Linux on Kayak

Linux on Kayak

Post by Gregory L. Hans » Fri, 10 Oct 2003 11:25:18



My eBay computer came, an HP Kayak XAS6.  But I don't have the cables and
adapters to plug it into my monitor yet, so it's just sitting there.  But
I have a few questions about it in a Linux context.

It has a slot for a second processor, PII 400 MHz.  It also has a slot for
the PII's VRM module.  What the heck is a VRM module?  The one with the
first processor is full of inductors and capacitors.  Can I make use of a
second processor?  I have Mandrake sitting here for when I can see what
I'm doing.

I have an ISA modem, used and without documentation (and it was free).  
But I have no idea what brand it is.  It has a few unhelpful things
printed on it like Ver 5.0 98'02, PN:01091085, MADE IN TAIWAN, etc.  But
it also has a microphone port and a speaker port.  And a few of the cheap
connectors in the middle of the circuit board, a three-pin and a four-pin,
that I don't know what to plug into.  Is this one of those sound card
modems?  I've been told Linux doesn't work very well with sound card
modems.  Also, is it usual for an ISA card to not completely fill the slot
it's plugged into?

Hope someone can help.

--
"Is that plutonium on your gums?"
"Shut up and kiss me!"
  -- Marge and Homer Simpson

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Laurel Amberdin » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 03:00:26



Quote:

> My eBay computer came, an HP Kayak XAS6.  But I don't have the cables and
> adapters to plug it into my monitor yet, so it's just sitting there.

How frustrating. :)

Quote:> It has a slot for a second processor, PII 400 MHz.  It also has a slot for
> the PII's VRM module.  What the heck is a VRM module?  The one with the
> first processor is full of inductors and capacitors.  Can I make use of a
> second processor?

It's the voltage regulator module.  You'll need another one if you want to
use a second processor.  HP will sell you a VRM, but HP doesn't sell
little parts cheap.

Quote:> I have an ISA modem, used and without documentation (and it was free).  
> But I have no idea what brand it is.  It has a few unhelpful things
> printed on it like Ver 5.0 98'02, PN:01091085, MADE IN TAIWAN, etc.  But
> it also has a microphone port and a speaker port.  And a few of the cheap
> connectors in the middle of the circuit board, a three-pin and a four-pin,
> that I don't know what to plug into.  Is this one of those sound card
> modems?  I've been told Linux doesn't work very well with sound card
> modems.  Also, is it usual for an ISA card to not completely fill the slot
> it's plugged into?

It might be a "voice" modem, that can do voicemail and such.  You might
try looking up the specs for your model at HP's website.  They might say.

Anyway, there's no harm in having it in there as you try an install.  
You'll be able to get some information on it once you have Linux running.  
Probably it's a winmodem, and getting it to work will be more trouble than
it's worth.  But, you never know.

--
- Laurel   *  *  *   http://amberdine.com

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Gregory L. Hans » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 04:23:51




>On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 02:25:18 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen

>> My eBay computer came, an HP Kayak XAS6.  But I don't have the cables and
>> adapters to plug it into my monitor yet, so it's just sitting there.

>How frustrating. :)

>> It has a slot for a second processor, PII 400 MHz.  It also has a slot for
>> the PII's VRM module.  What the heck is a VRM module?  The one with the
>> first processor is full of inductors and capacitors.  Can I make use of a
>> second processor?

>It's the voltage regulator module.  You'll need another one if you want to
>use a second processor.  HP will sell you a VRM, but HP doesn't sell
>little parts cheap.

Looks like HP will sell me one, part number 0950-2837, for $31.  Which,
ironically, is a lot cheaper than the used equipment dealers will give
me, I've seen prices over $100!  I found some 3310's on eBay, which are
for the Vectra and the same processor, but I don't know if these are
standardized parts or if they're specific both to the processor and
motherboard.  HP does a lot of proprietary things.

Compare to a PII 400MHz for $10, including shipping.

Quote:

>> I have an ISA modem, used and without documentation (and it was free).  
>> But I have no idea what brand it is.  It has a few unhelpful things
>> printed on it like Ver 5.0 98'02, PN:01091085, MADE IN TAIWAN, etc.  But
>> it also has a microphone port and a speaker port.  And a few of the cheap
>> connectors in the middle of the circuit board, a three-pin and a four-pin,
>> that I don't know what to plug into.  Is this one of those sound card
>> modems?  I've been told Linux doesn't work very well with sound card
>> modems.  Also, is it usual for an ISA card to not completely fill the slot
>> it's plugged into?

