July 1st, 2013

Fast cpu, flakey network

I got small desktop system with core2 duo to play with. First surprise was pleasant: performance is 2.6x performance of core duo in thinkpad x60, and even per-mhz performance is 1.7x that of x60. Good. And then the bad news: debian wanted firmware patch for networking, and even with firmware-realtek installed, networking fails every 10 minutes or so. I thought network card problems were things of the past...

I thought I could use usb networking card, but then I saw usb problems in dmesg, too. Better not try that.

Ouch, and it seems that for some very strange reason, pressing the power buttons make the network card work. Anyone seen that before?

I thought I would shame the system manufacturer, but he failed to leave his name:

# dmidecode 2.11
BIOS Information
        Vendor: Intel Corp.
        Version: MJG4110H.86A.0006.2009.1223.1155
        Release Date: 12/23/2009
System Information
        Product Name:                                  
        Serial Number:                                  

Ouch. Anyway, this makes network work well-enough for debugging:

while true; do ping -c 5 www.idnes.cz || ( echo "kicking network"; ifconfig eth0 down; ifconfig eth0 up; route add default gw ); done

Another surprises came from distcc: It actually speeds up compilation. Good. It needs same debian version on all machines. My x60 is running debian6. Bad. (There is gcc-4.4 for debian7, but I could not figure alternatives system to actually use it. Update-alternatives does not seem to know about gcc.)