Older blog entries for AArthur (starting at number 17)


Those of you who reguluarly read iMacLinux, will notice our new discussion question. The idea is that every few weeks we post a question to everybody in general, with the author's opinion of the question, and readers can give there feed back.

This week it's about the "Quik" booter loader, and distro's support of it. It posts the question of should distros support it, and to what extend. I brought this topic up, as Quik documentation is hard to get at now days, and while most distros include Quik, there is no automated install when setting up the distro, like is avalible for yaboot (in the October LinuxPPC release).

Future ideas for discussions include:

  • What area of PowerMac-specific configurations needs the most improvements?
  • Which PowerMac model do you recommend?
  • Old World vs. New World vs. CHRP. Which OpenFirmware is the nicest to work with, and get working.

    Also, I have another G&H in the works, but it's not ready yet...


    The long Thanksgiving day week is finally here. I can't wait until Thanksgiving dinner, not to mention the prades and "It's a Wonderful Life".

    Speaking of that, I now have ripped several of my Christmas CD's (and downloaded songs I have on records and CDs and some others <grin>), so I have a nice collection to listen to for the holidays.


    I got my Family Life family council done. Now I just have to write it up, and run it by Edge. I heard back from Mr. Rapp over the weekend, he is sending me a letter of thanks, I'll try to get him to sign off my Eagle Service Leadership book soon. All I have left now is my Family Group Project (a holiday video for my Grandparents), and all of that wonderful paperwork stuff. I really want to have the paperwork filed by the weekend of December 5 (the weekend after this one).


    Yesterday, I did my Particapation in Goverment presentation on FCC's decission to suspend the fair time act. I'm glad to have that done, and I am glad I am now going on break from school, until next Monday.

  • It's a Friday. I can (at last!) leave in 25 minutes. And then to bed (eventhough I am not as tired as I was last week).

    Today, I added a projects page to this site. iMacLinux was up for a while yesterday, it appears sourceforge mysql stuff was working for a while. But now it's not. :Z/

    I plan to have ready another G&H for iMacLinux around midnight.

    It's possible that within the next week it will be moved to John's machine, but as I have said before, I have no control over that.

    At scouts last night, the X Patrol discussed planning and excuting events, while the neos worked on other stuff.

    I plan to get Family Life and Personal Management wrapped up this week, and meet with Edge Bagg next week. I still need to also get ahold of Mr. Rapp to get final approval on my Eagle Project.

    I got my report card today (I'm a Senior in Greenville), my grades were: drama 88, chorus 81, gym 87, physics 64, pig 90 and 65 in precalc. Besides the 64 in Physics I'm pretty happy. Bit upset about that, I wonder if that includes the makeup test I took, and Miss. Orris didn't know where they were for a while.

    Okay, this qbasic shit in Advanced Computer class is really getting on my nevers. Especially how you declare strings with a $ at the end of stuff. I much prefer the way bash works. Luckly this is my final qbasic project. I plan to make it my last one (assuming I don't have to do this crap in college).

    Here is another lame qbasic program I did for my beginning programming class:

    'Formula Program


    choose: PRINT PRINT " finUN - (c) 2000, Andrew Arthur, BSDL" PRINT PRINT "This program finds the area of a variety of shapes." PRINT PRINT "Type of Shape Your Finding Area of:" PRINT " 1) Circle" PRINT " 2) Square" PRINT " 3) Rectangle" PRINT " 4) Triangle" PRINT " 5) Octogon" PRINT " 6) Oval" PRINT " 7) Exit finUN" PRINT PRINT "Note: Hitting Return will Quit This Program." PRINT

