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    Posted on 24-05-03, 06:22

    Post: #451 of 454
    Since: 10-29-18

    Last post: 2 days
    Last view: 17 hours
    Posted by tomman
    Uuugh, USB...

    There's not much chance of picking up interference if the 'soundcard' is directly in the ear cup.

    My current setup: Super Famicom ("2/1/3" SNS-CPU-1CHIP-02) → SCART → OSSC → StarTech USB3HDCAP → AmaRecTV 3.10
    Posted on 24-05-03, 23:39
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1289 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    Posted by creaothceann
    Posted by tomman
    Uuugh, USB...

    There's not much chance of picking up interference if the 'soundcard' is directly in the ear cup.

    I'm not fan of USB audio more because of latency and CPU overhead concerns, but yeah, point taken (although in my case it's just low audio quality overall, not EMI/RF interference)

    ...either that or spend like €20 $80 on spec-violating adapters and risers to plug one of my SB Live!s to the internal mPCIe slot of this thing :D (assuming drivers would even work behind such a Tower of Power contraption, which is not a given since this is Creative we're talking about!)

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    Posted on 24-05-26, 22:40 (revision 1)
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1291 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    A pretty good guide (sadly hosted on a Dischorse Discourse board) on how to tune Pipewire + EasyEffects to improve audio quality, even on craptacular Realsuck HDA solutions:
    https://forum.manjaro.org/t/how-to-make-linux-sound-great/146143

    It goes beyond a simple equalizer, and trust me, it DOES improve things a lot... but it requires a lot of steps and some tinkering. Absolutely worth it, albeit not a replacement for a proper soundcard*.

    *TIL Creative still makes soundcards - X-Fi got followed up by Sound Core3D, which is actually an HDA-based solution (!!!), albeit on a proper PCIe card. Oh, and Linux support is finicky, as expected.

    Licensed Pirate® since 2006, 100% Buttcoin™-free, enemy of All Things JavaScript™
    Posted on 24-06-03, 03:05
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1292 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    This is what happens when I decide to blow off the dust from my Steam library on my new old shiny box:
    https://steamcommunity.com/app/251990/discussions/0/4336482945457838940/

    Game crashes on PC A, runs fine on PC B, forcing audio driver to ALSA fixes things on PC A, and I've yet to actually sit and play the goddamned game. Yay.

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    Posted on 24-06-10, 22:59
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1293 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    Setup Season!

    After burning some hard-earned Benjamins (and getting Knee-Deep In The Red with a certain friendly bank MasterCard), I'm doing not one, but TWO fresh new Debian setups at the ever growing fleet at home:

    - New routerbox! Saki Mk. 2 has served well, but I can't stand Compaq/Intel shenanigans with those moronic RAM limits and its absurd incompatibility with anything that isn't a legit Parallel AT Attachment Rust Spinner, so I picked another PCShits M756LMRT, this one with non-blown capacitors and non-broken video/LAN ports. Sadly the M756 is unstable at FSB133 no matter what magical voodoo you invoke, but at least I can stuff this baby with up to 1GB RAM, and it can accept solid state drives, be it bridged SATA devices or the rare, almost unobtanium Chinese-made PATA SSDs/DOMs. Codename "Patchy" will be routing your porn packets Coming Soon™. Status: still installing stuff, figuring out how to escape BIND hell.

    - FINALLY, a new laptop made in this decade! With doom elections in less than 2 months, a ever threatened budget, and few options to defect Camp Intel/noVideo, my options to get into the Promised Ryzen Land were down to one: a Dell Inspiron 15 3525, powered by a Ryzen 7 5700U. Not exactly a "raw power screamer", but still, far FAR better than what I have now, an aging Sandy Bridge i5 (think on this as a coin with two sides: heads - I'll sell this somewhere down the road and buy something great, when communism falls. Tails - at least I won't be stuck with a Sandy Bridge for the next decade!). Codename "Setsuna" is now the flagship of the fleet... somehow. Status: still installing the universe and a half.

    Will be covering my install notes on upcoming posts, to help random lost souls in the Internet (and my future self) as usual.

