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The World of Linux and WIndows

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My first observations.

by SWLChris In reply to The World of Linux and WI ...

First, let me introduce myself. My name is  Chris Holladay and I
am currently in NYC.Besides freezing to death in the latest big
snowstorm, I have been known to tinker with pc's for the past few years
as a hobby and now looking into actually getting paid for it.<br />
<br />
I will be making a few notes and observations with my experiences using what I call a quad boot pc.<br />
The platform being used for this is, amazingly enough, my own workstation here.<br />
It was a trash bin rescue  machine to be honest.<br />
What I am using is  a basic setup with the following parts that were found in the case.<br />
<br />
Intel CA810E mainboard<br />
256 meg SDRAM PC133 (2 128 meg off brand dimms)max ram is 512?<br />
Intel Pentium111 700 Mhz  FPGA370 Coppermine CPU. Max CPU  is a 1 GHZ P111 or a 900 Mhz Celeron.<br />
Seagate 20 GB HDD<br />
Maxtor 10 GB  HDD<br />
LG 52x32x52 CD R\W<br />
Creative 52X CDRom<br />
Nvidia GeForce MX200 32MB PCI video card<br />
Accton SMC2-1211TX PCI NIC<br />
Ensoniq ES1371 audio chip with AC97 codecs onboard audio. This is ID'ed
by Windows as a Creative SBPCI-128.It uses Creative  or Ensoniq
drivers for some weird reason.<br />
Samtron 77v 17 in CRT monitor, bought new in Louisville  before I moved here.<br />
LiteUp 02500 Optical  Wheel Mouse,a steal at 6 bucks down in Chinatown.<br />
Micro Innovations KB900  Multimedia keyboard<br />
<br />
All but the CD R\W , Maxtor HDD, and Nvidia card were already in the case when found.<br />
As to why it was being thrown out, my  finding was two things, for
sure one thing. I found a bad bios battery and reseated all ram modules
and checked  all ide cables and  power connections.So,for the
price of a battery, I got a pretty decent little setup to play with. I
actually found another pc as well for free  that is another story
in itself.<br />
<br />
The second pc on the network is a oldie but goodie.<br />
<br />
Dell Dimensions V333c<br />
Dell  AR440BX mainboard by Intel<br />
Slot One Celeron 333Mhz cpu<br />
192 meg SDRAM. Max is 384 Meg<br />
Adaptec 2940U SCSI PCI Controller<br />
Two 2.1 GB Seagate SCSI ST3217IN HDD<br />
Maxtor 3.4 GB  90340D2 HDD<br />
ATI 3D Rage Pro 8 meg AGP2x onboard  video<br />
Yamaha DS1 onboard audio<br />
LG CRD-8483B  32x cdrom<br />
LG CED-8083B 8x4x32 CD R\W<br />
3Com Xl\3C905B Cyclone NIC<br />
Beon Keyboard, best thing Beon ever made.<br />
Fellowes Wheel PS\2 mouse. Commonly found at any  place around town for 10 bucks.<br />
KDS ions VS-7i 17 inch monitor ( free as in found in  back with other pc)<br />
<br />
All but the Maxtor HDD , cdrom drives and 128 megs of the 192 megs of
memory were not in the case.I had a few spare parts laying around so
they got put to good use.<br />
That pc is running Dell OEM Windows 2000 SP4.<br />
<br />
On to actually  making the pc usable aka installing operating systems.<br />
<br />
The first thing I did I already screwed up without realising it. I had
originally used QParted in Slackware to create two partitions on the
Seagate. I had installed Win98se on the first partition, and Windows
2000 Professional SP4 and Windows XP Professional SP2 on the second
partition.<br />
<br />
On the Maxtor I  installed Slackware 10.2 Linux using both 2.4.31  and 2.6.13 kernels.No problems with that install.<br />
<br />
I found that it's wise to give Windows 2000 and XP Pro their own
separate partitons after updating both and updating programs ,things
began to go haywire at times with files not being found or various
other issues.<br />
So , I went back saved all my crap, and repartitioned that Seagate using PartitionMagic from  Windows 98.<br />
<br />
As it stands now this is the set up.<br />
Seagate 20 GB HDD has<br />
First partition=Win98SE<br />
Second partition Win2000<br />
Third partition= Windows XP Pro<br />
<br />
Maxtor 10 GB HDD  has<br />
Slackware 10.2<br />
2.4 kernel<br />
2.6 kernel<br />
<br />
Now I have all these os's to choose from, but first,how do I actually choose them?<br />
Enter the GAG, a Spanish  written bootloader. <br />
Installed on the mbr of the first partition, it allows to have any number of operating systems chosen to boot.<br />
Press key #1 I get Windows.<br />
Press key #2 I get Slackware. <br />
<br />
After I choose which of the two, I can then pick from 98se, 2k or Win
XP Pro, in the case of the Slackware I can pick between 2.4 or 2.6
kernels.<br />
There is a way to enable Windows Xp's bootloader load Linux, but GAG
was far easier to install and use from my point of view, as NT Loader
does tend to screw up sometimes.<br />
<br />
That's the setup I will be using and testing over the next few weeks.Next time I will share some of my background in computing.<br />
Feel free to ask or add any comments or questions.<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />

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My pc and os past till present.

by SWLChris In reply to The World of Linux and WI ...

<p>I began my  log with a brief description of what I was doing. Ok it wasn't so brief after all :)<br />Now for a little background on my computer usage.<br />I got my start using computers when I was given an old Epson 8088 back in the early 90's with a few dozen 5.25 inch floppy disks.<br />There wasn't a hard drive in the machine at all, everything ran off the floppy.I fooled around with that for awhile, then found a IBM 286 an office was throwing out, it had a tiny tiny drive and the case was so big, it had to  have weighed at least 30 pounds easily. I got started with DOS on that machine and a very simple setup.</p>
<p>My  next adventure was with a IBM 386 clone , I think it was a 25 mhz sx cpu, using Windows 3.11, my very first gui  I had laid eyes on.I goofed off with that learning all about how to use the programs, Program Manager was a hoot. Open it up and another windows flies open . It took awhile to get used to that.I found a Hayes 9600 baud modem and a AOL diskette, now that right there shows how long ago we are talking about.I managed to get connected somehow, and I was even able to look at a few webpages, however, when my friend Jerry would IM me, I'd get knocked offline.</p>
<p>I got tired of that after awhile, and one of Jerry's friends had a pc shop out in Taylorsville KY. SO I went out there and found a hand me down AST 486dx66. It had about 16 megs of ram, a 200 megabyte HDD. I later snagged another 16 meg ram  fpm memory simm, an 850 megabyte HDD, and a Panasonic 2x cdrom.I was given a Windows95 cdrom from a friend and I installed that and I thought I was lala-land. I got online easier with that , and I had a blast playing around with various programs.I got on IRC and had a lot of fun talking to others around the world about shortwave radios and such.</p>
<p>My next pc was a gift to me when the AST blew up it's onboard video and I had no way of  getting another video card to work on it.I almost peed myself when the box from Emachines came to the door, A brand new Emachines 366i2 fully loaded with lots of goodies and a brand new OS called Windows 98.I have to give Emachines credit, their pc is in this house right now being used on a daily basis. Not too bad at all for a pc made back in 1998.When I got it, it had a 4.3 GIGABYTE HDD, yaaaa, no more tiny hard drives....it also had 32 megs of ram,onboard ati rage pro 2x agp graphics,a winmodem, Cirrus Logic onboard sound,and a 48x cdrom.</p>
<p>I was on IRC one day  when a radio hobbyist friend of mine was mentioning Linux, I got interested, and sure enough ,he sent me an full copy of RedHat 7.2. after I had  mentioned I had bought a boxed set of RH 7.1 but wanted to learn  more.My first lesson using Linux was finding out about how  hardware really works. I had to take out the Winmodem and use an external modem to connect.Now I knew why pc's were so cheap, because they didn't use real hardware devices in some cases.</p>
<p>My first impression of Linux was totally mind-blowing.  I  got another hard drive just big  enough to hold it and put in the bootable cdrom and the install went flawlessly.I was to put it simply, mazed at the ease of use, and I no longer had a blue screen of death when something went oopsie as it did on Windows 98.</p>
<p>After awhile the girlfriend became tired of my constantly using the pc  and wanted to be able to use it at times, so one day while I was out, I found another pc.</p>
<p>This  was an older one made by DEC. Made in 1996,it had something I never played with before. The DEC 200i was a dual processor system with Pentium Pro 200 Mhz cpu's. It also had all scsi drives that I never  had before. So I had all sorts of goodies to learn with. Even better was the fact that the previous owner had installed RedHat 7.1 on it.<br />It ran with two 2.1 gb Seagate scsi drives,12x Teac scsi cdrom controlled by an  Adaptec 2940U controller. It had a 4 meg Elsa Winner2000 pci video card and 128 megs of ram.</p>
<p>I learned a **** of a lot on that system utilizing nothing but Linux on it as then I did not have any cdroms of Windows that would run on dual processors.I ran RedHat 7.1, RedHat 7.2,and all versions after that up till Fedora Core 1.I also tried Suse, Mandrake,Slackware,and a multitude of smaller  lesser known distro's as I could obtain each one.</p>
<p>That's all the pc's and things I have done up until now so far as operating systems. Next time I 'll start on what I am doing now as far using all four operating systems and the various things I have noticed.</p>

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My pc and os past till present.

by SWLChris In reply to The World of Linux and WI ...

<p>I began my  log with a brief description of what I was doing. Ok it wasn't so brief after all :)<br />Now for a little background on my computer usage.<br />I got my start using computers when I was given an old Epson 8088 back in the early 90's with a few dozen 5.25 inch floppy disks.<br />There wasn't a hard drive in the machine at all, everything ran off the floppy.I fooled around with that for awhile, then found a IBM 286 an office was throwing out, it had a tiny tiny drive and the case was so big, it had to  have weighed at least 30 pounds easily. I got started with DOS on that machine and a very simple setup.</p>
<p>My  next adventure was with a IBM 386 clone , I think it was a 25 mhz sx cpu, using Windows 3.11, my very first gui  I had laid eyes on.I goofed off with that learning all about how to use the programs, Program Manager was a hoot. Open it up and another windows flies open . It took awhile to get used to that.I found a Hayes 9600 baud modem and a AOL diskette, now that right there shows how long ago we are talking about.I managed to get connected somehow, and I was even able to look at a few webpages, however, when my friend Jerry would IM me, I'd get knocked offline.</p>
<p>I got tired of that after awhile, and one of Jerry's friends had a pc shop out in Taylorsville KY. SO I went out there and found a hand me down AST 486dx66. It had about 16 megs of ram, a 200 megabyte HDD. I later snagged another 16 meg ram  fpm memory simm, an 850 megabyte HDD, and a Panasonic 2x cdrom.I was given a Windows95 cdrom from a friend and I installed that and I thought I was lala-land. I got online easier with that , and I had a blast playing around with various programs.I got on IRC and had a lot of fun talking to others around the world about shortwave radios and such.</p>
<p>My next pc was a gift to me when the AST blew up it's onboard video and I had no way of  getting another video card to work on it.I almost peed myself when the box from Emachines came to the door, A brand new Emachines 366i2 fully loaded with lots of goodies and a brand new OS called Windows 98.I have to give Emachines credit, their pc is in this house right now being used on a daily basis. Not too bad at all for a pc made back in 1998.When I got it, it had a 4.3 GIGABYTE HDD, yaaaa, no more tiny hard drives....it also had 32 megs of ram,onboard ati rage pro 2x agp graphics,a winmodem, Cirrus Logic onboard sound,and a 48x cdrom.</p>
<p>I was on IRC one day  when a radio hobbyist friend of mine was mentioning Linux, I got interested, and sure enough ,he sent me an full copy of RedHat 7.2. after I had  mentioned I had bought a boxed set of RH 7.1 but wanted to learn  more.My first lesson using Linux was finding out about how  hardware really works. I had to take out the Winmodem and use an external modem to connect.Now I knew why pc's were so cheap, because they didn't use real hardware devices in some cases.</p>
<p>My first impression of Linux was totally mind-blowing.  I  got another hard drive just big  enough to hold it and put in the bootable cdrom and the install went flawlessly.I was to put it simply, mazed at the ease of use, and I no longer had a blue screen of death when something went oopsie as it did on Windows 98.</p>
<p>After awhile the girlfriend became tired of my constantly using the pc  and wanted to be able to use it at times, so one day while I was out, I found another pc.</p>
<p>This  was an older one made by DEC. Made in 1996,it had something I never played with before. The DEC 200i was a dual processor system with Pentium Pro 200 Mhz cpu's. It also had all scsi drives that I never  had before. So I had all sorts of goodies to learn with. Even better was the fact that the previous owner had installed RedHat 7.1 on it.<br />It ran with two 2.1 gb Seagate scsi drives,12x Teac scsi cdrom controlled by an  Adaptec 2940U controller. It had a 4 meg Elsa Winner2000 pci video card and 128 megs of ram.</p>
<p>I learned a **** of a lot on that system utilizing nothing but Linux on it as then I did not have any cdroms of Windows that would run on dual processors.I ran RedHat 7.1, RedHat 7.2,and all versions after that up till Fedora Core 1.I also tried Suse, Mandrake,Slackware,and a multitude of smaller  lesser known distro's as I could obtain each one.</p>
<p>That's all the pc's and things I have done up until now so far as operating systems. Next time I 'll start on what I am doing now as far using all four operating systems and the various things I have noticed.</p>

