Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100 - Portable

This is a discussion on Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100 - Portable ; I've set up RH 9 on my HP Omnibook 6100 (in a dual-boot with WinXP). I want to get as much "up and running" on linux as possible so that I can run it at work. Optimally, I'd like to ...

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Thread: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

  1. Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    I've set up RH 9 on my HP Omnibook 6100 (in a dual-boot with WinXP). I want
    to get as much "up and running" on linux as possible so that I can run it at
    work. Optimally, I'd like to avoid rebooting into Windows at all, but I
    think there are some times when it will be unavoidable.

    There are several areas that I need to get working. I've put them all in
    this post. Please feel free to reply to a single topic (I don't expect any
    *one person* to give me all my answers :-))

    All help is "much appreciated"!


    1) Basic question - what is ext3? When I installed linux, I used Partition
    Magic to pre-format the partitions with ext2 for /. I chose ext2 because I
    had used it on a previous linux install. Is ext3 suitable for boot and or /
    partitions? Is ext3 kind of like NTFS "V2" (i.e. supports more in the way of
    file permissions, security, maybe even file and folder encryption?) Not
    knowing the difference, I chose to take the safe route. If indeed they are
    "compatible", is there any way to "convert" an ext2 partition to ext3? My
    current config is 2 primary partitions, an extended partition with two
    logical drives. / is on the first logical drive in the extended partition
    and swap is the other. I'm booting with grub in the MBR (in case it
    matters).


    2) Configure X for docked and undocked "profiles" - The OB has a 1400x1050
    TFT display. My "work" monitor is a Dell with 1600x1200. I've got two
    XF86Config files set up: XF86Config.home (undocked) and XF86Config.work
    (docked). Both work fine for their respective profiles (although not as well
    as WinXP - I'd like to get 32bit color working in both profiles, but I'll
    live with 24bit).

    When booting at work in the docking station, I run: cp
    /etc/X11/XF86Config.work /etc/X11/XF86Config
    At home, I cp the home conf file.

    Then I start X.

    Since I now have X pretty well configured, I'd like to boot into the GUI. Is
    there a way of detecting whether I am docked and configuring my config file
    automatically at boot? What about "undocking"? Even if I don't boot into the
    GUI, can I auto-config XF86Config for either docked or undocked?


    3) Wireless - The OB 6100 has an Actiontec Prism wireless 802.11b built-in.
    I have wireless APs at home AND at work (each using different WEP keys).
    When docked at work, I leave the wireless "off" (there's a cool button on
    the side with a blue light when it's enabled) until I need it - using the
    LAN connection (eth0). Currently, If I need my computer in a meeting (away
    from my desk) I undock, push the button to enable wireless, and I'm all set!

    Same goes for at home. Sometimes I'll be sitting in my La-Z-Boy watching TV
    and working and I'll leave wireless off to conserve battery. If I need to go
    to the Internet for something, I push the button and off I go.

    I don't have wireless configured for linux at all. For this I need a nice
    tutorial (thank you!). Will linux support on-again, off-again wireless (on
    demand)? How do I set this up? Will the button work, or will I have to start
    it "manually"?


    4) TCP/IP - Our work network uses TCP/IP, but we also use NBT for internal
    names. I can't access NetBIOS names with linux. Is there a workaround? This
    kind-of goes hand-in-hand with my next question...


    5) SAMBA - I've actually successfully browsed my NT server by using
    smbclient. Oddly enough, I was able to connect by NetBIOS name. How do I get
    SAMBA to work in the GUI? Is it possible to "mount" a SAMBA path, similar to
    mapping a network drive in XP? I'd like to browse network shares from a file
    manager.


    6) Exchange Email - This is probably the most important step to getting me
    on linux "full time". I know that there is Ximian Connector, but it's for
    Exchange 2000 with WebDAV only. We are running Exchange 5.5 SP3 on our email
    server. Is there any way to connect to that from linux without requiring
    modifications to the server?


