OpenSUSE10.3 released

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Postby Marrea » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:48 pm

spottedcat wrote:Did you do that in Linux or from a command prompt in Windows? Although the Linux ping has -f and -l flags, I don't know whether they work the same as the MS-DOS ones. The original instructions were for Windows.

I did it in Linux.

I suppose it is quite possible Windows has different options from Linux. And of course, as we all know, most ISPs will only concern themselves with information as it applies to Windows.


spottedcat wrote:And she replied, 'Yes, it's terrible, isn't it? I can hardly hear you.' :roll:

Yes, it's amazing isn't it? How can there not be a fault with all that racket going on? Most of my recent calls to the BT help line have been rather long drawn-out affairs because I have to keep interrupting to ask them to repeat what they have just said because half of it is masked by the crackling at my end. On one particularly bad occasion, I told the adviser to hang up and call me back on my mobile.


spottedcat wrote:I've been using Suse quite a lot since I downloaded it and I'm getting very pleasantly bored. :wink:

Time to go back to Gentoo then? :wink:
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:54 pm

Don't start me on BT.
We supply fax machines- all of a sudden they will start having problems sending or receiving faxes, usually because BT have added a subscriber line in the immediate vicinity, and haven't boosted the gain on the line.
They phone BT, who ping the number, and say "no problems".
In the last 20 years, it has been a faulty fax ONCE, yet people will believe the flying monkeys at BT, and argue with me!
I usually tell them to plug in a phone and see what it sounds like, trouble is these days few offices actually have an analogue phone.
The best way of getting them to chase BT is to say, "well we can come out and test it, but if it is a line fault, we'll have to charge you £60"
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Postby nordle » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:36 pm

Marrea, I'd assumed everyone was on at least MAX these days given that it's cheaper now than 2.

Anyway, yes, BT does recommend 1458 for 2MB (1430 if 1458 is unreliable), but if 1478 works ok for you, who's to argue.

There is another way you can test the quality of the signal, your router holds stats on the current connection quality.

Bumble into the Router interface and look up a section for Current Statistics or similar. Your looking for Line Attenuation and SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio, sometimes just called Noise Margin).

Line Attenuation should be as low as possible as this is the amount of power lost from the exchange to your router (>60db and your unlikely to get beyond 512k, >=45db unlikely to go beyond 2MB)
SNR / Noise Margin should be as high as possible as this is the ratio between the desired signal and general noise on the line. Anything less than 10 might mean your connection drops out, ideally >=15.

Me, I get a reliable connection, synced at 8192, although only ever achieving 4MB, with:
Line Attenuation = 12-14
Noise Margin 9-11

Although interestingly I notice its dropping to 8db now, it never used to go below 10.....mmmmm.... not so good...
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Postby Marrea » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:07 pm

nordle

nordle wrote:Marrea, I'd assumed everyone was on at least MAX these days given that it's cheaper now than 2.

BT wrote to us at the beginning of the year inviting us to agree to a new 12 month contract which would mean we would get a faster download speed. “You should be able to receive a maximum speed of up to 4.0 Mbâ€
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Postby nordle » Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:18 pm

So this stacks up then. >=45db Line Attenuation and 2MB is near the limit of the signal. And your connection may drop if less than 10db SNR. I too have hit a low of 8 recently and have the occasional drop which I never had when it was 10-11.

The answers. Move house :)

You could ask BT to turn the gain up on the line, you could remove ALL other phone devices / connections from the loop, ie no extensions, no fax etc
I did this and got an immediate jump of 3db, even though the others were not on, and they had microfilters.

Or, as its working, you could just leave it :)
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Postby Marrea » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:01 am

nordle wrote:The answers. Move house :)

Or, as I mentioned above, go cable. :wink:

nordle wrote:Or, as its working, you could just leave it :)

Yes, it's still working this morning - so I think I will just leave things as they are until it packs up again!


Right, BACK ON TOPIC now.

Yesterday afternoon I installed SUSE 10.3 on my dual boot Linux HP Pavilion laptop, and this morning I have installed it on my multi boot Asus Terminator desktop. Initial comments:

Laptop
On inserting the disc, it took an age to get to the initial installation screen, then after installation an age to boot up, and DVDs won't play.

Desktop
Wow. Brilliant. Fantastic. Everything working - even the updates :D. An absolute breeze to install the nvidia driver. Good heavens, it's almost as easy to use as PCLinuxOS 2007. :shock:


As regards the laptop, I think the slow boot may be down to a hardware problem, although 10.2 was previously running on it perfectly. The DVD issue I suspect may have something to do with DMA. I ran a xine-check and the only problem it mentioned was that DMA wasn't enabled. However, unless I can find out what is causing the enormously long boot up time and get that fixed I am not inclined to pursue any other issues further.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:35 am

DMA can cause boot problems, and read errors on cd/dvd drives.

I have had to use the nodma switch on some pcs with cd installs.
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Postby Marrea » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:50 pm

Regarding the laptop, I've popped the installation disc in again and looked at it in text mode. It hangs for an incredibly long time at two places while loading drivers:

Hewlett-Packard Company M5229 IDE
loading pata_ali

and

Hewlett-Packard Company DP83815 (MacPhyter) Ethernet Controller
loading natsemi

Any suggestions as to what the problem might be here? SUSE 10.3 is the only distro which has not installed and run properly on this particular laptop - an HP Pavilion ze4505ea. I've also got Xubuntu 7.04 on it at the moment and that's fine.
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Postby Rhakios » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:01 pm

For your first problem, I see there is a looong thread for a bug report initially against alpha 4. You can find the whole thing here. Or I can summarise the advice which is given near the end, where Benjamin McCann says:

A correction Tejun gave me in Bug 229260. For install, you should use:
options="libata=pata_dma=1"



The only bug I can find for your second hardware issue is related to reloading the module after hibernation, so that probably isn't relevant, but you can find it here if you want a look.
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Postby nordle » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:04 pm

If DMA is disabled, this will slow any disk based activity to a complete crawl, boot up included.

