Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

CentOS/RHEL 5 wont boot when converted to vmware with SCSI/SATA Disk

October 20th, 2013 No comments

So you’ve taken your physical install of centos/rhel 5 and cloned the disk into a virtual machine, and now it won’t boot, or even mor eannoyingly it half boots and then tells you it can’t find it’s partitions even though it’s just happily read it’s way through boot.

The usual touted fix for this is to make sure your disk is set to IDE, and this does work, but it’s an annoying fix, so to work as a scsi disk:

edit /etc/modprobe.conf and remove any alias lines referring to scsi_hostadapter and replace with

alias scsi_hostadapter mptbase

alias scsi_hostadapter1 mptspi

alias scsi_hostadapter 2 ata_pixx

then we need to rebuild the initrd so these modules are available at boot

mkinitrd -fv /boot/initrd-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)

and done; sync && reboot :)


Stepping up the game

August 13th, 2013 No comments

Wiresharking lo with a gui on a remote headless server:
(because when your ssl wrapped (stunnel) smtp auth fails, logs aren’t as good as bytes.)

ssh [email protected]
yum install xorg-x11-xauth dejavu-lgc-sans-fonts wireshark-gnome
ssh -X [email protected]

win -assuming you use linux on your desktop ūüėČ

after the break, for windows:

Read more…

Categories: Howto, Linux Tags: , , , ,

A quick thought about SSDs

April 28th, 2013 2 comments

my slow 160tb system disk. Slow but still SATA II

After the break some quick screenshots of HDD benchmarks. -Look at the speed on the SSD ūüėČ

Also, can you believe Samsung 256GB SSD for under £60? Get me one of those :)

Read more…

Categories: HardWare, Linux Tags: , ,

zsh magic

April 6th, 2013 No comments

sometimes you need to copy a file in a remote directory (like backing up a config file).
If its not in your current working directory, then you can end up with silliness like

cp /usr/src/linux/arch/x86/boot/bzImage /usr/src/linux/arch/x86/bzImage.backup

-lots of duplication. I’ve been trying to find a better way for years but never found it.

Khayyam in #Gentoo cracked it within moments of me asking (after setting me onto zsh (a different shell to bash))
with zsh you can do the clever thing of:

echo /usr/src/linux/arch/x86/boot/bzImage !#1.copy

which auto-expands to

/usr/src/linux/arch/x86/boot/bzImage /usr/src/linux/arch/x86/bzImage.backup

massive thanks to Khayyam who also has some immense .zsh customization & scripts on the go. He also suggests that you check out for more excellent tips :)

edit: in bash you can just do cp /path/to/file.png{,.old}

Categories: zsh Tags: ,

32bit Wine 64bit Gentoo

December 24th, 2010 No comments

Gentoo now lets you compile wine with the win32 or win64 useflags.

If you’re on 64bit linux then all your wine “prefix’s” become 64bit as default. My googling of the internet seems to suggest you need an entire 32bit chroot or other sillyness to have some good old 32bit action (I want to play Portal).

WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX="/home/user/.wine-portal" wineboot

is what I’m grepping through my bash history looking for :)

Categories: Gentoo, WINE Tags: , ,

C&C First Decade: Windows 7

December 20th, 2010 16 comments

Command and Conquer First DecadeWell, Christmas time is nearly here, and as much as I hate all the adverts on telly, its a great time of year to get snowed in, crack out the old computer games and put your feet up on the computer for warmth. With this in mind, I’ve written a little guide for getting C&C The first Decade working on a modern Windows 7 system.

Command and Conquer; Tiberian Dawn came out in 1995 and was followed shortly after in 1996 with Red Alert. Hidden in the lounge at my friend Ian’s house with his mum upstairs asleep, his¬†chronically¬†underpowered 233mhz pentium computer¬†wurring away I was absolutely amazed by the entire C&C experience. The installer was immensive and fell modern and damned cool, the video’s looked beautiful and like nothing else I’d experienced and the music track was fantastic. Many hours were lost.

So now, 15 years after the first game was released lets have a go at getting it all running in time for Christmas. After a couple of days of failure (and the need to multiplay with my brother) I gave up getting it running in WINE under Linux and cracked on with a Windows 7 install.

In 2006 Westwood packaged the first 8 years of gaming into one 8gb installer. Some of the games still work “out of the ¬†box”, others (like Generals; ironically the latest games) are a bit of a pig to get going; but they all will work!

