Last Ditch Effort

Mon, 2006-09-18 01:14

Funny thing about the new, old laptop, it seems to corrupt all Linux distros, each in a distinctive, original way.

Meanwhile. Windows XP Pro seems to boot and run just fine, thank you.

As a last resort, I have loaded Fedora Core 5, which I think was the previous owner's choice. It boots fine so far, but it is an odd puppy and not what I wanted. First off, it uses Gnome, which can be altered. After that, it not only fails to recognise the integrated wireless, but most other wireless cards as well.

Things had better shape up soon, because as annoying as XP is, it does seem to work.

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IBM x23 - still no OS

Mon, 2006-09-04 00:14

I seemed to have hit the wall with the Linux distros I have laying around the house, so I decided to try the WinXP recovery that came with my 'new' laptop's hard drive. I was almost immediately hit with the sasser worm which causes a reboot about every half hour. I am now reinstalling and hoping the restore partition is not infected.

It would be nice to have a copy of XP laying around for testing my Websites in IE7. I do find XP to be rather nagging with the popups about every little thing. It may just annoy me enough that I will use Linux full time once I get a distro I can use.

SuSe very nearly made the cut. It does not recognise my internal wireless, but then neither does XP. I could do a firmware update, then install the drivers which also performs a firmware update and after that Windows should work fine. Hard to commit to that when I have a working PCMIA card to use. So far Ubuntu does recognize the internal wireless and that gives me hope.

Speaking of wireless, I am sure the lady at the library is weary of me dragging this thing in there every Monday and then failing to connect. I will take the day off tomorrow and surely in another week I will have my act together. A library is just such a hostile environment for futile troubleshooting.

It is possible a friend will come through with install CDs for either Kubuntu or Mandriva this Thursday.

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New Laptop Blues

Sun, 2006-08-06 23:27

Well, my plan of installing Windows temporarily fell flat on it's face; Windows did not recognise the USB CD drive even though that was what I was using to run the part of Windows that was telling me there was no CD drive...

Of course there might be some BIOS setting that would work around that, but who cares really, I have SuSE!

That is a Linux distro that has a nice GUI and works just fine. I wanted to try Slackware, but I didn't get too far. Maybe next laptop.

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Another Laptop

Fri, 2006-08-04 00:15

Ok, I do love my IBM 600e, but I wanted something just a hair faster, etc. I found a decent buy on an x23. The screen is a disgrace, the hinge is cracked, but I think I can live with it. It boots to GRUB>. I made a 1GB partition swap file, a 5GB root partition, and left the rest as /home. Except I left the 100mb first partition and that must be where GRUB is hanging out.

Tomorrow I will delete the /home partition, enlarge the tiny partition to fill in that space. Unless I find somebody to talk me out of that. After that I think I will go ahead and install W98 and use this laptop to download all the available updates, once and for all. After that, I can burn the updates to CD and reformat for whatever it is I want to run. Starting with Slackware.

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State of the Linux Part One

Mon, 2006-02-20 23:27

I have been interested in Linux for a few years now. I think the idea of ownership interests me the most; it is my opinion that I own my computer and I like the idea of control over what runs on it. No doubt this is a bit of arrogance on my part, because given an empty computer I am helpless unless I have someone else's software to run on it. Perhaps because I developed an attitude toward "my computer" before the Internet ever came along and was even a bit late in connecting to the WWW. I feel a certain proprietorship about it all and am a bit put off anytime it is hinted that the actual ownership of a computer or what runs on it is questioned.

I first encountered Linux as perhaps everyone did a few years back when a friend passed me a Knoppix CD. It booted right up and did pretty much what would expect from a computer. The main problem was that I am on dialup so at least for a time Linux could only be a novelty for me.

Things were going well for me and I saw fit to buy myself a laptop. I had read it advised that hopeful laptop buyers should aim for about the same power and speed of their current desktop, and that seemed somewhat reasonable to me. Because I am always several years behind the times, I could pick up a used laptop with slightly better specs than what I was used to for a fraction of what new models were going for. The opportunity here was that the laptop would be wiped; I would have to install the operating system. I had a copy of Windows to install, so I went for it.

I don't know what posessed me to think that an OS install was beyond me, but after getting through several hurdles I ran afoul of some drivers and admitted defeat. I drove to town and bought an hour of the local tech's time and at last my laptop was usable to me. Things were great for just about a year.

After a while my CMOS battery ran down and what the heck I replaced it myself. An hour of the local tech's time had become a large percentage of the laptop's replacement cost. Shortly thereafter, Windows refused to boot. By then I had started a collection of live Linux CDs and when they would run on the laptop just fine I declared it to be a software problem.

This time around, having proved that the laptop actually worked and having a few successes to bolster my confidence, I was determined to do the install myself. I was able to find the missing driver and bring my laptop to full function. This empowered, I felt I was ready to risk going off into the unknown arena of disk partitioning and attempt a Linux dual-boot.

I had a copy of Mandrake full install on hand; I think I chose it because I liked the name. The partitioning and install proceeded very smoothly and I soon had a working Linux machine without any driver worries at all. Of course I didn't use it at home because of the dialup issues, but when using the wireles card at coffee shops and the like I automatically booted into Linux and was able to carry on as natural as could be.

Another year passed and I felt it was time to replace the failing desktop. The purchase of a better, used machine without an OS was by now a the obvious step. I was able to triple my speed and processing power at a very low price. Since the new computer had no modem installed, I was in a way forced to buy an external modem which would also work with Linux and remove the barrier of using Linux full time. I will tell of this in detail in the second part of the story.

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SUSE Progress

Sun, 2006-02-05 22:26

I keep trying to remember why I am switching to Linux. I am able to get everything I need to work except for FTP. My Kbear has a bug which crashes it immediately and FileZilla behaves very badly. So far this is a showstopper.

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