>It might be a "voice" modem, that can do voicemail and such.  You might
>try looking up the specs for your model at HP's website.  They might say.

It came in a Dell Optiplex, actually, which gives me a clue where to look
for documentation, when I have time for that.
--
"Is that plutonium on your gums?"
"Shut up and kiss me!"
  -- Marge and Homer Simpson
 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Laurel Amberdin » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 12:51:12





>>On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 02:25:18 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen

>>It's the voltage regulator module.  You'll need another one if you want to
>>use a second processor.  HP will sell you a VRM, but HP doesn't sell
>>little parts cheap.

> Looks like HP will sell me one, part number 0950-2837, for $31.

Oh, well that's not too bad.  Nevermind me.  I'm just bitter that they
won't sell me the stupid little gear I need to fix my Laserjet without
buying the whole dratted motor, and then they want to charge crazy amounts
of S&H for it.

Quote:>   Which,
> ironically, is a lot cheaper than the used equipment dealers will give
> me, I've seen prices over $100!  I found some 3310's on eBay, which are
> for the Vectra and the same processor, but I don't know if these are
> standardized parts or if they're specific both to the processor and
> motherboard.  HP does a lot of proprietary things.

I wondered about that.  I haven't used an Intel anything for ages.  I have
no idea.

Quote:> Compare to a PII 400MHz for $10, including shipping.

Hee hee. :)

--
- Laurel   *  *  *   http://amberdine.com

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Gregory L. Hans » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 23:03:59




>On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 19:23:51 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen



>>>On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 02:25:18 +0000 (UTC), Gregory L. Hansen

>>>It's the voltage regulator module.  You'll need another one if you want to
>>>use a second processor.  HP will sell you a VRM, but HP doesn't sell
>>>little parts cheap.

>> Looks like HP will sell me one, part number 0950-2837, for $31.

>Oh, well that's not too bad.  Nevermind me.  I'm just bitter that they
>won't sell me the stupid little gear I need to fix my Laserjet without
>buying the whole dratted motor, and then they want to charge crazy amounts
>of S&H for it.

Well, they still wanted $360 for the second processor.  That may have been
a reasonable price four years ago...

Quote:

>>   Which,
>> ironically, is a lot cheaper than the used equipment dealers will give
>> me, I've seen prices over $100!  I found some 3310's on eBay, which are
>> for the Vectra and the same processor, but I don't know if these are
>> standardized parts or if they're specific both to the processor and
>> motherboard.  HP does a lot of proprietary things.

>I wondered about that.  I haven't used an Intel anything for ages.  I have
>no idea.

HP and Compaq are a lot like that.  Motherboards that won't fit into
standard ATX cases, power supplies that aren't compatible with the
standard types.  

I haven't used Intel anything, ever.  This is my first.  I wanted to play
with Linux, and then I found out how astonishingly cheap an old PC can be.  
My thought was to play the component-by-component upgrade game, which in
the case of the Kayak is a little short-circuited by the non-standard
components.  It's still full of things like disk drives and memory that
could be moved to a barebones setup, but I think I really *like* the
Kayak.  I'll find a computer show to get the upgrade game going, and keep
the Kayak intact.

Quote:

>> Compare to a PII 400MHz for $10, including shipping.

>Hee hee. :)

And the heat sink.  That auction ended without a buyer, but I'm sure
there'll be others.

Yes, if I can just stay three or four years behind the leading edge, I'll
be doing fine.  I'll see how much PIII's are going for next year.

--
"Is that plutonium on your gums?"
"Shut up and kiss me!"
  -- Marge and Homer Simpson

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Steve Wolf » Sun, 12 Oct 2003 02:27:56


Quote:> I haven't used Intel anything, ever.  This is my first.  I wanted to
play
> with Linux, and then I found out how astonishingly cheap an old PC can
be.
> My thought was to play the component-by-component upgrade game, which in
> the case of the Kayak is a little short-circuited by the non-standard
> components.  It's still full of things like disk drives and memory that
> could be moved to a barebones setup, but I think I really *like* the
> Kayak.  I'll find a computer show to get the upgrade game going, and
keep
> the Kayak intact.

