Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Xandros: Something Scary

I was on a blogging vacation for about one and a half months due to work. A Tech Support Representative like me needs to spend most of the time with different flavors of Windows so I'll become familiar with those errors our clients usually encounters. And spend about half a day trying to recreate those errors and finding out what triggers them...


Spending weeks trying to figure out why Internet Explorer won't open Secured Sites.
Spending weeks trying to figure out why Internet Explorer can't surf while Firefox can.
Spending weeks trying to figure out why after uninstalling a program, Windows would do reboot loops.
Spending weeks trying to figure out why Windows would corrupt it's own files.
Spending weeks trying to figure out how to get rid of viruses and spywares.
Spending weeks trying to figure out why Norton & McAfee would prevent a user from surfing even with correct settings.
Spending weeks trying to figure out what process has to be ended and what startup items has to be unchecked.
Spending weeks resetting Winsocks and restacking TCP/IP.
Spending weeks...... well, you get the idea!


A breath of fresh air... at last!

Now let's move on

I'll show you something scary....

I'll show you my Fedora Core 4's grub.conf...

Notice anything weird?
Look at my Fedora Core 4 entry!
This is what I'm used at seeing whenever I'm dealing with Linux...

Now take a look at my Xandros 3.1 Open Circulation Edition entry
and compare it with my Windows XP entry......

Very, very similar....
Even though Xandros is another Linux distribution...

I'm used at editing Grub and pointing it to a kernel, but Xandros scared the shit out of me!
I know Xandros invested a fortune to make it easy for us to migrate to Linux but never in my wildest dream did I imagine this happening.

At the bright side of things though, with this kind of setup, you don't need a boot loader even though Xandros comes with LiLo. All a user has to do is to make that partition bootable and direct the BIOS to boot from that hard disk. Here's a screenshot of that Boot Manager that I got from Xandros themselves. I can't provide a screenshot since I don't have a camera but I saved this image on my blog to offload bandwidth requests from that particular server.


One more thing worth mentioning is that Xandros mounts all detected partitions, except, obviously the Swap partition, making it very convenient for everyone switching to Xandros. It also comes with propriety softwares allowing you to play your audio and videos, even those wmv & wma formats. The inclusion of CrossOver Office with the deluxe version for those who can't live without MS Office makes this distribution a must-have for professionals, students, and your grandmother.

I have nothing against Xandros since everything has been thought of perfectly, but I find those propriety softwares and automation a bit scary. They invested a lot of money, time, and effort to make it work like Windows and this distribution would be a perfect Operating System for regular users thinking of migrating to Linux.

But I'm a bit of a control freak...
I want to manually mount my partitions...
I want to know exactly what process is running in the background...
and if necessary, kill it...
I want to know what ports are open...
that way I can close it when I don't need it...

And I want my Linux to NOT look, work, & act like Windows!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Connecting Linux to the Internet

Most people already acquainted with Linux don't really need to read this post since most of them already know how to connect to the Internet and most of the time, they don't have to because during installation, it automatically looks for an network connection, regardless of distribution. And if they couldn't find a good connection, it will only be disabled until the next reboot. And if the your distribution failed to connect to the internet due to unplugged modem, or even unplugged power adaptor, one could easily reboot the computer to gain connection. But what if you're near deadline or you just can't reboot the pc due to fear of data/settings loss, then this post might be of help to you. And the reason I came up with this post is because I work in a call center that deals with internet connectivity. And most connections require us to use modems with DHCP, so this command would locate the DHCP server and will be assigned an IP address automatically. The commands listed below will stop, start, and restart the network connections. As always, you need to issue this command in a terminal window as root. Here they are:

Fedora Core 1 to 4
Bayanihan Linux 3.1
LormaLinux 5.0 Workstation

Stop: /etc/rc.d/init.d/network stop

Start: /etc/rc.d/init.d/network start

Restart: /etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart

Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO

Stop: /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 stop

Start: /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 start

Restart: /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 restart

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Connecting Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO to the Internet

All Linux distributions are designed to be networked so, obviously, once you install Linux, it will automatically ask you to configure it's connection. It really doesn't matter if it's connected locally via LAN or connected to the internet directly. You could easily choose not to have it connected though, but what's the use of having a computer when you can't set it up right and can't even surf, just my 2 cents. It doesn't care if its connected via Cable/DSL or Dial-up.

My connection (Smart Wi-Fi) is configured to use DHCP, so there's no problem. When I installed my Vector, I just selected DHCP and accepted the defaults. Once I'm in my desktop, all I have to do is launch my browser and I'm up and surfing.

Some connections are configured to use PPPoE, so you have to use a PPPoE client in Linux. Roaring Penguin PPPoE is one of the best, but I can't seem to find it in my version of Vector. Using VASM, you could also setup an internet connection if you have a static IP, I haven't tried it though, but by browsing the Vector Help Center, I figured that it's pretty simple and anyone with half a brain would be able to set it up. Another way of connecting is via Dial-Up and as long as you have a hardware modem, you only have to issue your username, password, and the access number and Linux would be able to do it's job for you. My Vector comes supplied with KPPP and another tool in VASM. If you'll be connected this way, you do have to read the help guide and know your modem. Most external modems connected via serial ports would be able to connect without problems. And as usual, the tools are idiot-proof.

Connect Vector by launching VASM, selecting SUPER, then issuing your password.
VASM will now be presented with a few more options. Select NETWORK then NETCONF.
It now asks for the hostname, just type in your preferred hostname or select the defaults. It really doesn't matter unless you'll be setting up Vector as a Web Server.
It will now ask for the Network Method, I selected DHCP then clicked on Next which brought me back to the Network Menu.
Congratulations! You're now up and surfing. Just launch Firefox and try visiting at least 2 websites just to make sure.

Stopping & Starting Connection via VASM

There will come a time where you have to Stop and Start you internet connection manually. You can do it via VASM or you can do it via CLI (Command Line Interface).

Let's try VASM first, launch it and let's go to the Network Menu, select INET, then click OK.
Select STOP then click ok.
Select whatever item is present then just click OK. If you have two NIC's, make sure you know which NIC is providing the network connection. By default, it is set to eth0 which is your first NIC.

That's it, you've now stopped your network connection.
To start manually the network, just select START then click OK.
The default connection would be selected so just click OK. Remember that if you have 2 NIC's, select the one providing internet connection.
So that's it, you've started your connection.

Stopping, Starting, & Restarting Connection via CLI

Launch a terminal window (aterm, xterm, or konsole), log in as root, then type in this command.

Stop Connection: /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 stop

Start Connection: /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 start

Restart Connection: /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 restart


Do take note that this guide will only work on Vector Linux. Even though all distros are Linux, each of them are configured differently and have different packages, so even if you try, it might not work.

