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[vox-tech] Toil! But success
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[vox-tech] Toil! But success



Man, I just had fun(tm) getting this new box I bought from Mark Breitung
working. :^)  It's got a rather old network card, which happens to have
three connectors on it (10BaseT, the RJ45 style we're all used to these
days, as well as BNC and something that looks kinda like a joystick or MIDI
port.. AUI, I think it's called?)  It's a 3COM Etherlink III '3c509(b)' card.

It seemed the EEPROM was set to make the thing always try and use the BNC
connector, so I was never able to get onto my network.  I finally
discovered a tool called '3c5x9setup' which can write new settings to the
EEPROM.  Of course, a lot of my problem is I still don't understand those
oldfangled IRQs and IO Ports.  I'm used to "plug it in, it works" from the
good old days of one-vendor computing (read: Atari 8-bit, and Apple Macintosh)

I seriously hate hardware and PCs, by the way. ;^)


Anyway, no network?  Let's try a floppy disk!  Install mtools.
WHAT!?  Debian Potato want's X-Window common stuff, too?  Force the hell
through that.  Dumb old Debian! :^)

Okay, mtools installed.  Oh wait, the floppy's not working!  Seems we plugged
the cable in backwards. ;)  Easy fix.  But oh no!  Having trouble reading the
disk!  Is the drive broken!?  No... just an old disk.  WHEW!

Okay, time to crack this puppy open.  Erg... install bzip2 and libraries
off the CDROM, THEN crack it open.


Then finally, under Knoppix, after much tweaking and testing, I was FINALLY
able to ping my router.  Then my other desktops.  HUZZAH!  I've got network!

Time to apt-get dist-upgrade to the latest stable (Woody).  WHEW!!!


I'm glad I didn't give up.  And I REALLY thank Knoppix for its help
(detected lots of useful info when it booted up).  I'd be pretty lost,
since I've honestly not done very many Linux installs... and I always stick
to the same set of hardware (Soundblaster, Tulip-based Netgear, etc.)

I almost feel like I'm ready to help more at Installfests.
Wait, what am I saying!?!? :^) :^)


Anyway, thanks again for the box, Mark.  Sorry to rant.  I'm sure if I were
doing this with the more popular OS (Windows), I'd be just as lost... if not
MORE lost.  (Most info I found while Googling for this net card was posts
from people using Linux, even though I didn't include "linux" as a keyword :) )

I made the mistake of telling my dad I've got a computer, and he's already
asking me when I'm delivering it.  D'oh!  Gotta install some software first,
dad! ;)

-bill!
bill@newbreedsoftware.com           "Hey Shatner, ya remember that episode of
http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/   Space Trek where your show got cancelled?"
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