BIOS Flashing

I’ve had to flash some BIOSes lately, and it can be a pain if one is not properly equipped.

The good folks at bootdisk.com have a Dr. DOS image all ready to go, which loads absolutely nothing, which is just what is necessary for BIOS flashing: drdflash.zip

I decided to write the image in Linux, which I did by running the following as root (may not be necessary to be root, I’m not sure):

dd if=[imagefile] of=/dev/fd0

If this works correctly, it should yield:


2880+0 records in
2880+0 records out

Once the bootdisk has been created, we must populate it with our new BIOS image and the flashing utility.

mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt
cp /my/bios/stuff/* /mnt
sync
umount /mnt

For me, this copy returned immediately, which seemed strange because floppies are slow. That’s why I explicitly did a `sync` and unmounted the disk, and then waited a bit, before removing the disk.

VMWare Player

I knew VMWare Player was released, but I’d been using VMWare Workstation and so I had no need to look into it.

It turns out many people have found interesting ways to “extend” its functionality.

Here are some instructions for creating a Windows XP guest.

Installing VMWare Tools with VMWare Player is a good idea, for it allows things such as drag-and-drop from the host to the guest. Here’s a program that lets you mount ISO images as drives under Windows XP.

Here is a pre-installed Debian net install.

Firefox Extensions / Plugins

I have taken it upon myself to figure out how to write extensions / plugins for Firefox. At this stage, I still don’t know if those two terms are synonymous or not.

So far I’ve read through a XUL Tutorial and played with the example code. Selecting File->Open in Firefox’s File menu and then selecting a .XUL file will open and render it, as desired. I am indeed impressed with how rapidly nice UIs can be created. Also, the standard itself has a Ghostbusters reference; can’t hurt!

It gets interesting here, where you can add event handlers.

Too .. tired .. to .. go .. on

Lisp

I worked my way through a Lisp Tutorial just now, without incident. Most people seem to talk about exposure to Lisp like it was some kind of religious experience. I suppose I need to use it to actually program something. The basic spirit of my response is “oh, everything is in Polish notation“. I’m sure this is a horrific oversimplification. Oh well, it’s late…