My *nix world

About

Thank you!

Hi, I'm Eugen!

This is a public diary which helps me to keep the track of what I learn everyday about computing and science in general.
Warning:
  1. My English is rusty and I am a night owl. Now you know my excuse for the stupid things I might write on this blog.
  2. The guy on the left is my older version of me when I still could remember the Assembly language for Z80 microprocessors. I'm still the same guy or rather his newer version. Now I'm just wondering: does newer means younger or better?
  3. Do not relay on the information I write here and most important do not use it in your production environment unless you know what you are doing..
  4. If you enjoy reading in Cantonese (for some people it might look Swedish but it's not) then please read my posts about physics subjects. I love science so Chinese seemed appropriate for this topic.

All I've learned and I know about computers is done by trial and error. When reading a post take it with a grain of salt.

When I take a look at the first microcomputer that I ever had I remember that it was like the "smart-phone" of that time (note: in few years the today's smartphone will become my first microcomputer). It was that 4MHz computer that witnessed my first PRINT "Hello World" command and which after a while showed me that it could run like a Arab horse if you know when and how to use LD, MOV, POP and JMP. If 4MHz doesn't look much to you you should know that it includes 4 million CPU clock cycles (and that's a lot!).

In '91 my parents bought me a HC-91 produced at Ice-Felix Bucharest. It was about 233$ - the whole salary for one month - and its working RAM was about 48K (of which 8K was reserved for video memory).

It has a Zilog Z80 4MHz CPU. Today there are smart-phones that has a core that runs 380 times faster!

hc-91

Few years later ('94 or smth.), while I was studying Computer Science in Bucharest, I bought a second-hand PC laptop. It was a Toshiba Tandy 1000, 7.16 Mhz 8088 CPU, no hard drive, 728Kb RAM, only 2 x 3.5 floppy drives. To load the Borland Turbo C and later to compile a program I had to use 6 different floppy diskettes and the process took from 30 minutes to hours. I was very ambitious at that time, I have to admit it. Anyway, this heavy lazy laptop helped me a lot so I just want to pay tribute to it by showing its picture:

tandy1000

Compare these machines with the today's computers and try imagine learning programming with these (let alone no Internet at that time!). It had an advantage though. It thought me to think twice and write once, otherwise I had to wait for another 2 hours to compile the smallest typo.

I don't know if this is evolution or devolution but nowadays I'm playing with a new $35 toy called Raspberry-Pi. As Linux works on everything from smart-phones to the supercomputers, as Gentoo is one of my favorite Linux distribution, my R-Pi runs of course on Linux (namely Gentoo).

About

@edit: lately I'm in love with Atmel's AVR and Microchip's PIC micro-controllers. Arduino Mini is a 16MHz spirit hidden in a 3cm thin silicone shell that's less than $2 on eBay. Can you believe that?

About

I am still attached/devoted to my old HP dc7900 minitower which happily runs Linux (Gentoo) 64bit. For specific client-server applications I use an old HP server ML350G5 (which has plenty of RAM, SCSI disks, CPUs) where are hosted multiple concurrent OS instances (such as Windows, Linux, BSD) on top of KVM hypervisor that of course runs on my favorite Linux distribution, the Gentoo 64-bit.

dc7900-ml350g5

The old computers are like the old cars, they break but you still can fix them. And I like to fix anything I can!

6 thoughts on “About

  1. TheXaXoo

    Hello, Eugen

    I have HP Compaq 6820s too and I want to upgrade it like you did.
    Do you still think that Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T9300 SLAQG SLAYY 2.5 GHZ 6MB 800MHZ is the best CPU upgrade?
    And do you know if there is a way to upgrade the GPU?

    Thank you!

    1. Eugen Mihailescu Post author

      Hi,

      It's been almost three years since that upgrade. It works like a charm, every day, more than ten-twelve hours daily.
      According to the Compaq CPU upgrade table for that laptop, the best you can install is T9300 (spare p/n: 463050-001). Perhaps there are other CPUs not officially supported that might work, although I never heard about it. To answer your question,Yes, I think that T9300 was the best choice and after three years I have no regret.

      The GPU on the other hand is built-in on motherboard so if you want to upgrade the GPU you should upgrade the motherboard. This could be difficult because the new motherboard should fit as well into the laptop case and that could be troublesome.

      1. TheXaXoo

        Thank you for your reply, Today I recieved a 500 GB HDD and 2 GB more ram so I am making it a total 2x2GB, all that is left is to change the thermal paste and I also found that T9300 for 35$ ( http://tinyurl.com/o9xcb3b ) do you think it is a good deal?
        Also, if the integraded GPU cant be changed, do you think I can put a second GPU, does it have a slot for that?

        Have a good day!

  2. Ron Levenberg

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I just installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a Dell Latitude E6500. Wireless came up fine but not wired ethernet. For two days I've been researching, googling, and tearing my hair out, and then I discovered the NVM checksum error (reported by dmesg) and your solution (e1000e - The NVM Checksum Is Not Valid). I created a FreeBSD thumb drive and followed your solution. It works!! Thanks!

  3. Linda

    My old XP computer is 8 years old (not on the net) and most definitely activated. Your article on bypassing reactivation saved me a lot of bother.

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