Marc's Public Blog - Linux Hacking


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This page has a few of my blog entries about linux, but my main linux page is here
Picture of Linus

Here is a list of older linux event reports I made before my blog was started, then the rest are below
1996/11/18-21:Linux Pavillion Comdex Fall 1996 (photos only). I've been going since then to help at the linux pavillion.
1997/11/18-21: Linux Pavillion Comdex Fall 1997 (photos only)
1998/05/28-30: Linuxexpo 1998 (photos only)
1998/11/16-20: Linux Pavillion Comdex Fall 1998 (full report)
1998/11/11: Silicon Valley Tea Party (report with pictures)
1999/02/15: Windows Refund Day (report with pictures)
1999/03/20: SVLUG KTEH night (photos only)
1999/03/01-04: LinuxWorld Expo Winter 99 (complete report with many pictures)
1999/03/31: Mozilla Party one year anniversary (photos only)
1999/05/18-22: Linuxexpo 1999 (complete report with many pictures)
1999/06/07: June 99 Balug meeting with Linus
1999/08/09-12: LinuxWorld Expo Summer 99 (complete report with many pictures)
1999/11/15-19: Linux Business Show at Comdex Fall 1999 (full report with pictures)
2000/08/14-17: LinuxWorld Expo Summer 2000 (complete report with many pictures)
2001/01/17-20: Linux.conf.au/LCA 2001 (complete report with pictures)
2001/07/25-28: OLS 2001 (photos only)
2001/08/25: Linux 10th Anniversary (report with pictures)
2001/09/27-30: LinuxWorld Expo Summer 2001 report with pictures)
2001/11/05-10: ALS 2001 (photos only)
2002/06/26-29: OLS 2002 (photos only)
2003/01/20-25: LCA 2003 (photos only)
2003/07/23-26: OLS 2003 (photos only)
2004/01/12-17: LCA 2004 (photos only)
2004/07/21-24: OLS 2004 (photos only)
2005/04/18-23: LCA 2005 (photos only)
2006/01/24-28: LCA 2006 (photos only)
2007/01/17-21: LCA 2007 (photos only)

Here is a list of all the talks I've given:

And below are my blog posts:



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2023/03/09 Solar Monitoring Bit Flip Rabbithole
π 2023-03-09 01:01 in Linux, Linuxha
My own "I'm just going to spend 5mn to fix this" story, that lasted over 6H.

  • Power outage rebooted one of my energy monitors and it's now counting one of my solar arrays backwards because of an apparent bit flip in the flash (it's an old device)
  • 10 days later I'm finally home long enough to look at this, I "just" need to connect to it via some windows only app, connect via the serial port and reprogram the lost/corrupted settings
  • Ah, but my only desktop/windows machine left in the house blew a capacitor on its motherboard recently, and I haven't been able to justify the time to fix it (that would be a rabbit hole on its own and I know this), so I can't use that
  • unfortunately that one device only works with a real serial port, not any USB-serial adapters I've been able to try (and I have 4 different brands/chips), so that prevents use of any of my laptops
  • oh, wait, I do have a much older thinkpad with a docking station that has a _real_ serial port, let's try this.
  • ok, it boots, but the windows XP partition gives some "NTLDR missing". I haven't used it in some 15 years, so I wouldn't know
  • ok, let's boot linux, ubuntu oneiric, oh my. Virtualbox won't work, modules are broken, I try a few of the kernels, a mix of 32bit kernels with himem for the 8GB of RAM, and some x64 kernels with 32bit userspace. None of them want to build working virtualbox modules.
  • apt-get install is of course broken with a weird dependency chain, not going to go to _that_ rabbithole either (see, I've learned from previous times)
  • maybe I can make that WXP partition boot again? Ok, I'll skip details on how that ends up in cleaning half my bedroom while looking for old boot/recovery CDs (BartPE, UBCD, etc...), another 1.5h rabbithole
  • eventually get the boot CDs, they also BSOD during boot, look in bios, change the SATA support from AHCI to compatible, that fixes it
  • fast forward through some "details", boot WXP recovery console, apply "fixboot" and "fixmbr" which of course removes the install-mbr bootloader I had installed to dual boot WXP and llinux, and was not present on my linux recovery CDs
  • eventually boot some linux recovery that allows me to decrypt the linux partition (luksopen), chroot into it because it's not the same binary format, and install-mbr -t 54 -v -e 14FA -p 2 -is /dev/sda
  • eventually get WXP to boot, for some reason the wireless support does not work anymore and can't connect. Ok, use ethernet instead and everything is so old that none fhe web browsers work, because everything is https and the ciphers are all incompatible with older browsers now
  • retrieve the device windows software from my normal laptop, copy it over, install it, it runs, uses the real serial port on the ultrabay, and connects to my power monitor. I revert the broken settings on the device over serial, and save them.
  • SUCCESS!

    That only took about 6H, why it it dark outside? Oh, it's past midnight. What was I doing before that?


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