17 August, 2006

Where are all these daemons coming from?

It's been a while since I updated this particular blog. I've been a bit busy installing new hardware, and playing with different operating systems, such as Solaris 3/05, Solaris 1/06, and the three BSD. First, my notes about the BSDs - I installed NetBSD on fatty, mainly because for some unknown reason, FreeBSD wouldn't install... or at least the version I had at the time wouldn't install. As I only got what was on the NetBSD CD (base, comp, X, etc) I had to download a few more packages to make a decent install.

A few weeks later, I installed FreeBSD-6.1_RELEASE off two CDs that were available, and installed just about everything bar the kitchen sink. The only thing left to get is other packages available from ports/packages. Then, I went and sliced up the drive a bit further, dumped the first FreeBSD install, and made a partition available for OpenBSD, then reinstalled FreeBSD to the now smaller partition, then installed OpenBSD. Again, like NetBSD, I only had what I'd downloaded (base, comp and so on), and had to add a few more bits. Things seem to be working okay in all three BSDs, though I have a hard drive issue with OpenBSD that necessitates me starting up in Linux first, so that the Linux kernel turns off the "Host Protected Area" of the drive. Once that's done, then OpenBSD can "see" the whole of the drive, and is happy to boot.

I still hate the way NetBSD do their package management, so I have been doing the downloading manually, checking out what whining it does when I try installing the package, then grabbing the complaint packages. I much prefer FreeBSD's package management in this regard. What THEY have is a fat INDEX file, which the user downloads, perhaps through sysinstall, and browses the entries he wishes to install. Then sysinstall goes and gets those, along with their dependencies in a nice tidy manner. I've also checked out how OpenBSD does the same thing, and even it seems to be somewhat saner about dependency handling.

For Night-Hawk building, especially for Gray Light, I'm going to need GLUT, so I found that and installed it in all three cases. NightHawk is available as a package in FreeBSD and in NetBSD, but not in OpenBSD. I'm going to see if it compiles and runs under OpenBSD, then find out how I create a package.

Now, onto Solaris. Frankly I'm surprised. It could be my machine, but I'm not sure. 3/05 worked slow, but fine. So I went and really did something insane. I purchased 1/06 on DVD, all eight DVDs. I installed it, and got to it. It works, BUT it doesn't see any serial ports, meaning one of two things. Either I go and find a 10GB drive, and install it on fatty, so that I can at least have network access for the poor thing, or any time I want to grab stuff for Solaris, I'll have to download it to fatty first, then start up Solaris, and pull the data off fatty. sigh.

For the moment, I'll have to see what will happen with Solaris, go browse website or stuff.

And my final complaint... Windows. The two pieces of hardware I installed were:

  1. A multi-function card, containing four USB 2.0 ports, and three FireWire ports. Came from Dick Smith Electronics, and came with a CD with its own driver.
  2. A NVidia MX4400 (though this may not stay).

If I try and start up Windows XP, it flatly doesn't get started. Shows the logo screen, scrolls the little blue bar a bit, then stops. Dead. If I haul out that card, then Windows will boot. At least until it decides to go find out what other video cards exist. When it finds the NVidia, then things get .... interesting again. So far, I haven't had a successful boot of my Windows XP system since I got these two cards. I got the first card so that I had more plug-n-play options, and the speed increase that USB 2.0 gives. However, the driver makes Windows have blue fits. I'm not sure exactly WHAT the issue is for the Nvidia card. Again, I suspect I'll have to do some surfing.

Well, that's all from me for the moment. I'll get this posted, tidy up the fonts, and go screaming mad.