Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Ultra-cheapo computing adventures

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Computers & Internet » Open Source and Free Software Group Donate to DU
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 05:35 PM
Original message
Ultra-cheapo computing adventures
I'm posting from a Foxconn D20-1, running Knoppix off a usb stick. The barebones (cpu but no hdd or ram),plus 2 x 1gb RAM cost < $140, tax included. It should take maybe 30 minutes to put together, even if you include a hdd

Ultra-cheapo.

What are our ultra-cheapo options today? I just saw an Acer Aspire One D255 for $250: looks much slicker than my AAO D250, for about what I paid 18 months ago
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
comtec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. i like my acer aspire one 150
i know it's a mark one, but 65$ and a 3rd party battery later i get 7 hours of runtime :)

i need to update the bios then i'll be able to use the 16GB SD card to run Ubuntu and dual boot this thing, since the pre installed XP works perfectly fine =] and i see no reason to screw with a working system (too many years of doing that in IT, and screwing it up)

I plan on running the netbook flavor of Ubuntu when i do get around to it tho.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I decided I liked ordinary ubuntu better than the netbook version
It ran fine on my AAO D250, though after I finally played around with more distros I decided to keep debian squeeze on the machine

There were a couple of known issues I never tried to sort out: suspend, network led, wifi switch ... nothing that really mattered to me
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. MSI Wind Nettop: $128.97
MSI WIND-NETTOP-100

MSI's Wind Nettop 100 mini-PC is a bright spot on any business network, or anyplace else space is at a premium. This tiny PC measures only 11.8 x 9.5 x 2.6 inches so it'll fit just about anywhere but it all the features you need to work, or play, efficiently. It's powered by an Intel Dual-core Atom 330 CPU. Up to 2 GB of DDR2 533/400 memory installed delivers doughty performance. A 5.25-inch and a 3.5-inch bays provides enough expansion. Connect to the outside world with either the 802.11n wireless connection or the Gigabit Ethernet port. With low acoustics and cooling-conscious design, the system operates at full speed with only 35 Watts.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Little smaller barebone box than the Foxconn, and dual-core rather than single-core,
but only 65w power adaptor instead of Foxconn's 150w psu

MSI supposedly supports 2gb DDR2 533/400 compared to Foxconn 4gb of DDR2 800/667, and it's hard for me to guess the speed trade-off of dual-core with less and slower memory versus single core with more and faster memory

Other features of the two barebones pretty look similar to me (not an expert on chipsets), except the MSI sports an antenna if you decide to add a wireless card

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Foxconn D20-1 is a kinda limited machine. I've had no luck so far running
anything besides knoppix or an old version of ubuntu on it. I'd say my appreciation for knoppix went up several notches: fortunately got no speakers on it, so don't have to disable the robo-voice yet
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Added ultracheap Trendnet TEW-424UB wireless usb dongle @ $15 to Foxconn
Edited on Sun Mar-20-11 06:51 PM by struggle4progress
The good news is it's really cheap and it's working now: I'm posting wirelessly from it.

The less good news is that I've been working off and on since this time yesterday to get the little blighter to work

The really bad news is that I have no clear idea what I actually did that finally got the thing working. Usual icon clicking was originally fruitless and remainded fruitless through many mindless iterations -- until it suddenly worked

The intertubes are a source of too much info and too much outdated info. Trendnet has changed the chipset on this little device several times in the past few years, so I got my chipset info via lsusb. The chipset's been around a while, and there are detailed instructions in webworld for installing the driver from the cd via ndiswrapper. These instructions seem not to have worked for me, but apparently ndiswrapper worked for this chipset for a while, then stopped working for a long spell, then was fixed and began working again, so maybe I was looking at an out-of-date script. Success with ndiswrapper may depend on which version of the Windows .inf driver file you use from the included cd. Some folk in googleland swear that Trendnet borked the drivers and claim you should download the drivers directy from the Realtek chipmaker's site. Other people claim that the device is plug-and-play for some linux distros

In the middle of all of this, I totally geffugged my Knoppix installation (just because you can install all updates via synaptic doesn't mean you should!) and had to reinstall. Then ... waddaya know! Appeal to lsmod showed that the linux driver for the chipset loaded! Little blighter still didn't work, though. Tried some standard scripts without luck: they saw the device but couldn't get the lease. Optimistically tried clicking menu items from time to time to no avail. Finally installed and tried ndisgtk: no go. Removed the Win2KXP driver and tried ndiswrapper again via ndisgtk with VistaX86 driver from the cd. Went back to the knoppix menus and mucked around some more, locking wireless to the Trendnet MAC address. Holy moly! now it connected