    Licensed Pirate® since 2006, 100% Buttcoin™-free, enemy of All Things JavaScript™
    Posted on 24-06-12, 01:58 (revision 1)
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1294 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    How to make a new Debian-powered routerbox using the lamest possible hardware, 2024 Edition:

    - Hardware-specific config:
    For some reason this M756LMRT didn't required idle=poll to not hang at boot. Set Power Management to ACPI-only on BIOS so the power button works as intended, instead of just suspending the machine (this will also prevent a couple kernel warnings. I went with a /boot partition, just in case. GRUB behaves weird at times on this SiS 630 by starting to a blank or garbled screen - it will boot anyway! (But just in case, don't forget to set a GRUB_GFXMODE on /etc/default/grub - 800x600 seems to be safe, 1024x768 often fails). Gain some precious seconds at boot by slimming down your initramfs (/etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf) - set MODULES=dep to only include the required modules for your box (at the cost of being unable to boot this disk on antyhing but another equally configured system), and pick a less aggressive compression format (Debian nowadays defaults to zstd, which is too heavy for Coppermines - crank it down to gzip which still compresses OK and yet it unpacks MUCH faster).
    Splurged a bit on this thing and bought a PATA DOM, a 30GB "Yansen YS40V2-32" (sold by Amazon as a Kingspec - turns out they farmed their boutique PATA SSDs out to this Yansen subsidiary). Sadly they're DOGSHIT: they're based off a SMI 2236 controller that it's for CF cards, the firmware often comes misconfigured (want a HPA? Best reflash it then with the SMI mass production tools with love from Soviet Russia), many boxes won't recongize them properly including this PCShits AMIBIOS that hangs when detecting it unless you set as a CHS 0/0/0 LBA-only drive! (my Compaq recognizes it just fine, but has a utter and extreme allergy for anything that doesn't have platters, heads, and a legit PATA port). They're overpriced garbage, but they can be made to work anyway, and the latency gains are worth the effort.

    - Kernel preparations:
    Add these magic strings to your sysctl.conf:
    # Enable IPv4 forwarding - you need this for masquerading/NAT to work!
    net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
    # Some performance tunings for the TCP stack
    net.core.wmem_max = 4194304
    net.core.wmem_default = 131072
    net.core.rmem_max = 4194304
    net.core.rmem_default = 131072
    net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 4096 131072 4194304
    net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 4096 131072 4194304
    net.ipv4.tcp_mem = 4096 131072 4194304
    net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 10000


    - Network device preparation:
    Remember to use /etc/systemd/network/10-xxx.link files to setup your persistent device names if you want names that make sense (no, "eno1" or "ens1f1" do not make sense from the point of view of a router!). My fiber ISP uses PPPoE for no good reason at all, which means setting it up in advance on Debian is a pain - pppoeconfig won't just ask questions, it DEMANDS to be connected to the real deal for it to work. And it will shit all around your /etc/network/interfaces with PPP-specific crap, so go and tidy up things afterwards.

    - Network rulesets:
    I used my current nftables ruleset - the magic is literally a oneliner. Don't be me, remember enabling net.ipv4.ip_forward or your routerbox won't... route things!

    - DHCP:
    Install isc-dhcp-server, edit /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf to your tastes. I redid mine with a new IP layout for my fleet, and this time I threw everything inside a "subnet X.x.x.x" section.

    - DNS:
    One of the main points of this new setup was to dump BIND, since it's a bloaty pig with my adblocking lists, taking forever to start, and being a pain in the ass to manage in general. My first option was PowerDNS, since it looks to be very flexible and its management tools looked nice... but I quickly hit a brick wall of 32-bit deprecation, as PowerDNS no longer offers i386 packages, and Debian Bookworm followed suit. Ended picking Unbound, which seems to be a popular choice for caching DNS servers, although it's not really meant to be anything else (much less as a real DNS server with zones and junk - you're meant to use its companion for that, NSD), but as usual networking software is meant to be abused anyway. Started with this config as a base, added my LAN zone following this other guide, hard redirects with this, and the gory adblocking bits will be taken care of with yet another script that emits a nicely formatted config file too.
    UPDATE: HOLY SHIT, Unbound is really lean'n'mean! RAM usage was so good that I even decided to backport this config to Saki... going down from 200MB RAM (and heavy swapping!) to ~50MB is absolutely worth the switch! Sayonara Mr. BIND, and rot in hell!

    If Unbound refuses to start with a obscure "error: Error for server-cert-file: /etc/unbound/unbound_server.pem", run unbound-control-setup as root to create those cert files that you will not need anyway.

    - Other random bits:
    Don't forget to install samba, winbind, and libnss-winbind so it can resolve your Windows host names.
    I don't intend to go with a print server this time, so I'm sparing the CUPS setup. I might experiment with a scan server in the future, so I can share my one scanner with the LAN.
    And yes, TEST-NET-3 (203.0.113.0/24) can be used on real networks, despite what the RFC says. I'm going with that one since I wanted private IPs that don't start with a frickin' one!

