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Helmut

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Everything posted by Helmut

  1. As to your "Quick Question". Presuming you are in Gnome: Open the "Computer" icon (similar to My Computer in Windows) on the desktop. Double-click on "file system". You will be in " / " which is the highest possible position in linux. Click on "mnt" , it will open and you will see "windows" (= the windows partition) or your common (FAT32) partition. If you only have one single windows partition, and if that is in NTFS, well, thats tough luck. If it is in FAT32 you will be able to access it. Most folks with dual-boot systems have at least one common FAT32 partition, because both Linux and Windows can read and write it. Helmut
  2. Fair enough, Mason! First of all I would install a recent Mandriva version. Mandrake 9.1 is really old. To give you an idea, Linux develops way quicker than Windows and 9.1 seems like light-years behind.. Secondly, what the dickens could be wrong with your CD, never heared of a problem like that? Maybe it really is an ISO? Anyhow, Windows needs to be installed on its own partition which MUST be at the beginning of the drive. For example, hda1 (linux term) equates to "C" in Windows terms. Then you could create an extended partition (eg: hda5) and then create all other partitions, including a common FAT32 partition, and everything else linux needs ("/" being linux's main=root partition, then a "swap"-partition, and maybe a "home"-partition) inside that extended partition. Btw, linux lets you put up to 64 partitions on one drive! When installing a modern-day Mandriva, it will ask you about partitioning. Go to "expert mode" and you can do whatever you like with its excellent built-in partitioning tool. I do not know of any other distribution having a better partitioning tool. Good Luck! Helmut
  3. One year later: Linux still does not seem to have an adequate, meaning fully working equivalent of the Yahoo Messenger, including its webcam function. My friend gave up and switched his PC to Windows because of this. Helmut.
  4. Hi ianw 1974, I use GNOME too, but KDE works fineI except that I prefer Gnome. I had massive graphic problems with mdk2006 and my NVIDA card too. Nothing would work, and the screen only had horizontal psychedelic stripes and nothing was recognizable at all. Going to runlevel 3 in a console and calling up the mcc didn't work either. I swapped the NVIDIA MX440 for an older NVIDIA TNT2, and it initially worked a bit, but after adding the NVIDIA 3D driver, the screen went to garbled rubbish again. Nothing helped. Now I'm back to mdk2005 and Gnome. That works! According to Gnome System Monitor right now, I am using 293.760KB RAM, have 489.86 KB free, and Swap is 0KB used. regards, Helmut
  5. For trying out distros and for playing with them, I would not go for less than 256MB RAM, and 1GHz processor. I agree that $99 is far too much. But then, you could special distros like Puppy Linux or Beatrix or Damn Small Linux to run very well on an old box like that. A full blown distro like mdk on that sort of an old box? Thats like pouring premium fuel into a roman chariot and then expecting it to compete with sportscars on modern roads... Helmut
  6. Getting a very old parallel port (or RS232C) printer to work can be a real pain in the butt! I installed various very old pre-1990 printers, and found out the following: 1) The parallel port mode is very important. If it is not correct, the communication will appear to be working even though it is actually not! Very old printers, especially matrix printers, or those with parallel or/and also RS232C connectors, will usually want the parallel port mode to be "bi-directional". A very few may need "normal" parallel port mode. Note: Choosing EPP or ECP or "EPP + ECP" mode will most probably not work on pre 1995 or so printers! 2) These really very old printers are actually quite rare, and the ppd file which gets installed during printer-install is frequently incorrect. This is because so few people actually use these printers, that hardly anyone finds out the wrong ppd file is being installed by default! Therefore after first making absolutely sure the parallel port communicates correctly, and then after that, if the printer prints alphabet soup instead of letters and stripes instead of images, your next step will be to check if you have the correct ppd-file installed. Just one example for many: The 1989 HP DeskJet PLUS wrongly installs the following PPD-file by default: "HP Deskjet Plus Foomatic/plc3... pcl 3.ppd.gz" THIS IS WRONG! Letters become alphabet-soup and stripes instead of grapics. Correct for this printer is "HP Deskjet PLUS Foomatic...ppd.gz" (without the mention of pcl 3) 3) If the printer head on an old inkjet gets terribly clogged and does not seem to come clean, you may want to try to dissolve the clogged ink with the help of luke-warm water. If that does not work, you could try household window cleaner, the sort with a mild ammonia content. (Windex, Ajax glass clean, etc) The head (and only the head!) neads to be immersed in in it. Expect about a quarter of an hour, maximum one hour to get the head working again. In hopeless cases, overnight. Caution: Never use alcohol, it can easily destroy the head! Never use strong-smelling ammonia solutions, that would dissolve parts inside the actual head! Do not bang, push or rub anything pointy on the head, it easily becomes mechanically damaged. A clean soft sponge thoroughly wet with window cleaner may be used for cleaning or massaging prt-heads. Always take your time, forcing it clean will ruin it! Btw: My oldest HP inkjet printer from1989 still has its original head, often cleaned and refilled countless times. Good luck! Helmut
