Posts in category tech

Learning git

I've been using subversion for at least a decade now. I was going to switch to a git-based project so wanted to learn. I think I finally get the differences, especially with the "index." These are the resources I used:

And finally:

Goodbye Netflix

Wow. I just checked, and I've had Netflix since 08/10/2001. Over thirteen years. Longer than my marriage. Two houses ago. I'm down to the cheapest one-at-a-time plan, and I still get around to it every three or four months.

I think it's time to say goodbye.

But here's how they get you to stay:

Based on your 1698 ratings, this is the list of movies and TV shows you've seen. 

Yeah... thirteen and a half years of data that I don't want to lose! And that's my main account - I have two other profiles too. I searched the 'net for a solution, and came up with a lot. None worked. GreaseMonkey ones. PHP ones. None worked.

This was the closest:

But I don't have a Mac, so I needed to manually capture that info. Ninety pages of ratings. So I used DownThemAll!. I opened the download manager manually, and for the URL I used[1:90] - I had manually determined 90 with some trial and error. This saved all the pages to files named MoviesYouveSeen.htm and then MoviesYouveSeen_NNN.htm.

I modified the script to read these HTML files instead of launching Safari. After that, the ratings were off - every movie in the file would have the rating of the first in the file. So I tweaked that. For some reason, some don't show a rating in the HTML, even when these were supposedly rated. Some are "No Interest," but others, I just don't know what happened. So I have it output 0.0 if it couldn't figure it out - a 99% solution.

Here are my changes from the gitlab (17 Jan 2014) version (depending on screen width, you might have to scroll way down):

  • .py

    old new  
     1#!/bin/env python
     2# Original @
    24Scrape a user's Netflix movie ratings by automating a Safari browsing
    35session (with the user already logged in).  The ratings are written
    107109from jinja2 import Template
    108110from lxml import html
     111import re
     113fname_regex = re.compile(r'(\w+?)_?(\d+)?\.(\w+)')
     114rating_regex = re.compile(r'You rated this movie: (\d)\.(\d)')
    111117# AppleScript functions asrun and asquote (presently unused) are from:
    159165    All values are strings.
    160166    """
    161167    # Load the page, grab the HTML, and parse it to a tree.
    162     script = ASTemplate.render(URL=url, DTIME=dtime)
    163     reply = asrun(script)
     168    reply = ''
     169    try:
     170      with open(url) as infile:
     171        for str_ in infile:
     172          reply += str_
     173    except IOError:
     174      return [], None
    164177    tree = html.fromstring(reply)
    165178    rows = tree.xpath('//table[@class="listHeader"]//tr')
    180193            # changing from page to page.  For info on XPath for such cases, see:
    181194            #
    182195            # rating = data[3].xpath('//span[@class="stbrMaskFg sbmfrt sbmf-50"]')[0].text_content()
    183             rating = data[3].xpath('//span[contains(concat(" ", normalize-space(@class), " "), " stbrMaskFg ")]')[0].text_content()
    184             rating = rating.split(':')[1].strip()  # keep only the number
     196            rating_cut = rating_regex.match(data[3].text_content())
     197            rating = '0.0'
     198            if rating_cut:
     199               rating = "%s.%s"%(,
    185201            info.append((title, year, genre, rating))
    187203    # Next URL to load:
    188     next_elem = tree.xpath('//li[@class="navItem paginationLink paginationLink-next"]/a')
    189     if next_elem:
    190         next_url = next_elem[0].get('href')
    191     else:  # empty list
    192         next_url = None
     204    fname_cut = fname_regex.match(url)
     205    if fname_cut:
     206      if None ==
     207        num = 0
     208      else:
     209        num =
     210      next_url = "%s_%03.f.%s"%(,int(num)+1,
     211    else:
     212      print "Regex failed."
     213      next_url = None
    194216    return info, next_url
    197219# Use this initial URL for DVD accounts:
    198 url = ''
     220url = 'MoviesYouveSeen.htm'
    199221# Use this initial URL for streaming accounts:
    200222# url = ''

This renders a lot of the script useless, but there's no benefit in making the diff larger so I didn't trim anything else.

