Nokia - Page 3

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View
Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

LOL! I can't imagine doing that. You learn so much more by putting a  
machine together yourself. Learning to solve the problems that occur makes  
you independant of outside consultants who many not be available on a  
Saturday night at midnight when you are pursuing the latest fantastic idea.

Anyway, I solved my problem. Moving off Ubuntu was the solution. I went to  
Linux Mint and was able to reconstuct the same pulldown menus that Ubuntu  
had. This means I now can stay current with all the updates and changes  
that occur with the hardware and software. And it's all free!

Thanks to all those who work hard to make this possible.

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
On 9/11/2013 8:29 PM, John K wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well, different strokes and all that.  I'm not very interested in PCs  
per se, so I invest in all the power I need, up front, and then press on  
to the (to me) interesting stuff--electro-optics and advanced analogue,  
mostly.  My office machine is about 150 Gflops.

I installed CentOS 6 on that machine, and it took me a completely  
unproductive half day to figure out how to get it to boot from the  
Adaptec RAID 5 array controller.  Getting the sound card working was  
only about half an hour's worth of pain, and it was a year later anyway.

Over the years I've spent a fair amount of time debugging driver  
incompatibilities and so forth in four or five OSes.  Unlike the rest of  
what I do, that puts me on the learning curve of Sisyphus.  That isn't  
very productive even for a wage slave, and for a consultant, it's idiotic.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs



--  
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
  
Golly, what kind of cpu gives 150 Gflops?

I agree. Your time is much better spent creating new stuff. My case is a  
bit different. I am have legacy software requirements to maintain. If I  
went to a PC shop and told them what I need, they would have no clue what  
I was talking about.

Slapping a new motherboard in a case along with a power supply is  
trivial. The problem is keeping compatible software. This is now a  
serious problem with the Microsoft/Intel EUFI boot that is in most of the  
new motherboards. It can really screw you if you need to maintain legacy  
code.

Until I have time to sit down and learn the Win32 API, I am stuck with  
code I started writing in the 1980's. This means running DOS for the  
compiler, which means XP or Win7 since Win8 won't run DOS. I also rely on  
an excellent program from Win98 for security, but it won't run on Win7.  
This leaves XP as the only solution.

It is impossible to make backups of the entire XP system, so I run in  
VirtualBox. This means using VBox version 3.2 to create new vdi's, and  
operating in version 4.0 to run the vdi. Later versions do funny things  
with LTspice.

This means I am stuck with Ubuntu 10.04, which is no longer supported. It  
also means finding a motherboard that will boot in non-EUFI mode, which  
turns out to be quite difficult. I already wasted $140 on an Asus board  
which claims to be non-EUFI compliant, but it won't boot Ubuntu 10.04 so  
it is now scrap.

The Asrock Z77 will boot Ubuntu 10.04, but it will not install 10.04 on a  
new disk drive. It won't boot. This means I have to figure out how to  
clone my 10.04 installation so it will run on the Asrock.

It also means I have to get multiple Asrock motherboards to install in  
all my computers, plus some spares before they obsolete it and it is no  
longer available.
  
I am also planning on running RAID5 in software for reliability, but I  
have to solve the boot problems and figure how to clone an existing  
Ubuntu installation over to the RAID array.

So in this case, the hardware part is trivial. The problem is meeting all  
the software requirements, which an outside shop simply could not do.

I was a bit premature with the comments on Linux Mint. It has so many  
bugs and really silly modifications to the existing Ubuntu programs that  
make it harder to use. I quickly gave up and went back to 10.04.

So if you need to stay on XP, your work is cut out for you.

Thanks,

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

FWIW, I've had great success using Acronis True Image to backup and
restore the OS partitions on XP machines. Used it to "move" the whole
system to a larger drive and, later, to put it all onto a new drive
when that one failed. What's worked for me is to boot from the
Acronis-created boot CD (which is some flavor of Linux) to create the
system backups, so that the XP OS isn't "alive" while it is being
backed up, and to restore the image to the new disk.

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
On 09/18/2013 04:33 AM, John K wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Dual 8-core Magny Cours Opterons.  The specs are on my equipment page,  
http://electrooptical.net/www/EOILab/LabEquipment.html

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I have a bunch of old S/W that I'm pretty attached to as well,  
particularly old Mathcads, WordPerfect 5.1+ for DOS, and Freelance 4.0  
for DOS.  I use Qemu/KVM virtual machines running XP and Win 7 to look  
after that.  As long as the facility is still there, I'm pretty much  
future-proof.  (The horror that is Win 8 got me motivated to make sure  
that there'll be classical Win32 available as long as I'm likely to need  
it.)

