John North john555north at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Jul 13 23:45:48 BST 2005

Hello everyone.

I  bought a new laptop last week, from Evesham
computers.  They call it their C510 model but I gather
it to be a rebadged Asus Z7100 or somesuch number. 
It's a Pentium M with the Centrino configuration and I
opted for 1.86GHz engine  driving 1GB of RAM around a
1024x768 screen.  Build quality seems OK with just a
bit of flex in the top corners of the keyboard. 
Screen looks good and HUGE.  Track pad's a bit too
sensitive for me.

'nuff said about the Boy's New Toy!  You've heard it
all before I'm sure.  You've probably written much of
it too (LOL)

I've used A Certain Operating System for years but
I've been following the Linux story and had read about
the BSDs.  I've installed various versions of them all
before on an old 6x86 box I used to play with but
never actually DID anything beyond look around the
file system.  This was partly because I could never
figure out how you were supposed to get anything to
actually work.

Anyway I have a FreeBSD 4.3 CD so I installed it,
erasing XP Home in the process.  A couple of days
later I re-installed XP after my "productivity"
dropped to zero when once again I couldn't get
anything to work and got a bit fed up staring at a
black screen with flashing cursor.

It's not that I mind Command Line work, since I
started computing on DOS 5, it's just that I don't
seem to be able to control my machine.  Lack of
practice, I suppose, or perhaps just gotten lazy.

As I also have FreeSBIE on CD I tried that and got a
nice graphical screen to which I could relate, but
couldn't get out of "Root" and nothing happened when I
inserted my USB flash memory storage device.

So I went back to XP.  (Have you no pride , man!!!)

I have a fat book called FreeBSD Unleashed, a couple
on UNIX and a few on Linux.  I'm sure that I should be
able to get going with FreeBSD but at present I'm in
the Doldrums.  The "Unleashed" book seems
comprehensive but being three years old makes the
hardware references seem dated.

>From the FreeSBIE web site I gather that I can
download some additions that will let me convert it to
a full install of FreeBSD 5.3 with the option of
dual-booting.  Does anyone have anything bad to say
about that approach?  I feel that until I've conquered
the foothills of the *NIX terrain I'd be better
keeping the option of being able to DO something with
my expensive purchase.  Mind you, my dear daughter's 
Apple iBook on which I'm writing this won't let me
download the file because it says that it does not
recognise the format, and I can't use the new computer
as it's not currently able to access the internet
since I think I need a driver for the BT Voyager 100
ADSL modem we use here, and I don't know where the CD
went!  (Daughter thinks I put it "somewhere safe". 
VERY safe since God alone knows where it is and He
ain't telling!)

O woe is me!!!!!

I'll try a download at work (Windows network).  If
successful, it will end up on my USB dangly.  How do I
then get FreeSBIE to see it? 

Hope this stirs up the silence that someone was


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