SparcStation 5 UNIXBENCH Results; Single Thread

BYTE UNIX Benchmarks (Version 5.1.3)

System: shimakaze: GNU/Linux
OS: GNU/Linux -- -- #12 Sun Mar 29 07:44:08 EDT 2015
Machine: sparc (unknown)
Language: en_US.utf8 (charmap="UTF-8", collate="UTF-8")
14:36:42 up 7 days, 7:50, 1 user, load average: 0.92, 0.34, 0.11; runlevel 2

Benchmark Run: Wed Apr 15 2015 14:36:42 - 15:06:20
1 CPUs in system; running 1 parallel copy of tests

Dhrystone 2 using register variables 79215.7 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)
Double-Precision Whetstone 32.4 MWIPS (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Execl Throughput 40.7 lps (29.3 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 11435.4 KBps (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 3534.1 KBps (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 17401.8 KBps (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Pipe Throughput 36236.2 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)
Pipe-based Context Switching 11164.7 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)
Process Creation 104.5 lps (30.2 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent) 72.7 lpm (60.7 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 9.3 lpm (64.7 s, 2 samples)
System Call Overhead 48092.6 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)

System Benchmarks Index Values BASELINE RESULT INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables 116700.0 79215.7 6.8
Double-Precision Whetstone 55.0 32.4 5.9
Execl Throughput 43.0 40.7 9.5
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 3960.0 11435.4 28.9
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1655.0 3534.1 21.4
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 5800.0 17401.8 30.0
Pipe Throughput 12440.0 36236.2 29.1
Pipe-based Context Switching 4000.0 11164.7 27.9
Process Creation 126.0 104.5 8.3
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent) 42.4 72.7 17.1
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 6.0 9.3 15.4
System Call Overhead 15000.0 48092.6 32.1
System Benchmarks Index Score 16.5


Farewell OptiPlex 760, Hello Pogoplug (and SS5!)

(the DSM-G600 project is on a very small and temporary hiatus while I clean my basement.)


So the other day I made a hard decision. A hard one, but one that would save on power in the end. I had to shut down my main server box, and move to a much more energy-efficient one.

This was NOT an easy thing to do at all. in fact, it was extremely hard to do considering the main box had an uptime of 264 days and was otherwise running fine.

The replacement is my Pogoplug. the 800MHz Kirkwood, 128MB RAM Pogoplug. wielding and running Debian off of a 250GB hard drive, it makes for quite a lovely ARM box, but it’s slow as balls with PHP. this will have to be sorted in the future. for now, it’s working, albeit slowly, as both my web and IRC server.

Related to the replacement, I needed someplace to stick another up-and-coming project of mine, a Sun SparcStation 5 running Debian Etch with a custom-rolled kernel. so it inevitably took the place of the 760 on the entertainment center top.



Off frame to the right is my Beaglebone Black, purchased for $24 at Radioshack before my two local ones closed down.


Not sure what I’m going to do with this one yet…. but it IS running Debian as well. See a trend here?


So I got a D-Link DSM-G600 Rev B a few days ago. I’ve been following some information in a stale wiki for getting Debian Sarge chrooted on the device, and getting things compiled for it… and once I get a serial connector for it, I”ll be able to flash my own kernels and what-have-you. I’ve been contributing some information in the forums about things for the model which are otherwise antiquated. a 2015 update, if you will. fixing links and stuff.

I’m going to write more up about this later as I can drop my findings and documentation into a wordpress blogpost here reasonably quickly and then buff it out and turn it into a webpage later.

Powerbook G4: IT’S HAPPENING

Oh my god it happened.

So back in January 2012 I was greeted with a Powerbook G4 on my back doorstep. it was beat to hell and needed love, but I was able to get it into shape. new plastics, titanium bits, and a replacement Wireless card were all it took, as well as an 80-gig hard drive upgrade in the process, to bring  Powerbook on the brink of being thrown away to modern usage spec again.

This was a Titanium Powerbook 500MHz, the first-gen Powerbook G4.

After things started failing on it (one RAM slot died, screen was blotchy in spots, battery failed, fan wouldn’t kick in and the laptop would get very hot, ATI graphics almost desoldered itself from the board on one occasion too…, CD drive was dead when I got it) I left it on a shelf hoping that one day I’d find the drive and money to fix it.

I can honestly say right now that day has not yet come, and never will come.

