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After 90 days of study, I am still learning but not sure what size USB drives to get

Jay Blair

New Member
Wizard,

I tried the MX Linux from my USB last night. Although my 8.1 in the land of landline 56k dial up booted from the USB about 6 hours ago and I was able to accesss the MX desktop, folders and such, in accessing the network connections, the only options were for Ethernet, dsl and mobile phone broadband.

The Penguin GNU modem support site shows tutorials for driver installation for Ubuntu, Debian and Mint versions 13x to 18x but nothing for MX.

Sad part is even if the four of us living here in the cellular dead zone the surrounding hills maintain by blocking the towers had cellular access using it as desktop broadband or from a phone directly for internet access would cost us a fortune in data each month.

The cellphone coverage here is so spotty that those of us with cellphones dont even have SIms in them and only use them as no subscriber service required emergency services dispatch call only phones if lucky enough to have a vehicle beak down in a gap in the ridges or in the flatland area.

On the bright side although learning that the MX download suggested using Rufus which I found 8.1 will not run, I was able to use Yumi to boot sector the USB to live the MX and discover although a Ubuntu kernel , the dial up drivers would not work before resetting my boot order back to 8.1.

I now will have to decide if I should try downloading a live of Linux Lite or see if Mint 19 will work on 56k.

At least today I know I can boot into Linux and only have to find a way to access my cheap per month dial up ISP :)
 


TechnoJunky

Active Member
In refernce to your comments on security updates in 8.1 vs Linux. It's been a couple years since I used a "regular" distro of Linux, so I don't recall how often or how big or small they are. Since I run Neon and it's a cutting edge desktop, I get updates several times a week and sometimes a hundred files/apps need updating. But regardless, one of the best things here with Linux is that you choose whether to install one, all or none and when. Your distro won't shove it down your throat like MS does. And with the exception of kernal updates, I don't think any patch will suggest rebooting...and when it does, it's up to you as to when you reboot. They just won't take effect until you do.
 
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Jay Blair

New Member
TechnoJunky,
The large MS rollups that have become common as they try to get rid of those still using Windows is why my real world group using 8.1 has me pick and choose which updates to load and get the 75% and sometimes smaller security only updates from the MS update catalog if they apply to our current environment as the I.T. guys with my former employer showed me when I was on campus on an older era hardware consultation job how they are keeping the 8.1s at the plant as uncluttered as much as possible as they introduce Mint to new users and to those who have to access both the MS and Linux networks.

I find it sort of ironic that the guys in my old section are facing the same headaches as I am but they have 5000 people and desktops to convert while I am only dealing with double digits but we are all experiencing the same levels of user conversion understanding.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Jay, on #21 - totally understand. You must forgive me - it has been 13 - 14 years since I have used dialup, and that was before I embraced Linux and showed Windows the door.

Is that

The Penguin GNU modem support site...
This one here?

https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/penguin-56k-dial-modem-support-gnu-linux

Because if so, there may be more options with Distros than you realise.

I almost hesitate to provide you with more reading, because you probably already go to sleep counting Linux Distros bleating as they jump over a fence.

I have reviewed this Thread and your previous Thread, and so far have only seen reference to Debian-based systems ... is that with purpose or shall I bamboozle you further?

The Penguin site also references Mageia, PCLInuxOS, Fedora and CentOS (all RPM-based), Arch and thus likely its derivatives eg Manjaro, and so on.

So let us know if Debian-based or not is a deal-breaker, and we can explore other options.

Wikipedia, here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

... if read and digested, will let you know that there are about 6 Families in Linux, in no particular order -

  • Debian and Debian-based (Debian, MX Series, Ubuntu, LInux Mint and others)
  • RPM - Redhat (commercial), Fedora, CentOS, Mageia, PCLinuxOS and others)
  • Arch - Arch itself (too difficult for your crew, it is DIY), Manjaro, Anarchy, Swagarch, Arcolinux and others)
  • Gentoo - includes Sabayon and Calculate Linux
  • Slackware - includes Slackware itself, Puppy and Porteus and others
  • Other/Independent
So have a think, and sing out

