After pondering the question of whether ToMacOrNotToMac for entirely too long, while I was at the Kansas City Micro Center on an errand on 30Dec2001, I saw this plane-jane Powerspec PC for $999, and it looked like a good enough match for my PerfectOffice. (boy, if I had read "djb's advice on hardware": I might have had the confidence to build my own machine, cheaper and faster.) This is a <a href="">Powerspec PS8420</a>. DebianLinuxJustWorks, for this hardware, for the most part; I use see also: WinFourLinOnDebian to run quicken. Some detail: * Processor: 1.7GHz pentium 4. * System Board: Gigabyte GA-8IDML. * Memory: 1GB. (after .5GB upgrade) * disk controller: 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801BA IDE U100 (rev 12). (per lspci) * Sound: Creative CT5880 (<a href="">alsa driver</a>: snd-ens1371; oss driver module: es1371). See also: ThreeChordsAndTheTruth * (the 10/100 eth adapter got zapped by lightning) * LAN: D-Link RealTek RTL8139 card. * Video: nvidia GeForce2; <a href="">drivers from nvidia</a> support 3d acceleration (<a href="/2004/dirk/XF86Config-4">XF86Config-4</a>. <a href="">nvidia-howto</a> test: DebianPackage:tuxracer. ). VGA cable extender from closet to desktop. see FlatPanelDisplay. * Disks: * WDC WD600AB-00CDB0 60GB * Maxtor 53073H4 older 30GB disk, purchased 19Nov2000 from Micro Center * I use DebianPackage:lvm2 and reiserfs **30May2004** in #debian I learned that hdparm fiddling is not likely to improve on the smarts in the kernel drivers. * ConfidentialityVersusAvailability is a constant struggle * ToDo: print grub/menu.lst * Optical disks: * SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-216B Q001 20010913 * TSST CDW/DVD TS-H492A installed **13May2005**. plays DVDs reasonably well with DebianPackage:totem-xine (DebianPackage:totem-gstreamer works too, but seems to be a bit choppy) * Keyboard: using a Logitech USB keyboard and a USB hub. <a href=""> HCL - Internet Navigator Keyboard</a> * Mouse: ps/2 mouse. nice weight, but mouse balls have got to go. Replaced it with an optical USB mouse. See "USB mouse details": * Speakers: nothing special, I don't suppose, but the integrated speakers in my FlatPanelDisplay sound pretty cheesy in comparison. hmm... move the HT3D speakers here after replacing the reciever in the CoolestBasement with a home-theater-in-a-box? * Diskette drive: normal. (trying not to use this any more...) I took the linmodem out because it's junk. I moved the 52x CD-ROM to AmdAntec. I have an old WinCast/TV PCI card for VideoPresence. Almost works, but I took it out. See also: <a href="">details from epinions</a>. <hr />**29May2004**: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (<a href="">ALSA</a>) OK, installing DebianPackage:lvm2 allowed me to boot with with DebianPackage:kernel-image-2.6 and use the snd-es1371 module with DebianPackage:alsa-base. Also updated my WinFourLinOnDebian setup to 2.6. <a href="/2004/dirk/kernel-image-2.6.6-win4lin_winl.1_i386.deb">kernel-image-2.6.6-win4lin_winl.1_i386.deb</a> is the product of <a href="/2004/dirk/make.out">an hour of kernel compilation</a>, not to mention the 2 attemps before I got the <a href="2004/dirk/">make-kpkg prayer</a> right. <hr />**30Jan2003**: My keyboard suddenly stopped working yesterday. I tried everything short of rebooting to fix it yesterday. Today, not even rebooting works. The ps2/usb dongle seems to have gone KerFlewey. Not only that, but the machine won't boot cleanly. It still thought hdb8 was an ext2 filesystem, but I changed it to LVM a while ago (forgot to update /etc/fstab; perhaps there's something to this business where MS windows reboots every time you change something...). But even fixing that doesn't work. Meanwhile, the Nov 2003 installation seems to work (ssh key fingerprint 9c:52:14:e1:94:4f:b6:a3:d6:46:79:de:5b:59:06:0f). I updated DebianPackage:gnome, then did a dist-upgrade, then