Fedora Core 4 installation notes

Pingu
FC4, fresh install, on Thinkpad T23

  • Display.. recognised. Generic LCD 1024×768, Millions of color.
  • Sound.. On by default, finally.
  • Wireless card.. Needed to install ndiswrapper. Downloadable from ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net. The installation instruction is here – it’s quick.
  • Printer: Canon i250.. now working, at least for printing postscript and pdf files, using linux rpm driver from Canon NZ. The installation note is in linuxprinting.org

Problems:

  • Slow internet? Added “alias ipv6 off” and “alias net-pf-10 off” into /etc/modprobe.conf to disable ipv6
  • Freeze suddenly? Tried disabling ACPI and turning off cpuspeed service. Add “acpi=off” as kernel parameter in /boot/grub/grub.conf. Disabled “cpuspeed” service at boot time – seems cpuspeed doesn’t like T23.
  • Ugly fonts? Followed this and this (The bytecode interpreter part gives significant effect) and get better fonts than Windows
  • cdrecord by adding “hdc=ide-scsi” freezes? Read this. Use K3b instead to burn CD, without ide-scsi module.
  • Hang while running eclipse 3.1? Have used eclipse 3.0 with j2sdk (sun) instead without problem.

tanto.me.uk

I’ve just forwarded tanto.me.uk to this webspace. No meaningful contents from me yet – I need to put the contents from my old website into here. Also I stop aggregating feeds as I want feed posts to be in a separate page.

But the gallery has some pictures to enjoy..

Tanto is moving to WordPress

Pingu
Ok my requirements are:

  1. A web that can be updated easily and read clearly, and the readers can give comments on the contents
  2. Gallery of my pictures that can be enjoyed
  3. A log of my activities in projects that can be accessed by particular users
  4. An aggregation of favourite sites (i.e. rss syndication)
  5. A facility that is simple, interesting and painless-to-upgrade

and finally.. WordPress for my requirements above (after using other cms like PhpWebsite, Drupal, Mambo for quite a while). So far requirement 1,2,3 and 5 have been fulfilled by WordPress. Requirement 4 is under investigation.. pretty sure it can be done…

World Debt Day 16 May 2005,

A friend of mine, Frida, wants me to put this letter.


Dear Mr Blair,

I write on World Debt Day, first to thank you for the support that you and your labour party have given to 100% DEBT RELIEF for the poorest countries. The position recently adopted by Britain drew this response from 1 jubilee leader: “What wonderful news!� However, it will not be at all wonderful if you fail to get agreement in July! You have raised enormous expectations among people all over the world and I ask you to do all within your power to make it come true.

I am most concern that Debt relief should really help destitute countries. Jubilee supporters did not raise a petition of 24 million signatures from 166 countries ( a double world record) just to secure debt relief at the expense of aid! We haven’t campaigned for nearly 9 years just to see money is taken out of 1 pocket and put into another! Such an outcome would be the ultimate betrayal of the world’s destitute and would result in great bitterness and disillusionment here in Britain. I support conditions for debt relief where these contribute to poverty eradication, but the damaging and doctrinaire requirements imposed by the IMF must end.

Finally I ask you to give due public prominence not only to world poverty and its dire consequences, but also to our responsibility in these matters. You have issued stark warnings about the dangers of terrorism; please bear in mind, whereas terrorism kills thousands of innocent people each year, absolutely poverty kills millions and ruins the live of billions.

The enforcement of debt repayments, unfair trade rules and miserly aid policies all combine to help maintain and entrench this evil we are responsible for “ economic terror� on a global scale and you could no greater to the world than by stating this eloquently and frequently.

Yours sincerely

Frida Panjaitan
Newcastle upon Tyne

Fedora Core 3 on IBM Netvista (Desktop)

Pingu
Another tiring day installing Fedora linux. This time in my friend’s desktop:

  • IBM Netvista P4 2.8 Ghz.

I was hoping that it would take less than 1 hour to install, because Fedora Core 3 is suppose to work like charm in a relatively new machine. But.. it has taken more than 3 hours now..

The problems:

  • First, when booting, it hung up at ‘Configuring kernel parameters’, and ctrl-alt-del didn’t work. For several times I tried to reboot, but it kept hanging up. Then I inserted the recovery CD, exited, reboot, and the hang-up disappeared. I don’t know the reason why – just don’t care.
  • Second, the display didn’t work. The only way it worked – with 640×480 resolution – is by setting the depth to 16. It detected the monitor right though: IBM G78 with chip: Intel ….
  • The sound didn’t work.

Now I am taking a rest, googling, and just found out:
http://support.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-010512.htm for Intel 82845G/GL chip. I will try to install it tomorrow to see if it works. Regarding the sound, I will try to download the alsa source and compile it – it seems like the rpm doesn’t work – as Linus T has warned regarding possibly-unreliable-rpm.

One more, the partitioning didn’t work smoothly with disk druid. It didn’t allow me to create an extended partition and put my fedora on it – rather it otoritary told me where the partition would be. What a ‘manual partitioning’.

OK, be fair, the bright side, all other aspects seem to work fine. I still like Fedora Core 3.

Fedora Core 2 on my legendary Compaq Presario 1245

Pingu
I write this, so it may be useful for my future Fedora Core 3 installation. It may also be useful for somebody.

