Discussion:
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" (Mark Twain) - and Slackware 32bit
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Per Christensen
2021-02-04 04:28:56 UTC
Permalink
You have heard it before from other "grandpas", but it has been a great
journey to follow Slackware on and off for the last quarter of a
century.In the start modems were howling, computers a months wage and
online plans exorbitant.
I still remember my first encounter when online and facing nothing but a
blinking prompt after logging in - I was frightened - darkstar!!
Soon things was much better and a Windows Manager came up running, with
Xman, Xclock and a terminal window from where all the compilation was
made.The kernel was at that time not modularized in the same way as
today and to maximize memory one had to build a custom kernel with only
the relevant hardware drivers embedded.
Something similar applied for applications where the mid -90s Slackware
CD-rom set shipped from the USA included all sources and extras, as far
as I remember.The time consuming build of apps was often unsuccessful,
but slowly a system adapted to the particular PC emerged - browser,
e-mail, a long abandoned office suite etc.
And making synergy between hardware and operating system is perhaps the
main power of Slackware.A similar thing is the marvelous iPhone with
it's tailored operating system, but Slackware can be trimmed, slimmed,
tailored and adapted to almost any PC configuration.
The rant above is just an offspring of a for me new but nice discovery.I
look forward to the next installment of Slackware and appreciate the
developers continued support of 32bit.I'm writing this on an old laptop
with a nice 17`` screen, 2Gb of ram and Slackware 14.2 32bit
installed.The "discovery" I was talking about is the SlackBuild of the
Chromium based Vivaldi browser, running flawless on this humble machine.
Mike Spencer
2021-02-04 21:11:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Per Christensen
The rant above is just an offspring of a for me new but nice
discovery.I look forward to the next installment of Slackware and
appreciate the developers continued support of 32bit.I'm writing
this on an old laptop with a nice 17`` screen, 2Gb of ram and
Slackware 14.2 32bit installed.The "discovery" I was talking about
is the SlackBuild of the Chromium based Vivaldi browser, running
flawless on this humble machine.
Hear, hear! My "new" laptop is a 17" Acer. I don't know if they
even make 17" laptops. When I bought mine, the fairly knowledgeable
salesguy said everybody wants smaller ones.

And I have 32 bit on 4 desktops -- all aging 32 bit CPUs but all
working fine . I don even know if the laptop is 64 bit. I installed
32 bit Slackware.
Post by Per Christensen
The "discovery" I was talking about is the SlackBuild of the
Chromium based Vivaldi browser, running flawless on this humble machine.
Didn't know there was a SlackBuild of Vivaldi. I'll have to look into
that.
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada

Clinging desperately to thetrailing edge of technology.
Per Christensen
2021-02-05 10:27:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Spencer
My "new" laptop is a 17" Acer. I don't know if they
even make 17" laptops. When I bought mine, the fairly knowledgeable
salesguy said everybody wants smaller ones.
And I have 32 bit on 4 desktops -- all aging 32 bit CPUs but all
working fine . I don even know if the laptop is 64 bit. I installed
32 bit Slackware.
Mike - yes, these portables with large displays are easy on the eye when
reading! The Vista sticker on my Toshiba say nothing about 64bit, but I
guess the Intel processor would support it.
Take care of your machines :) - I use Wine only for a single Windows app
but notice that the people at WineHQ just updated their Slackware 14.2
dedicated .txz to ver. 6.1 - great for gamers, I believe :)
Sincerely Per, Odda, Norway
Mike Spencer
2021-02-15 06:50:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Per Christensen
My "new" laptop is a 17" Acer. I don't know if they even still
make 17" laptops. When I bought mine, the fairly knowledgeable
salesguy said everybody wants smaller ones.
And I have 32 bit on 4 desktops -- all aging 32 bit CPUs but all
working fine . I don even know if the laptop is 64 bit. I installed
32 bit Slackware.
Mike - yes, these portables with large displays are easy on the eye when
reading!
I'm almost 80 years old, doing well but teeny-weenie text is a problem.
Post by Per Christensen
Take care of your machines :)
Indeed. We use the 17" laptop to watch DVDs. I mean to get a much
bigger, modern, flat, wide screen monitor Real Soon Now but remain
pretty happy with my 19" IBM CRT. It's getting a little dark and
there seems to be no way to brighten it up but fine for mail, news,
web, misc. data, gnuplot, daily digital trivia.
Post by Per Christensen
I use Wine only for a single Windows app
I screwed up my 14.2 install. Created a DOS partition but didn't
format it. Now, with Slack all configured, customized etc., I'm
afraid to boot DOS 5 from a floppy and try to format it lest the
neolithic MS tools trash my Slack partitions. About to fill some of
the long dark nights of winter (not to mention COVID-restricted days)
with a do-over on a new HD, formatting the DOS partition first.

