Linux on the Toshiba Satellite 2755DVD

Author: Michael Minn (see for current contact info)
November 21, 2001

Describes how to set up a Red Hat Linux 7.1 system on a Toshiba Satellite 2755DVD notebook computer.

1. Introduction

2. Disk Partitioning

3. Preparing a Boot Floppy

4. Installing Red Hat Linux

5. Font Problems

5.1 True Type Fonts
5.2 Incorrect Screen Resolution
5.3 The "Mozilla" Fonts

6. Modem & Internet Setup

6.1 The Internal Modem
6.2 Other Modems
6.3 Earthlink
6.4 Internet Dialer
6.5 Mail Server Configuration

7. Some Useful Console Commands

8. The Windows Side of Dual-Boot

8.1 Booting to Windows
8.2 Accessing the Windows Partition
8.3 Accessing the Linux File System from Windows

9. Sound

10. Printer

11. Scanning

12. Digital Camera

13. CD Writing

13.1 Setup
13.2 Writing a CD

14. Applications

14.1 Office Suites

14.1.1StarOffice 6.0
14.1.3Corel Word Perfect
14.1.6Siag Office
14.1.8TeX and Docbook

14.2 Kdevelop

14.3 WINE

14.4 Rhyming Dictionary

14.5 Real Player

14.5 Real Producer

14.6 MP3 Encoding

14.7 DVD Viewing

14.8 Opera Browser

14. Specifications

1. Introduction

This page contains outdated information and is retained exclusively for historical purposes. My installation information page for the most recent Linux release is located HERE.

The following document describes how I set up a Dual-Boot Red Hat Linux 7.1 system on a Toshiba Satellite 2755DVD notebook computer. Many of the problems associated with installing previous versions of Linux on this machine have been solved in the most recent Linux releases and I recommend that you chose this version over older versions or other distributions.

The Toshiba 2755DVD is a mid-range laptop running an Intel 600Mhz Pentium III. It has a 6 Gig hard drive and built-in DVD/CD-ROM drive. It comes with the standard 64 Meg of RAM which I have subsequently upgraded to the maximum 192 Meg...I highly recommend that you do the same.

I have been told that these instructions are also valid for the Toshiba 2750DVD & 2775DVD, although I have not personally verified this. Toshiba's frequent offerings generally involve multiple extremely similar models and incremental (rather than revolutionary) changes from earlier models. As such, various parts of this document may apply to a wide variety of Toshiba models. I am providing this information to help others avoid the problems I encountered.

I provide no guarantees for any procedures stated in this document. I performed most of these tasks only once and wrote all this down as I went along. As such, there are probably inaccuracies. Although some of the instructions given hereafter may be unnecessary (or perhaps not the best way to perform a given task), they worked for me and I'm not going to mess with a good thing.

The definitive source for Linux laptop information is the Linux on Laptops Page. Much of this information was gleaned from pages linked by this site.

This document assumes some minimal UNIX/LINUX knowledge. You're more than welcome to e-mail me if you've got a problem, but I can't guarantee a prompt or helpful reply. Like many things in the Linux're on your own. I would, however, appreciate any errata that you can point out so I don't mislead anyone else.

2. Disk Partitioning

The Toshiba 2755DVD comes with Windows 98 (2nd edition) preinstalled on a single partition. As such, FDISK can't be used to create a partition for Linux. However, Red Hat (and most other distributions) ship with FIPS (a DOS utility) that permits you to split your single partition into two partitions.

The first trick is getting all of your windows files on the lower part of the partition so it can be split. Start your computer and allow it to boot into Windows for the first time. There is apparently a way to get a refund from Microsoft if you don't ever boot Windows, but I needed the OS anyway for my dual-boot system. Just because I hate having alot of junk around on my desktop and hard disk, I spent a few minutes uninstalling all the junk programs (ISPs, games, MS Outlook Express, etc) that clutter the desktop on a new system. It's not a necessary step, but it made me feel better. If you ever need to recover your Windows system, there is a recovery disk that is shipped with the new computer.Don't forget to empty the recycle bin when you're done.

Disable virtual memory from the Windows control panel. I believe the Windows swap file is kept on the high part of the partition and that's the section that's going to be moved to Linux

	control panel->system properties->virtual memory

Run the Windows defrag and scandisk utilities from an MS-DOS prompt (so you can use the command line options). This will move everything down to the lower part of the partition. When the defrag window comes up, DO NOT rearrange so programs start faster. Using these command line options speeds up the process, but it still might take a while to finish...perhaps even an hour or two.

	defrag /p /q

You now need to create a boot disk containing the FIPS utility. Insert a blank floppy and create a bootable CD from an MS-DOS prompt:

	sys a:

You can now insert your Red Hat distribution CD # 1. From DOS or the Windows Explorer you can copy RESTORRB.EXE, FIPS.EXE, and ERRORS.TXT from d:/dosutils/fips20/ to your floppy.

Leave the FIPS floppy in the drive and reboot your system. The computer will boot to a DOS prompt. Type FIPS to start the FIPS utility.

You will pass through a Welcome screen to a Partition screen. You will get a warning about physical start/end sector not matching logical start/end sector. This is okay, press any key to accept.

You will be told Partition table adapted to current drive geometry. Press any key to accept

At this point, the first time I ran FIPS, I got an Error...last cylinder not free message. After I turned off virtual memory and reran defrag, this problem was solved. Hopefully it won't happen to you. Obviously, if it does, FIPS stops here and doesn't split your partition. There is a help file in the d:/dosutils/fips20/ directory on the distribution disk that may be of help. There is also a program called "Partition Magic" that supposedly you can use to create disk partitions. But if FIPS works, you can save yourself $60.

Provided you don't have the last cylinder problem, you will be asked to make backup of root & boot sector. Type 'Y' to accept.

You will then be asked to enter start cylinder. You can use the arrow keys to move the partition split around. I chose to basically split the partition in half:

	old: 2831.8MB, cylinder 361, new 2894.5mb

FIPS will gives you new partition table. Type 'c' to continue.

Ready to write new partition scheme to disk: Do you want to proceed:. Type 'y'.

As befits a DOS application, FIPS will crash with a memory allocation error. You can ignore it.

Press ctrl-alt-delete to reboot. Run scandisk (from DOS or the program launcher) and turn your virtual memory back on.

You now have two partitons on your disk and you can start the installation of Linux.


3. Preparing a Boot Floppy

The first installation task is starting the Red Hat installation program. The easiest way is to reset the BIOS to boot directly from the CD-ROM. Insert the Red Hat Linux binary CD 1 of 2 in the CD-ROM drive and reboot. When rebooting while the screen is still dark, hold down ESC key. Press F1 when prompted and the TSETUP utility will start. Change the Boot Priority section so that CD-ROM comes first in the list. When you're done just press END and the computer should reboot from the CD-ROM drive and bring up the Red Hat installer.

Although I have been able to boot the Red Hat installation program directly from CD on previous versions, Red Hat 7.1 would not override the Linux Loader I had installed with Red Hat 7.0. Therefore, I had to create a boot floppy. This procedure is described in the Red Hat installation manual, but I am including it here for completeness.

