Computers

Peanuts

Classic Peanuts:

Going back the memory lane, l recall been so interested in microprocessors as a kid after having read a book on the z80 microprocessor borrowed from the British Council Library in Kano State. I kept reading all l could about programming a z80, writing small instruction code programs in my head and on paper without having any PC, z80 or microprocessor development lab. I got a z80 via mail order from Maplin Electronics – London by mail order, using all my savings converted to pound sterling. l was so into figuring out how to program an 1k EPROM to run a very simple led flashing test program. I wrote the instruction code, converted each hex code into binary in a sequential list almost like a memory array all on paper. I had no access to a eprom uv eraser, but l read somewhere that sufficient exposure to the sun will erase an eprom. Well, l climbed up our home’s zinc roof and placed the device for about 1 week enclosed in a glass covered box to protect this precious device from weather. The only way l check it the rom contents were erased as well as program the device was by painfully setting up each logical address using a breadboard with wires connected to +5v for logic high or 0v for logic low, and viewing 8 leds wired to the data input as well as a 8 bit switch, which were flipped to the 8bit value l wanted to program before sending +12v to the program pin and enabling the program pin using a push to make switch held at logic low.

First video game machines: Atari 2600, commodore 64, nintendo

First computers l tried Basic programming on: Sinclair Spectrum, commodore 64

First non-ibm pc: Original Apple II & First ibm-compatible machine: Amstrad PC , both at FUTO, Owerri.
Now we have cheap and discarded flash memories, SD and miniSD cards etc with much more memory capacity and microcontrollers with in-built flash memory controllers….

Interesting projects l found on the web:

The Reflow Soldering Oven with LCD Display

RFID-based proximity security system of ID Cards

Innovative use of Virtex-II Pro chips from a board off eBay!

Computers

Linux From Scratch

Working on this now. If you want to learn/master how linux is built completely, you may want to try this challenging but interesting project. Heres the website link for linux from scratch

Another similar link using slax to rebuild/customize your own distro can be found at http://slax.org. SLAX is fast. compact and beautiful Linux operating system based on Slackware linux distro. If you wish to create a custom Ubuntu distro, try this link.

Below is my .bashrc and .bash_profile and the first command format that worked for me, despite a slightly different command format in the documentation online. Little tips and stuff l noticed will be posted here which might help you when trying out building Linux from scratch.

Source from which l get most of my open source software (good bandwidth esp. if you’re in the NorthWest) – Oregon State University FTP site

[root@localhost lfs]# cat .bashrc
set +h
umask 022
LFS=/mnt/lfs
PATH=/tools/bin:/bin:/usr/bin
export LFS LC_ALL PATH
[root@localhost lfs]#
[root@localhost lfs]# cat .bash_profile
exec env -i HOME=$HOME TERM=$TERM PS1=’u:w$ ‘ /bin/bash
[root@localhost lfs]#

lfs:/mnt/lfs/binutils-build$ time { CC=”gcc -B/usr/bin/” /mnt/lfs/sources/binutils-2.17/configure –prefix=/tools –disable-nls –disable-werror && make && make install; }
…………….creating cache ./config.cache

real 2m19.900s
user 1m36.257s
sys 0m30.604s

the times below was achieved on an Intel 6300 dual core machine with 1Gb RAM and a 300Gb SATA drive for Windows XP Pro, 42Gb second drive for Fedora 7

The second drive was split into 37Gb for / and 5Gb for /lfs and l always use 756Mb for a swap space as a matter of habit though l think 256Mb or 512Mb is okay.

When you get to this section: 5.5.1. Installation of Linux API Headers, you need to be in this folder not mentioned in the documentation:

lfs:/mnt/lfs/sources/linux-2.6.22.5$

general

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