Dec 302008

The other day I found out that XCode breakpoints were not working anymore under iPhone Simulator, still worked fine with the device. Reinstalled XCode: nothing better. Removed all XCode settings files in the user directory as well as the /Library/Preferences directory: nothing better. Looking at the output from gdb I found it was reporting a certain number of errors related to finding symbols for the iPhone framework libraries: the messages read like this:

Unable to read symbols for "/System/Library/Frameworks/UIKit.framework/UIKit" (file not found).
warning: Unable to read symbols from "UIKit" (not yet mapped into memory).
warning: Unable to read symbols for "/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/CoreGraphics" (file not found).
warning: Unable to read symbols from "CoreGraphics" (not yet mapped into memory).
warning: Unable to read symbols for "/System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGLES.framework/OpenGLES" (file not found).
warning: Unable to read symbols from "OpenGLES" (not yet mapped into memory).
Program loaded.
Pending breakpoint 1 - ""aPointSystem.m:395" resolved
sharedlibrary apply-load-rules all

After a few google searches I realized a lot of people are reporting the same messages, but there was never a real solution on how to get rid of this and the rare solutions suggested to remove some rogue breakpoints and everything would be solved… So not so surprisingly I focused on solving this problem first because i thought it was very likely to be the reason for my breakpoints not working. Well yeah indeed if I remove all breakpoints all ‘file not found’ messages go away, but all debugging also goes away, as soon as the breakpoints are back, so are the messages !!

So after a couple days of scrambling I still had in the back of my mind the idea that the only thing I had done lately to the system was to upgrade the mac os X kernel to the newest voodoo kernel. Some rare intermittent crashes (see screenshots) occuring while debugging, together with the problem occuring only on the iphone smulator (hence host code and possible kernel hooks failures) and reinstallation/settings erasure independent it seemed to be a consistent explanation to my woes….

occasional Voodoo kernel panic

Sure enough, after I returned to the old kernel the breakpoints started working again, it turns out the ‘file not found’ messages are completely normal the reason being the iphone framework code is private to apple and therefore debug symbols are inexistent. You got to admit the ‘file not found’ messages are somewhat misleading.


Dec 132008

So over thanksgiving I’ve taken some time to work a little more on my secret iPhone project (or I should just say “my secret project” abstracting the iPhone altogether since until recently almost no iPhone API’s were called), and I’m pretty glad I’ve made a little progress from the point where I was stuck for a while now. I’ve started implementing things in OpenGL ES in the hopes to see things go very fast and some impressive rendering speeds however I was pretty disappointed by the outcome, I’m guessing the bottleneck is the arithmetic I’m doing so I’ve started considering using the vfp for the iPhone.

Lately as a result I’ve been looking into using the hardware a little more and that probably means that I will have to rewrite some parts of the engine 🙁 to make hardware acceleration more doable. 

I thought I’d share my little bit of research on google which gave me the following pointer to a very good place to start in order to exploit the iPhone vfp:  

update: I’ve been researching a bit more and it seems the iPhone vfp is more specifically a vfp11 co-processor for the iPhone’s processor (ARM1176JZF), for which I pulled the doc on the arm website:

arm 1176jzf-s pdf doc


Jun 152008

It’s been a while I haven’t come back here but hey… life is busy. Among other things I got a new job… I’m now working at Illumina in Hayward, Ca, who is in the business of sequencing DNA. So far I’m pretty happy with the environment they provide, everything I’ve ever dreamed of for a long time, lots of smart people, lots of nice technology, and a true enterprise setting… At last I can see what it’s like ! They are the current leaders in the market, let’s hope this is going to last and single molecule sequencing technologies are not going to hit us pretty hard. I’ve already completed a couple projects in Perl and Bash, however I will spend most of the time doing C# development.

I went for a few trips: for Damien’s birthday party I went to do some class 4 white water rafting in Auburn, it was pretty fun and scary in the rapids, especially this “tunnel chute” which is totally impressive, most of the time was spent paddling however, but it was still fun since we kept going at each other and sink each others out of the boats. There were some totally climbable boulders in the valley we rafted down, but they’re probably very inaccessible, but I could totally see some quality problems. Other than that I was surprised to see that some people are still looking for gold along the American River.

Last week we went to Mount Diablo and did some climbs that we don’t usually do, so it was a bit of a change from always going to the lower tier and climb the 90 foot wall.
We were supposed to drive up to Donner lake this week end and do some sport climbs up there, but we didn’t really get through with it, since we didn’t realize it was that far and half a week end is kinda short for such a trip. next time we’ll get it right…

Climbing wise I haven’t done so bad lately, last week I managed to send my first V9 and I also sent a V8 during that same session.

As far a software projects go, I’ve been kindda lousy lately and haven’t been able to finish anything while at the same time starting more things. A facebook app called sentit (i realized later does the same thing in better), and also my iphone Etcho App, which is still at the same point. Well I’m back on macOSX this week end and have taken forever to fix up my hackintosh bugs, but hopefully now we’re on the right track. My next post is about fixing those bugs, I don’t want to have to search everywhere again…

update: well I got the keyboard working yesterday but now it’s not working so my next article is going to have to wait…

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Mar 202008

Today I was just approved for the iphone sdk developer program, which makes me one of a “select few” developers that can do native development on the iphone. I was pretty sure my application was going to be denied since there is nothing special about me or my application which could have made a difference. Anyways that’s very good news since that will give me a little head start to continue developing my app (for the moment I’m not giving any details about my app until I have something presentable and I know it’s going somewhere – or nowhere). After succesfully installing osX on my pc I was able to quickly port all my code over to the iphone sdk and I must say I was pretty impressed with it; it has all a developer could dream of to create apps really productively…

Anyways I haven’t been able to touch the sweet stuff yet as I’m still waiting on my order to be processed but will try to get back here to post some update.

Mar 112008

I was seriously considering buying a mac (and some apple stocks seeing how they almost converted me) in order to get started with the iphone sdk and continue development of my app, but I came across this article on dual booting a pc with macosX leopard, ultimately this is going to be cheaper for me. And I’m pretty excited that i’m going to get a true unix environment on my pc (and delete cygwin).

update: I’m getting the “chain0 booting error” and am not sure how to fix it, however i can still boot in osX using F8 + rd=disk0s1 at the boot prompt for the atkos disk. Overall the osX experience is not so nice on my pc, since neither wifi nor lan cards are functionning, also the vertical screen resolution is limited to 1024 instead of 1280 and the screen is shifted to the left uncentered. I am now testing parallels to see if running with Vista will improve things (that’s unlikely imho).

update2: I have since then resolved my booting and network problems on my vaio sz120p; I had overlooked the customize button at install which lets you add extensions to your install. Here are the steps that I took to make it all work:

-my macOS partition space was too small so I had to move my windows partition to free some space up, at first I tried using the windows partitioning software, but it is very limited in that it does not move files within the partition and as such is practically useless for most situation; I then realized that partition magic is not working any more under windows Vista. My last but not least option was to use the Gparted which is an awesome tool to manage almost all your repartitioning tasks.

-I reinstalled macOsX making sure I enable the proper extensions, including the macOs bootloader which I didn’t have in the first place. Now my boot problem was all resolved, no more”chain0 booting error”. A side effect to that is that I do not see anymore that macOsX recognizes my pc as a laptop, maybe I picked the wrong kernel.

-I managed to get the Marvell Yukon 88E8036 network card working by following instructions from this post which also works under MacOsX leopard…

-Next step for me is to get the full screen resolution working as well as the wifi network card