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+---[ Issue 21
|                                            19th October 99 ]----+
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                            The Linux Bits: The Weekly Linux E-zine


------[ CONTENTS



For me, this week has been a hectic one. Mostly of my own making. So, once again, I'll be leaving the news bits in the capable hands of Laurence, since I've not had the time.

I did however, have time to overview Xpresso LINUX 2000 distro, which I received for review from its creators. Hopefully I'll have time in the near future to do it more justice.

Short version: Nicely done and worth the £15.95 cost of the package.

As for my week... well, let's just say that this week's, "Idiot of The Week Award" goes to me. Perhaps Laurence could make the "Colour of the Week", red this week -- to match my embarrassed face. I'll "tell all" in the This Week with Athena section and hopefully spare someone else a few of my trials and tribulations.



Bill wants the colour of the week to be red, so red it is. Anything brighter than the red I've used is just too much to bear so it's more of a blood red than a Ferrari red. Since blushing is brought about by blood rushing to your facial capillaries though, perhaps it's more fitting. Speaking of blood, what a kick-@ss game. ;)

BTW. rather than leave you wondering, I should mention that TLBM (The Linux Bits Monthly) is now a no go. The 3 of us (me, Bill, and Steve) all got kitted-out in Amazonian tribesman outfits and chanted to the SysGods to have them put 26 hours in a day. But with them being root, and us being lowly users, fireballs rained from the skies to form the words: Permission Denied.



With the introduction of a daily Linux news section to the site you'll start to notice a lot more news featured in this section. Anyone wishing to keep up to date with this news on a daily basis can find it at


Compaq Tries Red Hat's Services On For Size

Red Hat has signed a deal to provide technical support for corporate users of Compaq computers with Red Hat's version of the Linux operating system, the companies said today.

Amused With Linux

An "amusing" story, revealing that the Queen's website - that had ran for years on Solaris - now runs on Linux!

Slashdot Reader Analyzes BBC Interview With Bill Gates

Quite frankly this was the only piece of interesting news to occur today -- it's Sunday I suppose. I watched the 40 minute interview -- not bad. Aside from a few dodgy quotes from Bill like, "I think it's really hard to find things negative about Windows...", and, "I don't think at any time it [the growth of Microsoft] was motivated by wealth.", he actually came across as quite human, and at times even charming. I only wish the interviewer had gotten onto the subject of Linux, but then Jeremy Paxman - whilst a brilliant interviewer that never pulls punches - is no technologist.

Slackware 7.0.0-pre1 Beta Released

Fans of Slackware Linux will be interested to know that Slackware 7.0.0-pre1 Beta has been released. Slackware 7 is clearly a huge improvement over its predecessor (Slackware 4) in both speed and features.

Caldera OpenLinux 2.3

LinuxWorld's Nick Petreley takes a look at the latest version of OpenLinux, 2.3. Here's what he has to say: "Put simply, Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 was a work of art -- but Caldera OpenLinux 2.3 is a masterpiece."

VA Linux Systems Filed For Its Initial Public Offering

This week's Linux Weekly News features excellent coverage of VA's filing for its IPO.



As of the 19th October '99:

Current development kernel: 2.3.22  (Released: 15th October '99)
Current stable kernel     : 2.2.12  (Released: 25th August '99)

Cutting Edge Linux
The complete record of every change the 2.3.x kernel has undergone.
The place to go for the latest stable and development kernel!



During Tim O'Reilly's Keynote address for Linux World in Tokyo, he had this to say:

"Almost everyone who talks about Open Source software wants to know whether or not Linux stands a chance of dethroning Windows. I'm here to talk about something completely different -- the role of open source software and Linux in building the future of the Internet, and more specifically, the future of the World Wide Web."

- Source -




Here's one site definitely worth a mention. It's their intention to code an entirely Open Source NT kernel, distributed under the GNU General Public License! Currently there's 7 people working on the project and it's in very early days, with a current kernel release of 0.0.14. Truly though, I wish them all the best in this colossal coding challenge.

LAME: Linux Administration Made Easy

An excellent manual available in many formats for download. LAME attempts to summarize the installation and configuration, as well as the day-to-day administrative and maintenance procedures that should be followed to keep a Linux-based server or desktop system up and running.



I read about this in a local free computer rag, and decided that there is no such thing as too much Internet security, so I downloaded the programs.

