[techtalk] Linux on a ThinkPad, and thx for help earlier

Julie Meloni jcm at i2ii.com
Mon Nov 29 10:06:23 EST 1999

A few weeks ago I sent a "frustrated about installing packages" message,
then had to fly  off to Calfornia twice a two weeks and forgot to say
THANKS to the people that reminded me to check simple things before
pulling my hair out. :)

My package install problem was the classic "looks like it's there, but
really isn't...completely....just reinstall it and it's fine" issue.

Beyond all that, just wanted to add a success story to the mix:

"Yes, Virginia, You CAN run Linux on a ThinkPad 755CD"

The ThinkPad 755CD, circa 1996, seems to be a popular $2-300 machine on
eBay. At laest, that's where I got mine.  The base system is: 486
DX4-100, 810mb hd, 8mb ram, swappable floppy and cd-rom, 2 PCMCIA Type
II slots, and the internal IBM mwave modem/sound card combo. 

First, assume you will never get the internal modem/sound card working
until IBM learns to share their specs with the people trying to write
mwave drivers.  Instead, go out and get a cheapo fax-modem and/or
ethernet card.  I have both.  No problems detecting any off-the-shelf

While I've heard many tales of successfull installs with just the base
hardware configuration, I dropped $80 on a 32MB memory card, bringing
the total ram to 40mb.  Combine that with a just _sick_ swap partition
(put it this way, I wasn't paying attention and typed 2 zeros instead of
1, then decided "oh what the heck, I'll keep it").

Now, according to all of the documentation I've read, in order to get
the floppy to work and the initial bootdisk/ramdisk pair to go through
the install process, one must specify thinkpad=floppy.  Of course, that
always KILLED the install for me, so I must have the red-headed
step-child of ThinkPads, because my floppy works fine without that
config option.  Go figure.

In short, this little machine hasn't crashed since the install, is
Enlightened, and creates images in Gimp faster than the super-slick Macs
that the our artists use.  That really ticks 'em off. :)

Oh, it's a Slackware 4.0 install, purely because I like the "Get Slack"
bumper stickers.  I'm a sucker for advertising.

Anyway, yay Linux! :)

- Julie


Julie Meloni		i2i Interactive (east)
Technical Director	703-813-5526
jcm at i2ii.com		www.i2ii.com


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

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