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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Laptop Adventures

I've got an old Toshiba 4015CDT PII 266 that I haven't used much for quite a while now. Used to use it for a secure email station. Recently installed OpenBSD 3.9 on it (no Xwindows) and everything looked great. Then I got to reading dmesg closer and saw where I had the old problem as a long time ago: WARNING: can't reserve area for I/O APIC WARNING: can't reserve area for Local APIC I googled around and actually found an old post of mine asking help on the issue. Only at the time, I was looking to resolve an Intel Memory Managent issue and had already resolved the APIC issue. Went into config, disabled pcibios0, saved the kernel, rebooted, all was well. Also, and it should be noted that I'm only an end user and not a programmer or developer, the code must've changed since my 3.3 days to resolve the memory management issue. No errors in dmesg. So, after rebuilding the kernel, although I had only updated my /usr/src to the patch branch, I figured I'd experiment with building userland and see how the old laptop did. Went to bed, got up, everything finished. But, /usr was full. Oops! ;) Had to do some housecleaning before I could even install the mergemaster package. Finally got /etc merged okay. From now on, I'll only apply errata patches due to limited disk space, and only rebuild the kernel when the patch needs it, not userland. Lesson learned. Although, to my credit, I didn't panic. I had seen the same thing in messages in the OpenBSD misc mailing list before and fortunately knew how to handle it. There was a time, when I was still a really new "Newbie", when I would've reinstalled everything. So, if any "Newbies" read this, make sure you have enough disk space to what you want to do before you do it! ;) To all the BSD's credit, there is a builtin safety margin to keep you from overfilling any of your partitions. It'll show full before it actually is totally full. That's when you really need to pay attention. I'll always consider myself in "Newbie" status, mostly due to what I already stated, that I'm not a programmer. Maybe in time. I've hacked a few makefiles to get them to work, and written some scripts in FreeBSD for cronjobs to do some automated tasks, but that's about it.

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