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Journal: Middle of Finals Week

Journal by Student_Tech

2 More finals left to go, the Math 273 (Calculus 3) and CE 211 (Statics). Forgot a calculator for my assembly language programming class so lost some easy points because of a clock frequency, this many clock cycles, how long will it take? question.
Lets see what else has happened since last journal? I got promoted to mac tech where I work, so that means I am responible for about a dozen macs as both a tech and as software developer (at least I think the developer is part of my jobs for this at the moment). From what I under stand next semester they want to split it into 2 jobs, one is the tech to fix and maintain the machines, and the other is the development.
Among other things I did today I think I fixed a problem with the network home directory mappings on the OS X 10.3 machines that worked fine under 10.3.2 that failed to map the home directories in 10.3.3. For now I have a temp solution(kludge?) on one machine to verify that it actually works. If it works then I'll talk to the people elsewhere to get it fixed for the rest of the machines (LDAP stuff in an Active Directory I think is how this is all accessed). For those who are currious (and beleive me, it took a while until I found what I was looking for, some keywords 10.3.3 failed home directory homedirectory mappings smb not found mount), the mounts from the LDAP server was passing a string like this:

"url==afp://;AUTH=NO%20USER%20AUTHENT@server/Share" -For note that is one whole line, no spaces, if you see a space just remove it.(thats what the %20s are for)

in one part of the VFSOpts field, well it worked for the 10.2.8 machines and the 10.3.2 machines, despite the fact that they had been mounting to a windows server using SMB for the actual home directories(and had the SMB stuff under the users HomeDirectory entry from LDAP), so for now that machine has a manual NetInfo entry of :

"url==smb://;AUTH=NO%20USER%20AUTHENT@server/Share" -See previous thing about spaces

and appears to be mounting it correctly, at least it didn't complain about not being able to find the user's home directory. Testing that with the 10.2.8 installation on a laptop I have (part of the job ) seemed to suggest that 10.2.8 has no problem using smb in there either. (and yes, all the home directories on the OS X machines use SMB for connection to the network server for users with the exception of the administrative account on the machine). So to make it simple, 10.2.8 and 10.3.2 I have verified that it makes no difference in the entry for it to be AFP or SMB there, but in 10.3.3 it does make a difference (actually did not do the manual NetInfo entry with AFP because the LDAP stuff was already passing it that way). All of the old reference material said the AFP way, but it also said you couldn't have SMB home dirs, well 10.3 I think did offer home dirs via SMB and 10.2.8 also supports home dirs via SMB.

User Journal

Journal: I guess another update

Journal by Student_Tech

Well, I guess this is another update.

The 2 HP PA-Risc machines we got at the last auction have been consilidated into one, so now it is dual processor w/ 320MB of ram, but still a single 4 GB drive. Not bad considering each machine cost $5 and came with keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

This month (last Feb), I got an old laptop they had for $50. Old Sharp, 100 Mhz Pentium, 24MB of ram, 256 color LCD display max 800x600 (external display 16bit @ 800x600 and 24 bit @ 640x480, 8bit @ 1024x768), 1 GB hard drive, CDROM and Floppy swapable into bay, floppy can be connected externally. Battery appears to be working (only test so far involved playing VideoCDs, lasted about 40-50 minutes under what I think is fairly stressful(CPU just a little faster then necessary for smooth, and constand CD access)) Only gripe I really have so far is that the PC Card slots are non-Cardbus so I am limited in what cards I can get. I did get a network card from the on campus student computing support for $50 (ironic that the net card in it cost as much as the laptop it went into). Other gripe is that it is a charge OR use on the battery, not both. For now it has Win98 on it, and unless I get a bigger hard drive it is probably going to stay that way, although I at least got Cygwin on there and using the X11 server in it, I saw the tricks that was X11.
For the network, because I registered it with the oncampus computer people, it uses DHCP when plugged into the campus network. Fine, except for when I plugged it into my network in my room as my main computer is playing firewall, so I got a DHCP server now running off internal network card so I just plug and chug as opposed to modifing network settings everytime I want to change where I am.

