[conspire] (forw) Linux Certified laptop
rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Mar 25 19:13:50 PDT 2011
----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 19:12:02 -0700
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
To: Linda R <lindamarcella at yahoo.com>
Subject: Linux Certified laptop
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.
Quoting Linda R (lindamarcella at yahoo.com):
> Rick, I sent this to installers at linuxmafia.com.
Hi, sorry about not having responded to the _substantive_ message
earlier, but it was so far down below the Delivery Status Notification
text that I didn't see it the first time.
> I have an old Linux Certified laptop that is running Debian Lenny
Well, heavens knows, we do know 5.0/Lenny around here. It's only just
barely out of date, though you should consider letting it upgrade to the
current Debian 'stable' branch, 6.0/Squeeze.
> It has a wired connector through which I connect to the
> Internet via a wired router.
By that, I assume you mean the Debian laptop's ethernet port is
network-connected to some standalone router + Wifi device that both your
laptop and the WiFi-enabled Win98 box use to reach your Internet
> Would an Install Fest help me with setting up wireless for this Linux
Sounds potentially do-able. Unfortunately, whether this is easy or
difficult depends on what wireless device (and what chip it's based on)
that you hope to use on Linux -- and you didn't bother to mention what
sort of device that would be. You say the computer has 'a slot' (PC
Card? miniPCI? You don't say) for wireless. You say you have a
wireless card of some sort that you use on Win98 but are reluctant to
move back and forth. You _could_ be talking about that card, or you
might be talking about some specific other card, or you could be talking
generically about cards you could conceivably acquire. It's impossible
to determine from your mail what the card would be -- so it's difficult
to say whether the task of Linux compatibility would be easy or
You say Debian at one point seemed to register 'the wireless card',
which I'm guessing means the one ordinarily in the Win98 computer.
Well, that sounds promising.
In short, gosh, I wish I could give you more precise feedback, but
you didn't identify the hardware.
'Dual monitors': This term can mean either 'Xinerama' configuration
where the two monitors display adjoining deskspace, or doubled display
where the monitors both show the same image. Doubled mode tends to
either or work or not without regard to operating system based on
features in the motherboard firmware and ACPI support. A lot of
laptops, for example, have Fn key combinations to toggle between
internal monitor only, external only, and both.
Xinerama tends to be either bothersome to configure or not depending on
what your motherboard's video chip is. Problem is, again, I cannot tell
from the information you provided what that chip is. You could send me
the output of 'lspci', and I'd be able to tell you. For example, here
is 'lspci' (ls to screen all PCI device data) from the workstation in
front of me:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ/P/PL Memory Controller Hub (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ/P/PL PCI Express Root Port (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1e.2 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR (ICH7 Family) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) SATA IDE Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 8600 GT (rev a1)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5751 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 01)
The video chip on my workstation motherboard is an nVidia Corporation
GeForce 8500 GT chip -- which was moderately painful to set up for
xinerama, but I did get there after a bit of tinkering.
> Someone also told me, because I could not get dual monitors to work
> with my Linux computer (although they are working on Windows 98), that I
> should switch to Ubuntu because it deals more easily with these issues,
> but I do not see it on your pre-InstallFest document.
The 'pre-Installfest document' was a brief experiment that we tried
very early in CABAL's history, only to find out that it didn't work,
because it asks users for data they simply don't possess, which then
caused lots of problems for everyone. That's why, something like 12
years ago, we gave it up and marked it as 'version 0.5 alpha
(unfinished)'. Maybe I should just go and put a big sign on it saying
'Don't use this! Historical interest only!'
I cannot understand why someone would assert that Ubuntu would 'deal
more easily' with, e.g., Xinerama than Debian would -- but then you hear
some mighty strange things said by people who push one Linux
distribution over another.
> Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to carry the monitor to the Install
> Fest with me. The monitor is a Sony SDM-M81.
I see that's a nice little 18" LCD.
No huge reason to bring the monitor, in any event. The argument for
doing so is that you can be absolutely certain that any configuration
you contrive will work when you get home. Otherwise, you _hope_ it
We have two LCD monitors that visitors can borrow at the event, one
large-ish (17") and the other small (12").
> Also, I don't have a car, and I live in Oakland. I saw on your
> web page that Rick Moen picks people up from a nearby public transit
> place. Is that still true?
We can make that happen. Please understand that I personally tend to
get really busy during CABAL events. Sometimes, things like pickups
from the Menlo Park CalTrain station have to wait until I can get away.
On the second hand, it's a refreshing two-mile walk, and actually
somewhat pretty. On the third hand, on tomorrow afternoon, there's a
really good chance it'll be raining.
By the way, the day before a meeting like this, you might not have been
able to get a timely response from me at all, as I become more than a
little busy. And don't count on my monitoring e-mail on the day of a
meeting at all, please.
As to other Linux groups nearby, closer to where you live, there is
BerkeleyLUG and BUUG in Berkeley, and there is PC Clubhouse Linux SIG in
Hayward. See http://linuxmafia.com/bale/ for links.
----- End forwarded message -----
----- Forwarded message from Linda R <lindamarcella at yahoo.com> -----
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 17:11:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Linda R <lindamarcella at yahoo.com>
To: rick at linuxmafia.com
Subject: Fw: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
X-Mailer: YahooMailClassic/12.0.2 YahooMailWebService/0.8.109.295617
[RM: snip a whole lot of bounce data]
I have never been to an Install Fest, but I might be interested to come. I have an old Linux Certified laptop that is running Debian Lenny (5.0.4). It has a wired connector through which I connect to the Internet via a wired router. It also has a slot for a wireless card and some USB ports.
My router is also wireless, through which I connect my other (Windows 98) computer. Would an Install Fest help me with setting up wireless for this Linux computer?
I do not have a wireless card for this computer. I have a wireless card for my other computer, but I don't like to take it out and switch back and forth, because I'm afraid I'll forget a step and mess up the configurations. This Linux computer used to get wireless through the card, but that was when it was running RedHat. Since I've installed Debian, one time it seemed to register the wireless card, but I didn't know which software to use or how to configure it.
Someone also told me, because I could not get dual monitors to work with my Linux computer (although they are working on Windows 98), that I should switch to Ubuntu because it deals more easily with these issues, but I do not see it on your pre-InstallFest document. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to carry the monitor to the Install Fest with me. The monitor is a Sony SDM-M81.
Also, I don't have a car, and I live in Oakland. I saw on your web page that Rick Moen picks people up from a nearby public transit place. Is that still true?
Maybe it would be simpler if you could refer me to someone in Oakland or Berkeley who is knowledgeable about setting up wireless on Linux.
----- End forwarded message -----
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