FreeBSD 7.0-Release 
I have a secondary machine that I've been running FreeBSD on for a few years. In fact, if it weren't for me shutting everything down when I went on vacation last summer and one time hooking up a UPS, it would have probably been up that long too; well, a year at least. Alas, I bade farewell to 4.11 and prepared for 7.0.
# >uptime
> 8:11 PM up 258 days, 1:11, 1 user, load averages: 1.00, 1.00, 1.00


That dates back to July and it was up well over 100 days at that time, which was the time elapsed since I turned it off in order to plug it into a UPS.

And then...
# >halt

I also pulled out the 8.4GB hard drive and put in a 40GB drive. Other than that, it's still the same PII 400MHz, 128MB RAM machine.

The install went as easily as any FreeBSD install does. The only problem I had was that Mr. Butterfingers hit the wrong menu choice at the end of the install and instead of exiting and rebooting, it started the install again. I got an error and was stuck in a loop - a "...try again?" type message; I selected 'no' but it still wanted to install again. So, I unplugged the power cord and it rebooted fine with the install I just did intact.

I don't bother installing X or a plugging a mouse in because I use it as a server. Although, one doesn't need X or a mouse to chat on IRC, IM, or even browse the web. All told, I spent maybe an hour installing and configuring it. From an end-user's perspective, I haven't noticed too many changes, so far, except that the Apache default DocumentRoot is under /usr/local/www/data now instead of /usr/local/apache/htdocs and the boot screen is slightly different. The Daemon screensaver, of course, is unchanged. As usual, I'll tinker with it here and there as time permits.

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ipw2200 Firmware Upgrade 
I have a Sony Vaio laptop that used to just run Kubuntu but now I have set it up as a dual-boot with WinXP on one side and Slackware 12 on the other. I have had a few problems and the biggest is getting LILO to work properly. When LILO is set properly, the WinXP side gives me a BSOD shortly after it's turned on and just hangs there with a system is shut down type message. However, when I use Bootmagic to select the Windows partition, the machine boots directly to Windows with no LILO screen. I can still boot to Slackware by inserting the Slackware CD and typing this at the prompt:

hugesmp.s root=/dev/hda2 rdinit= ro

which works but it's a pain to do. The second problem was the wireless connection. The module loaded on boot (ipw2200) but I could not start eth0; with the standard "eth0: error fetching interface connection: device not found" error. I did a "dmesg | grep ipw" showed these errors:

# dmesg | grep ipw
ipw2200: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200/2915 Network Driver, 1.2.0kmprq
ipw2200: Copyright(c) 2003-2006 Intel Corporation
ipw2200: Detected Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
ipw2200: ipw2200-bss.fw request_firmware failed: Reason -2
ipw2200: Unable to load firmware: -2
ipw2200: failed to register network device
ipw2200: probe of 0000:06:04.0 failed with error -5


I found a fix on a Suse forum and that suggested updating the firmware would work; the firmware can be found here:

http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/firmware.php

and I downloaded and installed version 3. I unpacked the tarball, changed to the directly and typed as root:

cp ipw2200-* /lib/firmware

and reloaded the ipw2200 module and restarted the network and wireless now works. Now, if I can only fix that LILO problem...


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