Wandering Thoughts archives

2007-10-31

What may be causing my random NumLock issues

I think I may have finally woken up to a (potential) cause for my random NumLock issues: the xine media player. One indicator, one that I really should have paid attention to earlier, is that often starting xine will turn on NumLock (and sometimes turn it off immediately afterwards). It is of course hard to be entirely sure since the problem is erratic, but I've been doing some testing since I noticed the correlation and I don't think I've ever had the problem when xine wasn't running.

I suspect that xine is not the only thing at fault, partly because this happens far more on my home machine than my work machine. It's certainly possible that xine happens to be the only program I usually run that does some particular operation that makes the X server hiccup in a way that toggles NumLock.

This is kind of irritating, since xine is what I use to play AAC+ music streams, and an AAC+ stream is what I tend to put on as background music at the office. With my keyboard, flipping NumLock on causes very wild things to happen in vi, and now that I have a strong suspicion, I should probably stop using xine at work.

(I can't say I'm exactly listening to the stream a lot of the time; one of the reasons I listen to this stream instead of actual music albums or the like is that I can stand to interrupt it at the drop of a hat. With albums, I get grumpy if I can't listen to them all the way through without interruptions.)

Mind you, the real cure may be to upgrade my ancient Fedora Core 6 installations to Fedora Core 7 (or wait a bit for FC8). That might even fix xmms's problems with AAC+ streams, which would make me happy since I am not entirely fond of xine.

(In the mean time, it appears that using mplayer gets me most of what I want. It handles AAC+ streams, it's verbose but non-GUI, and it uses both less memory and less CPU than xine. I'll call myself sold.)

linux/XServerNumlockII written at 22:48:02; Add Comment

Jumbo frames on gigabit Ethernet on Solaris 10 x86

We've recently been looking into using jumbo frames on gigabit Ethernet on Solaris 10U4 x86 (aka Solaris 10 8/07); it turns out that this is more work than you might expect, and information on it is somewhat scattered.

First, as of S10U4 only a few gigabit network drivers are documented as supporting jumbo frames:

driver maximum MTU chipset
bge 9000 Broadcom, but only on some chipsets; the manual says BCM5700, 5701, 5702, 5703C, 5703S, 5704C, 5704S, 5714C, 5714S, 5715C and 5715S.
e1000g 16218 Intel PRO/1000
rge 7000 Realtek (RTL8169S/8110S)
sk98sol 9000 SysKonnect SK-98xx

(The xge 10 gigabyte Ethernet driver also supports them with a 9600 byte MTU, but 10G Ethernet is far too rich for our blood right now. The nxge driver for various Sun cards apparently supports jumbo frames, but this is not documented in its manpage.)

Unlike what you might expect, the drivers do not automatically allow jumbo frames. Instead you have to specifically enable them before you can raise the MTU with ifconfig, and for more fun each driver does this differently and hides their configuration files in different places. For the ones I have personal experience with:

  • bge is configured in /platform/i86pc/kernel/drv/bge.conf
  • e100g is configured in /kernel/drv/e100g.conf

(The necessary configuration parameter is documented in each driver's manpage.)

I don't know about jumbo frame support on S10U3, because I no longer have a S10U3 system handy to check its manpages.

The quite nice SunFire X2100 M2 theoretically has two jumbo-capable bge interfaces (along with two not-jumbo-capable nge ones), but one of them is the ELOM interface and you probably want that to be on a special management network, so effectively you only get one jumbo-capable one.

solaris/JumboFrameGigabit written at 16:55:39; Add Comment


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