In the Windows Explorer, go to the /dosutils directory on the Red Hat CD and double-click rawrite. This will start the utility in an MS-DOS window.

When prompted for an "disk image source file name", type ..\images\boot.img

When prompted for an "target diskett drive", type a:

Follow the instructions to insert a blank (formatted) floppy in the floppy drive and press ENTER. You can use the FIPS floppy you created earlier since you won't need it again during this installation.

When the program finishes, the banner area of the window will indicate "Finished". You can now reboot (restart) with the boot floppy still in the drive and the Red Hat Linux installation program should start.

4. Installing Red Hat Linux

The Red Hat installation is relatively straightforward and the tweaks required by earlier versions to get the display working or to keep the system from locking up are no longer requred in version 7.1. However, there are some steps that will be needed to fully use this machine and they are included later in this document.

The Red Hat installation program will start in VGA mode and give you a boot: prompt. Simply hit return to choose the default graphical installation. If you wait too long, it will automatically start in this mode.

After an initial minute or two of activity, the graphical installer will start And give you some prompt screens. Make these choices and click "Next"

I chose "Laptop" as the "Install Type" to test this new Red Hat installation class.

However, I was wary of automatic partitioning so I chose "Manually partition with Disk Druid" when prompted for disk partitioning. I was able to use my existing Linux partitions (after restoring the mount point names) and the following recommendations are made if installing without a previous Linux installation

Delete the new partition you created with FIPS (hda2 - 2894.5mb). You should then add the following new new partitions. The "hda" device names may come up as different numbers, but the size and configurations should be the same.

When asked to "Choose partitions to format," OK the defaults of hda2 & hda6. You may also want to select the "Check for bad blocks while formatting" box at the bottom of the screen.

For "Firewall Configuration" choose the default of "Medium" and "Use default firewall rules". "High" security will not permit FTP or RealAudio.

For "Language Support Selection" I chose the default of "English (USA)"

For "Time Zone Selection" choose the appropriate zone for your area.

For "Account Configuration" you will be asked for a "Root Password". If you will be the only user and system security is not an issue, chose something easy to remember. Otherwise, it is best to chose some arbitrary combination of letters AND numbers. You may want to write this down someplace as I'm not sure if there is a simple way of breaking into a Linux system without the superuser password.

At least one "Account Name" should be added at this time. You can add or modify them later, but you need at least one because for system safety since it is best not to do most user level work as superuser.

For "Package Group Selection", this one's up to you. For small laptop screens, the KDE desktop (not the default) supposedly has a bit of an advantage because it has smaller desktop objects.

For the "X Configuration" prompts:

Previous versions/distributions of Linux had serious problems with the Savage/IX graphics chip in the Toshiba 2755, but these problems have been fixed in Red Hat 7.1.

For "Custom Graphics Configuration", chose "High Color (16 Bit)" for color depth and "800x600" (not the default) for Screen resolution. You may also want to chose "Text" as the login type.

Kick off the install process. This will take about 25 minutes and the output will be logged in /tmp/install.log. Note that about 15 minutes into the installation, you will be prompted to insert installation CD #2 (yes, Linux is starting to bloat).

At the conclusion of the install you will be asked to create a custom boot disk. You can use the FIPS floppy (or boot floppy) you created earlier because you shouldn't need it again unless you have to rebuild this or another system. REMOVE THIS DISK after it is created so you boot from it on your initial system boot.

You will then be prompted for a reboot. Be sure to remove the custom boot disk and installation CD before rebooting.

If you chose text login mode, you will be given a VGA login prompt when you initially boot Linux. After you login, you type startx to start the X Windows desktop. Be aware that the screen will go completely black for a few seconds while X starts.

Within a few minutes of booting Linux, you may notice a flurry of disk activity. This is normal. A program called anacron runs system administration programs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The configuration file is /etc/anacrontab runs the script /usr/bin/run-parts, which in turn points to the directories containing other scripts, /etc/cron.daily and /etc/cron.weekly. I believe the two programs that are most disk intensive are tmpwatch, a program that cleans out unused files in the /tmp directory, and logrotate, a program that cleans up old system logs.

5. Font Problems

Linux is notorious for it's ugly fonts. One of the things Microsoft actually has done well (and there are a few things) is TrueType fonts. They represent fonts as vectors and as such scale very cleanly.

Linux includes support for TrueType fonts in the font server XFS. Since TrueType font files are proprietary so they can't be distributed with the Linux CDs. However, you can easily modify Linux to use the TrueType fonts from your Windows partition.

Complicating matters with Red Hat installation on this machine is a problem with the initial resolution configuration of XFree86. A fix for this problem is also included in this section.

Since you will be making a system configuration change, you must be SUPERUSER to perform these commands.

5.1 True Type Fonts

If you have set up your system as a dual-boot Windows/Linux system as described above, you can use the TrueType fonts from your Windows partition.

The X font server requires some information files in the TrueType font directory. Run the TTMKFDIR & MKFONTDIR utilities to build the fonts.dir and fonts.scale files used by XFS:

	$ cd /windows/windows/fonts
	$ ttmkfdir > fonts.scale
	$ mkfontdir

Paths to XFS font files are specified in the configuration file, /etc/X11/fs/config. Modify the "catalogue" section of this file to point to the Windows font directory. Modify your "catalogue" section to look like this. The only change is the /windows/windows/fonts line:

	catalogue = /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc:unscaled,

Although you will need to make one further change to effectively use your TrueType fonts, you can test them by restarting the X font server, xfs. Logout of KDE so you are at the VGA console. Then type the following commands As Superuser:

	$ killall xfs
	$ xfs &
	$ startx

You can also transfer .ttf files from other machines via floppy or CDROM. Note that there are different font files for the italic, bold, bold italic and regular versions of the fonts. Some of the True Type files can be very large so you may need to use multiple floppys. After copying them to /usr/share/fonts/truetype you must run through the subsequent ttmkfdir, mkfontdir, reboot steps.

5.2 Incorrect Screen Resolution

The initial XFree86 configuration created by the Red Hat installation program sets up the font server with an incorrect resolution of 88 x 89 DPI. With this problem, the browsers and office applications will display fonts very badly. However, the fix is relatively simple.

As superuser, edit the "/etc/X11/XF86Config-4" file...NOT the plain XF86Config file. Find the Section "Monitor" section and add a line for "DisplaySize". Although the exact information in this section may be different (because I tried some other procedures with Xconfigurator) the line that you must add is "DisplaySize"

	Section "Monitor"
	        Identifier "Generic Laptop Display Panel 800x600"
	        VendorName "Unknown"
	        ModelName  "Unknown"
	        HorizSync 31.5-37.9
	        VertRefresh 40-70
	        DisplaySize 270 203
	        Option "dpms"

The two numbers following "DisplaySize" are the dimensions of the screen in millimeters. These values are used by XFree86 to compute the screen resolution. At 800 x 600 SVGA mode, this works out to 75 DPI. Although this may not be exactly true for this particular screen, it is necessary for Mozilla, Konqueror and Star Office to display fonts correctly.

