This new desktop computer is compatible with eComStation. It features an Intel Core i5 processor and a removable SSD boot drive and two PCI slots.
The SSD is fitted to a Dual SSD rack. The SSD as supplied will boot in either bay of the rack. A second SSD can be mounted. No tools are needed to add or remove an SSD. The computer must be off for the SSD to be switched.
This section documents what I did to get this computer to work under eComStation. These notes are intended to show what goes into this computer, and also as a guide to the user who wants to build it himself.
I ordered the parts from NewEgg, Ascendtech and Superbiiz. The hard drive rack and SSD were supplied by the customer.
The case appeared to be damaged, and I could not turn on the computer. When I inspected it further, I found that the power switch was unclipped in back. I clipped it back into position and the power button functions normally.
The computer still wouldn't boot. I switched the CPU to a gen 1 (Sandy Bridge) and booted the computer. The BIOS appears to be slightly too old to run a gen 2 (Ivy Bridge).
To update the BIOS, I downloaded the latest BIOS from the Foxconn website. On a Windows system, I created a DOS bootable USB stick with the BIOS update program. I then booted the computer from the USB stick, and updated BIOS. The computer powered itself down and up twice, then booted again, running the new BIOS.
I switched the CPU back to the Core i5 (Ivy Bridge), and the computer runs normally.
I installed eCS 2.2 b2 and programs on volume C:. Volume D: is available for data or applications. No boot manager has been installed.
The C: installation has the traditional IBM NETBIOS and NetBIOS over TCP/IP networking from the IBM File and Print Client.
On each eComStation installation, I replace the ndpsmb.dll to prevent damage to my SAMBA server files. Then I save the installations in the eCS22 directory. If you want the bare eCS installation, this is what you get.
The external monitor works after this:
PanoUtil -d 1 n:
PanoUtil -c 1920 1200
DOS window sessions work after this:
add /int10textgrfxsafe to vsvga.sys device driver in config.sys
add mode co80; cls to autoexec.bat
Only 512 MB RAM are available using the IBM OS/2 Loader. Using QSINIT Loader 3300 MB are available. (more or less with BIOS video buffer settings) QSINIT is not compatible with the Arca Noae MultiMac driver. Use the one in eComStation 2.2 b2 instead. Don't install Arca Noae UniAud, either. The one in eCS 2.2 b2 is working.
The bidirectional parallel port driver is installed, along with Secure Workplace.
Using Suntan Special, I define an installation sequence that includes QSINIT to set up the loader. The suite of Arca Noae drivers is installed, except for MultiMac and UniAud. After that I run Suntan Special sequences eCS22, apps, games and cleanup. This is saved as the Factory image. This is normally what would be supplied on the computer.
To make the bootable recovery DVD, the bootable program is used. The program object for bootAble is changed. The environment page has the following addition, which is case-sensitive:PATH=c:\dvddao;c:\cdrtools2;%PATH% Notable options are to use GenGRADD at 1024 x 768, AMOUSE.SYS, ACPI with MAXCPU=1 and the original IBM Loader. AMOUSE, config.sys and the IBM loader must be hand applied after the boot files are created.
The computer is set up to connect via ethernet cable. The interface has been set up to configure automatically.
The USB 2.0 ports support keyboards, mice, scanners, thumb drives, cameras, MP3 players, external hard drives, floppies and CD Writers.
The DVD drive can read and write DVD and CD media.
I use Suntan Special to install the software on all Blonde Guy computers. Suntan Special software can be used to install all updates to the system and its applications and to install additional applications. When newer versions of software are released, Suntan Special can keep your Blonde Guy computer up to date.
The recovery DVD supplied is a bootable eComStation DVD with a backup of the hard drive as delivered. You can boot the machine from DVD, and perform maintenance functions. The maintenance folder is available on the recovery DVD. The factory backup is stored in the \image\Factory directory. The backups are simple zip files. You can use unzip to extract some or all of the files in a backup.
DFSee is a generic disk, partition and filesystem utility for maintenance and data-recovery. It supports partition tables (FDISK, LVM), FAT, FAT32, HPFS, NTFS, and partly JFS, EXT2/3 or REISER filesystems. DFSee is commercial software which requires a license key for continued use.
Height: 3.8 inches
Width: 12.8 inches
Depth: 16.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 20 lbs
Power consumption is 28 Watts, measured with the computer is booted to the desktop. This computer consumes less that 0.5 Watts if it's plugged in, but switched off.
The CPU fan is an upgraded Thermaltake low profile unit that is firmly attached to the motherboard and CPU socket.
The disk is partitioned to provide two bootable partitions, one for use as a server and including SAMBA server, and the other is set up for as a tradtional NetBIOS networking using the IBM File and Print client. User data is stored on a separate volume.
This is the layout for the SSD plus a 2 TB hard drive. The Air-Boot boot manager is installed to select the volume to be started.
|Volume Name||Disk Format||Drive Letter||Volume Size||Disk Name||eCS-C||JFS||C:||20,002 MB||SanDisk SSD||Data||JFS||D:||20,000 MB||SanDisk SSD|
eComStation 2.2 beta 2 (Dec 30) is the version used for this installation. This is the output of the version command.
For the server-H volume:
Installed Component Name Version Service Level Drive ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Serenity Systems eComStation 2.2 XR0C007 H: . Base Operating System 4.52 XR0C007 H: . Base Device Drivers 4.52 XR0D003 H: . Base Networking (MPTS) 6.01 WR08708 H: . Internet Applications (TCP/IP) 4.32 UN02334 H:
For the eCS-N volume:
Installed Component Name Version Service Level Drive ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Serenity Systems eComStation 2.2 XR0C007 N: . Base Operating System 4.52 XR0C007 N: . Base Device Drivers 4.52 XR0D003 N: . Base Networking (MPTS) 6.01 WR08708 N: . Internet Applications (TCP/IP) 4.32 UN02334 N: . File and Printer Sharing (Peer) 5.2 IP08608 N: . LAN Requester 5.2 IP08608 N: . User Profile Management 5.2 WR08608 N:
This table reports the SysBench 0.9.5 benchmarks for this computer. You can download SysBench 0.9.5 here: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/
|CPU floating point-marks||1186|
To buy this computer, use the order button below. Be prepared to enter any special notes about your needs or customization for the computer. Blonde Guy will review your order and send you an invoice, payable using PayPal or any major credit card. If you prefer to pay by check, note that in the notes field of the order form, and I will e-mail you an invoice payable by check.
If you have questions, you may enter them in the notes portion of the order form.
The final price of the computer depends on tax, shipping and options. Shipping outside the USA is available, but it is costly.
The following table shows the options for licenses to be applied to this computer.
|Home and Student||$145|
|User's own copy||$0|
|Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS drivers and software package||Commercial||$79|
|User's own copy||$0|
The eComStation License is available three ways. For a business, the full license is required. For most other uses, a Home and Student license is sufficient. If you already have an eCS 2.1 license available for this machine, and you upload your license key, there is no charge for eComStation.
The Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS drivers and software package is available three ways. For a business, the commercial license is required. For most other uses, a Personal license is sufficient. If you already have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS drivers and software package available for this machine, there is no charge.