Ahhhh, trimmed the headers (sorry, but I didn't realize
alt.folklore.computers was there, and it really doesn't benefit from this
thread) and added C.O.L.A.
> Gee Terry, I thought I was the only one....... ;) Not.
>Let's see, I've tried to install each of these, at least three times.
>Debian, Red Hat, Caldera, Slackware, Free BSD.
>Shea F. Kenny (Moonbear, Lunar Development Corp)
>This has been, Lunar Network News
What types of problems?
I haven't tried a Slackware install in a couple of years, but had no
problems installing it on either an aged Gateway 2000 486 DX33 or an even
more ancient KLH 386 system.
I've had _few_ problems installing RedHat 4.2/5.0 on two noname clones and
an AST P66. These usually involved some type of "can't find database" error,
and a quick reboot usually solved the problem.
I've also installed Caldera on the no-names. My problems with that
installation were network related; I didn't know how to tell it where to
find my NIC. I've since retreated to RedHat 5.0, with one exception; the
Caldera X installer found video modes on my Diamond 2000 card that even
Win95 doesn't recognize (and, yes, I dual boot; both Quicken and my bank's
electronic banking program require that I keep at least a minimal MS
partition). I backup that Caldera X configuration file religously!
In general, my experience with Linux installations (and there have been
many) have been good. My problems have, rather, come with the initial boot
after the installation. Until I became more experienced, I mistook
sendmail's timing out for a hung system. Other "problems" with settings made
during installation also became apparent with time.
And yes, Linux installation could go further with help in that department.
"But why so many re-installations ?" I imagine you pondering.
The initial reinstallations were due to hard-drive upgrades; 512M to 1.2G -
1.2g to 2G.
But lately the reinstallations are courtesy of Microsoft. As Win95's
stability decays from "dll hell", I back up important stuff, and fret about
reinstalling it. Eventually I have to bite the bullet, and when I do, the
Win95 partition usually gets less space, and my Linux /usr partion benefits
from more space.
I'm sorry, I digress.
What kind of problems have you encountered while trying to install the
various distributions you mention above? What type of error messages are you
seeing? What messages are you seeing, period? Which releases are you trying
to install? What platform are you trying to install on? (I found out the
hard way that the Cyrix chip in my newest no-name clone introduced problems
with the RedHat distro that weren't immediately obvious; whenever I tried to
compile ANYTHING, gcc bombed out with a SIG 11 error! RedHat had a fix on
their site that took a couple of minutes to download.)
I'm genuinely interested in helping you achieve a successful Linux
Let me digress further...
My initial exposure to computers of any kind came, quite by accident, in the
early '70's, when one of my fraternity brothers at the University of
Kentucky talked me into taking a course in PL1. I hated it. You had to wait
in line to use a card-punch machine; you had to wait in line to submit your
deck of cards to the High Priests; you had to wait in line to see the
results of your (often inadequate) efforts printed out on greenbar paper. I
especially remember the final assignment; simulate an elevator in a
To review, I hated it.
My next direct contact with a computer was in 1980. I was stationed in Great
Lakes, IL, attending the Navy's BE/E school (Basic Electricity/Electronics).
My neighbor in the barracks had a cutting edge toy; a Radio Shack TRS-80
Model 1. Unfortunately, whenever he turned it on, EVERY TELEVISION IN THE
ENTIRE BARRACKS BECAME UNWATCHABLE.
For me, strike two for computers.
A year later, the Navy threw me a curve ball.
In the Navy, at least in the early '80's, one who enlisted under the
Advanced Electronics Program was assigned to one of several specialties; I
was to be an 'ET', an Electronics Technician. My first two years of service
were spent in school; initially BE/E, then 'A' school, in which you learned
basic electronic trouble-shooting, then a 'C' school, in which you learned
to troubleshoot a specific Navy electronics system. With 'C' schools, you
earned an "NEC", a specialty code which usually determined future
I finished high in my 'A' school class, and was assigned a 'C' school that
was normally reserved as an incentive for re-enlistment; CUDIXS. CUDIXS was
(is?) a computer controlled satellite communications network.