When you have made these changes, you should reboot to restart X and the X font server.

You can verify the success of this change by looking for the resolution information displayed by the console command "xdpyinfo" or the "information->X Server" section of the KDE Control Center.

You should now be able to use true type fonts in their correct resolution. You may want to go into the KDE control center and change the fonts on the desktop "Look and Feel" to the TrueType fonts of your choice.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to Mike Fabian for posting this technique on an XFree86 message board.

5.3 Mozilla Fonts

Although the procedures given above should give you an acceptable browsing experience, a special set of postscript fonts have been created by Daniel Richard G. that have been scaled to work better with Netscape/Mozilla.

Download the tarball here. Un-tar and un-zip:

	tar -zxvf mozilla-fonts-1.0.tar.gz

Execute a make to create the .pcf font files and move the files to a new font directory:

	cd mozilla-fonts-1.0
	mkdir /usr/share/fonts/mozilla
	mv *.pcf /usr/share/fonts/mozilla

Execute mkfontdir to create the fonts.dir database file needed by the font server:

	cd /usr/share/fonts/mozilla

The new font directory needs to be added to the X font server configuration file, /etc/X11/fs/config. Find the "catalogue" section and add the new directory path towards the end. The section should look like this:

	catalogue = /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc:unscaled,

Finally, logout of KDE so you are at the VGA console and restart the X font server, xfs. Type the following commands As Superuser:

	$ killall xfs
	$ xfs &
	$ startx

You will now have "Mozilla" versions of Times, Helvetica and Courier. You must select these explicitly in Mozilla/Netscape/Konqueror settings.


6. Modem & Internet Setup

6.1 The Internal Modem

No driver for the internal Lucent Mars Winmodem is shipped with the Red Hat distribution and if you try to run KPPP (the Linux dialup utility), you get a message that no modem is found.

However, there is a kernel driver module available on the web. Previous versions of this module had serious problems with this module locking the system, but these problems have been fixed in the current version.

Because the driver is a kernel module, you will need to install the kernel source files so the kernel include files are available for compiling the modem driver module. If you don't do this, you will get a nasty message from trying to use the wrong modversions.h include file.

You should be logged in as root (superuser) to perform all these operations. Insert your Red Hat Binary CD 2 of 2 in your CD-ROM drive. Red Hat 7.1 apparently has an auto-mount feature so you no longer have to manually mount CDs. The "ln" command creates a link called /usr/src/linux that is needed by the ltmodem makefile.

	$ rpm -iv /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/kernel-source-2.4.2-2.i386.rpm
	$ eject
	$ ln -s /usr/src/linux-2.4.2 /usr/src/linux

Download the current driver (v 5.99) from Christopher Hebeisen's page. Uncompress, compile and install AS SUPERUSER:

	$ tar -zxvf ltmodem-5_99b.tar.gz
	$ cd ltmodem-5.99b
	$ ./build_module
	$ ./ltinst2
	$ ./autoload

I had problems with the autoload script saying it couldn't find "depmod". I modified the script to call "/sbin/depmod", although I'm not sure this is necessary.

The insmod command is the superuser command to load a kernel module:

	/sbin/insmod lt_modem
	/sbin/insmod lt_serial

Please note that this is a updated driver for the 2.4 kernel. There are older versions of an earlier driver that WILL NOT work on Red Hat 7.1. Older versions will not compile or will crash KPPP. This driver was initially written by a contractor for Lucent as part-source/part-binary and is not officially supported by Lucent.

Say the word "Winmodem" to a Linux laptop owner and you'll hear alot of four letter words...none of them "Love". Winmodems are not really self-contained modems, but telephone interfaces. The internal processing handled by hardware inside a traditional modem has been moved to software in a Winmodem. Given modern processor speeds, this is not as silly as it might seem, especially since this can reduce latency in processing...something especially important to online gamers. The fatal downside for Linux is that few manufacturers choose to invest in additional software development for Linux when there is a much larger and more lucrative market in Windows and Mac.


6.2 Other Modems

There are other PCMCIA and serial port modem options for this machine, although I have never tried them.

There are a number of PCMCIA modems available with Linux Support. The Linux Modem Page has an extensive list of supported modems, although the PCMCIA options are somewhat limited and expensive. Red Hat's do not provide a separate category for modems.

I borrowed the Xircom CreditCard Modem CM-56T (no longer produced) from my Toshiba Satellite 335CDS. After rebooting, the kernel autodetected the modem and it basically worked. However it occasionally had problems connecting to the dialup service and sporadically had periods of very slow performance.

Among currently available and supported PCMCIA modem models are the Xircom RealPort CardBus 10/100 & Modem 56 PC Card available from But at $220, it's a bit pricey.

6.3 Earthlink

My ISP under Windows was AOL, but at the time of my conversion to Linux, they were not supporting Linux. I e-mailed customer support and they sent a form reply about having it in R&D. I needed to get away from monopolies, but because I travel, I needed a national ISP.

I decided to go with an ISP that a friend of mine recommended...Earthlink. I dislike giving my credit card numbers on the web, so I dialed 1-800-EARTHLINK. The normal monthly rate is $19.95. Also, if you get Sprint Long Distance, you get $2.00/month off Earthlink

When you setup your account, you will be told to call tech support for setup information. I initially setup my account on Windows and the tech support guy walked me through the setup under Windows. I don't know what they'll do for Linux, although I guess they will just give you the raw information and let you figure out the setup given below.

6.4 Internet Dialer

The utility for connecting to the internet is KPPP. It is accessible from the KDE application starter as "Internet Dialer" under the "Internet" submenu. You can put an icon to it on your desktop with: If you want it on your application starter toolbar, you can drag it from the desktop to the toolbar.

	$ cp /usr/share/applnk/Internet/Kppp.desktop /home/[user name]/Desktop

Because KPPP must be run as superuser, you will always get a prompt for the superuser password when you start KPPP. Once you've gotten KPPP up, you'll need to setup a new account. Choose "Setup" and "New account." When prompted use the dialog setup, not the wizard. The setup information I used with Earthlink is given below. Yours will change accordingly.

	Dial tab
		Connection name: [any name you like]
		Add phone # [access # provided by ISP]
		Authentication PAP
		Click off "store password"

	DNS Tab
		DNS Domain Name: ELN/[user name]
		Manual configuration
		Add DNS IP Address: [IP address #1 provided by ISP]
		Add DNS IP Address: [IP address #2 provided by ISP]

You should test the modem before completing setup. On the MODEM tab, the middle button of the dialog is a test button. This will run some ID commands and give you a dialog box identifying the modem. If you get a message about being unable to contact the modem, there is a problem with your Winmodem setup (described above).

Fill in the user information on the start dialog:

	connect to: [account configured above]
	Login ID: ELN/[user name]
	Password: [password]

After pressing "connect", KPPP should dial up the ISP. You probably will not hear the dial tone and this will take a few seconds. When it connects, it will give a brief message and the window will minimize itself. You can then start a browser (Konquerer, Mozilla or Netscape) and begin browsing.

