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Old 09-29-2005, 06:18 PM   #1
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Please check my philosophy and intention

Let me try again, hope I am not sinning with a new thread.

I am an old programmer, used to write proprietary OSes in assembler, then 25 years as a Tandem wizard doing enterprise systems in COBOL, C, C++, and Java. Comp Sci from UCLA and some grad work in OO, distributed data base, GUI, etc. Bonus points for anyone who knows me and figures out it is me.

My little corner of the world is ending before my kids are out of the house, and I like the LINUX world (have sought Java, web, modern stuff). I like the idea of sharing a base communally, but must also eke out a living. So I would like to help make LINUX strong and healthy with my existing knowledge while staying relevant and alive. I intend to do this by helping LINUX succeed in the enterprise world. I opposed IBM then, and am still inclined to join the revolution even at my advanced age. More fun to be a pirate, eh, matey?

My first step is to get SuSE (because it is the enterprise leader, imho), and I am not particular about look and feel or bloat or whatever, I want to align with potentitial customers. All distros will be imperfect, and the really bad ones will die by themselves.

What I don't want to do is stay up all night figuring out arcane error messages, rebuilding kernels, etc. I know I have to learn, but I don't have time to become familiar with a million technical details, and while that is kind of fun, it is worn out on me and I hope to install stuff and have it work.

I do, however, still quite enjoy using something to build on, creatively and elegantly solving problems, and making stuff that makes people happy and successful. Plenty of work even if the install, the OS, the apis, and the middleware work.

I have some ideas about some cool clustering tools, and want to write them and open source them so others might join me and it will make us all better off, with more to offer than each of us trying to make and sell everything and keep all the money like Gates. That's the idea, right?

Please let me know if this is okay with the community, to join I feel I must respect it. My question in general is, can I use LINUX as a commercial OS without becoming my own systems programmer and spending hours twiddling bits?

So I got Enterprise SuSE and an HP AMD64 refurbed computer from Frye's, thinking that for $650 hardware and $300 software I have a stack of (theoretically) enterprise capable OS and middleware (Do you guys call it that? Apache, CORBA, J2EE, LDAP, etc, more stuff than my big ass mainframe product has).

The install was delightful, made partitions, asked minimal questions, very cool. The system came up and I thought it was all great. Got on the web. Cool. Ready to make offerings at the church of LINUX.

Then it locks up, what look like cracks appear on the screen. The cracks are more organized than chaos, they end at window borders, but over a minute or two, the windows start getting messed up, and menus, then total freeze.

I re-boot, re-install, it wipes out windows and gets worse and worse, eventually can't even log on. Now I can't re-install windows and get my money back.

The screen where it boots has nasty stuff that scrolls off before I can read it, and in the text box below the logon fields has nasty messges about boot settings and IRQ problems.

I read the SuSe reviews, and it looks like most everyone just installs and it works, although none reported on enterprise version (same base as professional?). I have searched the web numerous ways and found nothing. The HCL contains no typical desktops, just a few servers and a couple laptops. Not an HP a822n, at least.

So the real question is, how do I get Enterprise SuSe running without endless hours of learning about stuff I don't really need to know. I am happy to spend my time learning, but for the benefit of the LINUX community, that should be about enterprise architecture, clustering, middleware, and how to get that to work together.

If it requires becoming an expert in bios and IRQ, that would be bad for me and bad for LINUX. I think it is great that that is available for those that want/need to do stuff at that level, but I need a platform and don't have enough time to engineer it myself from the ground up.

Hope I get some interesting replies. I guess there is a log file I can look at, boot in safe mode and shell commands seem to work. Display adaptor problem? I have done this so many times, and it is hard, I have music and kids, it takes so long.

Any magic answers?

Old 09-29-2005, 06:59 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: SuSE, Slackware, Gentoo
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At this point, are you able to bootup and get to the plain text login screen? If so, you can login and type 'dmesg' to get a view of the bootup messages that quickly scrolled across your screen. What would help alot is to know what you can and cannot do at this point. Can you get to login or does it seize at runlevel? Do things turn ugly when you try to startup X-Windows or do you get errors at the login?

On another note regarding your intentions to make contributions. What is your ultimate goal or benefit you wish to bestow? There are people that are involved in testing and tuning the Linux kernel, people who test and debug distributions, and then there are the people that help in developing open source programs. While sometimes having crossing goals, these groups can be totally different communities with differing aims.
Old 09-29-2005, 11:27 PM   #3
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I'm not sure about this. I once had something similar happen to me. No cracks on the screen, but suddenly all the characters on the screen tumbled into a heap at the bottom of the screen. Most disconcerting! Turned out to be a logic chip problem in the CRT. Replaced the chip, and display was all well again.

I use SuSE 9.3 Pro (32 bit, not 64), and haven't had any problems yet.

I would suspect the 'HP AMD64 refurbed computer'.
Old 09-30-2005, 07:37 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
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Yes, that sounds much more likea hardware issue than anything on the kernel/software level. Also with a fresh install that you haven't tweaked yet, chances of doing something "wrong" on your part seem slim. DO as suggested and check dmesg, see if you can post the errors here, and we can help.

Philosopy wise, that sounds great. Suse is a fine choice, other common server distros are debian and slack. As long as you release the source.tar.gz of any project you work on, people can build it on whatever type of system they run.

Old 09-30-2005, 06:48 PM   #5
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I understand where you are coming from. You simply need to learn linux in order to develop with it. You system sounds like hardware is messed up.


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