General discussion

Locked

The Very Last Chip!

By lastchip ·
Tags: Off Topic
blog root

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

11 total posts (Page 1 of 2)   01 | 02   Next
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by lastchip In reply to The Very Last Chip!

I've been playing around with Linux now for a while, but can't be
considered competent (as will become clear), but I have met with success
in installing and using Xandros, which I like a great deal.<br />
<br />
I've also tried Redhat, SuSE, Mandrake (as was), Ubuntu and Knoppix, so
have started to find out a little about Linux in general.<br />
<br />
Anyway, due to reading TR, and seeing the enthusiasm for Debian, I thought, this is my next port of call.<br />
<br />
Having downloaded the first four iso's and every one being corrupt,
wasn't a good start, however, on advice (indirectly) from apotheon -
one of Debian's champions, I downloaded the "Network Install" iso and
this checked out OK.<br />
<br />
Onward then to the installation. Set the Computer to boot from the CD
and off it went. That was good news, as anything else would have been a
show stopper! I conscientiously read all the help pages at the beginning
and took the plunge. You know what it's like, when you really don't
know exactly what you're doing, sort of a nervous excitement, but
fortunately, the bathrooms only two doors away, so I thought if things
went really bad, at least I could make it that far.<br />
<br />
Anyway, keeping in mind this is being loaded on an old machine (K6-400)
it went like stink and was soon telling me to remove the CD from the
drive. This can't be true; thought I. But yes, all the required files
had been installed in a time that would have you at the pre-loading
stage for XP! After some black magic had happened, I got a screen
asking me what I wanted to install, Well, being the conservative
individual I am, I opted for the desktop installation, thinking that
once I learnt a little about the system, that was the time to screw it
up by being clever.<br />
<br />
Ah! Here lays the rub - there's always one somewhere.<br />
<br />
You get a screen with a number of options, all keyboard selected (no
mouse and no instructions on the screen). There is the afore mentioned
desktop, mail server, Firewall and several others. Now logic told me, I
must select something, but all I could find was to move the cursor up
and down the options, so I thought, well this system is so slick, I
guess you leave the cursor at the option you want and it sorts itself
out. Sure enough, I hit return and away it went, downloading all the
files via the Internet for my new Debian system. Boy, was I proud!<br />
<br />
Once the download had been completed, all sorts of strange writing
filled the screen and sure enough, this system was one **** of a beast.
I couldn't believe how fast and slick everything was happening. You're
then lead into a number of screens to set location time and so on and
finally, the big one; the system starts - to a command prompt!<br />
<br />
Just as well the bathrooms only two doors away, but undeterred, I new
enough about Linux that if I typed "startx" at the command prompt, all
would be well. But NO! Error messages started appearing, something
about it couldn't find the xserver. Well never mind, I've got a command
prompt and a working (other) machine. Being a good techie, I would do
some research and find out what the problem was.<br />
<br />
I managed to find a command that installed the xserver complete and
sure enough, true to form everything started downloading and
installing, but to no avail; still stuck at a command prompt at the end
of it all. Completely frustrated by now, I decided to leave it alone
until I had some more time to devote to the beast.<br />
<br />
This weekend, refreshed from a nightmare week, I thought now is as good
time as any to completely loose it. So back into the system to explore
what to do next. I knew you could get back to the options by using
base-config, so decided, that's where I would channel my efforts. <br />
<br />
The first thing I noticed, was I had a mail server (that I didn't want)
and that it had a little asterisk next to it. There's a clue thought I,
but what does it mean? After staring into oblivion for a while,
somewhere in the back of my mind said "spacebar" and sure enough, using
the spacebar, selected or deselected the option wanted. Previous
research had suggested using the + key, but much as I tried, nothing
happened - spacebar IS the key; <strong>YES! </strong>I loaded the desktop, got rid of the mail server and kept everything crossed.<br />
<br />
To complete the tale, I now have a GUI working Debian system, that is
soooooo fast compared with any other I've used. Like Xandros, it self
configured my Internet connection, and Windows network with no input
from me - impressive!!<br />
<br />
<strong>BUT,</strong> all my grief was due two
two things; primarily, my lack of knowledge, but I believe also, due to
poor programming, in as much as it would have been the most simple
thing in the world, to place on the configuration screen; "Use spacebar
for package selection". How difficult is that? And it seems to me, that
is where Linux falls down time and time again. If the Linux populace
wants Linux to spread (and believe me, I'm really in favour of that),
those sort of simple instructions have to be included, otherwise,
people will just walk away.<br />
<br />
The bottom line is, most of us that have been brought up with Windows
of one flavour or another, are novices when it comes to Linux, and the
most simple thing can (and will) totally throw a spanner in the works.<br />
<br />
Please spare a thought guys!<br />
<br />
<br />
Further to the above, if anyone reads this, I'm getting an error on shutdown as follows:<br />
<br />
Code Bad EIP value<br />
<br />
/etc/rc0.d/S90halt: line 48: 1530 Segmentation fault  halt -d -f -i   $power off   $hddown<br />
<br />
This is not new, I got it in Redhat and Mandrake as well. It appears
not to affect the system as such, but prevents a power off shutdown.
Research at the time proved fruitless. If anyone knows the answer, I
would be grateful. Thanks.<br />
<br />