Oh, right: WTF? Why?! Because Civilization I runs fine in a DOS
emulator but needs a DOS partition. And ImProces is a remarkably
cool, albeit limited, image editor.
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada

Clinging desperately to the trailing edge of technology....
Chris Elvidge
2021-02-15 09:16:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by Per Christensen
My "new" laptop is a 17" Acer. I don't know if they even still
make 17" laptops. When I bought mine, the fairly knowledgeable
salesguy said everybody wants smaller ones.
And I have 32 bit on 4 desktops -- all aging 32 bit CPUs but all
working fine . I don even know if the laptop is 64 bit. I installed
32 bit Slackware.
Mike - yes, these portables with large displays are easy on the eye when
reading!
I'm almost 80 years old, doing well but teeny-weenie text is a problem.
Post by Per Christensen
Take care of your machines :)
Indeed. We use the 17" laptop to watch DVDs. I mean to get a much
bigger, modern, flat, wide screen monitor Real Soon Now but remain
pretty happy with my 19" IBM CRT. It's getting a little dark and
there seems to be no way to brighten it up but fine for mail, news,
web, misc. data, gnuplot, daily digital trivia.
Post by Per Christensen
I use Wine only for a single Windows app
I screwed up my 14.2 install. Created a DOS partition but didn't
format it. Now, with Slack all configured, customized etc., I'm
afraid to boot DOS 5 from a floppy and try to format it lest the
neolithic MS tools trash my Slack partitions. About to fill some of
the long dark nights of winter (not to mention COVID-restricted days)
with a do-over on a new HD, formatting the DOS partition first.
Oh, right: WTF? Why?! Because Civilization I runs fine in a DOS
emulator but needs a DOS partition. And ImProces is a remarkably
cool, albeit limited, image editor.
man mkfs.fat
--
Chris Elvidge
England
Rich
2021-02-15 14:52:22 UTC
Permalink
Oh, right: WTF? Why?! Because Civilization I runs fine in a DOS
emulator but needs a DOS partition. And ImProces is a remarkably
cool, albeit limited, image editor.
Why can't you format the partition and install dos from within the
emulator?

Actually, you could format the partition with native Linux tools. Then
all you should need to do is the dos install from within the emulator.
Mike Spencer
2021-02-15 21:29:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Oh, right: WTF? Why?! Because Civilization I runs fine in a DOS
emulator but needs a DOS partition. And ImProces is a remarkably
cool, albeit limited, image editor.
Why can't you format the partition and install dos from within the
emulator?
Don't think that works. Details escape me at the moment. Emulator
wants a partition? I forget.
Post by Rich
Actually, you could format the partition with native Linux tools. Then
all you should need to do is the dos install from within the emulator.
Chris Elvidge's suggestion (tnx!) of mkfs.fat may be the answer. I'd
pretty much trust a Linux-native tool told to "muck with /dev/sdn" to
do the right thing. I've been using Slackware since Slack 8.0 but
keep finding new stuff I didn't know about.
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
Rich
2021-02-15 22:33:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by Rich
Oh, right: WTF? Why?! Because Civilization I runs fine in a DOS
emulator but needs a DOS partition. And ImProces is a remarkably
cool, albeit limited, image editor.
Why can't you format the partition and install dos from within the
emulator?
Don't think that works. Details escape me at the moment. Emulator
wants a partition? I forget.
Post by Rich
Actually, you could format the partition with native Linux tools. Then
all you should need to do is the dos install from within the emulator.
Chris Elvidge's suggestion (tnx!) of mkfs.fat may be the answer. I'd
pretty much trust a Linux-native tool told to "muck with /dev/sdn" to
do the right thing. I've been using Slackware since Slack 8.0 but
keep finding new stuff I didn't know about.
You obviously do have to be careful. If you point mkfs.fat at the
whole disk (/dev/sda) it will very likely do as you ask and format the
whole entire disk as fat.

