Posts categorized “Hardware”


September 7, 2004
  ndiswrapper May Have Issues

We’re speedily working towards a Friday deadline at work, so tonight I had some analysis work to do on some COBOL code. Great, I thought, I can use my VSlick setup under wine. I moved my computer from the living room back to our now-empty bedroom (soon to be nursery), and booted it up. Kernel panics galore - never got past the network stuff. When I booted to Windows, I found that the wireless network didn’t reach that far, and I’m guessing that the ndiswrapper folks haven’t tried their driver a lot with a wireless card, but no wireless network. Once I get past that, I may grab the dumps from these kernel panics and see if the developers need them to see what went wrong. So, for tonight, I had to use WXP (in which I actually had to disable the wireless connection - seems Windows doesn’t handle a barely-there wireless connection much better than Linux).

The diagnostics I ran last night never found anything - they ran for about 10 hours. I suppose I’ll just have to wait until I have problems again, then run it right then. Another person from the WBEL users list suggested I check the way I have my hard drives set up; he thinks that a 2GB drive slaved to a 20GB drive may be causing conflicts, which would cause freezes or panics.

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September 5, 2004
  Success with Wine & Diagnostics

At work, we use an editor called Visual SlickEdit (VSlick). It’s got a lot of features, and supports color-coding for many different languages. I decided that I’d give wine another shot, as we only have the Windows version of this program. I installed wine and winesetuptk, used winesetuptk to configure the installation, then ran the installation program. Everything installed, and the program ran up to a point, when it started complaining about a missing DLL. I booted to WXP, found the DLL, copied it to the FAT32 drive, rebooted to Linux, and copied the DLL into the “fake windows” system directory. Soon, it was working great! I can’t believe it - success with wine!

I also have made little headway towards getting Apache and MySQL to working. I changed the process that Apache uses to run as “summersd”, and I was able to see pages (although any pages that relied on a database didn’t work). I still haven’t figured this one out yet…

I’m still getting kernel panics from time to time, and it seems to be whenever I access networking. A suggestion from one of the folks on the WBEL users list was to download the Ultimate Boot CD, filled with diagnostic programs. I downloaded it, burned it, and ran some memory checks. Those checked out, so I’m going to run a “CPU Burn-In” program to see if it can detect errors from the CPU. It runs for up to 7 days, but I think I’ll just run it overnight - folding@home didn’t take nearly that long to crash it before.

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June 25, 2004
  Power at Last!

Upon returning from vacation, I found that the power supply was finally here. After installing it, I fired up the computer, and it works! I fired up my e-mail client (to pull all the mail off the server that I had received for the past few weeks), and downloaded the Folding@Home (F@H) client for Linux. I’ve been running that on a couple of other computers (user name LX_i, team #37825), and I’ll probably write more about it in particular in my regular blog. Anyway, once I got that started, I started reading the e-mail I had missed. Then, the machine locked up!

I reset the machine, and repeated the steps (started Evolution, started F@H), and before long, it happened again. I restarted them both again, but it’s getting late - I’ll have to continue this tomorrow.

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June 15, 2004
  Satisfying a Lust for Power

Searching for power supplies was very interesting. I determined that I needed at least a 300W supply, and considered upgrading case and all. Some of the bigger stores, such as Best Buy, Office Depot, and OfficeMax, revealed nothing under $30 (just for the power supply). I checked some other sites, such as Tiger Direct and TCWO, and found one for $17 on Tiger Direct. I thought that was pretty good, and was planning on ordering it, when a friend (the person I bought the computer from) found one on PC Direct Source for $10. I’ll probably order it tomorrow.

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June 14, 2004
  When Hardware Attacks

I fired up the computer today while I was at home for lunch. I booted it into Windows so my younger son could play a game. When I came home from work, I noticed that the computer was off. Seems that it just completely shut down while he was in the middle of the game. After some hardware troubleshooting, I narrowed the problem down to the power supply. Time to go power-supply hunting…

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