Don't know how much of this will survive reboot, so I'm logging off here to try

<edit:> nothing much survived reboot -- back to posting wired

<edit:> must be doable. booted the foxconn off an old ubuntu livecd and have no trouble posting from the dongle without any configuration at all: plug and play. lsmod shows rtl8187, mac80211, eeprom_93cx6, cfg80211 (last three use first, last also uses second)

<edit:> booted foxconn off knoppix livecd; no trouble posting from the dongle without any configuration at all: plug and play. lsmod again shows rtl8187 mac80211 cfg80211 eeprom_93cx6
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. launched knoppix from livecd with trendnet plugged in, verified wireless was plug-n-play, then
reinstalled knoppix from livecd. on reboot after installation, knoppix remembers the network and security settings and reconnected via the trendnet automatically
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. this ^ survived reboot
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-11 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. Using the Foxconn box to try lightweight Linux distros virtually
with virtualbox in a Knoppix host

Since the Foxconn is 1.6ghz single core and I only added 2gb RAM, a virtual machine pretty much needs to stay below 1gb RAM so the host OS has room to play -- so I've been trying 512mb RAM in the virtual machines. Guest isos aren't always happy with that, and even lightweight distros can jam up or show reduced functionality

Absolute: http://www.absolutelinux.org /
Slackware based. Irritatingly, log-in screen doesn't echo when you type username or password, so it's easy to type a bad log-in. And once locked, screen doesn't recognize my log-in

Antix: http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
Debian- and MEPIS-based. Tried to install LaTex from menu: installer couldn't find a package and failed

Crunchbang: http://crunchbanglinux.org /
Debian-based. Installed qtoctave from synaptic via menu. This seems to me a nice little distro. Looks like ArchBang: it would be interesting to compare performance

Lubuntu: http://lubuntu.net /
Ubuntu-based, with LXDE desktop. Lots of familiar stuff here

Tiny Me: http://tinymelinux.com/doku.php/home
Had to safeboot the liveCD iso to install. Set up user account on reboot. But making some changes to user account thru menus borked the installation. This distro is clean and attractive looking, but I don't think you'll do more than basic stuff with it. The install was slow and pretty much sucked up 100% of the cpu: attempting to play ChickensForlinux during the install was a mistake. The F-key menu doesn't seem operable

So far I'd point folk towards CrunchBang, Knoppix, or Lubuntu as lightweight distros




Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Archbang guest in VirtualBox with Knoppix host on the Foxconn
At 512mb RAM, the autoinstall wouldn't work. Upped RAM to 896mb; upgrading through pacman would require almost 1gb of new diskspace, so I installed using the autoinstall on a 16gb virtual hdd with about 3gb swap. Upgrading the installed system then sucks up all available cpu on the Foxconn, so I'm getting a tour of the Knoppix random screensavers during the upgrade, with no opportunity to interrupt and see how the install is going -- some screen-capture-based screensaver screens are showing a old view of terminal, but it's impossible to track progress, though the Foxconn hdd light is flickering on and off. So, so far, I know Archbang will install in this limited environment, but don't know if it can be updated
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 03:51 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Update: after 12 hr, still locked out of Foxconn box: screensaver is running, but
mouse clicks do not interrupt. Screensavers based on desktop show a screen that is many hours old. Intermittent external signs of hdd activity
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Archbang update concluded successfully after approximately 24 hr
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 04:30 PM by struggle4progress
Got to see lots of examples of Knoppix screensavers meanwhile

<on edit:> The Foxconn running Archbang as a guest in VirtualBox with Knoppix host is pretty much at its limit: I launched Gimp inside ArchBang and it launched but I walked away a minute and the screen-saver cycle locked: mouse-clicks wouldn't turn off the screen-savers. Touching the powerkey did interrupt the screen-saver cycle with a pop-up box asking if I really wanted to shutdown, so I could get back to my desktops, but this would not be the ideal approach
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Similarly installed Bodhi and Xubuntu
http://bodhilinux.com /
http://www.xubuntu.org /

