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Subject: dual boot!
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 01:43:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eva
To: Tip Group

Dear Tip Group,

I'm sorry to have been out of touch for so long. School this summer has kept me out of trouble. I learned yet another language called Visual Basic. But now I've decided to quit school, get into trouble, tie up some loose ends, make last preparations for my A+ cert exam and take it, get into trouble, write my resume and get a job!

So onto the getting into trouble part: today I achieved setting up my first dual boot system! Working on my friend's new system that I just built with a 20 GB hdd (IBM deskstar 7200 rpm ATA 100), using Partition Magic 4.0 I shrank down the C: drive with Win98 to 1.5 GB, then used this 2 year old Slackware 3.5 Linux disc to partition and format its ext2 and swap file. I set the BIOS to boot from CD-ROM first and that made it really easy to load the initial Linux kernel from the Slackware disc. Then making the boot disc was part of the automated setup just like the windows one. The rest of the commands were written up in the little booklet and so I was able to follow that step by step and load a full install. I loaded the Linux LILO boot manager into the master boot record and it worked fine. Offered the choice of 'DOS' or 'Linux' boot. So that was all good and well, but I finally failed in trying to configure x window to work. This is an old setup program and unlike the latest redhat releases which automatically detect and configure the hardware, this one asked me for all this detailed video card info like RAMDAC speed (which I knew), clock speed, some sort of timing settings and other things I had no idea about. Also, the video card (ATI Expert 2000 32 Mb) was too new for its choice list. So when I went to run 'startx' at the command line some text scrolled by and the screen went black. I tried reconfiguring again and got an error message instead.

That's ok, I'm very pleased I got as far as I did. The command line interface was flawless and even pine ran. I think the hardware is too modern for this old version of Linux anyway. So now with this much experience I am ready to go for the latest version and that will be a piece of cake! I watched red hat 6.1 being loaded and it was completely GUI and automated. The whole thing was finished in 20 min or so. Maybe I'll try it on my machine....

Incidentally, I also tried to load the BeOS release 3 (this is old, too--now they have v.5) on another partition, but failed totally (after many hours trying... :( I have concluded there is a catch-22: the manual is self contradictory: on one hand it says you can load BeOS if you have windows present by putting it on another partition, but, then I get an error message that says the primary partition is already taken (by win98 of course) and so it refuses to format any other partition! Not even over Win98! And then I noticed in the booklet it says: "BeOS cannot be loaded onto an extended partition..." well, duh, with one hdd there is only one primary partition and the rest of the logical drives are all in the extended partition. Oh well... I have been told that the new BeOS personal edition is a 50 Mb download and to put it onto a FAT 16 partition and that you can let it self-load from there. So if I have time left before I have to turn over this machine to Pete I'll try it.

Also, I would like to figure out how to set up to be able to boot Win95 (which I have and am still using currently) from another partition on the same hdd and NT/2000 as well if I ever get hold of these.


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