Upgrades, Part 2

Two good pieces of news in the notebook front:

-> Pulled out the 40 gig from its little case (the one I’ve been using to make it my Debian Slug disk) and looked up the part number on Toshiba’s site. It’s a 5400 RPM, and is the same size as the old Sager and HP disks. I can live with the 100 Meg/sec spec as given, that’s more than I’ll normally draw in most instances, other than installs. The 16 Meg buffer is a *very* nice plus though!

-> Debian ‘lenny 2’ installed just as beautifully as Etch did, with the added bonus of a working wireless card (after getting the firmware setup of course – for which a link to the appropriate instructions was included in the ‘dmesg’ boot sequence). That is a first for me and Linux, and doubly pleased when I discovered that in Linux, I had more hotspots mapped out and with better strengths than in WinXP (most locked though, good move in an apartment building ;) ).

So, new plans:

1) Put 40 gig disk in HP, re-install ‘Lenny 2′ and get wireless up again.

2) 60 gig disk goes in the external case (which is USB-2 and FireWire), re-format with ext3 and FAT16 partitions. Probably 40/20, respectively.

3) Drop a VirtualBox Guest OS (WinXP) on the external disk. See if I can get the old Half-Life games running on it, plus a couple other things that are needed for work (and is only in, or works better with, Windows – like the Exchange webmail, that is a damn sight better to use in IE).

The eventual goal – if this all works – is to look into converting the desktop to Linux, or a Linux/WinXP dual-boot (the latter by dropping in a new SATA disk just for Linux). It will be nice to finally use all 4G of the current system’s memory; It can hold 8G IIRC but I’d have to consider a dual-boot with Vista instead of XP to make that upgrade a more viable reality.

The only major issues I see in the games department are Oblivion (’nuff said) and perhaps Uru (though the CC variant I believe will run on Wine OK). Hence the sad need for a dual-boot – I don’t know if even a Quad-Core will be able to run something like Oblivion in a VM well.


PS – As so the NSLU2 ‘Slug’ body, its been put away again. Once I’m happy with Linux on the HP, it can sit on the table when not ‘on duty’ and be used as the long-duration login system. Lord, I did not realize how much I depended on UNIX console access until I actually tried a system without one…

Popping my Head Up

I had no intent of not writing a RSS-able entry in the past two months; In fact I’ve been tweaking away at the site now and then, its just not in areas that will be noticed much by sites like MystBlogs. :p

Anyway, the obligatory ‘what’s been going on since April’ post:

-> The Slug (NSLU2-Debian), he be toast again (shortly after my last post, ironically). I’m fed up with the rather convoluted way that I have to connect to it, so I’m looking at just getting the smallest entry-PC you can get (about $200 at MicroCenter) and dump Debian on it. Maybe dual-boot it with OpenSolaris. :)

-> New video card: nVidia 8800 GT from Palit. Despite the iffy reviews that came out of NewEgg, its looking good so far. Only problem now is that I no longer have any inhibitions to add mods for Oblivion…

-> Continuing the overclock: I’m up to 3.0 Ghz on the Q6600 (that’s 375×8) and stable; Rolling back the HSF to the stock one helped with that, as well as replacement exhaust fans on the case. I will update the PC page at some point, but in most respects now my system specs match Craig’s.

-> Back on SL, heavily: After two months in There, of all things a golf tourney in SL gets me involved again. I’m fiddling with sailing a bit more too, and exploring why the durn Viewers like to crash so much (I think that’s been mostly solved as of yesterday – more testing to do).

-> planning for vacation and Mysterium: I had planned to goto Boston for Mysterium before I heard about Wolfie’s death. Now I will definitely be there, perhaps trying to make a ‘boffer safe’ Riven dagger as a demo (need materials from James – perhaps while at DexCon – or visit an appropriate store). Making a sheath for this could get complicated…

-> My health: Don’t worry, good news here. :) I’ve been experimenting with something called ‘colloidal silver’ (which, according to the FDA, I’m not allowed to explain what it does – I’m NOT kidding!). Things are progressing well, and I may bring samples of the stuff as well as the generator I use to make it.