    7) Last, and probably least... Firewire and video - My 1394 cardbus firewire
    card fails during boot. I haven't really done any troubleshooting on it
    because I don't intend to capture video under linux. To my knowledge there
    are no "professional" video editing apps (compare to Premiere) for linux.
    But I would like to get it working just so I don't always see that big, red
    FAILED flag during boot. Also, I *do* wish to watch video (avi, mpg, mov,
    etc) under linux. My RH distro didn't come with any video players. Any free,
    "opensource" video players out there similar to WMP or QT?


    Thanks in advance for any/all help.

    FBK


  2. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    My RH distro didn't come with any video players. Any free,
    > "opensource" video players out there similar to WMP or QT?
    >


    try VLC.


  3. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100


    Thanks for the tips. just a few questions/comments...


    On 28-Aug-2003, Dances With Crows wrote:

    > > there any way to "convert" an ext2 partition to ext3?

    >
    > tune2fs -j /dev/whatever


    Worked like a champ! Thanks.


    > > I'd like to get 32bit color working in both profiles, but I'll live
    > > with 24bit).

    >
    > What do you mean by "32-bit color"? Most if not all video cards can
    > handle 8 bits R, 8 bits G, 8 bits B, and maybe 8 bits for transparency.
    > X doesn't support using 8 bits for transparency yet. No video card that
    > I'm aware of can use 10 bits R, 10 bits G, 10 bits B, 2 bits unused.


    Maybe this is some kind of Windows B.S., but my ati M6 has 16MB RAM and
    supports 32-bit color. This is not an extra 8 bits for transparency, but
    rather it allows up to 4 billion colors without dithering. However, I see
    your point: RGB color is only 8bits per color per pixel (24 bit max
    excluding alpha channel). What's the point in "allowing" the display of
    colors that RGB can't create? None, I guess. This was likely "invented" by
    vid card mfg to get people to buy the "latest and greatest" card.


    > > Since I now have X pretty well configured, I'd like to boot into the
    > > GUI.

    >
    > Edit /etc/inittab , change
    >
    > id:3:initdefault:
    >
    > to
    >
    > id:5:initdefault:


    Thanks, but I knew that part :-D. My RH 9 install defaulted to gui. I had to
    edit /etc/inittab to change it to runlevel 3 so I could tweak my XF86Config
    file. My real question there was... can I configure something to a)
    determine whether or not I am docked at boot and b) configure XF86Config
    appropriately (essentially selecting which XF86Config file to use: .home or
    ..work)? Once this is running properly, I'll then change my inittab to boot
    to the GUI (resting assured that it will display in the appropriate
    resolution for the current "profile").

    One other thing about X...

    I saw an advert for "Accelerated X" at www.xig.com. Is there any advantage
    to purchasing a commercial implementation of X? Of course, *they* say there
    is, but then again they are trying to sell something now, aren't they? Does
    any self-respecting linux geek use a commercial X server? Are there *really*
    3D limitations to XFree86 that Accelerated X fixes, or are they comparing to
    "older" versions (My XFree86 *has* 3D OpenGL support - is this the same
    thing)?

    > > Also, I *do* wish to watch video (avi, mpg, mov, etc) under linux. My
    > > RH distro didn't come with any video players. Any free, "opensource"
    > > video players out there similar to WMP or QT?

    >
    > http://mplayerhq.hu/ is your best bet. There might be Redhat RPMs
    > available, but you might as well just compile from source. If you were
    > using a distro with good package management, you could just do "emerge
    > mplayer" or "apt-get install mplayer", but this is what you get for
    > choosing Redhat.


    (At the risk of starting a jihad...) I was under the impression that:

    a) Red Hat is solid, but also good for beginners, and
    b) RH "invented" RPMs (others also support)

    Are there "package management" systems that are not RPM? Which distros do
    you recommend (so many to choose from! :-)) that have "good package
    management"?

