Target-Earth Blog!

Here's the TargetEarth blog, it's mostly useless information with a few extremely niche tech posts…

Some useful shortcuts:

  • Tech stuff - network installers for Unix-like systems, old hardware
  • Car stuff - rebuilds and projects

Recent Posts

Here are the 5 most recent blog posts…

Modern Keyboards for old computers

I have lots of old computers… ZX Spectrum, Atari, Amiga, BBC, MSX and more. One of the problems I have with them all is getting enough desk space to use them. Not a problem with old consoles; they can typically be put on a shelf with power and video and they'll just work, of course with a computer you generally need enough space to have the keyboard in front of your.

This is a problem when you are being kicked out of your man cave in order to make room for children.

So, one option is to add a remote keyboard, either PS/2 or USB, and switch them all through a KVM switch or similar. Fortunately most systems seem to have something like that available.

→

2019/01/07 08:27 · john

Netboot Linux

Linux flavours vary slightly when netbooting, here are the two most common versions I use.

→

2018/11/28 08:53 · john

DOS / Windows PXE booting

I don't often need to do this, but once in a while it's handy to boot to a MSDOS boot floppy (either 6.22 or 7.00) from a machine that has PXE support.

Here's the pxelinux.cfg menu entry that will boot either a DOS or Win 98 SE boot floppy image:

default syslinux/menu.c32
prompt 0

MENU TITLE MS-DOS/Windows Installer Menu
menu separator

LABEL DOS - MS-DOS 6.22 Setup Floppy i386/amd64
KERNEL syslinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=dos/MS-DOS_6.22_Disk_1_Setup.IMA
Boot MS-DOS from DOS 6.22 setup floppy image. NO FAT32 large disk support.

LABEL DOS - MS-Windows 98 SE Floppy i386/amd64
KERNEL syslinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=dos/Windows98_SE.img
Boot MS-DOS from a Windows 98 SE floppy image. With FAT32 support for large disks.

LABEL Return
MENU LABEL ^Return to Main Menu
KERNEL menu.c32
APPEND pxelinux.cfg/default

You need the following files:

  • memdisk - Part of the syslinux distribution (find it inside /usr/lib/syslinux/)
  • menu.c32 - Part of the syslinux distribution
  • MS-DOS_6.22_Disk_1_Setup.IMA - MSDOS 6.22 boot floppy,
  • Windows98_SE.img - Win98SE boot floppy (DOS mode), sourced from

This can be quite a handy setup for systems without a floppy drive, or those that need to boot to a DOS prompt in order to flash a BIOS or similar.

2018/11/27 16:58 · john

Tech Stuff

  • Network Booting with dnsmasq and friends - Using dnsmasq for DHCP, TFTP and PXE booting on various clients
    • NetBSD - Configuring dnsmasq to netboot NetBSD (x86, m68k)
    • Linux - Netbooting x86 Linux (Ubuntu, Mint) using dnsmasq
    • Solaris - Supporting network installation of Solaris on Sparc using rarpd/tftp/nfs
    • MS-DOS - Booting to a MSDOS/Win98 boot floppy image, for BIOS updates etc
2018/11/27 16:41 · john

Network install of Solaris/Sparc

I have a Sparc based system (a MicroSparc II on a VME card) that is without a CDROM drive and has to be able to install SunOS or Solaris over the network (it has a local SCSI-2 disk and a fast Ethernet SBUS card).

I found some useful background information here on how to support Solaris network installations using just a Linux host:

→

2018/11/27 10:43 · john
  • start.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/11/28 14:17
  • by john