Monday, February 9, 2009

February 9th, 2009 - PowerBook G3 Massive Backup

Broadcast message from user@localhost

Today I'm making a massive backup of all the Mac harddrive's content, this time the backup is made over the network using ssh dd bzip2 and a little shell script to poll dd about the read sectors

The compound command goes as follows
  • PowerBookG3 root # time dd if=/dev/hda bs=1K | bzip2 --verbose --compress --fast | ssh isamu@ "time dd of=./MacintoshPowerBookG3-FullHDDBackup.dd.bz2"
And the little polling script
  • #!/bin/bash
  • while (kill -USR1 $1;) do (sleep 5) done;
The compound command is run on the target storage (in this case my Acer Aspire One) once it has a ssh connection with the source

The polling command is to be run on the source machine (the PowerBook)

Since it's a full drive backup it will take a while. Here are the partition details mac-fdisk throws.

PowerBookG3 ~ # mac-fdisk /dev/hda
Command (? for help): p
# type name length base ( size ) system
/dev/hda1 Apple_partition_map Apple 63 @ 1 ( 31.5k) Partition map
/dev/hda2 Apple_Driver43 Macintosh 54 @ 64 ( 27.0k) Driver 4.3
/dev/hda3 Apple_Driver43 Macintosh 74 @ 118 ( 37.0k) Driver 4.3
/dev/hda4 Apple_Driver_ATA Macintosh 54 @ 192 ( 27.0k) Unknown
/dev/hda5 Apple_Driver_ATA Macintosh 74 @ 246 ( 37.0k) Unknown
/dev/hda6 Apple_Driver_IOKit Macintosh 512 @ 320 (256.0k) Unknown
/dev/hda7 Apple_Patches Patch Partition 512 @ 832 (256.0k) Unknown
/dev/hda8 Apple_HFS untitled 14815232 @ 1344 ( 7.1G) HFS
/dev/hda9 Apple_Free Extra 24253504 @ 14816576 ( 11.6G) Free space

Block size=512, Number of Blocks=39070080
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0
1: @ 64 for 23, type=0x1
2: @ 118 for 36, type=0xffff
3: @ 192 for 21, type=0x701
4: @ 246 for 34, type=0xf8ff

Command (? for help): q

And here is the ressult of running the polling command (the only parameter it takes is the dd process id to send the USR1 signal to)
This obtains the input bytes processed by the first dd command.
  • ...
  • 1513013+0 records in
  • 1513012+0 records out
  • 1549324288 bytes (1.6GB) copied, 3305.86 s, 469kB/s.
  • ...

The speed is very slow, I compressed it before the network sending to eliminate the bottleneck caused by uncompressed dd streams traveling on the network. I expect the command to finish and I believe that's all for now (I'm pretty sleepy and it's 4:30AM, so I believe I should sleep a few hours... lol)

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February 4th, 2009 - X-BOX Arrives

Broadcast message from user@localhost

Today I arranged a meeting with my friend Emanuel because he is selling me his X-BOX, we met at the lab (LIDSOL) and after a little chatting (while the lab was being cleaned by Julio, the social service guys and myself) I got the xbox with its original cardboard box. I didn't had my TV card (see previous posts) so I had to wait until I get home to see if the xbox was working properly.

I got home at night and checked plugged the xbox to the TV card and I was a little surprised to see the xbox error code shown below

I'm saying "a little surprised" because Emanuel warned me about the xbox was lacking it's hard drive, after a little researching on the 05 error code, I found out this error is caused because a retail bios is expecing to find a locked harddrive and if it finds an unlocked drive, then the error is shown and the system halts.

As I read in some pages the locking procedure goes as follows
  1. Turn on the target xbox with it's default harddrive, this xbox must be modded in order to boot non-legit media (such as the Evolution-X CD).
  2. Once the Evolution-X dashboard is launched, ftp the xbox and backup all drives.
  3. Within the Evoution-X menu get the HDD key and save it as well.
  4. Once the HDD key has been saved, the new harddisk may be properly locked and installed into the target xbox.
  5. If everything goes well, the new HDD will be properly detected and the xbox will load normally.
But, it results I don't have the xbox HDD Key, thus I'm unable to properly ock the hdd to be recognized on the xbox. There was another proceess involving a xbox modchip with bios replacement, basically the second bios does allow the use of unlocked drives and If i wish I can lock the drive with the Evolution-X CD to make the retail bios boot normally.

I need a modchip for about a day! I see pointless buying a modchip I'm using just for one day (apart from being quite expensive on my country). Hope I can talke my xbox with a friend of a friend who may helpme with this locking thing, the process itself (apart from soldering the modchip) is quite simple. So no big deal with the correct tools (and technical background).

I hope to get the xbox up and running by the end of this month :)

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Monday, February 2, 2009

February 2nd 2009 - Mac PowerBook G3 is here!

Broadcast message from user@localhost

Today I received a Mac PowerBook G3 and now I finally can get my hands on a mac with no restrictions (Those guys on the MacStore keep an eye on you whenever you touch the mac, thus no big fun on there T_T).

The Mac Specifications are as follows

Macintosh PowerBook G3 Lombard/Bronze (NewWorld)
PowerPC G3 740 at 333.33 MHz
66.66 MHz System Bus

512 MB RAM
20GB Hard Disk (ATA)

I'm making a backup of the Mac's hard disk drive and hope I get a MacOS X 10.0 - 10.3 CD to restore the mac in case something happens (I'm keeping this safe since I haven't had a mac and I'm pretty much new to this non-x86 hardware world).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1st, 2009 - Alternate way to get video+audio input from external source in Pinnacle card

Broadcast message from user@localhost

As I didn't found a short term solution to add audio in composite or S-Video input I came up with a little hardware trick. As the previsous post said when selecting composite or S-Video input, the audio is grabbed from the last seen channel from antenna input, thus if I can only hear audio from a TV channel I can use my RF-Modulator between the external source and the Pinnacle card making all (audio+video from ext) appear in channel 3 or 4 on the TV (the modulator has a switch to select this)

The little modulator needs a 9V 100mA power source, it came with a power adapter wen I bought it a while ago. When no input from external source, the signal from the antenna is forwarded, but when a signal from external source is detected the device will modulate the input and send it to TV-OUT where the capture card waits for input in antenna source (pretty simple xD)

Here is a diagram explaining the connection:

Extra diagram if we need to connect mazimum 3 video sources (1 on RF, 1 on Composite and 1 on S-Video) to switch among them. We must remember again to have antenna input in channel 3 or 4 and if we supply audio from EXT-A (optional) it will remain independently of the selected video source.

I believe that's all for now, I played with the connections and saw the input quality by playing for a while (most all day ^_^ ), I Expect to get at least a recording of the gamecube booting GC-Linux Alpha Preview ( and if my screeenshots are good enough, uploading them to the site

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