Wednesday, November 30, 2011

5.0 amd64 K43U: dmesg!

Hi,

Here's the dmesg for K43U. Take note that I've upgraded my machine with 8Gb RAM. Yum!



Later then. Yeah I know I've not yet completed my installation's experience...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Garuda is yet again no match for Harimau Muda. Hurray for Malaysian Football Team!

Heyya!

I'm still excited because our Harimau Muda football team has won the SEA Games gold medal for the 2nd time in a row!! Hurray! Although the team has been provoked, our national anthem disrespected by the home crowd, BUT STILL WE"RE THE CHAMPION! The team fought Indonesia in quarter final and in the final, at Gelora Bung Karno's stadium, the so-called "stadium keramat" for the home team BUT WE BEAT THEM TWICE! YEAH!.

The "ganyang Malaysia" provocation ignited during the SEA Games football campaign didn't destroy the team's spirit. Instead of respecting other nation's culture, some of the home crowd choose to be rude and childish. Oh well, you get silver medal for that. Good on you.

For Harimau Muda and Harimau Malaya, keep up the great effort and superb performance. We'll always support you (as long you guys can cope with criticism that is :). You guys deserves the gold medal, and the sweet memory of beating Garuda on their own turf.

As for Garuda, good show. Can't say the same for some of the supporters though. Enjoy your silver medals. With all the courtesies of the referees, you guys earned it. Doping Check while Harimau Muda is still celebrating and haven't even received their medals yet? Wow that's too unprofessional.

Oh while I'm still on football here, remember AFC Cup. Heh. Later.

Monday, November 21, 2011

5.0 amd64 K43U: Dual booting OpenBSD 5.0 AMD64 with Windows 7 x64.

Hi,

Ok. Now's the time some of us has been waiting for. I'll write up the experiences in configuring dual-boot environment of OpenBSD 5.0 AMD64 and Windows 7 x64 on my Asus K43U AMD Vision's laptop. I might write this in parts, or even put it all in this 1 posting.

Previously I wrote a bit about my K43U laptop and a bit about the specification. I have a large hard disk, 500Gb so I made my mind to dual boot this laptop with OpenBSD 5.0 AMD64 and Windows 7 x64. OpenBSD will be my work environment, and Windows 7 will be for gaming stuff. Now on to the experience.

1) Preparations
Ok first of all, install Windows first. On my K34U, I have 3 partition on my 500Gb drive. The first partition is Windows's reserved for something that I don't know of, whatever to make the OS happy. Then the 2nd partition is for Windows 7. The 3rd partition is for OpenBSD 5.0 AMD64. Make sure the important files in Windows 7 is properly backed up, as I've learned on the hardest way possible. More on this in a moment. Here's how I divide the hard disk.

None = System Reserved = 100Mb
C: = Windows 7 = 270Gb
None = OpenBSD 5.0 AMD64 = 195Gb

After hours of installation and updating Windows 7's driver to make it workable, my Windows 7 environment is installed. I used MS's Computer Management > Disk Management to create the free space for the would be OpenBSD into a raw partition without any filesystem format inside.

With the OpenBSD's CD inside, I rebooted the machine and for K43U, I need to press [ESC] key during the ASUS logo to choose the boot device. Then I choose my DVD drive to boot the OpenBSD CD. Then the lovely OpenBSD boot screen appears.

OpenBSD then asked me to choose either to (R)epair, (I)nstall or (U)pgrade, I choose [I] for installation.

After that the setups for root user/pass, configuring re0 for network and adding another user for the system. It's all the easy parts.

Then OpenBSD asked me to either "use the (W)hole disk or (E)dit the partition". It's the fdisk *gasp*. I just remembered and my last dual-boot exercise is on FreeBSD which is a long time ago! Ah. People says that curiosity kills the cat and mine killed my Windows 7 partition as I thought pressing [W] will give me a preview and there will be a confirmation afterwards asking me to confirm to use the whole hard disk. Well remember this well people. IT DOES NOT!. Once you hit the [W] key, OpenBSD will proceed with rewriting the MBR and it will be nearly impossible to recover your Windows installation. Well some said it's nearly impossible, but me, I never managed to get it back! I had to reinstall Windows 7 and start again. So do keep this in mind.

So I carefully hit the [E] key (remember next to the [E] key is... the [W]!!) so I can edit the partition manually. Here's a bit of it. Bold text is my input:

fdisk:1> e 2
fdisk:1> A6
fdisk:*1> q

So basically I told fdisk to use the 3rd slice (partition) of the hard disk (remember in *nix numbers starts with 0, not 1) and it's labeled as 2. OpenBSD needs A6 as the filesystem type so I set it. Then I just press [Q] to save changes and exit fdisk. Some pointer on the net stating that pressing [W] to write the changes in MBR is needed but I didn't do that. I might make you happier but currently this minimum steps are working fine for me.

