punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

SETI weirdness

I have had maybe 15-20 hours sleep since Sunday. I mentioned that before, I know, but I had to preface this because of the funny things that have happened to my SETI array. Maybe not so funny, but... well, here it is.

I have 3 dead SETI systems. One (Belldandy) is in repair, and two (Mei and Megumi) died during the power outage. Then, last night while I was working from home on a stupid work issue, Mei poked her head up and said "Hi," on my monitoring systems. Mei came back to life. Mei is a Fedora Core 3 box, 933mhz PIII, and was used a lot when I was studying for the RHCE. She came to me as something they were throwing away at my wife's work. In fact, I first met her while repairing her at takayla's Norfolk office. The previous owner had jammed this Dell Mini-ITX form factor against the wall in such a way, the motherboard warped. We had to buy a new NIC, but they purged her anyway when they upgraded the machines to XP. What makes this so weird is that Mei was unplugged. Or rather, she wasn't anymore, but when she froze at the BIOS after the power outage, I unplugged her power cord for safety reasons and vowed to get to testing her in the ICU (my den) "at some point." Somehow she got plugged in, and then turned herself on last night.


She's in ICU right now, along with Megumi, who also worked when I turned her back on, but then Megumi died again shortly thereafter, and seems to be in some "hung state" those EPC 40 machines get into sometimes. The fix is either hold down the power button while it's unplugged, plug it in, and hold until the green LED stops flashing, or in hard cases... taking it all apart and putting all back together again. Looks like a hard case. :(

But Mei is still going... reporting stats and all.

Belldandy is still on the floor, waiting patiently for an OS.

Then Ryoko stopped reporting. Gentoo boxes have poor records with SETI, in my experience. They often stop for no reason, and I have to restart the BOINC program to get SETI working. Riachu has done that, and finally stopped after a fresh reinstall. But Ryoko shouldn't even exist, in fact, she's a Compaq EVO prototype given to me right after the HP/Compaq merger (we rejected the prototype due to its horrible problems, and HP never asked for it back... so I took it home). Ryoko has some serious IDE channel issues, and sometimes forget she has a hard drive upon reboot. She also does not have PS/2 connectors, which is okay, because she has USB, but not okay with Windows because the motherboard controller (i815 chipset) THINKS it has PS/2 connectors, because no one told it that the mobo is a newer model without them, so it spews out hundreds of BIOS errors upon bootup that it cannot find the IRQ 1 response... and then continues booting. Sadly, the combination of these two factors make it difficult to install an OS on it because the IDE channel confuses GRUB (GRUB, in fact, can't install because it doesn't understand the MBR response on the IDE0), and while LILO works(LILO, in its ignorant simplicity, doesn't care what IDE0 said), it always thinks the ext2 file system is corrupt and needs a manual fsck. The fsck always fails, but then you can boot normally, and the machine works pretty well... until you have to reboot it. At least Linux tells you what's going on; XP would just go into chkdisk, hang, and then the next reboot it would go through to the desktop fine. And since Windows needs a lot of rebooting, this was very annoying. At least Linux will stay up for months and months.

Of course... unless the power goes out. :(
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