Minimum Memory for OpenSolaris ?

Dear Lazyweb,

Alec has been bugging me to try OpenSolaris with ZFS on something (a small laptop he suggested) but I’ve run into problems. My only spare box is an ancient Olivetti Netstrada, about 10 years old with 4 (yes, four) Pentium Pro 200MHz CPUs and a whopping (for its time) 256MB RAM.

Problem is that whilst Linux happily boots and runs on it the two OpenSolaris LiveCD’s I’ve tried (Nexenta and Belenix) both fail. Nexenta says that there’s not enough RAM to unpack the RAM disk (not surprising as their site says it needs 512MB to run) and the Belenix one just leaves the screen in a mess of pretty colours as soon as Grub tries to run the loaded kernel.

Solaris Kernel Crash on Olivetti Netstrada quad 200MHz PPro, 256MB RAM boat anchor

I then tried to boot the Nexenta install CD (they claim it can run in 256MB, though no mention of its installers needs) and got the same pretty pattern of colours when the kernel executed. 🙁

I do have one other PC, the only problem is that’s got even less RAM and the CD drive doesn’t appear to want to open any more, grrr..

How Big Was North Korea’s Bomb ?

My good friend Alec wrote on hearing about the DPRK nuclear test:

One presumes that there is a small chance it’ll have been staged with conventionals;

That got me thinking – how large a bomb was it ? We know the USGS detected a mag 4.2 shock so I went hunting around to see if there was an algorithm for converting magnitudes on the Richter Scale into energy, and, hopefully, into kilotons or megatons. It turns out J.C. Lahr wrote up a method for the “Comparison of earthquake energy to nuclear explosion energy” and helpfully included a piece of Fortran code to create a table of comparisons.

A quick “apt-get install gfortran” and a bit of mucking around with the code and I had an approximate answer:

Mag.   Energy      Energy      TNT         TNT         TNT         Hiroshima
       Joules      ft-lbs      tons        megatons   equiv. tons  bombs
4.2   0.126E+12   0.929E+11   0.301E+02   0.301E-04   0.201E+04   0.134E+00

So a magnitude 4.2 earthquake is (roughly) equivalent to a 2 kiloton device, less than one fifth of the size of Hiroshima bomb. This means it’s probably unlikely to have been a conventional device.

So what North Korea tested was fairly small in these days of megaton devices but certainly nothing you’d want to be anywhere near..

Alec Muffett Last Update: Saturday 23rd July

Alec himself writes:

today i stood up for the first time in 2 weeks

my leg muscles are wasted, gone, even on the good leg. i sat on the edge of the bed, stood up into a device called a “pulpit” and took my weight across my forearms and elbows. all blood sank to my feet and i nearly fainted, but with some frantic toe waggling managed to restore supply to my head, and thus i walked – or maybe toe-crawled – some three feet forwards and backwards.

it took me two hours’ sleep to recover, and i got a burst of the shivers due to dropping temperatures from the thunderstorms. the nurse covered me in a hot cotton sheet removed specially from an oven (such are kept for patients returning from theatre, where anasthetic can cause shivers) and that got me going again.

i still ache. this, presumably, is where it starts to become hard work.

i got moved into a new room today – rm 23, extn 1133 – because some ants got into my old room overnight, through the open window. i now have aircon, but the view is less interesting.

rachel (rac) arrived 5ish and brought some more clothes, post/mail, and lindt chocolate which i shall enjoy greatly though most sparingly; this evening brought a call from and a nice chat/sync-up with adriana, and an offer of help with shopping from cynthiac calling from a rock festival in wellington country park.

it’s great to have friends. 🙂

Now Alec is back blogging I’ll leave it up to him to report on how he is. 🙂

Alec Muffett Update : Thursday 20th July

This in from Dave Walker:

I have had a couple of brief chats with Alec today. He sounds very much his usual self, and is reasonably upbeat.

He had a CAT scan yesterday, which is “pretty much the final piece of work they want to do” on his chest. The idea was that, if any remaining blood clots were found, they would need to be removed surgically to prevent them turning into some particularly nasty kind of tissue later on. Alec was very pleased to report that no clots were found, so the doctors will not have to open him up again :-).

He has also had his leg put in a brace, which is the first step (after last Thursday’s pinning) to getting it working again. He can move it 43 degrees, which is apparently pretty good, although he says it’s very hard work as the muscles are still swollen to about double their normal size from the accident trauma.

I’ll be heading up to Birmingham to see him tomorrow afternoon. I will be taking a bunch of cards (one from Australia and one from Sweden, as well as a bunch from the UK – thanks, folks, and I know there are more coming), a laptop, and a big stack of hardcopied emails wishing him a speedy recovery.