User Journal

Journal: I should be sleeping 1

Journal by Student_Tech

Well, it's about 2:15AM local time. Decided I should put down some update things...
        I got a NEC MultiSync 4PG monitor @ the surplus sale last Tburs. They still have many of these hanging in classrooms on campus(they all seem to be smaller classes, with the larger ones getting projectors). It is 27", has S-Video, and Composite in(utilizing an BNC connector) as well as RGB(via HD15 and BNC plugs). Supports NTSC, NTSC-4.43(instead of 3.58Mhz for color, it is at 4.43 Mhz (same freq as PAL, but still an NTSC color signal), and PAL(only PAL50, no PAL60, and NTSC-4.43 is wrong colors but is viewable when PAL60 is outputed) via a switch on the back. Supposedly it can do 15-50Khz, and I can confirm that the high end seems to be working fine, don't know how well it will take to a 15.75Khz (TV horizontal sync also 480i) on the RGB, but I hope so. First monitor I have gotten with a bulit in fan too. Using my computer as a test source, it seemed to do 480p and 720p (or as close as I can emulate them) via the RGB (HD15, not the BNC (no cable to test the BNC, but my friend was running a laptop @ 1024x768 via BNC fine the night before)) connector just fine. 1080i and 480i seemed kinda funny, but my drivers and card may have been not putting out a real interlaced signal. (No, it wasn't broken either so I am pretty sure it can handle it). (If I get bored, I need to try and Tri-Head my computer, 1024x768 (Max on my 15" and what seems to be max for the 4PG) on each monitor, 15", 20", and 27" just to see what it looks like.)
      Ordered one of the KeyDigital transcoders that takes component in and provides an RGB signal out, gonna see how the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube look on the monitor using their component outs and see how well HDTV looks with them. I know that some of those systems do offer RGB out, but if I wanna run HDTV and it looks like I'm gonna have to use the component. PS2 also drops to component when running DVD, even when set to do RGB. It also seems to be the simple easy way (RGB for Gamecube I understand you need to take the sync from the composite on the other (analog) output, don't wanna have to build that many circuts). Maybe if I get bored (again) I will work(take apart) on my VGA box for my dreamcast and set it up to let me select RGB @ 15.75 Khz, or RGB @ 31.5Khz (VGA), and see how well that works. (The DC doesn't offer component out, but does offer RGB,

      My friend and I also got another Alphaserver 2100, this time it had 2 275Mhz Alpha procs, as well as 512MB of ram, and a 4GB SCSI drive.(last AS 2100 we got was just the case, MB, and PS, no HD, no CDROM, no I/O board, no Proc, no memory, nothing. Got it for $5 and spent $75 getting it running(memory board, proc, and I/O bored. HD were another lot @ the auction but they only cost $10 and had a CD-ROM as well). Gonna combine that procs and memory with the contents of our other AS 2100 and go 3-proc, 640MB of ram. Also got some HP 9000 J210 boxes. They use the PA-RISC chip so they should be another fun box to play with. He also picked up one of the 4PGs, mostly because we got an arcade cabinet whose controller board for the tube died, and if we put the 4PG in we can now run most any raster arcade games ever released(most, not all as there are some really oddball ones out there). We might even try the "NBA on NBC Showtime"/"NFL Blitz" game we got @ medium res (25Khz IIRC). If we get a system that wants VGA we can even do that now.

Well I spent 30 minutes on this, time for bed now.

Updated 11:45AM localtime, same day took my composite output from my gamesystem (in this case an xbox), ran that into the Green BNC plug on the RGB adapter because the monitor supported Sync-On-Green. Got a stable, green tinted picture.(why green? Because nothing else was plugged in). So I can now confirm that it will handle 15.75Khz in via the RGB (at least the BNC, not sure about the HD15 plug).

Update, Feb 08 got the transcoder that shifts the color space from YPbPr(aka component) -> RGB. The image is shifted horizontally but if I play with which sync it is using (green or just feeding a seperate veritcal) I can get it to look decent at 480i,480p,720p,1080i.(Can't find the horizontal or vertical adjusts on this NEC, either they are internal to the unit or you have to use the remote to set them). At the moment I have borrowed a Xbox HD AV Pack from a friend and have been running the Xbox @ Progressive, also won a DVD player that does progressive out and they both work fine. Now I just need component cables for PS2 and GameCube and I'll be set.(And more games that do progressive out of course).

User Journal

Journal: Anonyance

Journal by Student_Tech

Well putting this up is probably a dumb idea, because the troll posting this will have their day made but

Ok some post (example here, with some of the centricies pulled out, *replaced words* or *comment*):

*START OF POST*
I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you *SOMETHING* fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a *SOMETHING* box (*Some powerful computer such as a PIII 800 w/512 Megs of RAM* ) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this *SOMETHING* box, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.
In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Emacs Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various *SOMETHING* machines, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a *SOMETHING* box that has run faster than its Windows counterpart, despite the *SOMETHING* machines faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this *powerful computer mentioned earlier* machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that *SOMETHING* is a "superior" machine.

