jmm is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: James Manning
Member since: 2000-04-21 19:12:25
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Linux software raid helper and occasional coder.
Linux kernel helper and occasional coder.

In desperate search of a PhD topic.

Trying to get a GNIC-II (Packet Engines gigabit ethernet card, named Hamachi) driver working for 2.3.recent. Ideally one that uses the 2.3 abstraction layers (pci and softnet) rather than the ones Becker coded.

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Why? Simply because it's more configurable and definitely more in-line with what I was using this site for in the first place. Perhaps one day my days will be more free software-centric than they are now (when I only get to occassionally get real kernel work in), but until then it's really not right for me to bog down with my useless chatter.

Jeff got me a stack of 2GB drives so they will be the Linux hosts in the 8 clients. Trying to find a camera of some sort to get some pictures of this set-up on the indep. study web page.. it'd be a nice touch, I think.

jiffies wraps (over 300 just grep'ing for "jiffies -") are all over recent kernels. I can't see why jiffies - last > 5*HZ is still accepted, as using time_before/time_after can (as include/linux/timer.h notes) generate better code (and gcc 2.95.x may make this a reality) than the current situation. Honestly, time_before(jiffies,last+5*HZ) seems valid and even more readable is it's comparing the always-volatile current counter against a value that's both likely to already be in a register and an expression that doesn't include anything volatile. One part is constant, the other doesn't change much. Because of this, we actually end up with more accuracy since we do the comparison on jiffies itself and not the output of a computation involving jiffies.

Ugh, I need more caffeine.

At least everything's set for the trip to Phoenix

Ok, it's been a few days... and me ragging on Matt for not posting diary entries... sheesh.

LAN party at Cameron's was quite nice. Should have taken my system, but it would have meant leaving work and heading back home during a baby shower that my wife was throwing... no thanks. It ended up working out fairly well since Nitin let me get in a few games. I hate his key bindings. They suck. Arrow keys are not the correct keys for direction in Q3A. Argh. Almost beat Bad Mojo even with the crap bindings. Next time, they're mine.

Nitin's box had a RF-based wireless keyboard and mouse from Logitech. Very nice, but something with the MS Intellieye stuff (or whatever it's called) would be trick. Having a wireless mouse isn't that nice if you're fighting with the mousepad all the time (and Nitin certainly was fighting his). Nice JavaOne wristrest for the mouse hand, but no mousepad integration hurt things a bit. Amazing to see such small monitors getting used. I'll have to get one of the Viewsonic 19"'s for the next lan party.

Really considering getting a 98 box (Athlon 750, perhaps) as a sep. gaming box.... it's just getting silly to try and maintain my BP6 as a gaming platform, and with the cable modem a theoretical 8 hours away, I'm not sure I wanna bother. Also, I wanna get somthing with NTSC out with a decent video card... routing the game through the home stereo system would be nice... I'd finally be able to record my games on tape, which would finally put those tapes to good use.

Haven't slept in quite awhile. Drew was a huge help getting Oracle installed on the Linux 4-way Xeon... Oracle 8.1.6 (aka 8iR2) is a very nice improvement over 8.1.5 (aka 8i). It finally includes its own jre in the installer, which ended up making my fetch of jre 1.1.7v3 from metalab quite moot. I like monkeys.

Windows 2000 is inheritly evil. Apparently, none of the drive imaging places feels very comfortable with it, because I can't find anything that does drive mirroring natively. You're stuck booting to some dos floppies, but it gets worse. Ghost complains loudly about supposed NTFS errors (although Win2k doesn't have any problems that it speaks of) so I try switching to Drive Image Professional. Not knowing what the deal was at the time, I go ahead and actually boot Win2k. Very very bad idea. By all accounts, and given the current state of the symptoms, Win2k saw the almost-NTFS on the attempted-ghost-target drive and decided that it would be a good place to put its own pagefile work.

Now, it didn't actually make this as a conscious decision. It maps pagefiles by drive letter. Now the ghost target was scsi id 1 (main drive id 0) and as such showed up as the second drive in all accounts (adaptec controller set to boot off of id 0, even). Unfortunately, Win2k decided (by what rationale I don't know... it certainly continues to evade me here at 5:30am as I write this) that the drive it booted off of wasn't good enough for the title of C: and relegated it to D: Since our ghost target was now available as C:, and since the Win2k registry said paging had to happen as c:\pagefile.sys, you got it.