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by Jaqui In reply to The Devil that is Debian!

Most Linux programmers remember the days of dos.. when spacebar to toggle was a standard function that everyone knew.<br />
that would be why they forget to include it. the style of selection by hitting the spacebar is a MICROSOFT thing. :)<br />
use right arrow to open categories space to select enter to execute.  goes back to the earliest days of computing.<br />

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by lastchip In reply to The Devil that is Debian!

Wow - DOS! Perhaps that's where I remembered it from, all those years
ago. But I have to admit to have totally forgotten it came from DOS.<br />
<br />
Thanks for the input Jaqui.<br />

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by jimbrink In reply to The Devil that is Debian!

<strong>Take a look here.....   http://kanotix.com/index.php?&newlang=eng</strong><br />
<strong>I ordered the CD to make a contribution.  Jim</strong><br />

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by badiane_ka In reply to The Devil that is Debian!

<font class="qdesc">"The bottom line is, most of us that have been
brought up with Windows
of one flavour or another, are novices when it comes to Linux"; well
it's more like windows dumbs you down.  I will also agree with you
that the documentation problem is one of the biggest problems of the
commuinty.  <br />
The other day a friend of mine was upset because when she clicked on an
email link the system gave her an error and her the "place" where she
used to write her email doesn't come up and also this dialog poped up
asking her if she wanted to connect while she was already connected
(Microsoft! one really wonders). Hmmmm?!?  She had MSN with dial
up and has recently ordered broadband from her cable company.  I
asked her to explain to me how she thought it all worked.  She
couldn't but still felt it was her right, in the unfathomable depth of
her ignorance, to get angry at the computer and not at herself; I had
to teach her about the differences between the MUA, MDA and MTA. 
Now she uses her brains a bit more when there is a problem.  That
is a major part of the problem and I think that when Linux programmers
start bending over to make a bunch of mentally lazy (rendered so more
often than not by using a lazy OS) feel good about their ignorance is a
bad thing.  I agree with you that it shouldn't require much to
have a line say press space bar.  <br />
I have been a Debian user for a very long time and I can tell you what
I don't like about the installer, it's the fact that I can no longer
access /proc/pci to know which hardware is installed when doing a
complicated install.  After that I have found that the greatest
hurdle for people trying Debian is understanding certain concepts in
computing.  I can't use the best GUIed accounting program properly
if don't have any notion of accounting (excluding help files and
such).  I can figure things out but that doesn't mean that I know
why I'm doing it.  If you want to use a Debian desktop use
(K)Ubuntu, Mepis or both; you may also try Damn Small Linux (put it on
your USB key).  If you are not interested in being able to have
control on your environment and are willing to make some effort in
learning how it works (there is a new book about Debian and I hear it's
not too bad) then try it again.  Besides being more informative
while installing, I think that the installer is ok.  It falls
short of what could be done; for example they could have used one of
the livecd's and booted into a minimal tightvncserver with a very, very
light GUI and from there you would have access to the web to
troubleshoot whatever problem you might have encountered while having
access to the partitioning programs and other tools needed for the
process to go on smoothly.  By the way, netinst is the way to go
when installing Debian.  If you have a business and want some
servers without being a slave to them and don't want a GUI (RH, SuSE,
etc) to bog down the CPU then go with Debian, (Gentoo,
{free,net,open}BSD, Debian/kfreebsd, DragonflyBSD); if you want some
specialized commercial application from a company that concocted a deal
with a distro company then use what they "recommend".<br />
I haven't downloaded a full CD in ages.  My T40 was installed more
than 2 years ago.  If you want the full CD's look into jigdo; it
allows you to download the images once and keep them updated with only
the changes so you will always have the full cd's.  SuSE was what
I used most often and I purchased the CD's as they came out but in the
end I realized that when I got to another system I didn't quite
understand what was going on underneath because most configs where
handled via yast(2) and their configuration was non standard so I
decided if I wanted to learn I could use Slackware or Debian.  I
choose Debian because of the package management.  <br />
I've never had your shuting down problem but I would suggest checking
if you have the acpid daemon installed.  Run dpkg -l | grep -i
acpi.  If it's installed and started then that might not be the
problem.  It might also have to do with modules concerning
acpi.  These are my assumptions.<br />
Enjoy<br />
</font>