  7. That's what I mean! Its a Win-Soundcard and works better in Linux than in XP! If that doesn't tell ya something about Linux.. Helmut
  8. What's wrong with KDiskFree? Helmut
  9. I have installed quite a few daul-boot machines, including this one. Here is what I would do: Since you have the first drive full of XP, best just leave that drive as it is. This assumes you want to keep the XP stuff. In Linux this would be your drive hda1, (Hard disc "A" partition 1) XP calls it drive "C". During Mdk install, you can go to "Expert mode" for partitioning. That allows you to delete, create, format or whatever all of your drives. It is a simple but good and extremely powerful tool, therefore you should know what you want to do before actually starting! It is self-explanatory, but as I said, you must know what you want before starting! If you are not really sure, or just want to make sure you don't loose any data, BACKUP YOUR DATA FIRST! Put it on CD or on a USB-stick, whatever you like, but back it up just in case! On your second drive you have an existiing FAT32 and one ntfs partition also. That drive is called hdbx. (Hard Disc "B", partition x). The mdk partitioner will tell you what these are called in Linux. If you want to have a common partition that you can access from both XP and Linux, for example for OpenOffice documents, pics and stuff, you will want to make it in FAT32 or keep your old FAT32 partition on hdb. Both XP and Linux can read and write it. (You will easily find it after installation, don't worry.) Then for Linux you will need at least one root partition called "/" and a swap partition. And additional partition for /usr can't hurt. / should be at least 2-3GB, swap about 1GB, and /usr about one GB plus whatever you recon to want for storing all your own data. For me, 2GB is enough, but thats just me. If you want to delete the old ntfs partitions on the second drive (hdb) to make room for this, or if you want to add yet another drive, its all up to you. But maybe you rather want to delete the old NTFS stuff on the second drive for making room, then resize (enlarge) the FAT32 partition and then create the Linux partitions. Its up to you. The partitioner tool in expert mode can do whatever you want, but it also has the power to do things you don't want! Remember it is a very powerfull and self explanitory tool, if you are doing it for the first time, definitely take your time. If you know what you want, it should work smoothly and perfectly. Generally installation is quick, but a first-timer should really do it slow, reading everything on the screen. Towards the end of install you will get a screen telling you what was found and how the finished installation will be. Take your time to check if it is OK, otherwise correct whatever entry may be false. (Better do it during install than afterward.) Then you will be asked where the bootloader should go. In your case this is the MBR of the first hard drive. Linux is not harder than WindBlows. Its just a lot different. Mdk is one of the most user-friendly, my 12-year old daughter administrates her own system. Good Luck! Helmut.
  10. Strange you are saying that ianw1974! My dual-boot PC has really crappy sound with AC97 and XP, it constantly buzzes and whizzes out of the speaker. No recording is free of self-generated noises. It makes especially loud noises when the mouse is moved, etc. etc. Every recording is crap, just total crap and useless. However in mdk 2005 the same onboard AC97 (Win-) soundcard works just perfectly! That is the main reason why I use it in mdk2005 with Audiacity as a tool for recordings, and some of them are included within the mostly-used packages running on our own computers right now. Hardware problems have not really been a issue on my box at all! I always followed general advice to prefer HP psc devices, NVIDIA video cards, and generally to stay away from Win-xxx crap. Never had compatibility problems since, except for recognition problems of my antique 1989(!) parallel port HP Deskjet-PLUS printer. I think many folks have a problem even considering Linux because the shops are full of software for Wind-Blows. You don't see them selling Linux. People fear they will never get the pdf-creator for Wind-Blows working on a Linux box, not to talk about WinZip. the AcrobatReader or MS-Office. They don't understand what is included in Linux or BSD for that matter, and because it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it certainly can not be worth anything either! Thats how most people think! As an example: A neighbour had one chair too many and put it in front of the house with a sign attached "free for taking". Nobody took it. Some days later the sign was replaced with "Sale, only one Euro!". The chair was sold the same day. "Free stuff can not be worth anything!", thats what people think. Helmut.
