Babar Haq

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Its been alomst a month since I got another laptop from my company I am working for. It's a toshiba Satellite P25-S670. Who ever used it before me screwed up its battery resulting in a stand by time of only 25 minutes. One more thing I really dislike about it is its weight, almost 11 pounds. The rest of the specifications are good, especilly the 17 inch wide screen and surround sound system makes it perfect to watch movies :)

So far I have not installed any linux on it. I tried to put gentoo on it but I gave up half way :). So far its been running windows xp with service pack2. I did partition it to house linux ,infact this time I have been thinking of having multiple linux installations on it. Here is a lay out of my linux partitions.
hda1 /boot (primary)
hda2 c: (primary)
hda3 extended
hda4 d: (logical)
hda5 swap (logical)
hda6 first linux (logical)
hda7 second linux (primary)

I plan to make windows loader as my primary boot loader.I would be boot chaining by making images of /boot hda1 and /boot hda7 and placing their entries in boot.ini. There is a good possibility that I might not be able to boot my second linux parition becuase some hard disks do not allow the loader to be out of the first 1024 cylinders.

I started downloading Fedora Core 4 .iso files the day its release was announced. I normally use Download accelerator on windows to download such files.The system at ARAMCO had very little space left on the c drive. The space was so little that download accelerator could not join the smaller files it splits the acutall donwload into. I some how created the extra space. Download accelerator took longer to join the files then it took to download the files:)Fedora have changed from md5sum to sha1sum to check file integrity. Well I found a windows version for sha1sum here.

I have two cd burning softwares installed at the office. One is Brun4free other is Deepburner. I wasted around four cdr's while trying to burn the first iso file. I have been using both softwares for burning isos to cd with out a problem. Some how the software would abort at some stage of the burning with the message "WRITER ERROR [HARDWARE ERROR (LOGICAL UNIT
COMMUNICATION CRC ERROR". After googling for a while I decided to decrease the write speed from 16x to 8x. The problem persisted. My first successful burn was when I reduced the write speed to 4x which was very very slow. Even at 4x it failed once or twice. Anyway with a lot of pain I finally burnt all the four isos successfully.

I normally do not believe in media checking the cds but that day I just felt a tendancy to do that. The first cd failed the test and so did the rest. Since I was sure that the files were intact after downloading because of sha1sum and the cd burning softwares didnt give any errors I went ahead with the installation. Strange enough the installation went pretty smooth.The installation process is pretty same as the previous versions of fedora.

I did expect that my nvidia GeForce and winmodem would not work out of the box but I was sad to see that my sound card(82801EB/ER ICH5/ICH5R AC'97) wasnt producing any sound.:( This have happened to me a few times on previous fedora versions as well. You have to play around with alsa mixer settings to get sound. This time it was a check box saying external amplifier or something. Checking it gave me sound :) So ALSA is doing a great job.

I have downloaded some winmodem drivers and the nvidia driver for linux. InshAllah will try to install them tomorrow and continue writing my experience of fedora core 4 on toshiba P25-S670.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

We have some new NetApp FAS980 boxes which came in couple of weeks back. Today we did some performance testing on it . We created a volume on the filer and mounted it under nfs on seven linux nodes of a cluster. Then we used lmdd to simultaneously write files to the filer.lmdd is a cool utility to do this kind of benchmarking. It works like dd but its output gives timing statistics after completing. Could not really find much documentation on lmdd except the man pages hosted on its homepage.
We used psh to run lmdd simultaneously on the cluster nodes. PSH is part of xCAT(Extreme Cluster Administration Toolkit). It seems like its underlying architecture is ssh but you can specify node range(I guess xCAT specific) and it runs simultaneously on all the nodes given. hmmm interesting.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Just discovered how to use thunderbird if you are accessing internet through a proxy. Just follow this link.