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by Mil-spec-guy In reply to The Devil that is Debian!

Hi Lastchip:  Your problem is that the BIOS PNP option on your
motherboard is probably turned ON, and BiosPNP for that 2.4 kernel is
broken for some of the older style boards (KT266A and perhaps others) ,
or perhaps it is the BIOS being broken rather than the kernel. 
NOT sure but if you Google for 'Bad EIP value' you will get a lot of
information on the problem in a lot of different places. Always
remember that Google is your friend when it comes to finding odd bits
of information about Linux and other OS'es.  Flash up a web
browser and check it out.  I ran across a whole whack of messages
about it in the first page.  Try turning off your PNP option in
the BIOS, or you can interrrupt LILO if you are using it by hitting ESC
and typing 'linux nobiospnp' at the command prompt, then modify all
'append=' statements to add the options in LILO then run sbin/lilo as
root to correct the problem.  This should allow you to boot and
shutdown properly with that board.  HTH and cheers! <br />
<br />
Kevin Fleming (Registered Linux User #197985) <br />

Collapse -

The Devil that is Debian!

by lastchip In reply to The Devil that is Debian!

Thanks for the replies everyone.<br /><br />The latest is, PnP was turned on in the BIOS, but turning it off sadly made no difference.<br /><br />I did use the Synaptic Package Manager to update the kernel (in Debian) and I am now at a point where the system closes down normally, to where it says on the screen "Power Down". This is not a major problem, as it's hardly a chore pushing a button! Maybe in the future, I'll learn how to get the machine to power down automatically.<br /><br />Look for the next part in this epic soon, as I investigate Samba!

Collapse -

The future of IT as we know it.

by lastchip In reply to The Very Last Chip!

Reading through various articles, blogs and so on, it struck me that there is a common theme that runs through all these source materials.<br /><br />Microsoft WGA, is almost universally hated and the but of ferocious criticism. DRM will probably go the same way. Microsoft (whether justified or not) is seen as the big bad wolf.  Vista is far from consumer ready and has lost much of it's touted innovation along the way.  The security aspect of Vista has been criticised both by researchers and Symantec, but one has to recognise the later will become a competitor rather than partner. The fact remains, as at this time, it is not secure. Microsoft also seems to recognise the cash cow it has enjoyed for a couple of decades may be coming to an end. Is this why on-line offerings seem to be coming more prominent?<br /><br />On the plus side for Microsoft, Windows (generally) is seen as being a simple system to use and one that much of the Worlds population is familiar with. It's multi-media ease of use is ahead of Linux, in particular, something as simple as playing a DVD seems to be alien to Linux distro's, probably due to problems surrounding licence issues. Games simply load in Windows and play, which is all most users want to know. They are not interested in having to <em>get them working.<br /><br /></em>MAC's I admit to knowing little about, but do undoubtedly have a strong following which is growing. They are prominent here in the UK in publishing houses and heavy users of professional graphics. I understand a MAC's ability to play multi-media is on a par with Windows. The ability to dual boot Windows <em>may</em> grow it's customer base, but here in the UK at least, you have to pay a premium for a MAC. This will put off many potential price conscious users.<br /><br />Linux is becoming a greater force as each day progresses. For example, I'm currently using the 64 bit edition of SuSE 10.1, which was simplicity itself to install and use <em>out of the box</em>. As previously mentioned though, it does fall down on multi-media. To be acceptable to home users,  a simple task like playing a DVD should be automatic, and the Linux folk have to find away around whatever the blockage is. Intel has just announced it will offer open source drivers for 3D graphics. This may open the door for a better multi-media experience, for those using Intel integrated graphics, but I doubt will do much for hard core gamers. Further, where does that leave the AMD/ATI tie-up?  Linux does suffer however, from a huge lack of marketing. Most home users don't know what Linux is!<br /><br />Yet I read that Linux may be offered by Lenovo on some of their machines. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1999092,00.asp What struck me about that article was <strong>"<em>and to our business partners who want to use Linux".</em></strong><br /><br />So is the implication some businesses are ready to make the change? If they do, users will then become familiar with whichever Linux distro they use at work and then the perception <em>must </em>change. Further, universities here in the UK where Computer Science departments have been encouraging the use of Linux, will be releasing graduates that understand what Linux has to offer and in the not too distant future, will become the decision makers of some of those large companies.<br /><br />IT has changed beyond all recognition in the past ten years. Where is it likely to be in the next ten?

