installing FreeBSD 7.3-RELEASE on a Toshiba Satellite 325CDS

The Toshiba Satellite 325CDS was sold back in 1996. It sports a 233Mhz Pentium processor, PCMCIA bay (2-slots), 3.5 floppy disk drive and a CD-ROM drive that doesn’t support DVDs. I was fortunate to acquire a well kept unit for about $25 – it had Windows 2000 installed on the primary 2.5″ IDE harddrive.

Via Twitter, @sheridancompute suggested FreeBSD 7.3 would be the highest version of the operating system this Toshiba laptop would support.

So I went ahead and pulled the hard drive out and plugged it into a PATA/USB adapter cable connected to my primary FreeBSD server. I booted off a FreeBSD 7.3-RELEASE disc, dumped a fresh installation on the drive and did a quick freebsd-update. Updated /etc/fstab to point from /dev/da0 (external USB) to /dev/ad0 (Toshiba) and plugged it back into the laptop. It worked like a charm. For now, no Internet connectivity until I can find a compatible PCMCIA-to-Ethernet card.

updating an iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011) to mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6

There is no direct software upgrade path to mac OS High Sierra (10.13.x) for an iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011). Besides that, major updates usually have BOOT ROM / SMC action involved. Can’t miss those! ūüôā

Internet Recovery managed to grab OSX Lion (10.7), updated to the latest then my backup copy of Mountain Lion (10.8) to continue. Unfortunately, the App Store dropped an error every time I attempted to install Update 10.8.5 combo. The workaround was downloading Updates 10.8.1 through 10.8.5 and manually installing them one at a time.

After 10.8.5 installed, I ran Update using the App Store to get the latest 10.8.x updates but this time around, I didn’t encounter any errors.

Continued to run through mac OS Sierra (10.12) installer and rebooting several times to fetch the latest updates.

Finally, I hooked up a drive with an existing fully patched High Sierra (10.13.6) system using a SATA-to-USB cable (with power), rebooted and used it to format (APFS) the built-in 500GB harddrive on the iMac before dumping a fresh installation of High Sierra.

Just for fun, I booted off a drive with an existing fully patched Windows 10 (version 1909) system without using BootCamp Assistant. It worked as expected.

In the end, my trusty #FreeBSD server running off an old Dell Dimension 518 was a big help giving me access to storage/files i needed.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Apache/WebDAV still works. ūüôā

FreeBSD ppc 12.1 & iMac PowerPC G3 DV

Just recently got an iMac G3 DV 400Mhz and I want to repurpose it to run FreeBSD as light-weight server at home (rsync, squid, reverse SSH tunnels, et al)

Hardware Overview:

  • PowerMac 2,1
  • PowerPC 750 (83.2)
  • Boot ROM Version: 4.1.9f1
  • RAM: 384MB
  • CPU Speed: 400Mhz

Here’s what I have tried.

Used the ppc (boot only) ISO of FreeBSD 10.4, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3 (all -RELEASE) to boot off a CD – it goes through orange screen with all OFW stuff, I hit Enter then it goes through the boot process but then all of a sudden, the machine reboots.

All 4 major releases render the same results.

In terms of booting off a CD with all the attempts I’ve made to get into the FreeBSD installer, I tried the built-in slot-loading drive and an external CD/DVD drive (USB).

FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE, -STABLE and 13-CURRENT gets stuck but doesn’t reboot and halts. Links to screen shots are below:

I know this is unrelated, but I managed to install OpenBSD 6.6 ppc on the same machine using the same booting method.

Anyhow, I sent an email to the mailing list just in case someone can provide some pointers to resolve my installation issues. –

Vultr, Websockets & Squid

I use Squid on my Vultr VPS.

But recently, or at least to my understanding, Vultr switched from using wss:// with CONNECT or plain https:// for their “View Console” feature to wss:// with UPGRADE which is not supported yet by Squid, according to Amos Jeffries.

View Console is useful when you need to perform rescue operations or deploying new Vultr instances among other things. If you use Squid (like me), you have to disable it if you need the “View Console” to work. Else, you will get a “Server disconnected (code: 1006) error on the popup window.


View Console > then View Source and locate this snippet. Create a local bypass for the hostname specified after host = “

// By default, use the host and port of server that served this file
host = "

WFS by Walmart vs FBA by Amazon

WFS by Walmart is by invite only, an exclusive club for the big players. WFS stands for Walmart Fulfillment Services.

FBA stands for Fulfilled by Amazon.

The customer fulfillment process for both services is about the same. However, among many other factors, the WFS by Walmart seller/supplier/vendor acceptance process is more rigorous and can be a difficult venture for small to medium-size suppliers.

If your company wants to sell products online, don’t go with WFS by Walmart without any serious preparation and research or you will end up with a closed case with no possibility of appeals. WFS by Walmart requires an existing Marketplace seller account, and their pre/post-screen processing will get you into a lot of headaches particularly with Trust & Safety associates who are lazy or ill-informed.

You will get frustrated even after taking the time to provide a thorough explanation. Generic responses from the Trust & Safety department will get you nowhere. Any red flags during the post screening process will get your account suspended, then terminated. In the end, they collect your company’s FEIN, phone numbers and email addresses.

FBA by Amazon was more favorable and straight forward, at least from personal experience. YMMV, but the process of shipping products to FBA and letting them taking care of the logistics part enables a company to focus more on other important things.