Archives for: June 2009

Old style project

08/06/09 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Networking, PC, Linux

I have on my hands a large number of unused PCs, including dual 1GHz P3 and 2.4GHz+ Xeon machines. What I am hoping to do is get at least one box set up with a nice flavour of linux, and set it up as a network services box. On the list of services to try to get running are DHCP, DNS, VPN, possibly NAT/firewall (although, I'd probably like that running on a different box to my DNS), LDAP, RADIUS, and Kerberos.

I'd like something rock solid and easily administerable to run the core of the internal network. DNS, DHCP and a Kerberos realm are central to that. LDAP is handy because Macs hook into it well, and RADIUS is handy for the wireless access control.

It is really a long term project, because I will basically be building it from the ground up. I have a couple of machines in mind to run it on, but they all need hardware sorted (install RAM, hard drives, cases, fans etc). And then I will need to install the OS. Ubuntu is top choice at the moment, but CentOS, Debian or even something like FreeBSD or OpenSolaris is an outside chance.

OS choice is dependant on finding the right software tools and what they run on best. Probably, have it up and running sometime in June 2010, lol

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Amiga left to do

08/06/09 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Amiga

Well, I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment.

One is towerising a A4000. I had all the parts for that for a very brief time.

I managed to get a complete Tower kit off eBay, based on the Micronik version, and went over and picked it up. While picking it up, I left the busboard on the roof of the car, and drove off. 45minutes later, I was back home minus the busboard. Drove back on the off chance that maybe I had forgotten to take the busboard, or that it had fallen out on the grass, or some other miracle.

I arrived to find it in the middle of the road outside of the house. It was in the middle of a lane, so I was still thinking "Maybe no one's hit it". Picked it up, and the edge connecter was bent.

It was dark, so I was still thinking "Maybe it's fixable, just bend it back".

In the light, though, the damage was clear. The edge connector was the least of the problems. The board had cracked most of the way through along the edge where the edge connector is. One of the ICs was cracked right through, part of the first Zorro slot connector was broken off, and the first two slots were bent. Wells stuffed it is.

The up shot is that I am trying to track down a suitable busboard for the A4000. I just missed out on an identical board on eBay because the auction finished at 4am local time (item is in Germany). I almost bought a PCI busboard from Elbox when they had their free Radeon deal, but I took too long to make up my mind and the deal ended.

So, that's the state of the A4000 project. As a result of being in limbo, I haven't done much with the A4000.

The next project is the A1200. Basically, all that needs is the SCSI and hard drive/optical drive situation sorted (and maybe one day get a mobo with clockport). I have a Blizzard PPC 603e+, which has a Fast SCSI controller. However, it only comes with an 'external' cable which is basically a short cable with a hi-density 50pin SCSI-II connector. Which is not as useful as a 68pin SCSI-II hi-density connector (internal cables will plug straight into the 'external' port) or what any tower owner really wants: a 50pin internal IDC connector. I picked up a cable which claims to be this, however it suffers from two problems: bad solder work, and it is too long (this is a common problem with many SCSI cables where cables should be no longer than required).

So, once we get the internal SCSI situation sorted, and I have a couple of ideas, I can add a few things. On the list is a SCSI DVD-ROM (because it's there), Fast SCSI hard drives, a 2GB Jaz drive (I have three of these to distribute among the amigas), and maybe a removable SCSI bay.

I'd ideally like to have the A1200 in tri-boot situation with OS3.1, 3.9, and 4.0. OS4 is running, but is nowhere near as quick as on the A1.

Which brings us neatly to the last project: the AmigaOne. I have not been treating this one as well as it really deserves. I scavenged out the hard drive from it a while back, and then took the optical drive as well. I'd like to get a hard drive back in there, make sure all the firmware is up to date, install OS4.1 and get the thing on the network and internet.

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Alfred the chicken, Gods etc

08/06/09 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Amiga

So, after many, many moons, I finally have a workable A2500 up and running.

Just quickly the specs are this: Amiga 2500, ECS Denise, 1Mb Agnus, KS 1.3/2.04/3.1 on a threeway KS board, A2320 Amber flicker fixer, GVP EGS Spectrum, Blizzard 2060 with 96MB RAM, internal 1GB Iomega Jaz Drive, internal SCSI 8x CD-R, QuickNet Ethernet card, external SCSI Pioneer CD Changer, external SCSI 1GB hard drive.

From the previous incarnation, I have dropped the MegaChip and the Oktagon. Which were/are both faulty. The Oktagon is probably fixable, it could be just the diode has blown again. The MegaCHip I have had working with a new Agnus, but it onlt shows 1MB. It seems to be very fussy about which version of Agnus it will work with.

The last part to get installed and working to get the machine operational was the internal Jaz drive. The idea behind using the Jaz, is that it has a nice capacity. 1GB is small enough to avoid all the 2GB/4GB limits, and big enough to be useful. And by using it internally as the primary boot device, it allows me to have multiple installs that I can swap between. And the Jaz is quite quick. I am using the Fast SCSI controller on the Blizzard, which is the fastest available for an A2000, and I am getting 4Mbyte/S which is about 4x faster than the speeds I was getting with the Octagon.

Does it all work?

Yeah. I finally managed to install OS 3.9 on the Jaz and get it working with the 68060 libraries. There are three libraries it needs. The original 68040.library, the 68060.library and a dummy 68040.library which redirects commands to the 68040 or 68060 library.

I got that installed, and the boing bags, and then decided that I didn't like the partitioning scheme. I'd formatted as one big partition, which is not a good idea. When the filesystem breaks, it will take an age to fix

The only issue I am having with OS 3.9 at the moment is getting the Spectrum working nicely with my 18" Sun LCD. It doesn't centre well. I will probably end up using a different screen.

The good thing though is that now it is sitting on my desk and getting some actual use, if only mostly for games at the moment.

If I could find some good 68060/ECS demos (not likely I know) then I'd probably load them up as well :)

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Current Hardware Projects

This is all about my on going fumblings with hardware. Regular entries should provide an indication of the depths of my obsession.

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