Spending quality time with the Pi-Top.

A couple of months ago for my Lesser Feast I decided to treat myself to a toy that I've had my eye on for a couple of months: A Pi-Top laptop kit.  My fascination with the Raspberry Pi aside (which includes, to be honest, being able to run a rack full of servers in my office without needing to install a 40U rack and a new 220 power feed), it strikes me as being a very useful thing to have under one's desk as a backup deck or possibly a general purpose software development computer.  Most laptops have one unique …

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State of the Time Lord: I never could stay put for very long...

I'm writing this update from Lyssa's parents' house once again - the holiday is here once again (however you happen to celebrate it), and this year we've gone back to visit our families. We left around 1200 EST5EDT yesterday in an attempt to beat the traffic rush headed to points north, west, east, and everywhere but the southern half of the compass rose. Traffic, weather, and being worn out from staying up far too late the night before being what they are, we pulled in around 1730 EST5EDT, a respectable timetable for leaving at noon.

The fairest thing you can say …

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Looks like Windbringer's on the ropes.

I think the USB v2.0 chipset in Windbringer is failing - all USB v1.0 and v1.1 devices I've used work fine, but now the bottommost jack is acting flaky. All storage devices plugged into the bottom are unreliable, and vanish (from the OS' point of view) randomly, leaving stale file handles and hung processes all over the place. I've seen this pattern of behavior before: Once USB fails completely, everything else tends to collapse like a house of cards during flu season.

Stopgap measure: Purchase a USB v2.0 PCMCIA card. Going to do that tonight.

Solution #1 …

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The Pixies almost had it right.

Yesterday wasn't so much a wave of mutilation as it was a stormfront of WTF sweeping across the land. While I can't really put my finger on any one trigger event that caused yesterday to go west in a serious way, I can outline more or less what happened. First off, the hard drive in my workstation at the office decided to pack it in while I was working on something, which turned the rest of the day into a mad dash to find a new drive and rescue everything that I could. Finding a replacement drive took somewhere around …

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On the road again, and this time after not a bit of adventure.

I'm in the field again on assignment, this time well south of the Mason-Dixon line. Far enough south, in fact, that people actually have accents, and truck stops are the primary means of acquiring what one needs to live, such as food, fuel, and automobile parts. It seems that my cow-orker and I didn't get the luck of the draw when it came to the hotel this time. We're staying in hotel that specializes in hosting conventions and conferences near the beach, but doesn't specialize in actually putting people up for the night. On the whole, it's not such a …

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Archive: 20070108

Note to self: All the walking in DC is making me go through tennis socks faster than I can replace them. I've blown through six socks in three days because they've ripped through without warning walk walking down the street. This is a little annoying because I feel like a slob. It's 2007, so the time for upgrading is probably upon most of us. To wit, here's something that should leave just about everyone drooling in anticipation: This Thursday upcoming, Hitachi will put their one terabyte hard drives on the consumer market with an opening price of $399us. The drives …

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It's now 41 degrees Farenheit, and trying to rain. What gives?!

This morning, after arriving at the Metro station closest to my office and climbing the escalator (I need exercise, what can I say?) to the platform closest the street, I noticed something that you don't hear very often in downtown DC: Swimming through the air thanks to the odd accoustics of the Metro station above the sound of the traffic was music. Live music, replete with the little vibratos and imperfections that come with playing the same particular instrument for many years for hours on end. Pan pipes, a wooden flute, bass, and a drum machine.

After going topside again …

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65 degrees in January??

It is now officially the middle of January - so why is it 65 degrees Farenheit and why are there people walking around in shorts and t-shirts? No, seriously, what gives? I'm sitting here in khakis and a polo shirt in downtown DC (wishing that I was working from home because it is, apparently, a holiday and as such 90% of the city has the day off) in a building that's so empty that most of the hallway and office lights weren't even turned on to conserve power. It's a little creepy, actually.

Friday night I wound up staying up late …

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Doesn't anyone sell flippin' bookcases anymore?!

It's been an interesting weekend, to be sure.. Lyssa and I have been in the market for a couple of things lately, namely a bookcase or media shelf of some kind that we can migrate our DVD collection to, and ring binders that we can move our CD collections into while we rip and encode everything. So, to that end, we spent Saturday driving around searching for stuff along those lines. In two days, we didn't find any bookcases anywhere we looked (well, that's not entirely true, I did find one bookcase, a floor model at OfficeMax, but the construction …

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Linux on the Dell Inspiron 700m.

Distributions successfully used:

Hardware assay:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium-III M, 1.6 GHz, clocked at 3193.03 bogoMIPS

  • Memory: 512MB

  • Chipset: Intel ICH4

  • Video: Intel 855GM. Hardware graphics acceleration works.

  • USB chipsets: UHCI, EHCI, OHCI. Use all in-kernel drivers.

  • Audio: Intel i810. Use in-kernel ALSA drivers.

  • Modem: Intel AC'97 Winmodem. Use SLmodem ebuild.

  • Wireless networking: Intel IPW2200. Use IPW2200 and IEEE 802.11 ebuilds.

  • PCMCIA/Cardbus: Texas Instruments PCI7420 Use in-kernel Yenta driver.

  • Firewire/IEEE 1394: Texas Instruments PCI7x20

  • Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments PCI7420/7620 CardBus/OHCI

  • Ethernet: Broadcom BCM4401/B0

  • Touchpad …

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