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My second-hand Gateway (from year 2000) was utterly wiped out last week (probably cracker, despite firewall). I wanted to buy a replacement: a small, slow Web machine, just to use ...
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  1. #1
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    New PC :(


    My second-hand Gateway (from year 2000) was utterly wiped out last week (probably cracker, despite firewall). I wanted to buy a replacement: a small, slow Web machine, just to use online (with the cable modem). Unfortunately I made the mistake of going to CompUSA during a sale, instead of to the local Goodwill computer outlet. Now I have an extremely fast, very new PC with all sorts of fancy hardware I'll probably never use. Plus a 160 Gig hd, of which I'll almost certainly never use more than a few gig.

    I'm very unhappy about this. Aside from everything else, I know this will make it much harder to get Linux up to replace the XP (home) it came with. I can't take the PC back because it didn't come with an actual set of XP CDs, just a utility to create them -- and I created them before it told me that was a one-time utility!.

    Some time ago I bought a MEPIS CD ("boot from CD") on Ebay, and just found it. Yesterday I tried booting from it, but after it seemed to be waiting for me to log in, I couldn't make it accept a username or password.

    Anyway, should I buy yet another older box at the Goodwill (and try to sell the PC on Ebay)? Or does anyone think I'll be able to get this "CisNET" PC up on some Linux distro? It has (among other things) an '8-way card reader' and CD/DVD both R/W. Also that ginormous hard drive is ATA, not IDE. I haven't even been able to get it (under XP) to recognize the old floppy I transferred into the open floppy bay.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techwatcher
    I'm very unhappy about this. Aside from everything else, I know this will make it much harder to get Linux up to replace the XP (home) it came with.
    Where on earth did you get that idea? Having a new computer doesn't make Linux harder to install on it.

    Some time ago I bought a MEPIS CD ("boot from CD") on Ebay, and just found it. Yesterday I tried booting from it, but after it seemed to be waiting for me to log in, I couldn't make it accept a username or password.
    Can you be more specific as to the error you're getting? What version of Mepis are you trying? You are aware that you can download and burn the newest version of Mepis for free, correct? Most Linux distros are like this. What username and password are you trying to use?
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

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    Since disability has forced me into retirement, I no longer need to do any processor-intensive computing (apart from occasional image-tweaking with the GIMP). Since my online machine now has broadband access (via USB to cable modem), I want much better control over it than I can ever get from any W OS, including XP.

    Why is this so hard to accomplish? CompUSA has really screwed up my attempt to get what I need, and I don't know what to do next.

    What I have as 'online PC': (as of last Friday) black Cisnet 123M PC with Pentium 4 2.93 mHz (so fan is always generating white noise), 512RAM, 160 Gg hard drive (ATA), DVD/CD both r/w, running XP home, with just about every kind of port ever made ('8 in 1' card reader, as well as Ethernet & modem) and several open bays. Came with speakers (which I'm using, though I have older ones), plus mouse & keyboard I haven't taken out of their boxes. Does NOT meet my needs for an online PC, though it cost me $499.

    What I need in 'online PC': any box (but preferably NOT black, since it's hard to see those buttons and ports down there by the side of my bed), with any capable processor (>750 mHz), up to 256RAM, up to 40 Gg hard drive (IDE), with DVD read-only (so I can watch an occasional film; no tv here), and CD r/w, with working FLOPPY DRIVE, running Linux. For ports I need parallel, serial [9-pin], a couple PS/2s, and several USB -- also possibly USB 2.0 for a digicam. My monitor (mounted on a monitor arm over my bed) is, obviously LCD, so it would be nice to have a compatible video adaptor. (The CisNET machine has an incompatible adaptor, probably Nvidia, forcing my Viewsonic 550 to run as 'default VGA,' even though I carefully explained this requirement to CompUSA salesman. )

    So how do I get from what I have to what I want? Should I call local repair shops and offer to trade? Buy another second-hand box at the local Goodwill and try to sell the new box on Ebay? Typically I can get out of the house once a week, when home health aide takes me out for 3 hours; most weeks that time is spent buying groceries, etc.

    In the online machine, I require security, which means Linux. In the offline machine, I require compatibility, which means W'98 & DOS -- and security, which means NEVER taking this W'98 machine online. I only need to move ASCII files or relatively small images between the two; for that I need floppies.

    My offline machine (to store data) is currently an old Dell laptop. That stays on my painting table because it's too heavy for me to carry. So I need to be able to download ref pix to floppy diskettes and carry them from online PC, which I use lying in bed, to the laptop I use at that table (though I can only sit up to 45 minutes for any painting session).

    CompUSA sold me a tiny USB drive (flash), telling me it would work on the W'98 machine, but of course it doesn't -- no driver. I managed to return that yesterday, but I can't return the PC. It came without XP sytem CDs, so when I first turned it on I created the 'recovery CDs' as instructed -- and only after I finished did it tell me I could only do that once. I've called CisNET tech support several times trying to get the old floppy drive which I moved in there to work, but that seems like a lost cause, too.

    Obviously I'm never going to CompUSA again, but how do I recover? How do I get what I need now, and get rid of this useless box? Are there places that might trade for a box running Linux?

  4. #4
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    For the different IDs in Mephis, try these passwords:

    demo: demo
    root: root

    Heh...

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    Found a guy who'll trade me an older, slower system with smaller hard drive (IDE) and a floppy, and DVD (r), and CD r/w, to use as my online PC. And, it will have Linux installed... don't know which distro, though.

    kahoona, I'd say that was funny, but suppose some real noob (to computing as a whole) comes by and reads that? And doesn't get the joke?

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    Your going to trade in your NEW computer for an older computer just because it has Linux intalled? HAHA ARE YOU MAD!!!!!!

    And to log into Mepis use: root for username and root for password, them ue Mepis OS Centre to install to your hard drive

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    Not mad at all. The only purpose of a PC is whatever its intended use is. I need mine to have a floppy drive so I can transfer images to an old Dell laptop (running W 98SE and will NEVER go online). The ONLY things I want to do with my online PC are browse a few sites on the Web (securely), upload and download images securely (from aforementioned sites), play a little chess, and do a little image manipulation with the GIMP. I want Linux for the control (security), and I need the damn floppy.

    Go read annoyances.org about how floppy drives don't work under XP (not to mention that I haven't even been able to install one in the first place), and you'll see this is a better solution. Unless I want to waste more weeks of my life trying to get Linux installed on this machine. (Hint: I don't.) I'm through with programming, I'm 55 years old and been programming or documening most of my life since I was 18 years old. I just want to learn enough of Linux to be safe online, and that's it. Afaic, data should never be stored on an online machine anyway.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by techwatcher
    Not mad at all. The only purpose of a PC is whatever its intended use is. I need mine to have a floppy drive so I can transfer images to an old Dell laptop (running W 98SE and will NEVER go online). The ONLY things I want to do with my online PC are browse a few sites on the Web (securely), upload and download images securely (from aforementioned sites), play a little chess, and do a little image manipulation with the GIMP. I want Linux for the control (security), and I need the damn floppy.

    Go read annoyances.org about how floppy drives don't work under XP (not to mention that I haven't even been able to install one in the first place), and you'll see this is a better solution. Unless I want to waste more weeks of my life trying to get Linux installed on this machine. (Hint: I don't.) I'm through with programming, I'm 55 years old and been programming or documening most of my life since I was 18 years old. I just want to learn enough of Linux to be safe online, and that's it. Afaic, data should never be stored on an online machine anyway.
    I understand were you are coming from, but for about 3 ($7) you can purchase a floppy disk drive and intall it. Linux these days is extremely traight forward to intall depending on the distrobution you choose, i am a Linux noob myself and i have dual booted many different distros and each one has been really easy to get up and running.

    Id suggest you check out Xubuntu, it detected almost all of my hardware and was a breeze to install and is now my distro of choice. I strongly reccomend you have a think about trading your new machine for an older one because it has linux installed, a better idea would be to sell the system on and then buy yourself and older system instead ofd losing out on cash.

  9. #9
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    The Login name for Mepis live cdrom boot cd is demo and the password is also demo. You cant make up your own name and password until you install Mepis to your hard drive. I like Mepis as all the multimedia plugins and most additional browser apps for the internet are already installed and setup right from the start.

  10. #10
    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
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    You should find it very easy to install just about any linux distro on
    the new computer. I am a lover of old hardware myself and will
    nurse an old computer along just to prove it can be done. But, since you
    have already spent the money, go ahead and install linux on the
    new box and enjoy it. I fought with floppys for years, custom boot
    disks, the whole 9 yards. I suggest hooking up a nice linksys router
    (around 70 bucks) and put both your new box, and your older win98
    box online. Win98 is unhackable when configured sensibly. It is
    less vulnerable than XP. The router acts as a firewall, so you're safe.
    Then, your linux box can access shared folders on the win98 box.

    Sorry to hear you are disabled, but there's no reason to let yourself
    get bored, with all the new things you need to learn in order
    to set up your system to work satisfactorily.

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