  11. For children (My offspring are not kids =baby goats, but rather children!) I would deffintely include the kde edu packackage. See the edu-kde page for details. I really like mc, because it can be invaluable. In certain situations it may be the last tool you can resort to for rescueing data out of a totally defect system. Helmut
  12. Its really just a matter of taste and knowledge level what suits you best. My 12-year old daughter installed mandriva2006 in a dual-boot situation by herself and it works just fine for her, including a common partition (FAT32) for both Wind Blows and Mandriva. On the other hand, you don't really seem to grow out of mdk as quickly as with other distros. If you are wondering about sharing stuff between NTFS/XP and Linux, why not consider a common FAT32 partition? I tried the latest Ubuntu myself, but returned to mdk. Helmut
  13. My daughter loves the kde-edu package on her mdk2005 box! Edubuntu sounds like a good idea for 8-year olds. You may want to look at the edu.kde.org website for details. You can also contribute stuff for the edu-package, just as many others, me included have done. Helmut
  14. I've been using Mandriva for years, but you were the first one who told me about that security page. Didn't know that before! So, let me summarise: Maybe we should advertise those sort of pages more on this website, maybe include that in the FAQ's or post that info somewhere where it shall actually be seen. Helmut
  15. Understood! If their business model were just as good as their software, they might probably be richer than old Bill. Cheers, Helmut
  16. Thats an interesting point, actic! Never realized that about backporting major issues. Lavaeolus also seems to have a good point too, about mandriva communicating some of their vital points to users. This is something we all definitely want to know, and it doesn't really cost much to get that communicated either. Not communicating seems to be like damaging for mandriva. Arctic or Spiny, what would you recommend to a user with: Only 56k modem (phone line always gets terminated after 30min-1h or so), mdk2005 (2006 won't install on that box) FF 1.0.2, TBird 1.02, plus all mdk2005 updates that ever came on CD up till the release of 2006 , but no chance of downloading bigger rpm's, etc.? On the other hand with Wind Blows I had unprovocated crashes on the average every six months or so, and usually data was lost, the entire PC needed a reinstall plus all of those countless Microshaft patches, Firewall, Antivirus, Wind-Blows tools, anti spyware stuff, etc, etc. Then the box needed frequent time-consuming updates for the antivirus, the firewall, the anti-trojan stuff, and so on and so on. It went on endlessly and I had a not very stable system. Ever since Mandriva ( 9.4?) has been on the box, I have never lost any data except when attempting to install 2006. Cheers, Helmut
  17. Hi dexter11, I'm back to 2005 on both machines because of serious installation problems with 2006 (see my point D). Both 2005- and 2006-versions in my posession are DVD's of the original releases. I always applied the security updates as they were published in magazines. After introduction of 2006, that magazine only published updates for 2006 and stopped publishing 2005 updates. Unfortunately my Internet connection is much too slow for for downloading. As I said, I'll just stick with what I have until a new version comes out. No, I don't want to become a member of that translation team and definitely didn't mean the person you suggested. I must have mixed up someone with someone else. The person I thought about is not an admin on any board, wish I could remember what her name was. Sorry about that and all the confusion. Cheers, Helmut.