Collapse -

The future of IT as we know it.

by Jack-M In reply to The future of IT as we kn ...

<p>While we're asking questions, let me state some facts, too. If you give me a command prompt in DOS, I am god on an unrestricted Windows system. How many lines of Word BASIC do you have to write to do this? Approximately one. I figured it out by looking through the help in Word. Normally you wouldn't have to do this much, but some systems try to restrict access by not letting users choose which programs to run. However, most of the programs they do run (EXPLORER.EXE, NETSCAPE.EXE) have enough security holes or friendly features that it just slows people down. Rarely is the find hot-key disabled in Windows, so search for your favorite program to run! If you have Preferences in NETSCAPE, change your telnet proxy to the command interpreter. This is a weird approach to security in the first place, security through denying useful features from the user. In UNIX, we just make sure you can't delete anything important, or change configuration files, that sort of thing. But regular old Windows has a pretty limited idea of file permissions and ownership, seeing as how it's inherited them from DOS. For a humorous example of the sort of limitations it works under, look at the filename for this web page. I didn't have to call it that, but it's symbolic.
<p>One touted feature of Windows 2000 (currently delayed to October 6th, but they admit that it will probably be delayed further. This was scheduled for years earlier, back when it was NT 5.0...) is that it will do better versioning of DLL's, so that they don't share filenames. Hmm, sounds like libraries in UNIX. I'd love to sue Microsoft for using this concept or infringing on, say, AT&T patents, but the idea is so old that if anyone ever had a patent on it, it would have expired by now. This raises the question, "If this is a well-known idea in OS design, why didn't you do it in the first place?" but we save the really tough questions for people who know how to program and design operating systems.</p>
<p>While  we're asking questions, let me state some facts, too. If you give me a command prompt in DOS, I am god on an unrestricted Windows system. How many lines of Word BASIC do you have to write to do this? Approximately one. I figured it out by looking through the help in Word. Normally you wouldn't have to do this much, but some systems try to restrict access by not letting users choose which programs to run. However, most of the programs they do run (EXPLORER.EXE, NETSCAPE.EXE) have enough security holes or friendly features that it just slows people down. Rarely is the find hot-key disabled in Windows, so search for your favorite program to run! If you have Preferences in NETSCAPE, change your telnet proxy to the command interpreter. This is a weird approach to security in the first place, security through denying useful features from the user. In UNIX, we just make sure you can't delete anything important, or change configuration files, that sort of thing. But regular old Windows has a pretty limited idea of file permissions and ownership, seeing as how it's inherited them from DOS. For a humorous example of the sort of limitations it works under, look at the filename for this web page. I didn't have to call it that, but it's symbolic. </p>
<p>One touted feature of Windows 2000 (currently delayed to October 6th, but they admit that it will probably be delayed further. This was scheduled for years earlier, back when it was NT 5.0...) is that it will do better versioning of DLL's, so that they don't share filenames. Hmm, sounds like libraries in UNIX. I'd love to sue Microsoft for using this concept or infringing on, say, AT&T patents, but the idea is so old that if anyone ever had a patent on it, it would have expired by now. This raises the question, "If this is a well-known idea in OS design, why didn't you do it in the first place?" but we save the really tough questions for people who know how to program and design operating systems.</p>

Collapse -

The future of IT as we know it.

by roaming In reply to The future of IT as we kn ...

<p>Which version of Windows plays DVDs out of the box? None that I know of. They all require you to get third party software to play DVDs.</p>

Back to After Hours Forum
11 total posts (Page 1 of 2)   01 | 02   Next

Related Forums