After that, my partitions look like this:



Take note that the "*" sign on partition 0 means that I didn't make the new OpenBSD partition as active partition and retain Windows 7 partition as bootable. Well, this is because I'll be using Windows 7's own boot manager for dual booting. No need to install other boot manager software.

Now to partition the OpenBSD slice (Partition? Slices?). As usual, I starts with auto to see roughly how OpenBSD will partition my OpenBSD. And then I revert back to zero and do it manually. So I come up with this:

/ = 1Gb
swap = 2Gb
/var = 7Gb
/tmp = 4Gb
/usr = 18Gb
/home = the rest


Yours might be different so adjust it accordingly. I still think my swap is too big but as I have a bigger hard disk now, it doesn't matter much. Then proceed with OpenBSD installation. It took a while but no problem on the installation. Great.


2) Dual-boot preparation.

So the OpenBSD 5.0 amd64 has been installed. Before I reboot the machine, it's best to refer to http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#Multibooting.

I proceed with creating the OpenBSD Partition Boot Record using the OpenBSD page for reference.

# dd if=/dev/rsd0a of=openbsd.pbr bs=512 count=1

After that I put my fat32 usb thumbdrive and copy the file "openbsd.pbr" into it.

Before rebooting, I changed the timezone so that the time in OpenBSD don't go off by 8 hours (Malaysian time). Text in bold is mine.

$ sudo config -ef /bsd
OpenBSD 5.0 (GENERIC.MP) #63: Wed Aug 17 10:14:30 MDT 2011
$nbsp;$nbsp;$nbsp;$nbsp;deraadt@amd64.openbsd.org:/usr/src/sys/arch/amd64/compile/GENERIC.MP
Enter 'help' for information
ukc> timezone -480
timezone = -480, dst = 0
ukc> quit
Saving modified kernel.


How did I get the "-480"? Because Malaysian time is +8 to UTC. So why was it -480? 8 x 60 mins = 480 mins. Because we're 8 hours in advance from UTC, we need to deduct the timezone about 480 minutes. Yours might be different so do make sure of it. dst is Daylight Saving Time which we don't use so it's 0. Oh yeah, make sure visudo is done appropriately so that we can sudo.


3) Configuring Windows 7 x64 to dual-boot.

Ok remember when I didn't change the active partition on fdisk back then? It's because we're going to reboot and let Windows 7 as the default boot (not for long though). I'll be using W7's own boot manager to dual boot OpenBSD amd64 and Windows 7 x64. As before, it's best to refer to OpenBSD's page on multibooting because I do.

Inside Windows 7, I moved the openbsd.pbr from my thumbdrive to C:\. Then I opened cmd (MS command prompt) as Administrator. Inside it, I typed the following. Bold text is mine and TAKE NOTE! I copied this from OpenBSD's page because there are details I didn't save.

C:\Windows\system32> bcdedit /create /d "OpenBSD/i386" /application bootsector
The entry {0154a872-3d41-11de-bd67-a7060316bbb1} was successfully created.

C:\Windows\system32> bcdedit /set {0154a872-3d41-11de-bd67-a7060316bbb1} device boot
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32> bcdedit /set {0154a872-3d41-11de-bd67-a7060316bbb1} path \openbsd.pbr
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32> bcdedit /set {0154a872-3d41-11de-bd67-a7060316bbb1} device partition=c:
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32> bcdedit /displayorder {0154a872-3d41-11de-bd67-7060316bbb1} /addlast
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32>



See the text in underline? That thing depends on your system. I didn't save what's mine so I copied from OpenBSD's page. Yours will be different so do take note of that. Now the machine has been configured to dual-boot between OpenBSD 5.0 amd64 and Windows 7 x64. The Windows 7 boot manager can be tweak.

That's all. I might be updating this post to reflect any other things I forgot to mention etc. Enjoy and later!

Friday, November 11, 2011

ASUS K43U: Review - Specifications, or sort of.

Hi,

Ok it's been a few weeks I'm using this ASUS K43U laptop. There's a few version of K43U laptop, with either AMD E350 (1.6Ghz x2) or E450 (1.65Ghz x2) processor. Mine is an E450 version. I know that link I gave you just state about E350 version, but ASUS is quite known for confusing website details/navigation. To make things worst, details for the laptop is insufficient and lacking. So I had to search for informations around that net. So far, this is what my K43U is made of:

