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The problems de computers, she does not goes away!

Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:

Here's my fortnightly update:

  • 1. State-of-the-art SMP multimedia rig: I got a cheap notebook. My aspirations toward uber-tronkie desktop power continue apace. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. (YMMV on which side is the "dark path": notebooks, state-of-the-art desktops, or DELL.)

  • 2. X on Debian: See my problem of the week, below. Ia! Ia! Ubuntu Fthagn!

  • 3. Bargain basement video editor cards and editing software: Dude, I got me a Dell. An Inspiron 6000, to be exact. We'll see if it's any good for vidding. 64Mb ATI, which is twice the RAM (and at a glance, twice the GPU) of the 32Mb ATI FireGL card I got in April, 2002 with Numerramar. That should be about an eighth of the current state-of-the-art, according to Moore's Law of GPU (3 years * 12 months == 36 months == 4 * 9 month doubling rate; 24 == 16). I've found, however, that notebook computer GPUs have a more desktop-CPU-like doubling rate of closer to 18 months. In any case: any idea what I might be able to do with this?



And now, the new problems:

Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Ubuntu Hobbiton wgah'nagl fhtagn: can I get a Lunix?

Six years! Six freaking years and I haven't had a decent Linux installation at home that I have booted more than three times.

That includes:

  • 1999: Red Hat Linux 6 dual-booting with Windows 2000 on Vaire, then an AMD K6/3-400

  • 2000: Linux PPC 2000 on the 6Gb drive of Este, my Yosemite (G3-333) iMac (I also had LPPC2K on Yavanna, a PowerMac G4-350 in my lab)

  • 2001: RH6 on the old 6Gb drive of Vingilot, my ThinkPad 600E (RH7 did work on the hobbits in my lab this year, though P6-180s were already obsolete)

  • 2002: RH7 dual-booting with WinXP on Numerramar - used it only twice (though one of these times was to save my data when my drive had some clusters in the kernel directories of Windows on my boot partition go bad)

  • 2003: reinstallation of RH7, then skipped to RH9 Shrike on Numerramar (meanwhile, RH8 Psyche was working on Anaire in the lab)

  • 2004: Fedora Core on the new Vaire, a P5-120 cobbled together by my students - Banadad used it for two months, but he is even more tolerant of suffering than I am (X on 800x600! It's ungodly!)

  • 2005: Debian, Gentoo 2004.3, and now Ubuntu and Debian 2005.0. Will this be the day?



My Debian installation was a flop. The X server never worked for that, so I gave up after a half dozen tries over the last six months.

My question: I'm trying to make a bootable CD for installing Ubuntu, and Nero is asking for a boot image (on floppy). What type of boot image do you usually use in that case - a Windows system disk or something else? Normally, with Red Hat and Debiana and even Gentoo, I can just burn the ISO, boot it, and lay down the OS. Ubuntu's is not bootable by default. Could this be because I am using a CD-RW?


Dude, Where's My TrackPoint?

The touchpad, or "mousing surface", on this Dell Inspiron 6000 takes a little getting used to. Every now and then I get into a state where "mouse down is set", and I have to tap the pad to "shake" it out of the stuck state. Presently, I have been hooking up a Microsoft USB trackball to get around this. Does anyone know whether there's a general "escape mode" to unclick the touchpad? (Excuse the awkward wording of my question; I am not familiar with the correct terminology for these things. As you may have guessed, I did not bother to check whether this Dell model had a control dot option as do the ThinkPad T30s with both touchpads and TrackPoints.)


SlugOS: WinXP Home Hanging

OK, plugging in USB mice and trackballs on this Dell is all well and good, but it still hangs like Danny Deever every now and again. That is, it just locks out all I/O: keyboard, mouse, etc. and sits there, doing no context switching (change of focus).

I know COMPAQs have a hell of a lot of spyware on them - I had an unbearable amount for the four months or so that I left Telperion with its original factory installation of WinXP Home. Is it so for Dell? The hanging or hiccups seem to happen much more when I'm on the touchpad, but I'm starting to wonder if it's due to Norton Internet Security 2005 or some other non-real time daemon or resident feature. What do you think?


Thanks very much, as always!

--
Banazir

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
zengeneral
Jul. 10th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
haha
Six years! Six freaking years and I haven't had a decent Linux installation at home that I have booted more than three times.

