[volunteers] The 2230 formerly (and presently) known as brie

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 16:24:22 PST 2007

On Dec 17, 2007 1:36 PM, Daniel Gimpelevich
<daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us> wrote:
> Beginning a new thread with a quote:
> > The Marc Merlin-donated
> > machine in question, a bog-standard VA Linux Systems model 2230 2U, a
> > 2x700MHz PIII, built with an Intel L440GX+ motherboard with all four
> > RAM
> > slots filled with 128 MB ECC PC100 sticks, and 2x9GB + 2x18GB SCSI hard
> > drives, is reported (1) unbootable, (2) sitting in _Ed Cherlin's_ house
> > (not Heather's), and (3) having nothing at all done to it, with no work
> > planned.
> The only correction that needs to be made to this is to the second half
> of point #3. The following work is planned:
> 1) Attempt to boot the thing with "init=/bin/bash" in its present
> state. All indications are that this will succeed.
> 2) Go through the entire filesystem hierarchy, looking for stuff worth
> keeping, which won't be much, and put it temporarily on another
> machine.
> 3) Unceremoniously repartition all the internal drives and their RAID
> slices in a sane manner, without regard to their current contents, thus
> permanently extricating The Reiber Touch from the installed system.
> 4) Reinstall from scratch Debian onto the machine. Whether this should
> be Etch or Lenny has not been fully examined, and upgrading Etch to
> Lenny, if Etch is ultimately chosen, would be trivial; however, there
> have been changes to the Linux md driver since the Etch kernel that
> would be a must for use of the 9008 JBOD device, and the third-party
> safte-monitor package, IIRC, more cleanly fits on Lenny than Etch,
> although I may have that backwards.
> 5) Take advantage of Heather Stern's offer of many moons ago to provide
> a 1' SCSI ribbon cable ending in a slot cover. During the machine's
> brief stint at Via.net, the external SCSI cable reached into the case,
> directly to the MB, and was held in place solely by the top of the
> case. At some point, a Via.net employee brushed up against the cable
> while working on a non-SVLUG machine, and everything stopped working.
> This prompted the first of two visits to Via.net, with the second one
> resulting in the machine being pulled. The slot-cover-with-ribbon would
> eliminate this half of this problem. Now, for the other half: The
> printed manual for the 9008 clearly states that the end of the cable
> that attaches to the 9008 MUST be secured with the screws on the
> connector, because the vibration of eight hard disks will inevitably
> dislodge it in short order. Our 9008 is a prototype, and so there is
> nowhere for those screws to attach. As a result, periodic visits to
> Via.net will be required to inspect the connector.
> 6) Put the machine back in the Via.net rack.
> 6½) (optional) Fill the hole left by the dead drive in the 9008 with
> another 36GB drive.
> 7) Rebuild the md RAID array on the 9008 as a RAID5 with one spare
> drive. IIRC, this is NOT how the 9008 is currently set up, because
> although this setup was agreed upon, it never got the opportunity to be
> turned into reality before the machine was pulled.
> 8) Do useful stuff with the results.
> Rick's contention that no work is planned is only accurate if one
> considers "no immediate work" to be identical to "no work." He has
> graciously offered to effect the above-explained previously-made plans,
> and more. The primary immediate dispute has been that of timing, with
> Rick favoring diving into the brie plans forthwith. I foresee possible
> snarls when implementation reaches step 8, but Rick feels that not to
> be an obstacle to the first seven. And so, the next time anybody hears
> of this, implementation may well already be on step 8. Thank you all
> for your interest.
> --
> "Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do."
>                                                        --National Lampoon

Clement (my son) and I are ready to proceed with Daniel's program if
we hear no objection. I have told Clement to sign on to this list. We
are now doing step 1. We will survey the file system for step 2 and
report what we find before proceeding further.

Where should we look for things to save, besides /home and /var?

Clement is currently booting in single user mode. It isn't working. *<{%{]}}}

More to come.

Edward Cherlin
Earth Treasury: End Poverty at a Profit
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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