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LINUX GAZETTE
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The MailBag


HELP WANTED : Article Ideas
Submit comments about articles, or articles themselves (after reading our guidelines) to The Editors of Linux Gazette, and technical answers and tips about Linux to The Answer Gang.


dual Booting xp @ suse8.2

Sat, 30 Aug 2003 15:44:39 -0700
Patrick B (ironman616 from hotmail.com)

I have two separate hard drives on my computer hda, hdb. Xp is on hda an suse 8.2 is on hdb.Im booting suse with a floopy with lilo installed on it.Do you know of a lilo configuration that will boot my system.I tried the default installation that wrote the boot loader to the mbr .All I got when I tried booting was a blinking curser in the upper left corner of the screen.If you know of a lilo configuration that works I would be most grateful.Any help is most appretiated.

ironman616


webdialer using http

Sat, 9 Aug 2003 11:39:22 +0100
Aengus Walton (smiley0 from myrealbox.com)

I have a server and workstation and when I use the workstation it's masqueraded behind the server, but when the rest of the family needs to get on the net i have to get the server to logoff the net and they logon directly from the windows workstation. So what I need is a http interface to wvdial (if possible) that's compatible with IE..

I've already spent time installing webdialer (a project which does just this) but unfortunatly it doesn't work too well with IE as its client, and changing the client isn't an option.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

cheers

Aengus


booting linux from flash memory!

Wed, 30 Jul 2003 02:27:18 +0000
Devi Priya (ijpriya from hotmail.com)

Hello,

I am new to this list. I am involved in embedded project. I have a system with linux as its operating system. My system has external peripherals like SDRAM, Flash memory etc.

I have to boot my linux OS from Flash memory. I have a BIOS programming which does the minimal hardware initialization. I would like to know how to boot my OS from Flash memory?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Well, this fellow's just getting started and a google search probably helped him more than we could. But, if someone has their own tale of burning their own flash-based startup, and what they were really using it for, I think it'd make a great article. -- Heather


minicom related - help required

Tue, 5 Aug 2003 06:36:04 -0400 (EDT)
Sriram N.S. (sriram_ns from hotvoice.com)

hi,

(1) I have been using minicom v2.00.0 on red-hat 7.3 to test my serial-port driver. while doing file-transfers (with both flow-controls disabled) i observe that minicom attempts to enable software flow control automatically. this happens even when hardware flow control has been enabled. i get to see the corresponding ioctl being issued to the driver. how can i overcome this particular problem??. i have been attempting the transfer operation at baud-rates 230K, 115K using ZModem proto. Is there an undocumented limitation with minicom with respect to speed??. This particular problem also affects transfer of binary files as minicom mistakes the content of the received file as control info.

(2) what are the possible causes for "Garbage Count exceeded"/"Bad CRC" messages on minicom??

Your help in this regard will be highly appreciated

Rgds, Sriram.

If you have more juicy things to say than "there may be a new version out" - any readers are welcome to chime in with real experiences on this one... -- Heather


Re:help with grub

Fri, 8 Aug 2003 12:33:39 -0500
cnuccio (cnuccio from ltpro.com)

hi

i saw your linux tips about grub and am in a bit of a pickle and i thought you could help.

i got a new dell with xp preisntalled. i asked for fat32 but they gave me NTFS. anyway, so i instralled partition magic, made a 5 gig partiion and setup boot magic (prepare for new OS).

i activated the partition and then booted to the redhat 9 (shrike) CD and installed. reboot, and all i see is grub, with only linux as a choice.

dell was no help, so i tried for a few days to get some info on editing grub.conf and getting xp back booting. i tweaked and trial and errored and first got it to boot to xp, but there was a "unable to validated license" or something. no dialog to login.

more tweaking, added inter partition mapping (i assume the license key was on another partition and it seemed to work even if i am wrong) got it to get to login box, but after typing in log and PW, it just sat there unable to start the explorer. i know i am close, but can't seem to get grub correct.i found a GUI grubconf utlity, but it assumes you know what you are doing.

