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embedded hardware installation Linux nightly openwrt osuosl router routerstation routerstation pro

Routerstation Pro Backfire Nightlies!

That’s right boys and girls. I’ve started compiling RouterStation Pro OpenWRT nightly builds for all punks who like to live on the edge. From my testing these images are rather stable, and aren’t prone to consistent or serious issues. Since this changes nightly your mileage may vary.

Go get your nightly builds here.

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ARM debian embedded guruplug hardware installation Linux osuosl u-boot

Upgrading GuruPlug Kernels

I recently had more time to investigate my earlier problems with the GuruPlug.  The problem was discovered by some people on the plugcomputer.org forum.  The problem stock U-Boot is that is incorrectly reports the arcNumber.  The solution then, is to upgrade U-boot!

After a failed flashing attempt(don’t attempt to tftp flash u-boot.kwb from within U-Boot!) I needed to use JTAG combined with the included JTAG adapter.  To do this, make sure that the UART cable is unplugged, and the JTAG cable is plugged in(unplug/replug the USB adapter just to be safe). First grab the guruplug-installer package, then grab a known-good copy of U-Boot.

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ARM hack hardware Linux u-boot

Restoring GuruPlugs

I’ve recently taken ownership of a GuruPlug, and naturally the first thing I tried to do when I got it was to install Gentoo on it.  I first went to build a kernel using the GuruPlug patches on a vanilla 2.6.34 kernel, which ended up disasterous.  I applied the patches, however the kernel ended up not booting.

At which point I decided I wanted to try to restore the original kernel, so that I would at least have a working system with which to test.  Therein lied the rub.  The files posted here are completely broken.

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Part II: The Munin-master

Hopefully you’ve read the first part(Munin-Node), and have one or more nodes already configured. It’s alright if the munin-node is running on the same machine as the munin-master. The master is more of a pain to set up than the client, and could require significantly more debugging.

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Part I: Setting up Munin-Node

After becoming increasingly frustrated with cacti’s lack of sane repeatable configuration and extensibility I began to explore other options.

Munin showed the most promise and compatibility with many of the services we run at the OSL, such as memcached and varnish. I liked how the plugin system is set up independently on each host, and that each plugin can be managed, configured, and consolidated through symlinks.

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Gentoo on the Fujitsu P1620

Recently I picked up a Fujitsu P1620 on eBay.  I’ve grown to really appreciate all the hardware in it, and consider it grade ‘A’ hardware, except for a few gotchas in Linux.  This serves as a document for those who are seeking to gain full hardware functionality of a P1620 in Linux.

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Installing Windows Vista/7 the lazy way!

Have you ever needed to perform a Windows install, but lacked the necessary hardware to do an install?  After ridding my house of optical drives, and having a limited number of large USB drives, I devised a way to install Windows without the use of either!  By using Linux’s wonderful KVM application, it’s possible to install Windows 7 on your hard drive with nothing more than a Windows ISO.

Warning:  This information comes without a warranty.  I won’t guarantee support if you break your hardware.  I’m not responsible for anything you do with this information.  For entertainment purposes only.  I’m probably lying.

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Tiling Window Managers: A Comparison

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find the perfect window manager for me. Some have had the correct features, but terrible behavior. Some turn me off with painful programming languages. Others have horrible authors who are bat-shit insane.  What follows is a chronicle of my progression through various window managers, and a brief overview and review of each.

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AlwaysInnovating TouchBook ARM Linux Pictures

AlwaysInnovating Touchbook Photo Gallery

The AlwaysInnovating TouchBook is an ARM-based netbook that also has a removable keyboard base that contains a second battery.  I was hoping that though one, I could experience what ARM hardware could bring to the traditional Intel-dominated netbook market.  Today I received shipment of the AlwaysInnovating TouchBook.  Here’s the unboxing and subsequent first-boot.