Blog Archives

Let’s go freelancing :)

It’s been almost 4 years working for Lanedo, and I don’t regret a single day having worked for them. Still, I believe it was a time for a change in my life, and since February 1st I am now working as a freelance developer.

I’ve really been involved in pretty different things during my professional life… antivirus desktop applications and gateways, satellite orbit determination and time synchronization systems, VoIP-based push-to-talk server development, and of course NetworkManager, ModemManager, libqmi, libmbim, Tracker, OpenWRT or GTK+.

I would love to keep on working on all these Free Software projects, but I’m also open to exploring new technologies. Change is always good, they say.

So, if you’re looking for a passionate software engineer to develop, improve or integrate your system, just check my website and get in touch. I’d love to hear about your needs and issues and how we can solve them together :)

Talking at FOSDEM 2014

FOSDEM2014-wordtag-small

Third time in a row, I’ll also be giving a talk at FOSDEM this year:
LTE in your Linux based system

The talk is an introduction to QMI and MBIM devices, how they are exposed by the Linux kernel, and how you can use them from the command line through libqmi, libmbim and ModemManager.

See you there!

Mobile Radio Monitor

mrm-launcher

The Mobile Radio Monitor is a new (GPLv3+ licensed) application I wrote this summer, which lets you grab signal and power information from QMI-powered modems, and displays it in time-based graphs. I really wanted to use some of the shiny new things available in GTK+ 3.9.x, so this application seemed a good excuse to play around with the GtkStack, GtkListBox, templates and such.

Internally, this application does not talk to ModemManager at all. The other thing that I wanted to try out with this application was the use of the ‘qmi-proxy‘ approach in libqmi, which lets you share a QMI port between different processes, and therefore this UI application can run alongside ModemManager without much collision between the two.

Launching

The Mobile Radio Application installs a desktop file, so it can be launched directly from the desktop shell. It needs to run as root, so “pkexec” takes care of requesting user authentication to gain privileges through polkit. The other option, of course is to just launch it from the command line using “sudo” or the like.

BTW, yes, the icon is the same one from gnome-system-monitor with just different colors. Quick and dirty hack, but looks good to me. Thanks to jimmac, who I think draw the icon originally ;)

Device list

When the application starts you’ll be greeted with the QMI device list detected by the application. Unusable modems will be shown as deactivated items (e.g. when modem requires a SIM but there is no SIM inserted), and for the usable ones you’ll be able to insert the PIN if required.

mrm-device-list

Signal information

Once a device has been selected, the application will switch to the Signal information tab, where you can see graphs for things like RSSI, Ec/Io, S/N, RSRP and RSRQ

mrm-signal-tab

Not every technology exposes all the previous values, though. GSM will only show RSSI, while UMTS/HSPA will show RSSI and Ec/Io. In addition to the graphs, the current instant value of each signal property is also given in the legend box.

Hiding/showing graphs based on the current used access technology was an idea, but I left it out because you can actually switch the preferred technology using e.g. qmicli’s --nas-set-system-selection-preference, and therefore you would be able to see graphs with both access technologies.

Power information

In addition to signal information, the application also exposes receiver and transmitter power values in the Power information tab.

mrm-power-tab

Thanks to being able to have ModemManager running at the same time, you can actually get the modem connected and see how both the RX and TX power values go up and down.

Want to try it?

You can grab the sources from the following gitorious.org repo:
https://gitorious.org/aleksander/mobile-radio-monitor.

As said previously, it uses unstable GTK+ plus unstable libqmi, so you’ll need these sorted out before trying to compile the project. I have tried it myself both in a Fedora 19 setup (under jhbuild to get latest GTK+ and self-compiled libqmi from git master) and in a Fedora 20 (just grab these packages).

As always, comments and patches welcome :)

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