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Notebook install

Hello world,

An install report (well, free association). Target is an Acer Travelmate
313T subnotebook (80MB RAM, 3GB hdd). Installing from the slink CDs the
wonderful people at Linux Central sent me.

It has a PCMCIA CD-ROM which isn't bootable, unfortunately.

 * Windows Defrag is a pain in the butt to use.
 * FIPS works quite nicely

 * The INSTALL directory on the CD contains some of the stuff from
   disks-i386/current, but not all of it. What's with that? In particular
   it means you've still got to copy disks-i386 to C: as well as whatever

 * The "hard disk" install option doesn't autodetect VFAT drives. It'd
   be nice if it did.

 * Extracting the drivers from drv1440.bin with the "mounted" option fails
   with ".../sed: No such fi...". /bin/sed seems to exist, though. Using
   the "fd0" option seems to work, though.

 * Gah. The mounted option seems to be looking for the file base2_0.tgz
   instead of base2_1.tgz. Fortunately cp exists and works.

 * kbd's postinst seems to get run on the first reboot, and asks me
   in about as confusing terms as possible whether I have a us keyboard,
   which I've already told dinstall.

 * It seems my system doesn't need PCMCIA? Maybe it doesn't *need* it,
   but I definitely want it. I even configured it specifically with

 * In the "you may use preselections" step, the prompt "Do you want to
   perform this step? [Y/n]" has a newline after it, so the cursor is
   on the next line. Ewww.

 * PCMCIA didn't work first go. For some reason cardmgr seems to think
   both my network cards are actually memory cards. Silly thing.

 * Not having the default lilo.conf include the existing windows partition
   seems a strange thing to do.

 * pcmcia-cs seems to be on the second CD. Feh.

 * /etc/conf.modules isn't automatically generated on install. Why not?

 * pcmcia-modules weren't installed by default?

 * pcmcia-modules-2.0.34.deb doesn't match the symbols in the default

 * the default lilo.conf doesn't include an entry for /vmlinuz.old. Maybe
   it should. Maybe it shouldn't.

 * And, of course, this machine has problems with the pcmcia version in
   slink. Dammit. *sigh* The Linux Laptop page is a *wonderful* resource,
   at any rate.

 * Anyway. Copying the CD to the Windows 98 drive and pointing apt at
   that seems to work, although using dpkg-scanpackages is a bit of
   a pain.  I hear rumours dpkg-mountable handles that better, but I
   just like Apt.

 * Why is emacs19 installed as well as emacs20 by default? emacs19 is
   fairly buggy too.

 * And the neomagic xserver is non-free. How typical.

 * Fortunately, the potato pcmcia utilities worked first go!

 * Hmmm. Strange. The neomagic X server does funny things to my pointer in
   800x600. Weird.

 * Another thing that's been bothering me about X is the funny fuzzy
   borders that appear every now and again: most notably in the scroll
   bars of some xterms, in the display of xcalc, and in xapm. It's
   really ugly, and it doesn't appear in some other distributions. What's
   the deal?

Summary? There are a whole bunch of stupid mistakes left in slink, or at
least the version that got burnt and sent to me. Apart from that, the
major problems with the install were getting all the weird things they
put in laptops these days to work: and, apart from the PCMCIA problems,
these all fell into place remarkably well.

The boot-floppies team might like to put some of the above items on their
todo list. Or they might like to make up a `bug report drinking game' --
a sip for bugs fixed in unstable, and a shot for bugs fixed in stable,
say -- and just get good and drunk.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

``Smart, sexy, single. Pick any two (you can't have all three).''
        -- RFC 1925, paraphrased: a guide to networking in the '90s

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