These are Ubuntu offspring. Bodhi uses Enlightenment desktop; Xubuntu uses XFCE

Installed each in vb with 512mb RAM on 8gb virtual hdd. Xubuntu install was slow, and afterwards I could not escape Knoppix screensavers without touching the Foxconn power button

Bodhi seems very nicely organized (though I dislike the wallpapers that come with the distro). Xubuntu organization will seems familiar to Ubuntu users
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. I think one can build a reasonable office machine for under $275
~$60 Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-S2 (two slots support up to 8gb RAM; also up to 4 SATA)
~$60 Athlon II dualcore 2.9GHz
~$50 GSkill 2 x 2GB 1333 DDR3
~$50 Sentey SS1-2421 mATX case + 450W psu (only one SATA power connector, and only one internal drive bay, but might be able to fit a second hdd in an external bay and power through a SATA-molex adaptor)
~$50 500GB 7200 RPM 3.0Gb/s SATA hdd

That's probably plenty good for lots of linux distros


Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Installed Arch on this machine with OpenBox as the Windows Manager & Desktop Environment
Choice is partly based on the superficial fact that I like the OpenBox appearance of CrunchBang and ArchBang, with Conky running. Obmenus gives good enough easy access to menu configuration. Don't much like having to middle-click to recover iconified windows, but I'll find a work-around
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-09-11 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #14
24. second hdd will fit in external bay
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-11 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
16. Acer AOD257 netbook: N570 1.66ghz dual core cpu + 1 gb ram @ $250
The dual core supports four threads
250 gb hdd, rj45 port, 3 usb port, vga port &c
no cdrom

Preloaded with windows 7 starter and some bloatware

Ships with BIOS set in "quiet boot" mode and with the F12 boot order option disabled in BIOS. So you may have to tap F2 BEFORE Acer screen appears to access the BIOS (otherwise, you'll just get the Windows Bootloader Menu)

I've verified some ability to boot from usb stick
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Info on this machine
from lshw or dmidecode

mobo: JE06_PT
haven't found any info by googling

bios: INSYDE v1.04
seems current

ram: 1gb 667mhz SODIMM
websearch suggests 204-pin DDR3

cpu: Intel 1.66ghz dualcore 64-bit-capable N570, 512kb L2-cache, 32kb L1-cache

hdd: Hitachi HTS54322 250gb

lan: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. OK. My experimental curiosity got the better of me and I think I know how to upgrade:
There are indeed clips at the top of the keyboard near esc/f1 f8 f12 del

They push back with (say) a small plastic screwdriver, and then you can stick a credit card under the middle top of the keyboard and work it off

But beware! the keyboard ribbon is very very short. I expect it's fragile too

Peeking under the keyboard, there are four screens labelled "door"

And there's a little embossed bit on the hdd cage: "door release"

It's a whole lot like the aod255, with a shorter keyboard ribbon, and the "door release" instead of just a hole in the hdd cage. I'll still have to figure out the "door release"

But this video probably gives a good idea, even though it's for the aod255: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KYNTvF0-5M
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. More info:
After carefully pushing back the clips near esc/f1 f8 f12 del and prying off the keyboard with a creditcard, there are actually 5 screws holding the back panel: 4 are clearly labelled "door" but I can't make out the label on the 5th, which is located at the front right, very close to the "door release" embossed on the hdd cage. All these screws are the same length. The "door release" isn't really a release or latch: it's just an indented stub you can push with a small screwdriver to push off the back panel

There are several screws securing the hdd cage -- BUT YOU DON"T NEED TO REMOVE THEM. The hdd isn't actually attached to the hdd cage: it simply holds by friction and some pads on the back panel. Replacing the hdd is pretty easy. The small sata-type connector slides on and off easily enough, after you've popped the hdd up

Taking this little puppy apart requires some patience and perhaps a deft touch.Some of the smaller plastic clips on the back panel may come off if you're as careless and clumsy as I am: I just grabbed some superglue and tweezers and glued them back on: I think they were originally melted/sintered in place

