Puppy Seamonkey 2.02 - Any Ruff Edges?
I kinda lost track of Puppy over the last several months. I have followed Puppy's development since it's inception and last tested version 1.08. Puppy has always been a simple Linux distro that I have used primarily for a rescue system for my Linux installations. What's new in the current release of Puppy?
First, I should mention my computer system. Not an easy system for a Linux distro.
Biostar K8M800-a7 AMD64 motherboard.
AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+
1 GIG DDR memory
ST3120022A 120 gig IDE hard drive
Maxtor 6Y080L0 80 gig IDE hard drive
Western Digital WDC WD3200JD-00K 300 gig sata hard drive
Maxtor 6B250S0 250 gig sata hard drive
Viewsonic VA902b 19" LCD Monitor
NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX400 video card
D-Link DWL-G520 wireless PCI card
HP Officejet 6210 All-in-One Printer, Scanner and Fax
Puppy's installation was pretty straightforward. After firing up the Live CD, I configured my mouse, keyboard and X-org to display my monitor at 1024x768 at 24 bps. Once Puppy loaded, I did a hard drive installation on my secondary IDE drive. Although Puppy will recognize sata hard drives automatically with Mutt, it's partition and mounting utility, Puppy does not yet support installing to a sata drive, according to the Puppy Universal Installer (Menu-->Setup-->Universal Installer). So, I elected to install to the IDE drive. Step one completed.
The first order of business was to get my Internet connection established. I wanted my wireless connection to be my main route to the Internet, so I opened Puppy's wireless Internet Connection Wizard (Menu-->Setup--> Wireless Network Wizard). I realized that Puppy comes with ndiswrapper pre-installed, so I know how to load my drivers for the Atheros based wireless card. Having experience with this in Linux, I easily used ndiswrapper to load the Windows XP drivers and configure my WEP and ESSID settings, using the command line function. Since I have a DSL connection, once I loaded the ndiswrapper module, I configured Roaring Penguin to start the connection. I was up and on the Internet in less than 15 minutes.
Wait a minute! I was
lucky enough to have Verizon fios installed the weekend of 8/19/06. I
was easily able to reconfigure Puppy to use my wired connection (eth0).
What about wireless? I now have a constant connection via DHCP, using a
dynamic IP address.
There seem to be two ways to configure my wireless connection. I discovered this quite by accident.
Method #1: The old fashion
way via the command line. I have done this with success in the
past, but this version of Puppy gave me problems. Puppy has ndiswrapper
installed by default, so this is a start. i found that the
original Windows drivers that i have used for ages were corrupt from
copying them over and over, so I downloaded a set of new drivers and
extracted the NetA3AB.inf and the A3AB.sys fresh. After doing ndiswrapper -i NetA3AB.inf, i had a working installation with good driver present hardware present message at the command line. Doing iwlist scan,
I determined the correct channel that the card was on. I added
modprobe ndiswrapper to the /etc/rc.d/rc.local file, using Rox's text
view. A reboot revealed that the card was recognized and the driver
Method #2: Puppy's Ethernet
Connection Wizard. This is where it got a little tricky. The
Wireless Connection Tool failed with WAG problems. I moved on to the
Ethernet Connection Wizard and found that wlan0 was a recognized
connection. Clicking on wlan0, I received the following screen.
In order to use the connection wizard, you need to know the following information;
Name: Give the connection any name that you wish.
ESSID: as assigned by your router, or what name you gave it manually, if you did so.
Mode: Open worked for me.
Key: your WEP key (assumes hexadecimal)
Frequency: leave this blank.
Channel: what channel the card is seen at, from doing iwlist scan mentioned above.
MAC Access point: I determined this by looking at iwlist scan.
Follow the rest of the screens (for me I used auto DHCP for my fios setup).
NOTE: If you have
previously have set-up your wired ethernet card, this can cause a
problem. I had to delete the stale files in /etc/dhcpc (eth0.pid and
all related files, as well as /etc/eth0.mode?? files). If these are
present, they give dhcpcd a fit.
My motherboard uses the onboard via82xx chipset. Use the WizardWizard
to set up sound, choosing via82xx as the driver. How did I know this.
use Puppy's hardware information tool -->Menu-->Control
panel-->Xproc System Information to see what the chipset is.
Printing and Scanning:
See my article on the subject located here.
Puppy comes with a variety of useful packages for everyday tasks. I started this article with Seamonkey's basic html composer, but knew that I needed a full office suite to meet my needs. I was composing a PowerPoint presentation for a lecture the following week and needed presentation software to fit the bill.
Enter OpenOffice. Puppy's Package Manager
(Menu-->Setup--> Puppy Package Manager comes with two types of
package installation methods, Pupget and
Dotpup. There was a set of Pupget
packages for OpenOffice, a “cutdown” version and an
additional full install Pupget package add-on. I elected to install
both, which took about two minutes. My PowerPoint presentation and
rest of this article was written in OpenOffice.