...making Linux just a little more fun!
EJB [ejb at intergate.com]
Several years ago, on a whim while at an OfficMax store I came across a sale going on regarding Mandrake v7.0 Linux and dis-satisfaction with MS (and the lower sales price) gave me reason enough to purchase the Linux package ... from the view of an owner/operator of several units - best thing I think I ever did. Couldn't believe that Linux software went on as smoothly as it did - and it worked - well mostly it worked but it did it well enough for me to keep an eye on the Linux OS which were available.
Recently I pulled an old Dell Latitude CPi D330XT out of "storage", deciding to keep it as a back up and fully operational unit and once again I've come across an old problem, one I never did solve in the past.
What I have is the following:
. A Dell D300XT laptop with a 10GB HD and 256kRam
. Mandrake v9.1 Linux and MS 98SE for Operating Systems
With disk partitioning, I've set or better, limited the HD space to just 2GB, with Mandrake v9.1 getting the rest of the available HD space. Yes, it does work/fit and very nicely at that but ...
PROBLEM I: SOUND - how do you get Linux to recognize the built-in sound card/chip which is available with these old Dell machines? At present,there is no sound at all and there is little doubt here but that and for want of a better term, "it's there" and it's just a case of finding out how to activate it.
PROBLEM II: PPP - It's timing out. I can get the dialer to dial in to the ISP but there's no data flow going on and the PPP times out. How do I get this software to "click" and connect?
PROBLEM III: SCANNER - I have an old (but very reliable V300 Microtech scanner but I can't get the Linux software system to recognize that the scanner is there. Win98SE will recognize it and operate it and there's no doubt here but that Linux will do it to - if I find and "set all the switches" in the proper manner.
I'm open to any and all ideas and suggestions.
Thanks for your time an interset.
Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]
Quoting EJB (email@example.com):
> Several years ago, on a wim while at an OfficMax store I came across a sale > going on regarding Mandrake v7.0 Linux and dis-satisfaction with MS (and the > lower sales price) gave me reason enough to purchase the Linux package ... > from the view of an owner/operator of several units - best thing I think I > ever did. Couldn't believe that Linux software went on as smoothly as it did > - and it worked - well mostly it worked but it did it well enough for me to > keep an eye on the Linux OS which were available. > > Recently I pulled an old Dell Latitude CPi D330XT out of "storage"....[...]
> . What I have is the following: > . A Dell D300XT laptop with a 10GB HD and 256kRam > . Mandrake v9.1 Linux and MS 98SE for Operating Systems
I noticed you post substantively the same query to the SF-LUG mailing list, and was going to respond to you there, but here's fine, too. I have bad news and good news.
The bad news is that it's going to be difficult for TAG members and other Internet-connected Linux advocates to advise you about this machine remotely, for the simple reason that there's next to no information on the Internet about a Dell Latitude CPi D330XT laptop model. This is a rather unusual situation. Among other places, there are two main information sources on the Net about Linux and laptops:
o Linux on Laptops, e.g. for Dell models http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html
o Tuxmobil, e.g., for Dell models http://tuxmobil.org/dell.html
You'll notice that neither of those sites has a link for a Dell Latitude model called "D330XT" or even anything close to that. Either the D330XT was a rare machine or (maybe?) you might have written down the model slightly wrong(?). The latter possibility might be worth checking.
Lacking such sources of information, it's not possible for Linux hardware people (such as me; I dabble in that subject) to tell you what particular chips for sound and for USB (among other things) the D330XT contains. Drivers on Linux (and, actually, any operating system, though this fundamental truth is often concealed behind "wizards" and such) are always written specifically for particular models of chips -- often called "chipsets" in this context. For a Linux hardware guy wanting to know how to make, say, sound work on a given motherboard when it doesn't work (as the expression goes) "automagically" through the OS installer autodetecting it and supplying the right driver without the user needing to think, the first and primary question is: What's the sound chipset? Knowing the sound chipset, the Linux hardware guy can then look up what Linux driver supports it, and you go on from there.
Ordinarily, I just search the Web for a specific model of motherboard (or laptop), and pretty soon I find out what the onboard sound chip is, which a couple of minutes later (with any luck) lets me give advice on how to get sound support going.
In this case, no go, because I'm not finding anything useful on "Dell Latitude CPi D330XT", which means either no such thing ever existed or few people have ever seen one.
Anyway, that's the bad news. The good news is: You have the advantage of having physical possession of the laptop, and having Mandrake Linux 9.1 on it.
And, by the way, might I mention that Mandrake Linux 9.1 is unbelievably ancient? That might very well be your sole problem. For Heaven's sake, it was released in March 2003, over five years ago. That means all of its hardware support is unbelievably antique, too.