    INPUT "Type of Shape: ", shape$ PRINT

    IF shape$ = "1" THEN GOTO cir IF shape$ = "2" THEN GOTO squ IF shape$ = "3" THEN GOTO rec IF shape$ = "4" THEN GOTO tri IF shape$ = "5" THEN GOTO oct IF shape$ = "6" THEN GOTO ova IF shape$ = "" OR shape$ = "7" THEN GOTO intheend CLS PRINT " INVALID Value! " PRINT "" PRINT "Please Try Again." PRINT "" GOTO choose

    cir: INPUT "Diameter of the circle: ", diacir INPUT "Units: ", unitcir$ diacir1 = diacir ^ 2 diacir2 = diacir1 * 3.14 PRINT "The Size of the Circle is: "; diacir2; unitcir$; " Squared" SLEEP 100000 devnull$ = INKEY$ CLS GOTO choose

    squ: INPUT "Length of Square: ", sqrl INPUT "Width of Square: ", sqrw INPUT "Units of Measurement: ", unitsqr$ arsq = sqrl * sqrw PRINT "Area of the Square is: "; arsq; unitsqr$; " Squared"

    SLEEP 100000 devnull$ = INKEY$ CLS GOTO choose

    rec: INPUT "Length of Rectangle: ", recl INPUT "Width of Rectangle: ", recw INPUT "Units of Measurement: ", unitrec$ arec = recl * recw PRINT "Area of the Square is: "; arec; unitrec$; " Squared" SLEEP 100000 devnull$ = INKEY$ CLS GOTO choose

    tri: INPUT "Length of Rectangle: ", recl INPUT "Width of Rectangle: ", recw INPUT "Units of Measurement: ", unitstri$ arei = (recl * recw) / 2 PRINT "Area of the Square is: "; arei; unitstri; " Squared" SLEEP 100000 devnull$ = INKEY$ CLS GOTO choose

    oct: PRINT "This finds the parameter of an Octagon with sides all of " PRINT "the same lenght." PRINT INPUT "What is the length of ones side of the Octagon: "; oct1 INPUT "Units of Measument: "; octmeas$

    oct2 = oct1 * 8 PRINT "The size of the Octagon's Parameter is: "; oct2; octmeas$; " Squared" SLEEP 100000 devnull$ = INKEY$ CLS GOTO choose

    ova: INPUT "What is the diameter of the Oval: ", diaova INPUT "Units:", unitcir$ diaova1 = diaova ^ 2 diaova2 = diaova1 * 3.14 PRINT "The Size of the Oval is: "; diaova2; unitcir$; " Squared" SLEEP 100000 devnull$ = INKEY$ CLS GOTO choose

    intheend: CLS END

    16 Nov 2000 (updated 16 Nov 2000 at 04:12 UTC) »

    First off, I want to appologize for the stuff that's been going on down at iMacLinux.net. I have no control over it (nor does any of the iMacLinux staff), I don't even have an shell at the machine at question.

    What's going on? Sourceforge's mysql database is reguluarly refusing connections. Nope, the iMacLinux engine written by Stew Bendict, stores it's data in this database, and it's essential for it's proper operation. He has sent in a help request to Sourceforge, but it has yet to be anwsered.

    So where does that leave us? For now, the site will be hard to access at times, try reloading the page. Sorry. In the very near future, John will be hosting this site on his own machine, that he will have full (root) control over. The only problem to expect with this, is it is on a somewhat limited bandwidth -- which shouldn't be a problem, except due to Slashdoting problems.

    In short, this is what's happened over the past week:

  • New News Articles on iMacLinux (Me)
  • Work on Preparing the New Box (Stew, John)
  • Work on Yaboot GH Again (Me)

    Now the rest of what's going on with my life. Finished up Personal Fitness Merit Badge. Very Happy to have it done. Haven't been on the 'ride' lately.

    Work on Eagle Scout is starting to wrap up -- it's about time, as I need to have it into council by early December. All I have left is:

  • Family Life Group Project - Probably A Family Video
  • Family Life Family Council
  • Get Final Approval on Eagle Project by Town Supervisor Mr. Rapp

    On the Window Manager front, I have decided to change from KDE 2 to Blackbox + GNOME apps, at least for now, for speed reasons. I may go back in the future, I haven't decided for sure. I also messed around with my pppd stuff, so it now dials up on demand (and disconnects upon idle). That's neat.

