Task difficulty: cake

TINY Linux was the answer. A twelve-diskette install (by which I mean, 4 diskettes, round-n-round) later, I had a small Slackware 4.0 installation on my little laptop that could get on the internet. A little more work (i.e., manually setting network settings, as I had no DHCP client installed yet), and I had an installation that could grab packages from mhvlug.org with wget.

I want to mirror this distribution via ftp on irrsinn.net soon, because that is the only resourece for Slackware 4.0 files I could find. Problem is, it’s a bit expensive under my hosting plan to set up anonymous FTP. At the very least, I can mirror it via HTTP.

I’m obviously not running X (nor do I wish I could), nor am I too worried about the security of running a Slackware 4.0 installation. I’m not running any servers, and I’ll only be connecting to the Internet to ftp files up to my server and reference writing resources on the web. It’s a sweet little deal.

In fact, I like Slackware so much that I’ll be installing it onto my other old machine — Willie, a 300 MHz with 256 MB of RAM and only a 1.2 GB hard drive. I’ve had Windows 2000 on it since I got it, but there wasn’t enough room to install all of the updates it needed, even with all of my applications on a second (larger) preferably storage-only hard drive. I basically use the machine to serve files and play Diablo II, both of which I can do ably in Slackware if I install X. With the help of Penguin Pete’s X Window Manager and Desktop Environment Guide (a wonderful read; go read it, even if you know nothing about Linux), I’m using Fluxbox on Willie.

My little laptop doesn’t have a name yet. I think I need more time to determine its personality before I give it one. The next I’m going to do is to silence the mutha, though, because it’s PC beep is loud and occurs seven times while booting and every time I make the wrong keypress. I couldn’t use the damn thing in class even if I wanted to, for fear that I might, at some point during the 50 minutes, mistype. I don’t know yet if my solution to that will be via software or hardware (just unplugging the damn pc speaker).

Chunky… Pam?

I don’t know what to think of this, but I will admit that I like the song and video. Honestly, she flows better than plenty of the jokers on the airwaves now. I don’t know if she’s actually associated with MTV or not.

Oh, and because I realized I hadn’t posted this here yet…

Who’s bringin’ sexy back?


And no, I don’t know what’s up with Kirk in that harness. For serious.

Task difficulty: medium

Alright, things are better for the little laptop.

When I tried to view the hard drive through a USB device (basically, an IDE port stuck onto a USB cable), both XP and Windows 2000 saw the drive as a 1.4 TB drive that was uninitialized. And it couldn’t initialize it. Fiddling with various drivers made no difference. A scanning program like R-Studio could see perfectly well the partitions and old files on the drive (including from the Windows installation that had been there), but it still thought it was a 1.4 TB drive.

So that was a no-go.

The drive is too tall to fit into the bay of my main laptop, or I’d’ve loaded that puppy in and installed Slackware from a CD.

I did, however, manage to borrow a AMS Tech floppy drive from the old roommate, Ryan. I should mention (since it seems I haven’t, yet) that this laptop is an AMS Tech Soundwave, the very first model of laptop we had here at Rose.

With the floppy drive and two old disks, I made the 4 disks needed to get the Slackware install ready to run from my PCMCIA network card. (Yes, I rotated disks, raw-writing one on my desktop as I was reading the other on the laptop.)

But… Slackware doesn’t allow installation over FTP. WTF. Seriously.

So I gave up for the night with the laptop sitting at the “What method will you use to install Slackware?” screen. It’s not like I have a lot of choice. I had to hunt down an NFS server (Allegro) for WinXP, and I’ve dumped the contents of the three CDs into an exported share.

We’ll see when I get home if I can actually connect to it and install Slackware from it. *crosses fingers*

Task difficulty: hard

I have a 486 laptop with 16 MB of memory. It has no floppy, no CD-ROM, no USB (except through PCMCIA) and only a PCMCIA ethernet card that can’t be booted from. Right now, it has command.com and a few associated .sys files on its 400 MB hard drive.

I want to install Linux on it. Or full-fledged DOS. Or Win 3.1. Or Win NT 4.0. Or something appropriate to a 486, but I’m leaning towards Slackware.

So. Without a bootable drive other than the hard drive, how do I get Linux on it?

The idea came to mind to get a 2.5 inch hard drive adapter and just load the hard drive as a secondary drive in my main laptop or desktop, then install Linux to it from Windows (if such is possible) or at least get some kind of booting Linux root system there. The problem is, I’m not at all certain that I can install Linux like that, and I’m not keen on overwriting the MBR on my laptop or desktop if I screw something up.

If I had a null-modem cable (parallel), I could install drivers to the little beastie or get loadlin on there… or something. With loadlin, I think I could fudge this installation process.

Suggestions? Recommendations? I’m thinking my best bet is going to be to use or get the hard drive adapter, but can I really install Linux to the drive without screwing up what the host system is running?

The last thing I remember is the oxygen tube…

Yesterday I had an endoscopy (EGD?) to check for ulcers and an ultrasound to check for gall stones. Both were negative.

Last Friday, it was an abdominal and pelvic CT scan (without contrast). All my organs were normal.

Repeated blood tests show low white blood cell counts, indicating it may be viral.

What is it? Sharp, persistent abdominal pain, accompanied by strong nausea (but no vomiting). Not burning, like heartburn. It doesn’t move, like trapped air might. Nexium and other acid-reducers don’t help. I don’t remember the name of my new medicine, but so far, it just makes me dizzy and sleepy.

The endoscopy came with a dose of Demerol. I don’t like mind-altering drugs; I resisted taking the Tylenol/codeine crap they gave me after my wisdom teeth extraction. The last thing I remember from the procedure yesterday was them laying back the upper part of the bed and placing the oxygen tubes in my nose; they tickled.

They told me I might remember them spraying my throat or gagging a bit. Nope. I almost wish I did.

After the procedure, I wasn’t supposed to do anything involving making decisions for the rest of the night. No signing legal documents. No cooking or driving.

I did, however, take the liberty of “drunk dialing” my parents’ answering machine as we were leaving the hospital. I don’t really remember the ride home, or talking to my mother about how to get my prescription paid for.

I… don’t even know. Whoo. Never again, if I can help it.

As it is, I’m petitioning to drop a class that’s just slipping away from me at this point. I don’t even have the stamina to make it to that class by the end of the day. If I just drop it through normal procedures, I’d fail, so I’m going through a committee and explaining I’ve been sick.

Pardon me if I repeat myself.

In other news, strides are being made toward me working at my old high school. In case that doesn’t happen, I’ve also applied to teach in New Orleans. They’re hiring something like 600 teachers for the new year to help build back up the district. I could get licensed as I teach (or maybe over the summer) for both positions.

The future is near. I’m eying apartments in Charlotte, although the ones I like are across town from where some would prefer I live. All I have to say to that is two words: teacher’s salary. The University area is expensive.

I should end this. I’m rambling.