The Road to Linux

Yay, it's Tux!

10.09.2003

brew did end up moving back to the office, and the /home drive died again. I put it in the freezer for a while, and managed to get the data off of it. I move the /home dir over to /usr/home and made the needed adjustments, and it works ok now, though disk space is really an issue.

As for rice, I did get Debian installed after a few tries, but never managed to get it all setup/configured how I wanted, and XWindows is a no go. I'm tempted to go back to Yellow Dog, as that actually (sort of) worked for me.

08.12.2003

Wow, it's been a long time...

brew moved to the basement, and got on the network, and is a good little citizen. I'm contemplating moving it back to the office as we currently don't have an Intel/Linux machine available for testing purposes.

In the meantime, I'm attempting to install Debian onto rice. I had Yellow Dog installed, but it never quite worked right. We've always heard good things about Debian, so we're quite anxious to see how the install goes, and how it works.

02.28.2003

Dude, way died :/

Crappy Gateway hardware. We rebuilt it by merging parts with another machine, and it's running again, though we kept the name.

brew is now in the basement, but not quite on the network yet. We'll figure that out soon...

02.26.2003

Lots of Linux action of lately. One of our machines at the office which was old unused hardware from the junkpile, finally called it quits. We did get it running enough to run backups, so no real data loss. We've now got a replacement, and old Gateway machine, and I'm in the process of installing/configuring all the needed software.

Did I fail to mention rice? rice is an old PowerMac 8500/180 running Yellow Dog and clocking in at 359.62 BogoMIPS. I haven't done much with it yet besides play CDs...

brew is now off the network and headed for the basement. Installation is scheduled for Real Soon Now.

And finally, this site is now running on a Linux server instead of FreeBSD. The only real reason for that involves the cost of hosting. For hosting needs FreeBSD did everything we needed it to do, and I highly recommend it as an alternative to Linux...

10.08.2002

What happened to brew? Well, it was chugging along nicely, doing it's job, and when I came in on Monday, something was wrong... Luckily I was smart enough to partition things so that /home was on it's own drive. Unluckily, hardware failure strikes again. :( Seems the /home drive went belly up, dead, deceased, deprecated. It's no longer working... I consulted Running Linux for a while and confirmed this as best I could. I ended up removing the drive. The good news was that the system still worked fine, there was just no /home for anyone...

I tried adding a new drive from the few spares I had (all well under 500 mb) and couldn't figure out how to format it. Oh, I tried lots of stuff, but the drives are all probably dead anyway, so now I'm a little stuck. I'll probably end up reinstalling the whole system, this time putting /home on the single good drive I have left... This is extremely lame and annoying, but I know of no other way, and without dinking around for days, or having a Linux expert by my side, I see no other alternative...

Linux can be annoying. Crappy/old hardware can be even more annoying.

On the happy side of the street, the Red Hat server we have set up at work is doing something in for-real production mode now... It's running a perl app I wrote to do some LDAP lookup in Active Directory to one of our Win2k servers...

I've also installed ht://Dig on it as well as some other (possibly) useful apps... I wish I had more time to mess with it...

09.04.2002

Alright then, we got Red Hat 7.2 installed on brew. The custom install failed each time, so we went with a generic server install. KDE didn't work, Gnome did, it doesn't matter much, it's still too slow for XWindows, so it's a server... It's currently not doing much, but I suppose it's always good to have a spare Linux box around. Most of the test stuff we're doing is on our test server anyway. The 8500 needed some work, so it's still on the junkpile for now... As for Decstar it's going to someone's house who just happens to have DSL and can run a server, imagine, little old Decstar on the internet 24-7 with a high-speed connection, now that's scary...

08.19.2002

More failed installs of Red Hat 7.2, I think at least 5, but I've lost count... The good news is I now have a PowerMac 8500, and if it actually works, I'll install Yellow Dog Linux on it. Arrgghhh, someday that thar Linux will be ours matey!