You would more likely want it to format a partition, which would be
/dev/sdaX where X is the partition number. But do make double or
triple sure you have the right X value, it will again dutifully do what
you say to any partition on the disk, even those you would not want it
to do anything to.

However I agree with your expectations. If you tell mkfs.fat to format
/dev/sda4, you can reasonably expect that is all it will touch. If you
tell the DOS installer program to install to partition 4 it will also
likely overwrite other things on the disk you did not ask it to touch.
Mike Spencer
2021-02-16 05:56:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Post by Mike Spencer
Chris Elvidge's suggestion (tnx!) of mkfs.fat may be the answer. I'd
pretty much trust a Linux-native tool told to "muck with /dev/sdn" to
do the right thing. I've been using Slackware since Slack 8.0 but
keep finding new stuff I didn't know about.
You obviously do have to be careful. If you point mkfs.fat at the
whole disk (/dev/sda) it will very likely do as you ask and format
the whole entire disk as fat.
You would more likely want it to format a partition, which would be
/dev/sdaX where X is the partition number. But do make double or
triple sure you have the right X value, it will again dutifully do what
you say to any partition on the disk, even those you would not want it
to do anything to.
I currently have:

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1 63 481949 481887 235.3M 6 FAT16
/dev/sda2 481950 2441879 1959930 957M 82 Linux swap
/dev/sda3 * 2441880 486448199 484006320 230.8G 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 486448200 974454704 488006505 232.7G 83 Linux
Free space 974454784 976773167 2318384 1.1G

The FAT16 partition was created with cfdisk but not formatted via
MS-DOS or populated with a f/s. It's just there. (I forget why
there's 1.1G of free space.)

So right, /dev/sda1 is where I wish I had put DOS.
Post by Rich
However I agree with your expectations. If you tell mkfs.fat to format
/dev/sda4, you can reasonably expect that is all it will touch. If you
tell the DOS installer program to install to partition 4 it will also
likely overwrite other things on the disk you did not ask it to touch.
The DOS scenario is (1) partition (2) format (3) install system - sys C:
(4) copy in files. I don't trust the DOS tools to do (2) without
problem. Some have opined that they won't even recognize a FAT16
partition made by Linux tools; dunno about that.
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
Chris Elvidge
2021-02-16 09:49:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by Rich
Post by Mike Spencer
Chris Elvidge's suggestion (tnx!) of mkfs.fat may be the answer. I'd
pretty much trust a Linux-native tool told to "muck with /dev/sdn" to
do the right thing. I've been using Slackware since Slack 8.0 but
keep finding new stuff I didn't know about.
You obviously do have to be careful. If you point mkfs.fat at the
whole disk (/dev/sda) it will very likely do as you ask and format
the whole entire disk as fat.
You would more likely want it to format a partition, which would be
/dev/sdaX where X is the partition number. But do make double or
triple sure you have the right X value, it will again dutifully do what
you say to any partition on the disk, even those you would not want it
to do anything to.
Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1 63 481949 481887 235.3M 6 FAT16
/dev/sda2 481950 2441879 1959930 957M 82 Linux swap
/dev/sda3 * 2441880 486448199 484006320 230.8G 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 486448200 974454704 488006505 232.7G 83 Linux
Free space 974454784 976773167 2318384 1.1G
The FAT16 partition was created with cfdisk but not formatted via
MS-DOS or populated with a f/s. It's just there. (I forget why
there's 1.1G of free space.)
So right, /dev/sda1 is where I wish I had put DOS.
Post by Rich
However I agree with your expectations. If you tell mkfs.fat to format
/dev/sda4, you can reasonably expect that is all it will touch. If you
tell the DOS installer program to install to partition 4 it will also
likely overwrite other things on the disk you did not ask it to touch.
(4) copy in files. I don't trust the DOS tools to do (2) without
problem. Some have opined that they won't even recognize a FAT16
partition made by Linux tools; dunno about that.
Do you have 'parted' or (better) 'gparted' installed? If not, can you
install it/them? Gparted will make rejigging sda1 easier.
Alternatively, use fdisk to change the type of /dev/sda1 to type 'c' W95
FAT32 (LBA) and then format it 'mkfs.fat /dev/sda1'
--
Chris Elvidge
England
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