Normally, you will disconnect from your ISP by pressing the "Disconnect" button. However, if you are disconnected by a dropped or timed-out connection, the KPPP dialog box will freeze and you will be unable to close the box or restart KPPP. In a console window, log in as superuser and type:

	$ killall -9 kppp

This will send a kill signal (-9) to the KPPP processes and close the dialog. You can then restart KPPP whenever you need to reconnect.

6.5 Mail Server Configuration

You can use Netscape Messenger to get your e-mail, although the native KDE e-mail client is much quicker. This is the setup for Netscape Messenger

	Edit->Preferences->Mail & Newsgroups in Netscape
		Your Name: [your name]
		e-mail address: [user name]
	Mail Servers
		Add a server
		There will be an existing server named POP...edit it
		Server Name:
		Server Type: POP3 Server
		User Name: [your user name]
		Outgoing Mail Server
		Outgoing mail (SMTP) server:
		Outgoing mail server name: [your user name]

This is the general setup for KMAIL. In KDE, the KMAIL icon is on the application bar and the icon is a letter leaning against a big "E".

	settings->configuration in kmail
		incoming mail - add a new account
			name: [user name]
			login: [user name]
			port: 110 (the default)
		sending mail
			port: 25 (the default)

As with modem disconnection above, if the mail server is down, KPPP will freeze the system and you will be forced to do a hard boot (reset button).

7. Some Useful Console Commands

One of the stellar features of UNIX/Linux systems is the availability of a very robust console/text interface. This is, of course, a historical vestage of the days before the Mac, but the console remains perhaps the most flexible way of getting around a Linux system.

From within a desktop there is always a way to pop up a console window. On KDE the program is konsole and is accesible on the taskbar as an icon that looks like a computer monitor screen.

A comprehensive tutorial on the console would occupy a rather large volume and this information is here primarily as a reminder to me. But if it's helpful to you, great.

	Power down or reboot the system



	Find available disk space


	Find a file in a directory

		find [directory] -name "[file name (with wildcards)]"

	Format a floppy

		/sbin/mkdosfs /dev/fd0

	Create a soft link (i.e. have /home/user/windows directory point to

 		ln -s

 	Set the time/date (doesn't update the BIOS so changes do not persist between boots?)

 		date --set="December 19, 2000 7:00PM"

 	List audio CD track data

 		cdda2wav -JD /dev/cdrom

 	"Rip" a .wav file from an audio CD.  In this example "-t 2" specifies
 	track number can specify the track you want.  The output
 	file will be called "audio.wav" and the track information file will
 	be called "audio.inf".

 		cdda2wav -D /dev/cdrom -t 2

 	Convert postscript (.ps) files (which can be created from the office
 	applications or browsers) to .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format:

 		ps2pdf output_file.pdf

	Although the Adobe Acrobat PDF file reader is available online,
	Linux ships with a native PDF viewer:

		xpdf input_file.pdf

8. The Windows Side of Dual-Boot

8.1 Booting to Windows

The setup described in this configuration is a dual boot configuration. By default, LILO (the Linux loader) loads Linux at boot time. However, you will get a Red Hat screen briefly at boot time that will allow you to use the down/up arrow keys to select Windows or Linux as the OS. Press RETURN after making your selection.

8.2 Accessing the Windows Partition

The Windows partition can be read seamlessly from Linux. In the partitioning setup given above, the disk is mounted on the mount point "/windows". However, the default mounting mode will only allow the superuser to modify it. Red Hat documentation indicates that the depricated "linuxconfig" program is the way for modifying this behavior (in the /etc/fstab file), but linuxconf is apparently not installed in the standard laptop installation procedure.

You can manually edit the /etc/fstab file and modify the mounting parameters to make the /windows partition more accessible. If you open the file (as superuser) you will see six columns that should be more or less self-explanatory.

You should find the line with a mount point of /windows. In the fourth column you should add the following parameters so the line looks something like the following:

/dev/hda1   /windows   vfat   exec,dev,suid,rw,uid=500,gid=500,umask=0

The uid and gid should be set to the user that you want to own the partition. You can find a user ID (a three digit number) by typing "id" from a console when logged in as that user.

Reboot and the /windows partition should have more accessible permissions.

8.3 Accessing the Linux File System from Windows

Frank Wilson notified me that there are a couple of utilities that permit access to the Linux partitions from Windows. I have not tried either of the two schemes he mentioned and I can not endorse or reject them.

fsdext2 is a utility that will mount the Linux partition read-only on the next available Win95 drive letter (D:, E:, etc).

explore2fs (no URL given) will let you both read and write to your Linux filesystem from DOS/Windows. However, this is certainly less safe than read-only access.

9. Sound

The ESS/Maestro 2E sound chip installed in the Toshiba 2755 is detected by the Red Hat installation program and no additional configuration should be necessary.

I personally like to turn off the system sounds (startup, typing error). KDE uses aRts (analog realtime synthesizer) for system sounds and starts the "artsd" (aRts daemon) when KDE starts. You can disable system sounds in the [KDE control center]->[sound]->[sound server] and uncheck "Start aRts sound server on KDE startup" See the aRts web site for more information on aRts and the associated utilities.

This chip provides capability for wavetable systhesis but does not have an FM synth for MIDI playback. MIDI output/input is available via the RS-232 serial port. If you are using a Roland Sound Canvas sound module or Yamaha MU-x series tone generator you can connect the module to the serial port with a special RS-232-to-DIN connector and get MIDI input and output. If you're using some other kind of sound module, you can use the MIDIator MS-124W ($200). See my NOTEMIDI page for more information on both these options.

MIDI output/input is also available through a variety of USB devices. The cheapest (around $50) is the Roland UM-1, available through Edirol, Roland's distributor of desktop music products. Another more expensive Roland USB device, the UA-100, supports both MIDI and high quality digital audio with an extensive array of effects. This is supported by my USBUA100 driver - click for more information.

The XMMS (the X multimedia system) is a graphical file player similar to winamp that comes with most standard Linux distributions. However, you will need to set the configuration or the player will lock up when you try to use it. Click the right mouse button on the player in the area just above the control buttons and chose "Options->Preferences". For the output plugin, choose "OSS Driver". Chose the button to "Cconfigure" the driver. Under the "Devices" tab, chose "use alternate device" and type in /dev/dsp. OK everything and try playing a .wav file.


10. Printing

The HP Deskjet 350CBi makes the perfect portable printing companion to the Toshiba 2755DVD. This printer is very compact and while it is slow and the print quality isn't fantastic (images look pretty bad in black and white), it is certainly within the parameters of acceptability for a portable printer. Hewlett-Packard is one of the "Good Guys" that has happily provided the open-source community with access to their standards and protocols. I highly recommend giving them your business whenever you have a choice.

