Saturday, December 19, 2009

Radio Linux

I've been wanting to gain more exposure with Linux for several years now. About 5 years ago I ran my in-house web server on Redhat but after taking it offline and switching to a host provider I've done very little with Linux. I got a new laptop earlier this year and wanted to try it out since I had some good horsepower but no matter which distro I tried I couldn't get any of the LiveCDs to work. I wanted to go down this road because I wasn't sure which distro I'd like.

I was inspired once again after picking up the January issue of Linux Journal which had several nice articles about Linux and amateur radio. My hard drive is full of various distros and once again I couldn't get any of them to work. I finally reached a small level of success by doing a USB drive install. It seems that Linux doesn't like my CD drive.

With the taste of victory in my mouth I decided to make a change. Unfortunately the only USB drive I had available was a 1GB drive which meant I couldn't use persistence. OfficeMax had their SanDisk Cruzer drives on sale so I picked up a 8GB, ran home, and quickly did a Xubuntu 9.10 install. My history stayed true and wouldn't you know it didn't work. For whatever reason the Cruzer doesn't show up as a valid boot device. To say I was hacked is an understatement. I still have no idea why the Memorex shows up fine but the SanDisk doesn't.

It was suggested to me that the drivers might not be working from the LiveCD but a full install to the hard drive should work. I downloaded the latest Ubuntu 9.10 ISO and tried it. Of course it didn't work. Why should I have expected it to? I decided to go with what worked. I popped the Memorex in, rebooted, and did a full install to the hard drive. Which reminds me. I picked up a 40GB hard drive from CompUSA for $25. It's a small investment to run a dedicated Linux install while I try to overcome the pain I've experienced.

After long last the install worked and I'm making this post from a clean Xubuntu 9.10 install on my new hard drive. I'm finally happy.

Well, this is a much longer post than I'd anticipated so I'll sign off for now. Time to start downloading some amateur radio software!!

Linux Penguin

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