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Re: Booting to floppy

On Tue, Apr 10, 2001 at 01:42:54AM -0400, MC wrote:
[install experience and sucky powerpc docs snipped]
> So there's a few more criticisms:
> - after you start up in your initial install and you're trying to
> initialize apt for the first time, you should be given more diagnostic
> information as to when something is going wrong with the network
> connection, and you should be given the opportunity to reconfigure the
> network without having to restart and re-do the installation.  My
> problem was that Debian was unhappy with my choice of nameserver and I
> must have rebooted and reinstalled my base install four or five times
> for the sole purpose of trying out different network configurations.

there is no need to reinstall the system to reconfigure your network
settings.  you need to learn how to do that sooner or later.  

/etc/resolv.conf: DNS servers
/etc/network/interfaces: network interfaces, ipaddresses etc.  

thats the main things you ever need to modify.
/etc/init.d/networking restart to make the changes take affect (for
interfaces only, DNS is instant).  

> - I tried plugging directly into the modem but couldn't figure out which
> serial port to use.  The configuration utility unhelpfully tells you
> which modem devices correspond to COM1:, etc. under DOS.  What is the
> "Modem Port" on a Macintosh?  I kept getting errors that flew by too
> quickly to read but that referred to /dev/modem

documentation flaw of course.  i am not sure whether modem port is
/dev/ttyS0 or /dev/ttyS1.   /dev/modem is a symlink to one of these.
(ttySO on my system)

> - the Macintosh disk partitioning utility should tell you what partition
> types are commonly used.  It should either just list out all the known
> types or give you a menu that you can pick by number.  It took me a long
> time to figure out what to do to make sure I got the right partition
> types, because I wanted an HFS partition on part of the disk, as well as
> several linux native and a linux swap.  I was unaware that linux swap
> uses the same partition type on PowerMac as ext2.   They're not the same
> partition type on a PC, so I expected them to be different on a Mac as well.

mac-fdisk sucks, deal with it.  i have a doc to get people started on
it at http://www.alaska.net/~erbenson/doc/mac-fdisk-basics.txt i have
made requests to get this into the debian docs, but i and apparently
nobody else really knows where to put it.  

GNU parted is a much better partitioner in this regard, though it has
its flaws, mainly that you can't tell it to just create a 50M or 800K
partition dammit, you have to figure out where the end point would be
relative to the start of the disk to size up your partitions.

> On the whole, things went well.  I've had worse experiences, such as the
> time the slackware installer ran out of space on my machine and made it
> unbootable.  I had to reformat the drive to repair the mess.  And
> nothing can top the experience I had when I launched the windows NT
> installer under windows 98 on my laptop - NT doesn't understand the
> partition map on drives larger than 8 GB.  Rather than just doing the
> safe thing and not touching the partition map, it destroyed it and
> corrupted my FAT filesystem.  I had to repartition the drive, and I only
> saved my Windows files because the BeOS was able to boot off a floppy
> and read a damaged fat partition.

the powerpc port is still relatively new, installation is going to
take time to improve, the debian-installer project will hopefully fix
alot of these as it should be easier to deal with.  but documentation
is the main problem that just needs people good at writing docs.  

hackers often make poor documentation writers, and many of them loath
doing it in the first place.   i *hate* writing docs, though i have
written some here and there, depending on who you ask its well written
and informative or its a worthless pile of crap.  

Ethan Benson

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