The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Too New Hardware

Ah, hardware so new Knoppix doesn't support it. Glorious!

BIOS that came on the motherboard if the first release version, 0201. Doesn't recognize the E6550 so complains about being unable to load microcode. Also BIOS updates are very important. So that should be addressed first.

The BIOS image is 2MB so doesn't fit 1.44 floppy (connecting the floppy drive was a bitch!). Have to flash it using either a USB mass storage device (which I don't have handy) and the BIOS built-in flasher or through Windows-based flasher (but no Windows live-cd here either) or by burning an ISO CD image with FreeDOS, the ASUS DOS flasher and the unzipped BIOS image itself to a CDRW and booting off that.

But can't burn a CD if booted from the burner, so attach the trusty old Toshiba SD-M1402 to the sole IDE port, enable JMicron IDE controller in BIOS (on by default), boot into Knoppix from the PATA drive. Find out SATA drive is not recognized by Knoppix 5.1.1 (Linux 2.6.19) when set to IDE mode in BIOS. Only when set to AHCI in BIOS will it get recognized. Ubuntu 7.04 install disk (Linux 2.6.20) does recognize the drive in IDE mode, so that is fixed already. Create proper CD image using fdos builder template and gleaning the right mkisofs command line parameters from the WinNT batch files, burn image in K3B. Again, the ASUS SATA DVD drive won't boot off the CD, so boot off the PATA drive, type afuflash /i0503.rom in DOS, wait a while thinking "I knew I should've bought a UPS!" and voilĂ , new BIOS.

Still can't overclock without lm-sensors working, and for that need new kernel.

Still don't know how to flash the optical drive without running RedmondOS.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Deathly Hallows

So. The End. I was disappointed by Book 5 and disillusioned by Book 6. The Horcruxes sucked badly and the Hallows, impossibly, suck even more. I have honestly read much better fan fiction. It was childish. All of it. The plot twists (Snape/Lily!), the action (Ma Weasley vs. Bella?!), the romance (Ron learning to court Hermione from a book!!!), the morals (Jesus!Harry :O). Everything. I was cringing and imagining the flame I'd have written if I'd been reading this on FFN. I think even the twelve year olds expect more these days. I believe a population deserves whatever leader they have, and JKR's wizarding Britain deserved Tom's police state, if they needed a kid to save them, and I was half heartedly rooting for the Death Eaters for most of the book.

New Computer

So. Now I have an almost functional computer once again. It lacks a hard drive, but while I'm waiting for someone to sell me one of these, I'm running the Ubuntu 7.04 install CD (the ASUS DRW-1814BLT won't run Knoppix 5.1.1). I'm buying a USB storage device tomorrow when a shop opens (about time). I have not yet overclocked the thing or even ran 3D graphics. I don't know whether the built-in sound device is bearable. The version of lm-sensors and the kernel that come with Ubuntu 7.04 don't support my motherboard. But the computer is damn quiet, so I'm pleased. I need to flash the BIOS and the firmware on the burner, and find out how to underclock the video card in Linux (I think nVidia's closed-source driver does that).

The usual price comparison over US prices, all except one are from and are for today, without rebates and without shipping and handling.

 Make & ModelUS priceIsrael price (NIS)US price in NISripoff pct
CPUIntel Core2Duo E6550184995772.828.75
MBASUS P5K-E WiFi-AP2109708829.98
RAMCorsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4D1791242751.865.2
VideoASUS EN8600GT Silent137900575.456.41
CaseAntec P15016091067235.42
HDDSamsung HD321KJ8049033645.83
MonitorSamsung 226BW3502081147041.56
OpticalASUS DRW-1814BLT34249142.874.37
Total 133478375602.839.88
exchange rate4.2   

Notice the 65% "tax" on performance RAM.

Except for the hard drive, for which the price comes from with no guarantee on my part for anything, all other parts are available at and except for the monitor were successfully purchased for those prices by me personally. I have personally witnessed the monitor being available and am thinking of buying it (once I'm sure I don't want to go for the LG L226WTQ which over here is $50 USD cheaper than the Samsung).

The optical drive can be bought for 200NIS, and it's so cheap anyway that I don't count it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


After convincing my superiors that I am completely fed up with my work (turns out not being productive and spending 21 days (actually 18) in the brig does the trick) I now have three colonels' signatures on my discharge papers. I think I need two more colonels. I was told it can take a week and then I'll have a discharge date which should be this month, maybe even immediately after all signatures are present. A small personal victory, though getting transferred to a decent place a year ago would've been much better.

About Me

GCS d- s-: a-- C++$ UL++ P+++ L+++ E--- W+++ N o? K? w++$ !O !M !V PS-(+) PE Y+ PGP+(-) t--@ 5++(+++) !X R-- tv-- b+>++ DI+++ D+ G e h! r* y--(-)>+++