Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Now you must magnify too: computer problem update

Thanks again to scottharmon and grain_king for helping out with last month's computer problems (from Sat 05 Mar 2005 and Sun 27 Mar 2005). I'm still working on some of them (KVM garbage packets on reboot, LJ friends colors in Component, insufficient power on my Dell desktop for one CD-R/RW drive, client-side spam filtering, and X on Debian/Ubuntu).

Thanks also to chaosinaskirt for replying to my question about CUPS. Here's an update from Sat 16 Apr 2005:

1. Finishing multisession DVD-Rs for readability: I edited this in just today, though I've been meaning to check up on it for two weeks, ever since istari_ala brought back a DVD I'd burned.
2. VNC for remote control and Samba for file sharing: Anyone familiar with this?
3. CUPS: I'm going to follow up tonight on the HowTo that chaosinaskirt posted.

One more thing: the magnification problem on Earrame (whose HD has now been transplanted into Vingilot) is driving me nuts.

Does anyone recognize this or have a solution?

ETA, 20:05 CDT Sun 01 May 2005: Right-clicking the square cycles through 2-3 magnification sizes. There is a magnification utility that can be turned on and off; it appears as a long window rather than as a square. Nothing is mentioned that looks like this, and the same things that turn that utility on and off do nothing to this square. (I can get the long magnification bar in addition.)

The only way I am currently able to make the square go away is to bring up Control Panel -> Display and change the screen resolution to something else and then back. This persists for the rest of the boot session, but upon rebooting, the square is back.

Problem #1: The USB Key to Success

In advance of a Tiger (MacOS 10.4) installation on Yavanna, my G4-350 system (which, believe it or not, is still running MacOS 9 from 2000), I'd like to take a USB backup. Ditto for Este, a "Yosemite" iMac G3-333 running MacOS 8.6 since December, 1999. Now, as of this moment, I have a SanDisk Cruzer Mini 1Gb USB key that works on all my ThinkPads. Does anyone know of drivers that will make it work on a Mac before I start plugging it into these Macs?

Also, should I be emptying them of hard-to-replace data first? (That is, does anyone know of data loss due to OS incompatibility issues?) I've done enough crying into my cocoa over computer problems this week month year.

Problem #2: Old MacDonald had a render farm, 1-0-1-0-0

I am researching distributed shared memory (DSM) render farms, particularly dual and quad Xeon and quad Opteron Beowulf-ish clusters. Does anyone have experience with setting up Renderman farms or any other similar kind of platform for batch renders?

I'm finding lots of survey articles such as this online, and some How-To's for the likes of 3-D Studio MAX and Maya (which is a bit terse), but few for Renderman. I follow Slashdot, of course, but threads such as this one are a bit long to wade through when what I am looking for is a good book or a vade mecum (read: what Stallman calls "hand-holding") to go with my Renderman references.

Problem #3: Little Temple, Great Buddha: Linux on notebooks and MacOS 10.x on iMac G3s

A Chinese proverb says: xiao3 miao4 bu1 neng2 gong4 da4 pu2sa1 - "A small temple cannot house a great buddha." I am frequently reminded of this by my family and students, who inform me with a shake of the head that I have bought poo-in-a-box and cannot expect to run the state-of-the-art OSes on... well, poo.

Which brings me to a idea I had. I have some non-poo systems, such as the abovementioned Este (a "Yosemite" iMac G3-333 with 160Mb of RAM). Este is generally pretty stable, but MacOS 8.6 (and 7-9 in general) are just not going to cut it for Carbon applications, emulation or no. I'd love to put MacOS X on Este, but the problem is that she is getting on in years, for all that she is in pristine condition. I'm not sure that OS X will even fit well on Este's 6Gb HD, much less the 3Gb partition it currently has (with LinuxPPC 2000 on the other little-used half).

So, my question is: is it worth it? (And if so, which MacOS 10.x version should I try?)

ETA, 17:30 CDT Sun 01 May 2005: On a related note, I have two surplused KDOT notebooks - a COMPAQ Armada 7350MT (P5-166, 64Mb RAM, 2.1Gb HD - yes, I realize it's way obsolete) and COMPAQ LTE5250 (P5-120, 32Mb RAM, 810Mb HD - quit laughing!). Which OS would you recommend for each? NB: "DrownedInTheDepthsOfTheLonelySeaOS" is not an option. ;-)


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