10 May 2017 mones   » (Journeyer)

Building on a RPi without disc

Nothing like a broken motherboard to experiment alternative ways of building software. This time I've tried to use a Raspberry Pi and, to avoid wearing out the SD card too much, a NFS mount on a Synology NAS. It happens both items were generously donated by two different Claws Mail users some years ago, thanks to them! ;-)

So, after installing all build dependencies and a build helper, how long it took?

configure-claws: Tue May 9 13:28:55 UTC 2017
cd b-claws && env PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/claws/lib/pkgconfig ./configure --enable-maintainer-mode --prefix=/opt/claws > /home/mones/nfs/claws/log-configure-claws.txt 2>&1 && cd ..
configure-claws: Tue May 9 13:34:09 UTC 2017
compile-claws: Tue May 9 13:34:09 UTC 2017
cd b-claws && make -j2 > /home/mones/nfs/claws/log-compile-claws.txt 2>&1 && cd ..
compile-claws: Tue May 9 15:44:28 UTC 2017

Yep, that is more than 5 minutes for configuring and more than 130 minutes for compiling. Not for being in a hurry, but I've built kernels which took more, some decades ago :-)

And if you want to know how to break a motherboard...

One day you're converting some raw photos to JPEG with RawTherapee and the computer shuts down. Then you try again and notice the temperature of the CPU is too high, and it shuts down again, of course. You boot into BIOS and then realize the thermal protection shutdown was enabled (and you thank your past self for having enabled it!). The next day is Sunday and you try to clean inside the case, but there's not much dirt to clean. Dismounting the CPU cooler reveals that the thermal compound has nearly gone though.

The following day you try to buy some thermal grease, but the corner store only has a "P.R.C." labeled syringe and some thermal pad from CoolBox. The thermal pad seems to work fine on first boot, until you try RawTherapee and it shuts down again. Crying doesn't help as you see the temperature monitor increase one degree per second while you're staring at the BIOS (and it shuts down again).

Another day passes and you go to another local store, a bit further than the first, and firmly determined to get a real thermal compound. Nevertheless the store only has two options: expensive one and a cheap one. Store employee says the cheaper works fine, and the label shows indeed better specs than the expensive one. So, not without some hesitation, you buy the cheaper one, which is made by (you figured it out) CoolBox.

Back at home you remove the thermal pad and try to clean the cooler and the processor and to apply not too much compound. Somehow here is where the things go wrong. Maybe while trying to put the cooler in place, maybe while applying compound a second time. The fact is that now there's no video output anymore, and no power is being delivered to USB ports. No video, no keyboard and no idea about what's next.

Anyway, there's not much alternatives, the problem is to know which is the damaged part: CPU, motherboard or both. Ideas welcome ;-)

Syndicated 2017-05-09 23:32:56 from Ricardo Mones

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