Red Hat 7.0 ships with a printer configuration tool that will handle setup:

Some notes:


11. Scanning

11.1 Epson 1240U USB Scanner

I would join others on the web in recommending that you purchase an Epson scanner. Epson has supposedly been very supportive of Linux driver development and once I figured out how to configure SANE (i.e. Linux scanner support), my experience has been trouble-free. The configuration was problematic only because the online documentation does not provide clear setup instructions appropriate to Red Hat 7.1.

SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) contains basic scanner handling capabilities, but separate "backends" are needed to handle the wide variety of hardware protocols used by different scanners. I assume the name SANE is a take-off on TWAIN, the standard Windows scanner interface.

PRIOR TO PLUGGIN IN YOU SCANNER, AS SUPERUSER you will need to modify two of the SANE configuration files in the /etc/sane.d directory. Edit /etc/sane.d/epson.conf and remove the # from the bottom line (i.e. uncomment) and change it to:

	usb /dev/usb/scanner0

Edit /etc/dll.conf. You will see a line for each different scanner manufacturer. Apparently some other backends confuse SANE. Therefore, you will need to put "#" (comment) symbols in front of every line except "epson".

Change the permission on the scanner device file so it is accessible by users other than the superuser:

	$ chmod 0666 /dev/usb/scanner0

You should now plug in your scanner to the USB port. Linux should recognize the new device and automatically load the scanner module. You can verify this with the following. The Epson scanner should be listed

	$ scanimage -L

You can also verify correct driver loading by listing the USB devices:

	$cat /proc/bus/usb/devices

At the end of this rather cryptic listing, you should see the following. The important thing to verify is that the "Driver" is "usbscanner"

	I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=09(hub  ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=hub
	E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   8 Ivl=255ms
	T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  7 Spd=12  MxCh= 0
	D:  Ver= 1.00 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=ff Prot=ff MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
	P:  Vendor=04b8 ProdID=010b Rev= 1.14
	S:  Manufacturer=EPSON
	S:  Product=Perfection1240
	C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=40 MxPwr=  2mA
	I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=ff Prot=ff Driver=usbscanner
	E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=  0ms
	E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=  0ms


Linux-USB page on the Epson 1240

Page on the Epson Backend

SANE Introduction

11.2 Scanning with GIMP

The easiest way to scan images is to use the xscanimage plug-in in GIMP, the Linux graphic editing tool. Create a softlink in the GIMP plugin directory:

	$ ln -s /usr/bin/xscanimage ~/.gimp-1.2/plug-ins

One apparent problem with the Red Hat configuration of GIMP is that the swap directory (/tmp/.gimp-1.2) is not created. As such, when editing your first big scan, you may get a nasty message box containing:

	Unable to open swap file...BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN SOON

Simply close GIMP and in a console, create the swap directory:

	$ mkdir /tmp/.gimp-1.2

11.3 HP 3300 Scanner

Despite rumors that it is really an Avision scanner on the inside, I had no success getting my HP 3300 Scanner to work. As with the Epson scanner, the online documentation is rather sketchy and some pages had procedures that required patching and recompiling the Kernel...something I avoid whenever possible. Red Hat 7.1 (2.4 kernel) apparently recognized the scanner, but an attempt to list the scanner with scanimage simply hung. I donated the scanner to Goodwill and bought the Epson.


SANE User's Manual: Using SANE

USB Scanner Setup

patch to SANE

USB Scanner How-To

Avision backend


SANE setup How-To

USB Scanners under Linux

11.4 OCR

There are some GNU OCR programs out there. One I have tried is a command line program called GOCR.

	$ rpm -iv gocr-0.3.2-1.i386.rpm

12. Digital Camera

I chose to buy a Kodak DX3500 Digital Camera based on the listing of support on the Linux USB Web Site. The DX3500 uses the PTP protocol for transferring images.

Images can be downloaded from the camera using the Jphoto.

Special thanks to David Brownell for his excellent page on Linux Support for Kodak Digital Cameras, from which this information is derived.

13. CD Writing

A couple of years ago I bought an HP CD-Writer Plus 7200 for burning CDs. It has a parallel port interface which is supported by PARIDE, the Linux parallel port device connection facility.

Log in as superuser (i.e. root) to perform the following tasks.

13.1 Setup

The primary utility for recording CDs is cdrecord. Unfortunately, the copy of cdrecord that ships with Red Hat 7.1 and 7.0 does not work with this drive and you must recompile an earlier version from source. There is apparently some kind of Linux kernel incompatibility.

DO NOT use the source code that ships with Red Hat 7.1 or 7.0 - it doesn't work with this drive and you will get the following error message when you try to use it:

	Cdrecord 1.9 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2000 Jörg Schilling
	Using libscg version 'schily-0.1'
	cdrecord: Inappropriate ioctl for device. Cannot send SCSI cmd via ioctl

Go to the homepage for cdrecord and download version 1.8.1 source into your home directory. If you have any problem downloading this version, you can find download sites at AS SUPERUSER, compile the source and copy the binary to the /usr/bin directory:

	$ tar -zxvf cdrecord-1.8.1.tar.gz
	$ cd cdrecord-1.8.1
	$ make
	$ cp cdrecord/OBJ/i686-linux-cc/cdrecord /usr/bin

For some reason, the make install doesn't copy the new cdrecord to /usr/bin, so you have to do it manually. If asked to overwrite the existing cdrecord, reply Y.

Connect the CD-Writer to the parallel port and execute the following commands (as root) to load the PARIDE modules.

	$ /sbin/insmod parport
	$ /sbin/insmod paride
	$ /sbin/insmod epat

Paride requires additional modules specific to the external drive. For the HP7200, pg is the module for writing and pcd is the module for reading. Unfortunately, as of the new kernel, you apparently can't have both loaded at the same time. The first insmod will succeed, but the second will issue the message:

	/lib/modules/2.4.2-2/kernel/drivers/block/paride/pcd.o: init_module: Operation not permitted
	Hint: insmod errors can be caused by incorrect module parameters, including invalid IO or IRQ parameters

Great, just what I needed to know. So, to use the HP7200 as a CD writer, issue the following commands. The final cdrecord command should list the drive (if it is connected). It is also used burn a CD, but needs specific commands (described later).

	$ /sbin/insmod pg
	$ cdrecord -scanbus

If you want to use the HP7200 as a CD-ROM drive or would like to test the PARIDE connection, you can insert a CD in your CD-Writer, install the reader module and mount the drive as a readable (not writable) CD-ROM. You can then access the CD-ROM through the directory /mnt/cdrom.

	$ /sbin/insmod pcd
	$ mount /dev/pcd0 /mnt/cdrom

The ismod commands will be needed each time you restart your system. You can probably put them in a boot script if you use the drive frequently...I don't, and I'd rather not have any modules hanging around that don't need to be there.


13.2 Writing a CD

I use the CD-Writer to perform backups of my /home directory. It can, of course, be used to create any kind of CD, but the following instructions are specific to burning a backup CD for a single directory tree.

You can probably put all these commands in a script to simplify CD writing, but I am including explicit commands here for clarity. Because things can go wrong at any step and waste media, you might want to do things explicitly from the console for awhile.