Installation was simple. No errors no nothing, though as with all things Linux, you should read the manual just in case. One minor complaint I have is the fact that Host Sentry is stored in /usr/local/abacus, whereas Port Sentry is stored in /usr/local/psionic. I'm not sure what the deal is there, but it's a bit of a pain when you want to run the programs. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if you added them to run at boot time, but since I have no clue how to do that, it's a pain to run the programs.

Another slight irritant is the fact that one program uses python, the other is a plain old executable file. Once you read the docs, things are easy. To run Host Sentry you go to the directory and type:


And to run Port Sentry you go to the directory and type:

portsentry -tcp

What do both programs do? Well in the article I read, to summarize, they protect your computer from undesirables on the Internet. (You know, Hackers, Crackers, Microsoft...) Host Sentry for the most part monitors login activity, while Port Sentry detects illegal ports scans or attempts to access. Configuration is easy enough, you just need to edit portsentry.conf. In there you can set the options you want etc. And also define a message to inform the would be intruder that they are detected. You can also choose what to block, what to allow etc. All I changed was the message that's displayed to a slightly less confrontational one.

The article said "I have personally been astonished [...] at the number of times my system has been probed. (You don't want a "HA! Think you could hack ME do you?!" message, that's just inviting trouble.) Also you need to set up addresses to ignore, but this is generally your local host address, and it's all explained in the docs.

I was sceptical after reading this, but decided to give the programs a try anyway.

Both programs write messages to /var/log/messages, but Port Sentry also has a file called portsentry.history that logs any security problems. If you grab the programs you should check the messages file to make sure the program is working okay. For some reason Port Sentry can't bind to some ports, but I'm not sure if that's a problem at my end, or with the program (a conflict or something). I've had the program running for the last 5 days, and hadn't checked anything out other than when I first installed and double checked they were working.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the portsentry.history file and found the following:

938376485 - 09/26/99 14:08:05 Host: Port: 143 TCP BLOCKED

Needless to say this one line (wrapped onto the screen so you can read it) has convinced me of the programs worth. I did a little research and found out that port 143 is the IMAP port. Now I don't know who or what was trying to access the system, but it's obvious that the person was going after a specific port, as no port scan was spotted. All I can think is maybe they were going after Sendmail or something. Regardless, having now developed a keener interest in Port Sentry, when someone attempts to access the system illegally it kills the route so nothing from them will get through.

Looking at the address, I have no clue what the address is. The MS could stand for Microsoft I guess :), but why the hell is a Microsoft site in Switzerland trying to access my IMAP port? Come to that, why the hell is anybody going after my IMAP port?

So, my final opinion? If you have Telnet open or something, I recommend Host Sentry, since it tracks suspicious behaviour and reports it. Port Sentry on the other hand I highly recommend. The install is idiot-proof, and as you can see above, it does it's job. Regardless of who the IP address belongs too, somebody was trying to probe my system. At the time the attempt took place, I was downloading from a friend's FTP site, and that was the only open connection.

So, using a 5 star system, Host Sentry gets **, whereas Port Sentry gets ****.5. Both programs lose half a star due to the weirdness of the install being in 2 separate directories for no explicable reason. I know I can change this myself, but I feel that the default install should install both programs in the same directory.

(One thing I haven't mentioned is Logcheck, another program from the same site. This, I believe, is supposed to be run as a Cron job, and sends email to root if it detects suspicious behaviour. The reason I haven't reviewed this is because I haven't set it up yet.)

So, in conclusion, if you are on the net in Linux, I highly recommend Port Sentry. You never know who is probing your machine. At the moment I'm running the programs manually. As soon as I can figure out how to run them at boot time, I will. (All help appreciated. I've slightly broken my system this week installing a joystick driver. I don't want to damage it anymore.) If you have any kind of service running (Telnet, FTP etc.) I strongly recommend Host Sentry.



Athena is Bill's Linux box - his pride and joy. Each week he gives us an update on what's been happening with Athena... hopefully providing some tips for your own Linux box in the process...

"To learn, and from time to time to apply what one has learned - isn't that a pleasure?" --Confucius, 500 BC

I ran across the above quote yesterday and thought it appropriately summed up my week.



I learned a great deal this week. It can be distilled down to the following:

  1. Do your research! No matter what you're talking about - whether that be getting a new piece of hardware or trying to integrate that hardware into your system, by compiling a new kernel to support it -- do your research first.

