Well, lookit me…

Lookit me, ever’body! I’m blogging from my NEW (to me) LAPTOP!

The Novell Linux Desktop seriously rocks. It even had a dvorak keyboard driver waiting for me in the setup phase. And it even USED that driver when the time came to start entering configuration data.

It’s the little things that make me happy.

Getting The Internets into this wee box was a trick, but that’s because I had to
a) dig around in my basement for a hub
b) locate a 7.5 volt 600ma power supply for the hub
c) locate two ethernet cables
d) Test all components BEFORE banging my head against the wall when I couldn’t make Linux talk to The Internets
e) wait for frickin’ Comcast to come back online.

The actual configuration of the network was a snap. I’m anticipating a similar “snap” experience when I get my hands on a wireless card.

The only problem I’ve had thus far was the Suspend to RAM feature. That hung hard. Suspend to Disk works like a charm, though.

Oh, and then there was the fact that the BIOS was set for Network Service Boot. Scrubbing the drive of the old OS (Win98… ah, where was I 7 years ago?) did NOT solve this problem obviously. And NOT obviously, the keystroke for getting into the BIOS is “F10.” That took 15 minutes of Googling, giving up on Google, and another 10 minutes of searching the online manuals found at hp.com. But I FOUND it.

So… it works. I’m sure there are things that DON’T work that I have yet to stumble across (I haven’t tried to play a DVD yet… I hold out little hope of THAT working out-of-the-box) but the machine does what I need it to do.


27 thoughts on “Well, lookit me…”

  1. Comcast is finally back online? Seems like it was down all over the country – I’ve heard complaints from coast to coast (and was very very grateful that I don’t subscribe *G*).

    Happy new laptop!

    1. Comcast…

      Simply put, my day was hell.

      Howard knows who I am, I work for Comcast Tech support. Had a fiber optic cut which killed half of Seattle Metro, video and HSI and prolly phone, and *then* there were crashed and thrashed DNS servers hither and yon. If I were a betting man, I’d say that something caught up to the servers, since I’ve heard several reports of DNS hacks using security holes for Symantec products in association with Windows.

      Now, Howard, if you only had all of those IPs memorized, you would have been fine. Or at least the IP addy of Google, which would let you get most places via their search.

      And I get to go in tomorrow for mandatory training… Heh… I should be doing this in my own LiveJournal!

      1. Re: Comcast…

        er…actually, the IP address of google doesn’t help much.
        when you click on one of those links your local system still needs to look up the IP of the url from DNS.

      2. Re: Comcast…

        Just a thought, if anybody will listen to you at Comcast…

        For folks who have alternate dialup access, it would be rather nice if Comcast had a status page available for us to check when this sort of $#!+ happens.

        Getting to http://www.comcast.net with no indication that anything is wrong is more than a bit annoying when not only is your cable connection down, but tech support is giving a fast busy.

  2. Actually, F10 for setup has been very standard for Compaqs for almost a decade. What blows me is the weirdos you get periodically that require ‘ctrl-alt-s’ or ‘ctrl-alt-f1-andprayyouhitthetimewindow’


  3. congrats! 🙂

    welcome to freedom! (just one bit of advice: windows users have solitare,
    linux users have plain text configuration files in /etc. the urge to
    tinker will, in all likelyhood, become strong. who knows, maybe it won’t
    though… maybe you’re part of new generation of freenix user.)

      1. With all the people talking about wanting to do installs, maybe I should park my butt at Penguicon in the lobby and do installs and configuration for people. Put every distribution I can find into a case, and offer everything from BSD to Yggdrasil.


        1. That’s why Penguicon has the Linux Installfest! You should help out. Don’t know which distros they’re planning to make available, but it should be more than a few.

          1. last installfest I saw was mostly people that wanted to find out if 1) their hardware was supported by linux, 2) what was involved in choosing/using linux, and 3) basic information on linux, and how it would change what they were doing with their PC.