  • Sorry, I meant to get this up last night, but I feel asleep.

    Here is a rundown of stuff I've been working on over at iMacLinux.net:

  • Some new Howtos. See iMacLinux Guides and Howtos for details. New ones include the Xpmac one, fbset. We do need an X11 catgory. I could add one, except I don't have an scp account on the iMacLinux machine yet.

  • News articles. Although it's been slow lately. I've been trying to avoid the whole PenguinPPC vs. LinuxPPC.org stuff, if you can't tell. I did post an article about that, and well one of the sides (the PenguinPPC people) weren't exactly thrilled about it, so I removed it.

  • Sidebar stuffs. I'm trying to organize the sidebar. I have to talk to staff@imaclinux.net later about what exactly they want to do about that.

    Other stuff going on at iMacLinux, is John Buswell is still working on getting the SDSL line to run the site on, the machine he is going to be running it on is almost up and working.

    PenguinPPC linked us last week. Cool.

    I'm considering volunteering to help out on the LinuxPPC.org site soon. Time is the big thing there. I'm looking at the Desktop Enviroments part, and possible some other sections.

    PenguinPPC is looking for a new look and feel. Take a look at the choices from here, and send a email to Jeramy Smith on what you think.

    I guess that's about it.

  • Wow. It's November already. I just got back from the Scout meeting, it was quite suprising the number of deer on or next to the road. And yes, you can tell it's November in Clarksville, due to the wood smokey, cow shitty heavy air. Which reminds me, I have to get my butt together on this scout stuff.

    Yes, my TI-89 came on Monday. Halloween was awsome (yes, I stayed home and slept through it). I had great fun on the Copland Hill Campout.

    On the iMacLinux front, the sidebar is being redone, and some of the howtos and guides have been updated or added. PenguinPPC, added a link to the site in their sidebar. Hopefully soon I'll be doing more stuff with that site, especially if John comes up with ideas on how to work together.

    The whole LinuxPPC.org vs. PenguinPPC.org is very stupid if you haven't heard already. Last week these sites split apart, due to silly bickering (over the fact that Jeramy wouldn't give Jeff Carr an account on PenguinPPC). Kids, it's time to grow up. Jeff isn't out there to turn PenguinPPC into a advertisement for LinuxPPC. Heck, he has been grumbling about making LinuxPPC, Inc. into a non-profit. Of course an interactive kind of thing would be cool, but Jeramy feels that would be a security risk.

    I've decided not to take sides on this issue, and generally ignore it to whatever extent possible. That said, I'm siding more with Jeramy Smith on this issue, mainly because PenguinPPC has the developer backing. Okay, enough of this stuff.

    The good news is Turkey day is coming closer and closer. Yum. Prades, Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, "It's a Wonderful Life" are all on my mind. I'm taking the SAT's on Saturday, if you cared.

    Sunday Morning, 1:25 - How does feel... to be on your own, like a rolling stone?

    Still waiting for that damn TI-89 calculator I ordered to arrive. I've been waiting for more then two weeks -- something that was suppost to be here in 2 to 4 days. Blah.

    I actually used my CD burner tonight, to do something besides play with CD-RWs. I burned an Audio CD of a bunch of different music -- a mix -- it's cool. I've only had this drive for 3 months -- about time I use it :P

    Lately, I've been fiddling around with Linux 2.4-test10 on the PowerPC. It seems pretty stable, and devfs rocks. Speaking of that, expect soon a G&H on iMacLinux about devfs. Now that the mess with atyfb is fixed, I'm happy again.

    Jeff Carr of LinuxPPC fame called me on Wensday to let me know what's up with LinuxPPC.org. Somehow talking to him in person was kind of neat. Most of the stuff he had to say wasn't important or related to me, but it was nice of him to call.

    Oh, as always, we are looking for people to helpout -- especially on CubeLinux and PowerMacLinux sites -- which need some work. Hey, it wasn't my idea to add them <grin>. Actually, I think it's cool having themed sites like that.

