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My Continuing Linux Journey


V.T. Eric Layton
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V.T. Eric Layton

Well, after experiencing an aborted install with Slack due to a corrupted download, I was able to re-download it and reburn it (in Windows, ironically) earlier tonight. The install went OK, not too difficult. However, a couple items failed on install. Fortunately, they were non-required items. I can always install them later, if need be.My two first impressions of Slack are: 1) phooey! ...an outdated kernel and 2) wow! ...KDE is neat, but very visual (almost too much for the eyes). Once I find my way around Slack a bit more, I'm sure I'll be able to upgrade the kernel. As far as KDE goes... well, that's going to take some getting used to, I think. I do like Konsole though. :)I'll have to upgrade the kernel as soon as possible because I desperately need to find a way to make Nvidia drivers work on Slack so I can increase the screen refresh rate so I don't have to deal with this eye-straining 60Hz flicker anymore.I also noticed that Slack must have a very similar philosophy to Debian... outdated software is stable. Slack is using the same ancient build of Firefox and T-bird that Debian Sarge uses. I sure hope I can upgrade to the new Moz products so my cross-OS Moz profiles can be used.Anywho... I barely scratched the surface of Slack tonight. I'll play around with it some more tomorrow. Currently, I'm booting it up from a floppy. I'll modify my MBR GRUB on that hard drive tomorrow to add the Slackware to it, then I won't have to use the floppy anymore.Later...

You hair is almost as long as mine.
Ya' hippy! B) It's difficult to see in that picture, but it goes down to the middle of my back. I've always been a long-haired night owl kinda' person. My favorite time of day is between 2 and 5AM. :hysterical:
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[quote]I'll have to upgrade the kernel as soon as possible because I desperately need to find a way to make Nvidia drivers work on Slack so I can increase the screen refresh rate so I don't have to deal with this eye-straining 60Hz flicker anymore.[/quote][code]su<password>xorgconfig[/code]This will lead you through a bunch of questions (most you will want to use the default for). Have your monitor specs ready, such as vertical and horizontal sync ranges. This info will be saved to your etc/X11/xorg.conf file. If you have a scroll mouse you will want to manually edit this file.[code]su<password>cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/xorg.conf_oldvi /etc/X11/xorg.conf[/code]Change your core pointer section to look like below. This is for a ps2 mouse with two buttons and a scroll wheel.[code]Identifier "mouse 1"Driver "mouse"Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"Option "Buttons" "5"Option "Resolution" "500"[/code]If you want 3D acceleration (shouldn't be necessary for your refresh rate but is needed for certain games) [url="http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?act=ST&f=14&t=503&st=233"]Bruno has the instructions for that.[/url] To test your nvidia driver setup, open a console and type. [code]glxgears[/code][quote]I also noticed that Slack must have a very similar philosophy to Debian... outdated software is stable. Slack is using the same ancient build of Firefox and T-bird that Debian Sarge uses. I sure hope I can upgrade to the new Moz products so my cross-OS Moz profiles can be used.[/quote]This is because you haven't updated to the newer software yet. :thumbsup: For this, thanks to Bruno, I have fallen in love with Swaret (Slackware Tool). [url="http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?act=ST&f=14&t=503&st=241"]His tutorial is here.[/url]I would suggest editing the file to "10.2". Though, if you want to be on the bleeding edge and a lot closer to Slackware 11 you can edit the file to "Current". This can really be a bear, though. A correctly done Swaret config will check the change logs for upgraded software, find the relevent packages, check thier md5 sums, download the packages and install them. Sure makes keeping your system up to date a breeze. All you need do is wait for the ever vigilant Bruno to announce new updates for Slackware 10.2 and do the Swaret thing.For non core applications that Patrick doesn't provide, like mplayer and a host of other proggies, [url="http://www.linuxpackages.net/packages.php"]LinuxPackages is the place to go.[/url][url="http://www.linuxpackages.net/search_view.php?by=name&name=firefox&ver=10.2"]Here is a much newer version of Mozilla Firefox, for instance.[/url] By using Swaret I am now at 1.5.0.5 and the linuxpackages version is only at 1.5.0.6. So, I'm not too far behind the times.[quote]1) phooey! ...an outdated kernel[/quote]Sometimes outdated means it just plain works. :thumbsdown: Have fun! ;) Edited by sloppyslacker
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Just a short note Eric, myself I installed the Nvidia drivers on Slackware using the 2.4 ( default ) kernel . . . . . . . BTW, Nothing wrong with the 2.4 kernel ;):thumbsdown: Bruno

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V.T. Eric Layton

Lots of good info. Thanks! I'll be bumping around in Slack later today. I see what I can do when I get in there. One thing about the 2.4 kernel... it doesn't see all my RAM... at least that's how it is in Debian with the 2.4 kernel.

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One thing about the 2.4 kernel... it doesn't see all my RAM... at least that's how it is in Debian with the 2.4 kernel.
This could be different in Slackware . . . it has a fully updated 2.4 kernel with additional functions. . . . So check your memory before you decide to upgrade.( I think even the upcoming Slakcware 11.0 will have a 2.4 kernel as default, Patrick ( the maintainer/creator of Slackware ) thinks it is more stable then the 2.6 ):thumbsdown: Bruno
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...Patrick ( the maintainer/creator of Slackware ) thinks it is more stable then the 2.6 ):thumbsdown: Bruno
And he probably knows more than I do about this stuff. :thumbsup: I could actually live with the 884M limit in Debian if it wasn't such a resource hog. Of all the Linux OS's that I've used this past month or so, I've never seen one use anywhere near the amount of resources that Deb does on my system. *shrugging*By the way, I have a cold start Ubuntu problem again. ;) It's not the same as before though. This one is definitely software-related. Ubuntu will get all the way to the desktop, then when I click on my panel to start an app, the system locks up completely... no escape but hard kill. The next bootup works fine. I also notice that when this happens, my sound doesn't work on the splash screen. I think I have a conflict here somewhere.
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I could actually live with the 884M limit in Debian if it wasn't such a resource hog. Of all the Linux OS's that I've used this past month or so, I've never seen one use anywhere near the amount of resources that Deb does on my system. *shrugging*
Like I said . . . just check the amount of RAM . . . if it only shows 884 then upgrade the kernel . . . if it shows the full amount there is no reason to do the work :thumbsdown:
By the way, I have a cold start Ubuntu problem again. ;) It's not the same as before though. This one is definitely software-related. Ubuntu will get all the way to the desktop, then when I click on my panel to start an app, the system locks up completely... no escape but hard kill. The next bootup works fine. I also notice that when this happens, my sound doesn't work on the splash screen. I think I have a conflict here somewhere.
Oh man . . . nooo ! :( . . . Anyway, first check if this happens with other distros too, that way you can be sure it is Ubuntu you have to debug.:thumbsup: Bruno
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Well, there's no problems with Windows, but I'll cold start into Debian (my only other fully customized and usable Linux OS) later this evening and see what happens.Look at the bright side... I'd much rather fight a software bug in one OS than a hardware problem that affects everything, like last time. :thumbsdown:

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Look at the bright side...
Well sure . . . . . you would not like to get bored with everything working smooth and nothing to tweak/debug would you ? :DB) Bruno
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Well sure . . . . . you would not like to get bored with everything working smooth and nothing to tweak/debug would you ? :D
:blink: :blink: :blink: Give the man a one-meter-piece of railroad track... he'll find a way to break it... :'( :P :hysterical: :P :'(
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Speaking of breaking stuff... I seem to have inadvertantly trashed my Debian. :hysterical: No biggie... I backed up /usr and /home. I'm downloading Etch as I type. I should have installed Etch in the first place, but was too lazy to d-load it. Now I have a better reason to do so. I'll install Etch over the old Sarge install and see how things go from there.Shoot, I haven't even gotten into SuSE yet. I'm such a busy little penguin. Plus, after three attempts to d-load an uncorrupted version of Mandriva One, I've given up on that distro completely. I still have some issues to resolve with Fedora Core and Slack too. So many distros, so little time...

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The Debian Etch install is not going well. I'm on my 5th d-load/burn/install. The 4th time everything went fine till the very end of the install and the system froze up. :(I did manage to get OpenSuSE 10.1 installed over the top of my SuSE 10. I like it. :o

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I'm pretty sure I have a good d-load/burn this time, so I'll give it another shot later this evening. Since this is a "net install" disk, it's possible that the corruption is occurring when the install disk downloads for data from the server. If at first you don't succeed...By the way, Ubuntu up and running on cold start this morning with no problems. :hysterical:

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By the way, Ubuntu up and running on cold start this morning with no problems. :w00t:
Sure it did ! . . That ONE time a few days ago was just for "old times sake" . . . Ubuntu was just trying to scare you . . . :hysterical: :devil: Bruno
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As long as it is only in Ubuntu and not in other distros I am not to worried . . . because at least it is not a hardware problem.:icon8: Bruno
It just locked up again as I was clicking here to reply to you. It took 3 resets to reboot it. Windows wouldn't boot either, so there goes the hope that it was isolated to Ubuntu.I'll tell you a story about something that happened on Monday night if you promise not to laugh (too much, anyway). I was on my third attempt to install Deb Etch when the install disk alerted me that part of the install was corrupted. At that point, I lost my temper just a wee little bit...I punched in the side of my tower case, then I yanked it off my desk and slammed it down on the floor, dragging the monitor, shelves, books, CDs, and everything along with it. I then kicked the tower a few times, and for the coup de grace, I then stomped on the offending thing numerous times.When I finished blowing my gasket, I went outside and had a smoke. Ahhhhhhhhh... it was a cathartic event. When I came back inside, the room looked like a terrorist's bomb had gone off. I stood there laughing and looking and the crushed and mangled tower thinking, "Well, I guess I'm gonna' need a new system now, huh?"I cleaned up the mess and put everything back the way it was, then I disassembled the tower to inspect the damage. Hmm... it didn't look too bad inside. I hadn't damaged the motherboard or anything else that I could see (have to use a sledgehammer next time, I guess). I had a spare system in a brand new case sitting in my hallway. It had an older AMD Atlon XP in it. I was going to use it as a file server. Instead, I took all the guts out of it and installed the mobo and everything else from the recently deceased system. At that point, it was too late to hook up all the peripherals and wiring, so I went to bed.On Tuesday morning, I set everything up and fired the system up. I really wasn't expecting it to work, but amazingly, it did. It booted right up to Ubuntu. It also booted OK into Windows. However, since that time, it has developed a lock up problem. I thought it was Ubuntu only, but when the Ubuntu locked up a few minutes ago, Windows wouldn't boot either. Evidently, I either already had a problem with the mobo or I created one by jumping up and down on it.Bottom line? I guess I'm going to be mobo/micro shopping here soon. Oh well, it's an opportunity to upgrade to an Athlon FX, I guess.Thats the story and I'm stickin' to it... :(
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It just locked up again as I was clicking here to reply to you. It took 3 resets to reboot it. Windows wouldn't boot either, so there goes the hope that it was isolated to Ubuntu.I'll tell you a story about something that happened on Monday night if you promise not to laugh (too much, anyway). I was on my third attempt to install Deb Etch when the install disk alerted me that part of the install was corrupted. At that point, I lost my temper just a wee little bit...I punched in the side of my tower case, then I yanked it off my desk and slammed it down on the floor, dragging the monitor, shelves, books, CDs, and everything along with it. I then kicked the tower a few times, and for the coup de grace, I then stomped on the offending thing numerous times.When I finished blowing my gasket, I went outside and had a smoke. Ahhhhhhhhh... it was a cathartic event. When I came back inside, the room looked like a terrorist's bomb had gone off. I stood there laughing and looking and the crushed and mangled tower thinking, "Well, I guess I'm gonna' need a new system now, huh?"I cleaned up the mess and put everything back the way it was, then I disassembled the tower to inspect the damage. Hmm... it didn't look too bad inside. I hadn't damaged the motherboard or anything else that I could see (have to use a sledgehammer next time, I guess). I had a spare system in a brand new case sitting in my hallway. It had an older AMD Atlon XP in it. I was going to use it as a file server. Instead, I took all the guts out of it and installed the mobo and everything else from the recently deceased system. At that point, it was too late to hook up all the peripherals and wiring, so I went to bed.On Tuesday morning, I set everything up and fired the system up. I really wasn't expecting it to work, but amazingly, it did. It booted right up to Ubuntu. It also booted OK into Windows. However, since that time, it has developed a lock up problem. I thought it was Ubuntu only, but when the Ubuntu locked up a few minutes ago, Windows wouldn't boot either. Evidently, I either already had a problem with the mobo or I created one by jumping up and down on it.Bottom line? I guess I'm going to be mobo/micro shopping here soon. Oh well, it's an opportunity to upgrade to an Athlon FX, I guess.Thats the story and I'm stickin' to it... :(
What chapter of the ****'s Angels do you belong to? :icon8: Ya biker. :hysterical:There have been times when I felt like killing my laptop. Edited by Frank Golden
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V.T. Eric Layton
What chapter of the ****'s Angels do you belong to? :D Ya biker. :(
Heh-heh... my nine millimeter was sitting right here next to me. Don't think that didn't cross my mind. If I had used the gun, my knuckles wouldn't be all busted up now. ;)I just don't have the patience I used to when I was younger. :(
There have been times when I felt like killing my laptop.
Sometimes you just have to go for it, man! :icon8:
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Well, Eric . . you sure are taking case-modding to a whole other level !I'd call that "Black Belt Case Modding" !:( BrunoPS: Some advice: if you go shopping for new hardware please consult the Linux hardware compatebillety sites and google/linux for the stuff to see if there are known issues.

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Will do... looking at an ASUS A8N-E w/ AMD Athlon64 3800+. There doesn't seem to be any compatibility problems from the list at The Linux Documentation Project site. I'll still be using most of my current devices... DVD, vid card, sound card, modem, printer, scanner. I think may use different hard drives though. We'll see...Thanks for the advice. :(

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It just locked up again as I was clicking here to reply to you. It took 3 resets to reboot it. Windows wouldn't boot either, so there goes the hope that it was isolated to Ubuntu.+++++++++++Woof! I'd bet a week's pay you have a hardware problem. I wonder if there's a common element in your builds -- like maybe a power supply? Those are often overlooked as a source of problems; just cuz you have a nominal 5v it doesn't mean there aren't spikes and dips (noise) that will drive a mobo crazy. Nowadays, general knowledge is that the ps should be at least 400watts -- especially if the box has an Athlon or one of the high-watt Pentiums. The only reasonable way to troubleshoot one is to replace it -- it'll either solve the problem, or else you'll have a good spare if it doesn't. Good luck -- p.s. -- I love my two amd64-3000 boxes, but will not as yet run any x86_64-bit distro on them -- but the 32-bitters work fine, very speedy, same for win2k. They're a great value, someday soon there will be software that natively uses all 64, not just reworked 32 software.

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Just a thought but I had a PC that had a hard drive with a bad sector that would boot up and work normally 5 times out of 6 and be fine for 1 or 2 days then crash like a train wreck. I replaced the power supply and was working my way through one part at a time before I came accross the problem. Hope it helps :(

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Eric,Considering what you did to your current system, I would recommend at the very least replacing your hard drive. A crash like that is likely to do damage to the platters, which would very likely result in all kinds of problems either down the road or almost immediately. ;)AdamPS- if you can affordit, I cannpt recommend PC Power & Cooling power supplies. They are rock solid reliable, and will most likely outlast your next computer and the one after it.

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Thanks for the input, guys. I'll be snooping around here and there to see what I can find in the next few weeks. If I change out the mobo/micro and the drives and still have the problem, then I'll know that it's something else... possibly the power supply. I'm due for an upgrade anyway. This Athlon XP 2600+ system is over 3 years old. I've had a lot of good service out of it. If I can determine for sure that there's no trouble with the old mobo/micro, maybe I'll make a server system out of it.About the power supply being the problem... yes, that's possible, but this is an Antec TruePower 430w and it's only about a year old. That's no guarantee that it's not the problem though.I wish I had the money to just build a complete dream system from scratch, but that's not the case, unfortunately. Right now, about all I can afford is $500 max. That's enough for a nice mobo/micro combo, but I'll have to use all my existing peripherals.Myeh... you can only do what you can do, I guess.I'm off to hunt a good deal... :)Adam... yes, indeed. I thought about that too. It's very possible that I damaged both the drives by bouncing them off the floor. Tantrums can be costly. :(

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Well, after snooping around under the cover tonight, I did find one boo-boo that may have been causing some problems... I had my Zip slaved to the wrong device on the wrong IDE. My BIOS had been having a hard time detecting things because of this. It's all fixed now. I don't know what effect that will have on Windows or Linux, though. I also ran diagnostics on my Maxtor and my Western Digital drive.... all's well, supposedly. However, that's no guarantee. I do think I have data corruption on the 80Gig Maxtor because my Windows is locking up right after loading. At least with the Ubuntu, it seems to be very intermittent. I'm kinda' hoping the improper install/jumper on the IDE devices may have been the culprit with Ubuntu. We'll see...Later...~EricBy the way, tomorrow I'm going to re-install Debian Sarge and see if I can get it to install properly. I'm sure not having any luck with Etch. :(

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V.T. Eric Layton

Well, the Linux Adventure continues... with a new system this time. :)I re-installed Fedora Core and OpenSuSe tonight. The Fedora has the same exact problem as the previous installation that I installed over... it boots up fine, but when the desktop comes up, no mouse. Any ideas, anyone?The SuSE install went well. I have some updates to do, but it's too late to do them tonight. Tomorrow, I'll update the SuSE and also try once again to install Debian Etch. Attempting to install Etch the last time is what caused (indirectly :) ) the demise of my old system. Hopefully, it won't be so ugly this time. :)I'm off to bed... g'night everyone!~Eric

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