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 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!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Quest for the perfect Distro

I am now in a quest for the perfect distro for my machine to replace MS Windows. I'm sick and tired of virus, trojans, worms, spywares, etc. And I've tried a lot of distros but up until now, only Vector Linux 4.3 satisfied my needs. Let me give you an idea of what distros I'ved tried:

1. Damn Small Linux 1.4

Pretty great and very good but lacks the binaries that I need. I will be using it to host my own website and it's already installed and running on my 133Mhz PC with 16MB of RAM without any problems. I just need some more time learning Damn Small and soon, I will present you with my own site.

I'm just happy that this version of Damn Small has an updated version of Synaptic as compared to other versions, I could download and install all the softwares I need without giving me any headaches, no need to worry about dependencies unlike RPM-based distro.

Why won't I use it as a replacement for Windows? I don't have time to search and download all the files and binaries that I need. What I wanted is a distro that once installed would be able to do everything with less configuration. And the only thing that I need to do after installation is try to learn the default bundled/installed applications.

2. Puppy Linux 1.0.3

This is a pretty great OS that rans in RAM, meaning after booting it up, you'll be able to remove the CD from the tray and use it to burn or play CD's. Plus the bundled apps are pretty good. Barry even included good office applications and a graphical drive mounter. You don't have to open a terminal window and type "mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/windows".

I did have problems with Puppy before. 1.0.2 won't allow me to mount ntfs drives while 1.0.3 won't allow me to use my usb keyboard. A simple modprobe fixed this but I'm not fully satisfied with this particular distro. But please take note that I do support this distro and once it has reached v1.1 or v1.2, I'll be trying it again and see what Barry has to offer.

As of this writing, Barry has released version 1.0.4. Try downloading it, you won't regret it. Besides, it's a great distro for first timers with Linux. In fact, I learned a lot concerning commands and applications with this particular distro.

3. Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO

Can't install it on my machine using the default kernel. It just hangs whenever I hit enter at the boot prompt. I'ved used other kernels but it just hangs.

4. Vector Linux 4.3

What can I say but a good distro. Uses 2.6.7 kernel and once installed, everything just works without any configuration. Never did it give me any headaches, I was hoping 5.0 SOHO would do the same for me, but I was disappointed with it. My only gripe... the binaries ain't that good and even if you're using the Pkgtool, it's not updated. It even downloaded and installed Firebird 0.8 on my machine. Hehe! I never thought it will give me this problem. Well all I have to do is go to the developers website, download and install all the packages that I need. But that's a lot of trouble for me. But I'm still using this distro to do most of my stuff. I already downloaded the newest version of Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird and Open and never did it give me any problems. If you want to be a System Administrator for Linux, this distro or Slackware is the way to go.

5. Ubuntu Linux 5.04

The Live-CD is really great but once I installed it on my machine, i started acting up. My regular,generic PS/2 mouse just won't work. I've tried everything I know. Search forums everywhere but still no luck. Well, I did recompile the kernel and that did it. But after giving me grief for 2 weeks, I figured I've had enough and reformatted the partition Ubuntu is on. It is pretty disappointing especially since it's motto is "It just works!"

But in fairness to Ubuntu, it is pretty good. It's interface is clean and most administrative tasks are graphical. It even has it's own Add-Remove Programs equivalent. If you want to explore Linux and wanted a full distro with everything you need, this is the way to go. It is a complete replacement to Windows XP. I just hope that you never have problems with the mouse like I did.

6. Fedora Core 3

After downloading for more than a month, I found out that it's way too slow on my machine. Has alot of daemons running in the background that's eating up a lot of resources on my machine. I have 384MB of RAM and it eats up around 290MB. I did manage to lower it down to 180MB but my machine is still too slow.

Packages are really good. But you need to have all 4 CD's for a complete installation. 2 CD's for a basic install. But still too sluggish on my machine.

Fedora Core 4 has attracted me greatly. They told me that it's fast and optimized even for my aging Pentium 3. I borrowed the 2 CD's from a friend and it is indeed faster than FC3. So now I'm in the process of downloading FC4. I'm done with the first 2 CD's, 2 more CD's to go.

I just hope that this distro lives up to my expectations. Once installed, I may not be uninstalling it or replacing it with a different distro. And once fully satisfied, I may even delete my Windows partition. I also hope it contains all the docs that I need, especially since they included everything in it. All the packages you might need to setup either a Corporate Server or your very own Media Center PC.

7. Gentoo Linux 2005.1

I just downloaded this distro. Installation took me 12 hours only to find out that my eth0 doesn't work. I must've done something wrong and I might have to reinstall it again. Also the packages that I got was for x86 not Pentium 3, which you could only download via bittorrent - which I find slow- don't ask me why.

I now have Gentoo installed. Takes me about 12 seconds to boot but I can't startx, well I can but it's not KDE or Gnome showing up. Just your basic x windows without any window manager. I'm sure I did emerge --usepkg kde and emerge --usepkg gnome, but I still can't startx.

Solution.... reinstall Gentoo from scratch and download the package CD for my processor. I don't have enough time for this, maybe next time.

8. Slackware Linux

Well I haven't tried it yet, but if I'm not satisfied with Fedora Core 4, I'm gonna download and install this distro. They told me that if you have problems with a linux box, call a slackware person and he'll most likely fix it for you.

9. CentOS 4 or Scientific Linux

If I'm planning on running my own business, this is what I'll use. Very stable and very dependable. Never tried it yet but I'm sure I'll be using either one.


  • If I'm a businessman and doesn't have time to learn Linux, I'll use Ubuntu.

  • If I'm a software developer who wanted to really learn the ins and outs of Linux, I'll use Gentoo

  • If I'm a a sytem administrator of a very big corporation managing clusters of Linux box, I'll install Slackware Linux or Vector Linux

  • If I'm putting up my own business, I'll use Scientific Linux or CentOS

  • If I need a rescue disc, I'll use Damn Small Linux

  • If I'm gonna recommend a distro, I'll recommend Puppy Linux once it reaches 1.2 or 1.3

  • If I just want to play around with Linux and learn as much as I could, I'll use Fedora Core 4

But I'm just a regular guy still learning and exploring Linux. And my quest to find a perfect Windows XP replacement has led me to Fedora Core 4 at the moment. Maybe in the future, I'll be looking for other distro, but right now, my heart is set out for FC4. Once I'm done with it, I'll be downloading and installing Slackware.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Of Ubuntu & Vector

I recently had some problems with my PS/2 mouse working properly with Ubuntu. I'ved tried everything I know of, and then some. I researched on this issue day in and day out but to no avail. I never knew a mouse would give me this headache. And then one day, I got it to work, I'm not sure what I did, but it includes messing up the kernel. Now that I have my PS/2 mouse working properly with Ubuntu, I just lost my enthusiasm with that particular distro. I uninstalled it and reinstalled my good 'ol dependable Vectorl Linux 4.3. Never had problems with that distro. And I've been using it ever since I downloaded & installed it on my machine. I did have problems with the 5.0 SOHO, it hangs up in the middle of the installation, but I still have my 4.3 supporting me all the way.

My friend asked why go through all the trouble, I told him so I could learn. Well, I was disappointed with Ubuntu but my passion for linux is still there. Now that I have an always on internet connection, I'm in the process of downloading via bittorrent Fedora Core 4 and Gentoo 2005.1 with Gentoo very high on my list. Ubuntu is really an great distro but it just frustrates me like hell that's why I'm trying out other distro and see what they have to offer.

Vector has released the version 5.1 of their dependable distro, but I'll try that next time.

Now my real concern is learning Damn Small Linux while waiting for Gentoo. It does have it's own web server, but I gotta check first if I could get it to work without any hitch. Then I'll be signing up for my own domain and then host my own site.

Too bad Ubuntu!

Smart Wi-Fi

At last, I finally have an always on internet connection courtesy of Smart Wi-Fi. Well, yes, it sure doesn't comply with the 802.11a/b/g but it is always on and uses microwave technology... correct me if I'm wrong. And to answer a few of my questions, it is not a bridged connection and authenticates via MAC address. You have to log in to every time you hook it up to another PC, and enter your user id and password. Is this PPPoE, no, and I'm not sure what protocol it uses, but it's beyond me right now coz I'm very much happy with it. You could use a router or a switch, but I would prefer a router. It uses DHCP and unless you go to or some similar site, it's quite impossible to know your public IP address.

Speed is more or less 128Kbps and it costs less than PhP 800.00 plus PhP 500.00 for the installation. Installation is quick and painless, just let the installer hook it up outside, he might need some time to check if there's line of sight ( a sure sign that the transceiver is using microwaves) then hook up the cable to the small box provided, plug it at the back of your PC's NIC, fire up your browser, and you'll automatically be directed to the portal site. Create an account, type in the activation key, and you're good to go.

Speed is mediocre but if you need an always on connection, this is a good way to go. Besides, it won't tie up your phone line for a cost that won't break the bank.

One problem I keep on having is sometimes it will lose internet connection for no good reason, well all you have to do is to unplug and plug the power adapter to the small box. You don't have to reboot the whole PC as suggested, it's just a waste of time.

EDIT (25 Sept 2005)

In Windows XP, right-click on the MSDUN or the LAN icon on the Notification Area (System Tray) and click on Repair. Or better yet type in this command on the DOS Prompt: "ipconfig /release" then once the IP is, then type this command: "ipconfig /renew". This will restart connection and you don't have to wait for 2-5 mins. for your PC to reboot.

All in all, I am satisfied with the services of Smart. Hey, even with bad weather and thick fog which usually happens in the evening, it won't lose connection, unlike other technologies requiring line of sight.

This is the transceiver placed just above the water tank.

Here's the "small box". The other end of the blue cable connected on the right is hooked up to the NIC. The other cable plugged on the left is hooked up to the transceiver.

This is the Network Connection Details on my WinXP machine.