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Ext2: Installing Slackware 7.0 (Without cdrom or standard floppy)

Nov 26, 1999, 17:17 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tim Krell)

"One of the seemingly up and coming topics in the Linux world at this time is the use of Linux on a platform other than the conventional desktop. Laptops, PDA's, and other portable devices are all coming into the scope of things at a quick rate. One of the problems with laptops is that they tend to use more "bleeding edge" technologies, as opposed to the more widely supported desktop platform. One such example of this rift between the laptop and desktop platforms is the video card issue. Laptops are using chipsets such as the NeoMagic, which was not supported in XFree until recently. This all brings me to the entire crux of this article. Many laptop manufacturers these days seem to be including a plethora of ports on their machines, most of which are well-supported (Or so M$ would have you believe) in Windows9x/NT/2k. For example, the laptop I recently purchased, a Sony VAIO PCG-Z505RX has three USB ports, and two FireWire ports."

"The Z505RX is a pretty decent system, and I'm quite happy with it, now that I've got Linux working on it and all. It's powered by an Intel Mobile Pentium II running at 400 MHz, 128MB RAM, 8.1GB Hard Drive, 2.5MB NeoMagic video chipset, 12.1" LCD, and some other assorted goodies. There are, however, two major pitfalls that I had to overcome to install Linux on this machine. First of all, Sony charges around $300(US) for the PCMCIA-controlled CDROM drive. Secondly, the 505RX ships with an USB floppy drive, which is not supported by the current production Linux Kernel, but is currently under heavy development by Alan Cox and co. in the 2.3.x series."

"Considering I didn't shell out the 300 for the CDROM module, I found myself up a creek at first regarding just how in the heck I was going to get Linux installed. I tried to boot it using the standard bare.i Slackware bootdisk, but no dice. I needed a better solution for installing Slackware that could be accomplished with minimal pain, employing the USB floppy disk drive. Enter ZipSlack."

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