Create the CD image with the mkisofs utility. mkisofs was created when you compiled cdrecord. See the section above for information on compiling cdrecord and installing mkisofs. Supposedly it is possible to pipe the output of mkisofs directly into cdrecord without using an image file. However, every time I tried to do this I got "loss of streaming" errors.

/home/cdimage is an output file from mkisofs that will be used to burn the CD later. This is an arbitrary can put your image anywhere you like (except the directory you're archiving?) [source_directory] is the root of the directory tree that you want to copy. The -r option sets the permissions of all files to be public readable on the CD and enables RockRidge-extensions. The -J option (MS Joliet extensions) can be used to generate a more Windoze friendly CD, but I have had problems with the option yielding the message "tree sort failed".

This will take a few minutes.

	mkisofs -r -o /home/cdimage [source directory]

Linux has the ability to mount files as if they were disk partitions. This feature is useful to check that the directory layout and file access permissions of the CD image match your wishes. Once you've tested CD-Writing on your system, this step is unnecessary.

	mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop=/dev/loop0 /home/cdimage /mnt/cdrom

Now you can inspect the files under /mnt/cdrom -- they appear exactly as they were on a real CD. To umount the CD-image:

	umount /mnt/cdrom

Load the driver modules and find the SCSI device the writer is attached to. If you have already loaded the modules, you can skip the insmod commands.

	$ /sbin/insmod parport
	$ /sbin/insmod paride
	$ /sbin/insmod epat
	$ /sbin/insmod pg
	cdrecord -scanbus

The first column (in my case: 0,0,0) is the SCSI device for the writer

CD-writers need to be fed with a constant stream of data. The process of writing the CD image to the CD must not be interrupted or a corrupt CD will result. Don't do anything with heavy disk access while writing the CD. Mechanical shock to the writer can also ruin the write. I would reccommend going away and doing something else while the CD is will take 70 minutes for a full CD.

	cdrecord -v speed=1 dev=0,0,0 -data /home/cdimage

Although the writer is capable of 2x writing, I received the following errors and wasted a disk when I tried burning with "speed=2"

	Sense Key: 0x3 Medium Error, Segment 0
	Sense Code: 0x0C Qual 0x09 (write error - loss of streaming) Fru 0x0
	write track data: error after 2424832 bytes

Recording an audio CD is actually a bit simpler than burning a data CD. If you have your audio files all in one directory in .wav format, the following example will burn them all on separate tracks. Since the list will be in alphabetical order, you will need to determine the order of tracks by appending some kind of alphabetical prefix to the track names (i.e. 01_your_song.wav, 02_my_song.wav, 03_his_song.wav, etc.)

	cdrecord -v speed=1 dev=0,0,0 -pad -audio *.wav

Reference: CD Writing HOWTO

13.3 CD-RW Problems

I have been unsuccessful at recording CD-RW under the 2.4 kernel. Attempts to record have resulted in the following message:

	Track 01:   2 of  20 MB written (fifo  67%).
	cdrecord: Input/output error. write_g1: scsi sendcmd: retryable error
	CDB:  2A 00 00 00 04 85 00 00 0D 00
	status: 0x2 (CHECK CONDITION)
	Sense Bytes: F0 00 03 00 00 00 00 19 00 00 06 28 0C 09 00 00 00 00
	Sense Key: 0x3 Medium Error, Segment 0
	Sense Code: 0x0C Qual 0x09 (write error - loss of streaming) Fru 0x0
	Sense flags: Blk 0 (valid)

You can, however, use cdrecord to erase a CD-RW using the "blank=fast" option to erase the old content. Read the man pageto learn more about the other options available to erase a CD-RW.

	cdrecord -v -force blank=fast dev=0,0,0

But then you'll have to take a trip back to Windoze to actually write the CD-RW.

14. Applications

The following is are some experiences I have had with some Linux application software packages.

14.1 Document Processing

For me, the most difficult aspects of using Linux is the absense of an office suite that will permit storage and exchange of documents with other users in universally available formats. It also would have been nice to have something that isn't bloatware with alot of unnecessary features (and the associated load time). The closest I have been able to come is Star Office. Everything else was generally unacceptable.

14.1.1 Star Office 6.0 Beta

Prior to using StarOffice 5.2 or 6.0, you MUST add the following environment variable definition line to the /etc/profile and /home/<username>/.bashrc files:

	export SAL_DO_NOT_USE_INVERT50=true

You then need to log out (not reboot) and log back in for the environment variable to be modified. If you fail to do this, the StarOffice will lockup your X Windows desktop. Thanks to Tim Roberts' page on the Savage S3 Video Chip And to Tim Roberts and John Davies for their description of the installation environment variable fix

You MUST also fix the screen resolution problem described above in Font Problems for StarOffice to display correctly.

At the time of this writing, StarOffice 6.0 is available as a beta release. It incorporates extensive improvements over 5.2 and currently represents the best office suite for Linux. It's still huge and bloated (300MB for a standard installation), but that's what all office packages are.

The Beta is available for a free download, although you will need to register. For people with phone lines, there is a low-bandwidth option which breaks the file groups into 13 10MB chunks (plus a setup guide and some optional programs) for easier download. With a 56K modem, that represents about 7 hours of download time. The software is not yet available on CD.

Download all the files into a new directory. The Adabase and StarOffice player files are huge and optional. After all files have been downloaded, make the first file executable and execute it:

	$ chmod 0777 so-6_0-beta-bin-linux-en-000.bin
	$ ./so-6_0-beta-bin-linux-en-000.bin

The StarOffice installation program will ask for an installation directory. StarOffice must be installed separately for each user, but if you are using this laptop exclusively as a single-user system, that's not a problem. I personally prefer to not install software into my /home directory since I regularly backup that directory and StarOffice does not need to be included in that backup. Therefore, I created a directory in /etc and entered that at the installation directory. Since /etc can only be modified by superuser, you must log in as superuser and create a directory that can be modified by anyone:

	$ mkdir /etc/staroffice6.0
	$ chmod 0777 /etc/staroffice6.0

Since Java is not installed on a Red Hat system with a standard installation, you will get the message "No Java Runtime Environment was found which can be used by StarOffice". Simply accept the default that "Java and JavaScript are not supported".

The installation program will require a couple of minutes to complete. If you did not download the Adabase file, you will get a dialog notifying you of this - click OK.

You will get a dialog that you need to restart KDE. This is a lie. You will find StarOffice on the KDE start menu. And you're ready to go.

14.1.2 Star Office 5.2

Star Office is an extremely powerful (and very bloated) office suite. It is configured to require a complete binary installation for each user. There is a network installation option, but I had serious problems with it on earlier installations.

You MUST fix the screen resolution problem described above in Font Problems for Star Office to display correctly.

