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Old 09-13-2004, 02:20 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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setting up data exchange between Red Hat Linux and Windows 98 - Linux Newbie

Hello, everyone :-)

I'm a home user running multiple computers in my household (Most of them second-hand or reconstructed from scrap!). I'll call one my "home box" which I use for programming (I'm still merely half-proficient at C++), graphics design, html, writing blog posts, etc. After upgrading my hard drive on my home box to 6.4G, I got my nerve up and went and checked out a copy of "Red Hat Linux 6.1" from the public library (discs came with book!) Linux with the "Gnome" desktop of X is now running on my home box (day seven!), and I love it, and am grinding through a stack of books to learn how to use it.

Another PC I call "the Village Idiot". It's the one running Winduhs 98, and the only one connected to the internet w/DSL. My philosophy is to keep one computer designated to be for family use and be online, keeping nothing of any importance whatsoever on it. That way the onslought of cookies, viruses, spam, adware, and generally stupidity that I accept as an unavoidable part of an internet connection stays on "the Village Idiot", and any data that anybody wants saved can be floppy-copied to the other household PCs. That way, even if the Village Idiot gets nuked, it's a simple matter of "format c:" and re-install Win 98 (I know in my bones that I'm not ready to try to get Linux to talk to my DSL provider, and even less ready to teach the rest of my family to use Linux!). And yes, I have the usual antivirus/anti-popup/Javablocker/cookie-killer on the Village Idiot, and of course, they only help with the basic grunt labor. One night a week I spend running all the virus-scans, disk-cleanup, defragment, and grovel through the files seeking out the garbage to remove on the Village Idiot. Life is much easier this way!

I even use a freeware utility "Jsplit" which cuts large files into floppy-disk sized chunks for easy transport. Walking a pre-scanned disk across physical space is the ultimate fool-proof firewall!
get it at [I can't post the URL, try Googling it->(spadixbd)] if you're interested!

To my question: My immediate concern (before the library books are due) is to come up with a method for porting data from the internet to my home box and back. It seems essential to have an interent connection with Linux, to handle the upgrades (and I'd also like to sample all the toys available for Linux! Lotsa space on that hard drive...).

But a Winduhs box gags when you stick a Linux formatted disk in it, and I tried mounting a Dos-format disk in Linux with marginal results (It pretty much doesn't seem to recognize the files).

My question is, what is the best and least-painful-for-the-newbie-dummy way to do the data exchange? I'm open to (A. creating a Linux partition on the Village Idiot (but it will have to be very small), (B. trying to get the Dos emulator setup in Linux to work (I'm still boggled trying to read all the doc files in emacs to learn how to do this), (C. networking an old laptop (which has no CD drive, so no possibility of installing major operating systems on it) to the Village Idiot, downloading the data, then networking it to the home box to download the data (essentially treating the laptop's hard drive like a big floppy disk). The laptop even has Winduhs 95 (not 98!), so has full Dos 6.22, so the Linux emulators might have an easier time talking to it, I'm thinking! Sadly, I lack the software to re-install Win 95 or Dos 6.22, should anything go wrong. I could also set up a Linux partition on the laptop (again very tiny!), but if anything happens to the main OS on it, it's junked.

I'm also open to (D. any other suggections. The one thing I'm NOT open to is re-installing Winduhs on my home box - I'm sick of looking at it!

By the way, I *believe* that I might not have completely installed every thing that came on the disks. Files are there with the right names, but look like they have to be unpacked or unzipped or something. I take it I have a long way to go?

There it is, have at it!


PS I'll apologize for this long first post, even though I suspect that reading is the last thing a Linux user would complain about!

PSS Extra naivette provided for your entertainment!
Old 09-13-2004, 02:51 AM   #2
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Registered: May 2004
Location: In the DC 'burbs
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Linux should recognize a FAT32 formatted floppy easily. Usually

mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

will mount the floppy to /mnt/floppy (where its contents will reside). Then umount /mnt/floppy when finished.

BTW Red Hat 6.1 is mucho old. When you get a system you want to connect to the Internet, you should get a recent distribution, as old ones tend to be chock full of security holes. Experimenting with a new one mightn't be a bad idea -- Linux has made great strides since the days of Red Hat 6.1.
Old 09-13-2004, 03:26 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Distribution: Slackware, Mandriva, Debian derivatives, +BSD/ Solaris/ Minix/ plan9/ GNU/HURD...
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Ha! Ha! That worked! Thank you, btmiller!

If only I'd thought to look there, huh?

Yes, I agree, this version does seem ancient, but I can't ask much from a public library disk... Upgrading the kernel/distro is my first mission, hence needing a way to transfer the data right away.

OK, I've got some downloading to do. Tata!
Old 09-13-2004, 02:11 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Philippines
Distribution: Slackware
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have you ever tried networking those guys your window$ and your cool rh box
it can make your life easier and you can efficiently transfer data by networking
butt aint that easy and you can still format your window$ laptop to a shiny
cool rh 6.1 of yours even if it doesnt have a cdrom so thers still a way but it is
in your own risk but if your not lucky your laptop will reject rhl it depends on the
configuration or something! 3


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