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Beanie's New *nix Box

Started by Chris Swingler, 2003-01-03T02:10:00-06:00 (Friday)

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Chris Swingler

Hey everyone...

I just got what should be destined to be my first dedicated Linux or Unix box!

I haven't got around to wiping the hard drive and installing anything yet.  I hit a speed bump along the way.

Well, the computer worked fine for a little while.  Now I'm having trouble with it.  It's a custom-built machine, running a P166 that will be upgraded to a P200 as soon as I get it up and running again.  It ran fine until I tried to flash the BIOS.  The BIOS flashing software reported that my BIOS was unflashable, and quit.  Whoopee.  As far as I could tell, nothing would have changed on the machine.  Well, I was wrong.  Now, when I boot the sucker up, I get a short blip, followed by a short floppy drive seek, and then a "dee-doop" sort of sound, all occuring within a couple of seconds after  I turn it on.  Tried clearing the CMOS, that didn't help.  There was a jumper on the board set to disable flashing, and that's why the flash failed, but I can't comprehend why the computer stopped working.

(If you're wondering why I was flashing the BIOS in the first place, it was because I wouldn't have P200 support without it :-) )

It is an AsusTeK P/I-P55TP4N motherboard; and as far as a computer from 1996 goes, it's pretty tricked out.  It has an Adaptec FastSCSI controller,  with a 6GB Seagate HD and a 6X NEC CD-ROM hooked up to it; a Creative SB32, a USR 56K realmodem, a Diamond Monster 3D III _and_ an ATI Mach 64, along with a full 512kb of cache SRAM, and 32MB of RAM.  The ATI is plugged into the Diamond, which then hooks up to the monitor.

This also leaves a couple of questions:
1.  Why would anyone want this video card setup?
2.  Which one is more compatible with *nix?
3.  Why does the SB32 have two 72-pin SIMM slots on it?

Talk to ya people later...

Christopher Swingler
CAOS Web Administrator

Michael Kennedy

I can answer you final 3 questions, but am at a loss to help on the BIOS problem.

Quote1. Why would anyone want this video card setup?
Because the Diamond Monster only does 3D and the other video card only does 2D.  It was the way (at my knowledge) all Voodoo2 cards worked and was nice in the fact that it dropped the cost of the card down.  Some (most?) of the Voodoo2 cards could also but used in SLI mode (Scan Link Interface- or something like that) to allow you to actually use 2 of the cards and connect them so one did the horizontal refresh and one did the verticle.  It was great for your FPS in Quake/Quake 2.  :)

Quote2. Which one is more compatible with *nix?
I bet they both are equally compatable.  If I'm correct and it's a Voodoo2 on the Diamond Monster, then I can personally vouch for it working just fine, along with the Mach card.  I actually think I had an identical setup in one of my Linux machines.

Quote3. Why does the SB32 have two 72-pin SIMM slots on it?
I believe this is for MIDI samples or something.  I have a card with this as well and just left the RAM off of it.  Unless you're planning on doing some music mixing I'd leave it alone.  I'd follow the philosophy that unless you're going to use the item, leave it off the PC- less to "break" that way.  :)

Let us know how this turns out and if you have any other questions.

"If it ain't busted, don't fix it" is a very sound principal and remains so despite the fact that I have slavishly ignored it all my life. --Douglas Adams, "Salmon of Doubt"

Chris Swingler

Well, my ride back to school dropped out on me.  My brother wrecked my parent's car.  So I get to take...

...the train.


Needless to say, this computer isn't worth the trouble of taking on the train (on top of my main machine and my monitor).  So, it's been put on the back burner (I'd like to get my case mod finished before I leave), and it gets to stay at home.

Anyone wanna pick me up in Alton? :)
Christopher Swingler
CAOS Web Administrator

William Grim

I would, but I'm not going back until Tuesday because I have dental work that needs done.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley

Chris Swingler

Hey, whaddyaknow, my ride pulled through!

But I'm not cramming this box in his Grand Am unless I can get it to boot for me :)

Christopher Swingler
CAOS Web Administrator