Friday, September 28, 2007


As I have explained previously, my boss wants to give away a bunch of old NT 4 workstations to the local state-run media (radio, television and press agency). NT4, no longer supported by Microsoft (i.e. no security updates), the fact that we cannot buy anything (we are not an aid agency), as a government agency cannot provide pirated copies and cannot protect them from Windows viruses.

After some experimenting with different Linux versions for older machines and in our own language, I came up with the Brazilian Kurumin Lite. Flew … except CUPS and HPLINUX printer support don’t work. It is based on Debian which has a reputation as being very stable and conservative.

So I took the Kurumin machine down to the national radio last week and, guess what, it wouldn’t connect. Put in the DNS IP server addresses in the /etc/resolv.conf file etc.

Finally, after four hours of work on a Saturday morning with A. from the local ISP who knows much more about Linux than I, we discovered the switch downstairs (where we were working with the Linux box) was not connected to the switch upstairs and thus not connected to the broadband modem. Duh!

A. recommended Ubuntu. I’ve downloaded a “lite” version, Xubuntu that has multiple language options including our own and like it – the bundled word-processor (Abiword) is far superior to Kedit.

However, there seems to be a big video driver problem in that Xubuntu does not like NVidea video cards and after the initial boot from the Live CD the screen goesblack.

Later ..I’ve managed to get to a command prompt … so we will see tomorrow.

Update: Ahhh! It seems the standard installation needs 192 Mb RAM to install, but 128 Mb to run. This workstation has 128 Mb RAM. Maybe it’s not the video card. There is an “alternate” iso that only needs 64 Mb RAM to install so I am now downloading this – painfully slow, Equinox sunspot activity seems to be effecting our download rates.

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