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texasnoob 06-02-2004 09:13 PM

completely new to linux/slackware
 
I upgraded my parents' home computer and in return received what they didn't need anymore, which is the remains of an old Dell L500r (case, PSU, motherboard, processor, RAM). Using this platform, I threw in from other sources a floppy, CDROM, sound card, network card, and a new 40 gig hard drive. Complete with a new (cheap) keyboard, an old mouse, some speakers, and a poor-quality monitor my former tech support teacher gave me (15 in. CRT), I now have a working, mostly old computer. Its specs are:

PIII Processor, 500 MHz
Intel motherboard, 810E chipset with integrated video
256 MB unknown/factory RAM
40 GB Western Digital HD
D-link 530Tx+ 10/100 Mbps ethernet card
Creative Soundblaster PCI sound card
unknown old floppy
unknown slow old cdrom (16x max, it's really sad)

Micro Innovations keyboard (ps2)
Microsoft intellimouse w/ scroll button (ps2)
old optiquest monitor (former property of clovis municipal schools)

Slackware v. 9.1
KDE desktop manager

It started out with some old sorry 2 gig hard drive, and I first installed XP Pro on it. It was basically useless, though, as I didn't even have enough space to install service pack 1. I decided forget it, I'd been wanting to try linux for a while anyway, and I wiped the hard drive and tried to install slackware linux. However, 2 gigs is not enough for slackware either, and so I decided to buy a brand new drive, thus the 40 gig comes into play. Anyway, I finally got Slackware installed. So far I find it interesting, but a little cryptic and hard to understand. So I have a few (very) basic questions (in fact, I'd be embarassed to ask most of them about Windows) and I'd be accepting of any advice I receive.

My questions are:
1) The scroll wheel on my mouse doesn't seem to work. I don't know where to begin looking to correct this. I'm dependent upon my mousewheel!
2) I have no idea how to find out what the current resolution is or how to change it. It's too low right now, and the side-to-side scrollbars on all the webpages are starting to annoy me.
3) For some reason when I open certain windows the bottom of the window is underneath the taskbar/goes beyond the bottom of the screen, which hides the "ok", "apply", "cancel" etc. buttons. I had this problem with the original KDE setup program (where I set region/language, etc.) and it took me a while to figure out what to do. It still does it with certain things (such as "configure desktop" under rightclick and then "screensaver". How do I make it work right?
4) No clue how to check on/manage Hard drive space, or what the main folder is (comparable to "C:/" in windows) etc.
5)if I were to insert a floppy or cdrom I wouldn't know how to access it.
6) EDIT: I don't know if I have sound or not, and I don't know how to check it/fix it.

I am using this computer right now to surf the net, and so obviously the network set up flawlessly (much easier than win98se). I am a very extreme newbie to any form of linux, but I am willing to learn.

I would appreciate any help you could provide.

Shade 06-02-2004 09:32 PM

Hello there, Tex :)

I've been there before, as we all started off.

First things first --
You'll grapple with slackware for a little bit, depending on how computer savvy you were to begin with. Most of the real configuration is done within simple text files -- which can be a plus and a minus.
Your first step towards conquering your problems should be to find a good text editor that you're comfortable with.. Preferably a command line text editor. You'll be able to use that with or without the graphical desktop, which is why I recommend one.
Two of the easier ones installed with slackware by default are joe and pico. Pico has most of the essential instructions on screen, and is very similar to working in notepad. Ctrl-KEY combinations will save your files, etc.

Now then, onto your real problems.
The scroll wheel is an easy fix (that is, once you learn a good text editor).
You should be familiar with the concepts of user permissions, root (which is the ALL powerful user, can do anything, edit any file, etc) and also have a regular user account whose priveleges are limited mainly to running programs and saving/editing files within your /home/user folder.
You'll have to be root to edit most system files.

To fix the mouse wheel, you need to edit the file /etc/X11/XF86Config
Find the section which looks like this, below, namely InputDevice with an identifier like mouse.

Code:

Section "InputDevice"

    Identifier  "Eraser"
    Driver      "mouse"

    Option "Protocol"    "IMPS/2"

    Option "Device"      "/dev/mouse"
#  Option "Device"      "/dev/psaux"
#  Option "Device"      "/dev/ttyS0"
#  Option "Device"      "/dev/ttyS1"
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

EndSection

You need to add that line which reads Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
And you should be good to go after logging back into X.

There is a lot of stuff in that file, most of it is commented out, which means it has a # mark in front of it, and X doesn't pay any attention to what follows. You'll see examples of that in my little excerpt above.

Your resolutions are dealt with the same way, in that file. KDE may be able to help configure that for you. Look around your K menu for display options, or a control panel of some sort. I haven't used KDE in a while, myself.

If you want to take a crack at editing it by hand, just post back :)

Next -- I've had that problem with windows opening outside of the viewing range, etc. This is mostly due to your low resolution. As a temporary fix to this, when it happens, if you hold down alt and click in the window, you can move it around to the point you can hit the ok or apply button.

