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 on: January 01, 2016, 03:40:06 AM 
Started by jharris1993 - Last post by jharris1993
Just thought of something. . . . .

I don't think setting +/- x will prevent a local html file from being displayed in the browser.  Assuming that this is true, the fix would be to rename the file to have a leading dot.  Then the script will barf with a "file not found" type error.

Either way. . . .  It will be interesting to play with.

Jim (JR)

 on: January 01, 2016, 03:19:36 AM 
Started by jharris1993 - Last post by jharris1993
Thanks (and a Happy New Year!

Once I get a bit more familiar with DSL, (and if I can find a good spot on the Control Panel for this kind of tweak), I might take a shot at a "preference" to enable/disable this.  Though DSL is an excellent learning environment, I am sure that there are many users who blanch at the thought of editing their xinitrc!

One thought that might really work (at the functionality level - how to implement it in the control panel is another story!), is to add a call to another script in xinitrc.  The new script would work something like this

1.  Call the "getting_started" html page
2.  If it returns "not executable", just bail.  i.e. redirect stderr to /dev/null?

The preference toggle could work like this:

1.  Create two buttons - or a "flippy" button like the mounter has - and give it two states:
  (a)  Enabled
  (b)  Disabled

2.  Create a script that would do something like this:  (pardon the Windows coding style)

         message = "enable"
               chmod +x /usr/share/doc/dsl/getting_started.htm

         message = "disable"
               chmod -x /usr/share/doc/dsl/getting_started.html

Any thoughts on:
1.  How to implement this?
2.  (assuming I get it working) How to submit "upstream" (to you?) for inclusion in the next release?

You're right about one thing - Ubuntu/Mint/Fedora/Slackware/et.al. are two "damn" Grin complicated to try this kind of nonsense on without a whole lot more coding/scripting experience than I have.  (there's less to fight with, and less to "break")  There is (also) likely to be a less obnoxious "submit" method for patches/updates.

Any other development efforts going on now that DSL has risen like the Phoenix that it is?  I'd love to just hang out and soak up the skills.

Thanks again for your advice and encouragement!

Jim (JR)

p.s.  The "Preview" functionality on the board is broken - at least in Firefox.  Is there a place where I can submit bug reports against the forum site itself?

 on: December 31, 2015, 02:30:03 AM 
Started by linuxMigrant - Last post by jharris1993
I had run into much the same problem - and I spent much time pounding my head on my basement's cement floor trying to fix it - until I *FINALLY* figured out what the problem was:

The error message "ERROR: "/dev/cloop has no BIOS device name!" " translated from OS gibberish to human readable English is "The drive you're trying to install Grub on is not directly connected to the computer's motherboard somewhere.  Perhaps it's connected via a USB cable?"

I found the best way to get Grub to install was to take a computer and connect the hard drive directly to the computer's motherboard via either a direct IDE or SATA connection to the MoBo's (<-- geek-speak for "Motherboard"), internal connectors.  eSATA, FireWire, USB, etc. won't cut it since (in most cases) the device was not recognized as a bootable device at startup.

I did everything possible to "fix" Grub: Voodo, burning brown rice, sacrificing small rodents, threatening it with my gigantic wood-splitting maul, and so forth.  All to no avail.  It was only after I got a clue about what the error actually ment, and hooked the drive directly to the motherboard, that I had any success at all installing DSL on a hard drive.

Hope this helps someone.

Jim (JR)

 on: December 31, 2015, 02:14:35 AM 
Started by Nathuksouth - Last post by jharris1993

And yes, I know that this thread is a bit stale. . .  However, having run into the same issue recently using several different versions of DSL, I thought I'd toss in my two centavos.

Edit the boot command-line to remove the word "quiet", since "quiet" causes all the very interesting - and informative! - boot messages to be hidden.  In cases like this where hardware may - or may not - be misbehaving, it is absolutely crucial to know what the system thinks about it at boot-time.

If you have, (for example), a 3-Com 3C589D PCMCIA card in a laptop slot on your system, and you get messages like "unrecognized PCMCIA device '3-Com 3C589D' " - then you know that messing around with the "net setup" won't get you far since this is telling you that the system has no clue what your network card is.

On the other hand, if you get messages that indicate that the system found the card, recognized it as a network card, successfully activated it, and attempted to get it working by "backgrounding" something like DHCP. . . .  if your network still doesn't work, then the net-setup page may well be your answer.

Important take-away:  Especially in Linux, and double-especially in micro-Linuxes like DSL, Boot Messages Are Your Friend!

In my case, the card would get recognized and activated, but I'd have no network connection, so I had to go to the Net Setup section and give it a boot up the arse with a #9 steel-tipped boot  Wink  by making sure that within Net Setup the network was set to "DHCP" and not "Manual" (or "static")  This is supposed to happen automagically, but often times it does not.

If your card, (or WiFi, or whatever), is NOT recognized at boot time, you will need to spend some time on the Web researching it.  Searching for whatever the text of the error message is, is often very helpful.

Hopefully this tiny addition will help someone else out there in Television Land who is banging their head against The Network Dragon.  (And now you know why Network Admin's get the Big Bucks!)

What say ye?

Jim (JR)

 on: December 30, 2015, 10:04:58 PM 
Started by jharris1993 - Last post by CNK
Great post, I agree. DSL provides a great platform for learning about Linux and it is far more open to fiddling with things than many mainstream distros which complicate their workings with various scripts and background processes.