Here's when I ran it across my "TV Queue" account - yeah they're not all TV, sometimes I accidentally rated things with the wrong profile:

$ ./
Scraping MoviesYouveSeen.htm
1:  Garmin Streetpilot 2610/2650 GPS (2003) [Special Interest] - 1.0
2:  Six Feet Under (2001) [Television] - 0.0

Scraping MoviesYouveSeen_001.htm
3:  The Thief of Bagdad (1924) [Classics] - 4.0
4:  The Tick (2001) [Television] - 4.0
5:  Michael Palin: Pole to Pole (1992) [Documentary] - 0.0
6:  Kung Fu: Season 3 (1974) [Television] - 0.0
7:  Danger Mouse (1981) [Children & Family] - 3.0
8:  Farscape (1999) [Television] - 3.0
9:  Helvetica (2007) [Documentary] - 3.0
10:  Hogan's Heroes (1965) [Television] - 3.0
11:  The Lion in Winter (2003) [Drama] - 3.0
12:  Monty Python: John Cleese's Best (2005) [Television] - 3.0
13:  Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (2005) [Comedy] - 3.0
14:  Stephen King's It (1990) [Horror] - 3.0
15:  Superman II (1980) [Action & Adventure] - 3.0
16:  Superman: The Movie (1978) [Classics] - 3.0
17:  Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951) [Drama] - 3.0
18:  An Evening with Kevin Smith 2 (2006) [Comedy] - 0.0
19:  Crimewave (1986) [Comedy] - 2.0
20:  Huff (2004) [Television] - 2.0
21:  Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2000) [Television] - 1.0
22:  The Boondocks (2005) [Television] - 1.0

Scraping MoviesYouveSeen_002.htm
23:  Ricky Gervais: Out of England (2008) [Comedy] - 5.0
24:  Robot Chicken (2005) [Television] - 5.0
25:  Robot Chicken Star Wars (2007) [Comedy] - 5.0
26:  Rome (2005) [Television] - 5.0
27:  Scrubs (2001) [Television] - 5.0
28:  Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005) [Television] - 5.0
29:  Spaced: The Complete Series (1999) [Television] - 0.0
30:  Alice (2009) [Sci-Fi & Fantasy] - 0.0
31:  Best of the Chris Rock Show: Vol. 1 (1999) [Television] - 4.0
32:  The Critic: The Complete Series (1994) [Television] - 4.0
33:  Dilbert (1999) [Television] - 4.0
34:  An Evening with Kevin Smith (2002) [Comedy] - 4.0
35:  John Adams (2008) [Drama] - 4.0
36:  King of the Hill (1997) [Television] - 4.0
37:  The Lone Gunmen: The Complete Series (2001) [Television] - 4.0
38:  Neverwhere (1996) [Sci-Fi & Fantasy] - 4.0
39:  Robin Hood (2006) [Television] - 4.0
40:  The Sand Pebbles (1966) [Classics] - 4.0
41:  The Sarah Silverman Program (2007) [Television] - 4.0
42:  The Silence of the Lambs (1991) [Thrillers] - 4.0

Scraping MoviesYouveSeen_003.htm
43:  Alias (2001) [Television] - 5.0
44:  Alien (1979) [Sci-Fi & Fantasy] - 5.0
45:  Band of Brothers (2001) [Drama] - 5.0
46:  Bleak House (2005) [Drama] - 5.0
47:  Brisco County, Jr.: Complete Series (1993) [Television] - 5.0
48:  Code Monkeys (2007) [Television] - 5.0
49:  Coupling (2000) [Television] - 5.0
50:  Dead Like Me (2003) [Television] - 5.0
51:  Deadwood (2004) [Television] - 5.0
52:  Family Guy (1999) [Television] - 5.0
53:  Family Guy: Blue Harvest (2007) [Television] - 5.0
54:  Firefly (2002) [Television] - 5.0
55:  Futurama (1999) [Television] - 5.0
56:  Futurama the Movie: Bender's Big Score (2007) [Television] - 5.0
57:  The Great Escape (1963) [Classics] - 5.0
58:  Greg the Bunny (2002) [Television] - 5.0
59:  How I Met Your Mother (2005) [Television] - 5.0
60:  MI-5 (2002) [Television] - 5.0
61:  My Name Is Earl (2005) [Television] - 5.0
62:  Police Squad!: The Complete Series (1982) [Television] - 5.0

Scraping MoviesYouveSeen_004.htm

Thanks a ton to the original author, and the full version is attached here for posterity.