  2. Have patience! Don't let your zeal to get something done cloud your judgement, and most assuredly do not "rush into" anything that is going to have a major impact on your current system configuration. Impatience leads to mistakes.

  3. Never, ever, make major system changes when you're tired! Sounds like common sense doesn't it? And it is. But like Laurence (Who is editing this sentence at 5.29am.), I have a tendency to "push myself hard" - very hard - and as a consequence ended up making some really classic "bone-headed" moves this past week because I didn't take the time to stop and think about them beforehand.

  4. Do your research! I repeat this because I realized on my way home from work last night, that I'd spent more time - far more time - in trying to determine something as simple as how best to lay out my partitions on my new 17Gb hard drive, than I had on making changes to the kernel to support the new Zip 100Mb Parallel Port drive, and the CD-RW drive that I'd recently purchased. I'm ashamed to say it's so, but it is.

  5. Backup! I keep saying this because it's true. Without some kind of backup you're asking for trouble. I don't have my Zip drive or my CD-RW drive working as yet but I have the 17Gb drive with loads of available space so what I did was to make my "backup" of the original Red Hat install (on /dev/hda) to a partition on the new drive. Not ideal by any means but certainly better than having done nothing at all.



I had many of them this week. Everything from managing - somehow - to have more than one instance of LILO installed on the Master Boot Record (MBR) of my first hard drive (/dev/hda), to wiping an install (on another partition) by misuse of the infamous rm -rf * command.



I said that I'd managed to get more than one instance of LILO installed onto the MBR of my first hard drive. I still do not understand how that could have happened since it would seem to me that LILO should be "smart enough" to know if it's already installed on the MBR. And what I thought I was doing at the time, was simply adding some additional boot-time options, for booting into different versions of Linux, on different partitions. I discovered that that was not the case when LILO got horribly confused, and refused to work.

That's when I started to do a lot of reading about LILO and I've managed - or at least I think I have - to get it to a point of only having one instance of LILO installed on my MBR. I can again boot into the various distros I've installed. Except for one. My original Red Hat install that came with my system is - for the moment at least - unbootable.

What I'll be doing this weekend is removing all trace of LILO, and installing it first to a floppy. Then once I'm assured that LILO is gone, I'll move it from the floppy up to the small 32Mb partition (currently configured as a Swap partition) on my first drive. That partition should have sufficient space to allow me to install anything that LILO would need to operate and - for me the best thing of all - it will not have any contact, whatsoever, with my MBR.

I'll be writing more about LILO in the future, you can be sure. For now, it's my personal recommendation that you do not install LILO onto your MBR if you've not already done so.

The reasons are many for this recommendation. Not the least of them being that if it's not in the MBR then you don't have to concern yourself the problems I suffered. Having LILO installed on a floppy - while certainly not an "elegant" solution - is certainly better than having it get "horribly confused" and not allow you to boot your system.

If you have another partition below the 1024-cylinder limit that the BIOS imposes on the operation of LILO, then by all means install LILO there instead. Doesn't have to be very large -- the 32Mb partition I'll be using is probably "overkill" for this purpose, but since the partition was already there, I decided to go ahead and use it, rather than "wiping" the entire first hard drive to make a smaller partition, just for LILO to reside in.



As I said earlier I discovered that the Red Hat 6.0 based install program does not support the external Zip drive for reasons unknown to me. I told it that the Zip drive was there -- but it failed to detect it during the Autoprobe. That meant having to recompile the kernel to include support... so that's one of the things I attempted to do this week... here's where my next "bone-headed" move was made.

What I needed to do, was to include the SCSI support (generic) that would allow me to use my CD-RW to do a "burn" of a CDR disk as the HOWTOs I read, indicated was necessary. I also needed to include support for the external Zip drive as well. That was all I needed -- but not what I got.

The first time I tried to compile the kernel to add SCSI and Zip support I was using make menuconfig. Whilst browsing the options (and switching back to the Kernel and CD-Writing and Zip HOWTOs), I came across an option for "Adding DMA support" for IDE hard drives and making it be an "automatic start" thing at boot-up. I read the Help for that option and it said - essentially - that if you had a modern motherboard, BIOS, and hard drive -- that it shouldn't cause any problems, so including it was a fairly "safe" thing to do.

