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.

Continue reading Task difficulty: cake

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.

Continue reading Task difficulty: medium

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.

Continue reading Task difficulty: hard

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.

Continue reading The last thing I remember is the oxygen tube…