here is my grub conf as i left it when my brain melted. i did a thing or 2 more to it and broke it again, but it was late:

See attached melted.grub-conf.txt

and here is the output of fdisk -l to show my drive info:

See attached melted.fdisk-l.txt

can you help me? i didn;t make rescue floppies (xp nor partition magix) and didn't back up my data ( i have done this several times with no probs.) and i really hate reinstalling (mainly losing lots of unread mail) but i know i am close...

please help if you can. thanks very much for your time.

chris nuccio

Anyone who's gotten their hands grubby with WinXP want to give it a shot? -- Heather

GENERAL MAIL


The Mailbag: Article Idea: "Windows Defectors" column

Mon, 4 Aug 2003 12:45:15 -0400
grok (grok from sprint.ca)

Hi all:

I'm glad I came across this 'polemic' now (being, sadly, only a sometime reader of LG). My 2-cents'-worth:

Some LG contributors seem to consistently miss the point as (for that matter) do many GNU/Linux 'geeks': this isn't about what possible MS defectors should or shouldn't be doing -- it's about what they will do; and they WILL be staying away from GNU/Linux unnecessarily if they anticipate the least complication in 'switching over' -- as is already the case somewhat.

The original letter-writer has hit the nail on the head (again -- as this is not the first time this has come up, by any means). 'Turn-key' types need -- and should receive -- all the help and encouragement they can possibly get to switch over. To quibble ahead of time over the methodology or the feasibility or the desirability, even, of getting a significant percentage of Windows users to 'defect' to us, is more about confusing the politics of the matter with the mechanics of it all.

IMO 'geeks' seem to excel at being technically sophisticated about these issues -- but politically naive in the extreme. It ain't rocket science to understand that we simply are required to hold these people's hand a bit in helping them over the hump, if we entertain any hopes of freeing the planet from the thrall of Microsoft (and others). The details will take care of themselves AFAIC -- discussion here of the Knoppix solution being a case-in-point.

As a former long-time 'windows tips' reader and fairly experienced political activist -- and small-time GNU/Linux advocate/user of some years' experience (if not expertise) as well -- there is one thing that is ABUNDANTLY clear to me: there is absolutely NO fundamental contradiction between having a 'turn-key', 'idiot-proof' GNU/Linux install over top of the preferred geek wet-dream OS we all desire. We can have things both ways (when it comes to GNU/Linux, if not in Life). Geeks who object to 'dumbing things down', (for whatever reasons) are simply missing the Big (non-technical) Picture -- which does INDEED matter in the long term. Many GNU/Linux users won't settle for Free Software becoming yet another 'niche market'. Too many geeks have said as much that they wouldn't mind/care about such a state of affairs. They clearly do not understand that this attitude could (but I don't believe would) lead to the downfall of Free Software. It certainly doesn't help, and actually harms, IMO our 'Cause' [i.e. see my postscript].

I am looking forward to reading a forthcoming regular 'Windows Defectors' column monthly in Linux Gazette. ;>

P.S.: LG should do an article about the insulting little 'cliques' of geeks who inhabit the various #debian/#linux/#other channels on IRC, terrorizing and driving away newbies in droves. Clearly these 'experts' have one set of problems they themselves haven't yet 'defined'...

The staff here at LG had a mixed reaction to this. I've formatted the replies we got below in the format that TAG is laid out as, so that you, the gentle reader can still see the context of the reply. -- Thomas Adam

Some LG contributors seem to consistently miss the point as (for that matter) do many GNU/Linux 'geeks': this isn't about what possible MS defectors should or shouldn't be doing -- it's about what they will do; and they WILL be staying away from GNU/Linux unnecessarily if they anticipate the least complication in 'switching over' -- as is already the case somewhat.