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    Posted on 24-06-16, 03:36
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1295 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    Debian 12 on the Dell Inspiron 15 3525

    - CPU: Ryzen 7 5700U. I wish AMD had came up with a honest naming system for their Ryzens, just like Intel (where the first 1-2 digits give away the generation of the CPU), because unlike what the "5" on "5700" would suggest a Zen 5, this is actually a rather old Zen 2 SoC! This one is actually a low-end part (it's a "U" with a measly 15W TDP), quite popular on cheap laptops and mini PCs, but that packs quite a lot of punch anyway. Linux Just Works™ with it. mitigations=off or GTFO is the rule in this house, even if the performance gains are hardly measurable these days with all those microcode and BIOS mitigations in place.

    - GPU: "Lucienne". Not bad at all for a IGP - it can even move Euro Truck Simulator 2 at 1080p at playable speeds on pure Mesa! Hardly smooth as butter, but it can deliver SOMETHING at least. Just Works™ out of the box on Debian 12, haven't done many gaming tests yet, but the ETS2 results alone impressed me in a positive way. Sadly the only discrete GPU option on those Dells is goddamned noVideo, eugh! HW video decoding works nicely on mpv and Xine via VAAPI, while VLC exhibits some weird interlacing artifacts via VDPAU. Yay VLC, can't you just become more and more irrelevant on Linux these days?

    - display: non-touch 120Hz 1080p panel (mine comes from LG Display). Nothing special, colors are a bit trashy (especially greens), but then you get what you pay for. Wished this was a OLED, but alas. At least it's matte and non-touch!

    - Storage: Micron 2500 DRAM-less NVMe M.2 SSD. Firmware updates require Windows, sorry. Otherwise, this thing is FAST. I'm surprised at the lack of information that smartmontools can read out from NVMe SSDs, I guess whoever designed SMART for NVMe didn't really cared about SMART being useful. Oh, GSmartControl does not like NVMe SSDs AT ALL!

    - Audio: Realsuck HDA trash. Forgettable. This laptop has one of those cellphone-style combo 3.5mm jacks for headphones and microphone - plugging headphones while playing something may take a couple of seconds before audio switches from the speakers to the headphones. Consider using Easy Effects to improve the jack output, because the built-in speakers are MEH. Remember that Debian still defaults to Pulseaudio instead of Pipewire, so this should be among the first things you fix after setup!

    - Ethernet: *crickets* Thaaaaanks Apple. Had to spend $20 on a USB-C Ethernet dongle, a TP-Link UE300C which is gigabit and Just Works™ (ASIX chipset). USB3 adds 1-2ms of latency to your ping, so don't bother playing competitive online shooters with it.

    - Wireless: Realsuck RTL8821CE 802.11ac + Bluetooth. AWFUL. DOGSHIT. UNUSABLE. RIPOFF. Total and complete waste of silicon and money! All because the Taiwanese crabmen HATE Linux, and their drivers are TERRIIIIBLE. Laggy WLAN which is only fine for casual web browsing (even SSHing over WLAN feels like using DSL from CANTV over wet string!), and Bluetooth is slow for file transfers and UNUSABLE for audio! Do yourself a favor, forget about your warranty, crack open this laptop and rip out that piece of M.2 radio crabmen crime, and put some Atheros love there. Or anything else BUT Realtek (or Intel - their WLAN firmware/drivers can be atrocious at times too). Dell's other option is Mediatek's MT7921/22 802.11ax card, which I just spotted for sale online for $25, and that will be my next move once warranty expires here. Realsuck, your place on my SHITLIST is WELL DESERVED, YOU FUCKERS!

    - Battery: Haven't pushed the pedal to the metal yet, but at least battery doesn't go flat in a couple hours of Steam and web browsers.

    - Camera: Some HD garbage I'll never use since I don't use front-facing cameras on laptops or cellphones - I don't do videoconferences at all! Works, for whatever it's worth (it's /dev/video0 - VLC also lists a /dev/video1 device that is non-operative)

    - USB: 3 x 3.1 USB ports (boo!), one of them being USB-C. They're close to the rear edge of the machine, which means they won't disturb. This is no ASMedia trashy xHCI controller, so they work fine on Linux.

    - SD reader: Genesys SD interface chipset (USB Mass Storage class). Just Works™ - nothing special there (you won't see the device on the kernel until you actually insert a SD card).

    - Power management: Suspend works fine, nothing dies on wakeup so far. Haven't bothered testing hibernation since 1) I don't use it, and 2) I don't even have a swapfile yet!