*SOMETHING* addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a *SOMETHING* over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.
*END OF POST*
--------------------------------
So far in a quick search of slashdot I have found this posts:
BSD related stories: here, and here (These 2 posts are the same word for word, only their subjects differ)

Windows related story (replace any instances of windows with BeOS R5) (and I am not aware of a Pentium @ 225Mhz machine being sold ) : here

Complaining how packet (at 1200 or 9600 baud) is slower than their WiFi connection (If I understand the post correctly: .0096 Mbs > 1 Mbs(low speed of WiFi IIRC )) ( "WiFi enabled laptop, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Ham Radio/TNC combonation" - from comment ) here

Mac story one(for note: A friend of mine copied 8GB (yes, GB) of stuff over a 100Mbs network his TiBook, took less than 45 minutes(Stuff at my house before he left for college)): here.

A post done in a similar fashion, but not the same format of it saying how their hub is so much faster than some Cisco devices when they are transfering a file (and that their hub does a better job of routing, I was not aware that a hub (a layer 2 device ) could route ( a layer 3 operation )(I mean route as TCP/IP type routing (as taken from post)) ) here.

User Journal

Journal: Well, I'm back

Journal by Student_Tech

Well, I'm back in the dorms, waiting for school to start up next week. Got a BBQ @ a friends' apartment (yes, there is more than 1 friend at that apartment), so maybe I'll add more later.

User Journal

Journal: Done with Frosh Year

Journal by Student_Tech

Well I'm done. I'm going home tomorrow/later today (depends on your time zone). Got a bunch of my stuff packed up, but still have somethings to pack.
Only things I can say about finals is, linear algebra/math 220 was ok, GenEd 111 was easy, Phys 201 sucked. Phys is curved though so hopefully it sucked for everyone.
Biggests things I will miss being home at summer: General chaos of bugging friends, not having parents around, and the high speed internet, big screen TV, dining center food (at least the cereal and milk always being there)
Things I wont miss: Communial bathrooms, people playing music loud that I don't want to listen too.

Well time to go and try to find a summer job.

User Journal

Journal: Less than 1 month left

Journal by Student_Tech

Got less than a month left of school this year. Can't say too much. At the surplus auction a few weeks ago bought an SGI Crimson with the Reality Engine and a AlphaServer 2100 (sans I/O board, CPU, and memory) and a Sun SparcStation IPC for $10. Ended up spending $35 to make a cable to plug the SGI in the laundry room because it has a 20 amp outlet. No monitor so we have done everything via the serial console so far. From what it looks like it was used for VR in the Mechanical Engineering part of the school, at least when it was first booted up that was who it was trying to call home to. Also asking the admin over there he had heard of the machine, but had never actually used it. We (my friend and I) guess it might have been worth $75Kish new in 1992-4. This machine at least has Irix 6.2 on it with the XFS file system. We didn't have the root password, but linux with XFS support fixed that once we got a SCSI card. We were glad because we A) No Irix Disc, and B) If it had been EFS (precursor to XFS) linux only has read-only support for that.

The alphaserver, so far we have purchased: I/O board, 275/4 Processor, and 128MB memory board. We also got the old hard drives (different lot, those cost $5) for it. It at least has EISA and PCI in it so we can hopefully just drop in any random video card in it. Linux is gonna go on that alpha as well I think. We know that it was IT's and they pulled parts before it went to surplus because they had another machine the parts could be used in so that is why we are buying so many parts.

The sparcstation is going to be Solaris 7 I think, it is a cute little box and if the memory wasn't so funny on it we would have linux on it as well (Ramdisk troubles). I haven't used NetBSD which I understand handles the memory problem much better.

Both the SGI and the Sparcstation have AUI ports for ethernet and we haven't bought any transceivers for them yet, and they don't like the cross over cable we made to connect them to a hub with an AUI port.

User Journal

Journal: Update again?

Journal by Student_Tech

Well can't say a whole heck of a lot. We got the one 4-player arcade working with the board I killed (cap that blew was a common one to blow when 12v on the 5v line) after we did some rewiring. I was the lucky person to play with the convergence/purity stuff on the back of the tube so that a white line was white vs. yellow and blue lines in addition to the white line. When we checked the coin counter in it we found that about $38000 in quarters had run into that machine in the 12 years or so of its existence.

User Journal

Journal: Update, I guess

Journal by Student_Tech

Well this semester so far seems to be easier than last semester. Most challenging class so far: Phys. 201, mainly because the labs are due 5PM the next day. Intorudction to Linear Algebra seems like a walk in the park compared to Calculus 2 (which I some how passed with a C+).

