[Scottish] message for Gordon

Gordon JC Pearce gordonjcp at gjcp.net
Sun Apr 2 09:07:46 BST 2006

Richard Wright wrote:
> Hi Gordon
> I have had a crack at booting it from a floppy disk, but there simply isn't enough space on the floppy to boot it up effectively. In fact even the rudimentary commands on the single floppy crashed as soon as the commands were issued.

There should be two or three floppies - a boot kernel and a root 
filesystem.  You could, of course, try something like tomsrtbt which 
*is* a single-floppy distro.

> The USB port on the docking station made us think that we could install it from a USB pen. Of course when we looked at BIOS the only options to boot were hard disk and floppy disk.

Uhm, no way.  It's far too old to support booting from USB.

> This leads me to believe that there are two options now to install linux on the libretto. One is to find a cd drive for the libretto and install a CD that way. This may be a good idea since a lack of cd drive will cause problems later on anyway.

Not having a CD drive later on will not be a problem at all.  That is 
what NFS is for.
If you're using Slackware you can just download the packages and use 
installpkg to get them across, or use swaret.  Other distros have 
different kinds of package manager - Debian has probably the best 
packaging system (but I won't get into what's *wrong* with Debian ;-) )

> The other option is to remove the hard drive as you suggest and plug it in to another machine and install ti that way. This is the way I want to go since it may be a while before I locate an appropriate CD drive.

> What I need to know from you is how to remove the hard drive from the libretto. We had a look but we could only discern a way to remove the battery. I hope that removal of the hard drive does not require hardwware such as screwdrivers etc. This is because the machine is really my Dad's and would hope not to rip it apart irreparably!

Left hand end of the unit, there is a small plastic cover with two 
screws on the bottom.  Remove the screws, lift the cover off and pull 
the handle gently to remove the drive.  Refitting, as Mr Haynes might 
say, is the reverse of removal.

> Any further advice you can offer about removing the hard drive would help me immensely.

It's that simple.  You can get 44-pin IDE adaptors from eBay fairly 
cheaply, or I could (if I can find one) lend you one.  Or you could just 
bring it round some time.  It's also possible to put it into a laptop 
that does have a CD drive, but don't be too fussy about setting up 
things like SVGA console modes (in fact, *don't* set that up until you 
know what the Libretto is going to do).

Other than that, all the standard "first install" hints apply.  Keep it 
simple, you've only got a couple of gig of disk.  You won't have 
accelerated 3D, you've probably only got 2M of screen memory and you 
definitely don't have enough memory for shiny antialiased fonts!  Once 
you get as far as installing X, I would suggest sticking to IceWM or 
fvwm2 or similar.


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