-> Blue Belt: Last and definitely not least, I earned my Blue Belt at Tiger’s (around late April). This was despite the sore wrist going into the testing period, but I just dealt with it and endured. I really should start getting pics for this…

*Reviews the above* Ya know, even if the new MO were available today, I still don’t think I could join atm. It’s just too busy in my life. We’ll see once the servers are up again.


Well, slugs definately have no time sense…

OK, this little gem was worth the hell getting there:

SIDRAT:/etc# /etc/init.d/ntp stop
Stopping NTP server: ntpd.
SIDRAT:/etc# ntpdate 0.debian.pool.ntp.org
8 Apr 05:41:51 ntpdate[3426]: step time server offset 204327186.111730 sec

Note the time offset; I’ve had the server off since before the 2007 DST was supposed to take effect. Apparently it reverted to Oct 2001 (argh).

Anyway, having to change the IP on the durn NSLU2 ‘slug’ is extremely annoying, especially when the initial IP information is in the bootloader (and you’ve changed the router subnet in the interim!). I’ve still got to fix that, but Thank God for a Linux install on the HP notebook (which I do need to fix and/or change as well, bah!).

All this to get my irssi IRC logs saved someplace safe. Gotta love it. Plenty of work still to do on it, but at least I got the foot in the door again.


Update on the Site

I’ve been perusing my site logs to see who’s been hitting the place lately, and why. Brought up some interesting subjects, which I’ll begin to address now:

“Does Second Life work on an ATI Radeon Xpress?” – Last I checked with the notebook, yes, but slow. There is a ‘first look‘ version of their client that you may want to participate running a live beta from – but be warned, you’re connecting to their live/production grid with this, so anything really bad happens you may need to rebuild/rescript/etc. I’ve not tested it, not worth my little time online to possibly make it even worse for wear. :)

Status on my Debian Linux box, aka the NSLU2 ‘slug’ – It’s been shutdown for almost two months now; I’ve not had the time to maintain it for awhile, and once the DST hell is over with I’ll possibly poke at it again.

Numbakulla – I’ve had no recent time to visit there in SL, nor anywhere else. :( One query was looking for a walk through; There was some brief discussion about creating a ‘for sale’ item that would allow this (to generate revenue for the island), dunno if that’s been done.


In other news, DST has come and passed, and we appear relatively unscathed (and after 8 hard weeks, it damn well should have!). There are still things to check, but so far, so good…


Continuing Fun With ‘The Slug’

Some of the latest things I’ve been working on with my NSLU2 Debian-install ‘Slug’ has been mostly tweaking.

Last couple days, due to discussion on #libsl, I got curious and decided to get the second account I use for freenode IRC network working again. (I use a separate user login for each ircnet under irssi so that I’m *positive* not to post to the wrong channel (an unfortunate and common mistake for awhile).

I’ve so far parked myself (within freenode) on #secondlifelug, #commits (god what a mistake that is), and the three main nslu2/openslug channels. So if you happen to see tkimball there, wave hi. ;) Next up is what they call over there a ‘cloak,’ which should hide my IP as well as denote anything I’m working on (or even one of the folks who’s donated to freenode itself, which I’m considering).

For those who’s wondering where I am on EFNet nowadays, its just #libsl now. Though I poke my head into #secondlife from time to time, it’s gotten too popular now and just wanders too much. Oh, and God Forbid the grid goes down (which has sadly been a common occurance the last two weeks…)

Note I’m using irssi over dtach, so it’s very possible that I won’t respond for hours or days. I’m not logging any of the freenode channels either, but only #commits is insanely scrolling. Can’t help much with the slug stuff anyway, since I’m now using Debian (and very happy with that btw), but never a bad thing to follow what’s happening code-wise or even physical hacking wise. For example, some months ago I successfully overclocked (actually de-underclocked) the ARM CPU by carefully opening the case and breaking a specific resistor; Since many over time reported that was not too bad to do, I went and did it. :)

Anyway, back to relaxing…


Irssi on NSLU2 Part 3 – DebianSlug – Working!

For those following this insane saga, I’ve now moved on to the Debian ARM install of Linux on the NSLU2 NAS unit. And now have both a stable working ‘slug’ and irssi with the perl module.