Strange Software Install Issue (Installer silently hangs)

I've been having a strange install issue with the ATI Catalyst software. It's documented here on the AMD site:

However, forums like that have a great history of disappearing when I need them most, so a summary is also now here.

Setup was totally hanging. I tried all kinds of things to trace what was happening. Then this wonderful post came along:

From Wiink:

I signed up to post in this thread since I was having the exact same issue and was really frustrated over it. I have a 4890 and have always used Ati graphics cards, never had any issues and drivers always installed flawlessly until one day i decided to update from 9.8 to the current 9.12.

I'd go through the usual uninstall methods using the ati uninstaller and then follow up with driver sweeper. Click on the exe for the 9.12 suite and it would unpack/extract then an hourglass for about 5 seconds and then nothing. I would see InstallManagerApp.exe running in the taskmanager and my hdd light would be lit, but that was about install. Tried many times and nothing worked. Drove me absolutely crazy. Checked and re-checked all the cleanup, c++ redist and .net stuff....All in order and still same results - nothing.

Then I came across this thread about not having full admin permission for registry changes needed for some software installs even though I am the only user and Admin of this pc. When installing the 9.12 Catalyst Suite, it needs to change something in the registry that was now being blocked , so I ran this fix posted here and my problems were solved immediately on both my Vista and my XP Pro machines. Just remember to create a fresh system restore point before applying it. I was so happy to have the issue fixed I had to share. It specifies Vista in the post, but it worked for my Xp Pro as well flawlessly. Took about 20 minutes and fixed! And sorry for the wall of text. Just do a reboot after running the cmd file and try to install the catalyst 9.12 suite again, should work now.

Post by Michael G. Simmons:

There is a quick fix for this and any other permission issues that occur with Vista. I've seen this happen with several different installs under Vista including VS 2005 and Orcas. The problem is for some reason regisry permissions are given to the user msiserver. You can reset each entry manually, but that is a major pain. It's much easier just to fix the entire registry by using the SubInACL utility. Basically, you can use the utility to add administrator permissions to every key in the registry.

  1. Download and install the SubInACL utility.

2.Create a new text file named fix_registry_permissions.cmd and add the following text to it and save it.

    cd /d "%programfiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
  1. Run the file by double-clicking on it.

That's it. It will take several minutes to finish, but at the end all registry keys will be accessable to the administrator and system, as it should be.

My Dell XPS Gen 3 won't boot from CD-ROM!

To: Some friends of mine.

Any ideas on this head-scratcher?

My Dell XPS (getting really old, I know) won't boot from CD-ROM. I have tried 3-4 different CDs. One of the CDs has multiple boot images on it and none of them boot.

Here's the weird part - I can get the boot loaders to work! The Ghost ones will say "Loading PC-DOS..." and then the CD drive just stops spinning. The multiboot one gives me all the menus, but as soon as it tries to launch something, it hangs in the same way. Even good ol' DOS 6.22 says "Loading MS-DOS..." and hangs. I tried my CentOS 4 installer DVD - I get the boot menus, I type "linux rescue" and then it just sits there.

My config is multiple SATA drives and two PATA CDs. I have even disabled the master and then I have the same issue with the secondary (it won't touch the secondary if the master is enabled, even if no CD in master). Same thing.

And here it gets even weirder... I booted from a USB key with Ghost on it just fine; I'm doing my backups now. WTF?!?!

Various suggestions came back... then a few days later, I found the solution!

You've GOT to be shitting me... I fixed it!

