Belkin UPS

Three of the last four weekends I have woken to the house having been reset by a power failure at about 7am. Last weekend, Catherine was so annoyed she rang the local power company, who claimed that a squirrel had fried itself in the power lines. Finally fed up, I have purchased the cheapest UPS I could find which seemed to be up to my power requirements. It’s the $40 USD Belkin 200 watt 375VA UPS. It’s a USB device for the purpose of managing shutdown, and there doesn’t appear to be a linux driver. The USB device identifier is “050d:0375 Belkin Components” and I’ll keep you posted if I find a driver.

Update on the Dell e310

I’ve just realised that I never got around to commenting on how to get the Dell working with Ubuntu. Here’s what I did (I’m hoping I remember it all correctly):

  • Setup network booting
  • Changed the boot config for the network boot to automatically boot into the right install after a small timeout
  • Disabled the onboard USB controller
  • Installed a random PCI USB controller
  • Rebooted the target machine
  • The installer now netboots, and goes into the kernel with no interaction from the keyboard
  • Install like normal

So, I just leave the onboard USB controller disabled, and use the PCI one.

Update on the Dell

A previous entry discusses the Ubuntu installer stalling on my new Dell Dimension e310. In that post I decided that it was the USB controller causing pain, but the plot has thickened…

Knoppix: has no problems booting on the machine.

Debian’s Stable: the installer boots fine, but DHCP doesn’t work and it cant find the SATA disk.

The current Debian Testing: the installer freezes just like the Ubuntu one.

So, perhaps it’s time for a chroot install of Debian from Knoppix? Although qtparted doesn’t work on Knoppix properly, so I might have to do the filesystem resizing by hand.

Installing Linux on a Dell Dimension e310

I got a very good price on a Dell e310, so I have been trying to install Linux on it for about an hour now without much joy. It turns out (or at least this is my current theory) that the USB chipset in the machine isn’t supported by the Ubuntu 5.10 installer, and that causes the kernel to crash on boot. There certainly seem to be other people experiencing this as well.

Unfortunately, I really need USB on this machine, as there are no legacy ports and I really like keyboards. Specifically, the Ubuntu install CD needs me to enter a boot line before it boots the installer kernel, and I can’t do that with my spare USB controller installed and the on board one disabled, as the BIOS wont allow me.

I’ll keep you posted when I come up with a solution.

Second beta of 2005 CD ROM

There is a second beta of the 2005 CD ROM, including an ISO image this time, available at If people could have a poke around and point out any errors to me, that would be mightily neighbourly.

I don’t have time to take the CD ROM project much further than producing the image, due to imminent buggering off from Australia, but it is my fond hope that we’ll have the CD out before this year’s yuletide festivities.

(I’ve been watching Firefly, and I think it’s affecting my language style. Why on earth did Fox cancel that series, and worse than that, why did it gross so badly at the cinema?)

The LCA 2005 conference CD

I’m bored, so I’m making a LCA conference CD. Given that we have no audio, and that the corrupt video is quite big and will be online soon (I just need to wrangle the data across), I’m looking for other things to fill the CD with. So far I’ve decided that photos of the conference would be cool. So, if you have some photos which you wouldn’t mind being on the CD drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do. I’m happy with stamp the images with a domain name like I do here if that makes people happier.