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Showing posts from June, 2009

Spoofing the OS to the BIOS

In the past, I used a Tyan MP2466 dual-processor motherboard and noticed something odd about it over the years. I had instability problems where it locks up so that only cycling the power switch will restore it to function. It seemed related to video and USB devices and IRQ's, but maybe not. I've also dual-booted to WinXP to play some of my games that won't run in Linux and noticed that I never had the same instability problems with WinXP on the very same hardware.

All that seems over now. A kernel command line option, acpi_osi=, will spoof the Operating System to the BIOS. The available choices are found in uteval.c in the kernel source. Here is the current list:

"Microsoft Windows" will spoof for Windows98
"Windows 2000", /* Windows 2000 */
"Windows 2001", /* Windows XP */
"Windows 2001 SP1", /* Windows XP SP1 */
"Windows 2001 SP2", /* Windows XP SP2 */
"Windows 2001.1", /* Windo…

lsscsi and systool

The lspci andlsusb commands are familiar to me, but lsscsi was unfamiliar. Written by Doug Gilbert, it provides information about SCSI devices by scanning the sysfs pseudo file system. The author maintained a web page (now defunct) that provided useful information about lsscsi, including some detailed descriptions of the SCSI subsystem information available. Fortunately, a copy resides here. Here's a sample listing from my system That also shows the generic SCSI device names (note that command can be run as a regular user) :

$ lsscsi -g
[0:0:0:0] disk ATA ST3250624A 3.AA /dev/sda /dev/sg0
[0:0:1:0] disk ATA Maxtor 6L200P0 BAH4 /dev/sdb /dev/sg1
[1:0:0:0] disk ATA Maxtor 6Y250P0 YAR4 /dev/sdc /dev/sg2
[1:0:1:0] cd/dvd HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH22LP20 1.02 /dev/sr0 /dev/sg3[2:0:0:0] disk Seagate FreeAgent 102D /dev/sdd /dev/sg5
[3:0:0:0] cd/dvd SONY DVD RW DRU-810A 1.0a /dev/sr1 /dev/sg4[4:0:0:0] disk ST910…

UNIX Copy-on-Select for MS Windows

One of the most striking differences between UNIX and MS Windows is the copy and paste behavior using the mouse.

This becomes an annoyance if you are used to the UNIX way of doing things and always forget to highlight-right-click-copy when using MS Windows.

Andy Polyakov's True X-Mouse Gizmo allows UNIX-like copy-on-select behavior in MS Windows environments.

The page also contains useful information about how the utility works and how to modify its behavior, as well as a few things to watch out for.

Importantly, it does not remove the traditional MS Windows behavior, so users accustomed to that way of doing things will not notice a difference.