Two possible, maybe, could-be kernel bugs

Speaking of the kernel, I find I have a couple of issues that may or may not actually be problems. Errors.

Bugs! There, I said it.

First, I came across another axnet-based PCMCIA card and feeling adventurous, I gave it a try. If you remember from the past year, just about everything axnet-driven I have used in the PCMCIA category has either fallen silent when traffic peaked at a certain level, or caused lockups or metaphorical digital explosions.

But this one was free, and seeing as I had the Mebius as a completely different platform, I thought I’d give it a try.

And, as you might have predicted, I got the same unwanted results — lockups on data transfers, system-wide freezes, and so forth. Different laptop, different card, different phase of the moon, but same software and therefore … ?

The other one is likewise related to specific, out-of-date hardware, and quite possibly even more esoteric since it doesn’t have the “flexible” flavor of a PCMCIA network card. I have caught a string of problems that seem to be caused by the Trident framebuffer module, although its behavior lately has been better than even just six months ago.

In this case, issuing a halt or reboot command does neither. but spatters pixellation here and there on the screen and usually locks the system entirely. This is happening for me in both archlinux-i586, and with custom systems in Crux.

If I build a kernel and deliberately omit any and all support for that particular module, things seem to work as normal. And given the similar issues I had with that Thinkpad back in January, I am again left with the different-hardware, same-software situation.

If I can find a proper venue, I’ll probably do as much as I can to file bug reports. But I might be one of the last people on the planet using this stuff, so I don’t expect much.

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Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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