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EEEPC

A few days ago I got myself an Asus EEEPC to experiment with it being in a role of a small server and a tiny internet kiosk. I installed Debian on it, but the process was not for the feint of heart, that's for sure. First of all the d-i font was messed up and all the menus overflowed the screen making it very hard to select anything. Additionally it seems very strange to me that there was a special d-i image made for EEEPC, but that image did not include built-in support for the computers wired or wireless network interfaces. That made my day highly problematic as I do not have an easy way to get to the Internet via a wired connection and the provided d-i image did not have enough files on it to finish the base install without networking.
This again made me think that the approach Ubuntu took is more favorable in most situations - have the install image boot a mostly functional system (it does not have to be X even) and then install from there. It actually feels more flexible than using the highly restricted d-i environment.
I will be looking to make a Debian rescue image designed for the EEEPC that you could dd onto a USB key, boot from and have a minimal Debian system with working ethernet, wifi and some basic rescue tools and a way to install a basic Debian system as well. That should make it much easier for people to get Debian onto their EEE PCs. I do hope that the Debian EEEPC project will improve as well.

Sneaky blacklisting of WiFi in HP laptops?

I've been there before, but somehow I hoped that HP has come to its senses, so when my girlfriend got a HP Compaq 6715b laptop with a Broadcom wifi card that does not work with the open source driver and randomly crashes under load with ndiswrapper driver, I said - "well, I'll just get an Intel mini-PCIe wifi card and plug it in". I should have know better.

Slow starting USB storage in Linux

I have this USB hard drive enclosure that can also share the files on the local network (LAN DRIVE HD9-U2LA, vendor id - 05e3:0702). Due to that it has an operating system and some other software inside. Unfortunately this software is rather slow to start and that cause the following kernel error when trying to mount this enclosure:

[90459.236000] usb 5-5: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 9
[90459.368000] usb 5-5: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[90459.368000] scsi4 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[90459.368000] usb-storage: device found at 9
[90459.368000] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[90464.368000] usb-storage: device scan complete
[90470.148000] usb 5-5: USB disconnect, address 9
[90470.148000] scsi 4:0:0:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery

Bread

Fresh bread

FON not giving me my own Internet

Unfortunately I will have to disconnect my FONera and buy a real WiFi router to replace it because that small box is a glitchy piece of crap compared to every other WiFi router out there.

A must

It is really a must have - my blog gets mentioned on the DWN for the first time and at the same time (or even a bit earlier) the electricity cuts to the building where my server is co-located. And it takes a couple of days for the local administrator to get from all that chaos to turning my server back on. Perfect timing :P.

Wrong partition ordering

If you have a hard drive with two or more logical partitions in one extended partition and then proceed to erase the first of those logical partitions (in GParted), then you will soon discover that the number of the second logical partition changed (from sda6 to sda5 in my case). If you then try to create a partition in the free space and launch cfdisk, you will notice that there is no free space where it should have been. If you then manage to get to GParted and create a partition there, then do not relax, as your perils are not yet over. Upon reboot you will find that the logical partition that is in the beginning of the logical partition got a new number (sda7 in my case) and the your valuable second logical partition is still numbered wrongly (it was sda5 instead of expected sda6). Even more so, if you try to fix it with cfdisk, it bails out with a fatal error of overlapping extended partitions.

Dell Next Day service - 10.5 days turnaround

I previously mentioned that my brand new Dell Inspiron XPS m1710 notebook broke down just a few weeks after I got it.

SBackup 0.10 delayed to tomorrow

Reasons:

* more testing for the new restore backend and of the purge function are needed to ensure that they work as expected in all expected situations;

* I need more time to review a last minute patch to add autotools support to SBackup and decide if I want that or not;

* My primary notebook is coming back from Dell Service tomorrow and I need it to test the upgrading of the package in Debian (and not just Ubuntu that I have on my old/secondary notebook).

Next day means next week?

The Dell saga goes into second stage. Despite me having a priority XPS next day on-site warranty it took three days, one click-trough of on-line wizard, two emails and three phone calls to get the collection of my broken laptop going. And now it will only be collected on Monday. Doh!

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