Hideously out-of-date! This is from about February of 2002 :-/

Actually, this is so out-of-date that it might almost be starting to develop some historical relevance :-/

Internet stuff; Computer stuff

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Internet stuff

Computer stuff

Putting Linux on..

the Love Letter Microsoft Visual Basic Script worm

OK -- so what's the deal with this one?

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

Here's some real information...

...basically from Dave Dittrich, not Steve Gibson ;-)

Putting Linux on!

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Linux Rev 3.0 - 04/00

Linux Rev 2.0 - 06/99

Linux Rev 1.0 - 05/98

NEW!  (04/00) - How Linux Rev. 3.0 went down:

OK: So after I got the computers of FinchHaven built, the two Linux boxes both had RedHat 5.2 put on.

(06/99) - How Linux Rev. 2.0 went down:

OK: so I put RedHat 5.0 on in May '98; it had become clear (10/98) that it was time to redo a bunch of things:

  • I had created too many partitions; and there were too many partitions over on the DOS/Win95 side.

    /etc/fstab was giving:

      /dev/hda7       /
      /dev/hda9       /home
      /dev/hdc        /mnt/cdrom
      /dev/fd0        /mnt/floppy
      /dev/hda8       /usr
      /dev/hda1       /mnt/dosc
      /dev/hda5       /mnt/dosd
      /dev/hda6       /mnt/dose
      /dev/hdb5       /mnt/dosf
      /dev/hdb6       /mnt/dosg
      none            /proc
    This kinda stuff is not really important, really, but it became one thing to fix when it also became apparent that I just hadn't given enough disk space to Linux...

  • There was some inexplicable wierdess with the rpm's: I'd do an rpm -Va or a rpm -Vp what.ever.foo.2.1.0.rpm and supposedly everything was cool but if I attempted to upgrade or remove I'd sometimes get an error and sometimes not, and still the app itself wouldn't run or some part was missing; or I'd rebuild the rpm database and everything shoulda been cool but it wasn't when I tried to do something else, etc etc, so that was another reason to start over...

  • ..and to add insult to injury somehow I'd managed to ding gcc so I couldn't compile stuff consistently -- sometimes it would, and sometimes with something else it wouldn't -- sometimes little bits and pieces were missing and sometimes not...

So I had been thinking about starting over... (Hey! Nobody said this was gonna be easy! And in fact, that's part of The Whole Point!)

And besides, RHL 5.2 was out and was getting good reviews and had the Gimp and Apache and what the heck!

So I bought it for myself for Christmas, and in January '99 I deleted a bunch of junk in Win95 and moved some stuff and repartitioned and did a full fresh install of 5.2 (Apollo) and that's what we've got now!

And everything is groovy, baby!

The Gimp is great, and I've got Netscape Communicator, and with the new ATI Xpert 98 video card and the hacks I made to XF86Config, Xfree86 is Glorious! simply Glorious! in 1024x768x24colors!

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(05/98) - How Linux Rev. 1.0 went down:

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Went into CompUSA and paid retail for "The Complete" RedHat Linux 5.0 package - two cd's and the RHL User's Guide. Wanted to get one full distro in one lump and have a specific baseline to start with...

Took about one-and-a-half days to really get it put on and get up and running.

  • Cleaned out one partition (the old DOS d:) and deleted it under Partition Magic 2.0 running under DOS 6.22. This was my only real mistake.
  • So I proceeded to install Linux, which seemed to go well. I used Disk Druid to partition the area of the first physical drive (the old d:) I had deleted, rather than fdisk.
  • The install asked me to confirm that I wanted to format the new partitions, and had me select the various packages I wanted installed, and off it went...
  • and proceeded to fail when attempting to "...write beyond end of device..."
  • So I did it all over again, thinking I had certainly goofed-up somewhere, and got the same message, albeit with different details..
  • and did it again and got the same error.

So I sat back and did some serious thinking, and began to wonder about having deleted that partition out under DOS 6.22, using Partition Magic.

And I decided to undo that and start over. HA!

To make a long story short, although the system would re-boot under DOS 6.22, and WFW 3.11 and Win95 would all run, Partition Magic now thought I had no identifiable operating system of any kind (!) on the first physical drive. And fdisk under DOS wouldn't work, and finally I found that even format c: wouldn't work!

I decided that the only way I could get ahold of the first physical drive was to get out the installation disk from Western Digital, and go back to zero!

So I spent an hour moving everything I really wanted off the first drive and onto the second physical drive (I've got almost 4.3gb..)

And... poof! All Gone!

  • I scraped the first drive clean, and put on DOS 6.22, and WFW 3.11, and got 'ol Trumpet Winsock working so I could dial-out and get on to the Internet if I needed more help..
  • And fired-up Partition Magic and re-arranged the partitions to my liking, keeping cluster size down to 16k..
  • And proceeded to re-install (install?) Linux right back from zero.

And it went great!

The only thing I really had to tinker with was the auto-detect auto-detected my mouse on com 1 (which has the modem) not on com 2 where it really is, causing XFree86 to hang big-time when I first tried to run it..

So I had to  rm /dev/mouse  and  ln -s /dev/cua1 /dev/mouse  (God! Look at that:  ln -s /dev/cua1 /dev/mouse!  Don't you just love Unix!) to get the mouse to work right..

  • I set up lilo (LInux LOader) so that I could choose between either Linux or Windows 95 at reboot, and so that it would default to Win95 to make things easier for my kid..
  • And set up an account for her so she could play xgammon and other xgames under XFree86
  • And set up ppp-on and ppp-off so I can dial into halcyon.com and run telnet and ftp and Lynx, and Netscape 3.02 under XFree86..

And it's just too cool!

It is definitely an acquired taste, though. I saw one posting from a guy at news://comp.os.linux.install (I think) who had gotten to where he had a command prompt, and was wondering what to do next..

If you have only run a PC under the Windows/GUI era you may not get what the attraction is. Even XFree86 is pretty terse right out of the box, and outside of XWindows, the command prompt will seem utterly barren for most people.

But, if you've ever stayed up 'way too late at night, tweaking a program you'd written (or bought - there was a time when you actually got the program - back when software came in ziplock baggies..) to get it just right - Linux may be for you.

People have asked me what the big attraction, or what the big deal is with Linux. I've kinda gotten to the point where I describe Linux as being like buying a kit car:

  • You are going to have to learn something about computers and operating systems and Linux itself in order to use it.
  • You are going to have to do some reading.
  • You must get your hands on Linux and mold it to your wants and needs.
  • You may not get all the parts you really wanted, so you're going to have to go out and find 'em yourself, and learn how to modify 'em and install 'em and get them working just the way you want!

Linux will take you back to, or introduce you to, computing for computing's sake!

What's the point of it?

The computer is the point!

Dealing with Windows...

[Boycott Micro$oft!]

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Don't get me started...

Oh, hell, I'm started.

So what's the deal about Windows, anyway?

The entire deal, as far as I'm concerned, is that it has become an impenetrable, closed system that has grown so enormous and so labyrinthine that almost no one knows how it really works, and very, very few people know how to fix it  if  when it breaks.

I've been on DOS since 3.3, I read DOS Power Tools and understood it, I put on Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups, I used to program in Visual Basic, I used to subscribe to the Microsoft Developer Network, I put on Windows 95, I put on Windows 95, I put on Windows 95, I put on Windows 95, yada yada yada...

I first ran a UNIX system back in the mid-80's on a point-of-sale system at an auto parts store...

So I kinda know my way around computers.

It was not until Win95 that I've ever had to *repeatedly* re-install the damned operating system because it, or the applications that depended on the operating system, stopped working!

I mean, think about that for a minute! Some bizarre thing starts to happen, or something that's supposed to happen, doesn't, and the solution is to reinstall the operating system?

What the hell is *that* all about?

There was an extensive thread of discussion in the VB Development community about how Microsoft had not only abandoned its client-base when changing Visual Basic versions, but had broken work done in previous versions and would *not* admit it, let alone help fix the problem that Microsoft itself had created...

That exact same thing has happened in both the OS and application realms at Microsoft.

Microsoft has grown so big that it simply does not have to care, in the least, about anything!

Very few people understand the inter-relationships between the myriad of components that make up Windows, and it's really really common to hear "Just reinstall Windows..." as an actual remedy for an unsolvable problem!

Hell! I've done it again and again and again and again!

I've *had* to reinstall Windows, over and over, simply because it stopped working properly! Period! No other reason! Windows had become so broken, it had to be removed and reinstalled!

And every time I've done it, it's been for a *different* reason than the time before!

So I haven't reached the limits of the various weirdnesses that you can get with Windows -- not by a long stretch, I'd bet!

Boycott Microsoft!

Support competion, free markets, and innovation!

[The ASUS!]

Monopoly n. 1. Econ. Exclusive control by one group of the means
of producing or selling a commodity or service.

The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition

Yeah, right!

You just try to boycott Microsoft!

You think Microsoft isn't a monopoly?

Take my little challenge: if you really know much about computers, and if you can be halfway honest, you probably won't even have to actually *do* what I challenge to answer my question!

1) Remove and replace every single Microsoft title of every sort from your computer.

2) Tell me honestly what percentage of functionality you retain after you're done!

Ha! The vast majority of people wouldn't even have a machine that would boot!

Remove and replace every Microsoft title?

With what?

How are ya even gonna get it to boot?


Then what?

How ya gonna run all those Windows apps?

I'll tell ya: ya can't!


It's a great choice, personally, but it sure ain't for everyone!

(Hell, I'll admit it!)

(That's part of Linux's attraction: it's a wide-open computing universe of infinite complexity that you can learn as much as you possibly can about, and still probably never know it all, but not because it's closed and proprietary and totally out-of-control -- but rather because it's open, vital, active, and evolving in a positive manner!)

So, after you pull all the Microsoft software, *all* of it, off your box, who ya gonna call?

No body! No one! You're stuck! There's nobody but Bill!

So you pull every bit of Microsoft software off your box, and tell me what ya got left!

I'll tell ya what ya got:

Ya got nothin'!

Without Microsoft, ya got nothin'!

You have no choice whatsoever!

It's either Microsoft, or it's a doorstop!

If that isn't a monopoly, I don't know what is!

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[Boycott Micro$oft!]


Hideously out-of-date! This is from about February of 2002 :-/

Actually, this is so out-of-date that it might almost be starting to develop some historical relevance :-/

GoTo the top

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