I didn't install this BIOS release from over 4 years ago (I have A06), but look at the changelog:

"1. Prevent boot issues when USB devices with media readers are present."

Lo and behold, I plugged my monitor in a few weeks ago. Which has a (useless) built-in USB hub and media reader! I never would've expected something like that to happen! So my guess is that the BIOS tries to enumerate the drives somehow to map to INT13 and hangs up! When I yanked the USB cable from the monitor, CDs booted just fine!!?!?

I thought the USB hub was useless before because it powers off with the monitor - now it is a downright HINDRANCE!

API Reference Page

Paste code for others

Some interesting httpd rewriting with perl

<VirtualHost *>
  ServerName svn.whatever
  ServerAlias svn
my $svn_path = "/var/svn";
my $svn_location = "";
my $trac_path = "/var/trac";
opendir(SVN_ROOT, $svn_path) or die "Cannot open $svn_path";

while (my $name = readdir(SVN_ROOT)) {
  if ($name =~ /^[[:alnum:]]+$/) {
    $Location{"$svn_location/$name"} = {
      DAV => "svn",
      SVNPath => "$svn_path/$name",
      AuthType => "Basic",
      AuthName => "\"Subversion login\"",
      AuthUserFile => "$trac_path/access.user",
      AuthGroupFile => "$trac_path/",
      Require => "group $name",




Marlin P Jones

I used to buy geek crap from these guys all the time ;)

This site is AWESOME.

It's trying to be a collective knowledge base of the world.

Sounds cheesy, don't it?

I can click this link all frikken DAY!

How else would I learn about ?

What's so cool is that ANYONE can contribute. In fact, if you looked up 'Prospect' this morning you wouldn't see my hometown in CT. Why? Well, somebody else wrote up an article (actually, a bot that pulled the data from gov't servers) but never added it to the 'disambiguity' page. So I just did. And NOW if you search for 'Prospect', you'll see a link to the Prospect, Connecticut page.

Finding pinouts

Found this online today when looking for PCI pinouts...
More specifically...

Also useful is

Here's the PCI Spec I DID find...

Google Groups Link

              The PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Bus

This file is not intended to be a thorough coverage of the PCI standard.
It is for informational purposes only, and is intended to give designers
and hobbyists an overview of the bus so that they might be able to design
their own PCI cards. Thus, I/O operations are explained in the most
detail, while memory operations, which will usually not be dealt with
by an I/O card, are only briefly explained. Hobbyists are also warned
that, due to the higher clock speeds involved, PCI cards are more
difficult to design than ISA cards or cards for other slower busses.
Many companies are now making PCI prototyping cards, and, for those
fortunate enough to have access to FPGA programmers, companies like
Xilinx are offering PCI compliant designs which you can use as a starting
point for your own projects.

For a copy of the full PCI standard, contact:

     PCI Special Interest Group (SIG)
     PO Box 14070
     Portland, OR 97214

     There is also a spec for CompactPCI, which uses the same timing
and signals, but uses a eurocard connector and format. This is not
presently covered in any detail within this document.

Pinout (5 volt and 3.3 volt boards)

