march 30, 2006

SuSE is so cool, but not so fast on my old notebook. So, I went looking for something a bit lighter. I found some cool stuff, but the one that really made me happy was VectorLinux Standard Edition. It boots up really fast! I mean faster than Windows XP on my work P4, Windows XP on my Sony VAIO, Mac OS X on my Powerbook G4, and even Windows ME on this old notebook. This thing is fast. I am running fluxbox as the window manager and it is really nice plus really fast. And the whole system is really light on resources. After boot up, I have 200MB+ of RAM free (out of 320MB), that is pretty amazing since with SuSE, I had about 20MB of RAM free. VectorLinux is great for putting on older hardware like this notebook, but it is not for the faint of heart if you got some weird gear. The install process is all text-based, and not too user-friendly. The hardware setup/detection worked OK, but I ran into some problems my wireless gear. Anyways, that's all I have to say about VectorLinux for right now. I do want to document some stuff for myself, just in case I have to redo my notebook. Getting the wireless networking going with my PRISM card was a pain in the ass. Here's what I did... I edited the /etc/pcmcia/hostap_cs.conf file and changed the "hostap_cs" portion to "orinoco_cs" for the card that I was using -- you can get the name of the card out of /var/log/messages. The hostap_cs module that comes with VectorLinux is borked and the orinoco_cs one works. The encryption for wifi did not work out-of-the-box. The wireless configurator did not work at configuring the card well either. So, I edited the /etc/rc.d/rc.local file to include: That will get the wireless networking configured for an AP and with WEP. If you're using WPA, you're on your own. Anyways, if you have any older hardware, give VectorLinux a try on it. It will revive that old hardware and make it feel all new again.

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