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Old 07-14-2004, 10:56 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: New York, NY
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 67

Rep: Reputation: 16
getting started with libranet: repairing from bad CDs?

(Ok. I started writing a message with 7 big questions in it, but I was running the cd verify sh file for libranet at the same time, and now it says my cds failed again. this is the second set of cds this has happened with, and I don't know why it would be failing. I have never had CD burning problems before. Is there a way to repair my installation now that I am in it, and it seems to be working pretty well? Here's the beginning of the original message I was typing:)

Well. I've had a LOT of trouble getting started with Linux, but I will spare you the details. Now that I have installed Libranet, I want someone to hold my hand as I make any changes to it, so I don't totally screw it up again. I apologize in advance for asking questions that I am sure have been asked before.

What would be really nice would be if I could put some people on my AIM buddy list and get realtime help. I believe there's a way for you to send me personal messages or emails on here. If you are willing, give me your screenname through that.

I won't be offended if you assume I know nothing about Linux. I know a few commands and have tried out Knoppix, but really don't know that much.

I'm on a Thinkpad 600E, fresh (minutes old) Libranet 2.8.1 install.

(I will leave the other questions for later.)
Old 07-14-2004, 11:41 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: New York, NY
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 67

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Notice that I don't see anything wrong with the install, but it does say the CDs are corrupt. I don't really believe it myself. The last time was with new CD-RWs, and this time is with CD-Rs, and I've never had problems with burning either before.

The other questions (since I am going to sleep soon):

My goal: to try out some linux-only software, get to know Linux a
little (or a lot) better, and decide how much i want to convert before
I buy a new laptop.

1. Can I update it to a newer version? I kind of understand the
concept of Debian stable/testing/unstable "editions", but if you
explain it to me again I bet I would learn something new. Also, I am
in Libranet, which is like a different "edition" of Debian in itself?
Are there stable/testing/unstable versions of libranet as well? Is
there a newer "version" of Libranet than 2.8.1 that will run well?
Last time I installed it, it was giving me dependency errors, and
people told me to apt-get upgrade and dist-upgrade and testing and
stable and I don't know what was really going on, but it still had
dependency errors after several rounds of this stuff. Basically I
want to make sure it has the most recent, but most stable software.
Apparently if you install certain types of software you are no longer
using "Debian" or "Libranet" and it makes it unstable. The more you
explain this to me the more I know. Here is a link to some steps for
upgrading it, which I am not going to follow until someone helps me
(as I've done this all before with bad results).

Also, can I revert a change like this once I've done it?

2. Can i make it faster? I am in default IceWM and it is pretty slow. Quite a bit slower than winXP. I imagine it can do a lot better. As I type this it takes a while for the letters on screen to catch up to what I type, and scrolling is slow, etc. I read there are daemons you can turn off to make things faster. I don't have a printer right now (although I may in the future). If I ever run a server, it will be an FTP server for myself to access from work and to share a file or two with friends, but I don't need one right now. I don't know what else might be running in the background, but there are probably things I can turn off. I think I might actually want to use fluxbox, too. I don't know yet.

3. Mouse: The trackpoint is pretty icky. It feels very slow and unresponsive, so I am pushing pretty hard on it, and I have broken them that way before. The IceWM options I found only have two settings, acceleration and sensitivity. I like it to accelerate very fast, so I can jump to the other side of the screen in a jiffy and then move slowly to aim at specific things. The movement of the cursor seems very jumpy, too, as if all acceleration did was jump in big steps of 100 pixels or so. I don't like that. Can I customize it? Are there more advanced configurations I can somehow install? Apparently there is something for trackpoints out there, but the link appears dead:

4. Firefox: I love firefox in windows. How do I install it in here? I believe it is a special case, since it is technically in testing, while libranet is in stable or something? I have been told things about backports and standalone installations. What's the best way to go?

5. Sound card: Doesn't work. There are several sites that tell how to configure sound on a 600E, but of course I don't understand them. Here are the sites. Please explain to me what to do step by step:
or just search google for "linux audio 600e".

6. Audio software: What I really want to try is some audio software like alsa, jack, pure data, ardour, audacity, etc. I believe some of that is also "unstable" or "testing" and I don't really understand the relationships yet. How would I go about installing/configuring these things. Should I go to another more specialized forum for this?

7. Maxima: I want to try maxima in "xemacs mode", but I really don't know what that means. I've used maxima in windows and like it fine; i want to see the pretty print mode in emacs.

Obviously the first step is making sure the install worked correctly, and finding out if the cds are really bad, and if they are, if i can repair my installation. Right this second I am going to sleep, though. I hope I have some help waiting for me in the morning.

Also, I'm not committed to Libranet. I think I like debian in general, but basically libranet was the only thing i could get to install with minimal problems.

(By the way, to get online, I have a SMC 8036TX ethernet card running into a linksys router and then a DSL modem. To get it to work, I pulled the card out and put it back in again. The link light came on this time, and then I ran Libranet Adminmenu and did the network setup again, at which point it recognized it under the "tulip" driver, and it started working. For other users with the same card.)

Thank you anyone who helps.

Last edited by bleargh; 08-03-2004 at 10:13 PM.
Old 08-03-2004, 10:11 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: New York, NY
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 67

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I guess i will answer my own questions as I solve them for the benefit of future readers.

Bad CDs?: Turns out the hard drive I was installing it on was bad. No wonder I had so much trouble. After setting up a dual boot partition on my (other) windows disk, it installed with no problems.

1. I did a minimal install by someone's advice, although I guess I didn't need to because it was the hard drive problem, updated Libranet Xadminmenu, and updated from Libranet archive. It got stuck on some package, but I went into Synaptic and did an upgrade there and it seemed to solve all the dependencies. Maybe I did that bit wrong, but it is working stably and it says all the packages are up to date.

2. This is at least partially the video. The VESA driver is faster than the NeoMagic driver, but there may be more details involved:

3. The only things that can be changed are acceleration, threshold, samplerate, and resolution. changing these helped somewhat, but I am still not satisfied:

4. I did

apt-get install -t unstable mozilla-firefox

and it works as well as I can tell.


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