About time. Really!

Since this is a fully functional port of Linux, complete with packages, I’ve set aside *why* I was doing this in the first place to get a backup of this weblog running. Priorities. ;)

Actually, part of this is to learn web-based stuff that would be useful for work. Even though our Apache stuff is normally Solaris-based, the actual web-side stuff like CGIs are still the same.

Of course, I’ve still got to locate a semi-current screen-irssi config so I can get that back online properly too.



Continuing Fun With a Slug – Gentoo Time…

For those first hearing about this little adventure, I wanted a little box to run irssi off of, that was inexpensive, low-power, and the flexibility of a Linux box.

So I got a Linksys NSLU2 NAS, and re-flashed it with a special Embedded Linux kernel (Google for OpenSlug).

Well, it worked, but irssi was horribly hobbled (in particular no Perl support), and several attempts to rectify the problem with my own cross-compiles failed miserably. But in the end, I always had something that worked at least; Just not the way I wanted it – I didn’t have the full Linux functionality to draw from.

So, today, I’m working on placing Gentoo on the Slug, as its affectionately known. Link is [here][GentooSlug].

So far, so good. I think. honestly, its a bit hard to tell currently. I do have emerge compiling and adding vim (from within the initial chroot – I’ve not rebooted yet), which is a heck of a lot better then the LAST time I tried this (The Sager notebook; see Comp Specs in sidebar for what it is). This may actually work, and give me a copy of irssi I finally need for my purposes.

Heh. It’s another form of Cautious Optimism I suppose. ;)

Anyway, looks like its also time for another catagory, as this is the third or fourth post on the subject. Stay tuned…


[GentooSlug]: http://gentoo-wiki.com/HARDWARE_Linksys_NSLU2

Cross-Compile Failure 2

Strike two. Irssi normal code compiles fine, even with all the options I sent it.


Well, there is still the DebianSlug and similar releases for my little box. Or make it a full-fledged IRC bouncer of some sort (one that connects via SSL/HTTPS).

Still looking…


Continuing Fun With an Irssi Cross-Compile

OK, an update for getting a cross-compile working for my Linksys NAS:

The Sager now can cross-compile OK, I did the basic kernel set for testing and it ran all the way through.

Cross-compile of irssi has shown a couple things so far:

– DEPENDS was incorrect on bitbake file, changed glib-1.2 to glib-2.0.
– I now have a compile error (looks syntax-related) on expandos.c in irssi’s core.

This is, at least, a partial success. :) But now I need to grab another copy of irssi from svn and try to compile it normally under FC4, to confirm its irssi’s codebase itself or some patch that the bitbake cross-compile applied.



What I’ll go through sometimes for a small thing…

My little IRC system is a Linksys NSLU2 NAS re-flashed with the [OpenSlug][OS] Embedded Linux, and running an [Irssi][irssi] connection over screen (for remote bouncing about). I recently decided to enable perl support into this distribution of irssi, as the stock binary is not setup that way.

Boy, am I starting to regret that…

Well, spent over 9 hours Friday/Saturday getting the cross-compile working on an HP running Fedora Core 4 in 64-bit. Finally started lurking in Freenode IRC channels #openslug and #oe to realize that the ‘stock’ source tarball at OpenSlug is a bit old, and is better to use [OpenEmbedded’s][OE] Monotone compile-from-scratch. That also failed, and I’m currently getting my Sager up and running enough on FC4 to try an all 32-bit environment next.

So, why the heck am I so intent on getting perl support with irssi? So I can begin doing in-IRC queries on a regular schedule. I may just give up and try a different approach (querying the appropriate place directly from the ‘slug’ as its known), but I figured this would be a ‘simple thing.’

Good Lord, what have I gotten myself into?

Well, now that I’ve started I at least want to get a cross-compile of some sort *working.* So I’ll continue to poke at it as time permits, and learn more about Linux as a benefit.

I’ve also earned two new IRC channels on my watch list. So its not all bad…


[OS]: http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/OpenSlug/HomePage
[irssi]: http://www.irssi.org
[OE]: http://oe.handhelds.org/