[techtalk] odd problems

Emily Cartier cartieel at flyernet.udayton.edu
Mon Dec 27 19:11:57 EST 1999

Remember my machine A and machine B problems of a couple weeks ago? I've
got more *g*. Lots more. I'm sleepy, and there are a lot of problems so
if something seems confused, ask. If nothing else, looking at the
problems again with an eye to providing useful details would help me
learn what to look for cause I'm sure to run into this kind of stuff

As a refresher machine A has a modem working under Win95, runs linux,
has an ethernet card that currently doesn't run under linux and now can
mount vfat filesystems under linux. Oh and it runs X handily. Machine B
has an ethernet card that currently doesn't run under linux, is linux
only, and doesn't run X as well as I'd like. The current ultimate goal
is to get these two lovely machines networked so various bits of
software (like the kernel!) can be upgraded. Both systems are using
Mandrake 6.0 on the linux side of the box.

However, there are other goals, and thus other interesting problems.
Machine B has 3 accounts set up (root, my personal account and an
account for my sister to play games on). Root can run Gnome and Nethack
for Gnome. I can run Gnome and Nethack for Gnome. My sister the nethack
addict cannot run Gnome or Nethack for Gnome. This is kind of bad,
because the entire reason I made an account for her is so she wouldn't
pester me so she could play nethack. The original permissions on her
account differed from the permissions on my personal account. Modifying
the permissions to match those on my account did not allow her to play
Nethack or run Gnome. I'm fresh out of ideas, so if anyone has
suggestions, I'll gladly try them. I have a sneaking suspicion the
skeleton files for creating new user accounts might not be set up right,
but I could be totally wrong too. Error messages can be provided upon

Machine B is also refusing to let my personal account access to the
CDROM drive, at least under Gnome. This behavior started after the last
reboot. Said reboot happened because X had a password protected
screensaver up that wouldn't recognize my password, tho it had done so
for several days previously... I switched to a console, logged in as
root and told the machine to reboot properly. Now it recognizes my
password but doesn't let me access the CDROM drive. Somehow, I'm not
sure this is a good tradeoff. I haven't the faintest idea what I might
have changed either... Before yesterday, I probably hadn't touched the
poor machine for 4-6 days. Suggestions that don't result in urges to
bang my head against poured concrete walls are welcome. Even suggestions
on what to test would be useful. Don't tell me to do things like change
setuid bits at random... I'm more interested in advice in tracking down
what exactly is messed up. After all, I would *think* I could type the
password on my personal account, so the screensaver should have let me

Machine A has some problems too. The most pressing is printing. It's
hooked up to two printers, an Epson LQ-570+ which prints beautifully no
matter which printer port it is hooked up to, and a Hewlett Packard
Deskjet 820 CSe which won't print no matter which printer port it is
hooked up to. In fact, Linux does not appear to see the HP at all, and
it seems to be refusing to see more than one printer port at a time.
Under Win95 both printers will print. I've attempted to configure the
printers using Redhat's printtool software (version numbers availible
upon request), and gotten halfway to somewhere cause the Epson will
print. I'd just like to get the rest of the way there. I have a sneaking
suspicion that a) printtool will only handle one printer or b) the HP is
a windows only printer and won't work under linux even like a stupider
printer or c) there's some kind of hardware conflict involving the
printer ports. Since the HP is due for retirement, news that it needs to
be replaced with a not windows only printer will not be taken as cause
for hari-kiri. News that it will work under linux would be nice tho *g*.

I have yet to make any progress on Machine A's modem or ethernet card. I
think I need to track down a manual for the modem. As for the ethernet
card, I probably could use a manual, some sleep, and some time to mess
around with it with the NET-3-HOWTO and Running Linux by my side.
Machine B's ethernet card isn't working either. Some machine downtime to
write down relevant bits and pieces off the card, plus some more of the
same stuff as for the other card should fix it tho.

Emily, who apologizes for the length and lack of organization of this

techtalk at linuxchix.org   http://www.linuxchix.org

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