   You'll find that SMP machines are oh-so-silky-smooth-nice to use, even
older ones.  My first personal SMP machine was a dual Pentium-133 from DEC
that I picked up years ago.  It's amazing just how usable it is, even to
this day.  The true advantage to SMP machines is the responsiveness - even
when things are loading down the CPU's pretty hard, the machines are
usually MUCH more responsive (and hence, usable) than uniprocesser
machines.  Make sure that you're using a kernel with the o(1) scheduler,
it takes much better advantage of multiple processers.

Quote:> Yes, if I can just stay three or four years behind the leading edge,
I'll
> be doing fine.  I'll see how much PIII's are going for next year.

   Next year, look around for a cheap, used AthlonMP system. : )

steve

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Gregory L. Hans » Sun, 12 Oct 2003 02:41:52




>> I haven't used Intel anything, ever.  This is my first.  I wanted to
>play
>> with Linux, and then I found out how astonishingly cheap an old PC can
>be.
>> My thought was to play the component-by-component upgrade game, which in
>> the case of the Kayak is a little short-circuited by the non-standard
>> components.  It's still full of things like disk drives and memory that
>> could be moved to a barebones setup, but I think I really *like* the
>> Kayak.  I'll find a computer show to get the upgrade game going, and
>keep
>> the Kayak intact.

>   You'll find that SMP machines are oh-so-silky-smooth-nice to use, even
>older ones.  My first personal SMP machine was a dual Pentium-133 from DEC
>that I picked up years ago.  It's amazing just how usable it is, even to
>this day.  The true advantage to SMP machines is the responsiveness - even
>when things are loading down the CPU's pretty hard, the machines are
>usually MUCH more responsive (and hence, usable) than uniprocesser
>machines.  Make sure that you're using a kernel with the o(1) scheduler,
>it takes much better advantage of multiple processers.

I'd wondered how to make multiprocessing work on Linux.  A kernel with the
o(1) scheduler, eh?  I don't even know what that is.  I'll have to get
back to you when the time comes.  Is it something that only special
kernels have, or that all newer kernels have?  I have Mandrake 9.1
sitting around waiting for cables and adapters to arrive for my monitor.  
Can't see what I'm doing until then, so I still don't really have a Linux
system yet.

--
"Is that plutonium on your gums?"
"Shut up and kiss me!"
  -- Marge and Homer Simpson

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Steve Wolf » Sun, 12 Oct 2003 03:19:53


Quote:> I'd wondered how to make multiprocessing work on Linux.

  You use a multi-processer kernel. : )  If you're using something like
RedHat, choose the SMP kernel.  If you're rolling your own kernels, read
the SMP howto for info on how to configure them.

Quote:> A kernel with the
> o(1) scheduler, eh?  I don't even know what that is.

  It's a new, higher-performance scheduler that the 2.6 series uses, and
has been available as a patch to the 2.4 kernels for some time.  If you're
rolling your own, you apply the patch and compile.  If you're sticking
with vendors' kernels, it might be tougher to find.

steve

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Gregory L. Hans » Sun, 12 Oct 2003 03:35:04




>> I'd wondered how to make multiprocessing work on Linux.

>  You use a multi-processer kernel. : )  If you're using something like
>RedHat, choose the SMP kernel.  If you're rolling your own kernels, read
>the SMP howto for info on how to configure them.

>> A kernel with the
>> o(1) scheduler, eh?  I don't even know what that is.

>  It's a new, higher-performance scheduler that the 2.6 series uses, and
>has been available as a patch to the 2.4 kernels for some time.  If you're
>rolling your own, you apply the patch and compile.  If you're sticking
>with vendors' kernels, it might be tougher to find.

I have whatever kernels come with Mandrake.  I'll have to start playing
with Linux and see how scary it looks to roll my own.

--
"Is that plutonium on your gums?"
"Shut up and kiss me!"
  -- Marge and Homer Simpson

 
 
 

Linux on Kayak

Post by Steve Wolf » Sun, 12 Oct 2003 03:58:32


Quote:> I have whatever kernels come with Mandrake.  I'll have to start playing
> with Linux and see how scary it looks to roll my own.

  Even if you don't, I'm sure that Mandrake has an SMP kernel somewhere
for you to install. : )

steve

 
 
 

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