Archive for April, 2010

Whats this…

Posted in Projects on 25/04/2010 by Undersys

Whats this???
Its from Ebay and its cheep and its about to become a lot more nicer..
Starts with I and can be in reference with ice bergs

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USB 20×4 LCD

Posted in Projects on 19/04/2010 by Undersys

I had some old CrystalFontz 20×4 serial LCD’s around that seemed to have no use.

I also had an issue with having no clock, if my PC’s monitors have gone to sleep.
A perfect use for that 20×4 LCD.. ahh but its serial and I have no real serial ports, only a USB to serial that I use a lot for my serial consoles.

Easy fix, just hack up a spare usb to serial adapter.
I am using lcd4linux . I am not 100% happy with it, its very rudimentary compared to  other lcd software for windows! take lcdsmartie for example..

I’ll post up my lcd4linux.conf when i am happy with it. Currently it just has time, date,cpu temp and current playing song.

Here is a pic :-
More on my flicker

A wonderful surprise..

Posted in Personal, Projects on 18/04/2010 by Undersys

This post is a bit different from the last few. Its both personal and technical and also starts something i”ve wanted to learn for a while now.

Over the weekend my girl surprised me with an early birthday gift, How nice of her :)
It was A Ibanez GSR200 bass Guitar.
Its an entry level 4 string bass guitar, in black of course…

I did not want to use a bass amp I’ve got a very good sound card for my needs and a good set of speakers.
I will be using this directly into my Edirol UA-25ex.
Software wise will be using the following open source applications :-

* Custom alsa config.
To allow two mono inputs and two mono outputs at 48hz and 24it. By default the Edirol sends both input1 and input2 as stereo I need this to be two mono channels.
My asoundrc “NOTE, this is a .txt file but world press is dumb, rename to .txt”
Find our more at Alsa wiki

* Jack.
With Real-time support and low latency to allow me to send any input or output from any piece of software or hard to any other piece of software or hardware.
Jack home page

* qjackctl.
A very nice GUI to control all aspects and set up of jack.
qjackctl home page

* Ardour.
As my multitrack recorder and editor.
Ardour home page

* Rosegarden.
As my Sequencer and software midi device.
Rosegarden home page

* Free Musical Instrument Tuner.
A software based tuner.
FMIT home page

Here is  a nice image of my new bass.
You can also find more on my flicker

Systems Archive, Part 4 Sun Netra T1 – 105

Posted in Personal on 02/04/2010 by Undersys

I managed to get this machine ultra cheap as the business selling it was going broke.

Sun’s Netra T1 range of servers are the Telco grade version of the X1.
The T1 105 I have is the 360mhz UltraSPARC-IIi @ 64bit. Has 512mb of memory via two of the Mezzanine cards.
The T1 used Mezzanine cards that you could stack together to get more memory they do not have traditional memory slots. Maxium memory is 1gb
The T1 supports up to 2x 80pin SCSI drives and an internal CD/DVD-rom drive using suns weird CD-rom paddle board. You can easey make this as the IDE header on the motherboard is a standard 44pin IDE interface.
It can also support HDD’s or CD/DVD rom drives.

You can find some work I’ve done on the IDE connector and fan mods :-
IDE Disk Install
Fan Mod

Some useful links :-
Netra T1 105 Manual
My Flicker

A quick shot of the T1:-

Systems Archive, Part 3 Sun Ultrasparc Creator 2

Posted in Personal on 02/04/2010 by Undersys

Ahh, the first of my 64bit sparcs.

Next we have the  Ultrasparc Creator 2 a dual CPU workstation that’s still supported by Solaris 10.

The Ultra 2 was one of Suns most popular selling workstations, and you can see why. They are a very nice desktop machine.
Supporting up to two Ultra Sparc 2 400mhz 64bit CPU’s and up to 2gb of memory.
The Ultra also has 6 , 64bit S-bus slots @25mhz and one UPA slot for graphics running at 100mhz
The Ultra also has support for two SCA 80 pin SCSI drives internally. Along with a floppy and a 50pin full high CD/DVD-rom drive.

Mine has two 300mhz UltraSPARC 2 CPU’s with 2mb of cache and
640mb of memory. A Sun Creator3D Series 1 (FFB) 24-Bit Color Frame Buffer
running at 75mhz with 5mb of video memory for 2D functions max resolution 1920×1080 @ 75hrz.

Some useful links :-
Ultra 2 Service Manual
Creator3D install guide
My Flicker

Quick image of my Ultra 2, see my flicker for more

Systems Archive, Part 2 Sun Sparc 5

Posted in Personal on 02/04/2010 by Undersys

Moving on from the Little Sparc LX is the Sun Sparc 5.

I picked this up in some garage sale the guy had no idea what it was, lucky for me I scored it for around $5.
Unfortunately its not even worth that now :(

The Sun Sparc 5 (SS5) was cheap budget model compared to to the Sun Sparc 10/20.

The SS5 used the same Pizza box case as the SS10/20 but only had one CPU a Sun Micro-sparc 2 running from 75mhz to 170mhz @ 32bit. Given the SS5 is single CPU it has no M-bus for addition CPU’s
Mine has one 10/100 S-bus Ethernet card as the on-board is only 10mbit.
The SS5 also had a SCA 80 back plane that supported two 80pin SCSI drives. You could also fit a slim line SCSI cd/dvd rom (50pin) into the spare slot just above the floppy, but they where very hard to find.

Mine came with a 70mhz Microsparc2 and 224mb of ram, max ram was 256mb.
The SS5  has 3 S-bus slots running @ 25mhz and 32bit wide. It also came with an AFX slot, this was a high speed graphics slot that supported 24bit color frame buffers.

Hears some useful links :-
Wiki SS5
Service Manual
My Flicker

Hears a quick shot of my SS5’s motherboard