More toys

I spent half the weekend putting back together a laptop (Sony Vaio N505X) that I'd had for five years, so I'd have something with an rs232 port if I needed to set up some cheap servers I was bidding on (and have just bought) on eBay. Surprisingly, after being in bits in zip-loc bags for eighteen months it booted the first time I put it back together, though I did have five little screws left over, despite spending half an hour looking for holes. The reason it was in bits was the power cord socket broke, so there's now a flying lead soldered on to the pcb; the space bar is also rather knackered, but in the while I wasn't using it I converted to dvorak, which meant I had to learn to touch type, so that doesn't seem to be so much a problem as it was, as I'm not typing ahead before I realise the space hasn't fired.

I also removed the Windows98 partition on the drive, which was excessively painful, as I'd forgotten the incantation to start the RedHat installer (currently I'm downloading Fedora via BitTorrent, but I had RedHat 9 on CD already from 2002). It's linux nopcmica ide2=0x180,0x386. That shouldn't be hard to find on the web, except as part of the process I reset my router.

A few months ago, my ISP nicely upgraded my ADSL line to a new, better service plan with. Now, the user id for the router is @.pipex.net. Since I'd got the router two years ago, service-plan-id had been dsl. But as my service plan had changed, so had the id. They had sent an email, which I'd filed, saying they'd changed my plan from dsl to solo extreme, but didn't mention the id change, so I had to guess. Basically I tried every variant of dsl, solo, extreme and .net or .com I could think of, and ended up having to wait from Friday night to Monday before I could go into work and get the service plan id off their website. Basically I got disconnected because someone in marketing decided it would be cool to write xtreme2 instead of extreme. But then I only have had to reset my router once in two years.

So I'm playing a guessing game with the router, and the same with the RedHat install. Tried re-installing Windows 98 to see if I could get my analogue modem working, but the system restore disk for the Sony can't write to the non-FAT partition. Evertually I get RedHat installed, but no internet for the weekend.

Anyway, I now am expecting a delivery of a couple of old Sun Netra T1 servers, which I will play with getting my tinkering-with language kin, a simple language for HPC agents, to work on.

All good fun.



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