discovered DebianPackage:galeon conflicts with mozilla-psm and hence with gnome... though upgrading to sid would clear that, but no joy. So I'm using DebianPackage:mozilla-firebird. (epiphany doesn't have a google search deely, at least not by default.) ToDo: restore DNS cache: "powered by djbdns": More WirelessNetworkingUpsAndDowns: the PCI<->PCMCIA gizmo that I bought [@@LDH report; cuecat the UPC code...] turns out to be not a PCMCIA thingy at all. I'm not sure how I'm gonna get 802.11 going on this thing. I think I'll get back to work on MarysFirstCdMix, my foray into the world of digital music. <hr /> Install notes were taken in the "fogo":irc:// channel. It comes with Windows XP, but I have *not* used it at all; I don't intend to execute any agreements with Microsoft to use this machine (well, actually, to run quicken, I use WinFourLinOnDebian). I thought I would keep the factory software around in case I needed it, but XP was set up with one huge (60GB) NTFS partition, and DebianPackage:parted can't resize NTFS partitions (yet?). So after agonizing over whether I'd need access to Windows later for a couple hours, I nuked it and started fresh... I'm happy to say: DebianLinuxJustWorks. <hr /> "earlier notes": From connolly Fri Feb 11 16:50:45 +0000 2005 From: connolly Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 16:50:45 +0000 Subject: USB keyboard wierdness Message-ID: <> Trying to upgrade to Amaya 8.7, which uses F2 rather than escape; F2 does nothing here. xev doesn't show an event for F2. It seems to be a kernel level problem:: keyboard.c: can't emulate rawmode for keycode 247 <a href="">Details for: Logitech Logitech USB Keyboard</a> in the linux USB database notes this problem; it says it's easy to fix, but does not answer the question "how?" <a href="">Keyboard and console howtwo</a> doesn't apply to X. <a href="">xfree86 docs</a> and <a href="">mandrake bug #9183</a> suggest:: Option "XkbModel" "logiinetnav" or perhaps:: Option "XkbModel" "logiink" From connolly Fri May 13 17:31:07 +0000 2005 From: connolly Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 17:31:07 +0000 Subject: added DVD-ROM; glad I donated to freenode Message-ID: <> When I put together AmdAntec, I discovered I had two dead CD drives. Last week (2005-04-23) I picked up a <a href="">Samsung SM-352 Combo at Microcenter</a> for $39.99. It works pretty well. OK, actually, I had to figure out permissions problems, a SHELL variable problem, and so on, but the folks in #gstreamer and #debian and #xine on <a href="">freenode</a> sure were helpful. I'm glad I donated yesterday. I consider it an incredibly cheap annual support contract. From connolly Fri Mar 10 02:48:58 +0000 2006 From: connolly Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 02:48:58 +0000 Subject: new USB "Keyboard for Life" Message-ID: <> I went for a random browse around the Microcenter as a reward for getting some dental work done. I picked up a <a href="">Kensington</a> Keyboard for Life, <a href="">$15 at microcenter</a> It comes with an adapter for computers with a ps/2 port. I wonder if I already had one (or more?) of those. UPACode 085896643708. Model K64370. S/N 99...549 Mar 6 17:02:55 dirk kernel: input: USB HID v1.00 Keyboard [Darfon USB Combo Keyboard] on usb-0000:00:1f.4-1.2.2 I tested it with xev, and sure enough, the F2 key works. ctrl-alt-Fn works for switching virtual consoles. It has a nice big enter key, though it pushes the pipe symbol up higher than I'm used to. The key click sound is kinda cheap, but the feel isn't bad. It's very low-profile; maybe too low profile. I miss the stubby little legs on the logitech keyboard that tilted it up. I brought a wrist-rest out of the closet. It doesn't have media keys (volume up/down etc.); I think those worked on the logitech keyboard, but I never used them. I wonder if I'll miss the little scroll wheel. It's warranteed for life.