A couple days ago, I was called up by my friend a few blocks from me; he deals with scrap metal in his garage as a full time job now since he can’t do much else; He fell out of a tree while hunting and broke his back, and has been wheelchair-bound ever since. he’s getting better since he used to not be able to feel his but and he’s now able to feel that a bit more as the days go on… and I wish him the best in acquiring his full mobility back. No one should have to deal with that.

Anyways, back to the story.

He called me up saying he had some pretty interesting items he wanted me to take a look at (since I can value out computers pretty easily, since I watch craigslist and eBay constantly when I’m looking for things.)

He had 3 big boxes in his pickup. they were all Apple laptops– with G4s!

They were mostly iBook G4 12.1 and 14-inch models for the first box.

The second box was aluminum Powerbook G4’s of 15 and 12.1 inch sizes, all beat up and in various states of assembly. they were all abused being taken apart for the hard drive. I wish they were left in, just boot and nuke since OSX doesn’t remember where files are when you’re done deleting them… it’s a bit more safe than Windows in terms of file recovery, but you CAN still do it either way, it’s just a tad harder because of the way the filesystem is laid out.

ANYWAYS. So the third box was all 15 inchers, a single 12.1-incher and 3 17-inch models. only half of them worked, probably the result of being taken apart, so I assumed a lot of stuff either had shorts from the hard drive caddies inside or the cables not being connected was to blame. I didn’t bother with fixing any of them, i just tested to see if they worked. someone came later and bought them all off him for a pretty penny, lemme tell you, but not before I found this bad boy:

I had brought my TiBook G4 500 with me to see if I needed to use the hard drive to test any of them out, if any needed testing or parts. I didn’t know what to expect. closer to the time the man was coming to buy them, I asked if I could swap out a working one with my powerbook, since the screen was still good (which is good enough in most cases for the guy that bought them all.) I was given a yes and placed it in the car before bothering with anything else.

Fast forward back to home after the matter, and I have a powerbook in front of me.

I worked quickly, taking it apart without any help from the internet, dropping in a hard drive, and carefully closing it back up.

I powered it on and waited. Everything went smoothly from start to desktop. so then I clicked the Apple menu and went to About this Mac…

What I saw shocked me. Heavily.

Yeah. if you know G4’s, you know the 1.67GHz G4 was the fastest ever offered in a Powerbook. in fact, only two 15 inch models ever had one of that speed.

and then you see the RAM? DDR2. Only ONE model was ever sold to the public with that RAM.

The last model.

So what did I get out of this? +100 credit points for knowing my shit when it came to old Macs, got my friend a pretty penny more than he actually paid for them, amounts undisclosed (I really have no idea how much he paid or was given anymore.)

and, a trade-up of my first-gen Powerbook G4 for a last-gen Powerbook G4. the BEST Last-gen Powerbook G4. the HR version.

Here’s all you need to know about the Mac, courtesy of’s wonderful serial number identifier…:

and with that, I’m out. I’m exhausted.

Goodbye Centro… Hello Treo!

  So my Palm Centro decided to be funny and started peeling at the keyboard again last month. so I superglued it back on as I have twice before… and it got under the membrane and made some buttons stick to the    keyboard electronics underneath.

the search for a replacement centro began the next day on eBay and Amazon. finding nothing good, I checked agsin the next day and the next.

but then I went to the thrift shop… and what did I find? a Treo 650? No! it was a 755p! which meant that it used the exact same batteries as my 700wx does (to a point, tabs are shaped weird on the end but they still charge and work as I’ve tested) and was more or less a larger Centro.

So far the transition from the Centro to the Treo 755p has been painless. I initially beamed over what little apps I had on the Centro and all of my contacts over via Infrared (yes, this was a thing… and still apparently is in Japan!) and then synch’d whatever else I needed (so far PowerHero (battery/power consumption monitoring and management) and Lightspeed (CPU overclocking/underclocking to save power)) and viola, a MiniSD to microSD adapter later (and a new battery!) and I was in business for the long haul.


now with 35% more squid power.

and actual buttons again. reminds me of my 700wx.


other accessories I’ve purchased so far are three OEM Palm 3453WW car chargers. these are 5v 500mA chargers that drop into your 12v accessory port on your car and give you a USB connector to a MicroUSB cable which is about a foot in length, and then atop that an adapter cable from MicroUSB to the funny square adapter that Palm used up until the pre and pixi came out. if you have a Palm device still, or don’t, I highly suggest getting one of these as they go for peanuts on eBay and are one of the best products you can get from a dead brand that can still be used with today’s phones and other MicroUSB-powered devices to charge in your car.

and of course, I’ve already ordered a few batteries. because why not. they’re like 3 bucks a piece.


