mini-itx progress

Things are progressing well with the mediabox. I just got wireless networking going from boot, after installing the $23 wireless-g router. The only things I have to get going are:

  • X running under the VIA Unichrome Pro accelerated driver; it’s using VESA, so is hardly fast. Look’s like I might have to build from source from Ivor. Gentoo’s unstable xorg-x11 distribution does the job.
  • DVD playback; the drive doesn’t seem to understand/decrypt the disc structure, even with libdvdcss installed. regionset is your friend.
  • TV decoder; still not decided what card/box to buy, so it’s a way off yet.
  • Logitech QuickCam Messenger; haven’t even tried, though reports of support look reasonable. Yup, qc-usb-messenger to the rescue!

slow build

Over the last few days, I’ve been building Gentoo on a Via EPIA-800 mini-ITX box for Senen. It’s very small, pretty quiet, but not very fast. It should do well as a PVR, though.

thinkpad t21, linux 2.4.28-gentoo-r5, and ACPI

If you find yourself running this kernel, make sure you remove all ACPI support from the kernel if you want to use the onboard 3Com Tornado 3c556B CardBus ethernet adaptor. You used to be able to get away with the acpi=off kernel parameter with 2.4.26-gentoo-rn kernels, but this doesn’t work any more.

This has been a Nerd Public Service Announcement.

the tyranny of configure

I’m building Gentoo Linux on my laptop. Every little package that wants to build goes off and calls a configure script, as built by gnu autoconf. Every one checks the presence of features by compiling a little test program.

This gets slow. Quite why a system can’t cache autoconf results, and tell configure that it has this, that and the other. My computers seem to spend half their time somewhere in a configure script (serves me right for using Gentoo), but there has to be a better way than the status quo.

SanDisk Cruzer + Gentoo

Sandisk Cruzer 256MB USB key

I love it when stuff just works. Plug it in, check dmesg to see what it says:

hub.c: new USB device 00:02.2-1.1, assigned address 7
scsi3 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
  Vendor: Generic   Model: STORAGE DEVICE    Rev: 1.02
  Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Attached scsi removable disk sdb at scsi3, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
SCSI device sdb: 512000 512-byte hdwr sectors (262 MB)
sdb: Write Protect is off
 /dev/scsi/host3/bus0/target0/lun0: p1
WARNING: USB Mass Storage data integrity not assured
USB Mass Storage device found at 7

So we know from the /dev/scsi/host3/bus0/target0/lun0: p1
line that the filesystem is at
/dev/scsi/host3/bus0/target0/lun0/part1. Create your
mountpoint as root: mkdir -m777 /mnt/cruzer, then edit
/etc/fstab, and add:

/dev/scsi/host3/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 /mnt/cruzer vfat noauto,user 0 0

Any user can mount the device with mount /mnt/cruzer,
and next time Nautilus starts up, the device can be mounted from the
desktop. Easy!

The hardest part was opening the packaging, but you know what I
have to say about SanDisk packaging