[Thomas] Sigh, I think you're being too idealistic. I agree with you, but you have to remember that "will do" is the operative phrase in your sentence. Many people that write in asking questions such as "is Linux better than Windows" often don't know themselves whether or not it would be a viable alternative for them to switch, and so we ('we' as in the staff at LG) try and extrapilate what they might want to do, based on the really poor information that the querents send in.
Many people that want to run Linux though often have a pre-conceived notion as to what they want to use it for, i.e. a webserver, fileserver, mailserver, etc., and more often is the case that they've heard that Linux can do this, and so they concentrate their efforts in finding out how Linux can do that specific task -- which is great. This then usually gives them the insentive to explore Linux's capabilties further and to get Linux to do Other Things (tm).

The original letter-writer has hit the nail on the head (again -- as this is not the first time this has come up, by any means). 'Turn-key' types need -- and should receive -- all the help and encouragement they can possibly get to switch over.

[Thomas] Which we try as best we can to provide. You have to understand though that we can only go so far as to help them only if they are willing to put the effort in themselves. There is only so much effort we can put in to a querent's answer, based on how far he/she is prepared to take out efforts. This is why joining a local LUG can be hugely beneficial for those who are just finding their feet, as it were.
I know of one querent (I shan't name names, although Heather will know who I am talking about (Hi, Heather!)) who continually e-mails us questions. This is great, since this is what we're here for in the first place, but it seems to me as though very little to no effort is first put into researching the question before it is sent. More often than not, we at the LG are a front-end to google/linux.

To quibble ahead of time over the methodology or the feasibility or the desirability, even, of getting a significant percentage of Windows users to 'defect' to us, is more about confusing the politics of the matter with the mechanics of it all.

[Thomas] Not at all, the two are virtually synonymous if you ask me, and often go hand in hand, since it a) depends on what (if any specific task) person X wants to do, and b) the mechanics are usually executed as a result of the purpose for defecting. I use the term 'purpose' in the loose sense, since there are some people who try Linux, just because they have heard a lot about it.

IMO 'geeks' seem to excel at being technically sophisticated about these issues -- but politically naive in the extreme. It ain't rocket science to understand that we simply are required to hold these people's hand a bit in helping them over the hump, if we entertain any hopes of freeing the planet from the thrall of Microsoft (and others). The details will take care of themselves AFAIC -- discussion here of the Knoppix solution being a case-in-point.

I believe you are creating a stereotype, to say nothing of making a sweeping generalisation. Granted there are a small minority who have the attitude of: RTFM each and everytime a person asks a question (this is very common in IRC rooms), but then most people are genuinely trying to help. Again, I stress the importance of LUG's here as a means of "holding their hands".
I disagree with the way you have phrased your sentence: "freeing the planet from the thrall of Microsoft (and others)." Remember that switching over is down to the individual choice, or to the choice of the organisation/business/etc that a person may well work for. In the latter case though, training ought to be given, but for the former, it is again dependant on his/her needs from Linux.
There are some people who I recommend should stick to using MS-Windows based upon their requirements. My parents for example would really not get on with Linux one bit, due to their needs, and still at this time, Linux does not satisfy them.

As a former long-time 'windows tips' reader and fairly experienced political activist -- and small-time GNU/Linux advocate/user of some years' experience (if not expertise) as well -- there is one thing that is ABUNDANTLY clear to me: there is absolutely NO fundamental contradiction between having a 'turn-key', 'idiot-proof' GNU/Linux install over top of the preferred geek wet-dream OS we all desire.

[Thomas] Are you saying that Linux is a source of sexual satisfaction? I also completely refute your stereotype of "geek" (whatever you mean by that). No OS is idiot-proof', since it all comes down to how you as a user of the OS decide to manage it.

We can have things both ways (when it comes to GNU/Linux, if not in Life). Geeks who object to 'dumbing things down', (for whatever reasons) are simply missing the Big (non-technical) Picture -- which does INDEED matter in the long term.