Konqueror, the KDE file manager and web browser can tell you about your hard drive.
Some command line tools are df (disk free) and du (disk usage.. from the current directory).
You can use df -h (which means disk free -human readable)

The root directory, roughly equivelant to c:\ is simply /
The concept of drives with alphabetical letters is something windows-only. Every disk you use has its own filesystem, and when you put a disk in your drive, you're really mounting it, or sort of integrated it into your root / fileysystem.

For example, when you "mount" a cdrom you can access it at /mnt/cdrom
There are some howtos and tutorials you can search for and find referenced around here that will teach you quite a bit about the filesystem layout and the tree-structure.

Linux is great, once you get used to its differences.

Post right back with any questions or clarifications you want -- I typed this up pretty darn quickly and didn't do much formatting or proof-reading.

--Shade

thewizard20 06-02-2004 09:33 PM

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ht=scrollwheel
that will tell what you need to get the scrollwheel working wich is located in /etc/X11 and use xf86config to set up your resolution do the xf86config before you startx.

trickykid 06-02-2004 09:36 PM

Re: completely new to linux/slackware
 
1) The scroll wheel on my mouse doesn't seem to work. I don't know where to begin looking to correct this. I'm dependent upon my mousewheel!
2) I have no idea how to find out what the current resolution is or how to change it. It's too low right now, and the side-to-side scrollbars on all the webpages are starting to annoy me.
3) For some reason when I open certain windows the bottom of the window is underneath the taskbar/goes beyond the bottom of the screen, which hides the "ok", "apply", "cancel" etc. buttons. I had this problem with the original KDE setup program (where I set region/language, etc.) and it took me a while to figure out what to do. It still does it with certain things (such as "configure desktop" under rightclick and then "screensaver". How do I make it work right?

These 3 questions pretty much can be fixed by running the command xf86config as root to reconfigure X, which will ask for your video type, resolution settings, mouse type, etc. It will solve the problem of the windows going beyond the bottom of your screen as your most likely using the default XF86Config which isn't setup for your video type and such.
Follow the prompts and read them carefully, if in doubt, just say yes or press enter.

4) No clue how to check on/manage Hard drive space, or what the main folder is (comparable to "C:/" in windows) etc.

df -h - This will display your hard drive space in human readable format. man df for more options, details.

5)if I were to insert a floppy or cdrom I wouldn't know how to access it.

man mount - The man pages on mounting devices. Also search the forums, asked way to often. ;)

6) EDIT: I don't know if I have sound or not, and I don't know how to check it/fix it.

You have a soundblaster, most likely the module could already be loaded to run. Do this as root so other users can use sound:

chmod 666 /dev/dsp* /dev/mixer*

And this also reminds me, run adduser to create a regular user so your not logging in as root, bad security. su - to root when you need to admin your box, etc.

Kovacs 06-02-2004 09:50 PM

A good place to start if you're new to linux and/ or slackware:

http://www.slackware.com/book/

ringwraith 06-02-2004 11:38 PM

Welcome to Slackware. From the tone of your post I think you are more of a learn to fish type guy rather than want to be given a fish. Kovacs gave you a must read link. There is an email in root's mail box right now (actually 2) from Patrick Volkerding (our master as creator of Slackware). The email is a must read and has lots of information that is constantly asked on these help sites because no one reads the email. Just login as root and use mail (actually nail I believe) or mutt to read it. The FAQ for alt.os.linux.slackware is found at http://wombat.san-francisco.ca.us/fa...c/cache/1.html
An unofficial Slack book is at http://slackbook.lizella.net/
One site that you should read daily with all the latest Slack news and it also has a ton of links on it that you can spend the day going through http://userlocal.org/
I hope this gets you started, almost every question you asked is answered on one of these sites. Searching this board will almost always get you answers. Remember it will be a very rare thing that you have a question that has not been asked and answered many times before. Also Google can answer almost any question you have if you properly phrase your question.

texasnoob 06-03-2004 03:51 PM

Thanks much for the help, guys. I ended up running xf86config to try to fix the resolution and mouse. I got through it all right, but it still didn't get things quite like I wanted them, and so I opened the xf86config file in /etc/x11 and edited it directly. I added the line that Shade suggested to the mouse section, and now my wonderful scroll wheel works again. I also made it where the default monitor res starts at 800x600. I set it at 1024x768 with the xfconfig program, but I decided that was too high for the monitor (couldn't read the words on it, too small) so instead of running the program again I decided to edit the file to fix it. It worked. I think the res started at something like 600x400 or something pitiful like that. The side-to-side scroll is much less prominent now, and I am glad. Also, I don't have the problem with windows opening outside the viewable area anymore.

Thanks for the link, Kovacs, I bookmarked it and will definitely check it out when I get more time.

Ringwraith: I was wondering why it told me I had mail when I logged in as root, but now I know why. Now I just need to figure out how to configure the mail to work with my ISP account...but I'll figure that out myself. No need for you guys to take up your time explaining it to me.

Thanks again,

Will (a.k.a. texasnoob)

Shade 06-03-2004 05:24 PM

See? Just a little nudge in the right direction, and you're already fixing your own problems :)

That's one thing that linux is all about :-D
*tear in his eye*


--Shade

SBing 06-04-2004 02:25 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Shade
That's one thing that linux is all about :-D
*tear in his eye*

lol, :D!

Yeh slackware does start making sense after a bit, stick with it, and good luck :)

Steve


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