Open source software security

Linux Install Log (Humor)

30 November -0001
I found this bit while rooting around my old website files. Got a bit of a laugh out of it remembering how this whole thing began. Enjoy:

Linux Install Log

dec. 20, 1999
-purchase Sam's Teach Yourself Linux and begin installation of OpenLinux on 266mhz machine. User easily installs and configures OpenLinux (although he discovers that the Sam's book and the distribution CD included do not always jive). over the next month, user tries and retries to successfully install both linux and windows on the same drive. after 3 weeks of sporadic attempts, user finally configures system correctly, including bootmagic which allows user to choose between linux and windows when he boots up the machine. user then fine tunes x windows system and configures modem for a working internet connection.

jan. 20, 2000
-through intermittent experiences, OpenLinux is up and running on a partitioned drive with Win98. through the use of copious notekeeping, user has reliable and extensive database of procedures for formating, partitioning, and installing/re-installing windows and linux. user is instilled with a false sense of confidence because of these facts.

feb. 11, 2000
-after some research SuSE Linux 6.3 [hereafter SuSE] is purchased for $50 at Border's Books. That evening the DVD is inserted (on the newer 400Mhz machine) and auto installation with yast2 (yet another start up tool #2) is left to run automatically. user leaves system to watch 'Rio Bravo' with John Wayne, gets drunk and passes out without further attention to the computer.

feb. 12, 2000
-hangover prevents much attention to the system. That evening, the system seems installed correctly, user logs in, but 'startx' command revels that the x windows system is incomplete. user attempts a re-install at a different setting (takes approximately 1 hour). x windows still incomplete. user re-reads manual and decides to use older version of yast. Sax (graphics based installation tool) fails to function, user resorts to xsetup, another setup tool. mouse appears incorrectly configured, after fixing the problem user finds mouse pointer will no longer leave the top of the screen. attempts to correct this with xconfig only seem to exacerbate the problem. at 11:00 pm, after approximately 5 hours of work, user resorts to beer, which does not solve the problem. user passes out while watching 'The Alamo' another John Wayne flick, and figures he knows how Davey Crocket felt before the Mexican army charged.

feb. 13, 2000
-further hangover prevented by download of jack daniels at 11.00am. user reinstalls SuSE in order to start from a clean slate. user again attempts to reconfigure x, working until 1am, manages to get a gray screen, but no x windows. user gets pissed off and decides to read the manual again and falls asleep.

feb. 14, 2000
-user has trouble waking up for work and curses Linux. on the way to work, user purchases SuSE for Dummies, which seems like an oxymoron to user. during the day user calls computer manufacturer to confirm type and model of graphics card. user reads relevant sections in 'Dummies' book. user commences battle with SuSE at 8pm, works until 1.30am, is sure monitor is configured properly, and that graphics card is configured to the best of his ability. user even installs SuSE 6.2 to confirm problem is in fact graphics card.

feb. 15, 2000
-user searches online for tech specs on users graphics card. using an alta vista search user discovers an archive on the SuSE site that tells of problem with user's graphics card. it seems user's card is supported (as user knew from documentation on the distribution box) but the software wasn't included on the US distribution. user curses the heavens and germany and linux and self, downloads software. figuring user has the problem solved user begins work on computer at 8pm again. at 11pm user finally gets SuSE x windows session configured, but picture seems grainy, user discovers color depth is set to 256 colors. user works to rectify problem until 12.43am when user finally increases color depth to 32bit, does a little dance, slams a beer, inhales a cigarette in one complete drag, and figures his troubles are over.

feb 16, 2000
-user sets up new area of his website, declaring he is microsoft free! user figures the rest of the set up of SuSE will be a breeze (during his OpenLinux experience getting x windows working was his most difficult task). user celebrates and returns home after work to surf the web microsoft free. user configures his modem exactly as he had on his OpenLinux system. user queries modem and receives 'modem not found' or 'modem busy' for all the possible settings of modem. user re-reads all manuals and documentation, including Sam's book, curses creationdom, and decides his modem is not going to work. 11.00pm user reinstalls windows 98, user's stomach turns. user rechecks modem type and settings using windows, confirms his notes were accurate. user connects to the internet 35 minutes after starting to wipe hard drive, realizes this, spits and curses and realizes implicitly why people use windows, and begins to search the internet. user first searches SuSE site for supported modems, fails to find user's modem type listed. user figures he's come too far to quit and begins research on buying a new modem. user finds documentation that all external modems work with linux (not sure if this is true). user finds a supported modem for $46. user gets pissed off that he has to spend more money for linux (which is supposed to be free). user then stumbles across relevant pages on SuSE website on installing modems. documentation looks promising, but user suspects he has a winmodem (read 'a piece of useless crap'). user looks at clock (1.12am) and realizes he hasn't gotten to sleep before 1am since he purchased SuSE, and has averaged 5 hours of sleep a night all through the work week. user halts his system.