Additionally, you must add the following environment variable definition line to the /etc/profile and /root/.bashrc files:

	export SAL_DO_NOT_USE_INVERT50=true

If you fail to do this, the Star Office installation program will freeze your computer. Thanks to Tim Roberts' page on the Savage S3 Video Chip And to Tim Roberts and John Davies for their description of the installation environment variable fix

I prefer not to have large binaries cluttering up my /home/[user] directory (to facilitate periodic backups), so I created a directory under /etc. This directory must be created manually and have it's ownership modified in order for it to be accessible by Star Office.

	$ su
	(this makes you superuser - you will be prompted for the superuser password)
	$ cd /etc
	$ mkdir office52
	$ chown [your user name] office52
	$ chgrp [your user name] office52
	$ chmod 0777 office52
	$ exit

Insert the Star Office installation disk and run the install program:

 	$ mount /mnt/cdrom
 	$ /mnt/cdrom/linux/office52/setup

When prompted, fill in the appropriate user information when. When asked for an installation directory, enter the /etc/office52 directory that you created earlier.

OK to start installation. You will be notified that "No Java Runtime Environment was found." Click OK (Java and JavaScript not supported - the default). The installation takes around seven minutes on this particular machine.

After the main office program finishes installing and you OK everything, the Adabase installation program will start running. I don't need this, so I just hit CANCEL.

Star Office takes a long time to boot, especially the first time. cYou can an icon to the desktop by copying the link file in the console:

 	$ cp /home/[user]/.kde/share/applnk/staroffice_52/StarOffice.kdelnk /home/[user]/Desktop

One of the first things you'll probably want to do is change the home documents directory to your /home/[user] directory...otherwise everything will default to a directory withing the Office52 file structure:

	Tools->Options->General->Paths->My Documents

If you need to uninstall StarOffice (see the problem list below), I think all you need to do is delete /usr/local/office52 and the .office52 directory in your home directory.


  1. StarOffice has an annoying native desktop that is apparently the only way to access the individual programs. I also had a very serious problem using this desktop. I used StarOffice for a few weeks and had no problems. But suddenly, whenever I would open any file, StarOffice would crash with an "Unrecoverable Error" whenever I closed any file. While StarOffice saved my files and I did not lose any data, this was certainly not a desirable way to use the program. Running the StarOffice setup program (K application starter->personal->StarOffice 5.2->Setup) and choosing the "Repair" option (repair damaged installation) didn't fix the problem. Uninstalling (see above) and reinstalling didn't solve the problem. Choosing a non-network installation didn't solve the problem. I posted a message on the Sun StarOffice news group but had no response. The problem went away when I upgraded to Red Hat 7.0.
  2. There are some MS Word formatting features (such as vertically centered sections) that are unavailable in StarOffice.
  3. The .rtf (rich text format) file format import/export filters are rather buggy and can create files with incorrect formatting.
  4. You can't import Word Perfect files. If someone is sending you a file from Word Perfect (which still does happen occasionally), they should export it to a Windows format (I like .rtf) or you won't be able to open it.
  5. The StarDraw vector drawing program is pretty rudamentary and doesn't support anti-aliasing (giving your graphics that nasty clip-art look).
  6. The StarDraw vector drawing program doesn't give any control over the size or resolution when exporting to graphics files. The exported files have 72DPI resolution but the program seems to convert at 94DPI...i.e. a one inch square object in StarOffice will be 94x94 pixels in the exported file. I could not find any configuration option for this. Go Figure.
  7. The number formats on some of my MS Excel sheets were lost when opened in StarOffice. StarOffice does not have custom number formats.

14.1.3 Koffice

Perhaps the open-source suite with the most promise (or at least the most promotion due to it's association with KDE) is Koffice, which is distributed with KDE. At present, it has very limited features but is, accordingly, very compact and loads very quickly. There are no acceptable file format conversion filters so it cannot be used with files from any other OS...and as such is basically unusable if you have to share files with other people.

However, the notion of a robust open source office suite is compelling and if you are a programmer with an interest in donating time to chip away at Microsoft's empire, the Koffice team could probably use you.

14.1.4 Corel Office and Graphics Suites

Corel made an extremely bad strategic decision to port their Windows programs to Linux by using WINE, a Windows emulator. Aside from slowing down the programs, it also causes occasional bizzare windows behavior. They also chose to use the Fontastic font server (rather than the native X font server) and this requires maintenance of a completely separate set of fonts.

I was unable to install the CorelDRAW suite under Red Hat 7.0 and haven't even made an attempt under 7.1. The installation program completed but terminated with a segmentation fault. When I tried to start CorelDRAW, I got a message about being unable to connect to the fontastic font server. I didn't even try to install Word Perfect.

From reading the message boards, Word Perfect 2000 is in even worse shape. Since they were not able to make any money (using the tradtional software business model), Corel spun off it's Linux operations and the corresponding lack of committment has probably doomed their efforts. While I would love to see someone actually succeed in finding an acceptable Linux business model, I would not recommend buying any Corel Linux products.

14.1.5 Applixware 5.0

After reading that Applixware was a native Linux office suite I had great hopes that it would solve the weaknesses of WordPerfect and StarOffice. However, after my installation on Red Hat 7.0, I initially tried opening a M$-Word document with a large table and got something that did not even vaguely resemble the original document. Since I store everything as either .doc or .rtf files (in the hope that those formats will be portable and will be around for awhile), the (apparently) inadequate filters in Applixware are a show-stopper. I immediately uninstalled and did no further testing.

When I attempted to install Applixware on Red Hat 7.1, the installation program failed with a number of errors related to incorrect interpretaion of the requested installation directory of /etc/applix as /etcapplix. Since the released version of Applixware is over a year old, I suspect this is a dormant product and I would not recommend spending the $50 needed to purchase it.

14.1.6 Abisuite

Abiword is the first release in an cross-platform open-source office suite development project. Unfortunately, after downloading a binary and attempting to import an RTF file, it crashed cold. It also offers no support for tables. I investigated no further.

14.1.7 Siag Office

The word processor for Siag is called Pathetic Writer - quite appropriately. It's more like a glorified text editor than WYSIWYG. I explored no further.

However, if you want to try it you will need to compile from source. To install from a binary RPM, Siag needs libXawM, a widget library that does not come with standard Linux distributions but is part of the Siag source. Download the tarball from, unarchive, configure and compile.

	 tar -zxvf siag-3.4.9.tar.gz
	 cd siag-3.4.9
	 make install

14.1.8 Ted

An interesting non-bloatware option is Ted - a very simple WYSIWYG text editor analogous to Wordpad on Windoze. At 3.4 meg it loads very quickly and doesn't take up alot of disk space. It's big disadvantage is lack of support for TrueType fonts. However, the binary I downloaded crashed when I tried to print. Compiling requires a Motif environment (which I am rather loathe to load) so I have written the author seeking further assistance.

To compile from source, you will need LessTif, an open-source implementation of Motif, an X-Windows programming library. Download a binary RPM from and install it:

	rpm -iv lesstif-0.93.0-1.i386.rpm

14.1.9 Tex and Docbook

TeX User's Group

An option for true hard-core hackers is to avoid WYSIWYG editors altogether and learn a markup language. TeX is an typesetting language from the 80's. Docbook is a subset of SGML (parent of XML, the current hot web language). Linux distributions come with TeX, LaTeX and Docbook for typesetting these formats into HTML or printing formats. Needless to say, these formats are truly platform independent.

