Thursday, November 9, 2006

Walla Walla College Ding-Dong Bells

Following in the footprints of engineering greats such as: I worked on the computerized bells system which I believe was a class gift a few years ago. I got the old carillon system running well enough to do a good recording of the chimes and the songs from the old system. The old system used 4 CD players and a hard drive to play all of the songs. Unfortunately the PC was getting old, the fans were dying and it locked up alot. My project is attempting to make a PC last 20 years. Good luck you say? Well, I'm trying to build a PC with no moving parts. I am using a Cappuccino Fanless PC with a 1GB Compact Flash harddrive. I was having problems getting the internal sound card to work so I added a simple Sound Blaster Live 5.1 Digital (Model SB0220) I purchased at Walmart. The computer portion of the system was working somewhat in 2001 until someone unplugged the computer and corrupted the drive. It is looking like the improved hardware will need the following upgrades.
  • Compact flash setup as read-only
  • No swap (already implemented)
  • Log files e-mailed
  • Most Important - Install A UPS
I will start by installing Ubuntu 6.06.1 - Server from the CDROM image downloaded off of the internet. I setup an EXT3 file system over the whole of the 1 GB Compactflash. I did not install a swap file because the frequent reads and writes can cause premature failure of the compact flash. I set the time zone to Pacific and the system time to UTC. The system name is bell. Upon booting up after installation I got the following. Booting 'Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-26-server' root (hd0,0) Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83 kernel /boot/mvlinuz-2.6.15-26-server root=/dev/hda1 ro quiet splash [Linux-bzimage, setup=0x1c00, size=0x16c98f] initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.15-26-server [Linux-initrd@0x773e000, 0x6a16fb bytes] savedefault boot It got that far and then rebooted sponteanously. Next I got into the grub bootloader menu and ran the memory test. I have 128K L1 Cache, 64k L2 Cache, and 126MB ram. I may need more RAM. The memory checked out fine, I let it run for about 40 minutes. At this point I gave up and went to work. Session 2 I am wondering if the problem is that the compact flash has developed bad sectors due to some aspect of the previous installation has been reading and writing to the compact flash enough times (100,000 read/write cycles) to cause it to fail. I was looking around and found the following webpage This explains how to boot from a read only partition into a ram drive and run off of it. I will probably be needing some more memory to get a big enough ram drive however. I installed the included hard drive as the master. I set the compact flash to slave on the same IDE channel. I don't know if they will play together or not. The BIOS screen goes by pretty fast. Hold down DEL to get into BIOS. To start I will install a full UBUNTU on to the hard drive. The computer locked up. I disconnected the compact flash drive and tried again, it works much better now. The compact flash and harddrive will not function on the same IDE channel. Again Ubuntu died at the same point as before. I am beginning to get the idea that Ubuntu isn't going to work. ***Starting to Download Knoppix*** This website looks promising Session 3 Working out of a hotel room, although it isn't that great, they have both wired and wireless internet so I can plug in the bells computer! That is good! (11/14/2006) I got Knoppix downloaded and the ISO burnt to a CD. I will continue to follow the website instructions. On boot I hit F2 for boot options and typed in knoppix 2, so that it would boot as a text-only system. It wasn't finding the network. Used ifconfig -a to see if it had an IP Address. It didn't, I had to renew the IP address using the command pump --renew. I am going to first install the ISO to the harddrive. I formated using cfdisk the 40GB harddrive with 3 partitions. The first is bootable hda1 and is 2GB, the second is also bootable and is 2GB, the third hda3 is bootable and is 36GB, the rest of my drive. All are set to FS Type 82. Linux partition. It gave an error message when I did that, so I am going with the old partition scheme which is probably okay. hda1 is ext3 and 2GB, the rest of the drive is hda2. Tried to mount /hda1 and /hda2 got an error message that they were not in /etc/fstab. Used Pico to edit /etc/fstab. Added the following lines: /dev/hda1 /hda1 ext3 noauto,users,exec 0 0 /dev/hda2 /hda2 