I'll probably put VirtualBox on my i7 system so that I can run OS/2,  
which is the best DOS platform ever.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I'm a fan.  Microsoft C 6.0ax lives!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

LTspice runs very well in Wine on my CentOS 6.4 box.  It also runs fine  
in all my VMs.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Blech.


I haven't found it that hard, but maybe I'm just lucky.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

--  
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

[...]

Quoted text here. Click to load it

How do you stop the DOS code from taking 100% of the cpu due to the
keyboard reader?

I use Tame 4.5 which seems to work very well most of the time. But
I'd be interested to find if something better was available. Here's
their url:

http://www.tamedos.com/

I paid for the license but the author never responded to my emails
about problems with his code.

[...]

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, LTspice works great in Wine. Unfortunately, Wine will not run
the DOS code that I depend on so much.

However, I am very interested in your VMs and will comment below.

[...]

Quoted text here. Click to load it




Phil, I want to thank you very much for responding to this thread.
You have helped me a great deal.

First problem: the Asrock motherboard is very buggy. For reference
here are some of the problems:

Defective AsRock Motherboard
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. It often has random system crashes to a black screen. This causes
loss of all the work I have done to that point.

2. It often repeats last key that was pressed all by itself. This is
a disaster when you are editing files or switching from one window
to the next to purchase items online. I can often tell when it is
going to start doing it. If I press a key and nothing happens, then
I press it again, it will start giving multiple keypresses even
though the key is no longer being pressed. My keyboard cannot do
this. There is nothing wrong with the keyboard. It works fine on
other computers. This is a system problem with the Asrock.

3. The Asrock will boot Ubuntu 10.04 if it was installed by another
pre-UEFI computer, but it will not boot if it installed the
software on a hard disk.

4. Filesystem errors - Windows boots to safe mode and does a chkdsk
by itself. It goes too fast to see what files are corrupted and
there is no log so I don't know which files I am losing.

5. It often claims a file is in use when it is not being used
anywhere. This makes it impossible to update or move it.

6. For some unknown reason, the system does not like my editor. It
terminates the process whenever it can so I have to reload the
editor and start over.

7. My files are getting corrupted due to cross-linked clusters when
the system crashes. I have seen this often on Win98 with a FAT32
filesystem but never on a NTFS file system. It is a catastrophe.

8. The system is unusable due to file corruption. I don't dare
backup anything since I don't know which files ones are corrupted.

The motherboards are going back to Newegg for a full refund,
including shipping.

I looked at your Equipment page (very impressive!) and see you are
using a Supermicro H8DGI motherboard. I downloaded the manual and
found it uses the plain ascii AMI BIOS, and not the UEFI GUI bios
that is so horrible to use and causes so many problems.

I searched Supermicro for a LGA1155-compatible motherboard and found
the C7H61 is about the only one that is listed in most online
shopping sites such as NCIX. The manual shows the same AMI BIOS is
used on this motherboard also.

This is fantastic. It is the first time I have seen a non-UEFI
LGA1155 motherboard with the plain ascii AMI bios that is so easy to
work with.

It uses the H61 chipset, which is the bottom rank of all that Intel
makes. However I found a review that shows it is as fast as the H67,
so it is fine for my needs.

Unfortunately, it is the most expensive motherboard I have
considered. At $217.58 including shipping and taxes it is about
double the cost of the other boards I was considering. Also, nobody
stocks it. Delivery takes 1 to 2 weeks, and no returns are allowed.

However, if it bypasses the silly Microsoft/Intel UEFI problems, it
is worth its weight in gold to me.

For VMs, I looked at QEMU very early in the process. I could not get
it to work, and of all the other choices, VirtualBox was the only
viable option.

However, it is becoming difficult to use. VBox 3.2 is the last
version that allows you to install XP and add a printer. Later
versions refuse to allow a printer. I have wasted much time and
effort finding this out.

However, VBox 3.2 loads too slow, so the next version is 4.2. This
version will not work with later versions of Ubuntu due to library
incompatibility. So you are boxed in on Ubuntu 10.04 with all the
problems finding a motherboard that will install it.

But I think you have solved the problem. You have shown that QEMU
will work on the Supermicro bios, and that you have no problems
running XP and Win7.