Whenever I install a new Operating System, whether it's Linux or Windows, I first make sure that I can get online via my Smart Wi-Fi. Why prioritize that? It's because if you're experiencing other problems like video, or mouse, or that some programs are irritating you, finding some on the internet to help you out is easy. Now how can you fix a program if you don't know the solution, and how can you find a solution if you're not connected to the internet? Sure you can find someone who will help you, but it will take ages. Visiting forums and mailing lists archives would give you solutions to problems much sooner than you think. A lot of people encountered that problem, and trust me when I say that you're not the first person to experience that issue or bug. And guess what? Someone already found a solution or workaround for whatever problems you might have.

Now on to the next topic!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Apologies to the people at Smart Wi-Fi

I got disconnected from the internet tuesday last week and I've been very cranky lately not being able to check on my emails, surf the internet, and do my research. Anyway, a technician came in and check on my configurations. Everything was fine except that the tech doesn't know Linux so I have to boot up into Windows and he got me connected. Now I found out a few things here:

1. The antenna that was supplied with the kit isn't just an antenna, and it isn't bridged. It is in fact a router and it has it's own user interface where you could configure it.

2. Lightning and power surges could reset it and you have to reconfigure it once again.

3. This is a bit weird, but you have to set a static ip for your network connections, I forgot the address though, then surf using or something. I wasn't really paying attention coz I just need my connection up. Now, what's weird is that it has no default gateway and I from what I know, as long as you have a default gateway, then you'll know that it recognizes the device.

4. Now because of my ignorance, I was practically rude to the representatives of Smart Wi-Fi, or the reps of the call center that handles tech support. I became my customers. My educational background and work background made me rude to them, hell, I don't blame my background, it is purely my fault.

Anyway, I am a Computer Engineering student and I work at a call center that handles DSL accounts. We basically deal with Westell modems and sometimes routers of all flavors (from Linksys to Xyzel). Most of the calls I get concerns internet connectivity and emails, and that made me cocky. I do get calls from customers in the US who thinks they know better. And that pisses me off.

I got a blinking WLAN on my cpe (help desks call it POE) and I automatically assume that it's similar to a blinking DSL or Ready light on a Westell modem and that includes the wirings inside and outside of the house, I almost forgot about the filters. So thinking that there's some kind of an outage or transmission issue, I immediately called the hotline *1888 on my cellphone and began mouthing off.

Here's something that, which I think, was a fault on their end, the very reason why I wasn't listening to the people who really knows. Based on my experience, 98% of the calls I got were from dumb and clueless people. Only rarely (about once a month) do I encounter someone who knows how a Westell modem and DSL works. Tech support must've assumed I know nothing about computers and how the internet works, and I can't blame them. Now their fault is not explaining to me and the customers in general what we're gonna do next. Sure they tell me to ping an IP address, but how the hell would I know it's the POE's address. Since my PC ain't connected, it's ip address would be loopback and 165.x.x.x for Windows. Well, they should've explained what we're doing and how it's going to help my connection issue.

Well, I've learned my lesson. And to the folks at Smart Wi-Fi, I sincerely apologize for my actions. I just hope you read this public apology.

Smart Wi-Fi Help Desk

I called up Smart Wi-Fi and asked a couple of technical questions and give commendation to the 2 agents I spoke to last. So here's a summary:

1. Download speed is 128Kbps, the agent said upload speed is also 128Kbps which I highly doubt, my tests indicates that it could only go as high as 52Kbps for upload.

2. My public IP is the IP of the base station, that means a lot of Smart Wi-Fi users has the same WAN IP.

3. I asked if it's possible to open ports (Port Forwarding) or do an IP Passthrough so I could use my LAMPP (Apache, MySQL, PHP, and ProFTPD). I really want to set up my mail server and webserver and if possible, even an ftp and database servers. Help desk informed me that it's possible to open ports but doubts that they could do an IP Passthrough but I have to email them at tech_support at meridiantelekoms dot com. Too bad, I was really hoping for a WAN IP.

4. CPE's name is POE or Power Over Ethernet.

5. Authentication is done via MAC Address.

6. Routers and Switches has to be set to DHCP or Obtain an IP Address Automatically in order to network more than 1 computer.

7. Upgrade to 256Kbps shall be effective on the 1st of October and will cost PhP 988.00

8. Purchase of static IP is not possible and will need to contact Meridian Telekoms itself for a corporate account and do take note that I can hear my wallet screaming already.

All I could do right now is wait until I'm rich enough to purchase a DSL account, that way, I'll have faster speeds and I could setup and configure my servers. I just hope that DSL in my country is as reliable as in the US.

Enough with my babbling, I still have to email Meridian Telekoms and give commendations to the two agents who helped me out. Those interested in the email address, it's customer_service at meridiantelekoms dot com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

VLAPT Problems

I'm back giving you readers a headache. Anyway, I've been experimenting with VLAPT, the Vector Linux Advanced Package Manager same as Synaptic. For Debian, Synaptic is the front-end GUI for Apt-Get while VLAPT is the front-end for Slapt-Get. Both programs basically do the same thing, unfortunately, VLAPT hasn't matured yet.

To show you what's giving me headaches, I've presented screenshots and description of what I've done.

A. Configure Source

I made sure HTTP & FTP sites listed in the Vector Linux Message Board has been added to the /etc/slapt-get/slapt-getrc.

B. Update Packages List

Made sure everything was Done and nothing Failed.

C. Tried Installing Mozilla Thunderbird

I've always been a fan of Mozilla, so Thunderbird was my first choice when it comes to emails.

D. Confirm It

Of course, VLAPT wanted me to confirm it. This window would also present dependencies, if it has one, and ask you to install them too.

E. And, Wha-La, gave me an error.

So I think my only option would be to install it manually.

The idea of having Slapt-Get and VLAPT is great, it will definitely make life easier for users of Vector Linux. Since I haven't tried Slackware yet, I don't know if it also has Slap-Get, whatever the case, I still love this distro. Frustration??? Nah!!!


I've been setting my heart in installing KDevelop right after I installed Vector Linux, so far all it gave me was error window telling me that it either needs PHP or that it can't find it. Well I was able to install KDE SDK 3.4.2 and I was surprised to see this in the K > Development Menu:
I was surprised to see this! I opened it up and there you go, I guess I don't have to go through the headache of installing KDevelop. I told you I'm an idiot when it comes to Linux, but you do see that I'm trying. On with the testing.

To my Friends still using Windows

So how are you? Still trying to battle Spywares??? Still being paranoid about every website you visit??? Still getting cranky whenever the definition files of your anti-virus program is not updated??? Just take a look at my computer, been on the internet without firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware program, and my computer still looks brand new. To those who know me very well might be surprised to see my PC in tip-top condition. Especially since I love browsing smut sites and crackz/serialz sites... a known haven for spywares and trojans. Did you know that anti-virus programs, anti-spyware programs, and firewalls are background processes that will only make your P4 3.0Ghz computer act like it's a P3 800Mhz PC? So give yourself a break, provide your own CD-R and I'll burn a copy of Linux for you. You should spend your computing life learning or teaching, not tying to remove those malwares.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO Quick Review

Intro, Maestro!