So sure enough this thing is actually *paging* onto the poor defenseless ghost target that just happens to still be sitting on the scsi chain (in retrospect, never let Win2k boot with a drive that you're not willing for it to totally infect). A shutdown and removal of the drive, for whatever reason, does not lead to a working system. Instead, on boot it now complains about a non-existant paging file, gives nice, clear, detailed instructions on how to fix this under the Advanced -> Performance Options section, then gives you an OK button to acknowledge this.

At this point, I didn't feel too bad. Ok, paging was a little weird, but the machine had booted all the way to the point of reading the registry, GUI mode fully going, basically fully booted. But oh no. That's when you think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is the hellish train of bad coding about to mow you down. Clicking the OK to acknowledge this information of how to fix your oh-so-confused machine (no other buttons available, no other key strokes or combinations do anything), you get a few seconds of processing and then the exact same window pops up again. Yes, you're in Hell's Groundhog Day, and it never stops. Click all you want, We'll Make More! True to form, your only option involves power drop or cycling as there is no method to even get to a shutdown capability.

Ok, so this is actually Win2k Professional Eval build 2195. Maybe this is fixed in a more recent version. Maybe I can do some hacks and get a rescue diskette from a working machine to get this thing back to life. Maybe... I guess we'll see.

Goal was to get a backup copy made, split the first client (4GB drive, all Win2k) into 2GB/2GB, install RH 6.2, upgrade kernel (oops when you ifconfig the acenic up is bad), then make a drive image and propogate around (letting Jeff or George handle everything else that needs fixing after I fix client names and ip changes... oh, and maybe use that SID changer util)

Tried the other TMS fiber card in a 5500... With the card in a PCI slot (not even powered on, just in the slot with the slot switch off), it did enough damage to keep the ServeRAID adapter from getting seen and the machine couldn't boot. Pull it out of the slot, and the machine is fine again. Definitely something wrong with that :)

Ok, enough of a break, back to work!

Trace tool is working again... got SpecWeb traces for single and dual processor setups (marketing seems to care about those) in the bag. Currently working on rewiting the controlling software to do a primitive raid0 across 2 diff ramdrives... should be a hoot

Painfully little done on the IS since everything's been so crazy with tracing (PCI cards that don't behave, some cards that don't even show up, random kernel problems, etc). It's going to be very hard to rationalize a lan party over the weekend when I'm so far behind in the IS work *sigh* I really oughta just get outta the PhD and come back later when I'm more motivated and have a decent topic in mind. We'll see.

I need to meet more people. I think one of my problems career-wise is that people don't meet me (I know, it's my own fault for getting too busy to make the Expo last year) and so I end up being a holed-up labrat stuck being overqualified for the crap that gets thrown at me... I know, stupid rant, but I really want to get out and get into more diverse positions... tracing has been fun and all, but at some point you realize your skill-learn-rate isn't what it used to be, and more importantly it isn't what it needs to be.

I really gotta figure out why 2.3.99-pre6 breaks the eepro100 on the 7000M10 machine... it's just bizarre that a driver so rock-solid for me in every other possible machine and configuration would start giving me problems now.

Back to tracing... Worse slavery than a code monkey.

LUG meeting went well... finally went to Rock-ola (and not the Rat) for dinner afterwards... still need to give Pam a hard time for not showing up (she's the LUG President after all... oh, wait, I forgot that means she should never show up!) It was interesting to see 4-5 LUG'ers not be able to get a presentation working sigh. After awhile, you'd think they'd try getting these things working before the meetings. What a waste.

So the trace tool is acting up again. Chase is finally agreeing that it's likely a colder solder somewhere after the FPGA. The 2V offset and weak peak-to-peak of the signal going into the ECL converter sure seemed to agree, so if we rip the board apart I'm soldering the crap out of those joints. A6 will have all of 1 milli-ohm resistance to go through once I'm done (and yes, I'm aware that's less than BGA :)

I gotta get some more stuff done on the IS.

Met with a financial advisor... Nice guy, but I haven't figured out if he's motivated to help me or plug his buddy the CFP... hmmm

Poor Hornets... maybe next year.

Vanguard is mailing out the forms and fund breakdowns (prospecti... ewww)... at least Kevin was willing to do an overlap report for me... that'll be nice to have around on days like today when my stock quotes page is all blood red... ugh

I need to learn more hands-on Oracle.... that's for sure... I've read about every book possible, but it's just not going to matter until I can get in and deal with large setups hands-on... soon, I hope.

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