Ranting and Muttering :
Where every idea ends up being the worst idea you have ever had and yet you can not seem to let go. Various systems are running and available to the right sort of geeks. Stuff running : hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ hydra AMD64 FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE-p3 This is a mixture of SATA and SAS disk storage hacked together. Actual black electrical tape is involved as well as spinning fans hanging on loose wires. No case. Propped up on corks from Chimay beer. update : hydra now lays on the floor in a corner. Still is propped up on some Chimay beer corks and that works. Perfectly pretty at night. Flashing SAS lights and such. No RGB. Go away with your RGB unless you are Jesse Shanahan and then you can go full on bonkers cool to the max! hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ esther i686 FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE-p3 Some crazy details : This is a bonkers little motherboard that just refuses to die! This is a flame proof JetWay board ! Actually this is a VIA Eden Esther processor on a tiny little motherboard I found in a closet somewhere. Was wrapped in old socks. Has a massive 1GB of memory as well as the cutest little itty bitty power supply called a pico PSU. Also she is screwed to a wall and duct tape holding the cpu fan in place for testing. update : now runs FreeBSD 13 and we discovered a speaker on the thing. It can make noises. The truely strange thing is that I did discover where the performance problem really exists. I did not have flashing leds on it. Anywhere. I have found the real solution --> well there is your problem All one really needs is the Turbo Led. Get yours today! Expect me to offer the Turbo Led as a product real soon! Get yours! Do a pre-order! Don't miss out on a totally cool led that may or may not actually work but that is why you pre-order five of them ! Optional warning label may read : "gefingerpoken and watchen das blinkenlights on der turbo-led!" Operators are standing by. Have your Credit card ready. Face East. Under a full moon and with a Jazz black cat on your mothers birthday. Note that funds for pre-orders will go directly to beer research investments : DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING and often NOTHING is what will happen. However having said all that I can tell you that all funds go to a really great place. Really. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ io armv7l Weird Linaro Linux This is the original ASUS TinkerBoard and it seems to run really well. Fast in fact. Except the storage is some trash SDIMM that was stuck on my desk. I scraped off the food bits and stuck it into the TinkerBoard. Seems to work just fine but is hellish confused about what a long double floating point datatype is. Also has a fan wired to a few GPIO pins that seems to provide 5 volts. Just to toss a little storage on the thing I plugged in a Kingston Memory USB thumbdrive ( do people still say that? ) on the thing. Storage is a disaster slow horrible affair on these little small board System on a Chip SBC crappers. That also means the Raspberry Pi sucks for the same reason. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ enceladus ppc64 * * * dead * * * W A R N I N G : Gentoo may have killed this machine! Gentoo may have *also* killed the backup machine. After building Gentoo with full debug options.... there was a brief reboot and the cooling system went bonkers. Fans and colling pumps were at maximum and in an hour the machine halted. Died. Would never boot again. No doubt there were some serious problems with thermal monitoring and management in the kernel and modules that were built. Sad but true. Should have stayed with Debian? Named after the coolest moon in our solar system by a seriously cool genius Jesse Shanahan. This monster just never fails. Runs big endian ppc64 on an old Apple G5 powermac with dual liquid cooling fans and dual hard disks. It can crank out a bootstrap of GCC 12.x in 16 hours and then crank the entire Linux 5.19.0 kernel in maybe 90 minutes. Brilliant beautiful hardware. Has the strange feature of turning into a windfarm under load. One of the very few big endian machines running and it often discovers bugs in other peoples software. Mostly because a lot of open source projects have "works for me" attitude on some Linux x86 boxen and then SHIP IT out to production! Then the software blows up on big endian. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ spartacus sparcv9 Oracle Solaris 11.3 I hate Larry. I call the Oracle sales line over and over and can have a fistful of money and they never return my call. What the hell! I just want the damn boxen to run and to get some updates as needed. Damn it. To be entirely honest this machine was made by Fujitsu and the thing is a workhorse that can thrash mathematics better than any other damn machine I have. It does know how to do Fused Multiply and Add in one operation. Even better it can use registers in the number of four. This is FMA4 baby! The thing rocks the math but can never get a software or firmware update. The Lawnmower Man says "no". NOTE: I love SPARC hardware. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ nix sparc Sun Solaris 8 The wonderful room heater that I call nix is actually a dual processor Sun SPARCStation 20. It runs Solaris 8 with all of the up to date patches and I can tell you it is rock solid stable. The only hassle to deal with is the darn battery which some hardware design fool placed inside a NVRAM chip. Really? Therefore the battery has died years ago but I need that NVRAM chip even if the power on sequence reveals borked up contents for some of the NVRAM data. Easy to fix. No problem. Some cool folks have gone so far as to hack a modern battery holder onto the ROM chip. Entirely too much work for me! hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ mimas AMD64 NetBSD 9.3 This is an old Lenovo STinkPad that refuses to die. It has very little in the way of horsepower compared to modern systems but plenty if you run a nice lean UNIX or Linux. So therefore it made good sense to have a NetBSD machine somewhere in the pile. Who knows what pain may happen when we try to build software on NetBSD ? Thus far a GCC 12.2.0 bootstrap has been met with a few problems but they should be fixable. In fact that problem has been fixed. Seems that GNU Patch is required for the -Z option. Good luck. