Archive for the 'Toys' Category

Supermicro SATA DOM flash devices don’t report lifetime writes correctly

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

I’m playing around with a pair of Supermicro SATA DOM flash devices at the moment, evaluating them for use as the operating system storage for servers (as opposed to where customer data goes). They’re flash devices with a limited write endurance. The smallest model (16GB), for example, is good for 17TB of writes. Therefore it’s […]

Installing Debian by PXE using Supermicro IPMI Serial over LAN

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Here’s how to install Debian jessie on a Supermicro server using PXE boot and the IPMI serial-over-LAN. Using these instructions you will be able to complete an install of a remote machine, although you will initially need access to the BIOS to configure the IPMI part. BIOS settings This bit needs you to be in […]

SSDs and Linux Native Command Queuing

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Native Command Queueing Native Command Queuing (NCQ) is an extension of the Serial ATA protocol that allows multiple requests to be sent to a drive, allowing the drive to order them in a way it considers optimal. This is very handy for rotational media like conventional hard drives, because they have to move the head […]

Fun with Supermicro motherboard serial headers

Friday, June 19th, 2015

or, “LOL, standards” TL;DR: Most motherboards have a serial header in an IDC-10 (5×2 pins) arrangement with the pins as a row of even numbered pins (2,4,6,8,X) followed by a row of odd numbered pins (1,3,5,7,9). Supermicro ones appear to have the pins in sequential order (6,7,8,9,X and then 1,2,3,4,5). As a result a standard […]

OneRNG kickstarter arrived!

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

My OneRNG kickstarter arrived today. I had five units, so I chose three external models and two internal ones. The finish of the external model isn’t really up to the quality of an Entropy Key. Here’s a picture of them together. Given that the external model looks rather flimsy — I could imagine it getting […]

Has your CurrentCost ever done this?

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Update: Replacing the battery and retraining the receiver fixed it. I suppose it must have had enough juice to flash the LED but not transmit. A few days ago my CurrentCost starting reading just dashes. There’s also no transmitter icon, so I think it’s not receiving anything from the transmitter. It looks like this: I […]

Home file server / disk enclosure troubles

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

On March 26th the file server here at home started resetting one of its ATA links over and over, in a couple of bursts each hour. Like this: Mar 26 13:38:34 specialbrew kernel: [5137674.573170] ata5.03: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0xc0 SErr 0x400000 action 0x6 Mar 26 13:38:34 specialbrew kernel: [5137674.579164] ata5.03: irq_stat 0x00060002, device error […]

Adventures in entropy, part 2

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Recap Back in part 1 I discussed what entropy is as far as Linux is concerned, why I’ve started to look in to entropy as it relates to a Linux/Xen-based virtual hosting platform, how much entropy I have available, and how this might be improved. If you didn’t read that part yet then you might […]

Adventures in entropy, part 1

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

A while back, a couple of BitFolk customers mentioned to me that they were having problems running out of entropy. A brief explanation of entropy as it relates to computing Where we say entropy, we could in layman’s terms say “randomness”. Computers need entropy for a lot of things, particularly cryptographic operations. You may not […]

Gating Twitter to IRC using Perl and Net::Twitter

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

The other day I had a strop about someone carrying on a Twitter conversation in IRC, since I didn’t have a Twitter account and had no idea what people were talking about. It was at that point that I floated the idea of gating the channel members’ tweets into the channel so I would still […]