What should have "twigged" me to a problem with this, was the use of the words "modern motherboard" and "BIOS" in the same sentence. While Athena may be many things - and certainly capable enough as a Linux box - she most assuredly does not have a "modern motherboard and BIOS", since she still does not support booting from CDROM. That should have been a huge red flag to me. It was not. I never even considered it. I marked the option to include it in the kernel.

After the compile was done I did the usual things -- I renamed the "old" kernel to something else and moved the freshly compiled kernel from the /src/linux directory to the /boot directory, and proceeded to boot into it.

It did not - of course - boot. I was pleased to see however - during the boot process - that the Zip drive had been recognized, so at least that portion of the compile went as it should have - apparently - but the DMA thing (at least I think that was the cause of the problem), created a situation that made the system "freeze" when it got to the "checking module dependencies" part of the boot process.

Ok. I tried to boot with my Red Hat disk I'd made using the mkbootdisk program. That's when I discovered that it wasn't a "real" boot disk (with it's own kernel) but rather a LILO boot disk that simply pointed to the proper spot on the hard drive to find the kernel, and boot it. Of course, since I'd just changed the kernel it couldn't be found, since LILO doesn't go by the name of the kernel, but rather the location of the kernel on the drive. ARGHH! So the "boot disk" I'd been placing my faith in was now worthless.

I didn't know about that with LILO and the mkbootdisk program so perhaps others don't either. If you have a boot disk be sure to check it before you end up in a similar situation. Ideally you should have a boot disk that has an actual kernel on it. That would seem to not be the default behaviour of most bootdisk-making utilities, so you've been warned.

I've downloaded several "boot/rescue" type programs during the course of this week, as a result of all this, and will be trying them out very soon. When I know more about them I'll write a bit in this section to let you know how it all turned out, and which programs I found were worth hanging onto.



While it would seem that my week has been filled with one instance of "bone-headedness" heaped upon another there was some positive things that happened during the course of the week.

First, I managed to find time (while the kernel was compiling actually) to do a bit more configuration work on my Procmail setup so that now at least, most of my email gets properly sorted when I bring it across from the CLI using Fetchmail.

Secondly, I found the time to install the Portsentry program that has been waiting patiently for a while for me to do just that. The Portsentry program can be found

here What it does is to keep watch over the various TCP and UUDP ports on your Linux box and when someone tries to "scan" you, it shuts them down. It even sends you a message to tell you about it.

Steve Coe had told me that he'd installed it on his system and had found a message that someone had tried to scan him and that Portsentry didn't let them in! That made me a believer right there and then. Of course, I get several "security" mailing lists as well and it was also mentioned in one of them, so that was reinforcement (if any was needed) to get the program (or a similar one), and install it. The absolute best option if you have a network, would be to have a firewall and install IPChains or something similar, but I don't have the option of installing a firewall, and the IPChains is something I've not had time to look into yet.

Finally, I found that the judicious use of symbolic links (using the ln command), and the cp --upgrade command, can be a huge time saver if you find yourself in a situation of having to recreate a working environment - as I did this week. The cp command with the --upgrade option will copy the files you specify -- but if they already exist it will not bring them across unless the source files are newer than the target files. You should also use the --backup option as well to ensure you don't accidentally overwrite something not intended.

I had, of course, done a backup to the new drive so I had all the relevant configuration files for my old Red Hat install over there - as well as the original stuff still on the drive that I couldn't boot from at the time - so rather than go through the entire thing using Linuxconf to create new hosts, hosts.deny files, and so on, I just did the cp --upgrade from the old Red Hat backup and there they were! All the info I'd so painstakingly taken the time to figure out once already was available for me to use with another installation. Cool. Very cool.



I was out browsing the Net a few weeks back and came across a link for Xpresso LINUX 2000. It sounded interesting, so I followed it up. I sent an email to them asking for a review copy and was contacted by Stephen Jackson (the Director) who sent me a copy of the Xpresso LINUX 2000 package for review.

I received the package and took a look at the brief - but very informative - manual included with it. I discovered that they did not mention how to do an install if you already ran Linux - and only Linux - as your OS, so I sent an email to Mr. Jackson asking how to get the boot.img file from the CDROM to diskette, so that I could proceed with the installation. He sent back instructions on using the dd command to do that. Of course, by that time I'd figured it out on my own - using their manual - which discusses the dd command in the latter section of the manual, and our emails (his with the description of the command and mine asking if that would work) actually "crossed in the mail", which to me, was pretty amusing.

