[conspire] quiet , and mepis 6.5

Edmund J. Biow biow at sbcglobal.net
Wed Apr 11 01:29:02 PDT 2007

> I get good results buying from Fry's BUT need to use
> extreme caution, difficult when jumping on a one day
> offer.
>> Quoting Edmund J. Biow (biow at sbcglobal.net):...
>> such CPU.  However, I'd certainly never buy a CPU at
>> Fry's, anyway.  Or
>> RAM or a hard drive, either.
Seems like I just read about Rick diagnosing some memory errors from a 
VA Linux system.  I can't say I've had worse luck with Fry's ECS combos 
and whatever PNY/Corsair/Micron/Kingston/ OCZ on-sale with a MIR 
lifetime-warranty memory than I had when I bought Asus & Epox mobos and 
whatever RAM that South Asian guy used to sell at the Robert Austin 
computer shows.  Actually, come to think of it, I've had fewer problems, 
maybe because technology marches on...

I can build a system for ~9% less every year, even in inflated dollars.  
My first i386/33 cost about $1600 plus tax with a 14" monitor, a 80 MB 
HD and 4 MB of RAM (and a pirated version of DOS, no documentation) in 

Now I can build a nice rig for about a quarter of that:

Retail X2 3800+ CPU & ECS GeForce6100SM-M motherboard (onboard GF6100): $90
512 MB Kingston PC5300 DDR2 RAM: $34 after shipping
Maxtor 160 GB Serial ATA/300 hard drive: $40
Samsung 18X DVD-RW: $30
Nice Fortron power supply, about $30 at Newegg. 
Cheapo case, $27, shipped:
19" Hanns-G 19" LCD monitor, $148 after shipping & MIR:
Total: $400

Obviously I could shave a few bucks off of that, but that seems like a 
pretty nice rig.

Sure, systems these days are not built as solidly as the old IBM XTs 
that cost $5k and would work for 30 years.  But manufacturers realized 
that people don't keep computers for more than about 10 years anyway. 

Well, that is not entirely true, I upgraded someone off of an old 4.77 
MHz Intel 8086 recently.  I couldn't migrate her documents off of it 
because none of  her new-in-the-box 5.25" floppy diskettes would work 
with either of her two floppy drives, there were errors on all of them.  
Those were the days, when floppies really were floppy.  She told me that 
she used Word Perfect, so I tried to migrate her to Open Office, but 
she'd never used a mouse before and found it too confusing, so she ended 
up with a simple text processor instead.

> I've pulled down SimplyMEPIS ISOs for both architectures -- and also
> fetched the Debian 4.0r0 "Etch" images for i386, x86_64, and PPC (now
> that Etch has become boring).  Will have those plus DSL 3.3 at this
> Saturday's CABAL.
> Seem like Warren Woodford didn't want to work very hard:  6.5 still has
> kernel 2.6.15, KDE 3.5.3, and so on.  Not even worth the download in my
> opinion, if you already have 6.0.  I mean, what's the point?  It's
> basically just Dapper Drake.
Not entirely true.  I played with it a bit and it has Beryl 0.2 nicely 
integrated and the proprietary drivers for ATI and Nvidia.   It worked 
very nicely on my Radeon 7000 video card as well as my GeFarce2 MX, both 
with 32 MB of RAM.  Frankly, I don't think KDE 3.5.6 is much of a 
quantum leap over 3.5.3.  A newer kernel would have been nice if you are 
in to virtualization or have newer hardware, but for most people I don't 
think it is that big a deal. 
> Essentially, 3.1 "sarge" has been put out to pasture, 4.0 "etch" has
> taken its place as the stable track, new branch "lenny" inherits the
> testing track symlink from "etch", and bleeding edge branch "sid" as
> always keeps the unstable track symlink.
Actually, Sarge looks like it will be maintained for a while as 

I'll still probably move my server to Etch because of udev and better 
power management, but I'm hoping I can get the kernel to upgrade 
automagically when I do a 'apt-get dist-upgrade':

               4.6.1 Installing the kernel metapackage

        When you dist-upgrade from sarge to etch, it is strongly 
recommended that you install a new linux-image-2.6-* metapackage. This 
package may be installed automatically by the dist-upgrade process. You 
can verify this by running:

             # dpkg -l "linux-image*" | grep ^ii

The hotplug to udev transformation looks a little problematic. 

BTW, what do folks recommend for moving an install to a larger hard drive? 

My server drive is getting very cramped.  I tried 'dd if-/dev/hda 
of=/dev/hdb', but that isn't working for me very well.  It created 4 
partitions identical to the original partitions and left me with a big 
chunk of unpartitioned space at the end of the drive.  Unfortunately, 
since I foolishly initially partitioned this drive with four primary 
partitions I can't create another partition to use the space, so there 
isn't much point. 

I guess I can start over with an old copy of Ghost that I have lying 
around, since that will enable me to expand the sizes of my four primary 
partitions, but there must be an open source tool.  Plus, with my 
version of Ghost I'd have to boot to a live CD or something and chroot 
to my install and reinstall GRUB, I believe. 

In the alternative, I guess I could partition the drive the way I want, 
then DD the data over one partition at a time using a live CD.  Again, I 
guess then I'd have to chroot and reinstall GRUB, no?  Or maybe not, 
since the first sector with the MBR is already transferred over by my 
attempt to clone the drive.  I'd just leave hda1 alone, since it is just 
a scratch directory where I had my prior installation to Sarge 
(Slackware), and I now just use for storage.

On the plus side, I can play around with upgrading to Etch on this new 
drive without worrying about my install. Maybe I should just start over 
from scratch with a fresh Etch install, then transfer over my home 
partition, data and settings.  It shouldn't be too hard getting FTP, 
HTTP and Samba working again from scratch, and this time I could do the 
partitioning more rationally.

> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 19:50:54 -0700
> From: "David E. Fox" <dfox at m206-157.dsl.tsoft.com>
> Subject: Re: [conspire] quiet , and mepis 6.5
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Message-ID: <20070409195054.78e27659.dfox at m206-157.dsl.tsoft.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>> Seem like Warren Woodford didn't want to work very hard:  6.5 still has
>> kernel 2.6.15, KDE 3.5.3, and so on.  Not even worth the download in my
> I wasn't even aware there was an AMD64 mepis. Of course, that's not too
> difficult to believe, since I don't have an AMD 64 machine and only
> used mepis a short while to migrate to Debian.
Actually, according to Ladislav Bodner over at Distrowatch.com MEPIS 
sounds like one of the easiest to use 64 bit distros.  From this weeks 
Distrowatch Weekly:

> Version 6.5, while based on the older Ubuntu 6.06, comes with a number 
> of updated packages, support for the latest device drivers and brand 
> new artwork. It is also the first SimplyMEPIS release with support for 
> 64-bit processors, and given the traditional user-friendliness and 
> attention to detail by the project's developers, SimplyMEPIS-64 is 
> probably one of the easiest 64-bit distributions available today - 
> complete with support for 32-bit media codecs and other binary-only 
> software. If you are using a computer with one of the high-performance 
> AMD64 processors, but have been reluctant to install a 64-bit Linux 
> distribution on it for the fear of compatibility problems with 32-bit 
> software, then give SimplyMEPIS-64 a try. You might be pleasantly 
> surprised!


More information about the conspire mailing list