  18. Thanks for the reply, arctic! In this area there is only modem-based internet access available, so I updated to OpenOffice 2.02 only very recently after finally obtaining a CD. I will just wait for the next mdk release and stay with 2005 till then. Cheers, Helmut
  19. I agree with most of what arctic and others said, but can not refrain from adding my two cents: It would be good if the next mdk did not miss the latest releases of KDE, Gnome, OpenOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird. These are probably the most important "work horse" applications, and they really should be of late release. It would also be good if the included X-version actually worked. Practical examples: A.) I often receive .odt files from clients, but mdk can not open them with ancient OO-versions which makes mdk 2005 and mdk 2006 useless for this work. B.) I need to record audio-files via the headset microphone. In other Linux's (eg.Suse 10.0, 10.1) I can add the very much needed +20dB to the microphone input, but the older mixer and sound recorder (Gnome 2.8) in mdk does not have this feature yet. Because of this, mdk is useless for this work. C.) In a very security-sensitve situation, I really should have latest Thunderbird and Firefox. But with mdk 2006 and 2005 having both of them in ancient 1.0xxx versions, I can not use Mozilla's update function which only works with versions 1.5xx and later. So I am forced to stick with less secure Internet software, something which I should definitly not be doing. D.) One of my computers has a NVIDIA MX440 video card, and a Samsung SyncMaster 700s + CKG7507L monitor. With that combination, there is no way mdk 2006 can be installed using regular means. After installation, the monitor only displays horizontal psychedelic colour stripes. This can initially be corrected by using mcc via a console. But after adding NVIDIA 3D drivers, nothing including the mcc via a console, or editing xorg.conf can make it work again! Then only Knoppix or DamnSmallLinux can retrieve my data before making a reinstall of an older mdk (2005) version. E.) I think the MCC (and other mdk GUI's) are one of mdk's best features, because it makes mdk suitable for noobies and Guru's alike. Users can always choose either GUI or console according to their current knowledge level. In the English version, (can only speak for real English, not American) the mcc and other GUI's are fine for me. However, some German translations in the German MCC version are sometimes so puzzling that I fail to understand what might be meant! I would like to point out I am saying this as a German-born citizen with a PhD, who prefers the English mdk version. I know other Germans of the same opinion, although one particular German user (a member of a German mdk user-forum) is of different opinion. I certainly respect that person's opinion and am sure he/she believes there may be good reasons for it. But I may add his/her use of German grammar and sentence-composition is certainly not what I personally would consider being everyday missunderstanding-free language. Therefore I would like to uplhold my suggestion of checking the German MCC translations. Cheers, Helmut
  20. I'm curious too and continue to follow developments closely. May good fortune be with the team, and let the monster's greed make it devour itself Helmut
  21. That happened to me a few times with a hp printer running on the parallel port. I first looked into the BIOS and the parallel port was correctly set to EPP + ECP. Then I tried the cable. Then tried removing and reinstalling the printer it through the mcc. Nothing seemed to help, so I did this: Unistalled (deleted) printer through mcc. Removed all hpxxx packages from the software. Then reinstalled the hp parallel port printer. Of course I got a prompt to reinstall those hpxxx packages in the process. Now it works fine. Only when I install one of those hp FAX+printer+scanner+copier (Office jet 710) as a second unit, is it when this problem happens to me. On my other computer with a hp psc1100 running via USB, the same thing happens to the psc after installing an Office jet 710 (with built-in FAX) as a second printer. The repair proceedure is also the same. Cheers, Helmut
  22. At the top of this thread hokah asked: Is there any chance to make linux more user friendly, I understand that linux is stable and secure, but for home users we except something really easy in use. Mandriva is doing well but there is still a lot to do in shell when something is wrong. My answer: If you want things much easier you may want to try Xandros, but my 12 year old daughter grew out of that already and now prefers Mandriva. Mandy gives you so much options and there isn't really much that can "go so wrong" that you would really need a shell to fix. Should you really do get an error message in Linux, its not meaningless like in WndBlows but is actually meant to be read! If mdk goes wrong, booting the install-CD with "rescue + Enter" is one option. If that won't help, mdk even tells you what you can do. Another option: If Mandriva automatically boots into a shell and you can not get it back to work, you can always type " mcc " into that same shell and there will be hardly anything that a newby can not fix easily on his or her own. Its all self-explainatory. So why the fuss? Remember the frequent "blue screens" and useless nonsense error messages and constant reinstalls of Windblows? Why, I even remember the product-authentication-numbers of my last three WindBlows versions to this day! So much about how often WindBlows needed reinstalling! In hindsight, I must have been an idiot because it was a waste of time and money using it in the first place! No, hokah, Linux is different from WindBlows. Its not more difficult, just different. It will run and run and run till you forget how to fix it! But that's a different problem. Helmut
  23. Interesting topic! I have 2005SE on this machine in Gnome, and SUSE 10.0 on an identical machine in the other room. According to the Gnome System Monitor the SUSE - computer occupies approx 307MB (!) more RAM just when booted up with no extra applications running. It also is much slower. Initially I thought Mandriva was bloated... Helmut
  24. I've heared of "Linux in a nutshell" but never seen it. My local book store has quite a few Linux books, and you probably will find one in your town. They usually don't mind if you page through them without buying. You may like to go to your local library, or to a library of a university. You can read for free there, or just check out what and if you want to buy from somewhere else. Another good source is one of the better Linux magazines, maybe like Linux Format if you live in the UK. Also, do check if you have the Mandriva documentation installed. Thats what I would look at first. Now that should get you started. Good luck! Cheers, Helmut
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