I'd like to point out here that Xpresso LINUX 2000 is not the only distribution that makes the assumption that you will be installing your Linux distribution onto a system with an existing DOS or Windows OS already installed on it. In fact, it would seem that almost all of them do. Some include instructions on using the dd command to make the required boot/install diskette, and some do not. Some of course include the boot/install diskettes as a part of the package but I don't see that as a drawback, since disk are cheap, readily available, and so long as the instructions are included on how to transfer the boot image from the CDROM to the diskette, I've no problem with that.



The installation is based on Red Hat and went smoothly. If you take the time to read the brief manual they include (in booklet form as well as online versions in both plain text and HTML) they "walk you through" all the steps. In fact it's pretty much impossible to make a mistake. They tell you beforehand that you'll be needing the info on your video card and monitor for the installation of X. I didn't need to do anything since my video card (an S3 card with 2Mb of RAM) was properly detected, and my monitor (15" NEC MultiSync 3FGe) was included in the list of supported monitors.

One thing I was pleased to see was that they recommend you don't set your system up to boot straight into using X. As you

may recall this was a source of great frustration for me when I originally got Athena, since the person I'd got the system from had already installed Red Hat 6.0 onto it (a "good thing") and had it setup to boot straight into X (not a "good thing"). It didn't work properly, since I didn't have the same kind of monitor he'd had when he set it up. Even if you're going to be using the system on the same monitor you do the install on, it makes sense to boot into a text terminal and do a startx. With the use of an alias you could shorten that to x (click here for instructions) - and if typing one letter to start the GUI is "too much trouble" for you then perhaps Linux isn't for you after all. :)

They make a recommendation of 800Mb space being set aside - and I think that for most people that would be sufficient to do the install (including both Star Office 5.1 and WordPerfect 8) and still leave space for future expansion -- but would probably recommend at least 1Gb if you have the space.

They default to using KDE which may be ok for you, but if you've already gotten accustomed to using GNOME they have that available as well, available as an option during the install.

One thing about the install that I did not like - but again is not the fault of Xpresso LINUX 2000 specifically - is that the installation program did not detect my shiny new Zip parallel drive. I've tried other installations (all of them based on Red Hat 6.0 so far) and not one of them has recognized it. I've no clue as to why this is, but clearly it's a problem with the Red Hat installation program and out of the control of anyone but Red Hat.

They include a section on the installation of Star Office and WordPerfect at the end of the Install section of the manual, which I'd only add one thing to what they have said. When they discuss the installation of Star Office they don't have the /net option as part of the install command. It should be there, since it will allow you to have multiple users for the same "base system" of Star Office and then when you startup Star Office for the first time as a "normal user" you'll have to do the "workstation" install to your home directory (about 2Mb).

They include "dummy" info that you can use for both Star Office and WordPerfect during the install - which is needed - but unfortunately for them Sun bought out Star Office since they released the current distribution and so you can't just "pop over" to the Star Office site and get your own registration key anymore.

Sun is - essentially - not doing the registration of Star Office anymore, and - more or less - insisting that people get the new version of Star Office - 5.1a - that doesn't require registration. You can either download the files from Sun's site (all 70Mb!) or purchase the CD for US$9.95 (plus shipping). While this is not an unreasonable thing to ask, it leaves the people that got Star Office 5.1 as part of their distro (Xpresso LINUX 2000, SuSE 6.2, et al) temporarily "out in the cold".

There is, of course, a way around this problem and I've found it. I'll be putting a "patch" file (with instructions) on my website this weekend for download that will allow you to not only install the Star Office 5.1 package but be able to use your own info instead of "dummy" entries. I received the patch from Joe (the 3-part Star Office review in issues 17-19) and it works just fine. If you come to the site looking for it and it's not there send me and tell me to get it up there - NOW! :)



After you've installed the program you need to know what to do with it. The Xpresso manual is quite helpful here. It begins by explaining how to add a user account, change the password, start up X, all the basics a serious Linux newbie needs to know. They then proceed with a very well done section on Linux commands. Just about everything you would need to know about as a new user -- from discussion of file permissions and the chmod command, to putting a program into the background, to discussion of things such as the dd command (to transfer a file to floppy disk for instance) -- and it's all done in such a way that it's not overwhelming for the new user.

