Saturday, April 25, 2009

Two kinda old Dells

My grandparents sent me their old Dells, Dimension 3000 and a Dimension 4600. I'll get to work on them when I get back from vacation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oofleschmoop has a good copy of DSL

I got the CF card (10$) and the CF card adapter (20$), and I put a liveusb copy of DSL on there and put them in Oofleschmoop, so now I have him running. Kinda.
CLI only seems to take up 640x480 of the 800x600 pixels on screen, and X only works with 640x480x4.
The worst part is that DSL's toolkit doesn't run in 4-bit, so I can't open most of the useful little dialogs like wifi setup so I could get a better Xserver that supports the Trident Cyber9382 in this thing. It also turns out that the DWL-G650 I ordered is not C2, which is the version that works with DSL, but B5, which will require me to use ndiswrapper + proprietary driver if I want to get it working with kernel 2.4.31.

Luckily, if ndiswrapper doesn't work (going to try it over the weekend), I have another option:
Debian Etch netinstall. If I do this, hopefully it will work with wifi and I'll be able to install packages. I might need to buy a 64MB stick instead of the 32MB stick of RAM that's currently in there because the Debian wiki recommends 40MB RAM, which is exactly what I have (and I don't want to cut it that close). Since I've successfully used the DWL-G650 with Etch, this shouldn't be a problem.
I'll update this with pics tomorrow and hopefully a success story over the weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Well that failed

Do you remember those D-Link ethernet cards I got? Well they came, but Linux 2.4.x doesn't like them. DeLi spits out a bunch of unresolved symbol errors when I try to modprobe the module (which is 8139too) and DSL doesn't even recognize its existence. I have yet to get the module for BasicLinux so I can try it on Nettlewark, but I imagine it won't be much better.

And even worse, I think the 486's power supply is shot. When I turn it on I hear a low frequency clicking noise, and it gets to a higher freq if I switch it to 110.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I just realized something...

The Smart Boot Manager image isn't 1.44MB, it's 104KB. This means I can easily put it on a 5.25" floppy and boot the 486 with it, then select a different floppy to boot from.
Now I need a 5.25" floppy drive...

(What I'll probably end up doing is reconnecting the two floppy drives, and then getting the BL DOS image on the machine via the network card [when I get it], then making 5.25" floppy images with SBM via the 486.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

1 year anniversary.

Wow. I started this blog 1 year ago.

Anyways, on the state of things:
I intend on getting the 486 running by installing a network card and downloading the BasicLinux DOS-loader version. I'll probably find a smallish hard drive for the other eMachine, or maybe just throwing this in it and using my spare 4GB SDHC card.
I installed ethernet network cards in three of the four machines that needed them, the 486 being an exception because it's too old for PCI. I'm getting an ISA adapter for it. Anyone have any tips for installation or is it the same as PCI?
I made a go at giving Oofleschmoop a new HDD when I disassembled a broken iBook G3, but apparently (after thinking the mainboard was borked) the 20GB HDD from the iBook is too much and the BIOS hangs at startup.
It only supports 8GB or less it would seem, so I'm getting a 2.5" Compact Flash to IDE adapter and using a 4GB CF card. This should make the laptop lighter too, so I really like the idea.

Regarding the comments on the last post: I intend on trying out SliTaz and/or Tinycore Linux. Since I now have a spare 20GB HDD I can just pop out the 12GB XP HDD in Neezltrak and put in the spare, which is currently loaded with Damn Small Linux, to test out Tinycore/SliTaz.

I'm also moving all the old desktops from my room to the basement (until the Computer Club is started up) so I can get an internet connection for all of them. In the interest of neatness I have Neezltrak, Fahrigon, and Antikron sitting in a stack running Folding@home. In addition, Blokhmen's logic board has failed again, the major issue being a no longer working fan. Due to holiday shopping and inclement weather I probably won't get him fixed until 2009, so I'm doing everything from Centrikle now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lotsa stuff

Lets see...
Since my last post, I got a Dell Mini 9 (1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD) (one of those new netbooks) and loaded my XMonad config from Esteguan, which it does awesomely with.
Then I got a Dell Inspiron 1200 (1.3GHz Intel Celeron M 350, 256MB RAM, 30GB HDD) from a friend. I've installed Xubuntu on it and am planning to do OS development for the computer club at my school.
That same day I brought home an old 486 from my dad's workplace. It has a 66MHz 486, 8MB RAM, and a hard drive of probably less than 1GB. My dad was also planning on throwing out another eMachines 400i that was supposedly broken, but I stopped him and grabbed it. If it's truly broken I might just salvage parts, if not I'll just install a good Linux distro for it.
About a week later my dad asked for a laptop for the new CNC machines so that the machinist can program them using a simple text editor because the built in editor is unintuitive and kinda sucky. So I've given him Esteguan, and taken the DWL-G650 (he won't need it).
Then, yesterday, I was informed that my cousins had an old laptop sitting around. When I visited them I found a Gateway Solo 5300 (700MHz Intel Pentium III, 192MB RAM, 10GB HDD) in near perfect condition. She had used it from 1999-2001 and then let it sit since then, because she wanted something faster (after paying $1600 for it but two years earlier). Also, I found it to be perfectly speedy, then I installed sidux and now it's even faster.
And I don't talk about this one, but I do have another Thinkpad T20 (700MHz Pentium III [Windows lists it inconsistently as 540MHz and 426MHz, but I don't think they sold T20's like that], 128MB RAM, 12GB HDD) but I need it for robotics so I use XP on it. I'm buying more RAM for it now, as XP really really really sucks with 128MB RAM.

Dell Mini Inspiron 9 is named Centrikle, the Inspiron 1200 is Fahrigon, the 486 and the 7th eMachine are yet nameless, the Gateway is named Antikron, and the T20 with XP is named Neezltrak.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The new Family Computer

I checked the tracking today and it said it was coming tomorrow along with my Ubuntu keyboard from ZaReason, but I looked outside and there was a UPS truck carrying a bunch of packages.
UPS must be pretty fast.

Anyways, I have unboxing pics. ZaReason uses a moderate amount of packaging and this computer is really small for a desktop.
A picture is worth approximately 1235304 words (at this resolution anyways), so I'll just post 'em.

The two packages.

The Ubuntu keyboard, which is _awesome_
Unfortunately we do not have an extra USB mouse so I have to use the one I have for my MacBook so I can't right click on the MacBook for now.

That's the computer's package. I'm actually glad it had all those peanuts, because the UPS lady wasn't exactly treating it like it was fragile.

And now, for the big reveal...
What were you expecting? A pony?

To give you some perspective...
Apparently blogger won't let me rotate the image, but there you have it standing on its side next to Eckle.

That's a bunch of random crap that came with it, including...
I won't need it of course, but it's nice to have something official.

There it is all set up and stuff. I actually have a Webcam I'm going to install (Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000, supposedly it works out of the box with Linux), but it's late here on the East Coast.

So there you have it. Eckle is no longer tasked with being the family computer, and now it can be used for testing the Icebuntu developments I should hopefully have soon when I get a crappy old Dell to develop it on.

Did I say this computer is really quiet?
It is.
Really quiet.

Oh, and it's based on the MSI Wind PC, just in case anyone here has never heard of ZaReason and was thinking "that looks familiar".