The distribution hasn't even been called Mandrake for 3 1/2 years: It got renamed to "Mandriva" in mid-2005. The distribution has had ten releases subsequent to Mandrake Linux 9.1. Good grief! You therefore might want to cease banging your head against that particular wall and either download or buy Mandrive 2009 -- if you like Mandrake Linux. More information about Mandriva:
Comparative information about distributions: http://distrowatch.com/ http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/index.php?page=kicking#distro
My best advice is thus to abandon the current effort to tame your laptop on Linux Mandrake 9.1, and try something produced in this half of the decade. However, if for some reason you'd like to explore using what you have:
Running this command as the root user produces a report on all PCI-type devices found on the system:
# lspci -vv | less
(The "#" represents the root-user command prompt. You don't type it.)
What you'll see is a quite verbose (thus the double-v option) report of PCI information directly from the motherboard's PCI chip. Somewhere in that swamp of data, a determined user will find make and model information about any sound chip that's embedded into a (typical) motherboard. That information then lets you pretty easily look up what Linux sound driver applies to that sound chip. (This e-mail is already getting pretty long, so I'll defer trying to teach that.)
> PROBLEM I: SOUND - how do you get Linux to recognize the built-in sound > card/chip which is available with these old Dell machines?
Let us know what that chip is, and we might be able to help. ;->
> PROBLEM II: PPP - It's timing out. I can get the dialer to dial in to the ISP > but there's no data flow going on and the PPP times out. How do I get this > software to "click" and connect?
Again, the odds are that this problem will simply vanish with a newer distribution. However, once again, you've given us absolutely nothing in the way of information about the relevant hardware. What modem are you attempting to use? Is this an onboard modem built into the laptop's motherboard, something on a PCMCIA card, or what? You don't say.
If it's an onboard modem, it might very well be a "winmodem" aka softmodem -- one on which the manufacturer deliberately cut corners on chip count, omitting some crucial chip component that then is expected to be emulated in software, the design of which is held as a manufacturer-proprietary secret such that the open source community cannot within reason write real, open source drivers for that particular cut-rate component, and you're obliged (if you insist on using that brain-damaged hardware) to download and install proprietary Linux driver hardware where it's available at all.
A long-ago rant I wrote about winmodems: http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/#winmodem
Of course, we don't know you're trying to use an integrated cheapo winmodem. We so far don't know anything about what you're trying to use. Our knowing what you're trying to use is prerequisite to our helping you know how to use it.
> PROBLEM III: SCANNER - I have an old (but very reliable V300 Microtech > scanner but I can't get the Linux software system to recognize that > the scanner is there.
Important suggestion: It's really, really important to get the names of your hardware right, when seeking help from the Linux community with it. In this case, I could search all day long, and find nothing useful about "Microtech" V300 flatbed scanners -- because it's actually a Microtek.
Also, it's really helpful to specify what type of device you're speaking of. Armed with the correct name, "Microtek V300", I was able to determine that information for you -- but you really should have provided it. To wit: You're talking about either a parellel-port scanner, originally costing about US $30, or a SCSI one that was usually bundled with a very inexpensive Adaptec AVA1505 SCSI adapter card.
These are two separate and somewhat different problems. Before trying to help with that, it would be very useful (again) to know what specifically you have. Help the Linux community help you: Please be specific and detailed in describing the problem!
It should be noted that, as usual, getting Linux support going for the more-squirrelly sort of cheap hardware, in this case the parallel-port variant, is more convoluted than for the less cut-rate variant (SCSI). Why? Mostly because running devices like scanners or Iomega Zip drives on the parallel-port "bus" was always a kludge: The manufacturer took a relatively decent SCSI-type device (scanner, Zip drive, tape drive, etc.), put it in an enclosure, and hardwireed the SCSI inteface to a chip that converts its signals to parallel-port ones -- just so the user doesn't have to buy even a cheap, terrible SCSI card. Therefore, getting OS (including Linux) support working for such a parallel-port device requires getting SCSI support going, then also getting the shim working that sends SCSI commands over the parallel-port transport, and last getting going the actual driver for the device (e.g., scanner) going so that scanner software can talk to it.
FYI, the standard scanner software on Linux is "SANE" (Scanner Access Now Easy), http://www.sane-project.org/ . You'll find good information about hardware information there. TAG (this mailing list, The Answer Gang) can potentially guide you through that, but, again, we need to know specifically what you have.
> I'm open to any and all ideas and suggestions.
And, once again, odds are that all of your problems will go away if you try something less ancient than Mandrake 9.1 -- because the autoprobing software inside Linux distribution installers improves all the time.
That's what I'd try first. With reasonable luck, your other problems might just vanish. If not, come back with a specific description of what you have, and (also) what specifically you tried, in attempting to make things work.
-- Cheers, "I'm sorry Dan, what's right isn't always popular, Rick Moen and what's popular isn't always right." firstname.lastname@example.org -- George R. Moscone, Nov. 27, 1978
Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]
> I noticed you post substantively the same query to the SF-LUG mailing > list, and was going to respond to you there, but here's fine, too.
Er, my mistake. Apparently not. Maybe I came across your TAG posting twice, and mistakenly thought I'd seen it on SF-LUG the first time. Sorry about the confusion. (It's been a long day.)