               -12V     01      *TRST
                TCK             +12V
                GND             TMS
                TDO             TDI
                +5V             +5V
                +5V             *INTA
              *INTB             *INTC
              *INTD             +5V
            *PRSNT1             reserved
           reserved     10      +I/O V (+5 or +3.3) 
            *PRSNT2             reserved
                GND   Key3.3    GND
                GND   Key3.3    GND
           reserved             reserved
                GND             *RST
                CLK             +I/O V (+5 or +3.3)
                GND             *GNT
                REQ             GND
+I/O V (+5 or +3.3)     20      reserved
               AD31             AD30
               AD29             +3.3V
                GND             AD28
               AD27             AD26
               AD25             GND
              +3.3V             AD24
              C/BE3             IDSEL
               AD23             +3.3V     
                GND             AD22      
               AD21             AD20
               AD19     30      GND
              +3.3V             AD18  
               AD17             AD16
              C/BE2             +3.3V
                GND             *FRAME
              *IRDY             GND
              +3.3V             *TRDY
            *DEVSEL             GND
                GND             *STOP
              *LOCK             +3.3V
              *PERR     40      SDONE
              +3.3V             *SBO
              *SERR             GND
              +3.3V             PAR
              C/BE1             AD15
               AD14             +3.3V
                GND             AD13
               AD12             AD11
               AD10     49      AD9
                GND    Key5     GND
                GND    Key5     GND
                AD8     52      C/BE0
                AD7             +3.3V
              +3.3V             AD6
                AD5             AD4
                AD3             GND
                GND             AD2
+I/O V (+5 or +3.3)             +I/O V (+5 or +3.3) 
             *ACK64     60      *REQ64
                +5V             +5V
                +5V     62      +5V
             (64 Bit Bus Extension Only)
           reserved     63      GND      
                GND             C/BE7
              C/BE6             C/BE5
              C/BE4             +I/O V (+5 or +3.3)
                GND             PAR64
               AD63             AD62
               AD61             GND
+I/O V (+5 or +3.3)     70      AD60
               AD59             AD58
               AD57             GND
                GND             AD56
               AD55             AD54
               AD53             +I/O V (+5 or +3.3)
                GND             AD52
               AD51             AD50
               AD49             GND
+I/O V (+5 or +3.3)             AD48   
               AD47     80      AD46
               AD45             GND
                GND             AD44
               AD43             AD42
               AD41             +I/O V (+5 or +3.3)
                GND             AD40
               AD39             AD38
               AD37             GND
+I/O V (+5 or +3.3)             AD36   
               AD35             AD34
               AD33     90      GND
           reserved             reserved
           reserved             GND
                GND     94      reserved

* - Active Low

PCI slots are keyed so that a 3.3 volt card cannot be plugged into a 5
        volt slot, and a 5.5 volt card cannot be plugged into a 3 volt
        card. Dual voltage cards are possible.
Key3.3 - At this location, a key is present on 3.3 volt boards. On 5 volt
        boards, these pins are GND.
Key5 - At this location, a key is present on 5 volt boards. On 3.3 volt 
        boards, these pins are GND.

Signal Descriptions:

AD(x): Address/Data Lines.
CLK: Clock. 33 MHz maximum.
C/BE(x): Command, Byte Enable.
FRAME: Used to indicate whether the cycle is an address phase or
     or a data phase.
DEVSEL: Device Select.
IDSEL: Initialization Device Select
INT(x): Interrupt
IRDY: Initiator Ready
LOCK: Used to manage resource locks on the PCI bus.
REQ: Request. Requests a PCI transfer.
GNT: Grant. indicates that permission to use PCI is granted.
PAR: Parity. Used for AD0-31 and C/BE0-3.
PERR: Parity Error.
RST: Reset.
SBO: Snoop Backoff.
SDONE: Snoop Done.
SERR: System Error. Indicates an address parity error for special cycles
        or a system error.
STOP: Asserted by Target. Requests the master to stop the current transfer 
TCK: Test Clock
TDI: Test Data Input
TDO: Test Data Output
TMS: Test Mode Select
TRDY: Target Ready
TRST: Test Logic Reset

The PCI bus treats all transfers as a burst operation. Each cycle begins
with an address phase followed by one or more data phases. Data phases
may repeat indefinately, but are limited by a timer that defines the
maximum amount of time that the PCI device may control the bus. This
timer is set by the CPU as part of the configuration space. Each device
has its own timer (see the Latency Timer in the configuration space).

The same lines are used for address and data. The command lines are also
used for byte enable lines. This is done to reduce the overall number
of pins on the PCI connector.

The Command lines (C/BE3 to C/BE0) indicate the type of bus transfer during
the address phase.

C/BE    Command Type
0000    Interrupt Acknowledge
0001    Special Cycle
0010    I/O Read
0011    I/O Write
0100    reserved
0101    reserved
0110    Memory Read
0111    Memory Write
1000    reserved
1001    reserved
1010    Configuration Read
1011    Configuration Write
1100    Multiple Memory Read
1101    Dual Address Cycle
1110    Memory-Read Line
1111    Memory Write and Invalidate

The three basic types of transfers are I/O, Memory, and Configuration.

