23 Apr 2002 scjody   » (Journeyer)

I finally got around to working on the USB controller board for my DAC on the weekend. Unfortunately, I had to go double sided to get power everywhere it needs to go, but I should be ready to etch later this week.

I've been having some trouble with my house server/router. It started crashing and reporting memory size mismatches on reboot. I traced the former problem to the old DE200 Ethernet adaptor and the latter to bad RAM. Both have been replaced. My current problem is that the replacement card, a via-rhine, has driver issues: eth1: Transmit timed out, status 0000, PHY status 782d, resetting..., after which eth1 must be brought down then up to get it working again. I should be able to fix that though. One good thing about this problem is that I now have a working terminal in my kitchen, a Commodore PC 10-II connected via null modem to the (headless) server. It boots FreeDOS via floppy A:, then loads nansi.sys and an ancient terminal emulator called SEAlink from floppy B:. All Free software! A few issues remain: Dvorak keyboard support, nansi.sys sometimes drops characters (or maybe SEAlink does - can an XT with an 8250 UART handle 9600 baud?), and SEAlink uses ESC as its escape character.

At work, I am doing research into a rather strange problem: how to keep our (highly complex) software independant of the underlying system. People might want to install RPMs that conflict with RPMs we need, and dependancy solvers like Red Carpet will not work perfectly 100% of the time, so I am researching how to create a paralell system, say in a separate directory, that contains exactly the RPMs we want. My current idea is to ptrace all of our processes and remap any I/O they do to our directory. I'm not sure if that will work all the time. I welcome any suggestions on better ways than ptrace, or any comments at all on what I am trying to do. A second option, perhaps, is a hacked glibc, but that won't catch apps that do I/O directly with syscalls. Personally, I am not convinced that creating a paralell system is a good idea, but others at the company want it so I will try my best to make it work.

Oh yeah, amars: gluch from July, 2001

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