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Warning: keep an eye on your power supplies


I'm one of the luddites that still uses a Shark as a home servlet - although
with a slightly modern disk (60 GB 2.5", from the time those where relatively
new) and maxed out memory (96 MB).

As I mostly used it logged in from a laptop, I thought that the relatively
slowness I felt in the last couple of weeks was created by my large mailboxes.
However, as the two other frequent users complained (and the problem seems to
have increased in the last few weeks), I investigated, and found that I had
a lot of Ierrs - after a reboot, about 120% of the input packets (see netstat 

Strange, I thought. Should the new GB 8-port compact switch have developed a
thermal problem? Duplex mismatch? Cable broken? 

Cable exchange didn't help. ifconfig cs0 down up , and explicitly trying
mediaopts, didn't help.

Reverting to a 100 Mbit/s switch and to a 10 Mbit/s half-duplex hub I had
around didn't help. Besides, I could ping the router through the same switch

Powering switch and Shark off and on again didn't help. Hmmmm,
Software problem? Reverting to the old kernel I had around - 5.0.2 -
didn't help. I started to consider swapping the big memory and the disk
into the other Shark, when I remembered that I had swapped all Shark power
supplies at work years ago, because a couple of the Sharks didn't boot
any longer.

The freshly booted machine is now at 30 Ierrs (constant for the last 10 hours)
and 65000 packets and feels as fast as it used to be - remotely used or local.

So, if you have strange errors - consider testing with a known good power
supply - it might be a dried filtering capacitor. Especially those with 
machines, like the Shark, that use external, fanless power supplies.

seal your e-mail: http://www.gnupg.org/

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