Can't report on ram replacement yet: my new ram hasn't arrived, and I'm trying to minimize unnecessary handling. But it looks much as I expected: I think you just push the side-clips back, pull the old ram, and push the new ram in with the proper orientation
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Since RAM and HDD upgrades are not covered in the generic user manual,
I contacted acer to ask how to do it. They won't provide documentation on this but gave me an 800 number with an option to discuss how with a consultant for a fee so I may not do thaT :grr:

acer says singlechannel soDIMM SDRAM DDR3 1066 MHz is installed and can be upgraded to 2gb but dmidecode indicates the memory controller can handle 4gb ram
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. pfft! "fee based support"
so i call with three questions:

how to access ram & hdd? pry the clips under esc/f1 f8 f12 del, lift keyboard, remove screws, pop off back like with the aod255?

will this accept 4gb sodiumm single-channel ddr3 1066mhz 204-pin ram? or only 2gb?

hdd 2.5 inch? sata or sata2 interface?

i get a sales pitch. guy says not more than 2gb. guy says sata not sata2. guy wants to sell me another 250gb or a 500gb hdd. i say: do you sell sdds? he doesn't understand. i say: do you sell solid state drives? he says he doesn't know what that means. so i don't believe anything he says: he wants to sell me a one year support plan: for $150, i can call five times in the next year

pfft! it shouldn't be this hard



Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. So I upped ram from 1gb to 2gb (using Kingston KAC-MEMHS/2G) and replaced hdd with ssd.
Original time from power-on to ubuntu login screen was about 30 secs, now it's 15 and shutdown takes only about 4 secs

I'm sure I've voided the warranty: acer would want the machine returned with factory settings, which includes windows 7 starter, which I completely removed in favor of ubuntu

Also as noted above, gonzo that I am, I broke off a few plastic clips prying the machine apart for the mod, and I had to glue then back on with superglue: this worked pretty well, but the back panel is a wee bit loose on one edge, so I'm holding it in place with electrical tape

Additional cost was about $125 so original+mod ran around $375 total. Is it worth it? Hmmm -- I'm not really sue: the acer is 1.66ghz dual core but I just saw advertised a 15" 3ghz notebook with 4gb ram for $399: that's a considerably faster cpu and twice as much ram, with a friendlier screensize for not much more -- and without sporting electrical tape

Other stuff: I turned on TRIM by adding discard to appropriate fstab lines. Next, I'll set aside some ramdisk for browser cache, /tmp, and /var/tmp -- and try to modify ubuntu menu entries so /tmp and /var/tmp aren't in ramdisk when I do system upgrades

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. To explore ramdisk a bit, I booted knoppix with the noram option from a usb stick
To get decent performance, I had to turn off all the compiz effects in knoppix, but then it seemed to do okay running in ramdisk
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. Putting slackware on this machine
No cd/dvd drive so you've gotta go usb route

first installed syslinux in an ubuntu guest running in virtualbox
downloaded 4+gb file slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso
then hybridized
(run in terminal: isohybrid slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso)
put file on unmounted usb flash drive /dev/sdX
(run in terminal: dd if=slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso of=/dev/sdX
this took a LONGtime)

downloaded 25 MB usbboot.img file
put file on another usb flash drive /dev/sdY
(run in terminal: dd if=usbboot.img of=/dev/sdY bs=512)

boot AOD257 from usbboot.img flash drive
(hit F12 and select flash drive from boot media)
log in as root
mkdir flashmnt
insert slackware flash drive
(check which drive is which dev by running: fdisk -l | less)

partition hdd
run: fdisk /dev/sdZ

run: setup

now i'm confused about what exactly i did to inform setup where my slackware sources were on the flash drive
setup isn't incredibly informative here and i tried various things until something finally worked
you may need to mount the flash drive containing the slackware directory BEFORE you run set-up and you may need to tell setup to look for NTFS files or something
it's a pain: maybe i'll figure it out later
anyway one of my random permutations finally worked
did the full install

used LILO for bootloader
looks like choosing PS/2 mouse works for the trackpad
looks like the VESA drivers work

reboot without the flashdrives now
can log in as root
there's more work to do to get a usable system of course
i've chosen xfce as desktop but start hardly any services at boot





Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. cleaned up the boot a tiny bit
edited /etc/lilo.conf with nano and ran lilo to implement the changes

reduced time on splash screen by reducing the timeout from 1200 to 2
so the slackware splash shows for only 0.2 sec

once i knew vega video would work, commented out vga=ask and replaced it with vga=789
the lilo.conf file here contains an arithmetic error in hex/decimal conversion which produced unknown mode errors until i found it

also added quiet at the end of the append to reduce boot time

some useful links:

http://www.control-escape.com/linux/lilo-cfg.html
http://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/fb/vesafb.txt
http://pdg86.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/improving-slackwa... /

boot time is something like 30 secs
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. if you don't like seeing all the ... after "loading linux" on boot, add a one word line
compact
to your /etc/lilo.conf file (and then run lilo)

it's less visually irritating maybe
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. lspci shows realtek RTL8101E/RT8102E pcie internet controller, atheros AR9285 pcie wireless adaptor
googling suggests modules r8169 for the realtek and ath9k for the atheros

lsmod suggests these modules were loaded by the kernel or got loaded when i fumbled around with ifconfig and iwconfig

iwconfig indicates wireless interface is wlan0

then

iwconfig wlan0 essid "<ESSID>"
iwconfig wlan0 key <WEP key>
dhclient wlan0
ping -c 5 www.bbc.co.uk

gets the expected response from bbc

so it's possible to get the AR9285 pcie wireless adaptor to connect without much trouble

for now i've just put the above iwconfig commands in a shell script, since

/etc/rc.d/rc.modules is a huge file;
/etc/rc.d/rc.wireless.conf seems to have been deprecated &c&c;
wicd is supposed to be possible to install from /extra on my slackware usb key but none of the things i tried worked

it gives me enough internet access to use lynx and so on




Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. startx now brought up the xfce desktop with firefox available
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. decided to reinstall using considerably fewer packages. after reinstallation, i'll see
if i can custom compile the kernel per instructions here:

http://blog.tpa.me.uk/slackware-kernel-compile-guide/
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. reinstalled with fewer series, installing fluxbox as windows manager.
Edited on Sun Oct-23-11 02:46 AM by struggle4progress
installation gave me no trouble this time, but it's weird and not well-documented

i did something like this:
create /mountpoint for /dev/sdX containing slackware sources
(ie not the boot usb but the other one)
mount -t auto /dev/sdX /mountpoint
then when i selected source i think i chose hard disk partition (go figure :crazy:)
and i entered /dev/sdX as that hard disk partition (go figure again :crazy:)
then /slackware as the directory containing the source

did not configure network at all
used script above to start wireless

startx now launches fluxbox
able to web-browse with firefox (old out-of-date version)

now need to:
recompile kernel for machine optimality
learn slackware package management
learn to configure fluxbox (probably a lot like openbox)
add conky for system monitoring, weather, headline news
<on edit> figure out trim for ssd efficiency
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. recompiled the kernel per instructions upthread here
i first had to install make from my usb flash containing the source but that was straightforward

there's a minor mistake in the recompile instructions but if you pay attention to what you're doing you'll find it

i didn't do much custom configuration. it should be possible to really tune the kernel with menuconfig, but you really need to know a fair amount to think it through: i'll simply note that the dmidecode that came with slackware produced much more information about the cpu than the dmidecode that came with the ubuntu system i installed on the box earlier this year

recompiling took about an hour. a lot of that was modules i won't really need. so at some point i might recompile without support for features like bluetooth or ham radio

per instructions, edited /etc/lilo.conf to provide an option to boot a backup kernel. also changed the splashscreen timeout so i have 1.5 secs to choose the backup kernel to boot if i need it (though 0.5-1.0 sec might actually be adequate)

the recompile didn't affect boot time much. new kernel boots. everything seems to work
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. slackpkg is available on the slackware installation dvd; it's already installed on my system
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 01:19 AM by struggle4progress
I got some basic info here:
http://www.basicconfig.com/linux/slackpkg
http://www.slackpkg.org/documentation.html

unfortunately, you can only select one single mirror at a time by uncommenting a line in /etc/slackpkg/mirrors

this is especially irritating since the mirrors don't seem to appear in the mirror file in any particular order

ran slackpkg update
to get updated package list
then since installed version was firefox-4
i tried slackpkg upgrade firefox
and was given an option to upgrade to firefox-7
this successfully upgraded firefox without further ado
(except for having to change mirrors because my first choice repeatedly timed out)

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. basic fluxbox configuration seems straightforward
there's a Fluxbox wiki but i don't always find it very helpful
http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Fluxbox-wiki

a number of predefined styles are provided in /usr/share/fluxbox/styles
i just copied one to /home/<user account>/.fluxbox/styles and renamed it <new style>

a full component list is here:
http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/natty/man5/fluxbox-...

hex rgb color tables are easily available, for example:
http://www.web-source.net/216_color_chart.htm

select Fluxbox menu >> User styles >> <new style>
edit the style file to your liking
using Fluxbox menu >> Restart to see what your changes are doing
comment lines in the style file begin !

there may once have been some utilities fluxconf and fluxmenu
but slackware doesn't seem to make them available
websearch suggests they are buggy and or out-of-date

/home/<user account>/.fluxbox contains a file menu
it's not hard to understand and edit by hand
for example, if you want xterm to launch with a black background and green text
you can change the line (xterm) {xterm}
to (xterm) {xterm -bg black -fg green}
comment lines in the menu file begin #




Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. sonow i set out to install conky on the box because i am the sort of goof who finds conky cool

and at this point i finally begin thinking about what it means for a distro to have a benevolent dictator for life, who is not nameless but is named pat: it means the project must remain reasonably straightforward, if one person is going to make most of the final decisions about it, which is probably a good thing as far as project comprehensibility for the average person willing to put some time into it, but it also means the point-and-click or one-line-of-code installation just won't be there for most applications -- it's mainly DIY

so conky doesn't seem to be officially supported by the distro. i've pretty much been a mindless apt-get-install sorta dude so far, using whatever automated package tools exist in a nice distro like debian or arch

but other people may have done it themselves; for example, here's a guy telling you how in portuguese:

Instalando e configurando o Conky no Slackware 13 com instalao completa
http://www.vivaolinux.com.br/artigo/Conky-no-Slackware-...

no, wait, he's done the full slackware install first and then uses slackbuilds:
http://slackbuilds.org/repository/13.37/system/conky /

ok, that's not quite DIY but the scripts are short and probably pretty transparent, so i'm gonna start here and try to understand what they do for a while, and if i think i figure it out i'll come back and explain what i think i learned

so the first thing is to download the 598kb conky:
http://conky.sourceforge.net/
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. i'm going to try to install conky following the general outline here:
http://wiki.conky.be/index.php?title=Compiling_from_sou...
http://slackwiki.org/Building_A_Package

first switch to directory where i untarred conky
run ./autogen.sh
i need gnu m4 installed
run slackpkg install m4
run ./autogen.sh
ok

i guess i could set a bunch of flags from ./configure --help
or copy settings from
http://slackbuilds.org/slackbuilds/13.37/system/conky/c...

but i think i'll just try to follow the slackwiki
./configure --prefix=/usr --localstatedir=/var --sysconfdir=/etc

./configure fails because lua isn't installed
lua isn't officially supported by slackware
so from www.lua.org download current release of current version
lua-5.1.4.tar.gz

again there's a script available at slackbuilds
http://slackbuilds.org/repository/12.2/development/lua /

but i think i'll just try to follow the links above




Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. ASIDE: kept getting confused whether I was me or whether I was root and about where I was
First I added a line like

PS1='\u@\w# '

to my .bashrc file to show login and current directory but then I realized the path can get kinda long so I justr put the account in the prompt and put the current path in the xterm window title

PS1='\u # '
label () { /bin/echo "^[]0;$PWD^G; }
cdtitle ()
{
if < -z "$1" >
then
"cd"
else
"cd" $*
fi
eval label
}
alias cd=cdtitle

this is almost but not quite trivial to put in .bashrc file: if you use the vi editor (say) the ^] is entered as cntl-v esc and the ^G is entered as cntl-v cntl-g

pretty much stole the script from here:
http://trilug.org/~chilcote/Unix/titlebar.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. now i think i've installed lua: "which lua" returns "/bin/lua"
the slackwiki instructions
http://slackwiki.org/Building_A_Package
were slightly wrong

reading the INSTALL file suggests "make install INSTALL_TOP=/tmp/build" instead of "make install DESTDIR=/tmp/build"

also "strip -s /tmp/build/usr/lib/* /tmp/build/usr/bin/*" doesn't work because make-install didn't create intermediate usr directories so instead i did "strip -s /tmp/build/lib/* /tmp/build/bin/*"

everything else seemed straightforward
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Jul 10th 2014, 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Computers & Internet » Open Source and Free Software Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC