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Technology Thoughts UNIX

Working around the lack of an RTC battery on ALIX system boards…

The ALIX 2c3 system board the forms my traffic-shaper has one irksome weakness: it lacks an on-board CMOS/RTC battery to maintain the time when the system is shutdown.

This is a more significant problem than it sounds since, for starters, the fsck tools for the ext2 filesystem, by default, treat a timestamp in the future as a failure – and disk checks have to be performed almost immediately on system start, so there is no opportunity to raise networking and start an NTP dæmon.

Categories
Technology UNIX

ALIX USB support

I have a PC Engines alix2d3 single-board computer – a really nice compact system with an AMD Geode processor, 256MB RAM, compact flash storage and three 10/100MB network ports – acting as my traffic-shaper and network gateway. Since this machine is extremely reliable, always on, and has spare USB ports it seemed like a sensible place to plug in the USB cable from my new UPS. There have been several power-cuts recently (some due to external factors, and some due to a dodgy toaster!) and the time spent recovering filesystems from unexpected restarts was starting to become inconvenient…