            I didn’t do a single install 🙂

            (But, everyone went away satisfied)


  4. My friend Brian Rader had a hard time getting his DVDs to play on SuSE. If you get stuck, I can send him your way.

    One neat-o thing he showed me on his SuSE machine — remote desktopping into a windows machine. Hoo boy. That was spiffy.

  5. congrats.

    given your lack of working battery, I don’t think suspend to ram buys you a whole lot, but having suspend to disk working is cool.

    If you know, are you using bios based suspend to disk, or something in linux?

    About how much faster is it to come up from suspend to disk versus a clean start?

    DVD playing out of the box probably won’t work because of licensing issues… but it shouldn’t be too hard to get going. (typically distributions won’t include dvd css libraries, but the media players usually have hooks for it, if it’s installed)

  6. A question, Howard: You’ve alluded to your use of the Dvorak keyboard more than once in the past, and I’m just wondering–how did you get onto using it in the first place? I’ve heard of its use before, usually in the hushed tones reserved for those who can do differential equations in their head, but you may be the only person I know of who actually uses it–I know I, for one, have never actually seen a keyboard with the Dvorak layout.

    (I’ve just spent ten minutes playing around in Word with the keyboard set to Dvorak, and it’s like trying to speak another language–unsuprising, since I would think the two skillsets use similar brainparts.)

    Anyway, enjoy the new laptop, and keep the voluptious deliciousness that is Schlock Mercenary coming.

  7. Uh, Howard?

    Since you’re in July, would you be so kind as to tell me who won the NBA Finals? I feel the need to visit Lost Wages for some strange reason…

      1. Re: Uh, Howard?

        My dreams, they are shattered…. But then again, you’re a spiritual kinda guy, so I suppose that my hope for financing Schlock Mercenary through completely immoral ways would not be in the proper spirit of things.

        Except a Mercenary gets PAID.

    1. Re: So.. was that Novell Linux Desktop or SUSE Pro 9.3?

      SUSE Pro 9.3 + NLD. It’s the latest-and-beta-est.

      And it’s slick. I’ve installed SUSE twice before, and in both cases there were seriously confusing bits in the installs. This time it was just auto-detect after auto-detect.

      Honestly, if this came pre-installed on hardware at Walmart, I think consumers would be fine with it.


      1. Re: So.. was that Novell Linux Desktop or SUSE Pro 9.3?

        If they’ve fixed some of the permissions problems.

        I got the computer from Wal-Mart with Suse preinstalled for my Dad, about a year and a half ago. The permissions on the (win)modem were seriously screwed up. You could only use it as root.

        So, I chown/chmod it so his user could use it. No problem, right? Oh boy, you don’t get much more wrong than that. Using YAST would reset the permissions, much to my surprise later. Trying to lead someone through a chmod/chown over the phone when they don’t know *nix and you don’t know the filename you need to change.

  8. My biggest problem with QWERTY vs Dvorak is simple.

    I’m a computer consultant. I don’t just work on my PC. I work on dozens to hundreds every week, and they all use QWERTY – because that’s how the keyboards and pc’s are shipped from the factory.

    I couldn’t learn Dvorak without seriously damaging something – probably the keyboard, as I smash it against the wall for typing too slowly.


    1. Mine is a little different, although that is an issue.

      VIM keybindings. VI is build for qwerty, not dvorak, it’s power is from not having to move your fingers much.

      I do have a local friend who worked up some vim bindings for dvorak (same location for commands) but then you lose the mnemonic.

  9. I’ve given up on keyboard-specific games. Turns out I’m not missing much. 🙂

    And if I DO get roped into playing one, I just play it on QWERTY and do fine.


  10. WARNING: Rude awakening ahead

    The actual configuration of the network was a snap. I’m anticipating a similar “snap” experience when I get my hands on a wireless card.

    Oh, boy, are you in for a surprise…

    I just spent the better part of two days getting a NetGear WG511v2 working on my “new” laptop. Hopefully it won’t take you that long, but you’re still in for a surprise.

    Some sites that should help get you started:

    I’ve learned far more than I wanted about the state of wireless on linux, so I suppose you could drop me an e-mail or phone call if you need any help.

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