PCI timing diagrams:

            ___     ___     ___     ___     ___     ___    
CLK     ___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___

        _______                                   _________
FRAME          |_________________________________|

                ______  _______  ______  ______  ______
AD      -------<______><_______><______><______><______>---
                Address  Data1    Data2   Data3   Data4

                ______  _______________________________
C/BE    -------<______><_______________________________>---
                Command   Byte Enable Signals

         ____________                                   ___
IRDY                 |_________________________________|

         _____________                                  ___
TRDY                  |________________________________|

         ______________                                 ___
DEVSEL                 |_______________________________|

PCI transfer cycle, 4 data phases, no wait states.
Data is transferred on the rising edge of CLK.

                         [1]              [2]        [3]
            ___     ___     ___     ___     ___     ___     ___     ___
CLK     ___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|   |__

        _______                                                  _________
FRAME          |________________________________________________|

                                   A               B               C
                ______           ______________  ______  _____________
AD      -------<______>---------<______________><______><_____________>---
                Address           Data1           Data2   Data3

                ______  ______________________________________________
C/BE    -------<______><______________________________________________>---
                Command   Byte Enable Signals

         ____________                                    _____         ___
IRDY                 |__________________________________|     |_______|

                        Wait            Wait
         ______________________         ______                         ___
TRDY                           |_______|      |_______________________|

         ______________                                                ___
DEVSEL                 |______________________________________________|

PCI transfer cycle, with wait states.
Data is transferred on the rising edge of CLK at points labled A, B, and C.

Bus Cycles:

Interrupt Acknowledge (0000)

        The interrupt controller automatically recognizes and reacts to
the INTA (interrupt acknowledge) command. In the data phase, it transfers
the interrupt vector to the AD lines.

Special Cycle (0001)

        0x0000                  Processor Shutdown
        0x0001                  Processor Halt
        0x0002                  x86 Specific Code
        0x0003 to 0xFFFF        Reserved

I/O Read (0010) and I/O Write (0011)

        Input/Output device read or write operation. The AD lines contain
a byte address (AD0 and AD1 must be decoded).
PCI I/O ports may be 8 or 16 bits.
PCI allows 32 bits of address space. On IBM compatible machines, the
Intel CPU is limited to 16 bits of I/O space, which is further limited
by some ISA cards that may also be installed in the machine (many ISA
cards only decode the lower 10 bits of address space, and thus mirror
themselves throughout the 16 bit I/O space). This limit assumes that the
machine supports ISA or EISA slots in addition to PCI slots.
        The PCI configuration space may also be accessed through I/O
ports 0x0CF8 (Address) and 0x0CFC (Data). The address port must be
written first.

Memory Read (0110) and Memory Write (0111)

        A read or write to the system memory space. The AD lines contain
a doubleword address. AD0 and AD1 do not need to be decoded. The Byte
Enable lines (C/BE) indicate which bytes are valid.

Configuration Read (1010) and Configuration Write (1011)

        A read or write to the PCI device configuration space, which is
256 bytes in length. It is accessed in doubleword units.
AD0 and AD1 contain 0, AD2-7 contain the doubleword address, AD8-10
are used for selecting the addressed unit a the malfunction unit,
and the remaining AD lines are not used.

Address     Bit 32      16   15           0

00          Unit ID        | Manufacturer ID
04          Status         | Command
08          Class Code               | Revision
0C          BIST  | Header | Latency | CLS
10-24            Base Address Register
28          Reserved
2C          Reserved
30          Expansion ROM Base Address
34          Reserved
38          Reserved
3C          MaxLat|MnGNT   | INT-pin | INT-line
40-FF       available for PCI unit

Multiple Memory Read (1100)

This is an extension of the memory read bus cycle. It is used to read large
blocks of memory without caching, which is beneficial for long sequential
memory accesses.