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ callisto x86_64 barely FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE-p1 Found in a trash bin to be tossed out. There were five of these little black Lenovo boxes heaped in there. I fished out the ones that did not have raccoons playing DOOM2 and after some beer was able to build this unit. The thing has a spinning disk and an Intel Core 2 Duo thing. It does run FreeBSD like a champion killer and also with ZFS man! Yes there is the LAST DAMN AWESOME filesystem E V E R here on a little black box in the corner. A treasure as it just runs and never seems to falter. Also, yes, ZFS cures the last problem we care about in life. Ultimate storage. Crazy idea that you can save data to a filesystem and it will still be there when you want it later. It will even be the same data that did not just melt away like btr. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ pollux sparcv9 Solaris 10 This is one of those long lost endlessly working Netra boxen that Sun Microsystems made with hands of angels and blessed with gossamer strands of rainbows. It will never die. I have carefully hand crafted some software therein but I shall never be worthy of the Gods that created this cathedral. Getting a compiler for this from Oracle requires terrible services in some dark alley with Larry. I will not go there. Nope. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ styx x86_64 FreeBSD 14.0-CURRENT We try to deal with difficult situations and things that won't make any reasonable sense. Imagine, if you will, in a silent moment, a person in a corner that will come out fighting like Rhonda Rousey. A disaster of fury and power and also will be beautiful in the moment. This is FreeBSD CURRENT. Say it. Say the word quietly under your breath. Current. The river flows and you are in the water and this is the machine that builds with the latest code from FreeBSD. This is ZFS and top of the line latest UNIX goodness. This is a battleship of power that can serve. Sadly, it can not do math. At least not until a person with endless hours can pour over the code in strtod. I find it odd that the GlibC folks bit into this problem like vulture on a meat wagon. This machine cranks out a new kernel and buildworld frequently. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ thor ppc64le POWER9 dream So I talked with these guys who said I can live just fine with part of my liver missing and also one kidney. This is a perfectly reasonable trade to get POWER9 in my life. Oh how I love the heavy IBM hardware. Someone please take me back to the mainframe clusters and the SNA3270 goodness. Dreams of JCL and COBOL and awesome FORTRAN-IV. The days when we pushed rockets and jets and metals bearings to the limits of material faith. These nice guys in great dark suits say I can give up a kidney and just a small part of my liver ( sadly abused ) to get a POWER9 server. Please help me. A Raptor Blackbird would be nice here. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ titan x86_64 Devuan Linux Minor monster with 512G of ECC memory and triple NVidia Quadro GPU units. Two of those are wide open unlocked killers that can slam FP64 numerical data at crazy speeds. A test of a full GCC 12.1.0 bootstrap took about 15 minutes and that includes ada as well as a bunch of other options. This boxen may end up being some backend build box for stuff. Or play DOOM2. hostname architecture operating system ------------------------------------------------------------ mercury i686 FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE-p1 Every now and then you run into some slab of hardware that seems to have no reason to keep on running .... but it does. Well. Here we need to use the term "exceptional" as I don't know what else works to describe this beast. Damn thing is a brick of steel and capacitors from some historical period where quality mattered. Here I mean the manufacturing is nothing less than flawless. Das ist und BEAST with no less than four SCSI controllers. The monster has internal IDE and also PCI slots with an old EISA slot around also. There is no such thing as on board graphics nor audio. There is no such thing as built in ethernet. You get a speaker connected to some motherboard pins and the thing can beep. Really loud. With FreeBSD it can actually play music from that nasty large PC speaker. It really is annoying but also cool. The storage is attached external Sun Microsystems SCSI storage array as well as a single external Sun Microsystems SCSI disk pack. The red Swingline stapler is there as a cherry on top. Internally there is a HP 4mm DAT tape drive as well as a floppy drive. What about all that SCSI and ethernet that is needed? For that we have the actual one thing on the motherboard. Internal Adaptec SCSI controller for the internal disks that no longer exist. There is no external SCSI port from the thing so that Adaptec chip is doing not much. The external storage is provided via a PCI Adaptec AIC-7880U as well as two ( count them! ) Broadcom/LSI 53c875 SCSI boards that also provide an ethernet port. Each has external SCSI and of course the ethernet. Then, just for flavour, there is a PCI VIA Technologies Rhine-II VT6102/VT6103 ethernet board. The graphical console is a gift from another PCI card of the past : Matrox MGA G200 AGP. Yes the graphics works just find on the Matrox board. So there is still a slot free for the SoundBlaster Live! card. Somehow. As I say this machine is a dual processor beast from the past with amazing Intel Pentium II Deschutes modules. Yes these are great big modules and there are two of them in there with an amazing 768MB of memory. Who could ask for anything more! All of the above ( except dream thor with the POWER9 ) are very real and a whole collection of geeks use them. These are not QEMU or some other virtual shazaam magic thing. The AWS Amazon people are specialists at that trash. The real thing, is in fact, the real thing. You know it when you see it. You also know it when you run it. Like a fine scotch, you can not fake Macallan 15 or the 1824 series Macallan 25. Those who know actually know. Recently I was introduced to Laphroaig and that has worked out very well. Like drinking a camp fire of peat moss. Only it is smooth! Also, the x86 hardware tends to fall over pretty badly if asked to do things like an fmal(a,b,c) because x86 hardware simply can not implement actual floating point datatypes from the IEEE754-2008 spec. All of the POWER and SPARC equipment can, sort of. POWER9 really does. see schedule