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Radio, box-side smelting... it's all the same, really.

As my last journal entry stated so succinctly, I'm home. Woo hoo!

Lots of work stuff to do:

  • Install Mandrake 9.0 on my new 2.4GHz box.

  • Install XP on Tracy's machine.

  • Commit a whole bunch of OSCAR stuff.

  • Work on a LAM/NSF proposal with Andy.

  • Get PIPT working for an SC2002 demo.

  • Finish the LAM boot SSI.

Lots of home stuff to do:

  • Re-setup my home office; probably re-layout the room with the new computer, tidy up (hide?) wires, etc.

  • Re-setup my wireless network access

  • Clean up (read: add shelving) in my "server closet"

  • Integrate Tivo better into TV system downstairs (volume doesn't work right)

  • Investigate multi-function remote controls to do Tivo/TV/cable/etc. integration better

  • Caulk up the back door

  • Finish going through all the bills and things that piled up while I was gone

So I installed Mandrake 9 on my new Dell Dimension 4500. Woo hoo! Only problem is -- performance stinks. :-(

Specifically -- disk performance stinks. As in whenever there is big disk activity going on, the machine "pauses". After doing some digging around, I started playing with hdparm, since that can have a huge impact on performance. I discovered that hdparm won't let me set using_dma to 1. So I can't use DMA with my disk! Doh!! Not being able to use DMA certainly explains the kind of behavior that I'm seeing...

After doing more digging around on the web, it seems that this is a known issue with Linux kernel 2.4.19 (which is what MDK 9.0 is). And it's not really Linux's fault -- it's the BIOS's fault for not setting up the device properly. Later Linux kernels (i.e., patches since 2.4.19) have apparently worked around this issue.

Arrgh. Haven't quite decided what I'm going to do about this yet.

And now the NIC is giving me lots of trouble, too (lots of error/dropped packets) -- don't know if this is another symptom of the same problem, or a different problem altogether.

I found that the new version of xwrits has a rabid new function that does lock the screen once an hour to force you to take a wrist break (as opposed to just popping up a window saying "it's time to take a break!).

I fried my Linksys WAP today. :-(

All I did was upgrade the firmware (the upgrade software told me that the upgrade was successful), and then it became totally unresponsive. I called tech support, and they advised me to contact the Returns department and see if I can return it. I bought the thing a long, long time ago and no longer have the receipt for it -- I kinda doubt that they'll take it back. :-(

Comments (1)

Michael Dingwall:


I’ve noticed that you do a lot of work with PIPT. I’m am currently working on a beowulf cluster and wanting to write an application or a pluggin for CinePaint that will use PIPT as well as the mpi libraries installed on the cluster.

Do you have a good explanation on how to use the PIPT, since all the documentation that I have found sucks. Some examples of some code would be great as well.

In advance I appreciate all the help you could give.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 25, 2002 7:19 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Wooow... she even infused the meringue with an insusient hint of lemon zest!.

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