Originally Published: Sunday, 9 July 2000 Author: Stan Shivell
Published to: news_learn_support/Support News Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

LinuxWorld: Presario Problems. How to gently force your Compaq to run Linux

Linuxtoday Tough Compaq may be infamous for building hardware that refuses to run Linux, Nick bought himself a Presario 1600. It took him only two days, three distributions, and the ultimate Internet search engine to equip it with our favorite OS.

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Linuxworld I got rid of my Toshiba notebook computer a while back because I wasn't giving formal presentations very often. That's all I'd ever used it for. Most conferences have islands of publicly available computers for reading and responding to email. I use my handy Palm V for most everything else I need, so I don't take a notebook to a show anymore unless I have to give a presentation. You see, I hate notebook computers. I resent having to lug a 7-pound machine across the country.

However, I had to give a presentation on Linux-based Web development tools at PC Expo this year, and I have a few more presentations scheduled in the next few months. So I gave in and bought another notebook: I picked up a Compaq Presario 1600 floor model. (Yes, I know you can get the cute, light Sony VAIO to run Linux, but the CD-ROM drive wasn't available locally and I needed a laptop immediately.)

After spending two days getting Linux to run, all I can say is, what was I thinking? I know from experience that the most troublesome hardware for Linux comes from Compaq. Over the past several years, I have been able to install Linux quickly on just about any hardware -- from IBM laptops to bizarre no-name home-brew computers. But I've always had trouble getting Linux to run on a Compaq. Call it bad luck. Call it Compaq's fault. I don't know which, but it's the truth.

This notebook was no exception. The first thing I tried to install was Caldera 2.4. Everything went fine except for the XFree86 configuration. The Compaq wouldn't recognize the Trident Cyberblade i1 video, and I couldn't get the video to work with any of the Trident settings when I chose them manually. Red Hat 6.1 was no better........

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