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Re: Adventures in 64-bit land

  • Subject: Re: Adventures in 64-bit land
  • From: "Larry Qualig" <lqualig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: 5 May 2006 12:51:45 -0700
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  • In-reply-to: <2289395.Wl0918G6cK@schestowitz.com>
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Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> __/ [ Larry Qualig ] on Friday 05 May 2006 13:49 \__
> Greetings, Larry...
> > So last week I took delivery of a new 64-bit machine. It's fast, lots
> > of memory, large amounts of SATA storage and all that. Decided to
> > install a couple of 64-bit OS's on it. One peculiar thing did happen.
> Peculiar from whose perspective? *smile*

Wow... did I mess that up. I was in such a hurry to get out of the
house on time that I completely left out the "peculiar thing" that

Like I said earlier... I installed Ubuntu first but I knew that I was
going to repartition and format the drives again once XP64 arrived.
During the first Ubuntu install Ubuntu asked me for a machine name. The
default is "ubuntu" but I changed it to "bigboy" (since it's the
newest/biggest/fastest system in the house).

No problem... everything worked, I play with Ubuntu for a while then
last night I install XP64. I have NT delete the single partition that
Ubuntu was using (250-Gigs) and have it create a 120-Gig NTFS
partition. It does this, formats the drive and installs the OS.

I then install Ubuntu and give whats left of the main drive to Ubuntu
as the "/" filesystem root. Ubuntu then starts copying the files,
installing stuff, tells me to remove the CD-ROM, reboots once during
the install, yadda-yadda-yadda. I tell it what time-zone I live in,
etc, etc then it asks me for the machine-name that I want to use. The
weird thing is that it didn't default to "ubuntu" this time but it
defaulted to "bigboy" which is what I called it the first time I
installed Ubuntu.

So the mystery is how did Ubuntu know that I named the machine (bigboy)
the first time? The partition where I installed Ubuntu was completely
removed and I was doing a new install to a new partition.

This seems like a far-shot but perhaps it somehow got the info from the
DHCP server. The MAC address remained the same so perhaps it did some
reverse lookup and resolved the MAC address into the name that the DHCP
server assigned to the system. Otherwise I'm at a loss for how it
remembered the machine name.

> This lights a particular lighbulb, in fact, which goes back just 3 days back:
> http://digg.com/linux_unix/Official%3A_Ubuntu_%28Linux%29_is_easier_to_install_than_Windows_
> > I downloaded the 64-bit edition of Ubuntu and ordered XP-Pro64. While
> > XP was in the mail I installed Ubuntu just to have something to play
> > with on the system. I didn't bother installing the updates because I
> > knew that I would be repartitioning the drive and reinstalling over
> > again once XP64 arrived.
> >
> > Installing Ubuntu was a no-brainer. Boot from the CD, click a few
> > selections. One reboot and the OS is done. Played around with it for a
> > few days but then XP64 arrived.
> >
> > Go to install XP64... go through the initial install screen then the
> > installer stops telling me it couldn't find any disk drives (there's
> > two SATA drives in the box). Hmmm; check on Dells site to see if
> > there's any 3rd party drivers that I need (press F3 during setup) but
> > none appear. I do find a knowledgebase article that says that I need to
> > change the BIOS to present the drive(s) in a different manner. This did
> > the trick.
> To be fair, a new computer that I got in September needed BIOS settings for
> on-board video to be altered before I could get full colour, as opposed to
> VGA. This involved something like extending the amount of RAM or maybe
> changing a particular mode, if I recall correctly. I imagine this would have
> had the same effect on all OSen as I tried both Ubuntu and SuSE, just to see
> the effect of this BIOS setting on this blank machine.
> > XP64 goes about its thing, installs everything, reboots once during the
> > setup, goes into the graphical setup and then the screen goes blank and
> > stays blank. Oh-oh... I wait a reasonable amount of time then reset the
> > machine. Setup starts, tells me it's going to resume the install and
> > things work fine from there. I answer some more questions, do a final
> > reboot and I'm done with setup. Go to Windows update... there are 25
> > updates that I need. They all get downloaded and I need one single
> > reboot at the end. The lock-up/blank-screen during setup was a bit
> > scary but it all worked out in the end. Graphics, network, sound,
> > everything works.
> >
> > Now that XP is installed and fully up to date I install Ubuntu 64. It
> > had no problems with the SATA drives the first time and making the
> > change in the BIOS didn't bother it either. It installed fine, did a
> > single reboot during setup, I answered some questions and it's done. I
> > see there are some updates (145 to be exact)  I download them, it tells
> > me I need to reboot and I'm done.
> >
> > Both XP64 and Ubuntu64 work fine. All the hardware (graphics, network,
> > sound, etc.) work fine. I can dual-boot into either OS.
> >
> > Final score:
> >
> > Setup:
> > Windows = A total of 2 reboots. One stall/hang that corrected after
> > reboot.
> > Ubuntu = 1 reboot.
> >
> > Updates:
> > XP = 25 updates + 1 reboot. (Don't recall total megs downloaded)
> > Ubuntu = 145 updates + 1 reboot.

> Quantification of updates seems odd to me. An update may contain varying
> numbers of patches of various levels of severity. Moreover, the number of
> packages (sub-components, e.g. GIMP) in each of the above is very different.
> Hence, I would never gauge user experience or reliability base on this
> number.

I was gauging neither the user experience or the reliability. Merely
pointing out the steps involved with getting the base OS installed on a
clean system.

> > Both OS's work fine and setup was relatively painless for both. I image
> > that Ubuntu counds the number of updates  with a "finer granularity"
> > than XP does because the amount of time I spent downloading these
> > updates was roughly the same for both OS's. (The total megs were in the
> > same ballpark.)
> >
> > Later... it's going to be 80 and sunny today. Time for some golf.
> Enjoy. By the way, installation of SuSE is similar to that of Ubuntu, but I
> haven't much experience with the partitioner and I am sure that SuSE gives
> more options and prompts the user for more input. It assumes that its
> vocation is rather technical, e.g. a server.
> Best wishes,
> Roy
> --
> Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "In hell, treason is the work of angels"
> http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU is Not UNIX  ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
>   1:50pm  up 7 days 20:47,  12 users,  load average: 0.98, 0.55, 0.50
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