Diary and notebook of whatever tech problems are irritating me at the moment.
Keyboard LED flashing panic
I was in the middle of replying to an email from my home-made desktop PC when it suddenly stopped responding to anything. The only activity was the Caps Lock and Scroll Lock LEDs flashing at about a 1 second (1Hz) interval. At first I thought a PS/2 connector had come loose on my D-Link DKVM-4 KVM or on the system but the USB mouse was also not responsive. After some Google searching with my laptop I figured out that the kernel had probably panicked and the LED activity was caused by the panic_blink function which is basically an idiot light. According to what I read the flashing can also involve the Num Lock LED but mine may have been off because the Num Lock was active at the time of the panic. While there is no information conveyed by any of them it does let you know that something serious happened, not just a loose connector or X hanging. There was a kernel patch submitted by Andrew Rodland back in 2002 to blink in Morse code but I don't think it was ever included in the main tree. In my experience, once a Linux system has been stable for a while a panic usually indicates a hardware problem. After a few hours of troubleshooting I determined that my 1GB PC-3200 DIMM had failed, probably because it wasn't seated in the socket properly. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.
- ► 2009 (9)
- ► 2008 (11)
- Omnifarious Implementer = I do just about everything. With my usual occupations this means anything an electrical engineer does not feel like doing including PCB design, electronic troubleshooting and repair, part sourcing, inventory control, enclosure machining, label design, PC support, network administration, plant maintenance, janitorial, etc. Non-occupational includes residential plumbing, heating, electrical, farming, automotive and small engine repair. There is plenty more but you get the idea.