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  • Building current LFS with the 6.3 live cd

    To build the current LFS svn 201207xx with the LFS livecd. Even tho they state its not possible,  it is with very few changes and adding one extra tool.
    Well to start download all the packages to the version you want to build. After that download p7zip,  the open source 7zip with .xz compression support. P7zip is used just to build the tools,  after that you will be able to use xz utilities to access the tar balls.

    How to install the p7zip is very easy and its a very easy to use.
    To install,  unzip(extract from archive) and cd into the folder you just extracted. Then just make,  when its all done,  or if you dont want to make it,  copy the 7za binary into the tools/bin folder and then you are done.
    How to use it, type in /tools/bin/7za e. /your-archive.tar.xz .
    after that you will have .tar file named the one you just extracted. Then just extract as normal and continue on.

    Once you are able to exract. xz files you can start building the tools and base system.
    The only change I have made was removing –with-kernel=2.6.xx from the configure parameters in glibc. You have to remove it from the tools build and the base system, otherwise it will not compile.
    links :


    I have tried this on 2 builds (a P4 and pentium 3 coppermine) both boot and are successful and have built one with X that works and the other is a server thats being finished.

    Maybe after this is all finished I may try to remaster the live cd to be able to build lfs 7.2+ and submit it.

    More software and MSP430 updates coming soon……I just need to get used to working 3rd shift. which starts at the end of this week.

  • lfs and blfs frustrations

    Today has been a frustrating day. I finished my lfs (linuxfromscratch) 6.3 build and was starting the blfs portion. While I was working on installing xorg and xfce, I ran into some issues.
    first issue was dhcpcd build. version 5 will not compile,  ipv6 issues I believe. I gave up since static ip is fine.

    second issue,  .xz ….
    in the blfs build it instructs you to download. xz files. This is a problem, since blfs book does not inform you or give you the resource to unpack this file.
    To remedy this you can download 7zip,  specifically p7zip.
    To install it,  use make,  then make test, then make install.
    this will install it to /usr/local.
    to use it use, 7za x /your/package.xz
    And that will remedy that whole .xz crap…….

    Third issue,  when compiling xorg protocols ,  xbc(xcb?)_proto requires python interpreter,  so install python first. but remember to install 7zip so you can unpack it lol.
    **Edit** xcb does mention python, it is built after xorg protocols

    I am sure to find more things that don’t make sense with the build. When my box is done,  I will post on the whole process and more of the issues I ran into.

    Hope this helps someone,  because I would hate for someone else to give up on there build  due to poor information. Let me know what ypu think.

  • Getting use out of a thin client


    Today I setup my evo t20. I used the built in terminal emulator to connect to my linux box. So easy and super simple. All that is needed is inetd and telnetd installed on the linux box, no configuration necessary. once installed I set up windows ce to telent to that box and that was it. One thing I did notice was that I couldn’t get nano to work and vi acts all funny. So I will have to figure out a telnet compatable editor so I can use mspdebug and be able to edit the code as well……One step closer to getting a useful work area. If you have any suggestions on telnet editors please let me know.

  • micro heli hack failed

    I have a few brocken micro helicopters lying around and deciced.to try a quick experiment.
    I removed the tail rotor and electronics and connected the 2 main rotors together, by a piece of meral coat hanger.



    What I forgot was, you need to have one of the rotors going the oposite direction to counter the rotation of the other one.

    Failed but learned something. Back to the idea bin…..maybe I will create some fancy paper airplane.

  • The death and rebirth of the Widow Maker

    My freind Rick,  along time ago,  gave me his old PC. It was a P4 in a server case and a huge Dell monitor. He had nick named the duo “The Widow Maker “. It was a fitting name.
    Today that P4 has a new case and a new life at my sisters and is still going strong. But the 100lbs CRT monitor had been dying a slow death for a long time,  and I finally decided to put it down.


    Instead of just sending it to the recycler, I wanted to get as many parts out of it as possible.
    The Widow Maker had a peaceful death,  the last wish she made was to be reborn in a new form. So i started taking out organs and thinking of how to reincarnate The Widow Maker.




    What parts did I get out of this beast?  A whole lot of heatsinks,  an AC filter for 120V/250V,  some little glass bulbs,  which I am trying to identify,  a bunch of transformers and chokes,  and the prize find of the day…… a decent size flyback transformer (to be expected in a CRT). Seeing that flyback transformer got me thinking. High voltage = fun!  My thoughts went to plasma speakers or a tesla coil or a HV capacitor charger for a larger coil gun. But that thinking led to how the hell do you drive this thing?

    so I got out my dremal and some scrap wood to make a base for this.
    I just drilled out enough wood for this to sit nice and flat. also for saftey reasons, I needed a non conductive base.



    My driver I decided, was going to be an MSP430G2231, a generic transistor and a power mosfet (22N50 what i have on hand) a few resistors and a diode. Why did I choose a uC with an adc? I wanted to be able to make a varible PWM drive where I can change the frequency and duty cycle to choose the best combo to get the most voltage out of this device.


    My first test was to find the pins connected to the primary coil and which one was the feedback coil. On this one it was pretty easy, you can see the coil wires soldered to the pins and you could tell the primary coil by the spacing of the pins.

    The pins on the right I have no idea what they are connected to, multimeter test reveiled no connection to any other pins and the pcb traces dont give much info either.

    There are also 2 other wires and 2 other controls that are labeled focus and 2, my guess its for some other part of the CRT that needed HV, but not not as high as the main HV wire.


    My drive circuit

    With this setup my mosfet gets very hot, really quickly, even with a large heatsink. Good thing I harvested some large heat sinks.


    and here is the first video of the testing.

    There is a lot more testing and tweaking to do. More to come!

    As for the code for the chip, its nothing special but it will be coming in the next post.

  • VS 2121 Autopsy

    I was given an Altec Lansing VS2121 powered speaker sytem that was going bad. And I wanted to recycle some of the parts out of it. What I found inside was quite interesting.



    Here is what I found,
    2 x lm324 quad op amp from st
    2 x tfa9842j single chip 2 channel amp
    and a whole bunch of passive through hole parts (caps, resistors) .
    It is a very simple design. Now I have some decent op amps and a decent size transformer (120v to 15.3v 1.6A) with a nice particle board box.

    Time to start thinking of what I can remake this into.
    Happy Hacking!

  • My battle with Ubuntu 11.10

    I decided to finally upgrade my Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.10 and deal with unity or gnome 3.4. Neither of those options looked promising to me. But change is inevitable.

    The whole process was painless, only a few unnecessary librarys removed. When it all finished, unity loaded up and I got to work, trying to make my desktop productive.
    So I went searching and found this link http://blog.sudobits.com/2011/09/08/10-things-to-do-after-installing-ubuntu-11-10/. It definitely helped, like, getting dvd movies to play. Most of it is pretty good advice and the rest is personal preference.

    My opinion on 11.10, I like it but I have my complaints. For example, gnome-shell or gnome classic, when logging in, is better then unity (I’m not going to get into this Unity just sucks, especially on a 32″ monitor) . Gnome-shell ‘s menu bar, it’s very hard to customize it, I’m still looking for the auto-hide option or the opacity setting. And I still can’t figure out how to add things to the top menu bar like the system monitor graph or even a fortune cookie app. The gnome tweak tool helped a bit but there are still large holes in the setting that need to be filled, but over all it does run on my i5 much better then gnome 2. Time to continue on customizing and tweaking the desktop.
    Next is to upgrade to 12.04 lts.

    The battle continues!