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Messages - Keith

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Hardware Compatibility / Re: USBs and DVDs not working
« on: March 13, 2019, 10:27:33 am »
Hi Mark.

The only means of testing that I have is to try an old (single-layer) DVD, and neither of the optical drives respond – although that might be XP taking forever to stop accessing the HD and not getting around to it.  The drives are:
DVD ROM   SD-M17122  (July 2003)
DVD-R-RW  SD-R5112  (July 2003)  Toshiba (secondary slave)
They are connected correctly and it’s unlikely they are both dead. 

“USB controllers” set to V1.1 and V2.0, and I am using V2 USBs (how can I check this?)

I have set the USB legacy support and USB legacy mouse support to Enabled.  My USB mouse still doesn't work. 
I set the second & third boot devices to “CDROM” and “HDD0” respectively. 
For the first boot device, I tried:
but the POST always indicates it’s “booting from the CD-ROM” (empty) and boots into XP from the HDD. 

Please don't spend too much time on this, Mark, as I am happy to abandon it if necessary and put a new board in as the case and hardware are fine. 
Many thanks.

Hardware Compatibility / USBs and DVDs not working
« on: March 12, 2019, 01:08:12 pm »
I have an old desktop with an ASUS A7N8X motherboard to be renovated for a friend. 
It has XP loaded and is unbelievably slow.  At first I thought the slowness might be partly due to the age of the motherboard but the spec doesn't look too bad - although I might change the board for something better if she can afford it. 

The immediate problem is that I can't run a Linux Live USB or DVD as neither the DVD drives nor the USB sockets respond to any device.  I've tried setting the boot preferences to anything that seemed reasonable but it always boots into XP although the boot process indicates that it is booting from (for example) the DVD. 

I've checked the leads from the USBs and DVDs to the motherboard and all are placed securely in the right positions. 
The PS2 keyboard works but I don't have a PS2 mouse - I can use my USB mouse if I can get the Live USB/DVD working. 

Any advice for getting a Live USB/DVD working would be very welcome.
Thank you.

General Discussion / Re: Linux programming
« on: March 12, 2019, 12:43:50 pm »
Each language has its own pros & cons and comes down to personal preference and the particular application. 

Bash is perfect for my requirements and I began with the book "The Linux Command Line" by W.E Shotts (available both in hard copy and as a free PDF download) and make much use of web tutorials such as the one in the previous post. 

General Help & Advice / Re: Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 07, 2019, 09:27:48 pm »
You are right - and my comment was tongue-in-cheek (there's no emoticon for that). 
I ran your code and, to my untutored eye, my laptop doesn't appear to be very vulnerable. 
Many thanks for referencing the code. 

General Help & Advice / Re: Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 07, 2019, 08:52:19 pm »
I've changed my mind about not panicking.   :-[
This link is very helpful:

General Help & Advice / Re: Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 07, 2019, 11:40:44 am »
@Rich:  Remember the first instruction of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy - "Don't Panic".  The command gives the same on my PC (and probably everyone else's), so I guess it tells the PC what to do in an emergency. 

Thank you, Mark.  It makes me feel good to know that I am up there with the experts who don't know either!  ;)  But your guesses seem very reasonable. 
The cpuinfo command does indeed provide much more info, although I'm not sure I can make use of it all. 
I guess "capacity" is the thing that matters. 

General Help & Advice / Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 06, 2019, 12:47:14 pm »
Before renovating an old PC for a friend (and asking advice on that), I would be grateful for explanations about CPU speed info.  For example, here are the data for my laptop:

keith@T500:~$ sudo lshw -c cpu
[sudo] password for keith:
       description: CPU
       product: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     P8400  @ 2.26GHz
       vendor: Intel Corp.
       physical id: 6
       bus info: cpu@0
       version: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     P8400  @ 2.26GHz
       slot: None
       size: 1600MHz
       capacity: 2267MHz

       width: 64 bits
       clock: 266MHz
       capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx x86-64 constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 xsave lahf_lm kaiser tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority dtherm ida cpufreq


What is the significance of "CPU" speed, "size" speed, "capacity" speed (I'm guessing max = cpu speed) and "clock speed"? 