On the bottom rung of the Linux hardware requirements ladder, there is also BasicLinux (http://distro.ibiblio.org/baslinux/). In some ways this is an even better learning platform to find out about the very basics of Linux, because it really is so simple that one can just browse around the directories and see how things fit together. I installed it on an old Toshiba T1910CS with a 33MHz 486 and 8MB RAM, in a multi-boot with DOS and Win95. Getting it to work with WiFi I learned a lot about wireless chipset drivers and PCMCIA functionality which I probably wouldn't have been able to do nearly as easily playing around with a larger distro. After digging into BasicLinux, DSL starts to look massive!

It's very interesting to look at how something works in its simplest form in BL, then see it working to it's full extent in DSL, then boot a mainstream distro and find out that they changed how the whole system worked in 2010. :(

 on: December 30, 2015, 09:39:56 PM 
Started by jharris1993 - Last post by CNK
Edit the file "/home/dsl/.xinitrc" to put a hash (#) at the start of the line:
dillo /usr/share/doc/dsl/getting_started.html &>/dev/null &

That will disable the help message. This file is also where you can put commands to load other programs after the desktop loads.

 on: December 30, 2015, 03:59:53 AM 
Started by CNK - Last post by jharris1993
Yes. . . .  I know this topic is "stale" - which means maybe it's time to freshen it up a bit! Grin

What do *I* run DSL on?\

Short answer:  Whatever I can.

Longer answer:

Systems that are "mentally challenged"  Roll Eyes because it's a hoot, and you learn a lot about running a distro efficiently when you are doing it on a "sub-optimal" system.  My latest project is getting it to run on an absolutely ancient Libretto CT50 (P1, 815 meg HD, and a whopping 16 megs of ram).  And it's actually running, albeit slow as molasses.  And that's the challenge:  Can I get a system that reached its peak with Windows 95 to run DSL efficiently and well?

Even if I ultimately decide that this system is just too cramped to run any distro, I will have still learned a lot along the way.  For which I am immensely grateful.

Thanks again for a very useful distribution.

Jim (JR)

 on: December 30, 2015, 03:49:54 AM 
Started by jharris1993 - Last post by jharris1993

So. . . .  Here is one of the reasons I really like messing with DSL. . .

Most Linux distro's - even the "tiny" ones, assume you have (relatively) massive amounts of memory and hard-disk space.  And on those systems, if you do something sub-optimal, it is likely that you won't see the real impact of your mistake - it gets drowned in the sheer size of the distribution.

In DSL, you can try to run this beastie on hardware that is really ridiculous by any other standard.  And if you 'naff-up, the system tells you in short order by crashing, freezing up on you wile you thrash swap, or something similarly obvious.  It is because DSL is such a small distribution that it becomes useful - the small size makes it easier to see how the pieces fit together, how they articulate, and how one aspect of the system affects the others.

Also, it's a real challenge to try to get a system that is both stable, and responsive in something insane like a system with only 16 megs of memory.

And it's because you can run DSL on systems that are insane by any other reasonable standard, that you have to really pay attention.  I've learned a thousand times more about setting up an efficient system by crashing DSL, than by reading a hundred books on the subject.  And it has served me well - I have a 15 Tb server, running Mint/Cinnamon, on a system that reached it's prime in the '90's - and it runs just as well as someone else's 8-core i7 with mondo amounts of memory.  It's all about knowing where to trim the fat, and knowing what fat is important to system stability and performance.

And then, there's the sheer challenge of it:  Trying to make a system useful that someone else would not even bother to heave out, because it would be a waste of his time and effort.

And that is the main reason I admire DSL.  I don't always use it, but I sure respect the hell out of those who maintain it.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)

 on: December 30, 2015, 12:26:52 AM 
Started by John - Last post by jharris1993
After a long hiatus I am bring this project back to life.  The first step was to bring this site back to working order.  We now have a functioning forum (this).  The old forum is now static HTML and it available here (http://damnsmalllinux.org/static/).  

Next I'll be doing a release of DSL to fix some bugs and time-bugs and get the distro in proper working order.  For now I do not see the scope of the project changing much -- the goal will be the same, pack as much utility and applications into 50 MB as possible.

Yipee!!!  Hurray!!!  Большое тебе спасибо!!!  Muchas Gracias!!!

"DSL" has been one of my favorite distro's since it was designed to fit on a 1.44 floppy. . .

I know that I am a "sick, twisted little man", but one of my hobbies is to take the most ridiculous, ancient, and crufty pieces of hardware out there, and re-purpose them with DSL.  My current project being an ancient Toshiba Libretto CT50 (Pentium 1, 640x480x16 bit, 16 *megs* of memory, 815 meg HD), that I am trying to bring back to life with DSL.  And!  I've just about succeeded too.

DSL is an excellent distribution for just that purpose, as it is a much lighter-weight distribution than things like Tiny Core, or Puppy. (Not that I have anything against them, they just won't work on a 16 meg system with 815 megs of hard-drive!)

Thanks so much for "taking up the torch" so to speak.  I'm glad to see this beastie is back in business!

Jim (JR)

 on: December 29, 2015, 11:54:09 PM 
Started by jharris1993 - Last post by jharris1993
When starting DSL - any version - the first thing that happens once the desktop finishes loading is you get a web-page titled "Getting Started", and (AFAIK), there is no way to say "Alright already!" and ask it not to appear.

Granted, it's a useful and potentially important page, but I'd really like to be able to disable it from appearing every time I boot the "damn" system!  Grin

Any ideas?


Jim (JR)

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