This morning I really feel as if I’ve joined the big time, almost able to rub shoulders with people such as Mario Wolczko
Due to its heavily customisable design, I use Gentoo Linux on all of my home Linux servers – and this generally works well. Gentoo developers do seem to have the unerring ability to semi-regularly throw absolute clangers, though – and this is one of those occasions…
I’ve just added a new top-level page named Downloads in a first-pass attempt to provide the framework to allow the migration of all of the data from my (old, off-line) O2 server to this new Mini-ITX system. For nostalgia purposes, I’ll probably migrate all of the content at some point in the future – but right now the downloadable content is probably the most relevant.
Foxconn technical support finally came through, and sent me Beta BIOS S02 for the troubled A79A-S. This finally allows memory to run at 1066MHz, albeit with greatly increased timings, well above the speed that the memory is capable of.
The Jetway J7F5M MiniTIX motherboard is yet another entry in the 17x17cm small HTPC/low-powered server market. This particular model runs at 2GHz and features Jetway’s proprietary expansion connector for adding additional network, video, or serial ports. I have a 2xRS232 expansion card on mine, to allow me to fix otherwise broken servers via a serial link – it’s the way of the future
What impressed me is that options for the expansion board appeared in the BIOS, and without any obvious option-ROM loading sequence as is often seen delaying the boot sequence nowadays (JMicron, I’m looking at you) – I can configure the additional ports along with the rest of the system.
What is unfortunate, then, is that Jetway have broken ACPI DSDT tables, built with Microsoft’s non standards-compliant ASL compiler, installed with their BIOS.
This causes a number of issues, including premature shutdown and standby/resume failures – but luckily these are all fixable!
Further to the situation documented here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=869249, it appears that Foxconn are still shipping motherboards with BIOS which are either intentionally or inadvertently broken under any non-Windows OS.
Having last built a new desktop computer (I do have an ever expanding collection of MiniITX servers, but these don’t count ) in about 2003, I decided that it was high time to upgrade my 256Mb Athlon 1800+ desktop to something more recent: I was finding that I wasn’t updating my Gentoo Linux installation on the basis that I’d probably be replacing it in the near future, and I really wanted to play a few more interesting recent games such as Bioshock.