    - OEM-specific bits: This is a Dell laptop, so i8k/dell-wmm-smi still lets you control the fan. Use i8kfan (from i8kutils) for setting some sensible fan/temperature thresholds. The fan on this thing is hardly silent (it sounds exactly like a jet engine at full blast), but most of the time the laptop will remain fresh enough for it to not kick in. Volume/brightness control keys work. The BIOS on these laptops is bugged regarding the handling of the F-keys: they default to "multimedia", not "function" keys. You can change that on BIOS, and it MAY even work after saving and restarting, but by the next restart the setting will revert to "Multimedia". To put it bluntly: what the fuck Dell!?

    Licensed Pirate® since 2006, 100% Buttcoin™-free, enemy of All Things JavaScript™
    Posted on 24-06-18, 20:13
    Post: #205 of 205
    Since: 11-24-18

    Last post: 28 days
    Last view: 14 days
    Posted by tomman

    - CPU: Ryzen 7 5700U. I wish AMD had came up with a honest naming system for their Ryzens, just like Intel (where the first 1-2 digits give away the generation of the CPU), because unlike what the "5" on "5700" would suggest a Zen 5, this is actually a rather old Zen 2 SoC! This one is actually a low-end part (it's a "U" with a measly 15W TDP), quite popular on cheap laptops and mini PCs, but that packs quite a lot of punch anyway. Linux Just Works™ with it. mitigations=off or GTFO is the rule in this house, even if the performance gains are hardly measurable these days with all those microcode and BIOS mitigations in place.


    Huh, I thought all 5xxx Ryzens were Zen 3. Shame on AMD then, but whatever. Atleast you have an 8 core. :)

    Posted by tomman

    - Ethernet: *crickets* Thaaaaanks Apple. Had to spend $20 on a USB-C Ethernet dongle, a TP-Link UE300C which is gigabit and Just Works™ (ASIX chipset). USB3 adds 1-2ms of latency to your ping, so don't bother playing competitive online shooters with it.


    Am I the only one that fondly(?) remembers playing Quake on dialup with a 500 ms roundtrip latency? :D
    Posted on 24-06-27, 01:16
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1296 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    After some minimal tuning, ETS2 runs fluid with zero slowdown on this lowly Lucienne IGP.

    No glitches, other than some reduced rendering distance for far-away objects. Trucks look as shiny as the day they left the dealer, and gameplay IS butter-smooth.

    Now I want to close my eyes and pretend I've got a oversized, non-touch Steam Deck :D

    Licensed Pirate® since 2006, 100% Buttcoin™-free, enemy of All Things JavaScript™
    Posted on 24-06-30, 04:09
    Dinosaur

    Post: #1299 of 1299
    Since: 10-30-18

    Last post: 17 days
    Last view: 2 days
    Routerbox rebuild: partial success!

    The plan was to keep the Compaq (with Saki Mk. 2 brains) as a backup, and promote the PCShits (with the new "Patchy" brains) to showtime. But... PCShits happened: my second M756LMR turned out to be unusually unperformant, even by Hsing Tech standards:

    - Awful PATA speeds (not even UDMA33, even with capable drives and cables - the 630 chipset maxes out at UDMA66, and my broken M756LMR can easily saturate the bus)
    - Weird IRQ behavior - from unnatural IRQ assignments (sure PCShits, I totally want my sound card anywhere BUT at IRQ 5!), to heavy interrupt loads in kernelmode severely nerfing network performance (especially with the built-in SiS 900 port)
    - Speaking about that SiS 900 LAN port... my DSL modem turned out to heavily dislike it, causing frequent connection dropouts. What the hell.
    - Absolutely hopeless at FSB133, so no way to get the top performance from the fastest CPUs for the socket, no matter what RAM you throw at it.
    - Unwanted BIOS settings for the unused and unwired SiS 7018 audio core on the chipset, which can cause severe conflicts with the onboard C-Media audio (again, exclusive from this particular specimen - my other broken mobo has no way to enable this unused feature)
    - Incompatibility with many PCI cards, from old GeForces to many Realsuck 8139/8169 NICs.

    The one saving grace was that these mobos are not picky with solid state drives, but the performance hit and stability issues with some connections were too much to stand. Enter plan B: give up SSDs (for now), and do a brain swap. After some well deserved maintenance, the Compaq is back to routing packets, but with a shiny new Debian 12 setup, capable of maxing out 100Mbit channels even on lowly Realsucks, and even getting somewhere in the way to gigabit. Well, at least good ol' Saki finally earned its well deserved retirement, even if on spirit only.

    Also: now that I cut RAM usage in more than half. I no longer have the need for the unreliable "swap on video RAM", so I got rid of the MX4000 and switched back to the onboard i810E IGP. It's... hopeless on GRUB too, the best it can do is 640x480x16 colors thanks to its lobotomized VESA BIOS. Also no way to tune shared RAM size for video - Compaq hardcodes it at 4MB and that's final.

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