    Rsync has changed around over at penguinppc (its now the main site for Linux-Pmac). At least now it works -- try rsync -avz penguinppc.org::linux-pmac-devel /usr/src/linux.

    I went out for a nice drive today, the scout stuff is comming along nicely too. (But I really need to get my butt in gear). I have some homework -- gasp -- to do before Monday. Sunday Night, 9:00 PM seems like a good time to start.

    Oh, if you want some Greenville, New Yak humor, take a look at PunksofGreenville. Then again, you would probably have to be in Orris' Class to understand it.

    I should go to bed soon, it's getting late.

    Two weekends till the Copeland Hill Camping Trip that I'm going on, and that weekend I get a free extra hour -- the clock goes back an hour.

    38 days, to the best day of the year. That's Turkey Day -- I can taste it already. Lets not forget those wonderful thanksgiving day prades, and "It's a Wonderful Life" on CBS. This is truely the best day of the year. Also, it should be noted, that Christmas is 68 days away, and that y2k+1 is 74 days away. Yum.

    Some new stuff on iMacLinux. Tommorows a monday. Oh well. Listening to the American Gold Christmas Edition 1997 (put on HI-FI video tape, so I don't have to keep flipping/changing the tape).

    <rant> KDE 2.0 is not bloated. It's full featured. If you don't compile in exceptions, it even decently fast on an older machine -- like my PowerMac 4400, with it's 200 Mhz processor and 32 MB of RAM. If you have a slower machine, with little RAM, run Blackbox or the console, and stop complaing. I can't stand people who whine. </rant>

    So in theory, KDE 2 is suppost to be out this week. Awsome.

    There is some new stuff on iMacLinux, and now along with the rest of the team, I'm working on getting PowerMacLinux.net ready. Cool.

    13 Oct 2000 (updated 14 Oct 2000 at 04:13 UTC) »

    Okay here is my useless, but still (I guess) basic program. It was done for a class assignment, it's very lame. Probably is fairly portable, as it doesn't do anything fancy -- just stdio stuff. Grr.. Of course, I screwed the line length up on this, so Advogato doesn't do it right. Oh, well.

    All Hail Friday!

    Yes, I dug up (and added) a few new stuff to iMacLinux. This weekend, I'll be busy working on Family Life MB.

    ' quik.conf generation program
    ' (c)2000, Andrew B. Arthur (aarthur@imaclinux.net)
    ' BSD Licensed
    ' This program is portable, AFAIK, it should compile
    ' cleanly in qbasic, MacBasic, ChipMunkBasic, any
    ' probably others. <grin>

    ' Declare Hard Coded Variables Here:

    aliasarg$ = "bye" 'This is the bye command. You don't really need it 'unless you are using a boot menu. Most people will 'just want bye, so we hard code it.

    ' In case we need to change the syntax. append$ = "append=" boot$ = "boot=" root$ = "root=" alias$ = "alias=" ramdisk$ = "ramdisk="

    ' Internationalization Stuff samplei8n$ = "People translating this program needs to change these" thisprogrami8n$ = "This program generates a sample quik.conf" returni8n$ = "Hit Return To Continue or Wait 5 Seconds" kernelandparti8n$ = "Kernel and Partition Configuration" addkernelargsi8n$ = "Additional Kernel Arguments " year$ = DATE$ detailsonthislicense$ = "Details on licensing can be found at"

    ' Introduce the user to the program. 'COLOR 0, 7 ' purty colors. No, I can't spell. Don't make fun of me. COLOR 0, 7 CLS PRINT " ", thisprogrami8n$ PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT "Copyright (c)"; year$; ", Andrew B. Arthur (aarthur@imaclinux.net)" PRINT "BSD Licensed. "; detailsonthislicense$; "http://bsdl.org/"

    ' Delay So People Can Read The Screen SLEEP 5 thisisnothing$ = INKEY$

    'Ask required questions.

