Turtles All the Way Down: Firmware and bootloaders.

After rethinking this post a little, I feel a need to caveat things: In a previous post in this series I mentioned the possibility of using an open source System On A Chip because it would simplify the construction process somewhat. I've been doing some more research and I'm not certain that all SoC's (if that is the direction a project like this would go in) require system firmware of the sort we're about to discuss. The Broadcom BCM2835 mentioned earlier, for example, has firmware on board that is sufficient to initialize the hardware and then try to load the …

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Busy times, crazy life.

It's been a really busy week or two so I haven't had time to write much. I realize that it's only common sense, but I still find it amusing that I have the least time to write about what's going on when the most is happening. Funny, how that happens. Anyway, once the opportunity presents itself I like sitting down to make an attempt at describing everything that's been happening. I've mostly been posting hit and run messages to Twitter lately (like everybody else on the planet these days) because I can do that without looking up from everything else …

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Belated LayerOne entry number two.

1048 PST8PDT - Burbank Airport.

What a dump. I finally got to see more of it because I'll be stuck here for a few hours. When I originally arrived we were ushered out of the terminal to the curbside baggage pickup without ceremony, only security guards, so I wasn't able to take the fifty cent tour of the terminal.

It's small. There's noplace to eat, save for a really, really crappy cafe' that serves hideously bad wraps and lousy smoothies. By 'noplace' I mean just that - there are no other places to go in terminal B for food unless you want …

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Random knowledge X.

How to set up a crossover ethernet connection between two Sun Solaris machines:


  • Connect both machines using a crossover ethernet cable.

  • root@solaris-machine-1# ifconfig plumb

  • root@solaris-machine-1# ifconfig netmask

  • root@solaris-machine-1# ifconfig up

  • On each machine, ping the other. If both are reported as being alive, you're golden.


It would look something like this on a live setup:

root@igg# ifconfig ce1 plumb

root@ook# ifconfig ce1 plumb

root@igg# ifconfig ce1 10.0.0.1 netmask 255.255.255.0

root@ook# ifconfig ce1 10.0.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0

root@igg# ifconfig ce1 up

root …

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Random knowledge VII.

The /usr/bin/eject utility on a Linux system is a good way of figuring out which machine has what name in the KVM when you're dealing with a rack of machines, many of which are likely to be mislabelled. Use the eject utility to open the CD-ROM drive and see what machine you're really connected to; then update the labels in the KVM's configuration appropriately.



If your fibre-optic network card isn't seeing any traffic at all, try switching the plugs on the card. Some optical network cables don't have colour-coded connectors so it's easy to plug them into the …

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Random knowledge I.

If you're a Newton user, you've no doubt considered picking up the ObEx stack for NewtonOS, which allows your MessagePad to communicate with other PDAs, such as the Palm Pilot or the HP Jornadas. I highly suggest that you spend the $40us to do so, you won't regret it. It can be tricky at first to get working, though. I spent a good bit of today trying to figure out how to beam entries from the Dates application to a Palm Vx unit, and here's how I did it: First, you need to set up the time at which to …

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