Older blog entries for penguin42 (starting at number 8)

Hacked up one of he LCD panels fully off an old VGA card - working quite nicely; although the inverter circuit we cobbled together is a bit touchy. (Anyone with ideas for a nice, safe, stable, cheap inverter for cold cathode backlights please tell me!).

A kludge with SVGAtextmode gave me something almost right - although I face the option of loosing about 2 pixels off either edge (I can choose, but I always loose a couple of pixels...).

Fighting Linux/ARM on the old platforms; these machines have unreasonably large 32K pages (and not many of them) - there are some very odd things happening in some places. (Like a divide by 0 I got last week in fork_init).

Interesting weekend; Thursday saw the arrival of 20 640x480 10.4" LCD panels (sans light inverters and VGA interface and case).

Before the ManLUG talk on Saturday I managed to get cabling from Maplin and other bits off a friend. Saturday evening/Sunday morning was crimping duty - without a crimp tool. Hellishly small crimps.

Early on Sunday I managed to get the panel running off a VGA feature connector (with just one colour wired) - looks promising.

Now if only I could array them.....

Spent the rest of time fighting trying to get a modern ARM cross compiler going,

Spent Saturday fighting with my Sparc/IPX to try and install RedHat 6.2 on it. It already had 5.2 on another disc but since that disc was getting iffy I wanted a clean install.

Unfortunatly Disk Druid managed to create a partition with duff entries which seemed to indicate that it was around 1000 times larger than it really was. It took me some hours to discover this, and thus explain why mke2fs was taking many hours and consuming about 180M of RAM.

I selected 'server install' - and then spent a while fighting with RPM to get all the GNOME stuff in afterwards. Hmm GNOME is not that responsive on an IPX with 32MB of RAM.

I left it building XFree 4 over night; 14 hours later and it had built and I managed to get it not to start; ho hum - another X bug reported.

The interesting revelation of the day was bought to me by Owen Taylor. I had found that large selections just didn't work for me on Gnome on my Alpha - this turned out to be a brokedness in Gtk which was hitting a rather nasty 64 bit brokedness in X. Yuch!

Downloaded KDE 1.90 over Friday/Saturday night (wonders of free net calls - even if it does drop the line every 2 hours, something which a retry on wget doesn't mind about).

Built; hit problems. It works fine if you let KDE take over your entire system by letting it start its window manager etc, but not if I just want to run some apps under Gnome - no keyboard input.

Having said that, running it in KDE domination mode seems to work fairly well. Koffice is promising - I wrote a set of slides in kpresenter and it only crashed a few times. (The fact that it stores documents as gzip'd tars of XML files is great when you have to go out and fix something it screwed up).

You can see the result at: www.treblig.org/talks/xfree4

Got about midday.

Found the two X builds nor the EGCS that I had set building over night (over morning?) had built. And I hadn't slept well either. Bummer. EGCS seems to complain about a problem with the definition of RUSAGE something - and this seems to be kernel version dependent.

Got two different failure modes for X with DRI; either X segs internally, or I get a kernel oops in the drm_release code. Great.

Found a way to hang 2.3.99-pre2-5 - open the Gnome window manager configuration. Really odd - it seems pretty stable other than that......

After those hangs, it came to me that I should be using a journalling fs; waiting for a 34GB drive to fsck is just painful.

Went to ManLUG; had a good chat and listened/watched a talk on the GIMP and a rather interesting talk from a nice man at SuSE who was handing out lots of goodies (got a Tux/suse tie/pin - now I just have to work out where to wear it since I don't often wear ties).

Built 2.3.99-pre2-5 on my Alpha and built the sourceforge CVS'd DRI version of X. X ain't happy running with DRI on my Alpha. Hmm.

Vaguely started thinking about an XFree 4 talk I'm going to give in a couple of months - hmm.

Got up at about 12.30 - yawn.....

Built XFree 4.0; works a treat on my Alpha with my Voodoo 3 card; although I know some people are having problems with MGA and Permedia cards. Built GLUT and GLU to go with it and tried one or two examples; uploaded the builds to my ftp site.

Carried on my mods to Elvis for a Gnome front end; managed to get page up/down/home/end working and found a way to get a signal before a menu appears (thus hopefully enabling me to do a buffers menu). Added a 'goto line' dialog box.

Failed to figure out how to trap the closure of dialog boxes when they are closed by the window manager - hmm.

Spent an hour battering pppd into auth'ing itself with BT internet - finally got it to work. Seems fast, but it has the annoying 2 hour disconnect problem.

Built 2.3.49 on my Alpha; this seems good - its fast and hasn't screwed up my disc!

Built Mozilla M14 - well it got a window up; but some parts were unrendered leaving bits of the lower windows showing through, and after a minute or two it fell to bits. Ah Mozilla.

Built 2.3.47 on my Alpha ; spent rest of afternoon recovering disc partition..... Built XFree 3.9.18, patched GLX for alpha.

Tried crossing Niki Waibel's hacked Alpha 3dfx device driver with my hacked Glide code and got the 'test' programs to blink the monitor off and hten hang. Well I suppose that is something -but I'm not sure what.

(Note: Never put a table leg just in front of where it would be really nice to put your monitor...)

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