This is fantastic news. It gives me hope I can finally break free of
the UEFI bios loop with all the wasted money, time and effort.

I thank you very much for all your help, and anxiously await
delivery of the Supermicro so I can start doing real work again!

Many Thanks,

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Sorry, make that 4.04. 4.2 does funny things with LTspice and generates  
tons of log files in the VirtualBox folder that I have to go in and delete.

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It occurs to me that the plain old AMI bios took decades to debug and get  
working correctly. And  it was pretty simple.

The Microsoft/Intel UEFI bios is completely new and has an impossibly-
complicated specification. I don't think anyone can understand it  
completely.

It is pretty clear to me that many of the problems I ran into on the  
Asrock could be related to the new bios. It is certain the programmers  
never checked for compatibility problems with Ubuntu 10.04 running  
VirtualBox 4.04 and XP. The management states clearly they do not support  
Linux.

These problems never occurred with the plain ascii bios in my old Asus  
MV-AM motherboards. These came out before the move to UEFI, which of  
course was triggered by Microsoft. I'll bet they knew what kind of  
problems this would give for Linux.

I am so pleased to be able to get away from this idiotic EUFI bios. I  
think it has the potential to give years of headaches for anyone running  
oddball combinations of Linux and XP.

Thanks,

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
On 09/20/2013 02:30 AM, John K wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Qemu/KVM doesn't run DOS or OS/2, iirc because they start out in real  
(8086) ode.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Bummer.  I use ExpanDrive to let my VMs mount my ~ directory via SSH,  
and then print stuff manually from Linux.  I think Netbios to a cups  
printer works as well.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Glad to be of use.  Also glad to know that I dodged a bullet without  
even knowing about it!

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

--  
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think you did. And you showed the rest of us how to do the same!
  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

To repeat, how do you stop a DOS program from taking 100% of the cpu due to  
the keyboard reader?

Thanks,

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't remember the details, but I seem to remember you loop on read
of the keyboard status until a character is detected, then read the
character.  If you don't want to loop waiting, you could hook the
keyboard interrupt and decode the keystroke (and unstroke) yourself.
If you didn't like the key, pass it thru.

It's been thirty years since I've done it, though, so my memory could
be a little rusty.

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
Quoted text here. Click to load it

DOS is 100% of its CPU, 100% of the time.  Just how would you propose it  
to stop, at any point in general, let alone the keyboard reader?

I seem to recall, in Win98SE, certain operations would yield to Windows  
(dropping process CPU usage from >98% to 0%).  These would have to be  
internal DOS operations (e.g., INT 21h "enter a string from the keyboard"  
call might've done it), since there's no possible way for Windows to snoop  
at any arbitrary program and see it wasting time.  I recall using the  
PAUSE key frequently (which has activity in DOS, but Windows might even  
trap it before it gets there).  DOS calls are nice, because even though  
the code exists in the virtual machine (you can open good old-fashioned  
DEBUG and inspect it), interrupts are handled at the discretion of the OS,  
not the VM.

If nothing else, you can set priorities in Task Manager, so the DOS  
program uses whatever cycles are leftover from more important  
applications.  (Actually, I forget if 98 had this, but XP certainly does.)  
If another application is chewing >95% and you try playing in your DOS  
program, it may or may not be useful (Windows knows to give some  
concentration when a window is focused and the user is applying input,  
but, priority is priority).

With multicore computers so vastly common these days, the chances of DOS  
programs (when they even still run natively) taking more than 50% of CPU  
are pretty well gone.  That doesn't solve the problem, but it does  
conveniently bypass it.

With the dominance of virtualized OSs (e.g., WinNT+) and native 64 bit  
operation these days, DOS programs can't even run natively.  Emulation is  
then required.  WinXP's NTVDM is passable but crunchy.  DOSBox is good, at  
least for a lot of games (YMMV with general programs).  An emulator has  
complete control over when code is run, so you can dial the effective  
clock frequency anywhere you like (last time I downloaded DOSBox, it came  
preset with an emulation rate equivalent to an XT, a handy baseline),  
freeing up the remaining power for other programs.  Cycles are freed  
indiscriminately, so if you need it to run fast, you'll have to set the  
dial yourself, then remember to dial it back.  (There might be shortcuts  
or scripts for setting these automatically, e.g., on window focus and  
etc.)

If none of these are options to you, I don't know what else to say; a  
more-than-capable computer of 5-10 years age can be pulled from the junk  
for free, or at worst, bought for under $100 (although it'll probably be  
single core at that age), and refusing such a bargain is only your fault.