    Also... I couldn't find a RH 9 RPM for MPlayer so I installed from source. I
    followed a walk-through but too late realized it was part of a larger
    tutorial that was assuming other things were installed. Long story short, it
    doesn't work. I have printed the http://www.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/ instructions
    and am ready to go through "start to finish". However, the compiled,
    installed, and "not working" version of MPlayer still sits on my machine.
    Can I simply compile and "overwrite" or do I need to remove the old files
    first? How does one get rid of something that was not installed with a
    package manager? Do I need to print out the install log and simply delete
    everything it installed? What's the process?

    Thanks for the help!

    FBK


  4. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 16:13:42 GMT, "FlyByKnight" wrote:

    [snip]

    >Also... I couldn't find a RH 9 RPM for MPlayer so I installed from source. I
    >followed a walk-through but too late realized it was part of a larger
    >tutorial that was assuming other things were installed. Long story short, it
    >doesn't work. I have printed the http://www.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/ instructions
    >and am ready to go through "start to finish". However, the compiled,
    >installed, and "not working" version of MPlayer still sits on my machine.


    Or you could get lazy like I did and use the pre-built rpms here:
    http://ftp.falsehope.com/home/rathann/mplayer/i686.rh8/

    These RH8 packages run fine on my RH 9 install on a ThinkPad R40.

    Bill
    ---------------------------------------
    William D Waddington
    Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
    csbwaddington@att.net
    waddington@tahomatech.com
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    ---------------------------------------

  5. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    FYI,

    http://linuxshop.ru/linuxbegin/win-lin-soft-en/

    A great site that lists various windows applications along side the linux equivalents

    Hope that helps you in the future


    On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 11:47:28 -0400, SD wrote:

    > My RH distro didn't come with any video players. Any free,
    >> "opensource" video players out there similar to WMP or QT?
    >>

    >
    > try VLC.


    --
    -
    Spewkie
    http://www.spewkie.com/


  6. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    Spooky wrote:

    > FYI,
    >
    > http://linuxshop.ru/linuxbegin/win-lin-soft-en/
    >
    > A great site that lists various windows applications along side the linux equivalents
    >
    > Hope that helps you in the future
    >
    >


    Nice.

    Almost everything you need (except libdvdcss) comes with the distros
    already though and the KDE/Gnome menus are extremely decently organised
    (not in one Programs Menu like M$) so things are easy to find..


  7. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100


    >
    > Maybe this is some kind of Windows B.S., but my ati M6 has 16MB RAM and
    > supports 32-bit color. This is not an extra 8 bits for transparency, but
    > rather it allows up to 4 billion colors without dithering. However, I see
    > your point: RGB color is only 8bits per color per pixel (24 bit max
    > excluding alpha channel). What's the point in "allowing" the display of
    > colors that RGB can't create? None, I guess. This was likely "invented" by
    > vid card mfg to get people to buy the "latest and greatest" card.
    >


    as far as I rem 24bit = 16.7 million is more colours than the eye can see..


  8. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    Dances With Crows wrote:

    >> there any way to "convert" an ext2 partition to ext3?

    >
    > tune2fs -j /dev/whatever .
    >


    This worked, but on boot it is still being mounted as ext2. The message I
    get is:

    EXT2-fs warning (device ide0(3,5)): ext2_read_super: mounting ext3
    filesystem as ext2

    Could this be due to how I am partitioned? I don't have a boot partition.
    Everything is relative to /. / is the first logical drive in the extended
    partition and swap is the second. I ran:

    tune2fs -j /dev/hda5

    It installed journalling and (obviously) is now viewed by the system as
    ext3. So why is it still being mounted as ext2? Does this matter?

    FBK


  9. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    On Tue, 02 Sep 2003 09:22:24 -0400, FlyByKnight staggered into the Black
    Sun and said:
    > Dances With Crows wrote:
    >> tune2fs -j /dev/whatever .

    >
    > This worked, but on boot it is still being mounted as ext2.
    > EXT2-fs warning (device ide0(3,5)): ext2_read_super: mounting ext3
    > filesystem as ext2
    > Could this be due to how I am partitioned?