Dropped my car off at the mechanic’s to find out where the gas smell is coming from– results come back inconclusive. amazing. ugh.

That aside, I did some wiring and crimping for a future radio install job this upcoming weekend:


a JVC KD-G230 going into a ’95 Honda Accord which currently has the stock radio. I’ve been told that I can go ahead and do this since this radio has an AUX jack instead of the tape deck that the stock head unit comes with, aside from a CD player, also. this friend of mine for whom this install is for, works at two libraries and borrows audiobooks to listen to on her commute to and from work and college… so this works out well, as well as her being able to listen to music off her iPhone. the faceplate is removable, so that also helps in the sense of security and deterrence.

I didn’t have a proper crimp tool, so I took a pair of slipjoint pliers and used the dull wirecutter end to crimp it 5x in place on each wire. on at least two tries I went too far through and messed up the crimp and broke through the soft metal. but this was fixed with extras! from there, a trip to the Honda parts Warehouse (bucket-o-zipties) and some electrical tape, and she’s good to go! I was amazed how easy it was to set these two up for crimping– the color-coding was all the same! so it was pretty much a match-up and crimp job. The only one I could not find a connector for was the daytime wire, which tells the radio to dim or be full-brightness. this apparently is not a feature of the KD-G230, so the illumination circuit wire was looped into a conveniently-placed nook where it was blocked off and would not make contact with anything while under the dash. I’m cofident this entire crimp and tape job will last somewhere between 5 and 10 years, depending on when the radio is next replaced– and at this point, I think at that time the next radio might also be a JVC– i’ve had nothing but good experience with all the head units that have come into my posession or contact over the years.


2014-05-18 EDIT: Here’s the Finished Product!


More Laptop Woes!

Why do I keep posting about laptops?

Who knows.

I’m looking for someone to modify a Phoenix BIOS for me. I have a Gateway ML3706 with a date code of sometime around November of 2006. this is a laptop that uses this motherboard:
4006148R – Motherboard UMA w/ATI RC415MD w/o 1394

This motherboard seems to be applicable to all of these models:
MX3101b MX3102j MX3103b MX3138m MX3139m MX3140m MX3141m MX3142m MX3143m MX3701 MX3702
MT3104b MT3105j MT3107b MT3110c MT3111c MT3112c MT3705 MT3707 MT3708 MT3710c MT3711c
MT3713c <== (Newest model, sold w/ Core Duo T2130 @ 1.86GHz & 1GB DDR2-667)
ML3109 ML3706

as all of these models have or had at one point, BIOS 83.05 available to them to ugprade to.
I recently found the 83.10 BIOS for the MT3000 series on Gateway’s FTP through some digging on Google. This can be found below along with the 83.05 BIOS ripped from my laptop.

My particular laptop originally came with a Pentium Dual-Core T2060 (Yonah) CPU running at a blistering 1.6GHz– this seems to be the most generic CPU option shipped, with some getting a T2080 or some level of same-sped Core Duo. On a whim, I went and upgraded this to a T2080 I found in an E1505 carcass, with not much improvement. I then went and decided, “well, I have this Core 2 T7200 here, and I don’t know if it’s any good, so let’s just throw it in and see what sparks fly out.”

I wasn’t expecting anything to happen because this is a Yonah platform with a Radeon XPress 200M (RC415ME, “ATI RC410MB/MD/ME+SB450 Bonefish Board” appears in the BIOS information) as the chipset.
it worked.


Both cores work fine, and CPU-Z and HWInfo32 seem to say that Virtualization and 64-bit instructions are seen properly. I’ve also been able to make sure that it’ll boot a 64-bit system by booting off an amd64 build of clonezilla from a flashdrive. The only thing that doesn’t work natively seems to be anything in the regard of Speedstep or C1E or what have you C-states. Both cores are stuck at 2GHz. RMclock does wonders at that point and allows for speedstep scaling down to 1GHz with all states and stuff enabled from there, but I want to be able to have the ability to run a 64-bit version of Windows on this, and RMclock will not run reliably on that platform without some driver modification etc. and I’d rather not go all through that mess.

