24 Feb 2002 chexum   » (Master)

System rebuild progressing. Most of the core system (including glibc 2.2.5) is recompiled with gcc 3.0.4 now. I found out the hard way that glibc doesn't like to be compiled with LFS default options (-D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64). gcc barfs along the way compiling pread.c, since that's using a system call with five arguments, one of it being a file offset, which, when turned into 64 bits, would need wider/more registers. First I thought it has something to do with --enable-threads, then suspected that C++ patch (to make artsd/KDE compile with gcc3). Fortunately an Athlon 1200 doesn't need that much time to compile anything. My first Linux machine, a 386DX40 with 8M, would take a few hours compiling the (then recent 1.1.3x) kernel.

I'm more and more addicted to switched ethernet. I also toyed with the idea of putting cables everywhere, "just in case", then with 802.11b to connect everyone in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, wireless access points don't have the flexibility of a Linux router, and putting a wireless card into a desktop PC (besides limiting it to places with worse connectivity) restricts it into connecting to one other access point, or to other cards using the same channel (while access points can communicate on many channels). IIRC. Is this correct? Time for more googling.

Finally, it occured to me the last missing piece everyone would need to connect the hi-fi and PC world, to overcome the ridiculously unprogrammable nature of hi-fi parts. What you would need is a dumb (maybe minimally manageable) box with an ethernet plug, and an S/PDIF output. This way, you could connect your DD/DTS receiver/amplifier to the network, and have hi-fi sound from your software without even any kind of sound card, and the PC (being an effective acoustic noise generator) could also be further from the listening place. Of course, you can then make sound from any of your PC's, and not run S/PDIF cables around, additionally you wouldn't need to buy an amplifier with multiple S/PDIF inputs... Of course, ethernet is not that reliable, but sound doesn't need more than 2 mbps, which is easy on 10mbps ethernet too.

Hm.. ethernet chips are cheap, ethernet transceivers are cheap, DRAM is cheap, S/PDIF is simple, code is cheap. Dream project. You heard it here first?

It would all be simpler if most stuff came with ethernet connectors. Think TVs, DVDs, phones. Nicer way to remote control, and/or route sound between them. Ideally, a phone should be just an interface to the telecom provider, a keypad, a mic and a speaker, and software "to bind them". Instead, we are getting handsets, message recorders, faxes, modems, voice modems, voip interface cards, ethernet phones that are just mic/speaker/keypad with voip ability, and more and more stuff doing the same thing just a bit differently.

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