Prosesor: AMD Brazos Dual Core E450 1.65ghz
Chipset: AMD A50M Chipset
Memory: DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM (8Gb Max), mine is 2Gb (urghh)
Display: 14.0" 16:9 HD (1366x768) LED Backlight
Graphic: AMD Radeon® HD6310
Storage: 500GB 5400rpm
Optical Drive: Super-Multi DVD
Card Reader: 4-in-1 Card Reader ( SD/ MS/ MS Pro/ MMC)
Camera: 0.3 Mega Pixel Fixed web camera
Networking:
Atheros AR9002WB-1NG Wireless Network Adapter
Bluetooth V2.1+EDR
Realtek PCIe GBE Ethernet
Interface:
1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Headphone-out jack
1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
3 x USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
1 x HDMI
Audio:
Realtek High Definition Audio
Built-in Speakers And Microphone
Speaker Altec Lansing®
Battery: 6Cells 5200 mAh 56 Whrs

It's not a high spec notebook, but to me it's impressive. Before I bought this laptop, I was considering a few other brands/models, such as Lenovo G475, Fujitsu LH520 and Toshiba C640. Yes all the models is AMD powered and no I won't consider buying intel.

My highest priority would be Fujitsu LH520 (spill proof keyboard!). But I searched everywhere for easy-payment solution and was left with only 2 options, the ASUS and Lenovo. Toshiba in the other hand, was hard to find. They have intel machines up for sale but the C640 is a rare beast. So, I went to ASUS. The K43U came with 2 years global warranty instead of Lenovo's 1 year so the choices aren't hard to make.

What I like about K43U now that I owned 1? Well, it's quiet. Comparing it with my previous machine, the NC4200; the sound of the CPU Fan on NC4200 is like a rock concert. I can barely hear the CPU Fan on this K43U. I have to really put my ear close to the laptop heatsink area to hear the spinning sound. Nice. The machine doesn't feel hot even when I tested a recent 3D game. The LCD is bright, in fact I think it's too bright and it makes my eyes tired easily. But the picture is nice. Very nice. The 1366x768 widescreen resolution is nice too. Graphic wise, it's amazing for an entry level notebook. Games which was struggling on my AMD 939 dekstop is playable in this notebook. Great. The battery life is also good for a 14" machine.

Now for the things I hate about the K43U. First, plastic. Feels like cheap plastic. Hello! Aluminium case please! Why only the intel/mac machines have it? Then the keyboard. The keys lack individual feels to it. I mean, it's just flat. Touch typing is a pain. I'm growing on it but typos are everywhere. Maybe in a few more weeks I hope. Also the keyboard have no spill-proof thingy (Fujitsu! Where are you?). There's no MS XP device drivers so I'm stuck with Windows 7 for dual booting.

Then the USB port's placement. I always use Optical USB Mouse and on NC4200, there's a USB port on the rear end of the laptop which I can use for the mouse so the cable is out of the way. On K43U, there's 3 USB ports, 2 on the left, 1 on the right and all near the front of the laptop. I ended up using the left USB port for the mouse because the right side is obstrusive. Although the K43U have Altec Lansing speakers, but the sound is lacking in bass. Musics just sounds so thin. It might be the Realtek's driver for Windows 7 x64 but I don't have other OS yet to test out the sound. Even using my trusty headphone won't make a difference. Edit: Ok the sound is good using my trusty headphone now. But the Altec Lansing's speaker on this laptop is just.. shame. Even my NC4200's single speaker sounded better.

Ok enough with the criticism. All in all, most of the things I hate about this machine is because of design issue and software stuff. Overall, I'm satisfied with this laptop. Still, I hope there will be a nice 15" AMD laptop with aluminium body. Yeah!

I've been dying to run OpenBSD AMD64 for a long time so this is a great opportunity. And because this machine have 500Gb of space, I opted to dual boot with Windows 7 x64. Of course, Windows 7 is for gaming and the rest will be in OpenBSD. I've readied OpenBSD 4.9 AMD64 when I noticed that 5.0 was already out early November. Sheesh!.

Currently I'm still preparing the Windows 7 environment. It's taking quite some time with the driver's updates, system updates, additional software download bla bla. I would've gone back to XP x64 if the device driver for it exist! Hello ASUS! No XP drivers? Also I'm preparing the W7 for game programming environment because I want to try out game programming.

OpenBSD 5.0 will follow up as soon as possible. I'm missing scrotwm already. Later then.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Farewell NC4200, hi Asus K43U. OpenBSD 4.9 AMD64 here I come!

Hey,

I just bought myself a new laptop. It's as Asus K43U Series laptop with AMD Vision E450 processor. I have to admit I'm an AMD fan so that's why I don't buy intel (my NC4200 was given to me, didn't bought it).

And so, I'm saying goodbye to my NC4200. It was a pleasure working with it. I'll put out a brief review of this Asus machine later.

Another good news, I'll proceed with OpenBSD 4.9 AMD64 version next! Yeah! I've been dreaming to try out AMD64 version of OpenBSD so this is the best time for it. Not forgetting to *finally* proceed to install 4.9. So expect me to write something about that soon enough. I've already prepared the installation media for 4.9 so it won't be long now. Later then.