Speaking of 64-bit, I’ve also confirmed this laptop’s motherboard will boot with 4GB installed, but it is capped at 3GB, 2.89GB with video memory set to 128MB. anything above 2.89 is also inaccessible in 64-bit Linux as well, so it isn’t a “omg ur using a 32bit os this is totally why you idiot lolololol xD” issue. The XPress 200 can take 4GB easy on AMD laptops, but I’m unsure if this is because the Turion64/X2’s I’ve seen also have their own memory controller like their Athlon64/Sempron Socket S1G1 counterparts. All information I’m seeing for the Intel-compatible Xpress 200 says a 2GB memory ceiling, but most of those boards with that chipset are older than this laptop. I’d love to see if there was an actual BIOS memory limit. I’m seeing also some stuff off ASRock’s site for an XPress 200-based motherboard that says although it will take 4GB, there’s a chipset limitation, so I’m not too hopeful. this chipset isn’t the most well-documented and has been highly despised for the last decade by many for its poor graphics capabilities.


Here’s a screenshot that shows that it sees all 4GB, but it only allows for 2.89GB to be used. Once again, it’s seemingly a BIOS limitation:


So now that I can at least confirm that this laptop will take a CPU originally never meant to ever run on this platform, and reliably at that, there are a number of objectives that really need to happen with the 83.10 BIOS to make it anything worthwhile to anyone else in the world that may have this laptop, and would want to improve what little more performance that can be squeezed out of it. These objectives are as follows:


  • – SPD Settings unlocked as they are in the 83.05 BIOS
  • – Speedstep and C1E functions and menu items enabled if at all possible
  • – Artificial Memory Limit removed (if any?)
  • – find anything else that is possible to unlock in terms of chipset or CPU configuration.

Doing all of this to an 83.05 BIOS save for the SPD unlocking (since that’s already there) would also be an option, since I don’t know if anything major changed from 83.05 to 83.10…

TL;DR or “So what we’ve learned so far from this”:

  • – Motherboard shared by 26 generic worldwide models all with the same specs
  • – Socket M Core 2 Duo (Merom) CPUs seem to work fully with full-blown 667MHz FSB, but no speedstep
  • – Memory allows for DDR2-667 sticks to be used just fine.
  • – Memory can go up to 400MHz (DDR2-800), but setting it to 400MHz with non-400MHz RAM requires the CMOS to be reset through a full tear-down and battery re-seat
  • – Memory cap at 3GB regardless that the XPress 200M can supposedly support up to 4GB, and it’s possibly limited in the BIOS since the cap also happens under a 64-bit OS.

My other ulterior motive for this is to get this laptop into ship-shape condition so I can mess with an eGPU on the expresscard54 slot, but that isn’t too important. If anyone can help in making this a possibility, I’m more than grateful. I’m sorry for the wall of text, but there’s no easy way to explain out everything cleanly.

The other issue that seems to be present is that the 83.10 BIOS might not be able to be opened in the Phoenix BIOS editor etc. and I’m sure of that. the 83.05 BIOS linked below should still be alright to do the above modifications save for the SPD modification, that’s already visible and working out of the box. the strings in the BIOS shows there’s more than meets the eye, I’m just clueless as to how to go about this myself.


Gateway 83.05 BIOS from ML3706 Support Page (now defunct, download link still works, though)

Gateway 83.10 BIOS from MT3000 files on Gateway eSupport FTP

Perhaps someone will come across this and help in my quest to make this lesser-known line of laptops better. I’ve also cross-posted this information on the NotebookReview Forums (and pretty much copypasta’d a good chunk of this post from there) so excuse me if I’m a bit blunt on some things.

Here is a picture of the laptop:


Once again, taken on the bed at Grandma’s. Woohoo.

Latitude E4200: One Month Later

if I haven’t mentioned it already, I own one of these. For the most part, I’m happy– but there’s definitely the list of upsides, downsides, and the quirks, that come along with having an ultraportable such as this.