Disclaimer: if your program is supporting aged hardware, you're probably  
SOL.  For example, perhaps a parallel port printer can be migrated to a  
USB-parallel dongle, but a custom bit-banger isn't going to fly (at least  
not without a lot of work).  And even if you have a compatible port, a  
virtual OS (or emulator) won't let DOS diddle with it.  For these cases,  
it's better to keep, say, an old Pentium hanging around, where you can  
program the "bare metal" without worry of drivers and multitasking.  If  
it's being that much of a pain, dump the whole thing and find a better  
replacement!

Tim

--  
Deep Friar: a very philosophical monk.
Website: http://seventransistorlabs.com



Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

www.tamedos.com/

Quoted text here. Click to load it

USB to parallel converters are cheap. However, it is probably best to  
simply move over to USB and use any of the small micros to interface to  
the hardware. If nothing else, the data rate on USB is far greater than  
on a parallel cable, so you can upgrade the design to give better  
performance.  

A flat ribbon cable is a real pain to handle on a workbench. You have to  
have a way to check each bit on the cable to make sure they are all good.  
USB is much smaller and easier to use on the workbench, and you don't  
have a zillion bits to constantly monitor.

JK

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
Quoted text here. Click to load it


But most of them don't work.  
There's plenty of USB to _printer_ adaptors, but if you don't want  
to connect a printer things get more difficult.  

hmm, it seems the Lucent USS720 chip can do it. however it is 1000
times slower than PCI when in bit-bang mode




However, it is probably best to  
Quoted text here. Click to load it


--  
?? 100% natural


Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
On Fri, 20 Sep 2013 23:52:07 +0000, John K wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Dosemu looks after that. Forget about it, it won't happen.

--  
"Design is the reverse of analysis"
                   (R.D. Middlebrook)

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
On Fri, 20 Sep 2013 06:30:44 +0000, John K wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I've yet to find a DOS application that won't run under Dosemu/Freedos.

--  
"Design is the reverse of analysis"
                   (R.D. Middlebrook)

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, but how do you get dos and LTspice to run at the same time?

And when you are running a dos app, how to you prevent it from hogging the  
cpu?

JK

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
Quoted text here. Click to load it

linux...


that depends on the app.

--  
?? 100% natural


Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia
On Fri, 20 Sep 2013 23:48:50 +0000, John K wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Dosemu in an xterm, LTspice in wine. No problem. Alternatively, you
can run dosemu in a separate virtual terminal.

I regularly run LTspice in wine, and various command line things in
separate xterms, simultaneously.

Screenshot posted to A.B.S.E.

I run a 9-screen Gnome desktop, 3x3.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Dosemu looks after that. You can run multiple DOS apps, each in its own xterm.
Linux is truly multitasking/multi-user.

Linux is pretty good at managing CPU usage on its own. You can always play
with nice, if you're so inclined, but it isn't necessary.  

--  
"Design is the reverse of analysis"
                   (R.D. Middlebrook)

Re: OT: Motherboards was Re: Nokia

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for the info. I need to run LTspice and dos programs in the same  
vm. My dos programs edit the ASC files and load the desired one into  
LTspice. They need direct access to the files and the LTspice executable.  
The only way I know how to do this is by running XP and switching to DOS  
mode.

One of the problems doing this is 100% cpu utilization. I use TameDos  
which works well. The utilization drops to ~1% when dos is not doing  
anything.

www.tamedos.com/

I found version 4.5 works best in my system. I paid for a license but the  
registration does not work for v4.5. Without registration, the program  
gives a nag screen if you stay in a dos program for half an hour or so.  
This is a minor inconvenience. The author does not respond to my emails  
requesting help.

One of the problems with running XP is to do a complete backup of all  
data and system files. I run XP in Virtualbox in Ubuntu 10.04. This  
allows saving a complete backup in a matter of seconds so it is very easy  
to keep the backups updated. You can also copy the vdi file to another  
computer and have a byte-identical copy running on a completely different  
motherboard, hard disk and monitor with no changes required to XP. This  
is normally impossible to do.

However, there are very severe problems with the Microsoft/Intel UEFI  
bios which renders all the motherboards I have purchased recently  
completely unusable.

Phil Hobbs runs a Supermicro mb which does not use UEFI. I have one on  
order and will find out in a couple of weeks if it will work in my  
application.

Thanks,

JK

Site Timeline