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New 4 days shot.
A VAR client was getting a bit nervous about my claiming to be "mostly retired", and asked me to help him learn to install Debian Linux 7.8 on a new Dell for use as a server - so I did. Some minor problems, but OK.

So, now, a couple of months later, he got in 2 of the same model Dell to be made into servers for two of his clients. He asked me to make two (10 DVD) sets For Debian 7.8, (Linux kernel 3.2) which I had been installing for him for more than 4 years.

These servers were urgently needed. Well, Dell changed something, and he just couldn't get 7.8 to install. He shipped them to me and I confirmed 7.8 wouldn't install.

I downloaded the minimal install DVD for Debian 10.0.0-5, which had just come out. It installed, so I gave him the bad news and ordered a full set (16 DVDs) for 10.0.0-5, 2nd day air.

The big question was that most of his servers require Digi's RealPort drivers to run remote 8 and 16 serial port boxes over ethernet. This has always been a big hassle the first time on a new system. Digi tech support gave me a link to drivrers for kernel 4.x.x. (untested on Debian).

I got the first machine (no RealPort needed) out in two days, slow, because I had to start re-writing my 50 page manual on how to do this - especially the pages for recompiling the kernel. In this case, the kernel needed to be recompiled with just one edit, so vfat storage devices could be mounted without typing in "-o iocharset=iso8859-1 every time.

Well, actually 2 edits, because the shipped .config had a call for a security certificate which exists only on Debian's development servers. That slowed me down a bit.

There were a lot of changes in the compile process and various subsidiary programs. The steps for installing MySQL were completely different. But I got my manual marked up and shipped the computer on Friday. Typed in most of the changes Friday evening.

I also needed a good recompile to install the RealPort drivers - they never install without that. I spent all Saturday working on a trimmed .config to produce a kernel with a lot fewer kitchen sinks included - but that still compiled.

Today, amazingly, the Digi RealPort kernel 4.x.x drivers installed with only minor adjustments to the 3.x.x install method I had developed years ago. Digi's install instructions don't work, but mine do.

So the second server is completely configured and will ship out Monday. The 50 page manual is all updated and a copy will go out with the server.

So much for being retired - as retired COBOL programmers learned in 1999. There is no retirement in this business - you're either dead or you're on call.

As one of them remarked, "Who back then could have known that software is eternal?"


This all came at a bad time for the VAR. He didn't need the stress - he had a stent put in a couple of weeks ago. He asked me if I knew a younger guy who wanted to buy an Appgen VAR business, but I couldn't help there. Younger folks just are not interested in that kind of work.
New I hope you were well compensated for your time!

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New Re: I hope you were well compensated for your time!
Traditionally, I have not charged for development effort, but since my opportunities to profit from this development are now much less (I hope), I will be including a development participation charge to cover some of it.

My standard charges for preparation of servers will be a little higher due to greater complexity of both the systems and the configurations required.
New Not too bad given Debian 7 LTS was put out to pasture over a year ago.
Try it on current Win 10 targeted hardware and it'll cost a lot more than 4 days, sadly.
     4 days shot. - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
         I hope you were well compensated for your time! -NT - (a6l6e6x) - (1)
             Re: I hope you were well compensated for your time! - (Andrew Grygus)
         Not too bad given Debian 7 LTS was put out to pasture over a year ago. - (scoenye)

You will be boiled in vegetable oil and packaged for housecats.
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