Switching My Sister In-law To Linux

July 10, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: General, linux, opinion, Ubuntu 

About a month ago my brother in-law came to me with his wife's "dead" Windows XP computer. The computer would not boot at all. After a successful POST, the system would just sit there, unable to find any bootable media. I was asked if I could recover their files for them. Outside of that, they didn't want to put any money into the computer. They were thinking about getting a Mac.

I told them that as long as there wasn't a serious hard drive failure, I could probably get all of their files. I figured I could boot the system to a Live CD and backup the files to my USB hard drive. Read more

CentOS 5.4 On The Dell Inspiron 2600

March 7, 2010 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Distro Review, linux 

The Dell Inspiron 2600 is a pretty old laptop, but can still be a useful computer if there's a decent OS installed. I had been running Ubuntu on this machine, but I started getting random freezes starting with Ubuntu Hardy. As a result, I was running Hardy with an older kernel from Gutsy. There were also difficulties with getting the video settings properly configured. I decided it was time to go in search of a new distro to run on this old laptop. Read more

What OS Do You Run On Your Netbook?

July 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: linux, opinion, Ubuntu, windows 

The web is rife with articles and blog posts citing statistics of Windows vs. Linux on netbooks. Nearly all of these articles mention the stats of the pre-installed OS from online and brick and mortar stores. A quick search of NewEgg.com yielded  one netbook with Linux pre-installed and 63 running Windows XP. There were also another 15 running various versions of Vista. So it seems that those that desire to purchase a netbook running Linux have little choice from retailers. Read more

Why I hate Dell

April 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: opinion 

Being the computer geek in the family means I am frequently called upon for computer emergencies. The most recent one involves a Dell computer that bit the dust. The machine wouldn't POST and gave only a memory error beep code. After several rounds of moving the memory chips to different slots and then trying new memory, I finally gave up and decided it's time to start fresh. I figured it was most likely an issue with the motherboard.

Now the folks at Dell are kind enough to use a bunch of non-standard hardware. This means that whenever you want to replace something, you pretty much have to go to Dell or to Ebay. Their power supply connector is a standard ATX connector, but they wire it differently. Therefore, you need a Dell specific power supply as a replacement. Read more

Ubuntu Video Configuration on a Dell Inspiron 2600

September 21, 2008 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: HowTo, linux, Ubuntu 

Update Nov. 9, 2008 - While trying to get Ubuntu 8.10 working on my 2600, I remembered one key detail to getting 8.04 to work. I've only gotten it to work with BIOS revision A08. Here's a link to the Inspiron 2600 BIOS A08 on the Dell website. Unfortunately, this is a Windows executable to make a bootable floppy, so obviously you'll need access to a Windows machine to make the BIOS boot disk. Read more