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Re: compatibility problems

[This message has also been posted to linux.debian.user.]
In article <9FuWt-w3-15@gated-at.bofh.it>, Don Harwood wrote:
> hello world
> I'm a new convert to the debian linux world however I'm starting to get
> cold feet with compatibility issues, i just purchased a CNC mill that is
> run by a amd64 box with debian linux, i also just had a new box built for
> me to do my cad/cam work on. figuring that since one box is linux why not
> both [not to mention that i hate windows].  my new box is an amd64 dual
> core with a high end graphics card, nice box!
> my trouble starts with the key board, i got a new logitech wireless wave
> usb keyboard, will it work?

Probably.  The USB keyboard connection is a standard interface.
If you're not sure, pick up a PS/2 keyboard at a Goodwill store.
Debug your fancy keyboard later, when everything else works.

>  the logitech people simply say they don't
> support linux, no help there. should i get an old fashion ps2 keyboard?

These days "we don't support Linux" means "our customer service reps
are not allowed to answer Linux questions."  It does not imply that
their product can't be used with a Linux system.  They just can't
tell you it does.  That is reasonable.  They can't avoid being a
general MSFT help desk, and they don't want to become a Linux
help desk too.

> the next troubling thing i got was when i called at&t to get dsl service,
> they also say they don't support linux. what can be done with this?

Ignore them.  AT&T is too cheap for tech support.  It's true
they won't answer your Linux questions, but so what.  Plug in your
machine.  Get a shell in a terminal window and use the command
  ifconfig -a

to see if you have an Ethernet interface.  Probably eth0,
but it doesn't have an IP Address yet.  If so, run this command
  tail -f /var/log/messages

It will tie up that terminal, watching the kernel log.
Then get another shell in a window and run

and just watch.  The link light will come on, if it wasn't
already on.  Your DHCP client will broadcast a request.
AT&T's DHCP server will respond, after a few seconds, with
an offer.  The DHCP client will accept the offer.
It will overwrite your /etc/resolv.conf file with the
name servers AT&T wants you to use.  It will create two
entries in your kernel's routing table.  One says what
network segment you're on, and the other says where the
gateway is to send all packets whose destinations aren't
on that segment, the "default route."  Use the command
  route -n

to observe your routing table.  It's pretty amazing.
Residential DSL service is easier to set up than dial-up.
(No screwing around with chat scripts and setserial
and /dev/ttySxx and software modems.)
When you have a route, the simplest test is perhaps
  ping -c 3 kernel.org

That will show that your name service works and
you can see out.  If for some reason the name servers
you're supposed to use are dead, there seem to be
name servers at and
(Verizon and AT&T) that someone forgot to unplug.
Try pinging those.  Don't bother with your web browser
if you can't resolve names.  Once you're up, find
out the right name servers to use and make sure you're
using those.

Some DSL or cable TV Internet access services require
that you establish a PPP tunnel over your Ethernet link,
and authenticate yourself with a user name and password.
That happens before DHCP will work.
But the former SBC and Southwest Bell parts of AT&T do not.
You just plug in and do DHCP, as if you were on an office LAN.

If you want DHCP to run whenever you boot the system,
edit the file /etc/network/interfaces
and make sure it has a stanza like this

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

> I'm not a super user but i had a user level account on a unix system and
> liked the way it dit its thing.

Me too.  Unix makes sense.  The X Window System makes sense.
I had SCO System V at home before Linux came out.  That MSFT
stuff was just too icky.  Welcome home.

> i need to get this thing up and running
> before i crawl unhappily back to windows.

Don't give up.  The only things you can do wrong here are
giving up and whining.  Accept things as they are.  Yes
the documentation could be better.  But cope with it.  Do your
part by explaining any problems you run into in complete,
accurate detail.  This community is amazing.  If you do your
part we will not let you fail.


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