Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

Buy me a Beck's beer of pass me a bong...

So now that my dedicated-loop DSL line is installed and running, I called Speakeasy to check on the status of my VoIP transition. They tell me it's 30 days from the time the new DSL line is complete, so that clock just started on the 20th. But hey, nobody cleared my old shared-line DSL out of the system, so he'll do that now. Great.

Huh. My ssh session back to my home server died just then.

Did he accidentally de-provision the wrong DSL line? No, he can still see my DSL modem. So it's the hardware attached to it that's wonky. Hmm, maybe the battery in the UPS died again, the power glitched, and b5 is rebooting.

Half an hour later, no response from b5. Two hours later, still no dice. The house has not burned down, as the G4 still happily answers the phone.

Given the box has been down for hours, an extra two aren't going to kill it, so I catch the girls basketball game against Mt. Carmel tonight. (They lost. Down 20 points, they rally back and tie it, then lose by 2. *shrug* Lesson: Don't get down 20 points.) I get home, and find the box powered on, but nonresponsive. Hard power cycle. It doesn't even beep. That's ominous...

AGP graphics cards are notoriously finicky about how deep they're inserted and being inserted a little off-angle. So I pull it and reseat it. Power up, no dice. Pull the machine, take it outside, blow all the dust out. Nope. Aw hell, now it's really fucked. I start pulling PCI cards out. After pulling the D-Link DFE-570TX quad ethernet card, it booted. Well ah, fuck... of all the cards that had to die, that's the one I really needed. And D-Link doesn't make them anymore. (And I'm not paying CDW $400 for the quad Adaptec card, much less $1300 for the notorious Sun qfe board. More than I need multiple ethernet ports on this box, I need one, and I need it now. Mail is queuing up on other people's machines, and will start bouncing in a few days. Who sells ethernet cards at 10:15pm in the suburbs?

Yes. Wal*Mart.

$15 buys you their only wired PCI ethernet card, the Linksys "Network Anywhere" pseudo-generic brand. (Which is funny, since "Linksys" is now the low-end name for Cisco. I bring it home, pop it in, and boot the box. lspci will tell me what it is, and hopefully the driver for it is in the kernel source, and I won't have to plug my iBook into the DSL and sneakernet it over on a CompactFlash.

eth0 instantiates and configures. What the fuck?

dmesg had this to say:

Linux Tulip driver version 0.9.15-pre12 (Aug 9, 2002)
PCI: Found IRQ 5 for device 00:0f.0
PCI: Sharing IRQ 5 with 00:0d.0
eth0: ADMtek Comet rev 17 at 0xc000, 00:4C:69:6E:75:79, IRQ 5.

Dave Terrell translates this as "hi, I'm a generic tulip clone".

I worried about what would happen to the Tulip once Compaq bought DEC. That was considered the bomb-ass ether chip series around the time (late 2000) I built b5. I considered it a major score to find CDW selling a quad Tulip card for only $180. It's been rock solid (until today.)

Popping open b5 reveals some more unfortunate news. Dried electrolyte is collecting on the tips of the filter capacitors near the CPU. This motherboard's days are numbered. It may be time to plan out what I want in a new Linux box. 3Ware's SATA RAID cards are obviously on the list. I've no idea what's a good motherboard (preferably AMD, but I'll consider Intel if they're not so power-hungry on the desktop anymore.

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