    CLS PRINT " ", kernelandparti8n$ PRINT ""


    PRINT "You can either set it to boot from a" PRINT "ramdisk (for installing or floppy booting)" PRINT "or from a a regular Hard Drive." PRINT "" PRINT "NOTE: You must use standard UNIX conventions." PRINT ""

    INPUT "Boot from a [r]amdisk or [h]ard Drive? [h/r]"; ramordiskque$ IF ramordiskque$ = "h" THEN GOTO 80 IF ramordiskque$ = "r" THEN GOTO 70

    'ramdisk size 70 INPUT "Ramdisk Size (In MB):"; ramdiskmb ramdiskkb = ramdiskmb * 1024 rootpart$ = "/dev/ram" GOTO 90

    'root partition 80 INPUT "What is your root partition [from pdisk, in standard /dev/blah fromat]"; rootpart$ IF rootpart$ = "0" THEN GOTO 90 PRINT ""

    'Kernel Location 90 INPUT "Where is the kernel located [/boot/vmlinux]"; kernelpath$ IF kernelpath$ = "0" THEN PRINT " ... no path specfied, defaulting to /boot/vmlinux" kernelpath$ = "/boot/vmlinux" GOTO 100 END IF

    100 CLS PRINT " Video Card " PRINT "" PRINT "This screen chooses what video card you have." PRINT PRINT "You will be prompted if you have a certain card." PRINT "If you do, say [y]. If not, say [n]." PRINT PRINT "If you don't see your driver, at the end of the list" PRINT "you will be prompted to restart the list, or manually" PRINT "enter in the name of your Frame Buffer driver."

    ' ATI Mach64 CX or GX 110 INPUT "Do You Have a ATI Mach64 CX or GX [n/y]?"; atyfb$ IF atyfb$ = "y" THEN video$ = "video=atyfb" GOTO 200 END IF IF atyfb$ = "n" THEN GOTO 120

    ' ATI Mach64 VT 120 INPUT "Do You Have a ATI Mach64 VT [n/y]?"; atyfb24$ IF atyfb24$ = "y" THEN video$ = "video=atyfb" COLOR 4, 7 PRINT "Warning: Requires Linux 2.4 to Get Good Video" COLOR 0, 7 GOTO 200 END IF IF atyfb$ = "n" THEN GOTO 130

    ' ATI Rage 128 130 INPUT "Do You Have a ATI Rage 128 (Any Version) [n/y]?"; aty128fb$ IF aty128fb$ = "y" THEN video$ = "video=aty128fb" GOTO 200 END IF IF aty128fb$ = "n" THEN GOTO 140

    ' Twin Turbo II (for PCC Machines) 140 INPUT "Do You Have a Twin Turbo II (on PowerComputing Machines) [n/y]?"; twintrbfb$ IF twintrbfb$ = "y" THEN video$ = "video=txyfb" GOTO 200 END IF IF twintrbfb$ = "n" THEN GOTO 190

    ' Exausted Choices 190 PRINT "" PRINT "Sorry, No More Choices Left." PRINT "" PRINT "Do You Want to [re]start the List or [man]ually Enter" INPUT "the FB Driver Name [re/man]?"; exhaustrestartfb$ IF exhaustrestartfb$ = "re" THEN GOTO 100 IF exhaustrestartfb$ = "man" THEN PRINT INPUT "Enter Your Frame Buffer Driver's Name [such as atyfb]:"; manfb$ video$ = "video=" + manfb$ END IF

    ' Video Resolution 200 CLS COLOR 2, 7 PRINT " Video Resolution " COLOR 0, 7 PRINT "" PRINT "Your Resolution, is the number of pixels" PRINT "that will appear on your screen. A larger" PRINT "value will make text smaller, but let you" PRINT "put more on it, a smaller one will do the" PRINT "opposite. "; "" PRINT "" PRINT "You may choose between 640x480, 800x600 and" PRINT "1024x768. All values give you a 75 Hz Refresh." PRINT INPUT "Horizonal Resolution:", hzres$ ' Table of Resolution IF hzres$ = "1024x768" THEN hzres$ = "18" IF hzres$ = "800x600" THEN hzres$ = "13" IF hzres$ = "640x480" THEN hzres$ = "12"