feb. 17, 2000
-user buys coffee on way to work (user never drinks coffee). user writes this log as an epitaph for those who may follow his footsteps. user intends to research modem installation and resume after work.
-at 10.45am user finishes research. by contacting gateway user discovers that his modem is in fact NOT a winmodem (woohoo!) but a PCI modem (plug and pray). user discovers a doc in the support database of the SuSE site labeled 'configuring a pci-modem.' user is heartened, but won't rest easy until modem is configured. user prints out all relevant docs from SuSE site and tech specs from gateway.com. User notes that some SuSE documentation includes instructions for reconfiguring the kernel. user knows the kernel is the heart of linux and something not to be messed with by the uninformed. user is frightened.
-1.33pm after doing some more research and reading the section on SuSE in Slashdot user discovers he is not a moron. apparently SuSE is one of the harderst distributions to install, and lots of manual configuration is needed. user even read an article by a veteran user with a similar system that had almost the same problems with SuSE. these problems were only overcome by article author's persistance. user sighs.
-after returning home from work user tackles computer again. reinstallation of SuSE over windows, and x configuration goes without incident. user attempts to configure modem using technical readouts from work for the next 3 hours. user has no luck. at 11pm user gets bright idea to open up his hard drive and move modem around to different PCI slots in an attempt to force recognition. user discovers that gateway machine secures the bolts on hard drive case, spends next 1.5 hours struggling with bolts to remove case. after finally succeeding with removal by resorting to a butter knife, user begins changing modem's PCI slots and testing new configurations. user spends at least 1 hour doing this. at 1.35am user discovers that when manual says "make sure computer is disconnected from all power supply BEFORE opening hard drive case," manual is not fibbing. after recieving a mild electric shock while removing modem card, user decides it it a sign from god, drinks a beer and falls asleep.

feb. 18, 2000
-user wakes up with 2 minutes left before he has to leave for work. user realizes that living on 5 hours of sleep a night is NOT a viable operating system. user rushes to work (cutting himself shaving), buys more coffee (an increasingly frequent trend) and begins contemplating buying Caldera's OpenLinux and returning SuSE. user fires of 2 emails to SuSE support, with very detailed descriptions of efforts to configure modem. user is afraid modem configuration won't work with any version of linux. user feels SuSE is seriously diminishing his faith in linux.
-user commences online search for support, determined not to give up. at 10.50am user finds LinuxDocs, an index of the linux How-To files [linux provides a lot of nifty help files like How-To's, and 'man'(manual) files. Man files cover commands, so if you wanted to find out about the setserial command in linux, you could just type 'man setserial' into your terminal and get the manual pages, which are very handy. there's even a 'man man' page :)]. user realizes that SuSE How-To files were incomplete on his installation. user grumbles, but is heartened to find over 50 pages about finding, configuring, and installing modems (including material for real dummies (i.e. 'What is a modem?')). user regains some faith, sets to reading pages, trying to ignore the burn on his thumb from last night.
-1.28pm while reading the linux modem "How-To," user finds the following passage in section 2.1:

Internal modems present a special problem for Linux, but will work just as well as external modems provided you avoid the high percentage of them that will work only for MS Windows, and also provided that you spend time (sometimes a lot of time) to configure them correctly.

although user knows he does not have a Winmodem, he takes special note of statement (sometimes a lot of time) and sighs.
-2.04pm user has read enough of the How-To pages to discover that his modem is a "controlerless" modem, i.e. it is a winmodem. user hopes death on gateway for misinforming him, wasting his time, and telling him he didn't have a winmodem. user decides he must purchase a new modem.

feb. 26, 2000
-after ordering and recieving an $80 Diamond SupraExpress external modem, user connects to the internet. to date the computer is functioning properly on a partitioned HD (win98/SusE) connected to the internet. the learning experience is far from over, however. configuration problems remain and user has yet to discover a simple way to boot from linux to win98 without shutting down the computer (SuSE doesn't seem to have a restart option). user is heartened by hard won successes to this point and forges blindly (and perhaps ignorantly) ahead :).