Whaha, there is no decent linux install! they are all "crap on cd"

I laugh at your linux pain! whahahahaha, don't install linux, it will get you nothing but misery and pain.
banazir
Jul. 10th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
No decent Linux
I knew what you were going to say. :-)

Right now, I just want to boot the CD.

Might I add, absence of a quijillion overdetailed verbose boot messages would be nice. There's something to be said for abstracting and hiding details from the user.

--
Banazir
taiji_jian
Jul. 11th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
If you install Ubuntu, you'll only ever need to boot it once, cos it works right the first time. :)

/me psots this from a Hoary box running Firefox in GNOME. It is t3h sw337X0r.

As far as bootable CDs go, you can not hand-build a bootable linux system with Nero, as far as I know. When you boot off such a CD, the boot image is uncompressed at boot time and treated like a logical floppy drive. The CD itself is not treated as a boot volume. In other words, anything that is not in your boot image is inaccessable when you boot form a home-made CD.

The only way to hand build a system like this that I know of is to install your OS onto a second hard-drive and use that hard drive as the boot image. This is OK for distribution, but not so good for making boot CDs to mess around with.

If anyone knows a way around this, lemme know!

However, both the install and live images from ubuntu are bootable by default. Are you using the Nero "Burn Image" option? If you do "new data disk" and make it bootable, it will try to copy the ISO file to the CD, rather than reading it as an image.

You might want to try "ISO Recorder" instead of Nero. There's some info about it in the last post in this thread:

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-38019.html

If all else fails, I may have a spare set of Hoary disks I can send you.
banazir
Jul. 11th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Paggie!
If you install Ubuntu, you'll only ever need to boot it once, cos it works right the first time. :)
Yay! That's wot I wanted to hear.

/me psots this from a Hoary box running Firefox in GNOME. It is t3h sw337X0r.
Sw33t! I mean, 1337! I mean... wlel, you know.

As far as bootable CDs go, you can not hand-build a bootable linux system with Nero, as far as I know.
Now, wait a minute - I could have sworn I once copied a bootable WinXP image CD-to-CD. Also, there a "bootable data disk" option in the Nero wizard (I have v6 but am using an antiquated v5 that came bundled with my CD/DVD+R/RW drive). It asks me for a system disk.

When you boot off such a CD, the boot image is uncompressed at boot time and treated like a logical floppy drive. The CD itself is not treated as a boot volume. In other words, anything that is not in your boot image is inaccessable when you boot form a home-made CD.
Hrm... wlokay. Right now I've set BIOS to take floppy, CD, and HD, in that order, and the existing Debian install is always what boots.

The only way to hand build a system like this that I know of is to install your OS onto a second hard-drive and use that hard drive as the boot image. This is OK for distribution, but not so good for making boot CDs to mess around with.
Ugh. That can't be the only way!

The Ubuntu install docs mention an "USB memory stick" boot feature, which I'm willing to use at need, but not eager to try otherwise. I've never booted a USB device other than a floppy before.

My options seem to be:

1. set my SanDisk Cruzer Mini 1Gb USB data key up to boot (+0)
2. set up a HD and move it (-2)
3. ask a friend or write to Ubuntu for a free install CD (-1)

Any others?

If anyone knows a way around this, lemme know!
I'll try the USB thing first if there's no other way.

However, both the install and live images from ubuntu are bootable by default. Are you using the Nero "Burn Image" option? If you do "new data disk" and make it bootable, it will try to copy the ISO file to the CD, rather than reading it as an image.
Gah. So what should I be burning? I am a Nerogramus (Neroglodtye?). Me banazir, me wantum BOOT CD.
(Disclaimer: I don't know much about using computers, not nearly as much as I should.)

You might want to try "ISO Recorder" instead of Nero. There's some info about it in the last post in this thread:
http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-38019.html

Aha! I shall try it. If all else fails: can I burn one using my existing Debian easily? Note: no X-based apps; the whole reason I'm switching to Ubuntu is because XWindows dknot work.

If all else fails, I may have a spare set of Hoary disks I can send you.
Thank you! I'm going to try DIY first, but I may take you up on that offer.

BTW, how's life?