    No. How is your / listed in your /etc/fstab? It should be like so:

    /dev/hda5 / ext3 noatime 1 1

    ....if it's ext2, then it will be mounted as ext2. Also, ext3 filesystem
    support must be built in to the kernel (not as a module). Most Redhat,
    Mandrake, and SuSE stock kernels have ext3 support built in; YDistroMV.

    > It installed journalling and (obviously) is now viewed by the system
    > as ext3. So why is it still being mounted as ext2? Does this matter?


    See above. It matters because an ext3 filesystem that's been mounted as
    ext2 will not have journalling enabled--and journalling is the only real
    reason to use ext3.

    --
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
    Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin /
    http://www.brainbench.com / "He is a rhythmic movement of the
    -----------------------------/ penguins, is Tux." --MegaHAL

  10. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    Dances With Crows wrote:


    >> EXT2-fs warning (device ide0(3,5)): ext2_read_super: mounting ext3
    >> filesystem as ext2
    >> Could this be due to how I am partitioned?

    >
    > No. How is your / listed in your /etc/fstab? It should be like so:
    >
    > /dev/hda5 / ext3 noatime 1 1
    >


    LABEL=Linux / ext2 defaults 1 1
    none /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
    none /proc proc defaults 0 0
    none /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
    /dev/hda6 swap swap defaults 0 0
    /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom udf,iso9660
    noauto,owner,kudzu,ro 0 0

    So... no surprise there. I think my ext3 support is being loaded as a
    module, though...

    > ...if it's ext2, then it will be mounted as ext2. Also, ext3 filesystem
    > support must be built in to the kernel (not as a module). Most Redhat,
    > Mandrake, and SuSE stock kernels have ext3 support built in; YDistroMV.


    My kernel log (/boot/config-2.4.20-8) has the following lines pertaining to
    ext3:

    CONFIG_EXT3_FS=m
    CONFIG_EXT3_INDEX=y
    CONFIG_EXT3_FS_XATTR=y
    CONFIG_EXT3_FS_XATTR_SHARING=y
    CONFIG_EXT3_FS_XATTR_USER=y
    CONFIG_EXT3_FS_POSIX_ACL=y

    All are 'y' except the first. Does this mean that my ext3 support is
    configured as a module and hence will not work? Am I looking at recompiling
    my kernel (if so, I'll just compile the new one from kernel.org: 2.4.22)?

    Thanks,

    FBK


  11. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    'Twas Mon, 01 Sep 2003 02:38:07 GMT when all comp.os.linux.portable stood
    in awe as SD uttered:

    >as far as I rem 24bit = 16.7 million is more colours than the eye can see..


    Sort of. There are parts of the 8x8x8 spectrum where people could
    distinguish colors between the colors. Still, I can't imagine the need
    for better than 8x8x8. Something with more than three colors (eg a true
    violet) might produce some colors that RGB does not, but again I can't
    imagine the need.
    --
    RB |\ © Randall Bart
    aa |/ admin@RandallBart.spam.com Barticus@att.spam.net
    nr |\ Please reply without spam I LOVE YOU 1-917-715-0831
    dt ||\ http://RandallBart.com/ Ånåheim Ångels 2002 World Chåmps!
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  12. Re: Newbie questions (a few topics) for HP Omnibook 6100

    Randall Bart wrote:

    > 'Twas Mon, 01 Sep 2003 02:38:07 GMT when all comp.os.linux.portable stood
    > in awe as SD uttered:
    >
    >
    >>as far as I rem 24bit = 16.7 million is more colours than the eye can see..

    >
    >
    > Sort of. There are parts of the 8x8x8 spectrum where people could
    > distinguish colors between the colors. Still, I can't imagine the need
    > for better than 8x8x8. Something with more than three colors (eg a true
    > violet) might produce some colors that RGB does not, but again I can't
    > imagine the need.


    Plus even if Windows spews out 32 bit colour, I dont know if the
    monitors can display that since those things are RGB right?


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