    ' Video Colors CLS COLOR 2, 7 PRINT " Video Colors " COLOR 0, 7 PRINT " " PRINT "The number of colors you want to display" PRINT "on your screen can be set below." PRINT "" PRINT "Most likely you will want to use the" PRINT "highest number your screen supports." PRINT "" PRINT "Using too high of a value, will cause" PRINT "you to get a blank screen upon boot." PRINT "" PRINT "For most people, they will want a value" PRINT "of 32 (32 BPP = Millions of Colors)." PRINT "If you have only a few MB of VRAM then" PRINT "you should probably use 16" PRINT "(16 BBP = Thousands of Colors)." PRINT "" PRINT "" 150 INPUT "Colors [16]:", hzcol$ IF hzcol$ = "0" THEN GOTO 150

    CLS PRINT TAB(35); addkernelargsi8n$ PRINT "" LINE INPUT "Any other kernel arguments? "; kernelarg$

    'Let's do some more cating, so to get this together.

    kernelargsfull$ = append$ + "'" + video$ + ":" + hzres$ + ":" + hzcol$ + " " + kernelarg$

    'Config Screen CLS PRINT TAB(40); "Generating Configuration..."

    'Let's milk the sleep command again 'FOR t = 1 TO 500000 'Delay Loop ' NEXT t SLEEP 5 anotherstupidcasttonowhere$ = INKEY$

    'Introduce the user COLOR 0, 7 CLS PRINT "Below is a sample configuration file, you can cut and" PRINT "paste into another program." PRINT "" PRINT "" PRINT "Your quik.conf:" PRINT "" PRINT ""

    'Give them the data COLOR 4, 7 PRINT "#Sample quik.conf" PRINT "#Created by Yalamequik"; " on "; DATE$ PRINT boot$; kernelpath$; "" PRINT root$; rootpart$ ' Replace this with the cating one: 'PRINT append$; video$; " "; kernelarg$; ramdiskarg$; ramdiskkb; "'" ' 'When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. ' PRINT kernelargsfull$; " "; ramdisk$; ramdiskkb; "'"

    PRINT alias$; aliasarg$ ' A generation lost in space ' Speaking of that, would the line "KILL c:" be funny ? :P ' Yes, I know I am mean. Commenting is fun. PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT COLOR 0, 7 ' Do you want to murder a tree? INPUT "Do you want to dump it to the printer [y/n]?"; dumptoprinter$ IF dumptoprinter$ = "y" THEN

    ' Change to LPRINT in the future:

    PRINT TAB(40); "** Below is a your sample configuration file **" PRINT PRINT "To use this type in your favorite text editior, and" PRINT "save as /etc/quik.conf" PRINT boot$; kernelpath$; "" PRINT root$; rootpart$ PRINT append$; video$; " "; kernelarg$ PRINT alias$; aliasarg$

    ' Say Bye. PRINT "" PRINT "" PRINT "PRINT Status: Now Printing..." END IF IF dumptoprinter$ = "n" THEN GOTO 2000 2000 END

    New week, back to work.

    I've written a little howto on some of the optimizations you can use when compiling a program on ppclinux (such as -02, etc.). Unforently, I can't find much info (or if there is) real PowerPC specfic optimizations. There probably isn't. If you know, send them to me -- and see the howto here.

    As always, I am taking requests.

    My extended Columbus day weekend was nice, except for being so freaking cold. I went for a drive this weekend through Thatcher Park and Knox, the colors on the trees where nice. Saw some snow falling on the Catskills on my so-called "dylan" ride today.

    I guess KDE 2 is delayed another week -- that's good, more time for people to perfect stuff.

    Listening to some Beatles right now. I should get back to doing real work, but blah.

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