--
Banazir
de_profundiis
Jul. 11th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
I believe the CD burn problme was explained above.

As for the touchpad, the answer is yes, although I cannot tell you exactly how to do it (/me owns 0.0 laptops ;) but I've seen it on the web on some forums.

good luck
banazir
Jul. 11th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
Trasky O'Dell
I believe the CD burn problme was explained above.
Hrm, well, kindasorta.
I could have sworn I've been able to copy a bootable WinXP CD before.
Not that I would do such an eViol piratical thing ("Bring me Solo and the Wookiee!") *snerk*

I'll keep looking about the touchpad.
So you think that's what be hanging' me Dell?

--
Banazir
de_profundiis
Jul. 11th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Trasky O'Dell
There are known cases of touchpad misbehaviour :), most of all due to poor device drivers for them... I would advise the following:

1) try emailing Dell about it (or searching their site for this kind of support)

2) register ASAP on the OS's forum and

i) search for persons with the same issue;
ii) ask the question yourself to get some feedback from other users

BTW... there are also LJ communities dedicated to many Linux distros such as ubuntu, gentoo, etc

I always had good experiences with forums, specially the gentoo forum

Hope I was able to help
prezzey
Jul. 11th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC)
Vingilot, my ThinkPad 600E

. o O (OK, I know it was in 2001, but maybe...)

Do you still have it around?

BTW I am a new Ubuntu user myself. It was my brother who installed it... I was down with the flu (IIRC... my memories of the event are really vague) and I felt too awful to do just about anything, but I needed a working system very fast, and he offered to help me out with the install. Which wasn't much trouble in fact, as Ubuntu recognized all hardware in my brand-new HP notebook at once. (Something the factory WinXP install was not capable of, BTW - no one who has tried this far could get the Wi-Fi card to work.)

I have booted the WinXP install only three times in total (two of those were attempts to get the Wi-Fi card to work), and I have been using the notebook for a whole semester now. Ubuntu does it!
taiji_jian
Jul. 12th, 2005 03:18 am (UTC)
So say Bill's Teeth:

"I could have sworn I once copied a bootable WinXP image CD-to-CD. Also, there a "bootable data disk" option in the Nero wizard (I have v6 but am using an antiquated v5 that came bundled with my CD/DVD+R/RW drive). It asks me for a system disk."

Nero can, I believe, do a raw-mode bitwise copy sorta like CloneCD's RAW DA0. When you do this, it doesn't care whether the disk is bootable or not. You get a 1:1 mirror copy of your original CD.

The "bootable data disk" option is for turning, say, WinXP boot-floppies into WinXP boot-CDs. It's kinda like how you used to have to write boot images to floppies with RawRwite back in the good ol' days.

If you want to make Ubuntu disks with Nero, here's what you should do:

1 - Make sure your computer is turned on.

2 - Insert a blank recordable CD media into your CD-burning device. (Make sure that you open the tray first, and take out any CDs that may be in there already. Also, you should close the the CD tray after this step. Please be advised that it is not a coffee-cup holder.)

3 - Go to Start -> All Programs -> ahead Nero -> and click (once!) on "Nero Burning Rom."

4 - If you see a button that says "close wizard," click it, and then click "cancel." Otherwise, click "cancel" to close the "new compilation" window.

5 - Go to the "file" menue, and click (once!) "burn image." An Explorer window will appear that will let you navigate the files on your hard drive!

6 - Use the explorer window to find the file named "ubuntu-5.04-install-i386.iso" and select it.

7 - You will then have to do some other things. Ask any freindly computer professors that you may happen to have handy. Eventually there will be a button to start the burn process. When it gets done, you should have a bootable install disk.

Also, yes, you should be able to do it from Debian, if you have a command line CD recording program like cdrecord. According to the forums, you should do:

cdrecord -v dev=/dev/dvd ubuntu-x-install-x.iso

Where "/dev/dvd" points to your cd-writer

And, seriously Bill, I'd be happy to run off a copy of my disks. It's not even, you know, piracy since it's Ubuntu. They *want* us to do that kind of thing. :)

Life, BTW, is good. I just got a new bow, and a car. I also got a nice Samsung LCD, but that's a little lower on the ol' cost scale. I am broke, but cruising. :) I am looking forward to the new concert season, when I will actually have money again.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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