08.16.2002

Well, I tried installing Red Hat 7.2 onto brew today, but it failed... Damn... On the bright side, the current Red Hat installation process is quite nice. They've made some major strides since the last time I did an install (probably Red Hat 6.1) so kudos on that. At the office we've got a fairly decent Red Hat 7.2 test server running. It'll house all sorts of neat stuff and show what open-source software can do, in comparision to Windows that is... Anyway, I'm trying the install on brew again. Fingers are crossed...

08.09.2002

Alright then. I've upgrade brew with a 2 gig drive, and we're gonna put Red Hat 7.2 on it. Or at least we'll try to... Linux is creeping into the workplace, as we plan to use it as an ad server, and I'm helping our sysadmin with a lot of *nix stuff he's not familiar with yet. Once I get brew up and running I'll probably put Bugzilla on it, and other things that like the *nix/Apache/MySQL environment...

04.26.2002

Wow, has it been this long!? Well, I ended up painting the case of brew black (because we know how important those things are) and I actually put the cover on 6 months later! brew has been under my desk for the last few months, happily chugging along, not doing much more that running a dnetc client. I lost interest in brew and Linux a bit when Mac OS X came along. It's still running Red Hat 6.1. One of my co-workers has an account on it now, I finally got around to configuring apache correctly and updated CGI.pm, etc, etc, etc... I'd like to see if I can get it to access a SQL database via perl, if so, I've got some work it can do for me...

Oh, here's what it said today; uptime: 8:00am up 85 days, 20:57, 0 users, load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.008

08.23.2001

The Dell is now called 'brew' and has a working CD-ROM drive. I'll probably see if the drive that came with it actually works - and if it does, install Red Hat 6.1 or some other version... if I get some other Linux distro CD's (hint, hint...)

08.15.2001

The Dell is now cooperating. It's up and running (without a CD drive though...) I can run Xwindows reasonably well, not fast of course. The BogoMIPS say 53.04, which is jump from the old 39.73 of Decstar, but still nowhere near the 239.21 I got from an old PowerMac 8500 I used to run... It's got 32 mb of RAM, I'm *really* hoping to bump that up a bit...

07.23.2001

The Dell is not cooperating. We put the hard drive, CD drive & PCI card, an ethernet card, and a Number Nine video card in and no luck - beep, beep, beep... pulled out the Number Nine and put in an old ISA video card and got as far as booting but not into Linux. Something isn't right. It's not seeing any bootable media, which is what it told me when I thought it would boot into Windows... So there's some hardware problem that needs fixing before I get any further... argh...

07.16.2001

We've got a new machine - well, we're on our way to a new machine. It's a Dell Dimension XPS P133C. It should have a 1 gig drive and at least 32mb of RAM. I haven't fired it up yet, and it's got no CD-ROM drive, I might have to steal the drive from Decstar. I don't have a name for it yet... It does have lots of dust in it, just like a droid lost on Tatooine, so I'l probably clean it up a bit, and then boot it into Windows (which is now loaded) to get the hardware specs... the road continues...

06.21.2001

I put some of the RAM from my brother into Decstar and it now has 22 mb of RAM instead of 14. It still crawls when trying to run Gnome of course... I found a guy that lives two blocks from me who might have som old RAM for sale cheap - he's a computer consultant guy. Ye-haw...

06.14.2001

We've got another user, a guy named John. He's used Linux before, and he's working on building a Linux box out of some really old 486's. He also plans to build a more higher end machine soon, he probably knows more than I do about a lot of stuff. I also have two people looking for RAM I can use in Decstar. Neat!

05.07.2001

I'm still configuring Apache, and doing other things. I've been reading Running Linux a bit, and have the dnetc client running as well. I wish I could run XWindows, but until I get more RAM it ain't gonna happen...

05.01.2001

I've added user accounts, the damn shadow passwords took some time to figure out. There's actually another user now. Nicholas is learning too. Today we tried talk and he was amazed... He'll be slowly learning new things as he figures them out on his own, or I have time to show him. Neat... Oh, I still need to configure Apache a bit, but I've done that in the past enough to know what to do.

04.19.2001

We are back! Decstar is up and running - major thanks to Nicholas. He asked, "How's the Linux machine coming?" to which I replied that I hadn't done anything lately, couldn't get the network card to work, etc. So he gave me a 3Com card, and got me going again. Decstar is now up and running with Red Hat 6.1 - and - I'm actually on the network. Yee-haw! Telnet, ftp, http, oh yeah! I need to get back into things now, remember how to assign user permissions, and just generally get everything up and running again. And now I can use Decstar rather than the W2K machine here at work when I really need to. Life is good...

02.27.2001

Well, last night's install stuck while installing packages (during the 'keyboard config') and when I woke up saw a 'kernel panic' error. That's a new one! On the bright side, I may be able to find a 500mb drive or two on the junkpile, so if it is a bad drive(s) issue, that may help.

02.26.2001

I tried to add an old 500mb drive, but It freezes the system when powered on. I then put in a 230mb drive, and that seemed to work under the Mac OS. So I did the install dance again, and I keep getting 'Mount Failed: Invalid Argument' after I select all packages and before it starts to actually install things. Might be bad drives? Though I get no error when it checks for bad blocks... argh... time to try again... and then (most likely) back to the mailing list.

02.21.2001

Install failed again. Twice. Once it was installing the packages and did the "I'm gonna reboot" trick, and once it got stuck, on 'kernelconfig' again... which I guess I should have left out... Someone told me 516mb is just not enough. I've left out KDE, Gnome, and lots of other stuff, to get it down to an estimated 250mb. Still no go. We'll try again tonight...

02.20.2001

Well, I was getting sick of my Mac OS related problems with Slave1 so I though about loading Yellow Dog Linux on it. I should have know, from my history installing Linux, and my history with Slave1 it wouldn't go smooth. Don't get me wrong - I'm not really down on Linux, though it's still a struggle to install, I just seem to have problems I probably wouldn't if I had the proper hardware. Which I don't.

I cleaned off a 500 mb drive (sad, I know - but it's all I've got.) loaded BootX and got the installer up and running off of the Yellow Dog Champion Server CD. When it came time to do the partition I couldn't use Disk Druid, and had to use pdisk/fdisk, which was a pain, and took many attempts to get right. I think I've got the hang of it now. The installer gave me trouble not recognizing the swap partition, some more documentation reading, and a few more tries, and it seemed to be working. I had the / and /usr and swap partitions ready to go. (Note, lots of error messages about not being able to make mount points, errors of other various kinds, etc. I left that stuff out.) Onward! The swap partitioning went ok, and then I got to select my packages, which wasn't a lot with the disk space I had available. I then proceeded and left it to do it's thing. When I came back Emma told me there was a penguin, and then a smiley face. So somewhere during the install something went wrong and it must have rebooted in the Mac OS. Try again. This time it got stuck during the install when it hit the 'kernelconfig' so we tried again, this time leaving it out. This time it supposedly installed all of the packages, but any step after that, like configuring the mouse, failed. I used the menu to jump around the install steps and they all were failing. Ugh. I poked and prodded at it many times, repeating the steps over and over. I finally ended up with a Mac OS machine, and no Linux. I've successfully used the CD before for an install, so I don't know if it's the hard drive or what. I don't think I have another drive that's big enough, unless I steal it back from Decstar which I'd rather not do. Damn.

Hmmm, always helps to read the mailing lists, right? I ll try again tonight with one big root partition, and no /usr. Perhaps that'll do it. Tune it next time to find out...

12.26.2000

Not much of an update... I've made no progress with the network card, so Decstar is still on vacation. Just wanted to tell people I haven't given up on Linux. I'm just lacking the time to deal with the NIC issues.

11.29.2000

A while back a Red Hat 6.1 CD showed up at work and the NT guy gave it to me. So I installed that on the Decstar. Still no luck with the NIC. Argh... I might be getting a G3/266 at the office though, and Yellow Dog will make it's return for me then. Also of note, seems we may be aquiring an SCO server, interesting, huh? Yeah, things have been quite on the Linux front lately, I apologize. If you wish to see some real activity on this page, just send me some hardware! ;)

10.13.2000

Old pal saucemaster sent me a NIC, and I put in it, but I also managed to knock the CD tray out of alignment, so I wasted a day because I had to take the damn thing apart to get the tray back into alignment. (No, it didn't take a whole day to do that, I have a limited amount of time per day to work on this stuff!) So anyway, I'll be doing a reinstall of Red Hat to see if the NIC works, I'm pretty sure with the last install I specified NO NETWORK or some such setting, since I did try to modprobe for the card but got nothing...

10.05.2000

I've got the Decstar up and running again, I had forgotten that I had KDE running, so I'm toying with it a bit, as much as it can handle with just 16 megs of RAM. A fellow name Lloyd wrote me and suggested I look for a SMC EtherEZ ethernet card for the Decstar, I think I'll do that. ;) He also said that linuxconf tends to hose his Apache config file too, and that it kinda sucks... On a more positive note, I'm planning on getting a new machine before the end of year, probably a G3 or G4, so Slave1 will then be a dual-booter, with the Mac OS (for the kids) and (most likely) Yellow Dog Linux, for me...

09.27.2000

Not a damn thing going on. Well, actually I've relenquished control of the PowerMac 8500 to the cyberdork. ("You've got root!") I'm really hoping it stays a Linux machine. Maybe if everone emails him and begs him to keep it a Linux machine... ;)

Decstar has been bouncing around in my trunk for the last week. I've finally brought it into my new office. Maybe I'll even get it up and running at some point. We could use a Linux box around here... Is it just me or is cron about 1000 times more advanced than the Windows NT Scheduler?

09.07.2000

Alright, I haven't updated in a while, been much too busy. I managed to get Xwindows running on the 8500 again, we switched back to an NEC MultiSync 2V and ran Xconfigurator. All was well then. Does Linuxconf actually work? When I use it, it tends to mess up my config files (at least for Apache) and always tell me some process is taking too long. Sometimes it seems to just quit on me. Ugh, pico is my friend. Editing a text file is a good thing. That's all for now people... I really need to move MySQL (or maybe PostgreSQL?) near the top of my list...

08.17.2000

Even more fun. Well, I started to learn vi (that's "vee eye") since Decstar didn't have Pico installed. That's probably a good thing, as I rely on Pico a bit too much. the basics of vi seem simple though, so that's good. I did run KDE a bit, but Decstar just doesn't have what it takes to run X. I think getting a NIC should be on my list though (eBay here I come!) so I can at least network the damn thing. The 8500 on the other hand, has been just swell - one minor thing, seems someone 'borrowed' the monitor that was on it, and put on an old defective Apple monitor. So I decided to put a really old IBM VGA monitor on it. Had some weirdness there with everthing shifting way way way over to the left and wrapping around the screen. I tried to run Xconfigurator, but gave up once I realized that even in text mode it was happening so Xconfigurator would have no effect. I ended up putting the defective one back on, so no Gnome or KDE until I figure out the monitor situation. Not like it matters for a server much anyway, telnet, ftp, and httpd are all just fine.

08.15.2000

The Decstar is now up and running. Slave1 made the ultimate sacrifice, giving up the 1 gig IDE drive that came in it so that Decstar might live again. It actually worked! Decstar, the DEC Starion 930 (see below) is running Red Hat Linux 6.0, because that's the CD I had lying around. The install went smooth and painless, probably since I've done enough installs now to be pretty familiar with the Red Hat installer. It still has only 16mb of RAM, so Gnome is no good, I want to try KDE but I'm sure it'll also crawl like a turtle. That's ok, I'll just be a CLI ranger! Who needs a GUI? Here's some stats for the two machines:

Apple PowerMac 8500
Yellow Dog Linux Champion Server 1.2
Processor: PowerPC 604 @ 120 mhz
RAM: 64 MB
BogoMIPS: 239.21

DEC Starion 930
OS: Red Hat Linux 6.0
Processor: Pentium @ 100 mhz
RAM: 16 MB
BogoMIPS: 39.73

Again, not like these mean anything, they're just interesting numbers. (especially the BogoMIPS!) The 8500 is running a lot more processes (httpd, ftp, telnet) while the DEC is not even on a network (still no NIC.) One thing I've learned so far is that Linux on the PowerMac is cool. It's cool because I can pretty much troubleshoot any hardware problems with Mac hardware, while I'm pretty much lost with PC hardware. And of course the PowerPC smokes them pokey Pentiums ;)

08.11.2000

Here's a picture of the PowerMac 8500 that's been transformed into a Yellow Dog Linux machine. Now that the RAM seems ok, and it's been up for 6 days I should probably put the cover back on. I'm already awaiting the next free 8500 so that I can have one stable machine for web serving and another for total experimentation and learning.


PowerMac 8500

08.07.2000

Yay. Today I came into the office and had some good news: 7:12am up 2 days, 16:08. Cool. I ended up taking out all of the RAM, and then adding in a few DIMMs at a time, and running tests on all of the RAM. I did all this under the Mac OS. I'm nuthin' but positive about how this week will be. All will be well. All will be good. We will have no problems. I hope that's understood...

08.03.2000

Hey, I figured out my ftp via a shell script thing. It's all in the .netrc file. I've got an ugly page of notes on this and other stuff called Linux Notes. Uh, oh... the damn thing is down again. I think it's related to bad RAM, but I'm not sure yet (I'll do a motherboard reset and see if that does anything.) I was getting a kernel panic msg, and now it won't even boot into the Mac OS again. The reason this machine is probably so problematic is because it was my main workstation years ago, and I tend to destroy hardware via overuse. Sounds odd, but I swear it's true.

08.01.2000

As Kool-Aid man sez, Oh yeah! We're back up and running. I fixed things on the Mac OS side. I ended up doing an 'Erase Disk' on the Linux Boot partition (HFS volume) and that seemed to do it. A reboot, a quick fsck, and all seems back to normal. I did some better backups too, nothing like a disaster to make you think about backups. I also think I'm getting a handle on the system, and where things go - /etc /home /proc - they all kinda mean something now, and actually make some sense. I still need to figure out how to ftp via a shell script, anyone care to clue me in? Besides that, I think PHP should be high on my list...

07.31.2000

Ah, well... I'm pretty sure there is an international conspiracy against me running Linux. (Read past entries if you doubt me.) The 8500 with Yellow Dog on it might have taken a dump on me... bad dog! I had a kernel panic or two last week, and thought it might be due to my mis-configuring something. This week it seems to reboot on it's own, and I've run fsck to try to fix some problems it had with the disk, and now I can't boot in the Mac OS. I'm suspecting drive problems. Again! I hope I'm wrong, but I sort of doubt it. I'll probably try the old "power it up and THEN plug in the drive power cables" trick to see if I can tackle things that way... I don't blame Linux for this, I blame bad hardware. If anyone cares to donate good hardware, get in touch with me ;)

07.21.2000

Hey, we're doing great. I got AppleTalk over TCP/IP working, so we can mount stuff on the Mac. No Samba yet, that's definitely not a priority. Also got the welcome message changed (/etc/issue.net) thanks to Peter Baitz for that one. Oh, PHP is fine, and I've got ~user directories set up in Apache. I'm starting to think about security a bit, as that's something that can't just be ignored. Oh, I did set up cron to tar and gzip the main html directory every hour for backup, I still need to figure out how to ftp it to another machine. Anyone have pointers to syntax for doing an ftp transfer via a shell script? Help me if you can...

07.19.2000

Alright, we've got Apache running, perl is working, there's user accounts, they can telnet and ftp in. Lynx is there, and all that other command line happiness. Still to do: test PHP and sendmail, and change welcome message (after I learn how!)