Cheers

Chris
 

TechnoJunky

Active Member
I'm sure there's going to be people who disagree with me when I say this, but unless you want to get your hands dirty a lot, I'd say stick with Ubuntu or Mint. I really like Fedora, but when I had it installed, I had to to lots of work. In fact, I haven't been able to get a solid installation since F21. I've tried several times and things just go wrong causing me to need to do lots of troubleshooting, so I give up and go back to a Ubuntu derived distro. Besides that, if you want to install a package not from the app center, then you have to get converters because everything is packed for Ubuntu out there.
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
To get dialup working, it is likely you will be getting your hands dirty, as @TechnoJunky suggests. I did find in the MX-16 Linux user manual that the Network Assistant included a tab for "PPP Settings"... and (I think) that's what is needed for dialup (not PPPoE, that's ethernet). MX-17 and 18 changed and don't seem to have that same option. I just downloaded the latest antiX Linux (17.4.1) and I can confirm that it does include dialup support using Gnome PPP. (Control Centre > Network > Dial-Up Configuration)

I'm also a user and fan of Linux Mint (more so than Ubuntu). These are mostly quite "Windows-like" to help new users adjust to their desktop, and they are very hardware friendly... but using a phone modem and dialup isn't going to be an out-of-the-box solution with them. Besides the MX/antiX possibilities, there may be others, but I'd have to guess there are few. You might give antiX a trial run as a live version and see what you think. It is quite light on resources too and a pretty good choice for older computers.

Cheers
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Besides that, if you want to install a package not from the app center, then you have to get converters because everything is packed for Ubuntu out there.
Partial disagreement with that Post, from moi, TJ :)

For the benefit of The Viewers, take a look at this fine website.

https://pkgs.org/

It goes across most of the Families other than Gentoo, and is even version-specific.

Given I use the 5 Families (well, only a smidgin of Slackware), I have made quite a bit of successful usage of it over the last 3 - 4 years.

As for Arch, and Arch-based (Manjaro &c), there is the huge AUR (Arch User Repository), whereby to install what I deem a must for every Distro, and that is Timeshift, all I have to do is type in and enter

Code:
yay -S timeshift
... and I'm done.

For packages that fall outside this scope, I have made occasional use of Alien

https://sourceforge.net/projects/alien-pkg-convert/

Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and slackware tgz file formats. If you want to use a package from another distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it.
Example - I have a Dell C3110cn colour laser printer circa 2005, still running good as gold. CD had an RPM for drivers. 10 years on (2015) I used Alien to convert to .deb, works perfectly.

Bottom line with Jay's clients is that any Distro from whatever Family that supports the dialup lowest common denominator might want to be considered. All of the Families go back 10 - 15 - 20 years, so they have the lineage and the pedigree.

Cheers

Wiz
 

Jay Blair

New Member
The information you all provide me goes into my notebook to study and try.

I went into the Ubuntu kernel area for it's use in Mint which most all I read indicated was the easiest to transition to.

When I made the live MX on the 71 year old woman's high speed and opened Firefox from MX , the woman thought that was what she has been using because my first step away of using the Firefox browser instead of IE as I work through.

Now that I have adequate hardware available to all of them, I only have to achieve load configurations for high speed and PPP 56k dial up.

Wizard,

have no fear of overloading me. As my days in the plant had me bouncing from task to task, now I study what is offered here or I find in a search and study and eventually try. When it gets to overwhelming instead of my bosses bouncing me task to task, i just take a breather in real world and let part of my mind slip into "Einstein subconscious think mode" as I work on something else or go to bed.

It was while sleeping that I woke long enough to remember Penguin 56k and made a note on my bedside notepad before going back to sleep, Now that I have it's tutorial printed out and it supports Ubuntu kernel, I tweaked my learning curve to find the lowest impact OS I can apply to them all for my ease .

Just like the guys in suits and ties who called for me to kick start their windows desktops at the plant, my elders all just see their browser and desktop shortcuts I make for them.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
I don't envy you the task you have set yourself, Jay ... but I DO admire you for it. I hope the project's outcomes are everything you and your clients desire/d, and that no objectives are too hard to achieve.

Wiz
 

VP9KS

Well-Known Member
Partial disagreement with that Post, from moi, TJ :)

For the benefit of The Viewers, take a look at this fine website.

https://pkgs.org/

It goes across most of the Families other than Gentoo, and is even version-specific.

Given I use the 5 Families (well, only a smidgin of Slackware), I have made quite a bit of successful usage of it over the last 3 - 4 years.

As for Arch, and Arch-based (Manjaro &c), there is the huge AUR (Arch User Repository), whereby to install what I deem a must for every Distro, and that is Timeshift, all I have to do is type in and enter

Code:
yay -S timeshift
... and I'm done.

