Let me apologize now, because in part I am blowing off steam, but at the same time I would like to be educated. I am a freelance software developer and thought it was high time I assimilated linux. So here's the track record:
I have a Gateway MX7118 Media Center Laptop. Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3400+, 1.5G RAM, 80GB HDD.
After typing this whole thing, I decided it needed a summary:
- Linux install changed NTFS to Hidden NTFS much to my frustration (solved)
- Broadcom 4318 doesn't work (working on it)
- Old version of gcc packaged with Slackware 10.2 (what's with that?)
- how do I get ndiswrapper to make using gcc 4.1.1? (unresolved)
- KDE unresponsive while working (lots of disk access)
- Damaged file system, do I reformat? (unresolved)
After a year of running WinXP and instability becoming unbearable, I ran the recovery CD. HD0 had 2 partitions, the first a recovery partition, the other for windows. So I resize the partition, burn the ISOs for slackware 10.2, and run the install, all default options. Windows boots on restart... change the active partition to linux... I select linux from lilo and linux works great! Celebration is in order... but first lets try windows... so begins the difficulties.
"autochk.exe not found", computer reboots. So windows is broken. I return to linux to peruse the internet, alas no internet. I suspect my built-in wireless adapter isn't working. So I pop in my recovery CD. It says no bootable partitions found. It reinstalls windows. I reboot and windows starts. Turns out that crappy recovery CD erased the entire hard disk including the recovery partition which had valuable programs like nero etc.
I figure maybe with a non-gateway-moded install of windows and no extra partition maybe linux won't break windows. I install... same problem. I check the internet on another computer... The NTFS partition has been changed to "Hidden NTFS". What the hell for? To keep people from using windows? Hours of installing OSs because of some simple unneeded modification! Moving on.
A minor but still mentionable difficulty, I have no USB mouse while in KDE. USB hub works cause the mouse lights up. Thankfully the built in touchpad is PS2.
So I discover that linux will detect my wireless cable modem when plugged in by USB cable. I just gotta sit in the corner to get things done. So I find ndiswrapper and try to compile it. Would you know it, the latest release of slackware has an old version of gcc. ndiswrapper says it needs gcc 3.4 or newer. someone recommends getting the newer gcc (failing to mention that an older ndiswrapper might have worked, darn it). I get 4.1.1, the latest. I spend the someodd hour and a half to compile and install it (mind you I have no idea what's being made and where it's going except that I followed the gcc install instructions to a T). so I open a bash console and type in "gcc -v" and it reports 4.1.1. so I try makeing ndiswrapper again. Still says it needs 3.4 or newer. So I check some forums and some guy says he used slackwares package manager to uninstall 3.3 whatever... so I do the same and try again. Now it says "Make cc: unknown command" or something to that effect. Great, I uninstall the old gcc and now I've broke something. No idea how to reinstall. I go to slackware's package site and select version 10.2 and package group "D" for software dev stuff... it says there are no packages... Hell, it says there are no packages in any category. So I download gcc 3.4.6 and try to configure that and it says CC environment variable not set... or something so I set CC= to whatever the path for gcc from 4.1.1 was. And whadaya know... it works. My first stroke of good luck. So I compile 3.4.6 and install it. ndiswrapper still says cc: unknown command. I search some forums again and now is when I find that an older version of ndiswrapper may work, so I download it.
I go to bed and wake up the next morning, linux still running, 5 instances of Konqueror running and 2 shells. The download has completed. I move the mouse and the harddrive starts working... for about an hour I have practically no responsiveness except for a very slow to update mouse (which seems to be the case when linux is doing anything at all, compiling makes the computer unusable)... so I power down after about an hour... upon reboot it checks the file system, repairs some inodes and then reboots (funny, I don't remember it ever rebooting after repairing file system before (My battery had once ran out without any warning from linux))... next it says the file system has errors and reboots and does this only...
ARGHHH! What a headache! At least windows still works.
I have read threads of people strongly backing up linux's readiness for the real world... and so it may be, but it is not as friendly as MAC OSX or even Windows. And I am no computer novice. Yes... you have to get to know the OS, but I had to go back to windows to find out about startx. A user friendly OS allows a user to take full advantage of it through discovery alone. This is not very helpful in that sense:
Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy post, and you don't have to go easy on my operator errors, I take correction well. These are my question:
- Old version of gcc packaged with Slackware 10.2, why?
- how do I get ndiswrapper to 'make' using gcc 4.1.1?
- USB mouse doesn't work (haven't researched this yet, prolly simple)
- Does linux have any power management features? My battery ran out without warning.
- KDE unresponsive while working (lots of disk access even after sitting idle for 8 hours)
- Damaged file system, do I reformat?
Thanx for any help!