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Some interesting things

by SWLChris In reply to The World of Linux and WI ...

<p>Well,we now have everything installed. So far so good.<br />I even found a EXT2 to NTFS file reader so I can read the linux drives in XP.<br />On the Windows side of things , found an interesting situation on the hardware front.Turns out the onboard sound can use about 4 different drivers.Intel has one, Creative has one, Ensoniq has one and a generic driver as well from XP.I like the Creative driver the best as it allows for seperate bass and treble as well as expanded sound.Unfortunately it only works in XP and Windows2000,in Windows98 ,it won't work.</p>
<p>Funny thing is in Slackware, it won't do the bass and treble but has a different twist. It uses  center sound settings that are switchable.The Intel drivers are very basic as are the Ensoniq and XP, so it made sense to  use Creatives.Now for the Linux I looked high and low to find a driver module that would allow  bass and treble controls, however no luck yet.There was a suggestion of using the Intel audio codecs but  they  say no Intel sound  detected.This is too bad as  the Creative drivers  make the sound come alive using the bass and treble.</p>
<p>One other thing I noticed. The Intel agp graphics suck on Jetaudio playing mpeg video. It's limited to 4 meg of video ram. On the Dell which has 8 meg of agp video the difference is clear, so in went the Nvidia card that has 32 megs of  ram and the jerky  frames and skipped frames went bye bye.</p>
<p>Speaking of Jetaudio, I found it to be a very good replacement for Winamp and Windows Media player. Tons of features<br />that leave the rest in the dust.Hopefully they  keep  adding to the program.It does everything and more that you would want out of a multimedia  program. It offers  the ability to  have various sound settings and ambience settings that you  would have to pay for in Winamp.It comes close  to the abilities of Noatun  in Linux,albeit with some small differences.</p>
<p>Overall so far.. in audio, edge goes to Windows in this one particular instance with the Creative drivers, until ALSA can get seperate bass and treble for this chipset.</p>
<p>In video now, the Xorg has  the  Windows graphics  out cold. The Nvidia drivers for Linux are in a word. outstanding. Clean clear crisp video, no bleeding of colors or screen jerks.Watching a Garbage video on Xine is  almost like watching tv.</p>
<p>Given half a chance the Linux audio and video drivers usually outperform their Windows counterparts, if only only for the reason they have people who are truly interested in making the hardware  work in all aspects and not just writing code to satisfy the average Windows user who  probably doesn't know the difference.</p>

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interesting messages on Slackware boot log and into the distro we go....

by SWLChris In reply to The World of Linux and WI ...

