Embedded FreeBSD

The sacrifices we must make for science!

Interesting day on the phone with DLink.  When I say “day”, I do mean DAY.  More or less, Monday must be DLink’s crazy time when everyone comes back from work and finds their office routers dead or something.

The DIR-825 model C1 that I initially bought to test out MIPS on FreeBSD died a noble death for science last month, so I thought I’d see if I could get DLink to replace it for me.  Long story short, they gave me an RMA for it and the new one will be here next week.  Short story long, wow.

I think I was on hold for close to an hour to get to the level 1 technician.  This tech was super nice but awfully frustrating to deal with.  She didn’t ask if I had an existing case number, she didn’t ask what I had already done to try and resolve the issue nor did she understand that I had already gone through all the reset procedures on their web site in order to resolve this issue in the first place.  However, in the technician’s defence, I am kind of a tool.  Not to mention that she absolutely has a script that she must follow AND most people calling in are not nearly as technically savvy as I was to detonate the router in the first place.

So 1 hour on hold, then 2 hours with the level 1 technician.  In frustration, I started to ask about getting a replacement.  I assume that this is a key phrase that triggers escalation to level 2.  That’s right, LEVEL 2.  Speaking with the senior technician at level 2, it became very clear that we were speaking the same language.  Heck, the technician actually asked me what my Unix boxes see from a DHCP request.  AMAZING.  When I passed on the information that, no its quite dead now, getting to the RMA stage was almost trivial.

I wonder, what could make this situation easier for DLink and easier for their users.  I mean, most cases they deal with are just simple configuration mistakes, not real hardware issues.  My case was the exception, not the rule in their universe.  I think this means that Internet is hard.

I’ll go into more details on my science tomorrow, when I get the RMA sent off and can deal with the DIR-825 Model B1 that is totally working with FreeBSD MIPS now.  By the way, totally awesome.  SCIENCE!


Getting super social with Bacon

After getting this blog online, I was able to hook it to my twitter account, supposedly.  The entire purpose of getting a virtual machine, IP, domain name and trying to understand how computers work was so that I could post things in more than 140 characters.

I was quite suprised at the quality of the how-to I found on for setting up WordPress, with the exception of using mysql 5.6 for the installation, all seemed to be well.

Now, and only now, do I realize the folly of all this though.  One of the crutches I’ve been heavily leaning on was ZFS, The Bacon Of Filesystems:

I use it for snap shotting my file systems before doing any kind of buildworld or port upgrades.  That has given me numerous changes to rollback before any serious damage has occured, at least until now.  I only NOW realize that my VM is a small, UFS limited thing without the safety net of BACON.  I LOVE BACON.  It makes EVERYTHING better.  Seriously.

How do you even do backups reliably on UFS?  With ZFS you set a snap shot via “zfs snapshot -r zroot” and you’re done.  (apply “bam” noise here)

If you have an issue with the current state of affairs, no worry, zfs rollback and you’re done.  DUN.

I guess I need to learn more about backups in this non-bacon world.


Open for business

Wow, I’m on the internet and everything.

Thanks to some industrious people who made it ridiculously easy to get FreeBSD and WordPress working together smoothly, I now have the ability to inflict slightly less random things on the internet.  Normally, such ramblings were limited to 140 characters or less due to twitter, but NO MORE.

Welcome to my blog everyone, I’m sorry in advance.