Thank you

Peppermint / Re: printing
« on: February 19, 2019, 09:46:37 pm »
In "System Settings/Printers":   if right clicking does not provide a menu (strange), then highlight the printer (left click on it) then click "Printer/Delete"
In HP-Device-Manager;  highlight the printer in the left-hand column then click the red button at the top (next to the green button) to remove the printer.  Works in version 3.16.3

I did feel a bit embarrassed about that but when using LiveUSBs, P8 worked better than Mint 18.  An installed P8 might well have been better, and certainly P3 was working very well.  A difficult call. 
I installed P8 on a friend's PC some time ago and she loves it. 

Many thanks once more - you're a gent.


Mint 18 now installed and running well.

My sincere thanks to all contributors - especially to Mark for patience beyond the call of duty. 


Trying so many different operating systems has confused me too much so I propose to consider only trying 32-bit Peppermint and Mint versions that will work either without PAE or offer the option for forcing it.
The situation at present is:  the Dell 505 has Peppermint 3 and Mint 17.3 loaded and working but, as you say, both are now unsupported. 
As I understand it, you suggest that Peppermint 8 and Mint 18 would be good contenders as they are still supported and come in 32-bit flavours.  Here are my results for these OSs and Peppermint 9:

Peppermint 9
Offers a Force PAE option via space bar (or was it the TAB key?).  After a long wait and much output we get:
“end Kernel panic – not syncing: VFS: unable to mount root fs on unknown block(2,0)”
and hangs permanently. 

Peppermint 8
Offers a Force PAE option via TAB key. 
After 1 minute, starts the boot process. 
After 2 mins, gobbledigook output then blank screen.
After 2 mins, starts Peppermint 8.
Wireless connection OK (details entered while Ethernet connected).
Chromium browser / Gmail / Google drive for office functions but others available. 
Nemo file manager – nice!
mintstick – nice!
Failed to shut down - just hung permanently
Very, very slow (at least as a LiveUSB. )

Mint 18
1. The start menu does offer Forced PAE (ignore my previous, confused post!).
2. iwlist does not work (yet).
2. Using Ethernet I can connect to the internet. 
3. Having established connection via Ethernet (and then removing it) I can now connect wirelessly! and iwlist now works (strange it didn’t before). 
4. Mint 18 is very easy to use and quick even via a LiveUSB, and has everything the average user is likely to want and is familiar with from Ubuntu.  As it is supported until April 2021 this is the one I shall install.

I shall attempt to install it and choose to overwrite the existing P3 & Mint17.
Stay tuned for a report on that. 

I am sorry, Mark:  I am getting thoroughly confused with all these versions I've been trying.  In fact Mint 18 does not present the option of forcing PAE
I suggest that I try all the Peppermint and Mint versions again and create a table of results in order to keep track of their behaviour. 
It doesn't help that I have to create a new LiveUSB each time! 
It will take me a while to complete. 

I missed the space between the dashes and the "forcepae" - I'll try again and report back.

iwlist does work in mint-18 - indeed the network windows do show lots of available networks - but won't connect. 

inxi -Fz

System:    Host: Dell-D505 Kernel: 4.4.0-141-generic i686 (32 bit)
           Desktop: MATE 1.12.0  Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   System: Dell product: Latitude D505
           Mobo: Dell model: N/A Bios: Dell v: A09 date: 04/13/2005
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium M (-UP-) cache: 2048 KB
           speed: 1600 MHz (max)
Graphics:  Card: Intel 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device
           Display Server: X.Org 1.17.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1024x768@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 852GM/855GM x86/MMX/SSE2
           GLX Version: 1.3 Mesa 10.5.9
Audio:     Card Intel 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller
           driver: snd_intel8x0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-141-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG [Calexico2] Network Connection
           driver: ipw2200
           IF: eth1 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel 82801DB PRO/100 VE (MOB) Ethernet Controller
           driver: e100
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 50.0GB (15.1% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST950212A size: 50.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 23G used: 6.1G (29%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda6
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 1.07GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 41.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 153 Uptime: 2 min Memory: 183.7/998.9MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.28 

Sorry about the strange symbol

Thank you Graeme.  Yes, it runs fine on a LiveCD - only in Italian!!!! 
It has a very restricted set of functions (as one might expect) but worth a closer look.  It is certainly nice and quick. 
I shall try to find an English version, and its level of support.


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