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[solved] E17: Cursor problems & no Screen Flip

October 10th, 2009 No comments

After crippling my system (don’t update libjpeg when every single one of your GUI based apps is built against it) I found myself having to reinstall E17.

Two major issues seems to jump out at me, though both are easily fixed.

  1. Screen Flip Stops Working
  2. Xorg starts eating up tonnes of memory.

Read more…

Categories: e17, Linux Tags:

Backlight on the g1

May 3rd, 2009 No comments

I’ve been using the g1 for a few months now on a daily basis, and for the most part I’ve been quite happy with the screen and have never had to change the brightness settings.

I was a little upset when trying to give directions earlier in bright sunlight, as I was squinting quite a lot.

My upset was quickly replaced by amazement as I realied ILd been running for 3 months with the screen brightness turned to 0%; change it to 30% and it was bright and readable again. Fantastic!

Truth be told, as screens go, its almost too bright, I keep finding myself reading in bed and wishing I could make the screen dimmer, but it looks like -15% screen brightness (would not only suck all of the light out of the world, but also) is beyound easy reach.

-as a side note, its quite hard typing on the g1 when you’ve but off the end of your finger chopping onions :(

Categories: Android (G1), HardWare Tags:

Kernel Update Kills Raq

April 25th, 2009 No comments

A week or so ago, I started playing about with the Raq in the hopes of being able to quickly get it doing something (and preferably hidden in a cupboard and not on the desk next to the bed).

I quickly got ahead of myself, and in the process of trying to update it managed to completely screw it to the point where all it would do is display Kernel Panic on the LCD Screen. Turns out that by updating the kernel on the eeprom, it can no longer boot its OS.

If I understand correctly, then the boot sequence for the Raq3 goes like this (when booting from the hard disk).

  1. Decompress + Load Stage 1 kernel from the eeprom.
  2. Initialise the LCD Screen and buttons.
  3. Allow the HDD to spin up and stabilise.
  4. <Boot Menu (if triggered)>
  5. Decompress + Load Stage 2 kernel (from specified boot partition)
  6. Continue standard bootup…

There are some interesting things to note about this. For a start there is no bootloader (eg lilo or grub) as you would need on most hardware as it is built into the eeprom. The eeprom on a Raq3 is limited to 1024k making it quite hard to fit a modern kernel on it, which leads to some interesting issues.

The Raq3’s built in OS uses a customised version of RedHat and boots a linux-2.2 (iirc) kernel which is completely obsolete and has been for quite some time (we are currently at 2.6.29-r1, see this for some idea of context), which then passes off to a linux-2.2 stage 2 kernel on the hard drive.

The latest possible kernel for the eeprom is a linux-2.4.24 kernel, which is still obsolete in terms of current features, but has the power to let us do something clever. There is a sourceforge project you can get this latest cobalt-rom (2.10.3) release (containing the afformentioned 2.4 kernel) but bear in mind the project was last touched in 2003.

When I updated the eeprom to the 2.4 kernel, its quite obvious that it would freak out when trying to load the 2.2 kernel (stage 2). -Or is it the 2.2 freaking out at being loaded by a 2.4?

It was at this point it got shelved for a couple of weeks whilst I flailed about the great intertubes trying to find a fix.

One thing became clear; The only way out is up!

Categories: Cobalt Raq3 Tags:

The Raq3 -an introduction

April 23rd, 2009 No comments

So I got gifted a Sun Cobalt Raq 3, and before I had the chance to see it, I thought I was onto a winner.

Cobalt sounds cool, and hey, its a 1u Sun box, surely its gotta be ace!

Turns out to be a 498mhz K6-2 (apparently it was a 300 as default), a very strange boot sequence and a bodged version of redhat 2 (iirc) which I don’t care for.

Anyway, after trying to update the firmware and managing to brick it, I’m in the process of trying to get gentoo on it.

Annoyingly, there are no k6-2 stage 3 builds, so I’m currently creating a recent one and am hoping to post it shortly.

I was looking at nagios (ah, gcc has just re-built itself. That took long enough) which is what set me off on wanting a proper server, and I only want nagios as I got gifted a cisco 2900 to play with.

So, its been busy recently. And I’ve been trying to teach myself protools and re-wire a studio. Too much smoke, not enough sleep :)

Categories: Gentoo Tags: