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02/23/2004:

NF . RedHat 9


Last Saturday, qs and I bought some PC peripherals and stuff. You see... in my regular job, I'm not only in charge with the development of database applications and systems-related functions, I also do hardware related tasks, canvassing and purchasing of computers, haggling with vendors, installation of lan cables, crimping, crawling and networking, hardware inventory and auditing, maintenance and sometimes preparing and arranging some defective computer parts for the weekly roof top practice target shooting.

Most of the time during these purchases, I am just given a budget and I will be the one in-charge to 'configure' the specs and joggle the needs to fit those tight budgets.

With a budget this time of 27K in our pockets (1 US dollar is approximately 55 Pesos), we were able to purchase 1 CPU with an AMD Athlon 2000+ processor and a decent MSI motherboard, a good looking transparent case with an extra fan in the side, an 80GB 7200 rpms barracuda hard disk, another 40GB 7200 rpms hard disk for another department which needs this upgrade after their 2GB hard disk crashed from too much porn, 1 256 DDRAM and another 128 DDRAM, three floppy disk drives, two 52X LG CD-ROM drives, (because of the tight budget in last last week's purchase I refrain from buying those disk and CD-ROM drives), an Epson scanner (CHED is now requiring photos in TORs), an 8 port CNET switch, two Logitech keyboards (one for me), an AVR and a Logitech mouse.

All in all it was a good loot for 26.5K, I got a discount of P375.00, which is quite less compared to the average 1K discount I got from the previous two purchases.

So while waiting for the CPU to be assembled, we roam around the mall. QS found an MP3 CD-ROM which contains the soundtracks of Shrek 2, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights and 13 Going on 30, which she has been pining for... for quite some weeks now.

I, on the other hand, found a copy of Red Hat 9 Linux installation CDs. I was looking for a copy Fedora which after reading from a number of FilTech blogs online, have stirred my curiosity, but couldn't find one.

I tried downloading Fedora online but since Wednesday last week, I still can't get a connection that doesn't say 'Busy'. From the looks of it looks like Fedora 3 will be released before I can download Fedora 2.

When we arrived home, the first thing I did was to make that spare 40GB hard disk the primary disk, reconfigured the boot up sequence and booted from the Red Hat 9 installation CD. It was five years ago since I was beside our system administrator when she (yup it's a she) configured and installed Red Hat in three out of our four office servers. Quite a long time already and a lot has changed since then.

I installed using the default settings 'probed' by the Red Hat installer. The Red Hat 'look' is even cool that my three year old daughter pulled one chair and sat beside me during the installation. She was quite intrigued too with the blue light the CPU case emits.

Every thing was smooth until my daughter who got intrigued by the little silvery power button located on the edge of the case, pushed it.

I 'Graaa-ed', my daughter giggled knowing she did something wrong, then kissed me on the cheeks. I guess Linux-users just develop this kind of charm when they start using this penguin-powered OS, eh?

Anyway... the installation run smoothly afterwards. There are just some little things that could have made the installation smoother and a number more things, in my opinion that needs to be removed or remedied to make Red Hat Linux appeal more to the non-geeks in this world.

You see, if Linux or any bundle of its variation wants to be widely used by 'ordinary humans', it should lower down a little to a more 'duh-i'm-a-noob' level. Of course, without sacrificing its strength... security-related features included.

I'll delve more on that one on another post but let me give you one example which probably hard-core Linux users overlooked. During start-up, the geeks'-love-for-details is being reflected in a Linux boot up. Those Initializing processes with OK or Failed brackets coupled with some three letter acronyms... you see, 'normal users' don't give a rat's arse about those things.

Of course to a geek administrator it means a lot but to Mr. O' Charlie who only wants to run a word processor those things are gibberish. Microsoft during 'normal' boot ups would only display their Windows XP logo which I'm sure has a thousand of subliminal hypnotizing subtle messages floating somewhere around it.

There's more but I'll delve into that in another blog.

I don't have much time to explore deeper last Saturday so I made my last quest of changing the display to a much higher resolution. I'm a sucker for higher resolution displays... and since I used the default VESA drivers, the Linux I installed only can go far as the 800x600 dimension limit.

Just for the heck of it I tried misconfiguring the drivers, rebooted (required)... then I got this cyan over blue screen which displays a Yes and a No option with no message.

How in Olympus' name could I figure that out?

I tried clicking Yes then No but both tries were futile.

After a couple of reboots it was able to restore the old settings though. Again... this was just a rush test installation, I'll explore more one of these days.

UPDATE:
I installed another Red Hat 9 Linux on an aging and always cranky AMD500 MHz computer of mine in the office today. I paid more attention to details this time and it was able to 'probe' my GeForce2 video card and the LG Studioworks monitor which made the resolution better compared to that installation I have done last Saturday.

I tried the Terminal and the other applications and had fun browsing the screensavers. Anyway it will stay there for quite a long time since that old PC crashes often in Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP installations... yup I've tried installing them all in the span of three months.

Red Hat 9 is sailing smooth so far.


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