My New Vehicle

Our bicycles were stolen… really shitty. See my rants pages. In anycase, we’ve bought new ones (a big chunk paid for by the insurance). Now in spite of the shittiness of the previous ones having been stolen, I have to say that my new transportation is rather spiffy. So spiffy in fact, that I have decided to refrain from calling it a bicycle instead opting for the far more apt “Inter-Galactic Battle-Cruiser”.

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68k yay!

I bought a 68040-based Centris 650 (http://lowendmac.com/quadra/c650.shtml) through http://ibazar.nl/ for a song. It came with MacOS 7.6.1 on it… after having played around with this for a while (keep in mind that this machine, hardware-wise, was supposed to compete with 486s) I find it VERY sad that Wintel has come as far is it has. MacOS (and even this older version) is clearly superior in every possible UI-oriented aspect. The complete system also reeks of something into which much thought has gone, unlike anything ever produced by Wintel.

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Problem solved?

Weird… I’m going to quote from a mail I sent: In anycase, these have been some of the weirdest hardware moments I’ve ever had: it seems that an existing 32MB DIMM was right on the edge of giving up at the moment that I installed a new 128MB DIMM in the firewall and converted it to reiserfs. It was on the edge in such a manner that it survived 12 consecutive passes of complete memtest86 test-sets (and 40 3-parallel process kernel compiles without a sig11)….

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Err, I was wrong.

So the ram is fine if we can trust memtest86. Why am I still getting oopses?! I sent a mail to the reiserfs mailing list and got the typical reiserfs answer: your hardware is borked, it can’t be our code. Hmmmm… right. I’m sure the reiserfs code is well-tested, but it’s still not a good approach to blame the hardware immediately, especially if tests indicate elsewhere. What the hell, I’m going to try and reproduce this.

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Unstable firewall

Well children, my firewall had gone weirdly unstable after I’d added 128MB of new PC133 ram. It’s a Celery 300A (@450 of course) and it was oopsing miserably after years of faithful service. After memtesting it seemed that suddenly there were errors in one of the existing dimms. Hmmm, it turs out that CAS wait state was set on auto in the bios. I’m theorising that the BIOS somehow based its CAS on the new RAM and that the old RAM couldn’t quite accommodate that.

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debian thingies…

I’ve uploaded new JED debs with some minor fixes. At the moment, I’m rebuilding 4.1.0 potato debs for the 4th time… it’s taking much more hacking than previously. These will be available at http://people.debian.org/~cpbotha/ when done. Watch that space!

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The TIP

I have an Abit KT7 motherboard. I like it, except for one little thing: for some or other reason, Abit chose to mount a non-ball-bearing fan on the Northbridge chipset heatsink. Now, if you’re going to put any kind of fan in a computer, make sure it’s a ball-bearing fan, as it’s probably going to be doing its thing 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. In anycase, this fan of mine started making an awful noise a while ago and shortly after that stopped rotating quite as fast as it should have.

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