[firstname.lastname@example.org: Debian works]
A few nice words from a Red Hat user on the linux-hams list.
----- Forwarded message from "Karl F. Larsen" <email@example.com> -----
X-Authentication-Warning: cannac.ampr.org: k5di owned process doing -bs
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 11:34:34 -0600 (MDT)
From: "Karl F. Larsen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Debian works
What does a nerd do on a summer Sunday? Mow the lawn, walk the dogs,
collect the trash, and load Debian on his old laptop. The idea hit me
Saturday. Debian essential cd-rom from cheapbytes has a directory well
hidden that includes rescue floppy disk images and much more. I bought this
cd-rom because it's a sin to buy only one at a time (I was buying Red Hat
Well with a lot of worry I played with 'dd' until I could make it
copy filename.bin to a floppy disk. It took me 30 minutes to find that:
dd if=/mnt/cdrom/root.bin of=/dev/fd0
works just fine. Why this is not an example on the man page escapes me!
My laptop has a sx486-50 processor, 4 meg of ram and a giant 100
Mbyte hard drive. I read Debian file "install.txt" and they said there is an
image "lowmem.bin" that I should put on a floppy and use to set up the
partitions and make a totally necessary /swap.
Being Sunday I decided that new floppy disks would be nice, and went
to Walmart. They have 50 1.4 meg formatted disks for $15! I bought them and
drove home. My other floppys are at least 5 years old and are getting very
The lowmem.bin worked great! It had helpful words on how to use it
and I know how to use fdisk so that was no mystery, and they have fdisk.txt
which is the best paper ever written on hard drives and partitions.
Then it said to put the Debian Rescue disk in and it loaded but took
a long time. Then it helped me load 9 floppys what were base12-1.bin to
base12-9.bin and then said "hold your mouth right, and it may boot". It came
up just fine! I had Linux on my laptop in only about 30 Mbyte of hard drive
space! I fooled around and found no man pages or compiler or joe editor. I
then decided to load these.
I found a directory full of files of the .deb type. I have used the
RPM loader and assumed this was about the same if I can ever find out what
it is. It was hard and took way to much time to learn I wanted to use the
software 'dpkg' which is about like RPM. The useful things are:
dpkg --install filename.deb
which loads the package onto your machine or complains that you need to have
other software loaded before it can load. Lots of this.
One floppy was made with a Unix ext2 file-system and was used to
transfer files from this computer's cd-rom to the laptop. It has transfered
25 Mbyte so far and is still working. Since the /etc/fstab file allows a
user to mount a floppy, I did all but the new kernel with a user login on
Well the hard drive is 1/2 full now. Since I have 18 Mbyte of swap
there is only 80 Mbyte for Linux. I have gcc and man and joe and the libc6
library loaded. I think I will load g++ and g77, if I can find it again and
compile it with the new libc...there is no .deb for g77.
So again my laptop is a capable computer far more stable than DOS
and has a compiler used by most serious programmers in Unix. We need a .DLL
converter. The joe editor is Word-Star and for me, very easy to use. In fact
this e-mail is written in joe. I use a mouse with GPM and open several
windows all with joe running and it makes a very capable editor or
This $50 laptop is now a useful tool for me while traveling. It has
the ax25-utils so it can be used as a Ham Radio system too. My hat is tipped
to the guys at Debian. Your efforts to keep the floppy Linux load alive is
still in use in mid 1999. It will continue I hope for many years to come.
The 2 Mbyte partition made for Minux during the loading process is
now added to the swap partition. You can't have too much swap!
- Karl F. Larsen, email@example.com (505) 524-3303 -
----- End forwarded message -----
Hamish Moffatt VK3SB (ex-VK3TYD).
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