I've got an aging laptop which requres nodma switch If I want to use the internal cdrom. By using nodma, the cdrom works, but the HD is slllooooooooooow.

hdparm -i /dev/hda (where /dev/hda is the hd you've installed OS on) should tell you what method its using. hdparm can also be used to force DMA, but I'm using Windows at the moment so can't remember the details.

(want to talke about slow boot times, try WinXP, sheeesh, its taken 2 minutes from switch on!)

EDIT:

When I started this post, Rhakios had not responded, his post is more useful.
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Postby Marrea » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:39 pm

Rhakios and nordle

Many thanks for your comments. I will have a play around with this over the next couple of days and see how I get on.

Regarding slow XP boot up, I have XP on two desktops - one with NAV installed and one with AVG Free. The difference in boot up times is quite remarkable. I'm convinced NAV is the culprit. Each new version seems to get more and more bloated and I certainly won't be renewing my subscription when it runs out this time.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:42 pm

[quote="nordle"]If DMA is disabled, this will slow any disk based activity to a complete crawl, boot up included.

I've got an aging laptop which requres nodma switch If I want to use the internal cdrom. By using nodma, the cdrom works, but the HD is slllooooooooooow.

not true, actually (in my experience).
the problem is with the way some faster or older D or dvd drives implement dma, causing file read failures.
after install, dma is restored.
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Postby nordle » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:47 pm

yep, nav is horrible, it used to be impossible to remove. I took particular offense to the practice whereby you get an annoying message box every 2 mins telling you your sub is about to run out, in 2 months time! Thereby forcing you to renew every 10 months just to get of of stupid message blocking what your doing every few mins.

A certain Scot sounding alternative is really bad for system resources, possibly worse than nav!

AVG does the job nicely, AVAST is pretty good too, not quite as snappy.
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Postby Marrea » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:59 pm

So ... I popped the installation DVD in and entered libata=pata_dma=1 as a boot option. This made no difference whatsoever to the absolute age it took to get to the initial installation screen. So I then rebooted and entered brokenmodules=pata_ali as an option. This time it was considerably quicker, loading alim15x3 instead of pata_ali and it didn't hang at loading natsemi.

Great, I thought. Let's add brokenmodules=pata_ali to menu.lst, which I did. Rebooted and instead of Xubuntu's Grub appearing, I saw the SUSE screen. Um, looks like when I entered the option to YaST's Optional Kernel Command Line Parameter, somehow SUSE also moved its bootloader from its root partition to the MBR. (Is it supposed to do that without asking? :( ) Anyway, no problem I thought, I'll just boot Xubuntu from SUSE's Grub. But no go, all I got was an error. Was it 13, or 21 maybe, can't remember now.

I then spent about an hour trying to get back into Xubuntu and restoring its Grub to the MBR.

That done, I returned to SUSE which still took at least 3 minutes to boot, which surely is completely unacceptable.

Here are some results from hdparm:

Code: Select all
lothian:/home/marrea # hdparm -i /dev/sda
/dev/sda:
 Model=IC25N020ATCS04-0                        , FwRev=CA2OA71A, SerialNo=      CSH204DMJ155PF
 Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4
 BuffType=DualPortCache, BuffSize=1768kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=?16?
 CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=39070080
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes:  pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
 DMA modes:  mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
 UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5
 AdvancedPM=yes: mode=0x80 (128) WriteCache=enabled
 Drive conforms to: ATA/ATAPI-5 T13 1321D revision 3:  ATA/ATAPI-2,3,4,5

* signifies the current active mode

lothian:/home/marrea # hdparm -i /dev/sr0
/dev/sr0:
 Model=DW-224E-A                               , FwRev=A.2D    , SerialNo=     
 Config={ Fixed Removeable DTR<=5Mbs DTR>10Mbs nonMagnetic }
 RawCHS=0/0/0, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=0
 BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=0kB, MaxMultSect=0
 (maybe): CurCHS=0/0/0, CurSects=0, LBA=yes, LBAsects=0
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes:  pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
 DMA modes:  sdma0 sdma1 sdma2 mdma0 *mdma1 mdma2
 AdvancedPM=no
 Drive conforms to: Unspecified:  ATA/ATAPI-2,3,4,5

* signifies the current active mode

lothian:/home/marrea # hdparm -d /dev/sda
/dev/sda:
 HDIO_GET_DMA failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device

lothian:/home/marrea # hdparm -d /dev/sr0
/dev/sr0:
 HDIO_GET_DMA failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device



I've no idea what all this means. :?
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Postby Marrea » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:07 pm

nordle wrote:yep, nav is horrible, it used to be impossible to remove. I took particular offense to the practice whereby you get an annoying message box every 2 mins telling you your sub is about to run out, in 2 months time! Thereby forcing you to renew every 10 months just to get of of stupid message blocking what your doing every few mins.

Indeed, I couldn't agree more. You have to download a Norton uninstaller, which still doesn't remove everything properly. And to add insult to injury immediately after installing NAV I couldn't use Live Update because it told me my subscription had expired and I would have to renew !

It took three separate e-mail exchanges with Symantec to get it sorted. Each time they suggested some great rigmarole of a procedure and it was only the final third suggestion which did at last work. It was all down to a corrupt shared Symantec folder. I decided then and there never to buy another Symantec product.

And I've never had much success with the Scot either.
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