The computer? The AN/UYK-20 was about the size of a dormitory refrigerator.
It had (according to my failing middle-aged memory) 64K of ferrite-core
memory. We were initially taught how to boot the 'Yecch-20' by flipping
front-panel toggle-switches (nine of them, one per bit, plus parity) to load
a boot program. The boot program enabled a paper-tape reader, from which we
loaded the rest of the OS.
Did the AN/UYK-20 turn me on to computers? Absolutely not!! But another part
of the CUDIXS system included a satellite monitor. And this part included a
fairly modern HP minicomputer. And available on this fairly modern HP
mini-computer was a BASIC interpreter! And the instructor for this
particular "Mod" (Module), also named Dave. was infectious in his love for
computers. He owned an Exody "Sorceror". He turned me on to "Byte", and
BASIC. I played my first computer game on this 'Satellite Monitor': Star
Trek. I was hooked!
Well, I finished the CUDIXS course, and came up for orders. Unfortunately,
for me, my high standing in 'A' school, and my 'C' school specialty, didn't
quite wash with the 'Detailer'. I was assigned to the USS San Jose (AFS-7, A
Fscking Ship!), and sent to additional 'C' schools to learn the nuances of
NAVMACS, a 'client' version of CUDIXS.
But I was bitten by the computer bug.
I had 'Christmas leave' before I had to report to the San Jose. I read ads
for the Sinclair ZX-80 'kit' in 'Byte' just before I was due to transfer to
San Jose. I ordered one, and had it sent to my parents' house. Soldering
iron in hand, I put it together over Christmas leave. My monitor was a 5"
portable TV, my storage, a portable AIWA cassette deck that had been a
Christmas present while I was still in high school.
Bear with me...
The San Jose was (is?) homeported in Guam, and was (is?) considered isolated
duty. As such, I was up for orders in just a year. The San Jose, as a
'forward-ported' supply ship, had visited the British owned atoll of Diego
Garcia several times during my tour with her. Diego Garcia fascinated me. It
was, perhaps, 3/4 of a mile wide at its widest point, but stretched some
30-odd miles from tip-to-tip in a convoluted shape of a foot... thus its
nickname - the "Footprint of Freedom". So when I came up for orders again, I
volunteered for 'arduous' duty on the B.I.O.T. (British Indian Ocean
Territory). The detailer took me up on it, and sent me to another 'C'
school, this one in
Great Lakes again.
I reported to Great Lakes. And to make this already too long story short, I
bought a Commodore 64 while stationed there. Paid $650 for it. I was an
"early adapter" then.
"Basic" didn't do it for me on the C=64, so I taught myself 6502 assembler.
This came in handy when I upgraded to the C=128; there were no books
forthcoming on its capabilities, so I dumped its Kernel and disassembled it!
Yada yada yada.
My point here is that I moved from the C=128 to the Amiga 1000, where I
learned to appreciate multitasking. At the same time, I was learning MSDos
3.3 and Windows 2.0 while stationed in Pensacola, FL. I upgraded to an Amiga
2000, my first computer to use a hard-drive. It was about that time that I
received a medical discharge from the USN. The VA offered to put me through
school because of my disability, and I majored in CS. I was introduced to
Unix there. At home, I loved Windows 3.1 - but was also exploring OS/2.
I finally saw the handwriting-on-the-wall as far as OS/2 was concerned. Then
an assistant-professor turned me on (do my 60's-early 70's roots show?) to
Windows 95 is a chore. I resent its "Are you sure", "Are you really sure",
"Are you REALLY REALLY sure?" handholding. I absolutely detest "dll hell".
Linux takes me back to the day when I soldered memory chips to the
motherboard of that Sinclair ZX-80. It takes me back to the days I spent
disassembling the C=128 kernel. It's brought excitement back to my computing
If you've borne with me thus far, I urge you to try installing one of the
latest Linux distributions. RedHat has just announced their version "5.1" is
Give it a shot. And if you have problems, shout at
If I can't answer your questions, I'm sure I can find someone who can.