Actually I think the best part of the package is the manual. I was sceptical that such a small manual could be useful but it really is - especially from the perspective of a new Linux user - and kudos to the person(s) that put it together.

As I've really had no time to do anything other than the install so far (for details see This Week with Athena) I'll leave off my review at this point and come back to it at a later time when I've had a chance to play about with it a bit.

It is, as I've said in my Op-Ed piece, well worth the £15.95, and I'm glad I "stumbled" onto it.



Xpresso LINUX 2000
Xpresso Ltd.
P.O. Box 11, Woodford Green
Essex, IG8 OSQ, England, UK
Phone   : (London) 
Fax     : (London) 
Email   : 
Website :
Based on: Red Hat 6.0 with kernel 2.2.5
Includes: Star Office 5.1 and WordPerfect 8 for Linux
Cost    : £15.95



Last week I said very little was new with the site. This week things couldn't be more different. For a start I've now finally reformatted and put every issue of The Linux Bits online. In the next few days I'll be adding an option to download every issue in one big zip/tarball, or in smaller, more manageable chunks.

On Friday I added a new section, going by the name of The Latest and Best Linux Books. This section features every Linux book available at, that had to meet the following strict criteria for inclusion:

  • Received an average rating of 4 to 5 out of 5 stars from the many people that reviewed the book.

  • Is the latest edition.

  • Was published less than a year ago.

(And is organised in each of the 6 sections, by rating, then by date published.)

Then on Saturday I added yet another new section: The Daily Linux News, and also a completely rewritten (and this time more detailed) Vi Survival Guide to the Newbie's Linux Manual.

Last, but not least, Steve's final part of Diary of a Linux Newbie (Part 10) was added.



A small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial--a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defence attorney?"

She again replied, "Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."

At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counsellors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be in jail for contempt within 5 minutes!"


----[ WRAP-UP

As it stands now, I still have a lot of work to do to get Athena back to the state it was before I decided to "improve" it. I received an email from a friend of mine in Asia (Tee). He said a couple things that tickled me pink.

First, he did me the great compliment of telling me I was a "5 Star Geek" and had managed to come out of the entire situation with Athena and the kernel problems very well, all things considered. I kind of liked that. 5 Star Geek. Has a nice ring to it.

Another thing he said that got my attention, was that I'd not just done a re-install of the program files - which is what the "default reaction" is for a huge list of problems if you run Windows 9x/NT. I know. I see messages everyday in newsletters and so forth that people talk about having "problem X" and the reaction is almost always "do a re-install" rather than spend the time to determine what the "real" problem might be. Given the OS in question though, that's usually an appropriate response since you don't have that much control over what Windows does - or does not do - and certainly don't have the scope of options - to fix the problem - that you get with Linux.

Quite honestly, the idea of "wiping" a partition and doing a "re-install" never occurred to me until Tee mentioned it. Not once. I know that the original install was working perfectly until I started mucking around with the kernel. I'm fairly certain that it'll work correctly once I've "exorcized LILO" from the MBR, and had a chance to do a re-compile of the kernel again. Additionally I saw the messages scrolling by on boot-up that said the Zip drive was recognized. Why throw all that away??

What I may do though, since I've it readily available on the CDROMs that came with , is to move the 2.2.5 kernel over to the old drive and install the 2.2.9 kernel source from the CDROM. Then proceed to do the kernel compile again. It would be a wise to have a newer kernel version, so I'm very strongly considering it.

As for "wiping" the partition itself -- that's not an option right now, unless it becomes blatantly obvious that I've managed to get it so "hosed" as to be beyond redemption. However I don't see that being the case, and if I had had a bit of time to work on it this past week it would probably already be back to at least being bootable again.

I'll try to get back to some kind of "normal schedule" next week and not leave Laurence "in the lurch" so far as gathering news is concerned. Speaking of news... if you've not been over to the site recently you need to go there! Laurence has been busy! Adding new sections right and left and if I miss a day I never know what I'll find when I get back over there. :)

Until next week my Penguin loving friends...



This week's The Linux Bits has been brought to you by:

  • Bill Turner- Chief Writer
  • Laurence Hunter- Assistant Writer, Editor & Layout
  • Steve Coe- Assistant Writer
  • Jim Pesola- Contributor

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