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Nice to meet you. My name is Steve. I have installed linux with X11 successfully maybe once in my life, on a computer in Canada I will never see again (and I'll never know if even that one has had problems). But on personal machines, or machines of my roommates and friends, it never seems to work. LiLo once toasted my exgirlfriend's hard drive, corrupting it to the point of *never again being bootable*. I had to buy her a new drive.

Let me tell you what I mean by 'successfully'. I'm sure some of you computer users know, but my definition may vary from the definitions of some.

I want a machine in which the peripherals are supported to the best of their abilities. Network file-share and connection-share protocols should auto-install. Popular utilities such as Macromedia Flash and Java (with WebStart), and perhaps codecs to play videos, should be installed if you desire a machine capable of a multimedia experience.

In most computer science classes, you're taught that a good operating system is invisible. The OS is a conduit, a non-obtrusive mechanism for enabling apps and users to get things done. But it seems that the Linux Legacy has it out for me, personally. I can't seem to scrounge a driver off of the internet for an ATI Radeon Celestica 9200se 128mb videocard, or for the VIA motherboard with onboard everything. No graphical unzipping utilities seem to exist, though I can attack tar.gz files on the command line. I somehow haphazardly installed an outdated version of Java, and even then, I can't get .jnlp files to actually load in a browser window instead of saving to the desktop.

I mean, what is life if you can't play at least once in yer life? ARR!

So anyhow, that is my plight. I'm sure you'll suggest the star-crossed person I am to some Linux-Installation-Convention or at least a Linux Priest who can dispel the Daemons that serve my strife.
Steve (aka: Chibix)
Burien, WA
chibi at myway dot com
First advise is to use a newer distro than mandrake 8 ...

there have been 5 or 6 releases of mandrake since then.

Download the Mandrake 10 final ISOs from here

(click I'm already a member of the Club or plan on registering soon, please send me to the download page)

Did the Knoppix bootable CD work ... except for the install part? What version of Knoppix was it?

Is the PC fairly good specs ... What processor type/speed, how much RAM ... what Motherboard / Chipset?
To install Java Web Start (required to use JNLP files), go here:

If you have already installed version 1.4.2 or higher java, you don't need to install anything ... all you need to do is find the executeable file:


and open the jnlp file with that
It's a fairly new PC. AMD 2000+ (1666Mhz) with 256 mb RAM on a new VIA kt600 (92xx) motherboard. I haven't had much luck figuring out that ALSA sound driver thing yet. I'm pretty sure that when and if I get frustrated enough trying to fix this, I'll steal mandrake's bandwidth, burn my last three empty CDs with the mandrake 10 install distro, throw my chips to the wind, and see what happens.
Knoppix was the WFTL edition available from (comes with a book about blue screens...) Bought it at B.Daltons' Booksellers.
Thanks for the ideas about Java,I'll try it and see what happens!

The version of Linux I finally got working: 2.4.8_26-mdk
Mandrake: Vitamin (8.1)

I know, I know, .1 (odd decimal) versions are test builds, and I should never have touched it, but it was one of the few CDs I had. =p
Another waypoint on my quest for a sane and stable linux installation, by the ever-accursed Chibix.
I should be a quality assurance manager.

I decided that Mandrake 8.1 (Vitamin) was getting me absolutely nowhere, so I grabbed Lindows. I had no idea that you had to pay money to use freeware! I'm sorry, but that violates my license agreement with your company.

My License Agreement with OS Providers

By clicking your Accept Button, I hereby agree that I will never have to pay for something that I can otherwise get for free with any other product. I agree that you will not change the rules and laws of reality on me halfway into the game. Denying this, I will promptly delete your product and avidly boycott it amongst any circles I frequent.

Despite that major drawback, I was impressed, officially, by this evil evil evil installation of something-like-linux.

Step one: Hardware Acceleration.

Installations can go good or bad, but without hardware recognition and accelleration, there are problems. This was the first distro of linux to recognize my onboard soundcard by default. And the video seemed to be working just fine, whereas BeOS 5 defaulted me to Black-and-white-mode.

Step Two: Filesystem

I was impressed. Linux commonly has this weird kinda strewn about filesystem, and three directories for everything, but Lindows tricked you into thinking it was different. It gave you a certain number of files on the desktop. Drives and printers on the desktop. Inside "My Computer" was a folder called "System" which is simply a symlink to "/", where we all know the system is anyhow. Half the folders there are for Programs, and half of them are for linux. And of course, there's "Home", which recurses the real location of the desktop and the madness continues all over again. (C:WindowsDesktopMyComputerC:WindowsDesktopMyComputerC:)

Step Three: Customizability

The final thing you've gotta have, is the ability to tweak the heck out of your computer. Apparently "MenuDrake" that acts like every launch menu I've ever seen in X11. If you try to delete something, or worse, rename it, menudrake puts it back. I want a menu system that linux programmers spend a little real TIME on. I want to drag symlinks across the menus to rearrange their order. One should be able to drag these objects to and from applications that support drag/drop.

I'd put my mouth where my money is and code it myself, but it seems that some smart people at LinSpire conveniently forgot to include GNU-C in the Freeware-included-with-the-distro section, and accidentally placed it in the Freeware-you-have-to-pay-for section. So much for that idea! =p

Step Four: Binary Distributions

Okay, now I'm just complaining. Is it just too much to ask, to want a screenshot and a binary version? I want to see that the program actually exists and isn't a virus. I don't want an account on every webpage in the world, and certainly, I don't want an account on everyone's CVS tree. I could use the same username and password on everything, of course, but if anyone ever finds it out, I'll have to go to EVERY page and change it.

(You too, LinuxHelp! Why can't we just post anonymously!) Eh, yeah, yeah, I'll shut up now. But feel free to promote the GATOR PASSWORD SPYWARE UTILITY.

So I downloaded the Mandrake 10 iso after Redhat6 and corel1.1 failed to install. Mandrake 10 failed to install. I'll figure out how to do md5 checksums in windows, and get back to you.

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