up to suse 8.0

A colleague had the version 8.0 disks so I thought I would upgrade. Because I hadn’t made many changes to the original install, I decided to completely overwrite that installation. First attempt I chose the wrong mouse driver (for the internal pad thing) and monitor settings – it was a mess. I logged into KDE and the cursor kept disappearing down to the bottom left of the screen. It also opened up everything it passed over. Thus I couldn’t get to anything to change the settings so I copped out and started the  whole installation from scratch, this time taking care to choose the correct mouse driver (for my logitech USB external mouse).

Now I have sound too! This is great, but obviously I haven’t learnt much in the process. Oh well, theres still the PCMCIA network card and modem to go – apparently the winmodem is a pig to get working under linux.

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network card

having trouble getting the ethernet card working… mentor PCMLAN10/100


I have found some info here on mobilix, apparently the card uses a AX88190 chipset which has led me to a possible driver here on asix.com

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partitioning troubles

ok, I just lost a massive entry I had to put here because of a bug/annoyance with the blogger I am building and using to write this log. I can’t be bothered to write it out in proper detail now, so here is a summary:-

I have three operating systems on the machine, win98, win2k and now suse Linux. After the succesful linux install I found I couldnt boot into win2k because the partition reference in boot.ini (in the root of the c drive was wrong, so I manually edited it and I can now boot into win2k.

I’ll write a bit more about how the boot process works with this set up later!

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about the laptop

I bought this laptop a couple of years ago from Time Computers (UK). At the time as far as features went it was the best spec for the money. My old desktop PC was very under spec and limping and I needed something for web development with would run at 1024 x 768 resolution, and something I could drag between home and work (hence shelling out for a laptop) and this was the only affordable* option at that time. The advertised spec was:-

Pentium III (mobile) 600MHZ
128 MB RAM
12 GB Hard drive
15″ TFT monitor 1024 x 768

When I first got it I discovered it had a Celeron in instead of a Pentium, and after much phone calls and arguing with clueless call centre staff  “we wont change it because a Celeron is exactly the same as a Pentium ” (!!) they agreed to take it back and change the chip. They helpfully did a nice fresh install of Windows 98 SE while they were at it, wiping all my programs and settings. Luckily I had expected as much so had backed up and removed my data before I shipped it back. By this time I didn’t trust Time at all, and although the BIOS record now shows a Pentium, i’m still tempted to rip the lid off and have a look to see if it really has been changed.

It is in fact a re-badged FIC A430 Notebook.

I’m happy with it in general, I have used it for development for a couple of years with no major problems**. A slight annoyance is the keyboard which is a bit floppy/bouncy and has a space key which you have to really hit to get it to work. This doesn’t matter too much as I always plug in an external keyboard when doing any proper work on it.

I’ve now got three operating systems on it, win98 se, win 2kpro and the latest being suse Linux 7.2 professional, freshly installed yesterday and the subject of this log.

* not really affordable!
** apart from those self inflicted as a result of “experiments”

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first live web log

This is the first live web log on starskiweb. It is here for two main reasons:-

1. To test a blogging system I have been writing in ASP and XML

2. To have a place to write about web based experiments and ideas that I have going on

The system is currently very basic and is being used for more than one purpose – I can update text on the website from specific entries (which may have otherwise been part of this log), and i’m also using it just as a general notepad for drafting stuff.

The whole log is contained in a single XML file which I guess will eventually become so large that it will become inefficient to use, so as time goes on I intend to develop a way of archiving stuff across multiple files. Also I want to set it up in a way that having multiple logs and threads is easily managed.

It would be quicker for me to implement this with a database, but the whole point was really to see what can be done using just XML as the data store.

Here is another log containing rambling thoughts about what is going on with the build of the logging system/blogger.

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