These programs are extremely complex and the links given above should be referenced for further information.

14.2 Kdevelop

Kdevelop is an integrated development environment for KDE X Windows applications. It utilizes QT, a cross-platform X windows C++ library. The home page for Kdevelop is

KDevelop is part of the Red Hat distribution and is automatically installed with the default installation classes. Kdevelop does have bugs and has on rare occasions locked up or crashed on me. But the debugger works well and after a bit of getting used to, it's a nice development environment for X Windows applications. However, I've gotten rather used to using the command line and generating my own Makefiles so I no longer use KDevelop.

Kdevelop (like all integrated development environments) handles directory configuration and make file generation. Unfortunately it seems to be intended for large scale projects and the associated project files, makefiles and directory structure are extremely (and I would think) overly complex.

Since I want my programs to run on all Linux systems (not just KDE), when starting a new project in the new project wizard (the only way to set up one) I select "Qt 2.x SDI". I have had problems with "Normal" projects because I only have the Qt 2.x libraries that came with Red Hat. I was also never able to get the Terminal or Custom projects to work right.

14.3 WINE

WINE is a Windows emulator permits SOME Windows programs to run under Linux. I had some success with trivial programs like notepad. I was hoping that I would be able to run Dreamweaver, but I had no success and apparently no one else has either. I have not tried WINE for some time and they might be in better shape now. More information is available from The WINE Homepage.

14.4 A Rhyming Dictionary

RHYME is a simple rhyming dictionary that supports about 127,000 words. It supports syllable counting and perfect rhymes.A must for every Linux songwriter.

Download the source. Running RPM or KPACKAGE (i.e. the Redhat Package Manager for KDE) will copy the source tarball to /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES. It won't tell you this, it just does it with no confirmation. You can then make the executable.

	cd /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES
	tar -zxvf rhyme-0.5.tar.gz
	cd rhyme-0.5
	make install

On another machine the compilation of the word database file took awhile to complete, but on the 2755 it was pretty quick. "make install" installs the executable in /usr/bin. See the readme file "INSTALL" in the source directory for more information on configuring the makefile to place things in different directories (if desired).

The rhymer is a command line program that you invoke with "rhyme". Other options are listed by "rhyme -h". The minimal specifications file is in "/usr/src/redhat/SPECS/rhyme.spec".

14.5 Real Player offers a Linux version of the Real Player for playing streaming audio and video from the web. You can download it from the community supported realplayer download page in RPM format.

Once you have downloaded the file, install it with the Red Hat Package Manager:

	rpm -i rp8_linux20_libc6_i386_cs2.rpm

I had a persistent problem with the Real Player dying sporadically and eratically during playback. On running the player from the command line, the message "Aborted" displayed when the player died. There are a couple of things that seemed to reduce the number of times this occurred, but did not eliminate the problem:

More information may be available from the Real Networks Community Supported Player Forum.

14.6 Real Producer

A Linux version of RealSystem Producer Basic is available free from Real Networks for creating Real Media files. While it is a command line encoder and does not have a convenient X-Window interface, it is all you need to create Real Audio files. It also apparently can encode Real Video, but only the Windows version can handle .avi files and I have never tried it with other formats.

To install download the tarball from into a temporary "/home/[username]/realproducer" directory. You need a temporary directory because the tarball does not create a subdirectory when it uncompresses

Decompress the tarball, run the install script and follow the prompts:

	$ tar -zxvf realproducer_8.5_linux.tar.gz.
	$ ./install

Both Real Producer Basic (free) and Real Producer Plus (not free) are included in the tarball, but Real Producer Basic has met all of my needs. A complete list of the extensive command line options can be listed by typing "realproducer --help".

My primary usage of Real Producer has been to create streaming audio from .wav files. The following example creates a real audio file titled "My Song" from the mysong.wav file specifically for 56K modems.

	realproducer -i mysong.wav -o mysong.rm -b "My Song" -h "Michael Minn" -c "(c) 2001 by Michael Minn" -t 1 -a 2 -f 0

To stream the audio from a website, you need to create a .ram file that contains one line that is a link to the .rm file. For the above my_song.rm example, if you were posting it to an "audio" directory under and saved as "my_song.ram":

Links to the audio should then refer to ""

14.7 MP3 Encoding

One of the best and most popular MP3 encoders for Linux is L.A.M.E. More information is available from the L.A.M.E. website.. Downloads can be made from the L.A.M.E. FTP directory. The most current stable version when I last downloaded was 3.70.

Compilation is simple - just download the tarball, decompress and make. This creates a single executable file called "lame":

	tar -zxvf lame*
	cd lame*

If you plan on using L.A.M.E. regularly, you may want to copy it to a command directory like /usr/local/bin. The numerous options can be displayed with the --help option, although in it's simplest default form it works fine:

	./lame input_file.wav output_file.mp3

14.8 DVD Viewing

There are a number of sites devoted to DVD support under Linux. It isn't a really high priority for me so I haven't tried them:

14.9 Opera Browser

The infamous Opera Browser is available from The reason it's free is that it has an unhidable rotating ad window in the top right corner. After cursory investigaiton, I found nothing significant about it's display or ease of use that was any better than the Konqueror or Mozilla browsers that come with Red Hat, although (as advertised) it does seem pretty small and loads quickly. However, you have to deal with alot of toolbars (and that damn ad window) cluttering your screen area.

15. Specifications

Firmware 7.0F

Disk Drives
Generic IDE Disk Type01
Generic NEC Floppy Disk

S3 Inc. Savage/IX w/MV
Memory Range 000A0000 - 000AFFFF
Memory Range 000B0000 - 000BFFFF
Input/Output Range 03B0 - 03BB
Input/Output Range 03D0 - 03DF
Interrupt Request 11
Memory Range 18000000 - 1FFFFFF
Memory Range 000C0000 - 000CBFFF
Memory Range 20000000 - 2000FFFF

Floppy Disk Controller
Input/Output Range 03F0 - 03F5
Input/Output Range 03F7 - 03F7
Interrupt Request 06
Direct Memory Access 02

Toshiba Internal V.90 Modem
Port COM2
Interrupt Request 11

COM1 Port Properties
Input/Output Range 03F8 - 03FF
Interrupt Request 04

LPT1 Printer Port
Input/Output Range 0378 - 037A
Interrupt Request 07

ESS Technology ES1978 Maestro 2E

ESS Device Manager
Interrupt Request 11
I/O range FC00 - FCFF
Gameport Joystick
I/O range 0200 - 0207
Maestro DOS Games/FM Devices
I/O range 0220 - 022F
I/O range 0388 - 038B
Interrupt Request 05
DMA 01
Maestro MPU401 Devices
I/O Range 0340 - 0341

Intel 82371AB/EB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller
Interrupt Request 11
I/O Range FF80 - FF9F