07.12.2000

Hey, I got things up and running, although I am having some difficulty with networking and the X-windows stuff. I'll check out the mailing lists from Yellow Dog and see what's up. I've been doing command line stuff, just getting familiar with the system a bit, and referencing the Running Linux book as needed. It feels good.

07.11.2000

The saga continues. Fed up with LinuxPPC our hero decides to make a move. Armed with a freshly burned copy of Yellow Dog's Champion Server, he's ready to start all over again. (Read on...)

Oh yeah! I got Yellow Dog's Champion Server 1.2 installed with great ease. A little wiggling with the monitor config, but the install itself was smoooth. Goodbye LinuxPPC... It was nice to see Gnome again, and I didn't mind using the Red Hat installer at all, since I'd used it before. Now we're cooking. We've got a real live Linux-on-PowerPC machine in the house. Hooray! Next: configuration.

07.10.2000

I've tried multiple installs again, I get lot's of errors saying some things can't be installed, the install fails, or it just freezes. I finally got a minimal install - just the system itself. I'll try to add in the packages I need from there. Wes of Hack-the-Planet noted that he's tried LinuxPPC and is instead waiting for Yellow Dog's Gone Home distribution. I might try their Champion Server if I keep losing out with LinuxPPC. If that doesn't work, there might be some other choices.

06.30.2000

The 8500 is giving me trouble. Tux is laughing at me. I did an install, but it wouldn't boot. Then I tried about 5 CD's and even a floppy to get it up and running again. Ugh... I think I might have misunderstood something in the partitioning, but I don't think it should have hosed things this much. I'm going to do a low level drive reformat to start fresh on this next week.

If I had any money I'd check out VA Linux's machines, as I've seen some pretty decent systems there for around $800. That'd be nice...

On a brighter note, I've been reading through O'Reilly's Running Linux a bit lately, and feel like I'm learning a bit.

06.27.2000

Jared (whose got some LinuxPPC and Mac OS X experience) stopped by and also tried a LinuxPPC install on the 8500. No go. We're thinking bad drive or bad RAM. I'm really hoping on bad drive, because I got a 2 gig replacement to stick in it when I get a chance.

I also found out I can up the Decstar to 24MB for $40 or 40MB for $80. I can probably get an ethernet card for pretty cheap (if I ever get around to it) but the hard part will be the drive. Ugh, the drive...

06.19.2000

I tried to do the LinuxPPC install on a PowerMac 8500, and it didn't quite work. I think the drive had some problems, damn... I was at the point of selecting what packages to install, got called away, and when I returned it had locked up. I need to try to get it booting off a Mac OS CD so I can check the drive out - what's with bad drives!?

Oh, as for the Decstar, I pulled out the RAM so I can attempt to upgrade, and the drive as it appears to be dead.

One more funny sidenote: on Dexter's Lab the other day, he was a superhero, and his name was "Dekstar" (or Decstar)

I received email from a guy named Peter Baitz who said running Gnome, KDE, or any X-Windows under 16mb of RAM would be super-slow. I kinda knew that. He thought this site was a little down on Linux and up on the Mac. Obviously he hasn't read the stuff I've written on Windows ;) I'm way up on Linux, it's a great server OS, and I'd like to use it as a desktop OS. I use Linux (and FreeBSD) as a server OS and I love it. Most unix-based operating systems are good. That's why I'm doing this. He suggested I get a PII/III system, 96MB RAM+, 10GB disk - I'll do that when someone supplies the hardware or the cash. Just to explain a bit more: I'm a Mac guy, have been forever... was never a Windows guy. Wanted to learn more about Linux, didn't have a spare PC since I didn't own a PC (only Macs) someone gave me a PC. Here we are... no $$$ for new or better hardware :( Donations accepted.... and not a ton of time to devote to this whole thing either. So, it'll take a while. It took me 2 years just to get the computer! After I wrote back to Peter, he understood me a bit better, and offered to help me if possible. I offered to help him with Mac related issues at his office. It all works out in the end.

