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About dave_hallett

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  1. Correct me if I'm wrong, or if someone has said this, but I believe the problem here is that web1000.com redirects browsers that are from outside the US (or something like that). To test this (I haven't the time right now), set up your browser with a US-based proxy and then try his link. I'm here in the UK, and I'm certainly getting redirected. If so, probably not the best choice for hosting a site of international interest! Dave
  2. Hmm, the Force is strong in this one... interesting... Thanks Gowater, that's most informative. You'll be relieved to hear that I am reaching information overload at this point. I will go and lie down in a darkened room and let all this sink in for a bit. Or maybe just lie down in a dark room... whether anything will sink in is another question. Have you thought about writing a Beginner's Guide to the Kernel? You seem to have done most of the hard work in this thread already.
  3. I would add: if SMART says your drive has a problem, there's probably a problem. But just because SMART says no problem, doesn't mean it's necessarily OK. There are problems that SMART doesn't catch, IIRC.
  4. Sorry to be slow responding, things have been hectic here. And also apologise for taking this thread OT, but oh well, it happens. cybrjackle, thanks for the link, interesting read. Yoda, I mean Gowator :) you write clearer explanations when you haven't been to the pub, but I expect you know that already. The anecdote about Win3.1 is good - I do remember 3.1, but I was even more ignorant then than I am now (extraordinary, but true). As regards my age, let's just say that Steve and I have a lot in common ;) I am amused that the answer to my question as to why things needed to be compiled into the kernel was that they generally don't. Though this statement >When you compile a kernel you choose whether a certain 'driver' is compiled in or as a module. is helpful. And I get the general sense that it's usually for reasons of performance. I think. Some confusion however arises in that there seems to be two senses of the word "kernel" - one is composed largely of modules, the other seems to be an atomic entity, in the sense that you can't divide it further, only add to it. Is that right? I would then hazard a guess that it's this "atomic" kernel that needs the patches, the recompiles, and the reboots. Because any other problem could be fixed by removing a module and replacing it with another. Unless you need the performance gains from compiling it in. Would that be anything vaguely approaching right? btw, I'm very grateful for all the info, and don't feel obliged to respond. Only do it if you're having fun (good motto, don't you think?)
  5. Thx, both of you, that was helpful. Gowator, your post was particularly illuminating. The kernel being composed of modules - that's good. I have a feeling I may not understand the answer to my next question, which is: why do the modules have to be compiled into the kernel? I'm sure if it was easy to make it so you could swap around modules with only a reboot, those wise gurus who actually write Linux kernels would have done it by now. So there must be a reason, but I wonder what it is. Maybe it's just performance...?
  6. I see a chance to learn something here. Recompiling the kernel so that your hardware works... what's that about? Why does it need to happen? Is it universally acknowledged as a problem, or do some people claim it's a feature? Please send all info here to Newbie Central... PS I agree v. much with your comments. The real reason I have Linux installed on my machine is because I like to play with my PC, much to the bafflement of my wife, who is an IT professional and has a far more functional attitude to hers!
  7. I guess I could have put that a little more clearly, but it was getting late. If you just start from a blank HD and the Mandrake CDs, no you probably don't need to know about partitions, so long as you're happy to accept the defaults, and you don't go wandering into diskdrake saying "I wonder what this button does...". If however you already have a working MS installation that you don't want to hose, it would be good to know something about partitions before trying to install Linux, IMO. Of course, you *may* be able to just trust the install software to take care of you (shudders) and survive OK. But that's not the way I prefer to do things! I've seen too many posts of the "I did this and then that and now nothing will boot" kind. Naturally, YMMV.
  8. I use XOSL. You may want to add it to the poll. The xosl.org site is no longer around, but it's still available at the Ranish Partition Manager site. It's a little tricky to get your head around at first, but I like it a lot. It has to use LILO/GRUB to boot Linux though, so not much reason for Linux users to change. I like having a boot loader that's independent of any OS.
  9. dave_hallett