Dual Address Cycle (1101)

        Two address cycles are necessary when a 64 bit address is used,
but only a 32 bit physical address exists. The least significant portion
of the address is placed on the AD lines first, followed by the most
significant 32 bits. The second address cycle also contains the command
for the type of transfer (I/O, Memory, etc). The PCI bus supports a 64 bit
I/O address space, although this is not available on Intel based PCs due
to limitations of the CPU.

Memory-Read Line (1110)

        This cycle is used to read in more than two 32 bit data blocks,
typically up to the end of a cache line. It is more effecient than
normal memory read bursts for a long series of sequential memory accesses.

Memory Write and Invalidate (1111)

        This indicates that a minimum of one cache line is to be transferred.
This allows main memory to be updated, saving a cache write-back cycle.

Bus Arbitration:

This section is under construction.

PCI Bios:

This section is under construction.


(C) Copyright 1996 by Mark Sokos. This file may be freely copied and
distributed, provided that no fee is charged.

This information is provided "as-is". While I try to insure that the
information is accurate, errors and typos may exist. Send corrections
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"Inside the PCI Local Bus" by Guy W. Kendall
Byte, February 1994  v 19 p. 177-180

"The Indispensible PC Hardware Book" by Hans-Peter Messmer
ISBN 0-201-8769-3

Don't Plug a 10/100 Switch Into Your Phone!

Bad things happen.

I have a patch panel for structured wiring in my house. Took me a 1/2 hour to figure out why all my phones were dead - I had plugged the hub into the phone system! Oopsie!

Traceroute Sites

Strange Compression Comparisons

Well, if you're desparate to do bzip2 under windows, or pretty much any other cool GNU thing (find, grep, less, wget, etc) you can download them at

C:\Documents and Settings\me>bzip2 --version bzip2, a block-sorting file compressor. Version 1.0.1, 23-June-2000.

  • adm
    Aaron D. Marasco wrote:
    > OK, a quick test. I just got a PowerPoint presentation. I am not going to mess with dictionary sizes or anything, leaving those default.
    > PPT: 1,440,768 bytes (Original file)
    > ZIP: 1,311,093 (Dunno what did it, I received it this way)
    > RAR: 1,303,276 (RAR 3.20 beta 4, which does the 'new' RAR compression, default setting)
    > RAR: 1,303,241 (Same version, told it MAX compress "m5" command line)
    > ACE: 1,305,286 (2.0 compression, normal)
    > ACE: 1,309,770 (1.0 compression, normal)
    > ACE: 1,305,274 (2.0 compression, max)
    > GZ: 1,311,109 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > LZH: 1,440,901 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression) (-- this is BIGGER. This surprises me and tells me that PPT may already be compressed?
    > .TAR.GZ: 1,311,614 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > CAB: 1,304,092 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > ZIP: 1,310,299 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > JAR: 1,310,299 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression -- I think .JAR are just renamed .ZIP anyway)
    > BZ2: 1,337,976 (bzip2 Version 1.0.2 - I couldn't see a command line to change compression)
    > GZ: 1,310,209 (gzip -9 gzip 1.3 [1999-12-21]) (-- I've never seen GZIP be smaller than BZ2?!?!?
    > And now sorted:
    > [[email protected] shared]# sort -t' ' +1 tempo
    > RAR: 1,303,241 (Same version, told it MAX compress "m5" command line)
    > RAR: 1,303,276 (RAR 3.20 beta 4, which does the 'new' RAR compression, default setting)
    > CAB: 1,304,092 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > ACE: 1,305,274 (2.0 compression, max)
    > ACE: 1,305,286 (2.0 compression, normal)
    > ACE: 1,309,770 (1.0 compression, normal)
    > GZ: 1,310,209 (gzip -9 gzip 1.3 [1999-12-21]) (-- I've never seen GZIP be smaller than BZ2?!?!?
    > ZIP: 1,310,299 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > JAR: 1,310,299 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression -- I think .JAR are just renamed .ZIP anyway)
    > ZIP: 1,311,093 (Dunno what did it, I received it this way)
    > GZ: 1,311,109 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > .TAR.GZ: 1,311,614 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression)
    > BZ2: 1,337,976 (bzip2 Version 1.0.2 - I couldn't see a command line to change compression)
    > PPT: 1,440,768 bytes (Original file)
    > LZH: 1,440,901 (Created by WinACE 2.5 max compression) (-- this is BIGGER. This surprises me and tells me that PPT may already be compressed?