I also received email from someone with tech info on the Starion. Thanks Anonymous Contributor!

06.06.2000

Well, I got a copy of O'Reilly's Running Linux (had a $15 off coupon!) so I've got plenty of reading and reference at hand. I've also decided that I'll first tackle getting LinuxPPC running on an old PowerMac 8500 at the office. I'm was planning to put it on my old PowerBase later this year, so I'll get a jump start on that now, and make getting a replacement hard drive, NIC, and more RAM for the Decstar a lower priority issue.

06.01.2000

Crap and a half... Looks like the drive died :( ugh... I might be able to pull a drive out of another machine, well, not a 1 gigger though... crap, crap, crap...

05.18.2000

Alright! I managed to do three installs, the first went well, except it didn't recognize the scroll-wheel mouse I had attached, so I did a second install. This one went well, but it did seem to have a few problems recognizing the video stuff at first, eventually got it. Third time was smooth, all worked well, I'm using a plain old 2 button mouse now. The 'Custom Install' was easier than I thought it would be. My brother had suggested partitioning the drive to save the Windows stuff on it. I'm glad I didn't do that because. A. I don't want the Windows stuff on there, and B. there probably isn't enough room! It's got a 1 gig drive, and I think that's even a bit small for all I'd like to install. Also, with only 16 mb of RAM, it's verryyyy slooowww... Oh, I also still need a network card. It really sucks not having it on the network. I'm running Gnome right now, but I'll need to find out if KDE would use less RAM, as it might make it a little more snappier performance-wise. Suggestions are welcome... We're getting there!

03.09.2000

Well, no progess yet, still too busy. But here's a photo:


DEC Starion 930

I think I need to locate an install fest or someone willing to do the install for me, as I just don't have the time, and as they say, "Linux is only free if your time is worthless" ok, that's not *really* true, but I'm just too busy working... (for the man!)

02.23.2000

Ok, I've made little progress because of a severe 'lack of time' - but I did manage to move the machine to my office at werk, and I pulled two ethernet cards to try in it, one from an old 386 I had lying around, and one from an old 8088 my neighbor gave me.

I'm sorta hoping someone I know might have a Red Hat 6.1 cd. Perhaps that'll recognize things a bit better. I did try to run the simple installer again (just for grins) and it exited with some errors... ugh.

Oh, I did come up with a name for it - 'decstar'

02.14.2000

I finally figured out how to make the boot floppies, since the machine wouldn't boot from the CD Yeah, you laugh, but remember, I'm a Mac guy, and installing Linux on a Windows PC is probably easier for a Wintel techie than a Mac techie. Anyway, I made the boot floppies, and got it to boot and got the installer running. Cool.

Well, the simple install didn't work, so I tried the 'expert' mode, which requires answering difficult questions. I opted to stop at that point. My next step is to run it again, and jot down all the questions I need to answer, then try to find out what those answers are. I'll probably end up ripping the machine apart and writing down every damn components serial number...

02.04.2000

Some background. I've used Linux, FreeBSD, and other unix operating systems, but only as they relate to having an account on a machine somewhere, and doing web development on them. I've never actually had my very own unix machine. I do have a whole bunch of Macs at my house, and there's even an old 386 and some 8088's too, although I don't currently have a Windows machine, and don't really plan on having one anytime soon ;)

So now I've got a Digital Starion 930, and a borrowed Red Hat 6.0 CD-ROM. Let the games begin...

Now, I've done a bit of research on the 'Star' and haven't found much out :( probably because when DEC was acquired by Compaq they didn't give a crap about the old DEC machines. I've tried searching and searching, even on Deja, hoping some newsgroup might have info on this model... It's funny because I can find the specs on the Mac Plus I have at home... and I bet I can dig up specs on the Power Computing PowerBase I have too, even though the company is long gone. I've done some digging through Red Hat's docs, trying to check for compatibility etc. - now I know why LinuxPPC is so appealing! I'm contemplating just trying an install without spending days and days preparing and researching. That should be interesting.