Posts Tagged “hardware”

As I was telling on Jan 23, I could not find any DP-​DVI adapter in Moscow (note, that DP-​male DVI-​female adapter is pas­sive, but DP-​female DVI-​male adapter along­side with DP-​male DP-​duallink-​female both should be active, i.e. require spe­cial chip to re-​encode sig­nal). I attempted another try to search it offline in another com­puter com­po­nents shop­ping area (some­how I pre­fer mon­stros­ity of Aki­habara) and utterly failed. Every sales­per­son upon hear­ing about DP-​DVI sent me to mys­te­ri­ous E-​16 kiosk. Reach­ing it I found myself before Apple Reseller shop and turned back swear­ing. Of course I’ve already got miniDP-​DVI con­nec­tor to use both of my dis­plays with GT120 shipped with my MacPro.

On Fri­day reg­u­lar ship­ment from NIX arrived to my office, includ­ing two non­ame DP_​DVI adapters, I found in their cat­a­logue recently. At last I can remove GT120 in favour of R4890, which can drive both of my dis­plays (my Sap­phire R4890 got sin­gle DVI, DP and HDMI). Though it did not cured my BENQ Q24W5 prob­lem which seems to appear if some­how new video card is con­nected to it via DVI — it turns off dis­play for two sec­onds every two hours or so.

Today’s pic­ture will be unre­lated — just some cute pic­ture I found on my harddrive:

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Lately Apple Cal­i­for­nia dis­cretely dis­trib­uted fix for infa­mous “Audio Bug” for MacPro 4,1. Apple was silent for nearly nine month from first reports of this prob­lem to Apple­Care call cen­ter. Now with­out com­mo­tion they sud­denly responded to few cus­tomers via Apple­Care and sup­pos­edly com­mu­ni­cated with ArsTech­nica jour­nal­ist Chris Fores­man and offered pos­si­bil­ity for fix. In a week they pub­lished fix on their site, with­out any announce­ment. Users found info about fix from ArsTechica and/​or MacRu­mours forum thread (in nine months it has grown into 60-​pages mon­ster). There is rumour, that i7 iMacs are suf­fer­ing form the same bug, so it is inter­est­ing to find, if same type of fix was released for them.

The fix works. Tem­per­a­tures are lower and allow to con­strain fans more or less around 800rpm. Inter­nals are a bit mys­ti­cal, but I sup­pose that real work was done in IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext and AudioAUUC.kext is just a place­holder to indi­cate fix instal­la­tion. And a pic­ture to remember:

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It’s rather irri­tat­ing not to be able to find any Displayport-​to-​DVI adapter (even single-​link) in Moscow. Search­ing online gives you bunch of fake-​shops, which never deliver desired equip­ment. Search­ing offline gives you hand­ful of Apple Mini Dis­play­port adapters and their direct clones. No full-​size Dis­play­port ever seen.

Even Ama­zon has sev­eral in their catalogue…

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As lazy as he can be, our tech­ni­cian pre­sented me with new server for my num­ber crunch­ing with a delay of three weeks. He was com­plain­ing to be forced to cut female SAS-​connectors so that they would fit glam­orous SAS-​drive:

This looked awful enough, but things to come exceeded my hum­ble expectations.

There is Russ­ian proverb lit­er­ally say­ing “How do you name the boat, so it will sail”, and I had vari­ety of chances to test it. FreeBSD router named Zaphod was hang­ing twice a day until one cpu was dis­abled along with one of three eth­er­net cards. Will­helmine works with­out prob­lems for three years already. And this one got name Erza. And her char­ac­ter too.

Our Tyta­nia incar­na­tion was build around Super­mi­cro server board X8DT3-​А hold­ing two 4-​core Nehalems and tons of ram. And this dread­ful moth­er­board showed it’s rid­dles. The first one was easy one — Debian lenny netinstall cd ver. 5.03 has ker­nel 2.6.26 which has bro­ken igb mod­ule. No dual-​port ET eth con­troller for you until you either install patched ker­nel replac­ing sta­ble deb, or go to unsta­ble and install 2.6.32 (my choice). Dur­ing instal­la­tion just use any avail­able pce-​e or pci eth­er­net card.

The sec­ond Tytania’s rid­dle was much more tougher. X8-​series moth­er­boards have already become infa­mous for giv­ing you “fuck­ing win­mo­dem” for SAS-​controller (has to be pro­nounced ‘cunt-​roller’). The name of this dis­as­ter is LSI 1068E and it has to be tamed before you will be able to boot off any of your expen­sive SAS hard dri­ves. If you a blond and glam­orous, go and install RHEL (or Win­dows if you pre­fer) and get that “win­mo­dem” dri­ver from LSI site (no link because they are greedy bas­tards!). In every other case you have to change mode of 1068e to IT (that is for “Initiator/​Target”) to make it run like any other JBOD-​host. The JPS2 jumper near SAS con­nec­tors has to be opened (and left in this state for­ever for any­one not to be tempted by pro­pri­etary fakeraids).

After this manip­u­la­tions 1068E will allow linux to rec­og­nize itself via base mpt­sas mod­ule. But unfor­tu­nately there is very lit­tle chance it will allow you to boot off SAS-​drives. Looks like some bug in firmware. The fix is obvi­ous — down­load update, boot dos from flash drive and update the cul­prit. Guys from Super­mi­cro even uploaded update to their ftp-​site: ftp://​ftp​.super​mi​cro​.com/​d​r​i​v​e​r​/​S​A​S​/​L​S​I​/​1​0​6​4​_​1​0​6​8​/​I​T​/​F​i​r​m​w​a​r​e​/​B​3​/​1​.​2​4​.​0​5​/​L​8i/. At this point you will encounter stag­ger­ing third rid­dle: “Where is my SAS address???”. Flash­ing process is com­bined of three steps, two of them being writ­ing images and third is some wiz­ardry, ask­ing you this 64-​bit num­ber. They do not give you any hint — any wrong move and you will lose this piece of expen­sive crap for­ever? If your num­ber is wrong 1068E of course will not boot at all, but will leave you chance to fix this run­ning “mptutil.exe –o –t” from your firmware-​flashing drive. But exactly where you should look for it? You will be engulfed in aston­ish­ment when pointed out that mys­te­ri­ous SAS-​address (when you pro­nounced fast sounds like deriv­a­tive of ‘suck’ in Russ­ian — you’ve got sit­u­a­tion already, haven’t you?) is printed on that white stripe right above JPS2. It should be wise to write it down beforehand.

As farewell gift X8DT3 con­fuses both Grub and Debian installer shuf­fling num­bers of hard dri­ves sev­eral times dur­ing boot. One will never now if his hd3 will become hd0 or even /​dev/​sde? Every­one likes (or hates) Grub error 17… Had to install stage1 from bootcd with NixOS as Debian installer and even chrooted Grub from installed sys­tem were powerless.

You know, this expe­ri­ence is far worse then any hack­in­tosh. You fol­low well used road, but it is strewn with rakes. Major­ity laughs at com­plain­ing suck­ers, but marches through the same rakes…

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