[Thomas] Which is what?

Many GNU/Linux users won't settle for Free Software becoming yet another 'niche market'. Too many geeks have said as much that they wouldn't mind/care about such a state of affairs. They clearly do not understand that this attitude could (but I don't believe would) lead to the downfall of Free Software. It certainly doesn't help, and actually harms, IMO our 'Cause' [i.e. see my postscript].

[Thomas] We can perhaps thank RMS for his continual devotion to the FS cause here.

I am looking forward to reading a forthcoming regular 'Windows Defectors' column monthly in Linux Gazette. ;>

[Thomas] Assuming you would write one, but expect a lot of flame e-mails!

I am looking forward to reading a forthcoming regular 'Windows Defectors' column monthly in Linux Gazette. ;>

[Jimmy O'Regan] I volunteered to write about Wingate (it's still on my todo list, there's just one or two things I haven't gotten working the right way yet), I still have to use Windows to browse the net (winmodem), and most of the answers I've given have been on windows related subjects, so I volunteer to write a column about windows stuff. Now, I'm not the most confident person in the world, so (to the rest of the Answer Gang :) is there someone I can send draft articles to for constructive criticism? To Jim/grok, are there any specific topics you think should be covered?
I had been thinking of starting with articles which showed how Windows users could begin the transition by using free software under windows, to lower the learning curve: cygwin, open office (.org), mozilla &c. (I also have a couple of short scripts and aliases to convert (really) obscure windows file formats to something useful, though I might just group a few and sent them as 2c tips).
The quickest idea I could roll off is an article about Cygwin; how the standard tools are actually really useful, even if you can't just point and click to use them :) - I could roll a couple of the obscure file formats into that, by way of demonstration (using awk for CSV etc)
I could probably do an introduction to Open Office from the MS Office user's POV at the same time; provided I get enough time around my parents (my mother is/was an ECDL instructor, my Dad had to train the rest of the office staff at his last job), and having once been forced to use ASP, I'm pretty interested in trying out Arrowhead and giving my impressions.
On a level which leans more towards my personal interests, I've got some video editing to do in the next week, and I want to try out Ardour as a home studio solution, and as a guitarist, I want to see if Songwrite comes anywhere near GuitarPro as a way of representing tablature; but since on the distro I'm forced to use (Mandrake bloody 9.0) both gcc and python are broken, this may take a while.
Plus, the helicopter never came after the last time I volunteered :)

Some LG contributors seem to consistently miss the point as (for that matter) do many GNU/Linux 'geeks': this isn't about what possible MS defectors should or shouldn't be doing -- it's about what they will do; and they WILL be staying away from GNU/Linux unnecessarily if they anticipate the least complication in 'switching over' -- as is already the case somewhat.

[Ben] Och, that tired old refrain again. Why are you assuming that people are "missing" something here? What if, after sober and careful consideration, they have decided that the cons of doing what you ask for outweigh the pros? I am among the Linux "geeks" that have done so; many other people that I know are as well. Your assumption is poorly considered and rather offensive.

The original letter-writer has hit the nail on the head (again -- as this is not the first time this has come up, by any means). 'Turn-key' types need -- and should receive -- all the help and encouragement they can possibly get to switch over. To quibble ahead of time over the methodology or the feasibility or the desirability, even, of getting a significant percentage of Windows users to 'defect' to us, is more about confusing the politics of the matter with the mechanics of it all.

[Ben] Answer me one simple question here, if you would. Who pays? Conversely, who is it that owes the hundreds of thousands of hours of careful, exacting, difficult labor necessary to "convert" (quoted due to many unmerited assumptions behind the word) those would-be Wind0ws-to-Linux 'defectors'?

IMO 'geeks' seem to excel at being technically sophisticated about these issues -- but politically naive in the extreme.

