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Linux 3.16 Will Detect If Your Dell Latitude Is Falling

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  • Linux 3.16 Will Detect If Your Dell Latitude Is Falling

    Phoronix: Linux 3.16 Will Detect If Your Dell Latitude Is Falling

    Matthew Garrett sent in the x86 platform driver updates on Tuesday that are going into the Linux 3.16 kernel. This pull request is interesting for Dell Latitude laptop owners...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTcxNzg

  • #2
    These freefall sensors, are they seperate chips, or part of the GPS compassy integrated unit (I forget the name of that compass the planes used) like in phones or what?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by phoronix View Post
      The sensors are basically accelerometers and can also be re-tasked for other non-standard purposes too with its open-source stack.
      Michael, sensors are really ST acceleromenters, but on Dell laptops, it is not possible to use them for other purposes. It is because ACPI export only one IRQ which detect hdd freefall. Accelerometer is 3 axes but there is no way (on MS Windows too!) to read status of axes. So for anything else as hdd freefall is driver useless.

      Also driver does not automatically park disk heads. For this action you need userspace daemon which will handle it. One for HP laptops (compabile) is in linux tree: Documentation/laptops/hpfall.c

      Originally posted by stiiixy View Post
      These freefall sensors, are they seperate chips, or part of the GPS compassy integrated unit (I forget the name of that compass the planes used) like in phones or what?
      It is separate ST Microelectronics accelerometer chip found in (probably) on motherboard. It can be found on laptop without GPS too.

      To check if you have one, you can run this command:
      Code:
      $ find /sys/devices/ -name "*SMO*"
      I think that every Latitude model has it.

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      • #4
        Does it display a popup or such saying the laptop is falling ?

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        • #5
          When freefall irq occure driver report info to dmesg and process which reading /dev/freefall will be notified. Its up to you what will your userspace application with fall event do...

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          • #6
            Love the photo.

            In situations like that, you don't really need a driver to tell you that your laptop is failing.

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            • #7
              Just makes me wonder, people now have SSD disks. What's the point? For SSD it's enough to sync data during the fall and poweroff?

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              • #8
                @caligula: And some people (like me) have 2 disks in laptop (combination of SSD for system and classic HDD for data). And just to note that Dell now has preconfigured Latitude models with hybrid SSD disks...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pali View Post
                  @caligula: And some people (like me) have 2 disks in laptop (combination of SSD for system and classic HDD for data). And just to note that Dell now has preconfigured Latitude models with hybrid SSD disks...
                  Ok then. I thought people just buy 1024 GB full SSD if they need the space.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by caligula View Post
                    Ok then. I thought people just buy 1024 GB full SSD if they need the space.
                    Not everyone has $500 to blow on a hard drive, especially not when you can get a regular laptop hard drive of the same size for a little over 1/10th the price.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by caligula View Post
                      Ok then. I thought people just buy 1024 GB full SSD if they need the space.
                      For what? Databases and images of VM are good example of data you want to store on HDD... And also SSD is still not good medium for backup.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pali View Post
                        Michael, sensors are really ST acceleromenters, but on Dell laptops, it is not possible to use them for other purposes. It is because ACPI export only one IRQ which detect hdd freefall. Accelerometer is 3 axes but there is no way (on MS Windows too!) to read status of axes. So for anything else as hdd freefall is driver useless.
                        You mean only for the Dell ones, right? Because for the HP one I can read all the data just fine.
                        "ST LIS3LV02DL Accelerometer (/dev/input/js0)"
                        3 axes, but really I don't think there's much use to it other than the fall detection. You're not going to pick up a laptop and move it around and stuff like that...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pali View Post
                          For what? Databases and images of VM are good example of data you want to store on HDD... And also SSD is still not good medium for backup.
                          Hmm... I've had lots of spinning magnets fail, but never yet an SSD.
                          Or are you talking about price per megabyte?

                          Who does backups *to* a laptop anyway?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MWisBest View Post
                            You mean only for the Dell ones, right?
                            Yes, I mean Dell laptops with this SMO driver.

                            Originally posted by MWisBest View Post
                            Because for the HP one I can read all the data just fine.
                            "ST LIS3LV02DL Accelerometer (/dev/input/js0)"
                            3 axes, but really I don't think there's much use to it other than the fall detection. You're not going to pick up a laptop and move it around and stuff like that...
                            I used to play with friends Extreme Tux Racer (joystick/ST LIS3LV controls) in a train with HP laptop in hands :-)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                              Hmm... I've had lots of spinning magnets fail, but never yet an SSD.
                              Or are you talking about price per megabyte?

                              Who does backups *to* a laptop anyway?
                              SSDs have limit for erasing one nand erase block. And applications which doing lot of rewrites could cause FW problems with wear leveling... And we still do not understand how and what SSD FW doing, so SSD is still not good choice for data storage. Just my point of view.

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