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Author Topic: Too new to know better  (Read 6927 times)

Offline Derfdog

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Too new to know better
« on: March 17, 2013, 09:29:27 AM »
Hello
Got problems, and I will be the first to admit the primary one is sitting right behind this keyboard.
Yes I am somewhat new to Linux, I have loaded the bloated distros on a much more powerful pc and soon became bored with them. 
I was given an old Dell C400 latop with a PIII-866/667 MHz mobile, 512 ram, 20 gig HD, Intel 830M graphics and Crystal 4205 audio controller.  It has network capabillities, no floppy drive, no CDrom, and no OS.  The previous owner had wiped it clean...

I was able to install TC by pulling the hard drive, finding a similar but newer Dell laptop with a CDrom drive and placing the hard drive in it and installing.  I then plopped the HD back in the C400 and it booted right up.
I've tried a half dozen or so distros and TC is the only one that I was able to get to run, for that I want to say thanks, (I think).

OK, I have browsed your documentation, and have glanced at the forums, and I see a lot but my problem is that I do not know what to look for.  I understand that this distro is not for a noob like me but...

I got my network up and running - both wired and wireless.
I downloaded a web browser (opera), but it does not appear in my apps
But opera requires a higher resolution than what my screen shows, if I click on Xvesa is shows 640x480x16.

So I guess that my first step needs to be setting up an X environment, any recommendations?



Offline Derfdog

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 03:56:17 PM »
Thane

I installed Xorg-7.6.tcz (OnBoot) and it said that installed OK but when I look for the logs I see nothing for Xorg, nor is there an xorg.conf file. 
If I do a "ps -ef" I see a reference for Xvesa -br -screen 1024x768x32 -shadow -2button -mouse /dev/input/mice,5 -nolisten tcp -I

what should I look for and where?

Offline gerald_clark

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 04:10:49 PM »
It doesn't need an xorg.conf.   You don't  need to also install Xvesa.

Offline Derfdog

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 06:42:08 PM »
Gerald
are you saying that I need to install Xvesa?

Where do you look for errors?  On the Xvesa web page it says if you are running Xvesa with the option    "-verbose"  emit diagnostic messages during BIOS initialization and teardown

Offline Rich

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 06:56:57 PM »
Hi Derfdog
He said you do not need to install Xvesa.
After you installed Xorg, did you restart x? Ctrl-Alt-Backspace  and then enter  startx

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 09:12:38 PM »
You should possibly also load the xf86-video-intel extension with xorg

Also have a look at following posts (rather dated) for hints and maybe you could find more using the "Search" function:
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php?topic=9785.0
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php?topic=6495.0

On a sidenote:

You could get syntax help for most commands using
Code: [Select]
command --help
e.g. "ps" has no -e or -f options.
Best not blindly to rely on options from non busysbox versions of commands, or they might not do what you intended to, though in specific case they just get silently ignored.

To get a bit more detailed output, instead of "ps" you could use:
Code: [Select]
top -n1|grep Xvesa
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 09:47:18 PM »
Not sure which version of opera you tried, but I remember somehow there were some versions having issues with either Xvesa or certain screen modes.

I did a test, and on my system with Xvesa started with "-screen 640x480x16" opera does indeed work as expected.

For the record, I tested with opera-12.11-1661.i386.linux as provided on opera ftp server.

EDIT:
Out of curiosity I did some further testing, and even 320x200x15 as a minimum would still work :D
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 10:09:27 PM by tinypoodle »
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline Derfdog

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 05:33:41 PM »
Still having problems but I think I am closer, while TC is loading the screen flashes different colors.

But before I go any further, I will sit down and walk through everything, then I will try booting from CD on a different PC.

Thanks for your help.

Offline Derfdog

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 02:41:31 PM »
Success!
Well after reading and more reading I finally started to get the hang of it.  It looks like my primary problem was that I needed to set up Bootcode for my VGA setting.  Once I did I started to see the TC logo during boot, so I knew I was getting close.  My initial setting was for vga=785 ( 65000 (16 bit)) but I was getting undefined video number:314, when TC booted up. So I had to choose 800x600x8

For some reason when I went with the lower vga setting I was able to see the icons of the apps that I had downloaded.  I installed midori web browser but I could not get it to startup, my next step was to install a simple program so I found a calculator that installed and would show up on the desktop.  I then installed Seamonkey browser and it ran but the graphics are very poor and can barely read the words.  I either have my graphics not set right or the 830M intel graphics controller really is bad.

I must admit that TC does boot fast, I hope I can find someway to improve my graphics.
And thanks for everyone's input.
Derfdog

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 11:05:57 PM »
It would appear there is an issue with this card about getting enough shared memory allocated, therefore modes may get restricted.

Doing some further testing shows that opera 9.20 would work fine with 8 bit display, while 12.11 would silently fail, concluding that the minimum requirement of 15 bit must have been introduced somewhere in between those 2 versions.
You could try versions from opera's ftp archive to find out which one is the most recent working with an 8 bit display.
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline curaga

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Re: Too new to know better
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 08:50:06 AM »
Many Dell bioses are bad with Intel graphics. You need to use Xorg to let the graphics chip get more RAM.

We get this quite often, also used to in DSL days. I wonder if stickying a post somewhere would help.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.