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Re: Install Report --- Dell 8200

Hi Chris,
        amazed you could bear to use cygwin for so long. what are your
problems with the acx100 driver? I have had no problem compiling the most
recent CVS versions on my debian system. Unfortunately for me the driver
simply doesn't work (the acx111 chip is not fully working yet). I found
that compiling a separate module for a 2.4.x kernel works easier than
compiling the 2.6.x versions 'in tree'...

				James Ferrando
				Glasgow ZEUS Group

On Wed, 21 Apr 2004, Christopher De Vries wrote:

> I didn't know if anyone would be interested in my experiences as many many
> people have installed debian on Dell 8200s before, but I thought I would share
> my experience. I would describe myself as fairly knowledgable about linux... I
> first installed RedHat 4.2 on a gateway desktop I got in 1997, and have since
> installed debian woody on my home and work desktops. I bought a dell inspiron
> 8200 about 2 years ago and considered several times installing debian, but I
> didn't because of the Nvidia video driver issue and the fact that cygwin was
> working reasonably well for me. My laptop crashed about once a week and two
> weeks ago it crashed three times in the same day, so I decided to try the new
> debian installer for sarge.
> First, I used Belarc Advisor (a free as in beer, not freedom tool) to get a
> profile on the laptop... it generates a good system report. You can get the
> tool from http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html . It was mostly an
> unnecessary step, but it came in handy when I was trying to remember what video
> driver I had been using.
> The sarge installer was very good... the only stumbling block for me was the
> partitioning tool... I found it slightly unintuative to use. The defaults it
> uses are fairly good and not insane like Dell's preinstalled linux partitioning
> under RedHat (2.5 Gig for /home on a 50 gig hard drive?) I went for the
> simplest package selection scheme available, and if I had it to do over again I
> might just start by installing linux standard base and then adding more as I
> needed it, but as it was I selected several categories and installed a bunch of
> things.
> I ran into a couple of things which newer users might have found frustrating
> after installing sarge:
> 1. X wouldn't work because I needed to install nvidia-glx and nvidia-kernel-*,
> so I used apt-get to install them, but they are in non-free and non-free wasn't
> included in /etc/apt/sources.list by default. I added non-free loaded the
> nvidia drivers and X started up beautifully.
> 2. I wanted to try gnome... I started using X in the early 90s on a Sparc, and
> picked twm as the window manager I would use... I have spent the last 12 years
> perfecting my .twmrc file, so I thought it might be a good time to take a step
> into the new millenium and try gnome. I had gnome-session 2.4.2-2 installed,
> and gdm running, but gnome was not an option from the login screen. I tried
> updating and upgrading the system, but gnome-session 2.4.2-2 was held back from
> upgrading... I did a reinstall of gnome-session and 2.4.2-4 was installed. That
> did the trick and added gnome. I have since returned to using twm... Gnome
> looks great, but I am a lazy bastard.
> I'm sure point 2 will work fine once sarge becomes the stable release, but I
> was a bit confused.
> Everything that came with the laptop is working fine... better than it was when
> running Windows (not a single crash since the install). I have also connected
> my ipod and used GNUpod with it (it worked well, but I corrupted my itunes
> db... it pays to read documentation). I also connected a digital handycam and
> can read images and movies off the memory stick, though streaming audio and
> video are still inaccesible. I like the new installer and think if the
> partitioning section gets some more instructions or just becomes easier to
> manipulate then it will be great. The one thing I have not managed to get
> running is my D-LINK DWL-650+ pcmcia wireless card. It has an acx100 chip, for
> which a driver exists (acx100.sourceforge.net), but I have not managed to
> compile it.
> Anyway, if anyone has any detailed questions let me know... there are many
> sites out there that deal with installing linux on dell 8200s and some of them
> were usefull... some even deal specifically with installing debian... it seems
> that as time goes by linux is getting easier to install.
> Chris
> --
> Christopher H. De Vries                      Phone: (617) 496-7636
> Postdoctoral Fellow                          FAX:   (617) 495-7345
> Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  email: cdevries@cfa.harvard.edu
> 60 Garden Street MS-42
> Cambridge, MA 02138                          cfa-www.harvard.edu/~cdevries/

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