My friend and I like to go to the surplus sale/auction that is held by WSU once a month, last month we bought 2 working (AFAIK) arcade cabinets @ $25/each, but with out any working game boards(and lights, but they are easier to replace), they did have everything else, including 6 coin units which new sell for about $80/each. We have verified that one of the monitors seems to work, only problem is that the color guns aren't pointing at exactly the same spot. (I should say that the other one at least changes color when power is applied, so we think the tube is good.) We are both very weary of playing with the business end of a CRT. The other one had a remote board for somethings like V-Hold and 4 of the 6 potentiometers were broken so we haven't tested it yet.

One of the cabinets originally was a 4 player TMNT cabinet (says so on label on back), the other is a 2 player mortal kombat II, and hadn't been converted to anything else. The TMNT cabinet was on its 3rd or 4th game and had 2 JAMMA harnesses in there that were messing us up, so that is a rehookup project. One of the problems had been that the Composite sync from the JAMMA harness was running to +Vsync on the CRT control board, once that was hooked to -HSync (which actually is tied to a composite signal) it works fine with a PC-TV converters RGB scart out.(and someone told us as we were hauling it that the tube was broken....)

My friend is getting some cheap JAMMA boards for us to test with before we go getting the games we want to finally install, TMNT Tutrles in Time (for the 4 player cab that was TMNT), and Tekken 3 (for the MK2 cab). We are also debating who all will have access to the service swith...(are we that mean to our friends? You haven't seen 2 of them playing Tekken3 through BleamCast on my friends DC, that alone may pay for all the repair and the initial costs.)

User Journal

Journal: Got the computer

Journal by Student_Tech

Well that computer I mentioned last journal entry was delivered on Tues and Wed to my home and my parents brought it up today (Friday 17th). Only problem so far is that it is LOUD. Oh well, I will live to deal with it and my head phones do a good job at blocking the sound(block, not drown out). I'm still working on stress testing it, as I need to find the ideal setting for the processor fan (adjustable pot on the outside of case for speed).
  Update: 21-Jan-2003. Realized that the last entry I said only the video card and a 60GB hd were going to stick arround. I did keep those in addition to the 17GB drive and the sound card, because the onboard sound isn't fully support by the general 2.4 kernels yet.

User Journal

Journal: Back at school 1

Journal by Student_Tech

Well, I'm back at school. Classes don't start till Monday, but I'm back here Friday because my ride wanted to come back. Computer stuff I ordered is taking its sweet time to get delievered and it will be sent to my normal home (bunch of stuff from googlegear, only things from current computer that will be kept for newer computer is a 60GB hd and a GeForce2 graphics card(gonna wait before getting a new one, I don't need the newest out there)). Bought a PS2 and GTA3 with Christmas gift money, not sure why I did becuase a 19" monitor or better speakers would have been better, but I did. (Brother loaned his PS2, GTA3, Bouncer, Armored Core2:Another Age, but not MY FFX, or MY Memory Card or MY Controler, about April, guy left town and we haven't showed up at his current residence yet (back in town though)).

Education

Journal: 1 Week til Finals...

Journal by Student_Tech

Well got 2 weeks til break. 1 Week left of classes (dead week so no homework) till finals. Gotta get some studying in for the finals sometime in the next week. Altough listening to my GenEd prof. dead week is the week some students choose to get plastered because of the lack of homework, so it will be interesting to see how people show up for classes this week (both numbers and what they look like).

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Journal: Oct 31... 2

Journal by Student_Tech

Well its Oct 31, I'm going as a poor college student. Haven't decorated although I was with my friends when they got supplies for their floor in the next building. Last I heard they were going to pick up some black light bulbs to place in every other fixture in the hall.

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Journal: Well a bunch of weeks down a few more to go 1

Journal by Student_Tech

Got down with second chem exam earlier tonight, 2 more left to go (1 mid-termish type and 1 final). Am starting to realize how boring my life truely is. Haven't really made any friends and am isolated for the most part from people. I know some of college is the academic work, but still I need a social life of some sort, if nothing else just some other people to hang around with that I haven't known since middle school.

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Journal: One mid-exam down, 2 more to go

Journal by Student_Tech

Last night had my first mid-term exam. I have 2 next week for some of my other classes. I then will have to do this 2 more time, another mid-term and then the final. It went ok, my biggest problem was that the seats were very uncomfortable.
On the plus side, no quiz or lab this week in Chem becuse we had an exam this week.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer

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