[Ben] To put it plainly, you don't know what you're talking about. This myth has been propagated for so long that even people who should know better are affected by it - but a tiny bit of research would show you the cold, hard truth in just moments. Take a look at Kuroshin, Slashdot, Linux.org, EFF.org, etc.; there are many, many highly politically-savvy folks there if you look for them.

It ain't rocket science to understand that we simply are required to hold these people's hand a bit in helping them over the hump, if we entertain any hopes of freeing the planet from the thrall of Microsoft (and others).

[Ben] Who are "we"? If you are willing to do the job - if you manage to hold up for even a week of providing the level of support you're talking about without any remuneration - kudos and my respects to you. I have no doubt that LG would be more than happy to advertise your services.
Until you're willing to do this, please don't assume that you can co-opt other people's services without any return. You don't own anyone else's efforts. If we're speaking of extreme political naivete, it is exactly this, often displayed by those who spend too much time in political bull sessions and not enough time in the real world - people are not pawns, their labor is not to be taken for granted.

The details will take care of themselves AFAIC -- discussion here of the Knoppix solution being a case-in-point.

[Ben] For those details to "take care of themselves", a fellow named Klaus Knopper had to put in a few thousand hours (my best guess) of hard work. I doubt that he'd appreciate his efforts being so dismissively classified; I certainly don't.

As a former long-time 'windows tips' reader and fairly experienced political activist -- and small-time GNU/Linux advocate/user of some years' experience (if not expertise) as well -- there is one thing that is ABUNDANTLY clear to me: there is absolutely NO fundamental contradiction between having a 'turn-key', 'idiot-proof' GNU/Linux install over top of the preferred geek wet-dream OS we all desire.

[Ben] As Thomas noted, I do not use OSes for my sexual satisfaction. Besides, there's no such thing as idiot-proof; idiots are far too ingenuous. The point that you're missing is that using a computer requires intelligence, skill, and effort - and by its nature, always will. It's a *tool*: one that, in this respect, is no different from, say, a lathe... although a lathe is perhaps a little less physically forgiving. Idiots will never use either one well.
[Jason] The only way we could have a "idiot-proof", "turn-key" would be for someone other than the users to make choices for the users. Sounds kind of like what a distribution does, doesn't it?

We can have things both ways (when it comes to GNU/Linux, if not in Life). Geeks who object to 'dumbing things down', (for whatever reasons) are simply missing the Big (non-technical) Picture -- which does INDEED matter in the long term.

[Ben] The Big Picture, in your perception, being that the skilled and the knowledgeable are the servants of the idiots and the clueless? Please... try that somewhere else. I grew up under a political system that was based on that premise (the former USSR); the current state of that entity, and the amount of suffering it created in this world, should give you a clue as to the success of that idea.
[Jason] You should read "In the Beginning was the Command Line", an essay by Neal Stephenson. (I don't have a link handy: Google for it.) It's about user interfaces, and how GUIs rely upon other people making choices for you.
Oh yes, it's Linus Skywalker vs. the death star! :-)
Okay, this is going to harsh, but how will clueless Windows users help free software? They can't code. Bug reporting takes a certian skill.
That is highly inaccurate. Windows users' can write software, it is just that they'll probably be used to a different language. -- Thomas Adam
How exactly is it that we can't live without these people?
But really, I wan't to see Linux popular as much as the next guy, but if I have to do by making Linux look just like Windows, what's the point? Distros such as Mandrake, IMHO, are doing a great job of providing alternate configuration interfaces (ie, a GUI) and leveraging automatic hardware detection.
Mandrake and RedHat are trying to be too much like Windows, IMHO. The whole point about Linux should be that it is another alternative from using it...not: "How can we make Linux look more like Windows" -- Thomas Adam

 


Copyright © 2003, . Copying license http://www.linuxgazette.com/copying.html
Published in Issue 95 of Linux Gazette, October 2003

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