Woohoo! Here comes a new computer

Last Friday I finally gave in with my attempts to get the old Pegasos working and emailed Genesi to let them know.

Within _five minutes_ (count them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), I heard back from them. Now that’s response! So I headed over to FedEx on Saturday with the computer. They were supposed to be shipping a new one Monday or so — I’m hoping it arrives later this week.

Even a free computer can suck (when it’s broken)

So, Gentoo got 10 PowerPC computers donated, to be split where they’d be most useful. This particular type is called a Pegasos — the Open Desktop Workstation model.

As the X lead, I was fortunate enough to get one. Unfortunately, I ended up with the cheesy, half-broken one. I wasted a weekend on it last month, and in the past few days I’ve started looking at it again. It randomly locks up. Removing and reseating the processor card generally fixes this up, but not always. I’ve gotten it to the point where it’s actually booting from a kernel on the hard disk and got a basic system running (and freezing, of course).

I’m trying to get a new one, but the upstream folks at Genesi, which makes the Pegasos, haven’t been responding to my cries for help lately.

Jon pointed me at a couple of mailing list posts on the Pegasos, here and here.

So, that’s where yesterday and tonight went.

My life: an abridged update

So, I ended up at Oregon State University for grad school in the biochemistry and biophysics department. It’s been alright so far — lots of work, though. It’s basically a job and a half. I teach two recitation sections, take about three classes per quarter and do about 15-20 hours of research a week.

After that’s done with, I try to find time for my fiancee. Then last comes Linux. It’s been neglected lately. =\

If anyone’s got experience with handling this kind of a work and personal load plus Linux, please give me some advice.

Classes are Biochemistry 590, Biophysics 581, Intro to C Programming, and a couple of seminars. The C course has been a joke so far. But it’s the entry-level CS course around here, and I’d like to start taking more upper-level courses there.

Coupling programming with my science and clustering background has a lot of potential.