I think these are slightly skewed, but RAR just edged out ACE. Again, I think this is a recompression on compressed data. I would doubt that MS-CAB would normally beat ACE. This is not a directory of plaintext. You can even see that ACE can make GZip compat archives, but it was slightly larger than GZip itself. And ACE also made a smaller ZIP file than what I assume was WinZip.

And since I already bought WinACE, it's good enough.

CD-Rs bake in the sun!

OK, I had a silver CD-R (Imation 80min if you care) with MP3s. I left it in the car too much in the sun (now I flip the jewel cases over). One edge of it turned a nice golden color like the older CD-Rs are.

It had 5 CDs on it.

I have randomly sampled the files in my audio player, and they all sound fine and are as happy as can be.

Checked the SFVs of 4 of the 5.

Even though my sampling sounded fine, EVERY SINGLE FILE had a CRC failure.


Keep yer CD-Rs in the shade!!!

Geek Reference Site

I found it doing a quick search for entaglement, etc b/c of some questions I had regarding the book I am reading:

Wireless Performance Stats

I cannot get this thing to connect with Encryption On using the SMC software, so I cannot turn on/off this 'Nitro' thing... was used to test. This program ROCKS!!! Server Linux, client WinXP Pro. 30 seconds per test, 8KB window (default) You can see there is a push and a pull test.

iperf --format K --port 999 -s
iperf -c neuvreidaghey -r -t 30 -p 999 --format K

802.11g, with encryption on.
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth
[1892] local port 2212 connected with port 999
[1892] 0.0-30.0 sec 56408 KBytes 1880 KBytes/sec
[1868] local port 999 connected with port 32785
[1868] 0.0-30.0 sec 60832 KBytes 2026 KBytes/sec

802.11g, with encryption off.
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth
[1888] local port 2318 connected with port 999
[1888] 0.0-30.0 sec 70120 KBytes 2337 KBytes/sec
[1868] local port 999 connected with port 32787
[1868] 0.0-30.0 sec 81504 KBytes 2716 KBytes/sec

So I am getting 15-21 Mbps of 54 theoretical - THAT SUCKS!!! [27-38% efficiency]

802.11b, encryption off.
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth
[1888] local port 2353 connected with port 999
[1888] 0.0-30.0 sec 14176 KBytes 472 KBytes/sec
[1868] local port 999 connected with port 32788
[1868] 0.0-30.0 sec 12640 KBytes 421 KBytes/sec

So that is 3.3-3.7Mbps of 11 theoretical - guess that G ain't so bad - it IS about 5x faster! [30-34%]

Just for shits, I switched the G router into B/G mixed mode environment... 802.11g (with b compat) [no encryption] [results about same as G only] I tried putting both NICs in the laptop at once, and things just got ugly. Guess with only one laptop I cannot get the B to interfere enough with the G... I will try that NITRO stuff again... maybe tomorrow, maybe this weekend.

Pound your hardware much harder than Prime95

Using M$'s official hardware pounder:

Car Stereo Installation Stuff

Mis-ID'd Hard Drive

Problem: I have an 80GB Maxtor hooked up to the on-board IDE using a nice fancy 80 pin rounded cable. My problem is that when I cold boot, it ID's the hard drive as a "MAXTOR ROMULUS" and then says error with the drive. I hit ctrl-alt-del and it reboots, properly IDs, and boots fine. Any ideas? I have messed with the IDE delay, up to 3 seconds didn't fix it...

Solution: Turns out that drive didn't like to be the 'Slave' without a 'Master'. Never saw that before and I have had Master-less drives before...