For packages that fall outside this scope, I have made occasional use of Alien

https://sourceforge.net/projects/alien-pkg-convert/



Example - I have a Dell C3110cn colour laser printer circa 2005, still running good as gold. CD had an RPM for drivers. 10 years on (2015) I used Alien to convert to .deb, works perfectly.

Bottom line with Jay's clients is that any Distro from whatever Family that supports the dialup lowest common denominator might want to be considered. All of the Families go back 10 - 15 - 20 years, so they have the lineage and the pedigree.

Cheers

Wiz
In slackware command prompt, you can use rpm2tgz to convert rpm packages for use in slackware.

Happy trails
Paul
 

VP9KS

Well-Known Member
The information you all provide me goes into my notebook to study and try.

I went into the Ubuntu kernel area for it's use in Mint which most all I read indicated was the easiest to transition to.

When I made the live MX on the 71 year old woman's high speed and opened Firefox from MX , the woman thought that was what she has been using because my first step away of using the Firefox browser instead of IE as I work through.

Now that I have adequate hardware available to all of them, I only have to achieve load configurations for high speed and PPP 56k dial up.

Wizard,

have no fear of overloading me. As my days in the plant had me bouncing from task to task, now I study what is offered here or I find in a search and study and eventually try. When it gets to overwhelming instead of my bosses bouncing me task to task, i just take a breather in real world and let part of my mind slip into "Einstein subconscious think mode" as I work on something else or go to bed.

It was while sleeping that I woke long enough to remember Penguin 56k and made a note on my bedside notepad before going back to sleep, Now that I have it's tutorial printed out and it supports Ubuntu kernel, I tweaked my learning curve to find the lowest impact OS I can apply to them all for my ease .

Just like the guys in suits and ties who called for me to kick start their windows desktops at the plant, my elders all just see their browser and desktop shortcuts I make for them.
Jay, have you looked at reactos? It is a group of individuals who are building a windows lookalike from the ground up. I think that it is v.4?? by now. Not quite beta, but it looks really good. I think that they say there are 7,000,000 lines of code so far. That is quite an achievement as far as I am concerned!!!
 

Jay Blair

New Member
I read the Penguin dial up cd burn instructions again and it says to use a Linux OS cd to burn it and then load into the OS

As it supports up to the current Mint 19.1, the next time I have access to a high speed connection I plan to load Mint 19.1 to live USB and boot the high speed connected PC with the Linux live Mint and burn the dial up ISO as the live stick should make the PC a Linux machine,

Then bring the DVD and live stick here to my USRobotics connected machine and use them to see if the live stick will configure my linux ready external modem.

Atanere,
Thanks for the heads up on the Network Assistant, When I tried it, it was my baby step to put my windows OS into coma and let the Linux live do the thinking for the machine.
I will study the Mx user manual again to see about setting it for PPP setup and see if it works as soon as I restock on USB sticks to try to set it for us dial up dinosaurs since MX is a more lightweight version.
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
Yikes! The Penguin GNU modem site is very complicated, and I'm not sure all that geekery is needed. It may be, but I would try something simpler first, I think.

I've re-read this thread, but much too quickly, so I may be in error. But I think your modems (for yourself and all your friends) are "hardware modems".... such as a US Robotics, with hardware jumpers to set COM port and IRQ. Yes? If this is so, a hardware modem (probably) does not need any special driver or complex setup because hardware modems are very basic serial devices.

I'm rusty as heck with this stuff (like everyone else) but the Linux kernel should communicate with a serial port with ease, if this is what you have. The hardware jumpers should (probably) be set for COM 1, and IRQ 4, but Linux will communicate with some different terms, like /dev/ttyS0. This is a setting you will find in the Gnome PPP app, if you install it in Linux Mint (or run antiX or other distro that includes it).

So, let me stop here since I'm not sure I'm on the right path at the moment. If you have sofware modems (also known as WinModems) there is some hope, but I never had any luck with them.

On another note, as you are preparing to download and burn Linux Mint to USB. I've seen earlier references to Rufus and Etcher to use as your Windows burning software, but neither of these allow "persistence"... and if there was discussion about persistence, I missed that too. Are you familiar with this technique? In short, if you create your Linux Mint USB that includes persistence, you can install some additional software on the USB besides just what is included with Mint. You may not have much use for this, but the particular program that I am thinking about is Gnome PPP so that your Mint USB will have this installed so that you can test it with each of the systems that you will be installing. When you install Mint to each hard drive, I think you will lose Gnome PPP (and just get the stock Mint) but at least your "master USB" can go from machine to machine and see that the modems are working. [EDIT: Hmmm, if the USB does not install Gnome PPP with it, you're still kinda stuck. Need more beer to ponder this! :D]

So.... if you want to use persistence on your Mint USB, you need another program for Windows. There are a couple or more, but I've had good luck with the Universal USB Installer.

