Thursday, January 18, 2007

Firmware updates without a floppy

I've had to do some firmware updates lately. This isn't a very friendly process being a linux user (unless the manufacturer provides bootable iso images).

The firmware I needed to install came as a win32 self-extracting 'create a set of boot floppies' program. As I started running the program, I realized that the only windows box I had access to at the moment didn't have a floppy drive. Ugh. Searching led me to find this virtual floppy driver:

It worked like a charm. I ended up with a floppy image file. After some more searching I found out how to create a bootable iso image from this floppy image:

From this article:

* As root, make sure there's a /mnt/test directory
* As root, mount -o loop,ro /scratch/linuxinst/m91inst/images/network.img /mnt/test
* The remainder of the steps are done as a regular user
* mkdir /tmp/floppycopy
* cp -Rp /mnt/test/* /tmp/floppycopy
* cp -p /scratch/linuxinst/m91inst/images/network.img /tmp/floppycopy
* mkisofs -pad -b network.img -R -o /tmp/cd.iso /tmp/floppycopy
* cdrecord dev=0,3,0 speed=12 blank=fast -pad -v -eject /tmp/cd.iso

It actually worked. It would be nice if all manufacturers provided bootable iso images for all their updates.

Sidenote: Be careful when updating the cd drive's firmware using a cd. IBM had a bootable iso image to update the cd's firmware which worked fine, but in my case, using an image on a cd that was designed for a floppy didn't work. Luckily running it again from a floppy fixed the drive.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Blog Location

Seems like about a year ago I was migrating services to my little server. Now I'm heading in the opposite direction and trying to migrate services off of it. I guess I shouldn't give my wife such a hard time for wanting totally different wall colors than she did 2 years ago :)

Couple of reasons for doing so:
  1. The power has gone out a few times in the last year, and I'd rather not worry about availability, especially when I can get this blog for free.
  2. For the first time in 2 1/2 years, my qwest dsl was down for a day. I'm not sure exactly how the outage was since I was out of town, but again, I'd rather not worry about it. Plus, I only had < 1 Mbps upload capacity.
  3. I didn't really feel like keeping wordpress updated or tracking their security vulnerabilities. (wordpress, or any blog hosting software, doesn't ship in openSUSE)
  4. Most importantly, it seems to be a nice time to follow suit in migrating blogs.

I didn't have that many blog posts for the previous site so I copied and pasted them over.

There weren't that many comments on the old site so I simply pasted them in right along with the post.

Maybe I'll blog more now... maybe not. But this will be it's home until the "Google goes Evil" prophecies start to come true (outrageous advertising, fees, etc...), then maybe I'll return to my original color choices.