I stumbled upon Vector Linux a few months back while searching for a small distro suitable for old computers and could easily be downloaded on dial-up. I came across Linux Bootable Business Card, Damn Small Linux, Puppy Linux, and a few others. I did download the 3 distros above and I find them good, especially that they're all live-cd's with optional harddrive install scripts. But as always, I was never really satisfied. I continued searching for other fast & small distros. While I was reading some article on the Internet regarding fast distros, it did mention Vector Linux 3.2 and got intrigued. I visited Vector Linux's website, read some articles, and decided to download the version 4.3 which is about 300MB. I use dialup mainly before to download all the files that I need, do email, and surf the web. And most of the time, I use only at night from 12MN to 8AM for the simple reason that access is free during those times and won't eat up the hours in my prepaid internet cards. I did manage to download it after 5 days. Installed and was ran on my pc for a month and I was very satisfied with what Vector Linux has to offer. Then version 5.0 SOHO came out with Open Office and a lot more productivity softwares not found on version 4.3. After 2 weeks of downloading, I was prepared and excited to install it on my hard drive. Well, I got disappointed because it hangs right after the boot prompt. I really don't know what's wrong. I did everything, even using other kernels, but it just won't load. I later found out while installing other distros that it was indeed my fault that happened. My other Memory Card wasn't seated properly. That did the trick. Another month passed by, I decided to give it another try. I got it to install and here are the results. By the way, since this distro is based on Slackware, the installation was pretty much like it. No fancy graphics to prevent video incompatibilities which I think is very ingenious and really an advantage. The installation was pretty much easy and very fast. FYI: I was up and surfing after 40 mins.

This is how I installed Vector

As usual I booted it up, got the boot prompt, and just hit the enter key.

The Vector Linux Setup window would appear and present you with Keymap, Start, Lilo, and Exit. I didn't have to go through Keymap for obvious reasons. I just selected Start and proceeded.

Another window with the options Readme, Resize, Fdisk, Install, and Exit would be presented. Selecting Readme is recommended especially for individuals new to Vector Linux. Resize would claim additional hard disk space on your other partitions to be used by Vector. Fdisk would allow you to delete and create partitions. I used a very simple partitioning scheme. 6GB for the root directory (hda3) and 1GB for swap (hda4). I chose this layout because I still have to install other distros, test them, and see if it's what I want. I didn't choose a separate /home partition to spare me headaches when installing all the other distros. I will do that once I've settled on the one that I like.

After a reboot, installation was pretty much straight-forward. Media check took about 8 mins which checked veclinux.bz2, OpenOffice-1.1.4.bz2, and xamp-1.4.10a.bz2. I then selected partitions and root filesystem (ReiserFS). Then came the Bulks Selection and optional Packages Selection. I selected everything except kernel support for ACPI, Adaptec SCSI, and (plain old) SCSI simply because I don't have that kind of hardware.

After everything was done, the partitions were formatted and files copied to my hard drive. Vector Linux was kind enough to inform me that the installation would take a while and that I could leave for a few minutes. This process took around 20 mins.

Then came the option to install the boot manager and Vector Linux supports LILO. Some of you may want Grub, so you're gonna have to install and configure it once everything is up. Either boot managers works for me, so LILO didn't bother me at all. I installed it to MBR (Master Boot Record). People might warn you about the dangers of installing LILO or Grub to the MBR, but really now, the danger(bugs) was true about 6-10 years ago but LILO and Grub has actually evolved into a very good and stable boot manager. It is even better than all those commercial boot managers available in your local software store. Do not worry about not being able to boot into Windows, as long as you've got common sense, you'll be able to boot any operating system using the two programs mentioned above.

Graphical Linux Loader

This is the second time I saw a graphical Boot Manager from Linux, the first time I saw a graphical boot manager is when I installed Fedora Core on my computer and it's using GRUB. And since there's always a first time for everyone, this is the first time I saw a graphical LILO, and as always, I'm really impressed. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Vector Linux's Graphical Linux Loader.

Well, I used an inferior camera phone from my buddy, so the pic is crap!

Anyway, t's going to ask you to select all the other operating systems it has detected. It presented me with (1) windows, (2) linux, (3) linux-tui, and (4) linux-gui. Linux and linux-gui are practically the same, but it is up to you to choose what you like, you could easily edit it later. I, however, just selected the defaults. Once you're done with this, the LILO Frame Buffer Console would be presented. Since I'm practically a newbie, I selected standard since I'll be doing most of my work in GUI. Then the LILO Optional Parameters would then pop-up, just ignore it because it's for those advance users.

Now came the Vector Linux Configuration where you customize your hardware and user settings.
(is obvious)
Zone (time zone, I selected Hardware Clock set to local time : Asia/Manila)
AutoSetup (auto-detect hardware)
Network (where you could select DHCP, Static, Probe, and None)
Sound (ALSA Configurator which will detect your hardware and present you with the right drivers to install. It detected my C-Media Sound Card which is "cmipci")
XWindow (where you could select the resolution and color depth. I selected 1024x768x24-bit)
HWInit ( where you could add services or disable unneeded ones, I just selected those that I need)
Admin (which allows you to change root password and add a regular user. I added two regular user, one is for my use and the other is for my family to use).

After the initial configuration, you will be prompted to eject the CD and reboot the computer. After 10 secs. of reboot, Vector presented me with the Congratulations window. I hit Enter then proceeded with the bootup. It then presented me with the Login Manager window, selected an account, fired up Firefox and Gaim, and before you know it, I'm already creating this blog entry.

Here's the default desktop:

And here's the desktop while posting this entry:

My customized desktop:

My VectorLinux:
Here you will see Vector in action with memory-intensive programs open like GIMP, Open Office's Calc, Firefox, BlueFish HTML Editor, Konqueror, and Amarok where it's playing my favorite Metallica song.


I timed the bootup process of both my Windows XP and Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO just for kicks and to see which boots faster. I timed it from LILO to the Login Manager.

Windows XP booted up at around 1 minute and 43 seconds, not to mention that it took around 4 more minutes to get to my desktop (startup programs included AVG AntiVirus, Tiny Personal Firewall, MyCorkboard ScreenSaver, Hotkey Control XP, HP Printer Manager, Genius Scanner Program, and Free Download Manager).

Vector Linux 5.0 took about 1 minute and 25 seconds from LILO to Login Manager, around 18 seconds faster than XP, and took 30 seconds more to get to desktop with the default startup settings, please keep in mind that I installed everything so Webserver, Samba, etc is also running in the background but still took 30 seconds. I would be bias if I compared the bootup process of XP and Vector from LILO to Desktop, so I opted not to.


System sound was really annoying, I guess it was setup so KDE would inform the user that he clicked or did something. My kid daughter would enjoy it but not me, so that feature had to go. I also tried playing some MP3's and video files, unfortunately, the sound won't work. I figured that KDE has something to do with it. I opened Control Center > Sound & Multimedia > Sound System and unchecked Enable Sound System. Now that freed up my sound and before you know it, I was playing Mp3's, Audio CD's, different Video files, and VCD's.

I also have to configure keyboard shortcuts so I went to Control Panel > Regional & Accessibility > Keyboard Shortcuts. Enabled Hide Window Border, Keep Window Above Others, etc.

I also have to configure my fonts because the default setup is too big for me and wastes too much space.

Wallpaper also has to be changed to something I'm comfortable with.

And as always, in order to make Vector more faster, I have to disable services which I don't need. All of these could easily be done in KDE's Control Center.

To those of you who are familiar with Windows Control Panel, KDE has Control Center and much more organized than the other. Not to mention that everything you need to customize your desktop is located here. And do take note that everytime you install any Linux distribution, the KDE Control Center is one of the first places you need to go to.

I also loved that they place an "auto-mounter" icon on the desktop. All I have to do now is click on the CDROM icon and it will immediately mount it, open Konqueror, and within seconds, I'll be able to browse my CD or play VCD's. The PenDrive is also great, I will be testing it though later in the evening to see if works.


VASM or Vector Administrative and Services Menu are used for administrative purposes like facilitating user accounts, services, configuring hardwares, etc. And it is unobtrusive and easily accessible. I really like it's design, instead of opening one application to do one thing, VASM has compiled all the necessary administrative tools and put it all in one place. If ever I switch distros, I surely will miss this one.
VLAPT is the advanced package manager for Vector Linux, same as Apt-Get but with GUI and it does resolve dependency problems. Also, if you can't find a dependency, you could easily ignore it and install the main package, what's really great about it is that you could install the broken dependencies later... No Worries! "Almost" all of the packages installed without a hitch, and I like that. These are the two programs that I can't live without.


All operating system on this planet has a tradition of giving it's users headaches. I found some "bugs?" in this distro, but since's it's obvious, I didn't bother reporting it. Vector Linux 5.1 may have fixed this or that it's not really a bug, but my incompetence. I must admit, I still have a lot to learn from this distro and that demands hours, even days, of reading those man pages, faqs, and forums.

The first thing I installed are games, it did install but now I can't seem to find the links or shortcuts. Some were visible on the K Menu under Games immediately. Some required logging off then logging back in, but a few I can't seem to find. I'll just visit the forums for a solution.

The second gotcha I encountered is when I tried installing some development packages like KDevelop, it said it needed PHP, I tried searching for PHP but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, I'll just search the Internet for that package tomorrow and see if I can get to run those development packages I've been dying to try out.
----EDIT----> I made sure that sources are set-up correctly and everything configured as it should be. I even tried updating VLAPT but can't even download the updated file. I guess I'm gonna have to update VLAPT & Slapt-Get manually. I'll keep you posted.

The third is that my Firefox is a wee bit slow when a webpage with Javascripts. I don't know if the fault lies on my hardware or that Firefox wasn't really configured properly. Well, I'll just typed in about:config in the address bar later to access it's configuration and maybe experiment with some settings later to make it faster.
----EDIT----> setting network.dns.disableIPv6 to true will make Firefox faster especially since my ISP doesn't support IPv6. Now that solved my Firefox problem.
----EDIT----> Another problem I encountered with Firefox is that the JavaScript on the left column is making it crawl. I don't know if it's bad code, or code specifically for Windows, or that my Firefox ain't updated. I'll try to edit or find a good code and update Firefox and see if that fixes it. I also tried using Konqueror but to no avail.

An lastly, whenever I quit Kaffeine, MPlayer, XMMS, Amarok, or Xine (doesn't really matter which program) from the File menu or by hotkey, it always brings up the KDE Crash Handler and "cause the signal 11 (SIGSEGV)". I really don't know what this means but I think that those players doesn't quit immediately so KDE forces them to, well that's just me.

Like I said, this "bugs" are pretty minor and doesn't affect the overall productivity of the whole distribution. Besides, all of them are easily fixed or patched as long as you do your homework.


Basically, all GNU/Linux distributions are configurable and customizable. This is by design. You can choose, KDE, GNOME, FluxBox, IceWM, Enlightenment, etc and it really won't matter. What matters is your choice and preferences. Why else would you install it on your harddrive if you don't want to configure it? And Vector Linux is easily configurable and customizable to suit all your/our needs.

I find that Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO really great. The developers gave consideration for newbies who really want to try out a Slackware-based package. Personally, this is a distro in it's own right and shouldn't have to drop the name of Slackware for recognition like others are doing. I love this distro, and my gratitude goes to the developers who spent countless hours and sleepless nights to make this distro a success. Overall, I am satisfied!

Read the Official Press Release

Monday, August 29, 2005

Updated Project Lists

I've been visiting some tech forums concerning Free & Open BSD and stumbled upon Sun's Solaris 10. It is another Unix flavor and surprisingly, Sun decided to let the public try it out for free. The free download page is located at http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/. But Sun requires us to register to avail of the download. Please take note that this is not trial or time-limited software. This is a full operating system you could install on your home computer or deploy as a workstation OS in a company. Read the FAQ's and Documentations before you download it, also make sure you understand and agree to the license which will be emailed to you within 24 hours. The iso's are zipped and the compression is great. CD1 is about 310MB zipped and about 592MB once you unzip it. It's about 50-60% compression which really speeds up your download. It is also composed of 4 Installation CD's, 1 Language CD, and 1 Companion CD for a total of 6 CD's. Unfortunately, I really can't tell you much about Solaris because I haven't burned it on a CD and installed on my hard drive.

But for now, I still have to download all the other distros that interests me. Once I acquired all the distros listed below, then that's the time I'll start to repartition, reformat, install, and play around with them. Those distros will stay on my hard drive for two weeks, then move on to the next until I find one that I want and need. Right now, I have Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO installed for 3 weeks now and, guess what, I'm loving it. But that will soon change once I start experimenting with the other distributions.

To be Reviewed:

  1. Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO
  2. Bayanihan Linux 3.1
  3. LormaLinux 5.0 Workstation i686 Final Edition
  4. Gentoo Linux 2005.1
  5. Fedora Core 4
  6. Solaris 10
  7. Slackware 10.1
  8. Xandros 3.02 Open Circulation Edition
After I'm done with those listed above, I'll next install and play around with those distros listed below.

To Download: in order I will download

Edited: 07:20 : 07Sept2005
  1. Linspire 5.0.59
  2. Mandriva 2005 LE
  3. Open SUSE 9.3
  4. FreeBSD 5.4
  5. OpenBSD 3.7
  6. CentOS 4.1
  7. Scientific Linux 4.1
  8. Linux Live Game Project

Updated Distro List: in order it was downloaded

Edited: 07:20 : 07Sept2005
  1. Linux Bootable Business Card 2
  2. Damn Small Linux 1.3
  3. Puppy Linux 1.0.2
  4. Puppy Linux 1.0.3
  5. Vector Linux 4.3
  6. Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO
  7. Bayanihan Linux 3.1
  8. Ubuntu Linux 5.04
  9. Damn Small Linux 1.4
  10. Gentoo Linux 2005.1
  11. Gentoo Linux Package CD
  12. Fedora Core 4
  13. Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition Beta 2
  14. Lorma Linux Enchancement CD 2.5
  15. Lorma Linux 5 Workstation i386 Revised Edition
  16. Lorma Linux 5 Workstation i686 Final Edition
  17. Gentoo Linux Package CD for Pentium 3
  18. Solaris 10
  19. Slackware 10.1
  20. Xandros 3.02 Open Circulation Edition
  21. Damn Small Linux 1.5

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Smart Wi-Fi Problems

I did have Smart Wi-Fi installed about a month ago and everything went really great. I was satisfied with the services. Lag times are kept to minimum and I now have an always on broadband that doesn't burn my pockets. My friends from work say it's way too slow, but for me, switching from dial-up is really great. After all, I have been praying for a broadband connection for a long, long time.

What Smart really offers is just a basic internet connection. As long as your computer is connected and bandwidth stable, then they've done their jobs. From my last posts, I said that it is connected via DHCP with a default gateway of, an ip address of (for the moment), and a netmask of I also found out that they provide you with a static ip address, which I'm afraid I can't divulge due to security reasons. How did I know my public ip? I've been visiting ShowMyIP thrice every week, got disconnected for a few days due to unpaid bills, reconnected and still got my public ip. I thought that's exactly what I want so I could setup my Web Server and Mail Server.

I've been testing a lot of distros lately, and now I have Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO installed, configured, and running smoothly. I downloaded & installed a light web server program called Monkey HTTP Daemon. I just want to test it out before I go Apache. It is lightweight and pretty much handles the test web pages that I created without any problems. Great for learning the ins and outs of a web server. The problem that I encountered is I keep on getting a connection refused error. I thought I just misconfigured it. After a few hours, I tried configuring and running Apache, but I just can't get through. For the record, I am able to access it if I go http://localhost/. I booted Windows XP, installed IIS, created a test page, got to access it using localhost, but can't when I try to access it via my public ip address. That got me thinking.

I booted Vector Linux back and went to DNS Stuff. I did a lot of test, googled and asked around. It seems that my public ip address is not dedicated and that I'm not the only one using that particular ip. Since we're using DHCP, Smart must've set a router in one of their buildings and that more than 10 people are connected to it, all using the same public ip. It does make sense. In order for Smart (or Meridian Telekoms- the wireless broadband provider) to save money, instead of buying ten public ip's for ten different customers, they just bought one public ip to be shared by ten different people using their router. A Smart idea.. pun intended.

The only way I could circumvent this, legally, is to either apply for a dedicated public ip address with Smart Wi-Fi or switch to PLDT MyDSL/BizDSL with static ip option. Either way, it will cost me a few thousand pesos... which I'm not considering.

Instead of getting depressed, frustrated, and mad, I thought positively. This is a great opportunity for me to learn PHP and enhance my HTML and JavaScript skills. Besides, I still need to test a few more distros and that involves repartitioning, reformatting, and reinstalling other distros until a find a good desktop replacement with all the tools that I need.

My web and mail server could always wait but not my thirst for knowledge. I still have a lot to learn and installing & configuring different distros will quench that thirst. So I decided to stick with my distro search.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Why I will replace Windows XP

My Seagate 40GB harddisk crashed for some reason I don't know. I am now relying on my Seagate 20GB for all my computing needs. I repartitioned it into 4 primary partitions. 11GB for Windows XP, 1GB for shared files, 6GB for Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO, and 1GB for Swap.

As usual, I installed WinXP first and Vector Linux last with graphical LILO installed on the MBR. A graphical Boot Manager is really nice and really makes your day, assuring you that Linux is there for you when you need it.

So once I installed WinXP, I installed all my drivers and applications that I really need. Backups would be copied later. I went on the Internet and did a Windows Update. Guess what happened... not 1 minute of plugging in my ethernet cable and I got this window, Messenger Exploit.

And they say that Windows XP is better. I used old versions of Linux for my old PC's, got into the Internet and that never happened to me. I log on to the Internet using my Linux without any Anti-Virus programs or Firewalls but I still feel safe. I went to GRC and did a ShieldsUP! test. With Windows, almost everything is for the taking, every vulnerability is presented to you. While with Linux, even without firewall, every port is either closed or on stealth. Now why choose Linux again, you ask?

Quick Review Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition Beta 2

Read the title, this is just a quick review. I didn't have enough time to test Lorma Linux and all of it's components. Since this is a beta release, expect to find bugs and experience peculiar behavior even though it's Linux. So here's my beginner's review.

The installation of Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition is pretty much straight-forward, as you would expect of Slackware 10.1, which this distro is based. There's no fancy graphics preventing you from installing this distro, very useful if you have a buggy Video Card. They also choose a friendly (note: different from user-friendly) text install. All are presented in a very friendly manner, and some installations are explained so newbies could easily understand what they are or are not choosing.

Packages to install are also neatly categorized called Software Series. I choose everything except Package K which is the Linux kernel source code. Next it will present you with optional packages to install, as usual, I selected everything. Once the installation is completed, I rebooted and guess what? I wasn't able to boot into X. I got some error which I completely forgot. I hate troubleshooting anything I have no knowledge of so I instead put the installation CD into the tray and rebooted. Installed everything except Package K and GNOME, the Gnome desktop environment. My computer rebooted well and got me into a graphical login. Good thing KDE started without a hitch. I was able to login and started configuring things to my own liking.

Adding a user using KUser went fine, but editing it is another story. Try to change the default group, once you click on OK, an error window would pop-up telling you that it crashed. Changing owners of folder would also invoke this error window. I encountered a few more bugs here and there, unfortunately, I forgot to take note of them. Why? I was happy with this distro with KDE.

Sure, it doesn't have all the stuff that you need. Not very well configured. And you get to encounter those annoying bugs. But what made this distro special is the idea that someone is developing this particular distro due to economic reasons and common sense. LTSP ain't new. But incorporating it into a distro with the hopes of reviving old computers stored in your closet, with the hopes of reviving hundreds of 386's and 486's used by our public schools with Windows installed and over-ridden by viruses from the 1980's. It may not be much, but for us, this distro is godsend. It really makes economic sense to use those old computers for the education of our children instead of throwing them away polluting Mother Earth and buying Pentium 4 with Windows installed.... not a very smart idea. I would also like to mention that even our goverment would benefit from this one. Instead of upgrading hundreds of workstation on all goverment offices, why not upgrade just ten servers and make those client computers faster and it won't cost you a fortune doing that.

I do support this project and their other project like Samba server and Web server. Although all the other distros available on the Internet right now could easily install Samba, Apache, and LTSP... and most install them by default... what Lorma Linux did was create or recreate their version of Linux into something that targets your specific needs, which personally, makes sense. A web developer could download the Web Server Edition of Lorma Linux (238MB) for about 4 hours on broadband, spend about 30 mins. and he/she will be up in no time at all. Consider that when downloading bloated distros where you have to configure it for hours even days before their website is up.

I salute Lorma Linux and Lorma Colleges for releasing this distro. It may not be suitable for power users, but it's certainly useful for most of us. It's target users will stand up and say this distro is right for me. Even though I'm the only one (I think...) supporting this distro in Baguio City, rest assured that my colleages will soon follow. I really wish I could visit Lorma Linux's lab just to check what it's developers are doing. Lorma Colleges is but 2 hours from where I live, someday....

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Checklists for my Projects

This is the checklist of what I'm going to do for this month.

  1. Install and test LormaLinux LTSP Server Slackware Edition Beta2
  2. Install and test Bayanihan Linux with Thin Client Manager
  3. If not satisfied with the results, install and test Fedora Core 4
  4. Download, install, and test CentOS 4.

This is just for my Thin Client - Fat Server Project. My other project just includes downloading and installing other versions of Linux in a search for the perfect replacement for Windows XP.

Distros that I already own:
  1. Linux Bootable Business Card 2
  2. Damn Small Linux 1.3
  3. Puppy Linux 1.0.2
  4. Puppy Linux 1.0.3
  5. Fedora Core 3 > lost Installation CD's
  6. Vector Linux 4.3
  7. Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO
  8. Bayanihan Linux 3.1
  9. Ubuntu Linux 5.04 > got it from Merphix
  10. Damn Small Linux 1.4
  11. Gentoo Linux 2005.1
  12. Gentoo Linux Package CD
  13. Fedora Core 4
Distros that I'll be downloading soon
  1. Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition Beta 2 > in the process
  2. Lorma Linux Enchancement CD 2.5
  3. Lorma Linux 5 Workstation i386 Revised Edition
  4. Lorma Linux 5 Workstation i686 Final Edition
  5. Knoppix
  6. Linux Live Game Project
  7. Slackware 10.1
  8. CentOS 4
  9. FreeBSD 5.4
  10. K12LTSP 4.2.0

Distros that I will download once they're out:
  1. Lorma Linux 2005 Workstation
  2. Bayanihan Linux 3.2
  3. Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition Final
  4. Lorma Linux Web/MySQL Server Slackware Edition Final
  5. Lorma Linux Samba FileServer Edition Final
  6. Puppy Linux 2.0
  7. Damn Small Linux 2.0
  8. Fedora Core 5
  9. Vector Linux 6.0
  10. all the other distros that I like

Once I'm done with the downloading and testing of other distributions of Linux, my next project will include:
  1. Personal Website Hosted on my machine.
  2. Downloading and installation of Linux From Scratch. This is not just another distro but an opportunity for me to really learn Linux.
  3. Re-learning C++ for Linux.
  4. Phyton, Perl, and PHP
  5. Mp3Pro File Format
  6. Mp3Pro Player for Linux suitable for Radio Stations and Nightclubs
  7. Mp3Pro Editor much like CoolEdit Pro 2
  8. Mp4 File Format
  9. Mp4 Player/Mixer for local TV Stations
  10. Mp4 Editor
  11. Device Drivers Development for the hardware that I own
  12. Linux Kernel Development
  13. Graphical C++ Builder much like Visual C++ 6
  14. Animation Softwares
All of the projects listed above will basically be developed using the distro that I will choose as a replacement for Windows XP. Oh sure, XP can do all of these, but I want something cheap and powerful as compared to XP.

What about my Personal Web Server?

My sister has been taking ownership of the Packard-Bell Pentium 200Mhz computer and is quite happy with Win98 SE so I won't touch that. I will let her be until a virus or spyware infestation occurs, then I'm gonna tell her... I told you so.

My brother wants another computer. All he does is play Ragnarok online. So my other computer, the Pentium 166 Mhz will be installed with Win98 SE. The OS of that machine right now is Damn Small Linux 1.4, but until I find a good Ragnarok Client Program for Linux, that machine will have Win98 SE installed soon.
I know I came across a Ragnarok client for Linux before, I will search on that once I'm satisfied with the performance of either distro.

I've been thinking of using that machine for testing Lorma Linux & Bayanihan Linux with LTSP as a client computer. Since the machine that I currently own is much powerful, I just hope that my machine would somehow influence the speed of the 133Mhz machine my brother would like to have. If it affected its speed and performance, then that machine would be an LTSP client computer. And if I do find a good Ragnarok client program, then it'll be better for both of us.

As for my website, it will be hosted on my machine, which is more powerful, and not to mention, more silent than the 166Mhz machine. It is critical for my server to be silent, it is, after all, located in the living room and I don't want it noisily humming 24 hours a day.

So, my machine will both be an LTSP as well as a Web Server. I'm not really interested in Samba, so I will educate myself about it in the future. I just hope that my machine would be able to handle the processing and memory requirements of my project. I do have faith in this machine.

The only thing I now need would be 2 extra NICS, RJ45 connectors, Crimper, Cables, and a network switch or a router, whichever comes cheap. Once I have enough materials, then I'll be able to proceed with my experiment.

Thin Clients and Fat Servers

I just downloaded Fedora Core 4 after 5 days of patiently waiting. But while downloading FC4, I got to visit the website of Lorma Linux about 3-4 days ago and found out that they have an LTSP version. The Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition has been posted for quite some time now and this is the first time I noticed it. I've been reading about the sys admins in Largo, Florida and what they did. I've been interested in LTSP or Thin Client - Fat Server setup for about a year now but this is the perfect opportunity for me to try it out.

I just finished downloading FC4 at around 8 last night but before installing them on my machine, I thought "why not download Lorma Linux LTSP while doing some research about what I'll be doing?" So that I did. As based on the articles I googled, I found out that it's not "really" that hard installing and managing LTSP setup. Well, I'm going to personally install it on my system and manage it using the 133Mhz machine as a client once I have the complete download.

Lorma Linux LTSP Server Slackware Edition was done at around 10am a while ago. Unfortunately the md5sum does not match. It might be because I'm having problems connecting properly to Ibiblio. I can't use bittorrent 'coz I can't make the link for the torrent work. And the Linux Mirro Project doesn't contain the Beta2 of that specific distro. Well, I tried downloading again that distro using another mirror and I still have a few hours to go, but once I'm done I'm gonna have a ball learning about the capabilities of this technology.

5 hours ago, i visited Bayanihan Linux and to my surprise, they redesigned the whole site. It is much better than the previous design. Visually appealing and very easy to navigate. But what really caught my attention is their Thin Client Manager product. It also uses the same LTSP technology, but this one is an add-on for Bayanihan Linux 3.1 and sized at around 135MB. Download is approximately 2hours on my Smart Wi-Fi. I suspended downloading Lorma Linux and started downloading the Thin Client Manager, then I resumed the previous download.

So before testing out the Thin Client Manager of Bayanihan Linux, I'll first test and see what Lorma Linux LTSP Server could do. Then after I'm done with both of them, I just might not install FC4 on my system, that is if I'm happy with either Bayanihan or Lorma. And to think, I've been dreaming about an FC4 machine since they released it, but now that I have the installation CD's, my interest faded and replaced by Bayanihan & Lorma. Ahhh, the wonders of my complicated mind.

Why Learn LTSP?

That setup would permit very old client computers to function just as fast as your brand new P4 or AMD64 PC. You don't need a hard disk, cd-rom, and floppy drives. What you just need is an ethernet card and a capability to boot from it on a client computer. You could revive old 486 computers, ain't that great. Here's a list of what you could do:

  • use your old computers stored in a closet
  • connect up to 10 client computers on your server
  • the server would do all the processing, client PC's would just display the results
  • lock the client interface to do a specific task. e.g. Setup client PC to run just Firefox and Thunderbird- great setup for cyber cafes'.
  • all customizations (wallpapers & icons) are setup for all client PC's because you are booting from the server. That means, whatever you did on PC1 would still show up in PC8 once you login.
  • easier to backup because all data are stored on the server.
  • much secured and minimizes company theft.
  • you only need to upgrade just one server computer and all client computers are automatically upgraded.
  • ...and so much more!
Documentations are available on the Internet, just google it out.


This setup is very suitable for goverments, companies, and even home offices and you could configure it to just about anything you want it to do.

  • Goverment Offices
  • Small, Medium, and Large Companies
  • Schools & Universities
  • Small Office - Home Office
  • Home Use

  • Cyber/Internet Cafe' : You could set it up to only use Firefox and Thunderbird preventing hacking from the customers.
  • Goverment Offices : Virtually all the applications they needed could be setup and all files are immediately available to anyone who has the security privileges. No need to go to a specific computer where the file is located. No need to email it to your manager or supervisor. Since all files are stored on the server, all the computers on the network could easily access it, with the proper permissions of course. One more good thing about this setup is once a user saves the file, it will immediately be available to his/her immediate supervisor. You don't have to wait for transfer times.
  • Schools & Universities : To prevent student hacking and virus or trojan infiltration, this is the way to go. You could set it up for 1 server for a classroom of 10-30 students. You could control what the students access. You don't need a PhP200,000.oo Projector because all your presentations are directly viewed on the student's computer. Internet access could also be limited to certain hours. Porn and other malicious sites are easily blocked with little configuration and training. Lastly, you don't have to configure all 30 computers, everything could be done on your (server) computer.
  • SOHO : Most SOHO needs basic word processor, database, and spreadsheet applications. You could set it up so everyone could only use Open Office. If you don't know it yet, Open Office is compatible with MS Office. The only thing that lacks with OO is real-time collaboration.
  • Home Use / Networking : Imagine all your old computers stored in the garage or closet being useful again and used by you're kids for school. Your 486 and Pentium 166Mhz didn't go to waste after all. Not to mention that we're showing our kids, the future leaders, about the importance of Open Source. Now they can learn all they want without fear of copyright infringement and you don't have to pay for anything. And for those who keep on saying that most Open Source ain't free.. e.g. Red Hat Products, well I'm not talking about the product, but the source code which you could easily compile, modify, and install.
There are lots and lots of configurations available for your specific needs and the good news is they're all very cheap, if not free. Best of all, since you're using Open Source, rest assured it is stable. Thanks to millions of programmers testing and making sure it is the most stable operating system available to us. It is also virus, trojan, and spyware-free. The only time you need to install an anti-virus program is when you need to protect a Windows computer that's connected to the network.


Bayanihan Linux

Bayanihan Linux Thin Client Manager

Lorma Linux

Linux Terminal Server Project

LTSP Success Stories

A Little Humor

While I surfing the internet last month, I found an article featuring Microsoft trying to test a Windows XP and Windows Vista on a thin client - fat server configuration. It's a little blurry in my mind right now, but I don't have time to search for it, much less read it. Google it out if you're interested.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Multi-Booting Windows

People who haven't seen my machine doubt whether I could really boot multiple versions of Windows. They tell me that I'm only bullshitting them. Well I shit you not. So I'm gonna tell you how I setup my machine to multi-boot Windows 98, ME, 2000, & XP.

Here's my checklist:

1. Partition Manager

A good partition manager is what you really need for a successful machine capable of multi-booting Windows. I use 2 Partition Manager. The first one is Windows XP's built-in Logical Disk Manager. The second is Ranish Partition Manager included in the Techworm Boot Disk.

I use Ranish Partition Manager before installing Windows XP. That's what I installed first when I setup my machine. I have a Seagate 20GB HDD and I gave Windows XP 11GB of disk space. Once XP has been installed, that's the time I partitioned free spaces to be used by other versions of Windows. When installing XP, you will be given a chance to partition the disk. You may opt to use that but please use your common sense and don't create a single partition for the whole disk. Unfortunately, I will not be able to provide you with screenshots for the simple reason that I don't have a camera with me.

Techworm can be downloaded from the internet. Just google it out and you'll be able to download the file. Run the exe file, pop in a floppy disk, and after a few seconds you'll have your own Techworm Boot Disk. I suggest you keep this in a safe place. It's been saving my ass for quite some time now.

Boot Techworm, choose Skip Startup, then select Himem.Sys. Once the A:> prompt appears, type in part then hit enter. Ranish Partition Manager would pop-up and if you know how to read and understand some simple commands, you'll be able to partition your disk to your liking. I suggest you give a single partition first for XP then let XP handle all the other partitioning needs.

Once XP has been installed, open up Windows Explorer. Right-click on the My Computer icon on the left pane then click on Manage.

Now that you have the Computer Management window, click on Disk Management on the left pane under Storage. the disks will then be presented to you. Now all you have to do is right-click on a free space (Unallocated) for Disk 0 on the bottom-right pane. Select New Partition. Then select the defaults.

If you're gonna install Windows 98 or Windows ME, please select FAT32 for the simple reason that those versions of Windows will never recognize an NTFS formatted partition.

Now the reason why I recommend using XP's Logical Disk Manager is that it is easier for beginners to use than Ranish. I use Ranish everytime I partition my hard disk because I could set up a Linux Ext2 or Swap partition.

2. Boot Manager

Selecting a good Boot Manager is tough coz it will depend on your system. If you're going to install Linux, then use either LILO or Grub. Make sure to install them on MBR. If you're gonna boot up only versions of Windows, then use OSL2000 which you could download on the internet. To use it properly, you need to register and obtain a serial for this application. OSL2000 is quite safe, you install it and it will back up your MBR so you could uninstall it in the future. You need to have an extra Floppy Disk though in order to do that.

One technique I've tried whenever I install Linux is install Grub or LILO to the Linux partition then use OSL2000 on the MBR. Once my machine has booted up and I select a Linux partition, I will bring up Grub or LILO.

You could also use Windows XP built-in Boot Loader. I'll tell you how to configure that later. But just make sure you install the boot manager last.

3. Belarc Advisor

You'll need this for your hardware and software. It will also print out the Serials used by all the applications installed.

4. Legal copies of Windows.

You don't want the IP Police after your ass!

5. Patience

You're dealing with Windows... trust me, you'll need this. It might also take about a day or two to install everything. Not to mention a week to configure it to your liking.

6. The Steps to Setup your Machine.

A. Backup all you important data

You can never go wrong with this advise. You're dealing with computers, it is always wise to heed this advise. It's very helpful once you have a DVD or CD burner.

B. Know your hardware

List everything down. Open up Device Manager and take note of all the hardware that's listed there. Important hardware to take note includes:

a. Video Card or Display Adapters
b. Ethernet Card or NIC
c. 56 K Modem
d. Printer & Scanner
e. Harddisk Brand and Capacity
g. Processor & Motherboard Make & Model
Use Belarc Advisor for this, also downloadable on the internet.
h. SCSI & RAID Controllers
i. Sound Card
j. Other Pertinent Hardware like keyboard & mice (if they're not the standard PS/2) and also other game controllers.

C. Backup your Device Drivers

Once you've listed down your hardware. Search the internet or your manufacturers website and download all the drivers you need. Make sure you download all drivers for all versions of Windows you're trying to install.

Pat yourself on the back if you still have the Hardware CD that came with your computer when you bought it. You will need it including the CD for your harddisk and motherboard.

D. Backup all your Softwares.

Take note also of all the softwares installed on your computer. Download them then burn them on a CD. Take note of all the serials used. Belard Advisor is also good with this.

E. Prepare to spend a day or two setting up your PC.

This is the most important part of this process. Don't worry, once everything has been setup, you'll be proud of your achievements.

F. Delete All Partitions On Your Hard Drive

Boot up using the Techworm Boot Disk. Enter Ranish Partition Manager then delete all detected partitions.

G. Create One Partition

Hit Enter, select FAT32, then type in in Kilobytes how much space you wanted to set aside for Windows XP. Use a calculator and remember that 1MB=1024KB and 1GB=1048576KB. Don't be surprised once you have Windows installed, it will show you another value. Ranish Partition Manager and Windows don't really work together when it comes to the calculation of disk space.

After typing in the values you need, select Format Now then select Quick Format. You can do a surface test later when installing Windows.

Hit "B" to make that partition bootable then hit "F2" to save changes to MBR.

Hit "Esc" to get back to A:> prompt.

Eject the Techworm Boot Disk

H. Install Windows XP

Place the Windows XP CD on the CD tray then hit "Ctrl+Alt+Del" on your keyboard to reboot.

This is pretty much straight forward. All you have to do is read then understand and you'll be able to install Windows XP without any hitch. It might take you a few hours to completely install it. Make yourself some coffee or something. It will take awhile but you have to be there while installing XP.

A comprehensive guide will be presented once I have my own camera and a borrowed harddisk.

I. Make sure Windows XP boots

Once Windows XP works, it is up to you if you want to configure it to your liking or if you want to configure it later. To prevent headaches in the future, I suggest you leave XP in it's default settings. Install all the drivers and softwares later once every OS that you want has been installed.
J. Create A New Partition for other versions of Windows

Launch Computer Management. Select Disk Management, then create a new partition for other versions of windows.

I'll say it again, if it's Windows 98 or ME, select FAT32. If it's another version of XP or Windows 2000, select NTFS.

This is a good time to create all the partitions you need. Create 3 partitions if you want to install 3 versions of Windows.

Please be informed that each Hard disk is limited to 4 Primary Partitions. If you want 8 Partitions for 8 versions of Windows, create 3 Primary Partitions then create an Extended Partition. Inside the Extended partition, you can now create 5 more Logical Partitions.

K. Hide the Windows XP Partition

Restart your computer then pop back the Techworm Boot Disk. Launch Ranish Partition Manager, select the XP partition then hit "Ins" or "Insert". Select "Hidden NTFS" or "Hidden FAT32", whichever filesystem you choose when you installed XP. This will make sure nothing will be overwritten when you install other versions of Windows. Make sure also to setup the partition you're gonna work on next to bootable.

L. Install the other version of Windows.

Put the necessary CD on the CD tray then reboot. Install that specific version of Windows then make sure it boots up. Configure all settings later.

M. Repeat Steps K-L for other versions of Windows

Self-explanatory. Please remember to hide all the other partitions and set the partition you're working on to bootable then install Windows.

N. Install the Boot Manager

Unhide all the other partitions and set the XP partition to bootable. Hopefully it will bootup. If not, that's still ok. As long as you could boot a version of Windows, you could still install OSL2000. Double-click on setup32.exe for XP & 2000 and setup16.exe for 98 & ME. Although there's some problem installing OSL2000 for ME, just follow the instructions and you'll be ok.

If you want to use XP's boot loader but can't boot XP, put the XP CD on the CD tray then reboot. Go to Recovery Console then type "fixmbr". If you can't access Recovery Console because you didn't create a Recovery Floppy, just wait until it goes to a prompt where it allows you to type in a command. After fixing MBR, reboot, then you'll be able to boot Windows XP.

I'll be more detailed on this later.

Now it's time to configure XP's Boot Loader. Launch Windows Explorer. Right-click on the My Computer icon then click on Properties. Once you have the System Properties window, select Advanced tab then click on the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.

Now that you have the Startup & Recovery window, click on the Edit button. A notepad would appear. Edit it to your preferences.

O. Test your System

Reboot then test your system. If everything has been setup as it should be, you should have a multi-booting PC. If not, please email me so I can help you out.


Everything listed here does not guarantee that your system will work. This is what I did and it did work. But I cannot guarantee that yours will especially since this guide is not comprehensive and detailed enough.

Wait until I could purchase a good camera and I could borrow a hard disk to test it on so I could provide you with a much more concise guide.

Any problems, please email me so I could help you out as much as I can.

All products listed here are trademarks or copyright of their own respective owners.

For the person who thinks I'm bullshitting, Up Yours Motherfucker!