Sunday, November 28, 2004

apt repository

One thing that did work for me was to recreate my local apt repository with Fedora Core 3 programs. The whole thing went without a hitch - having done this before sure helps a lot. I then use apt and synaptic to maintain and update my system. It all worked like a charm.


This past week I tried to set up my main Linux computer to be a router for my other Linux boxes and I have not been able to make it work. I have followed instructions that I found in books and on-line carefully but nothing seems to work. I have even tried using knoppix on two machines but still nothing works.

I have also tried to install User Mode Linus (a virtual computer setup). The software installs from an RPM, but when I try to boot up the virtual machine I get a lot of errors. I have a couple of magazine articles that may hold the answer, but for now this is one more thing that ain't working for me.

I have also tried to remaster a knoppix disk, but apparently I can't do it using an ext3 file system and all my hard drives use ext3 file systems.

Monday, November 22, 2004

mandrake network card issues

Once I had my other hp computer running knoppix, I decided to try my mandrake live cd to see if I could get the network card working. I booted the live cd and the network worked just fine so I reinstalled mandrake 10.0 and tried again. Once more after I had set up the network, I could not get the network to function properly. I tried changing all sort of settings and it turns out that the 'hotplug' option needs to be turned off. Now the network is fine so I think I will stick with the mandrake installation. All of this shows the utility of the live linux cd's.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

installing knoppix on hard drive

I decided to put Linux on my spare hp 6740c computer. I have WIndows 98 on it and decided to make this a dual boot machine. I have had problems with Windows, I think because the mother board was replaced. THe most critical problem is that Windows does not see the network card. I know that the card works because I have used knoppix to transfer files over the network.

I first installed Fedora Core 3. I had problems with the video - apparently Fedora does not work well with the Intel 810 graphic chip on this motherboard. I tried to gety it working, but it was too much effort so I decided to install mandrake 10 on it. THis installed fine and the graphic worked, but it was not able to use the nic.

After a bit of thought I decided to install knoppix on this machine since I knew that knoppix worked and it has all the applications that I want. After I booted up using knoppix I ran the script knoppix-install and followed the prompts for partioning the hard drive and setting up the user account. Everything went well and the system installed without a problem. Once it was installed, all I had to do was add an entry into lilo.conf for the windows 98 system and reinstall lilo on the mbr. I then rebooted and tested everything and everything worked including the nic and win98.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

fedora core 3 continued

I found that my zip drive is properly detected and mounted if I have a cartridge in the drive when I boot. I guess this makes sence since to Linux the zip drive is an ide hard drive. I also found that the floppy is properly detected, but the mount point is now /media/floppy.

Having used Core 3 for several days now, I think that the upgrade whent with virtually no problems and was worth while. My operating system and 959 packages (probably 800 applications) went very smoothly and took only 3 hours.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Fedora core 3

On Saturday I upgraded my system to Fedora Core 3. It took about 3 hours to load all the programs and it all went with virtually no problems. I have found that for my zip drive and floppy disks I need to do the mount at the command line. I am not sure why /etc/fstab does not work but I think it has something to do with the new udev device detection system and I need to do some research. This is probably one of the consequences of using Fedora instead of Mandrake or one of the other main line distros. Fedora is a bit experimental and cutting edge and as such is intended for the more experienced Linux user. Overall though, I prefer Fedora to the other distros that I have tried.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

talking computer

When I was at a local LUG meeting, the speaker mentioned that on many Linux systems there is a package named festival that translates text into speach. I checked my system and sure enough festival was on the cd, so I installed it and tried it.

It works pretty well given that its version number is lower than 1. It works both as an application and as a server. I guess it is possible to write a program that speakes its results instead of printing them.

I wonder what other fun stuff comes with Fedora that I don't know about.

Monday, November 08, 2004

usb flash drive

Yesterday I bought a sandisk 128 meg usb flash drive for $14 (on sale). I tried it on my wife's windows xp system and it worked just fine. Windows recognized the drive and set everything up without my having to do anythiong other than put the drive into the usb port.

I then tried it on my Linux system (Fedora Core 2) and again everything went well, but I did have to find out what device had been assigned to the flash drive and then issue a mount command. This is no big deal for someone used to Linux, but whould be a big issue for a casual user.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

knoppix book

I jsut got a copy of knoppix hacks (an o'reilly book) and iut is very, very good. It has chapters on using knoppix to repair Linux and WIndows systems. It also has chapters on how to run Knoppix: most of the 'cheat codes' and how to load it to a hard drive and run it from there. It also has a very detailed chapter on how to remaster konppix with your own applications.

This is a book worth getting.