Utter newbie end-user looking for where to look

Utter newbie end-user looking for where to look

Post by Joe Bachm » Thu, 06 Feb 2003 04:26:43



My interest in computers is as an end-user.  I have been hearing the
whiffs of rumors that various distributions of Linux have progressed
to the point that it might actually be an alternative to our digital
enslavement by the masters in Redmond.  Upon Web-surfing to sites that
purport to be guides for beginners, I'm still confused.  And I
actually was an end-user on a Unix system for about 8 years during my
previous job.  Of course, I never actually had to _install_ the damn
thing and take responsibility for its smooth running.

True, I suppose I could take a few hundred dollars and order one of
the systems that Wal Mart is selling pre-installed with one of the
fancy new Windows-type Linux distributions.  Of course, I'd have to
decide which of them is most suitable for my purposes.  But I actually
have an interest in seeing if I could try out Linux on one of my
exisitng machines (which is something that some of the Linux sites
claims is easy.)

1) A dual boot for my current computer.  This is a circa 2000 AMD
K-6-2 (or is it K-2-6, the logo is not clear)500 MHz with 56 Mb RAM
(soon to be upgraded) and a 10 Gb hard drive.  (I think I might have 2
Gb free, but I could probably clear out a 2-3 more Gb, there's a lot
of junk that needs to get dumped.)  Sure, I could totally trash
Windows, but the rest of the family uses the machine, and we all have
our current work stored on it, and we'd still need to access it.

2) My old 1995 model, another generic with a Cyrix 586 with 32 MB RAM
and an
800 Mb primary hard drive and the 200 Mb hard drive from my 486.  (It
also has a 5 1/4" floppy drive, but no punch-card or paper tape
reader, alas.)  From what I've seen on some of the distribution web
sites, this machine may not run the current versions of Linux.  I was
thinking of perhaps loading an older version and playing with the
computer.  Actually I was hoping to perhaps turn this into a
father-daughter project, hoping to ignite interest in the nitty-gritty
of computers, and that way, if she isn't able to get started in the
liberal-arts career of her dreams, at least she'll be able to make a
respectable living as a systems administrator.

Anyway, I'm looking for guides on how to do this designed for the
utter newbie end-user in mind, as well as suggestions on how to chose
a Linux distribution, and what applications are available.  (becuase,
in the end, I am and end-user.)

Thanks in advance.

 
 
 

Utter newbie end-user looking for where to look

Post by CTE » Thu, 06 Feb 2003 05:23:08



> My interest in computers is as an end-user.  I have been hearing the
> whiffs of rumors that various distributions of Linux have progressed
> to the point that it might actually be an alternative to our digital
> enslavement by the masters in Redmond.  Upon Web-surfing to sites that
> purport to be guides for beginners, I'm still confused.  And I
> actually was an end-user on a Unix system for about 8 years during my
> previous job.  Of course, I never actually had to _install_ the damn
> thing and take responsibility for its smooth running.

> True, I suppose I could take a few hundred dollars and order one of
> the systems that Wal Mart is selling pre-installed with one of the
> fancy new Windows-type Linux distributions.  Of course, I'd have to
> decide which of them is most suitable for my purposes.  But I actually
> have an interest in seeing if I could try out Linux on one of my
> exisitng machines (which is something that some of the Linux sites
> claims is easy.)

> 1) A dual boot for my current computer.  This is a circa 2000 AMD
> K-6-2 (or is it K-2-6, the logo is not clear)500 MHz with 56 Mb RAM
> (soon to be upgraded) and a 10 Gb hard drive.  (I think I might have 2
> Gb free, but I could probably clear out a 2-3 more Gb, there's a lot
> of junk that needs to get dumped.)  Sure, I could totally trash
> Windows, but the rest of the family uses the machine, and we all have
> our current work stored on it, and we'd still need to access it.

as long as it has a CD-ROM drive, just google for newbie howtos.

Quote:

> 2) My old 1995 model, another generic with a Cyrix 586 with 32 MB RAM
> and an
> 800 Mb primary hard drive and the 200 Mb hard drive from my 486.  (It
> also has a 5 1/4" floppy drive, but no punch-card or paper tape
> reader, alas.)  From what I've seen on some of the distribution web
> sites, this machine may not run the current versions of Linux.  I was
> thinking of perhaps loading an older version and playing with the
> computer.  Actually I was hoping to perhaps turn this into a
> father-daughter project, hoping to ignite interest in the nitty-gritty
> of computers, and that way, if she isn't able to get started in the
> liberal-arts career of her dreams, at least she'll be able to make a
> respectable living as a systems administrator.

I currently have a very up to date (using Red Hat's update agent
(up2date)) Red Hat Linux 7.3 system on an old 1995 gateway (Gateway
200's as they were called then) with a 586, 32 MB RAM, but i have
2gb+10gb hds (not much is used though). You would probably need/want to
install a CD-ROM drive to install the latest distro's. I use it as a
router/firewall, DHCP server, DNS server, and plan touse it for
webcasting (with icecast), web server (apache), and a few other things.

Quote:

> Anyway, I'm looking for guides on how to do this designed for the
> utter newbie end-user in mind, as well as suggestions on how to chose
> a Linux distribution, and what applications are available.  (becuase,
> in the end, I am and end-user.)

> Thanks in advance.

  I would suggest mandrake as a newbie distro.

