Tech Support rant #1

UGH! OK, listen up. If you’ve ever called tech support, you probably need to read this, and commit it to memory.

“Reboot” means “Shut down and restart”.
“Restart” means “Shut down and restart”.
“Restore” means “Run that piece of shit CD you got from your computer manufacturer which formats your system”.

Reboot == Restart != Restore

Update: kernel 2.6.0-test1

OK, I’ve got it all up and running now. I’m kinda tired, though, so not many details right now.
nHere’s what my major stumbling blocks were, and how I fixed them:

(1) I was unable to allocate any terminals once I got X running. Cause: no entries in /dev/pts. Solution: I mounted the “devpts” filesystem: “mount -t devpts none /dev/pts” and I also added a similar line to /etc/fstab.

(2) I was unable to get USB working. I had compiled the modules for all 3 controllers, but I hadn’t loaded any of them. So I modprobe’d ehci-hcd and uhci-hcd (USB 2.0 controller and USB 1.1 controller, respectively), and then modprobe’d “hid” to get the mouse working. Restarted X, and my buttons 4-7 were working (wheel + mouse6 and mouse7)

(3) I’m still having some trouble with latency and preemption with XMMS. I haven’t figured out what’s going on yet. To minimize the effect, I hdparm -c 1 -d 1 /dev/hd? (which turns on DMA and 32-bit addressing for all of my fixed discs). I’ve tried it with both a preemptable kernel, and a non-preemptable kernel. It still skips when flipping to other virtual desktops.

(4) I had forgotten to modprobe snd-pcm-oss and snd-emu10k1 (the module name changed from the 2.4.20 kernel I was using). A quick edit of /etc/modules and that’s fixed too.

GRUB was easy to install. “grub-install –root-directory=/boot /dev/ide/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/disc” was all it took. Then, since I’m running Debian, I ran update-grub, and edited /boot/boot/grub/menu.lst to fix my boot options & define a default (the old kernel, until I was sure 2.6 would work).

I think that’s it. And I think I’ve also figured out why my test box wasn’t working right under 2.6; I may try it again when I get up. Or tonight at work; I haven’t decided yet.

Linux 2.6.0-test2

I’m about to try out the newest Linux kernel, 2.6.0-test2. It’s a “test” kernel, so it’s almost certainly got some bugs in it. But I tried it out on a test box I’ve got, and it worked pretty well.
I’m also switching to GRUB, since I like it a lot more than LILO. I’ve had some bad experiences with LILO (L 99 99 99 99 99), and Grub doesn’t seem to have the same kidn of problems; it only needs to be written to the boot record once.


OK, I’m trying out a genuine “blog” now. Just to see if I like it.

I’m hoping it will allow me easier (and more frequent) access to posting, and will also enable me to remember to post more often, since (as so often happens) I forget all the damn time.

Plus, this way I won’t have to deal with the atrocious submission queue in PHPNuke/PostNuke.

To begin things, there’s a MusicMan plugin for Konqueror that I want to try out. If it works the way it’s designed, I’ll be able to stop using EasyTag and fix ID3 and OGG/Vorbis comment strings from within my file manager instead.