

HotPlug popup

This downloads photos at ≅0.5GB/min, which compares very favourably with the 0.015GB/min from any of my or sister-in-law’s cameras.

I’ve also acquired a new laptop. I’m impressed by the connector layout, with the audio (mic, headphones, firewire, volume control) sockets on the front — closest to you — a couple of sockets sockets (serial, S-Video, 2xUSB2) down the right-hand side with the DVD burner, all of the other sockets (network, USB2, modem, power, VGA, PCMCIA) down the left side, and nothing on the back. This is good because things plugged into the back of a laptop typically take a hammering when the loptap is rocked backwards (happens more often than you’d believe) and are difficult to get at in crowded (display stand, aircraft, car) or dark (auditorium, car, lounge/bedroom) conditions.

MS-Windows seems to only want to drive the display at 1024x768, but the spec says “SXGA+”, which is 1280x1024.

The general fit and finish is much better than that of the AOpen it replaces, the keyboard is much more robust and comfortable (and spill-proof) and the speakers, while still very small and cruddy, emit a hint of some real live genuine down-home bass notes as well as all of the treble ones.

The Mandriva Linux installer (the Stage 1 kernel, anyay) can’t find any of the SATA drives, including the DVDRW drive. The storage is 100% SATA, there isn’t even an IDE (or floppy) controller present. I’ll try a network install after it finishes calibrating its battery.

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