    Menus Empty

    Have you tried this? http://www.mandrakeusers.org/index.php?showtopic=8481 For me, I found that once I could get menudrake to run, all I had to do was make some minor adjustment then save, and they all came back. What I found confusing about the "lost menu" thing was that not only were there no menus, but all the file associations were broken too, which was worrying. But as soon as the menus were fixed, everything else was fine.
  10. Interesting post Steve. Here's my 0.02 Euro. I'm new to Linux, but so far I like what I see in many ways. I currently triple boot my machine using XOSL. Win98SE (games) and Win2000 (work) share one HD, Mandrake 9.2 gets the other (smaller) one to itself. Linux is currently just for fun and education, but well, we'll see. I'm happy to run two different OS for gaming purposes (the 98SE install is very very stripped down and boots in a flash) so why not three? Incidentally, I find Win2000 to be very stable. Applications may sometimes crash, but not the OS. So why don't people move from MS to Linux? There's hardware. I have a TB SantaCruz soundcard that's not well supported by Linux, not for anything beyond 2-channel stereo (if anyone can put me right there, I'd be pleased). I understand why TB can't be bothered to write Linux drivers for this near-obsolete little gem, but it's an issue. There's games, which is linked to hardware - the more Linux drivers become commonplace, the more interested games shops will be. There's lots and lots of decent Windows-based freeware out there, and it's not easy to find replacements, or even find out whether they exist. For example, I'm very fond of Font Thing (http://members.ozemail.com.au/~scef/tft.html) and I haven't found a freebie replacement under Linux that I think is as good (GFontview is the best so far). That's just a one-off, top-of-the-head example. I probably have plenty more. Sure, there's lots of excellent Linux freeware too. But I find that it tends to have a different focus/slant from the Windows stuff. Maybe that's to do with Joel Spolsky's comments about Windows and Unix cultures. (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Biculturalism.html) And maybe not. I think another big reason for people not to move is that they fear the learning curve, and they can't easily estimate how big a deal that will be. I'm techie enough to be able to code in C#, and I'm not scared of reading manuals. But I can't really tell how much there is to learn here (quite a lot obviously), and how much of it is necessary/useful/just for uber-geeks/etc. Anytime you're starting with a new anything, you're going to need an 'expert' at some point, to tell you the answers to stuff it would take you years to work out for yourself. My 'expert' is generally Google, but boards like this one certainly do a lot to make uptake of Linux more possible. (I think this is true of any hardware or software, and it's the reason I've no time for fanboys of any sort. If I have a problem with my ATI card, I want a board where users share their knowledge and experience, not one where everyone bangs on about how "nVidia sux". Boooring.) I've noticed that Linux users get rather irritated when people suggest that if they want users to migrate from Windows, they should allow them to have a more Windows-like user experience. Why should Linux be more like Windows, they ask, reasonably. Linux is what it is. The problem is that when you have only used Windows OS, if you're a naive user, that's your idea about how a computer works. So moving to a different OS can be quite confusing, as now features that you thought were just part of how a computer worked (press F1 for help) turn out to be missing or different. Even if you know that you can't rely on things being the same, it's not obvious what parts of your knowledge will be useful in Linux, which will find analogies, and which will simply have to be discarded. So my suggestion is that if you want people to move to Linux from Windows, there needs to be a guide that outlines how using Linux is going to be different from using Windows, in language appropriate to the level of user you're trying to reach. Unless you're able to give them a new mental model to work with, the whole thing is a step into the dark that only the most confident will attempt. A lot of Linux basic guides are either of the "How To" recipe type (useful but not illuminating) or else try to get people more comfortable at the command line (certainly a good idea). Nothing that I've seen tries to give them the big picture, a map to follow. Such a thing would be hard to write, not least because a lot of the people with the experience to write one can no longer remember what it was like to know nothing! This is a long post... I'll round up by saying that I don't think anyone who's comfortable with disk partitions, has the money for another HD, and has the time to do a little learning should be put off trying Linux, and Mandrake 9.2 has certainly impressed me. I find myself thinking about how nice it would be if I could do all my stuff on this OS. Not so much because it's stable (2000 is stable) or secure (I have Windows reasonably secured) but because of the separation of concerns - OS here, apps here, hardware here, etc. I like its style, in short. Whether Linux is ready yet for naive users who have no idea what a partition is, and think that computers basically work by magic, is debatable, but I rather doubt it. The one thing that will really persuade people to take up Linux is for there to be something they can do with their machines, that they really *want* to do, that can only be done with Linux. The killer app, in short. Linux is steadily munching into the list of MS killer apps, but it needs some (desktop) ones of its own before it can really persuade people to move from the MS OS they curse, but know, and have often already paid for. Want Linux to rule the OS world? Go write them apps. "Does what you can already do, only more secure and more stable" is not a great marketing slogan. "Does what no other OS can do" - that's more like it!
  11. Hi, I'm just a newb at all this, so hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong. AFAIK, the easiest way to use a font both in Windows and in Linux is to have it as a TTF file, as these can be used by either OS (license permitting, I guess). As regards your font, I believe it's Bitstream Vera (looks the same to me anyhow), which is available from here: http://www.gnome.org/fonts/ and probably many other places. I like it too, but I haven't tried putting the TTFs on my Windows box yet.
  12. I agree - but I've found if I just log out and then log straight back in again with my usual ID (no need to reboot), that has always solved it so far. Naturally, YMMV.
  13. anon (and patrick), you were both completely right, and I'm sorry if I ever seemed to doubt you. I reset the menus in menudrake, and everything is now fine. Well, This Computer in the Welcome thing still can't find its file, but I can't say I really care about that. :D I will learn from this that just because my Mandrake appears to be utterly hosed, doesn't mean it really is. Thanks again, Dave (typing this post from Galeon, running under Mandrake 9.2 )
  14. Thanks very much for your patience - I think my bewilderment was beginning to show back there. I'll try this stuff and let you know how it works.
  15. I'm sorry, but we seem to be on different planets here. How do I open the Control Center when there's nothing on any menu? Come to that, how do I open a console? Previously I would have gone to Terminals - Konsole, but that's not there. If I select any of the documents listed in Recent Documents, the system doesn't know what app to open it with, and and there are no apps in its list of well-known apps either, if I recall correctly. I guess I could restart Linux in text only mode. But then what? It seems to me that reinstalling as update is most likely to work, because that's what saved me the last two times this happened. But I would like to know whether I'm going to have redo all the Update stuff. My personal guess is not, because last time the apps I asked it to install were still installed when I got back to a working desktop. But updated apps might be different - I really don't know much. So I come here for advice :)
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