Using a human-based data acquisition plugin
Why buy expensive data acquisition boards, if you can have a cheap human being
entering the data on some terminal? No, just kidding.
Anyway, GSPC now has a gpsc_acquire_user.c plugin that retrieves measurement data via a ncurses-based dialog instead of any data acquisition board. This is useful for testing, but also in some real-world cases.
Two hard drives dying in one week
This week already the second hard drive in one of my workstations died.. both
times it was the same model: IBM DTLA-307060, produced Nov 2000 in Hungary. If that isn't some coincidence. Maybe they have a built-in 'best before' date :(
So both my main workstations (Dual PIII-733 and a Dual Apple G4-500) were
inoperable, isn't that great? The good part is that they've been replaced with
silent Samsung SP1213N models, significantly reducing the noise level in my
Off-the-shelf multi-port serial cards and Linux
This is now the third time I've bought some PCI serial multi-port card (6 to 8
ports) that claimed to have 'Linux support'. If you then read the document,
the vendor bluntly tells you that Linux generally doesn't support more than
four ports, so if you have two built-in ports, you can only use two more.
I've never read such bullshit anywhere else ;)
So after some minor twiddling, I now submitted a patch adding support for this particular 6port device. Apparently there is either a wide variety of such boards, or almost no Linux users... A couple of years ago I added support for an AFAVLAB 8port serial card, to the Linux serial driver.
I think I now know way too much about the serial driver. Not stopping with
those two PCI 8250 based boards, I did lots of serial driver hacking for the
XServe G5 and also for my recent ARM embedded work. Let's hope I can again advance to some more exciting work in the future.