Monday, November 10, 2003

Fedora Core 1

(originally posted at

Downloading this was a pain. I eventually gave up on all the US mirrors and found a server in the UK that was blazingly fast.

Installation went largely without a hitch. The first time I tried to install, I skipped the disc verification. This crashed the installer program and I needed to reboot. The second time I tried to install, I went through the disc verification process and everything proceeded smoothly.

I noticed that beside looking prettier, the installer still couldn't find my ThinkPad (A21p) monitor. That didn't stop it from loading suitable drivers enabling 1600x1200 full-color display. Also curious was in the Personal Desktop installation, samba isn't selected by default.

During the final stages of installation, I chose eth1 (my orinocco card) as my default connection. This was a mistake, though not a drastic one. During the first boot of the new installation the network wasn't located because the pcmcia drivers hadn't been loaded yet!

Once I booted into Fedora, everything was going, well, not smoothly. Rather choppily in fact. Turns out 128 isn't the magic RAM number. Not surprising, I suppose. I checked and RAM looked dirt cheap. Of course, the kind of RAM I need for the ThinkPad (144-pin, 64-bit SDRAM in SODIMM form running at 100mhz) tops out at 256mb per SODIMM - which means I can only have 512 total. What's more, IBM wants $150 per SODIMM. Three hundred bucks is a good chunk of what a decent new laptop would cost. So I'm faced with the question of when to upgrade versus when to buy-new. CDW has similar SODIMMs for just under a hundred, so I may just get one to see if it speeds things up.

Apart from that unpleasantness, I was pleased to find Evolution 1.4 to provide suitable enhancement over whatever version came with RedHat 9. With my previous experience, setting up Firebird and NewsMonster was a snap.

We'll see how an infusion of RAM helps the situation. As I've just told Scotty, Fedora is almost enough to get me to switch from OSX - but not quite.

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