tags: PowerMac G5

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Stability with 2.6.14

For the past month or so my workstation has been freezing about four to eight times per night. I thought there was a faulty RAM chip, CPU or some other hardware related problem.

Well, after upgrading to Linux 2.6.14 stability has been restored. Also it looks like bluetooth is now enabled by default in the Debian distribution.

Flip Flop Morning

This morning i've had two flops for every flip. It starts with me forgetting to return a video at the cost of 3$ per day. I had to bring my bills in to work, because i didn't pay them this weekend. But it's nice that i pay them online. It's not nice that my visa was high; always a couple hundred more than i expect. Usually i find gas takes up a good portion.

This weekend was great. Maybe in the near future i'll explain more about that.

My car needs an oil change. For two days now i've been hearing an odd sound. Never heard it before. It's not related to the rotation of the engine or the brakes. It may be related to steering indirectly. I think it's the bearings in the front left of the car. When i turn left i hear this pale squeaking sound. But i also hear it on the open road.

Traffic this morning on the radio was bad. IRL it wasn't.

Decaf coffee was just as enjoyable as caffeinated this morning.

Oh i know a large frustration i have.... This weekend i upgraded to Linux 2.6.12, because BenH added support for sound on the G5. I've never had so much difficulty compiling the kernel. It wasn't syntax problems, but linking problems. The make system is screwy. Maybe it's because they're switching from BitKeeper to Git; shrug. The main problem is with CONFIG_VGA_CONSOLE. If i leave it on, the kernel doesn't compile. Missing objects are orig_x, orig_y, cols, and a couple others in functions putc and puts in the file misc-common.c. Also SMU, intended for G5s doesn't work unless you compile a 64 bit kernel. But i'm not gonna build a cross compiler just for sound. We'll see if i convert to a pure 64 bit environment. I certainly don't think 64 bit is instinctively better than 32 bit. I mean i don't work with data that requires 64 bit processing or a 64 address space. And it's nice to get twice the instructions or data in one clock tick. All in all, no sound yet.

Ironic Driving Day

So yesterday (Sunday) i went into work because i like doing things the Right Way (tm). Unfortunately the long term savings usually comes at a heavy up front cost. Now here's the funny thing. I'm at work and i decide to upgrade the software on my computer at home. No big deal, except my computer locks up. Now this normally isn't a problem.

But sometimes the fans on my G5 will rev up to max, creating a tornado effect in my apartment. So... i take a break from work just to check on it. Sure enough it was loud as a vacuum when i got here. Fixing that i went back to work.

To be more specific, i was organizing a database schema into third normal form aka Boyce-Codd Normal Form.

Just after seeing that ultimate word COMMIT i flew (hehe) to the airport, to pick up Laura and her mom, who just got in from their European vacation. From there it was about a 1 hour trip to G-berg (Gaithersburg). They treated me to dinner. The grilled salmon was excellent. The mashpotatoes and carrots were.... mashpotatoes and carrots. OK the smashed potatoes were good.

Hurricane Delight, Linux 2.6.7 Compile Problem

I'm looking forward to some wonderful stormage. I'm fascinated by this rare wrath of Mother Nature.

Since linux doesn't yet support the on-board sound card in the G5, i decided to move the unused card from Two to Three.

When i recompiled the kernel -- the same one that currently running, 2.6.7 -- it fails with an error: Unrecognized opcode: lvx, among others. Tonight, yes TGIF, i plan to thouroughly debug the problem... No sleep 'till Brooklyn (plays on my computer).

Debian on G5

Finally, i've done it. I have Debian GNU/Linux running on my G5. It was an adventure.

I started with this image and selected install-power4-2.6. For some reason it doesn't load the sata_svw kernel module. Did that, performed the hardware check, and was then able to see my partitions. Blew them away, and used the guided scheme which is nice. Installed software, rebooted. Blah.. It install a 2.4 kernel, which doesn't work.

So i figured i'll boot from a Gentoo CD. But in order to burn a CD i need OS X, so i reinstalled that, burned the ISO, then reinstalled Debian.

Finally booted from the Gentoo CD, with a root=/dev/sda3 parameter. I get these messages

 /bin/sh: line 1: /dev/tty1: No such file or directory
Reboot in single user mode and created that device file. It wasn't there after reboot so i created a /etc/rcS.d/S01mknod file to create it on boot.

Then rebuilt the kernel using the G5-SMP .config from Gentoo. Built a debian package and installed that. Reboot and AG (All Good).

Some glitches with X, but worked them out. Installed KDE and here i am on Konqueror!

Debian on G5, Sushi

I'm taking another stab at installing Debian GNU/Linux on my G5. The last attempt failed because SATA kernel modules weren't loaded. Even after loading them manually, the device files didn't exist.

Went out last night to downtown Bethesda with Mark. We got a late dinner at Raku. I'm finally learning the Japanese names for sushi. Nigiri are the ones with seafood over rice. Maki are the rolls. I had saba (mackeral) and Sake (salmon).

Gila Style, Debian, Bacardi

I'm switching back to Gila. After all Sinorca was just temporary. I still need to do lots of touch ups, but i feel like writing code.

Yes my friends, after all your protests, i'm going to put Debian on my G5. Oh yes, it shall be a power plant of productivity. I'm preparing to blow away OS X this weekend.

Did you hear that Bacardi is planning to buy Grey Goose. I know, tell me about it!