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axl
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:22 pm    Post subject: Old gentoo Reply with quote

With all the corona stuff, and all the boredom, I found an old Pentium 3 in my old stuff, which I wanted to install gentoo on. I expected this machine didn't have a hard-drive, but to my surprise I found it did have one. And not only it had one, but it already had a gentoo which I installed before. I think it's from around 2014. It's a laptop actually. A compaq armada 1700. One of the first machines I ever installed gentoo on. It's a 600Mhz Celeron, with 256 Mb of ram.

Anyway, it's exactly what I was looking for. Something to do. I chose the long path. I remember Neddy had a similar topic. I think his version of gentoo was way older.

Never the less, it was something to do. Gentoo portage squash images were enough to start an upgrade. They go back to 2016. I had to go year by year, but it's working. It's surprisingly reliable actually. I wont say there aren't packages that failed building. They do exist, but overall there have been less than 10.

Mostly it was packages sources I didn't find. Or signatures that didn't match. And terrible lag waiting for ftp.halifax.rwth-aachen.de which times out in 3 segments of 1 minute each. so had to change fetch command and resume command to adjust to something more manageable like 2 tries of 5 seconds each. Lot of google to find old sources. But over all surprisingly reliable. I don't know what else to say. It just works.

As a side joke, it was systemd enabled. I always said I adopted that thing since the beginning. It's quite funny to find such an old system. It took me a while to figure out simple things like... where the hell did I set up the ip?! it's not in /etc/conf.d/net. it's not in /etc/systemd/network. it's not NetworkManager. not in /etc/local.d. ohhh... it was the time when I made service files which just did ifconfig and route. Wait... what syslog did I use back then? What cron did I use? Wait... whose system is this? It feels so alien.

BTW, in case anyone wonders, I plan to use this system to try to bridge 2 networks. Very unimportant networks. Let's say I plan to use it as a firewall for my wifi AP. I plan to run some iptables rules on it, and evaluate how well it does. As it is a laptop, it has an included ethernet e100 network adapter, which was pretty good. And I had 2 very old pcmcia 100 Mbps SMC 8035 card. So I plan to literally bridge then and then measure the performance loss. I expect it would be one. I just have no idea how big it would be.


I don't have a question. Just chatting. 2 points: 1. gentoo is reliable. 2. sometimes old systems are more exciting than new systems.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odd, 2014 wasn't "that" long ago, I thought even my 2005-2006 installs still used /etc/conf.d/net* unless this was one of those learning installs where you didn't do it exactly as the handbook says?

I've also been meaning to upgrade an old 900MHz P3 tablet PC (Fujitsu Stylistic) that I have a ~2015 install on it. Not quite as old but I think that it's still on python3_4, old EAPI, and upgrading this might be a problem...

I may have to reinstall from scratch...
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axl
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
Odd, 2014 wasn't "that" long ago, I thought even my 2005-2006 installs still used /etc/conf.d/net* unless this was one of those learning installs where you didn't do it exactly as the handbook says?

I've also been meaning to upgrade an old 900MHz P3 tablet PC (Fujitsu Stylistic) that I have a ~2015 install on it. Not quite as old but I think that it's still on python3_4, old EAPI, and upgrading this might be a problem...

I may have to reinstall from scratch...


I LOVE crossdev (and by that I'm mostly thinking of raspberry pi). You can reinstall from scratch, even if you don't have the actual machine. You can compile to your hearts content regardless of the hardware. And chroot. And qemu. I love these things. For general daily use.

But, for a job like this, I wanted to upgrade, not reinstall. Well, I wanted both. So saved on a network share the old gentoo, and reinstalled a debian through dhcp/tftp network install. It only took half hour to install debian buster on a hardware from 1999. But for the actual gentoo upgrade, I could have easily reinstalled. It's nothing worth saving in there.

I did it for the art. The challenge. The boredom. Or... it's just something that has been on my list for years now.





Also, I'm sorry I mislead people. It's Compaq Armada E500. Not 1700. E500 is a pentium 3 celeron laptop. Which I am working at now.

Armada 1700 is pentium 2 at 266 Mhz and 96Mb of ram I worked on last week. Also had hard-drive. also had gentoo. I'm so sorry I deleted and didn't save a copy. but anyway. pentium 2 still works reasonably well, for a ssh console on the balcony. or on the toilet. I can't decide where to put it.
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axl
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And old. I wouldn't judge things by how old they are. But by how fragile they are.

One of my favorite systems is this drone:

https://www.google.com/search?q=parrot+ar+drone+2.0

It has an arm board. And a softfloat arm toolchain. you can telnet it. it has busybox. and persistent memory. therefor if your write shit... it will brick your drone. so make sure you never write shit that will brick your drone. And I didn't.

It's a drone. It works on wifi. But the way it works is, the drone has an adhoc unprotected wifi network. and that's how you connect with the drone. you find the wifi with your phone. and then the phone app will connect to 192.168.0.1 which is your drone. terrible security model.

so one of the first things I did to this particular drone, is change the init script. and I changed the network name to something only I knew, and made the wifi network not broadcast the network.

But one thing this drone has, it's a usb port. The original kernel was stripped silly of everything. but it was available online. patches and everything. I saved everything. Anyway, so I compiled the kernel with cdc_ether support(for people that dont know - cdc_ether are those 3g/4g mobile usb modems). the original kernel still had module support. as long as everything else was according to the original, adding one module was no big issue. which I did. and the next module I had to add was tun. or tap. I think it's called tap. I always get the 2 confused. but tap is the good one.

So by this point, this wifi oriented thing... had a usb internet connection. add a vpn (I used vtun)... and it's an internet drone. it's highly illegal. and I never flown it as such. but it's nice to know I was able to make it.

And I feel like I only scratched the surface of this machine. I only talked about ways to maintain a connection, kernel. maybe toolchain. I didn't say jack shit about controls, or video streaming. And I didn't say anything about that... because I don't know. I never finished the project. It's a fragile drone. and it's highly illegal to have such things. or fly them.

Put it on the shelf... Maybe times will change at one point.

One thing I will say... I wish more things were like parrot ar 2.0. it's just open... but i'm not entirely sure that was by intention. or that the original sources and patches are still available. I have them in the vault. not many things go in the vault.
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