Cold Weather and Perl Coding

What a week! The MPAA is going nuts, our T1 problems resurfaced again (only briefly fortunately!), and lots of perl coding. And now we’re in the middle of a sudden pile of cold weather. It’s been below freezing two days in a row and there was even a bit of snow falling yesterday – all very unusual. I did manage to get some time to refurbish our sick linux box at home. The hard drive has been threatening to die for a while. I pulled the SCSI drive and controller card out and put in a spare 11gig IDE drive. I’ve installed RH6.1 and things seem good as new. It’s nice to have a real computer at home again. Now I have something to do while Susan works on her genealogy on the Windows box. And I’ll take a P133 with Linux over a PII450 with Windows any day…

Openboot Update on the UltraSparc II

Today I did something new. I upgraded the Openboot PROM on our Sun Ultra 10. The version it shipped with seems to have trouble with IDE drives larger than 8 gig. And the Linux SILO program also seems to have a few problems with the old version of Openboot. Upgrading firmware is always a bit scary since a power loss or mistake results in an unbootable motherboard. Fortunately, all went smoothly. No more problems with large IDE drives and Linux boots perfectly every time. I highly recommend converting any UltraSparcs to Linux. Not only can you run in true 64bit mode but you’ll find that everything runs a lot faster – apparently this has something to do with the size of the Linux kernel and cache architecture of the UltraSparc II cpu. The next step is upgrading the IDE drives from 5400 rpm to new 7200 rpm.