--
Chris Engel
CTE Net
http://ctenet.cjb.net/


 
 
 

Utter newbie end-user looking for where to look

Post by Clive Dov » Thu, 06 Feb 2003 05:24:45



> My interest in computers is as an end-user.  I have been hearing the
> whiffs of rumors that various distributions of Linux have progressed
> to the point that it might actually be an alternative to our digital
> enslavement by the masters in Redmond.  Upon Web-surfing to sites that
> purport to be guides for beginners, I'm still confused.  And I
> actually was an end-user on a Unix system for about 8 years during my
> previous job.  Of course, I never actually had to _install_ the damn
> thing and take responsibility for its smooth running.

> True, I suppose I could take a few hundred dollars and order one of
> the systems that Wal Mart is selling pre-installed with one of the
> fancy new Windows-type Linux distributions.  Of course, I'd have to
> decide which of them is most suitable for my purposes.  But I actually
> have an interest in seeing if I could try out Linux on one of my
> exisitng machines (which is something that some of the Linux sites
> claims is easy.)

> 1) A dual boot for my current computer.  This is a circa 2000 AMD
> K-6-2 (or is it K-2-6, the logo is not clear)500 MHz with 56 Mb RAM
> (soon to be upgraded) and a 10 Gb hard drive.  (I think I might have 2
> Gb free, but I could probably clear out a 2-3 more Gb, there's a lot
> of junk that needs to get dumped.)  Sure, I could totally trash
> Windows, but the rest of the family uses the machine, and we all have
> our current work stored on it, and we'd still need to access it.

> 2) My old 1995 model, another generic with a Cyrix 586 with 32 MB RAM
> and an
> 800 Mb primary hard drive and the 200 Mb hard drive from my 486.  (It
> also has a 5 1/4" floppy drive, but no punch-card or paper tape
> reader, alas.)  From what I've seen on some of the distribution web
> sites, this machine may not run the current versions of Linux.  I was
> thinking of perhaps loading an older version and playing with the
> computer.  Actually I was hoping to perhaps turn this into a
> father-daughter project, hoping to ignite interest in the nitty-gritty
> of computers, and that way, if she isn't able to get started in the
> liberal-arts career of her dreams, at least she'll be able to make a
> respectable living as a systems administrator.

> Anyway, I'm looking for guides on how to do this designed for the
> utter newbie end-user in mind, as well as suggestions on how to chose
> a Linux distribution, and what applications are available.  (becuase,
> in the end, I am and end-user.)

> Thanks in advance.

The easiest way for a first time install is to get Mandrake 9.0 and put
the first disk into the cdrom drive and boot from cdrom, then choose
the default option (Mandrake calls it the recommended option). Unless
your windows is a NTFS file system like XP uses, Mandrake's installer
will detect the existance of the windows system and will
non-destructively shrink the windows partition and install a
linux-windows multi-boot system.  If the partition is NTFS and you
don't have a spare empty partition big enough for linux, you will
either have to destructively partition or get a third party partition
manager such as Partition Magic.

If you choose all the options on the left side of the package selection
page in the "recommended install" and either KDE or Gnome as a desktop
(I prefer KDE and it seems to be the most commonly used) from the right
side of the page and DO NOT select any of the server options on the
right side, your install will come in at about 1 gig leaving the other
gig for swap (twice ram to a max of 256 meg) and any additional
applications and work product.  Tight but workable unless you want to
do some intensive graphics.  Ram should be at least 64 meg and I would
prefer 128.  I have run a similar package on a 2 gig Pentium 120 with
64 megs of ram but I was using it for business applications.

Mandrake, like other current distros, has an extensive set of
applications including browsers, mailers, rom burners, sound, graphics
etc.

Your older machine does not have enough drive for a full GUI linux
system. You could try running a stripped down one such as peanut linux
or a command line only system but it is really not for your first
install as your impression of linux would not be favourable and linux
would not get a fair trial.  However if you can get an 8 gig drive
which ought to be available at a surplus store ($75.00 in Canada last
time I looked) and upgrade your ram to 64 meg it ought to make a nice
starter box for your daughter.  You can put the full range of user
options and a selection of desktops (KDE, Gnome and a couple of lesser
known ones) for her to try out.  She would also have a full gcc
development option aboard and can possibly learn to write code in C or
C++ or a couple of other languages. A java development kit would also
fit into that size drive and leave lots of room for additional
applications and work product.

It may seem that one gig is a lot for a newly installed system, but that
includes a good representative selection of applications and utilities,
dynamic libraries and the gcc compiler and its attendant libraries, all
of which would have to be purchased separately in windows.

 
 
 

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When I issue edquota -u bob , I can edit bob's quotas fine.
aquota.user is created fine.

However, when I reboot or turn on quotas using quotaon -a , it
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ie. edquota is using aquota.user but quotaon is looking for quota.user

If I touch user.quota then quotaon complains that there is an invalid
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aquota.user! Arrghhh!

What the arse is going on, and how can I fix this please? Thanks
muchly.

quotacheck -m works fine.
repquota works fine and shows the quotas I set up using edquota
Quotas are NOT enforced by the system - can fill directories many
times over hard limits

quotaon is /sbin/quotaon dated 5th Sept 2001 20:00, 45692 bytes
edquota is /usr/sbin/edquota dated 5th Sept 2001 20:00, 49052 bytes

RPMs installed are:
initscripts-5.84.1-1.i386.rpm
quota-3.01pre9-0.7.1.i386.rpm
...from ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/updates/7.1/en/os/i386/

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