ext2 no auto,users,exec 0 0 I had to then create directories /hda1 and /hda2 using mkdir. I am still having problems. I am quickly figuring out that after I partition I still have to format, just like Windows. To do that I will use mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda2 and mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda3. I also deleted hda1 and reformated it as well. The fstab was revised automagically. I mounted the drives using: mount /dev/hda1 mount /dev/hda2 mount /dev/hda3 hda1 will be my target hda2 will be my source and hda3 is the scratch drive. I am creating a lilo.conf for my target drive, but it is currently saved on hda2. Session 4 I am going to try and get the harddrive, Compact Flash and CDROM to work together. I took everything about and discovered that the harddrive was strapped to be a single device. This explains why nothing was working when I tried to put the Compact Flash and Harddisk on the same IDE channel. I ended up strapping the HD for slave and the compact flash for master. hda is the compact flash hdb is the hardrive hdc is the CDROM So I need to get the ISO onto the hard disk. To do this I am going to put it on the compact flash using my laptop. I will have to format the compact flash for FAT. I copied the ISO file to the CF disk. I then booted off of the Live CD using "knoppix 2" so that it wouldn't try and boot into GUI mode. Knoppix automatically setup my /etc/fstab to make these drives mountable. I will "mount /dev/hda1" which is currently my compact flash and "mount /dev/hdb3" which is my scratch directory on the hard drive. now I will cp /mnt/hda1/KNOPPIX_V5.0.1CD-2006-06-01-EN.iso /mnt/hdb3/ This is followed by much crunching and flashing of hard drive lights as 696 MB is copied from compact flash to HDD. Session 5 Nov 16, 2006 I tried setting up the compact flash with a linux and FAT16 partition but it didn't work too well. So now it has two partitions hda1 which is 700MB and hda2 which is 300MB. That way linux can live and boot off of the 700MB and the bells can live on hda2's 300MB. I setup my new lilo.conf as follows: backup=/dev/null #don't bother saving old MBR state map=/boot/map prompt timeout=150 menu-title=" WWC Bells " lba32 boot=/dev/hda #put boot loader in MBR of /dev/hda root=/dev/hda1 #set root to be /dev/hda1 # This segment defines my default, and boots the 2.4 kernel # It specifies the HOME and MYCONF locations, and enables DMA image=/boot/isolinux/linux #file containing image to boot label=Knoppix initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt.gz #initial ram disk contents read-only append="ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off nomce quiet BOOT_IMAGE=/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX home=/mnt/hda2 dma" The above mentioned webpage I am following for loose instructions on how to do this assumes that: Target Drive is /dev/hda and is already formated. Check! Source ISO file is in /mnt/hdb1/newknoppix.iso. My source file is in /mnt/hdb3/newknoppix.iso The desired lilo.conf is in /mnt/hdb1/lilo.conf My lilo is in /mnt/hdb2/lilo.conf I will execute the following commands. mount /dev/hda1 #mount the target drive mount /dev/hdb2 #mount this drive to get the lilo.conf mount /dev/hdb3 #mount this drive to get the iso image mkdir /mnt/staging #make a place to mount the ISO file mount -t iso9660 -o loop,ro /mnt/hdb3/newknoppix.iso /mnt/staging cp -af /mnt/staging/* /mnt/hda1 #copy files from mounted image to compact flash (hda1) This takes a long time. We are copying nearly 700MB! cp /mnt /hdb2/lilo.conf /mnt/hda1/boot #copy over the lilo config file ln -sf /mnt/hda1/boot / #links the boot directory to be the root directory lilo -C /mnt/hda1/boot/lilo.conf reboot It died in the process of copying all of the files. Turns out this version is 712MB instead of 600 something. I will re partition my compact flash and try again. 800MB for LINUX hda1 partition and the rest for the bells partition. I will then format it. CFDISK doesn't work very well I am discovering unless the drive you are partitioning is umounted first. Makes sense. I will now proceed with the following commands. cp /mnt/hdb2/lilo.conf /mnt/hda1/boot #copy over the lilo config file ln -sf /mnt/hda1/boot / #links the boot directory to be the root directory lilo -C /mnt/hda1/boot/lilo.conf reboot When running lilo command I got the error Fatal: Tying to map files from unnamed device 0x0010 (NFS/RAID mirror down?) I don't know why, but it may have to do with the device map file.

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