OK, enough of my two cents. I may be way off base.

Cheers
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
""if you want to use persistence on your Mint USB,""...

or you can also use unetbootin
 

Jay Blair

New Member
atanere,
I value all of the "2 cents" opinions as I train myself deeper into the higher level of the engineering sector I chose to early retire from because as one of my senior trainers told me when a engineer from another project offered his 2 cents even though our projects were different but had similarities as we were all on lunch break, after the engineer returned to his project lab,

"take note of his opinion because although just lunch chat 2 cents opinion , often 2 cent input from one who has been there or close to where you are can help you gain a dollar's worth of progress on your own million dollar project ."

I have some notes on the persistent USB approach and once I have the conversion process in full flow mode and am stocked up on Lexus 32 meg 3.0 sticks after the back to school sales tax holiday, I plan to train myself in that so the folks I am trying to help transition will feel as if on a strictly Linux machine but I can reassure them the 8.1 is still there and can be taken out of coma mode for me to update or let them fall back to if any have corruption issues until Win 8.1 goes into the sunset in 2023.

I also agree that the Penguin dial up is geeky dirty, however in the task of converting over a dozen machines to a common OS with some on high speed, some on dial up but all owned by fixed income Orwell's 1984 wary retiree's and I the youngest, I have to consider the fact that they want to keep their online access with what they currently own and all of us would be financially strained replacing. Also some of the group undoubtedly fear they may die before they get away from MS.

I brought it onto myself years ago when one of them brought their dead machine to me to troubleshoot and I replaced the video card and and later one of them brought a dead laptop their grandson discarded and when I disassembled it for a visual burned component inspection, instead I noticed three components loose seated and converted an old de-soldering iron to a crude SMT touch up repair hot air iron by connecting an aquarium air pump where the solder suction bulb had been on the pin de-soldering iron to correct the solder paste cold joints on the loose components and the laptop resurrected.

Since then they have considered me their shade tree PC mechanic and being retired also I have collected junk systems and helped them as I could and did back up restores if needed and handled security updates for them as their machines got bogged down.

Although I got used to feeling like the 10 year old given the digital watch to set for Gradpa, I never thought I would find myself "back in school" learning more of the level that was above my pay grade before retiring, but it's interesting. Also now I have to consider it for myself because I have been retired on my saving for almost 20 years and have at least 20 years ahead of me and entering the budget area they are in now :)

Condobloke,

I noticed the unebootin when I first started studying the task I am addressing but figured since using live stick as the first step if the others didn't work or even if they did, I could try it out of necessity or just to play with and learn to exercise my mind and maintain my cognition nerd style instead of doing crossword puzzles or playing Mah Jong online. LOL
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
Funny the mention of setting a digital watch for Grandpa.... I used to have to set my dad's watch twice a year with the time changes. He never owned a cell phone, and his primary accomplishment with a computer that I gave him was to learn to play solitaire. Technology can definitely be difficult for some, and it's great to give assistance to those who need it. It sounds like you are extremely competent with tech, Jay!

There are many options you have, and you'll find the path that works best for you and your friends. I don't know if you've considered this, but I'll mention it as well.... you and each of your friends can run Linux on one of the USB flash drives as a stand-alone live system, and not touch the Windows hard drive at all. Each path has some drawbacks, and so does this one. For one, the USB is a bit slower than running installed on a hard drive. But instead of each person trying to maintain the frequent (but smaller) updates at only dialup speeds.... instead, fresh new USB drives with clean installs could be made periodically and handed out to the group. With persistence and only a few required additions (Gnome PPP, and Mono or whatever is needed for scanner software).... this seems like a possible choice, among all of those you are considering.

Cheers
 

VP9KS

Well-Known Member
Jay,
The title of this thread just gives me the giggles:p. I'm thinking about all the people, like myself, wiz, Stan (AKA Atanare), and others. I hope we all never stop learning, because that would be a sad day. Besides, it's the journey, not the destination, nes Pa?
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Just a heads up (not for the Mint, but for the MX-series), GNOME-ppp comes installed, so is likely available on the Live



Cheers

Wiz
 

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