<p>When using a quad-os  system here, one thing of interest has been the various log messages I see from time to time.<br />With the basic setup already described before,it should be noted that the Linux kernel was compiled with NTFS support in r\w mode in the 2.6 kernel. Several times when booting into Slackware  I have got a message stating that the vfat and or NTFS drives had damaged files.There would be a message during boot stating the system  should be restarted in the NTFS mode and filecheck performed.<br />It shows up in the system.logs</p>
<p>Feb 24 12:40:00 localhost kernel: NTFS-fs error (device hda2): load_system_files(): Volume is dirty.  Mounting read-only.  Run chkdsk and mount in Windows.<br />Feb 24 12:40:00 localhost kernel: NTFS-fs error (device hda5): load_system_files(): Volume is dirty.  Mounting read-only.  Run chkdsk and mount in Windows.</p>
<p>I find this interesting because this was right after rebooting and a normal shutdown.</p>
<p>There is always one message that pops up.<br />This one here.<br />Feb 24 19:24:01 localhost modprobe: FATAL: Error inserting i8xx_tco (/lib/modules/2.6.13/kernel/drivers/char/watchdog/i8xx_tco.ko): No such device <br />Feb 24 19:24:05 localhost last message repeated 8 times</p>
<p>I am guessing that this is related to the onboard video which I did not want enabled.</p>
<p><br /> I come across several messages that are confusing somewhat as I'm not sure exactly what it's trying to do.<br />This is the first one.<br />Feb 20 17:57:09 localhost kernel: NFS Using /var/lib/nfs/v4recovery as the NFSv4 state recovery directory<br />Feb 20 17:57:09 localhost kernel: NFS recovery directory /var/lib/nfs/v4recovery doesn't exist<br />Feb 20 17:57:09 localhost kernel: NFS starting 90-second grace period</p>
<p>I am guessing that this is due to a missing module somewhere?</p>
<p>Then I get this in the log.</p>
<p>Feb 25 08:41:46 localhost kernel: nvidia: module license 'NVIDIA' taints kernel.<br />and two entries later<br />Feb 25 08:41:46 localhost kernel: NVRM: loading NVIDIA Linux x86 NVIDIA Kernel Module  1.0-8178  Wed Dec 14 16:22:51 PST 2005<br />Nvidia's Linux driver was to compile a module and insert it from what I understood.I'm not sure why it would taint.</p>
<p>So, with those messages in mind, I go ahead boot up, inittab is set at 4 in Slackware,so when X starts up it sends me  to the GDM login.<br />When Slackware is installed, there is no longer a Gnome install available.Slackware offers KDE, XFCE, Fluxbox ,TWM and a couple of tiny x windows managers.To get Gnome, it has been suggested to lynx into Dropline Gnomes site or  FreeRock Gnome's site.<br />I went with FreeRock.Install was easy,just point lynx to the  right directory and sit back and it did all the rest.<br />One word of caution though. Installing a non "GNOME" Gnome does create some menu issues and can and will mess up KDE's menu if not  looked at.I ran SMEG once and  it almost totally destroyed my KDE menu.Some other distributions have seemed to have integrated the Gnome and KDE menus quite seamlessly.<br />This is an issue I have to look into with FRG and KDE.</p>
<p>I  downloaded the generic KDE packages for the 3.5 version , they installed quite easily and it is a work of art. I think they  fixed a lot of issues concerning time of response and usage of memory . It seems to be faster than the KDE of old.<br />FRG on the other hand seems to hang at times. I haven't been able to  run this down to either their own libraries or the overall  program when installed into Slackware.</p>
<p>XFCE is extremely fast, however I haven't worked in it long ewnough to really know it well. Fluxbox is a blast as it always has been.</p>
<p>Enlightenment is, well hard to describe. I tried it once before and it worked fairly well then, the newer DR17 has a **** of a lot of bugs that just won't  quit. My feeling is I am going to be ditching the DR17 and try an older version.<br />My next goal is to get either kahaki or waimea working on the Slackware, I had it in RedHat and in FC1 as well as Mandrake 9.1 and those were works of art for a minimal window manager.</p>
<p>Slackware at a glance is still a preeminent distro. Very easy  on install,the ncurses type of install is easily  navigable and later on the pkgtool works flawlessly on adding to the distro.The speed of the distro can be  very fast just on a basic install with no tweaking. When compiled for the exact type of machine and no added modules or files, I get a speeding ticket  running it.</p>
<p>more will be discussed later on this as well as other items of interest in this testbed.</p>

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interesting messages on Slackware boot log and into the distro we go....

by Nico Baggus In reply to interesting messages on S ...

i8xx_tco is a module that implements a watchdog. (ie if you dont reset the clock in time
by some means, the system will be reboot by hardware reset from the watchdog timer.)
Your motherboard chipset probably doesn't have this option on board but is of the i8xx family of intel support chips.
---

I don't use NFS my self, sometimes you need to configure stuff I think a directory in .cfg files is mentioned that doesn't exit....
try to find if the next directory does exist and is accessible by the nfs driver: /var/lib/nfs/v4recovery
---

Kernel tainting is a way of the kernel developers to tell the user that a module has been loaded that is not under kernel control. (I.E. the nvidea driver is proprietary software by nvidea, not maintained by the community.

If you ever have problems with the kernel, the kernel developers will probably only act when an untainted kernel can reproduce the problem because they have no idea, and also are unable to get a clue, on what the "Tainting" module does.

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