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Hardware Hacking

Journal Journal: Swept volume display?

I saw this post by russotto on the 3D TV article:

Well, there's the old rotating disc displays, with a disc which sweeps out a volume; the image is projected onto the disc. The disc is still 2D, but the light from the image to your eye is actually coming from a space, not a plane. Apparently similar things are actually used; the generic name is swept-volume volumetric display.

Sounds like something one could do with a projector display, electric motor, white flat piece of cardboard, and microcontroller. Would make a nice garage project sometime...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Brain damage keeps me in computer hell 1

I never did get dosemu running. My Asus EEE still has the crap Xandros install. I don't think they ever upgraded any of the several vulnerable packages. I would rather not risk using it, but I haven't been able to get an alternative working. I thought about using slax for it, but I don't know if you can save stuff (maybe I have to make another partiton?). Slax would be the easiest to get going--it already works out of the box.

Then there is the netvista machine. If it doesn't wait for 5 minutes before going graphical, the hardware locks up. The emachine should work, but the system is installed, but I haven't been able to configure it. I haven't gathered the brain power to do it, at least when I remember it exists.

Then I need a new cell phone. The it keeps erasing the RAM--probably the battery slipping--I took off the casing when installing. I don't know why it is doing it so much now, I've had it for quite a while. I think this is new, at least doing it so often. Then today it didn't go off for the alarm to do laundry, so here it is almost 6pm, and I just started it now. I should probably do shopping too.

Oh, yeah having brain damage is fun!

The Courts

Journal Journal: The SCO of the 1800s

I saw this movie on TV, "The Baron of Arizona". It is about a guy who tried to falsify a claim for massive amounts of land in Arizona. Apparently, it was a real story: His name was James Reavis. He did time in prison for the fraud.

I wonder if the guys at SCO will do time for what they did? Knowing the state of things here in the US, most likely not. Tomorrow they'll probably come out with patent documents "proving" they invented the internet / computers, and everyone has to pay them royalties.

Data Storage

Journal Journal: filesystem comparison

I found this article on It has a comparison of the ext3, reiserFS, JFS, XFS filesystems. There is a less interesing article somewhere else saying basicly the same thing (don't remember link), and MythTV suggests using XFS. I am going to try a XFS partition for a while. I have problems with my cheap crappy DVD drive anyway, so maybe I will try it with a cache for watching my DVDs (most of what I read inidicate it is best for huge files). Still need to install my TV card and MythTV though...I'm sure they will benefit too.

From the summary at the end (I haven't read it all yet):

These results replicate previous observations from Piszcz (2006) about reduced disk capacity of Ext3, longer mount time of ReiserFS and longer FS creation of Ext3. Moreover, like this report, both reviews have observed that JFS is the lowest CPU-usage FS. Finally, this report appeared to be the first to show the high page faults activity of ReiserFS on most usual file operations.

While recognizing the relative merits of each filesystem, only one filesystem can be install for each partition/disk. Based on all testing done for this benchmark essay, XFS appears to be the most appropriate filesystem to install on a file server for home or small-business needs :

I've just been using ext3. Looks like I've been using the wrong filesystem all this time.

UPDATE 20070721:

I've been using XFS for a while now, though only for data storage (audio and video), not the main system. It does seem nice. My only reservation about using it for the main system would be running into a prebuilt kernel which doesn't support it. I usually build my own kernels anyway. I should take the leap. ;-)

UPDATE 20080603:

I have been using XFS for my /home directory. Quite nice. Certainly less of a pain on bootup, since it never needs to be fsck. Even ext3 still insists upon fscking every X mounts or X days. I know this can be adjusted, but XFS seems to do it on the fly. In fact, the XFS check utility will ask you to mount and unmount if the filesystem wasn't unmounted properly to write any pending queued information--crashing happened quite a bit because of buggy Nvidia drivers, so I have lots of experience with it. XFS did quite well. I don't think it lost any information.

I am also trying out xfsdump for backups. Been using tarballs--they were effective, but I would like to have the ablility to do incremental backups too. Finding ways to routinely store multi-gigabyte files is not easy.

I am still worried a bit about compatibility and the availability of the tools, so I may not put it on my root partition for a while. Also I've been trying Debain again (still sort of disappointed), but all the XFS tools weren't in the standard install, and the dump utility wasn't on the disks at all--had to download it. Makes me think I should keep some backups in tar form.

Operating Systems

Journal Journal: Could the vmsplice vulnerablility have been prevented?

I was just reading the Linux Kernel Mailing List, and I just saw an interesting message:

... that got me wondering why this attack wasn't stopped by the CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR option ... some analysis later.. it turns out that the following line in the top level Makefile, added by you in October 2007, entirely disables CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR ;( With this line removed the exploit will be nicely stopped. ...

-- From: Arjan van de Ven -- Subject: vmsplice exploits, stack protector and Makefiles

The message then shows a line with -fno-stack-protector. Apparently if you remove that flag, your 2.6.x kernel is safe from the exploit.

Hardware Hacking

Journal Journal: Difference between pc2100 and pc2100A RAM? 3

I know no one reads this, but does anyone know the difference between PC2100 and PC2100A / PC2100B RAM? It is for a A7N266-C motherboard computer I found in the dumpster--don't ask ;-) (Had no ram/no video card)

If anyone bothers to read this and replies, thank you in advance.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sashdot's login system sucks 2

The public terminal login setting sucks. I can't even log in and go to /my/amigos. My amigos gives me a login box, which takes me to the front page. I'm considered logged out as soon as I log in.

I understand why they would have a quick expiration time for public terminals, but this is rediculous. Wouldn't 15 minutes (or 30) make more sense?

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