I bought it to have a small, lightweight laptop running Linux that I could do normal day-to-day things on, such as surf the Internet including having the capability to decode HD Youtube videos without issue, Skype (with webcam) and IRC at a constant. Anything it’s able to do extra from there is a bonus. I picked it up off eBay for $104, and that was with the extended battery (with like no wear on it, amazingly!), two 45W power adapters, and a FREE MOUSE. HOLY CHRIST A FREE MOUSE WOOHOO I’M RICH.

okay no. I’m not rich. but the mouse I was given looks like it had a very limited run in its time, and has the same imaging sensor as the Logitech G5 mouse, apparently? It looks like this:


it’s not a bad mouse. setting #2 is great in constrained situations… settings 3 and 4 are superaccurate at higher speeds, I’m assuming this would be better with different settings in a game or something to take advantage of that. but settings 1 and 2 are enough for me.

Overall I’m pleasantly surprised and pleased with my purchase. I did look in the BIOS and I am aware that Computrace is locked to the on position, but that doesn’t concern me as Computrace can’t penetrate any OS but Windows. but that does mean this laptop was once in either an environment that required it, or it was enabled by the last owner– the laptop’s lid is pretty beat up, having some surface cracks here and there… but it works. the SSD I’m the most surprised about. the machine boots up in less than 15 seconds with Debian installed and running. The battery, being almost new, grabs me someplace between 5 and 7 hours of battery time, but I haven’t tested its actual run time yet. I haven’t been in a position where I need that much time off the battery yet– Aside from the ~1h visit to both my grandma’s doctor appointments this past month, I haven’t been out of her house or my own house and sitting someplace where there hasn’t been a wall outlet available to me. That said, the 45w adapter is this puny thing that takes almost no space in the bottom of the laptop bag, so it’s not much of a nuisance to just pack one along for the ride if at all.

I haven’t done much else as far as pushing the thing save for watching Youtube videos and whatever anime series it is that I’m watching this week via mplayer, but it’s able to handle even those tasks just fine. My only gripe is how hot it gets– the U9600 has a tendency to idle in the mid to high 40C range, and this can be unpleasant feeling on the lap or left arm (this is where the small vent is.) After a repaste the temperatures dropped only a couple of degrees– I blame cheapness of the heatsink itself to being the issue. I have plans when I finally decide to take a trip to a hackerspace or to Grand Rapids itself, to CNC a proper square out to put a copper shim in, or somehow find a way to drop-forge copper in the square hole milled. but that would require melting the copper.     ….but that’s another thing for another day.

T500: One Month Later


A month after I originally acquired this T500, I think it’s doing much better than it has previously in its past life, whatever that may have been. as I’ve probably mentioned, this came from colorado, near Denver. appropriate for the day? it is superbowl sunday. Denver and Seattle going head to head at Giants Stadium… I guess it can’t be helped.

so aside from a setback or two, the T500 is now in perfect operating condition, aside from a battery. I’m going to have to find something relatively cheap, though, and genuine at that, since the Power manager bitches at you if the battery isn’t “Lenovo legit”. I’m also looking into any AC power bricks with the standard IBM/Lenovo 20V barrel plug on it that are over 90w. so far my attempts to find such a monster is futile as anything over that has the old-style barrel plug, a weird square plug, a 4-pin plug or the weird trapezoid plug of olden. I did find out about a 170W brick that the W700 apparently uses? I’ll have to look into that.

I have a couple of games installed, such as UT2004, UT99, Sauerbraten, Minecraft through FeedTheBeast (which works surprisingly well), and some source games through my Steam account. these all work great with the Hd3650. I’ve also replaced the Intel WiFi Link 5100AGN with the older 4965AGN MM1, which is 3×2 compared to 1×2 for a 300Mbit connection. it seems to do well, and doesn’t seem to take any more power up than the 5100 did.

Since I’m also rocking the 1920×1200 panel now, I don’t think I’ll be able to move to anything less than this pixel density ever again on a mobile platform. I have to see if I can track down someone that makes good CCFL tube replacements for these laptops, and keep it safe for when this needs that replaced. the CCFL in this screen is already pretty old, taking a bit to warm up an such before it puts out its full brighness. it doesn’t phase me that much, though. it’s fine.

also, I was able to take it to the local Starbucks the other day; I’ll be going back there soon, as usual. Other things that aren’t as important but are, sorta, is that I now have 8GB of DDR3-1066 in it, and a 750GB HDD as the boot drive as well as a 1TB HDD screw-locked in the ultrabay for extra storage. All in all, I think I did a pretty good job in making use of resources I had on hand to make this all happen.