|This page dedicated to my success of installing Linux Mandrake 7.0-2, from Linux Systems Labs, and my feeble attempt at installing Linux Red Hat 6.0 on a Sager NP9820-S.|
The day the laptop showed up I unpacked, started, and was impressed by what I had chosen as my new system. The only thing I really wasn't too impressed with was that it had Windows 98 pre installed, and like many other contributors to the Linux on Laptops site I decided to split my hard drive in half. One half for Windows and the second half for Linux. I live in both worlds, meaning basically I haven't taught my wife or children how to use Linux. Yet!
The people at Mandrake have outdone themselves on their installation process. I used DiskDruid to cut the hard drive in two and installed Mandrake with absolutely zero problems. My sound card, ESS Maestro 2E, was detected and worked without any other file tweaking needed. The same happened for my video driver, ATI Range LT Pro, and the laptops LCD. Lilo went right on like it was supposed to and both of the operating systems lived in perfect harmony.
The next half an hour or so was devoted to editing
my /etc/hosts, /etc/sysconfig/network, /etc/motd, and /etc/HOSTNAME
files so the system reflected me, my home network, and not the package
developers default parameters.
I did encounter some problems though, and they are related to the PCMCIA devices that I purchased as accessories on my order.
Both the ethernet card and the 56K modem refuse to work under Linux. I have spent about 20 hours trying to get the two cards working, but to no avail. As a wild shot I tried installing Red Hat 6.0 in order to get the full benefits from a networked laptop but Red Hat hated my system. It first failed to find any PCMCIA devices and I thought I could just continue with the install and configure the cards later. Then the installation choked on configuring X windows, locked up and refused to continue with the installation. So I re-installed Mandrake and will continue to attempt at getting the cards working at a later time or spend another $100 (or more) on some cards that actually work with the system.
KingMax PFM-V.90K, PCMCIA Fax/Modem, 56K V.90 Card
"cardctl ident" sees both of the cards but the system fails to load the pcnet_cs and serial_cs drivers. On initialization eth0 fails, as it should because initializaiton is being delayed, and I get two low beeps, one for each card, when pcmcia starts. I have added the cards infomation in my /etc/pcmcia/config file and practically memorized the pcmcia how-to but after searching extensively for some help found out that the KingMax cards do not run on those to drivers. (I'm probably missing a comma somewhere or something.) KingMax re-wrote the pcnet_cs driver but their version of the driver will not compile on the system. David Hinds' pcmcia faq site had a couple of posts about difficulties with the cards, and I've done everything I could to get them running. Anyhow, this little glitch aside, I am a happy with my system.
If anybody out there has gotten these two cards
to work, please email me the how and what to save me from a major headache.
I finally got fed up trying to get Kingmax's ethernet card to work and sent it
back to them for a refund. Then I ran to the nearest place I considered
to carry quality products at a fine price and picked up a Linksys 10/100 Ethernet
PCMCIA card. Needless to say I, it worked like a charm. Minor playing with drivers,
and that was just so the right one was used for my eth0 interface. So....my network
is now up and running. I recieved an e-mail from another Sager user that got their
modem to work (RH 6.1)..so there's
still hope for the modem and I decided to keep it.
It's been awhile since my last update.....everything has gone great. I've gone back and forth between Mandrake and Redhat the last 2 years, finally settling on Mandrake 8.1 as Redhat 7.2 will not install on the machine anymore due to a hang in the pcmcia probe. I'm generally content with the installation, as it's far better than Windows for me, the only contention point that I still maintain is my inability to get the stupid modem working. Thats the only reason Windows is even on the machine anymore...have to connect to the Internet somehow.
If anybody has any more ideas, besides buying a new one. I'd gladly accept a freebe but am not really in the market to purchase another modem at this moment.
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