Things that needed to be fixed after installing Fedora Core 2 include:

  1. MOUSE. The external mouse did not work.
  2. BOOT LOADER. It caused my Redhat 9 in another partition to be not working.
  3. INTERNET ACCESS. Very slow in resolving hosts. For example, accessing google.co.uk took 20 seconds.
  4. SOUND. It disappeared.
  5. WIRELESS CARD. It failed even to have its led on.

What I did to sort out the above problems:

1. MOUSE
========
Simply put “psmouse.proto=imps” as a kernel parameter in the /boot/grub/grub.conf file. Here is my grub.conf:

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You do not have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, eg.
# root (hd0,4)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda5
# initrd /boot/initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/hda
default=1
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,4)/boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title Fedora Core 2 (2.6.8-1.521.stk16)
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.8-1.521.stk16 ro root=LABEL=/1 [B]psmouse.proto=imps[/B] rhgb quiet
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.8-1.521.stk16.img
title Redhat 9 (2.4.20-8)
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=/dev/hda3
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20-8.img
title Windows 98
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

2. BOOT LOADER
==============
The Fedora Core 2 installation did not ask where the boot loader is going to be stored (either on MBR or on the boot sector of a partition). It seemed to be automatically installed in MBR, but then it does not automatically resolve other OS and so my Redhat 9 could not boot. (Well, I had no difficulty using Mandrake 10)

I had to learn grub by typing “info grub”. The RedHat 9 section of my /boot/grub/grub.conf (as shown above):

title Redhat 9 (2.4.20-8)
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=/dev/hda3
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20-8.img

“root(hd0,2)” means that my RedHat 9 is at the first hard drive, on partition number 3. All numbers are counted from 0, so that ‘hd0’ indicates the first hard drive, and ‘2’ indicates partition number 3.
“kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=/dev/hda3” means to load the kernel of my RedHat 9 which is located at hda3.
and “initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20-8.img” means to execute the kernel, using the specified kernel image.

In the Windows 98 section, it is ‘root noverify’ (not just ‘root’) because the file system (FAT32) is not verified by grub.

Then, what does “root=LABEL=/1” in the Fedora Core 2 means? I’ll find out this later. Probably it tells that the grub.conf used is the one of the Fedora Core 2, not the one of the Redhat 9.

References:
grub info/manual

3. SLOW HOST RESOLVING
======================
Simply put the following line at the end of /etc/modprobe.conf to turn ipv6 off.

alias net-pf-10 off

Fedora Core 2 uses ipv6 by default to resolve hosts, but it was suggested to turned it off. Later, I’ll find out what exactly ipv6 is.

4. THE SOUND
============
Previously (Redhat 9/Fedora Core 1 backward) the sound could be tackled by “sndconfig”. In Fedora Core 2 the sound is tackled by ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), alsa-project.org. Unfortunately, the sound module needed to be built and installed into the kernel (not done by default). But fortunately I didn’t need to recompile the kernel, because my soundcore was compiled as a module. Just follow ALSA’s instruction as follows:

First, go to the ALSA website above and download the stable release of ‘Driver’, ‘Library’ and ‘Utilities’.

Next, identify my sound device. From the compaq website, I know that my sound card is “es18xx”. Click the “Supported soundcards” link at the ALSA homepage, choose “ESS Technology”, and click “Details” of “ES18xx”.

Then, follow the instructions. So, firstly I ‘configure’, ‘make’ and ‘make install’ alsa-driver, alsa-lib and alsa-util. However, errors occurred when typing:
modprobe snd-es18xx;modprobe snd-pcm-oss; modprobe snd-mixer-oss;modprobe snd-seq-oss

It resulted in several lines of FATAL errors and WARNING errors, which means it did not insert the modules into the kernel.
Google showed me that I must use ‘alsaconfig’.
So, I typed

alsaconfig

After I answered every question, smoothly the card was detected. At the end it said that I could enjoy the sound. Then, I got out of the alsaconfig happily, and I re-typed:
modprobe snd-es18xx;modprobe snd-pcm-oss; odprobe snd-mixer-oss;modprobe snd-seq-oss
which ended successfully (the previous errors were gone).

Afterwards, continue the remaining instructions (putting some additional lines on the /etc/modprobe.conf, and created .asoundrc at home directory).

The sound is then ON clearly.

5. WIRELESS CARD
================
Mine is Netgear WG511. I finally decided to buy the driver’s permanent license from linuxant.com.

The native linux driver for the card has been provided in prism54.org, but after a looo..oooong time googling and struggling, it turns out that the card does not work in Linux because it is __Made in China__. All information to make it work are actually on the cards made in Taiwan.

Linuxant uses Windows driver. It is not native linux driver, and some people notified slight reduction on the performance. However, the installation is far from pain, and the card works beautifully. Also, buying the license is cheaper than replacing the card, at least for now.

Maze and Robot using Java Swing

mazeandrobot.jpgGetting bored with my thesis life resulted in me writing a Maze and Robot using Java Swing. The creation was quite fun and gave me motivation to live 🙂

If you like you can download by clicking here. There is HOWTO.txt that explains how to compile, run, or create your own maze – provided you have JDK (Java Dev. Kit).

Originally the idea was from my friend’s Java teacher. An assignment about this was given to his students but without using Java Swing.

I will make the online version using Java Applet, if I want to have fun again.