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Linux Red Hat Fedora Core 4 installed dual boot with Windows XP on an IBM Thinkpad X23.

I've installed Fedora Core 4 on my IBM Thinkpad X23. I am a happy guy. You can be happy too.

Updates (summary):

Who is this page for anyway? I wrote this page for people like me. I am not a Linux expert and I do not want to spend hours configuring and playing sysadmin to a laptop. I want quick a simple solutions. Here I generally assume you do not know much of anything in detail.

Disclaimer: The following represents what I think I should have done. The route I actually took involved several mis-steps. I'm not Linux expert, just someone who uses Linux all of the time to get real work done. I'm sure there are better ways to do this than I have shown here. No promises. Your mileage may vary.

That's it.I have XP and a good working Linux Fedora Core 3. There are lots of other fun things:

Update: November 30, 2004, Updated to Fedora Core 3

Last summer I backed up everything, and did a clean install of Fedora Core 2. I installed everything. The installation was very similar to that of Red Hat 9. Fedora Core 2 worked great at first, but then I had some problems in that some of the kernel distributions (obtained with yum) would not boot at all. Eventually I just stuck with a stable kernel and life was good. All of the hardward that worked under RedHat 9 worked at least as well under Fedora Core 2 -- except I had to do some real trial and error to get the IR port to work to hot-sync my palm. I especially like the fact that Fedora Core 2 handles the wireless LAN seamlessly as device "eth1".

This November, I decided to upgrade to Fedora Core 3. As an experiment I decided to upgrade using yum instead of buring four disks. I followed the procedure on this web page. Everything worked like a charm, except:

So if you want to upgrade using yum I would say that this is definitely not a "time saver". On the other hand you do not have to burn iso (good) and (important for me) your laptop remains essentially functional during the entire upgrade. I took care to put up extra windows and browsers on my desktop before I started the upgrade so that could keep on working.

IR Port

I have an (now quite old) Palm IIIxe PDA with an IR port. I really wanted to be able to sync to Linux. What a hassle! I finally got my IR port to go. Simply invoking the gui "Handheld PDA" (gpilot) or Kpilot does not apparently work. None of the devices are set up. In fact, while running KDE I never got kpilot or gpilot to work at all.

The process I took to make IR work boil down to these -- examimining the Infrared HOWTO, ignore what appears to be a bunch of information that does not apply, reading a whole bunch of web pages that have partial, incomplete, and/or confusing instruction, and ultimately trying out various things until it works. Warning: I made no attempt at a systematic installation. I have no idea which of the following steps are critical, which are useless, and whether or not there is really a better way.

Specifically the following things work for me:

Update: August 26, 2003

I stumbled onto the program "gkrellm" which is the most compact and informative graphical system performance monitor I have had the pleasure to use. Meanwhile, I still cannot say enough good things about jpilot for syncing my PDA. This single piece of software has freed me from daily booting XP. Now I boot XP perhaps once a week.

Update: March 29, 2004: A Word about the reliability of the Thinkpad X23

I can't say enough about how happy I am about the reliability of the IBM Thinkpad X23. I admit it -- I am not a careful guy when it comes to computer hardard. I type too hard on the keyboard. I toss the laptop in a backpack with a bunch of books and other junk. Once I got my foot tangled in the power cord and the whole laptop came crashing from the dining room table onto the hardwood floor -- WHAM! Except for a slightly bent USB connected on my mouse no damage at all. I have never had even the battery fail. I use it every day for hours every day. No hardware faults. Once in a blue moon the battery connection gets a little flacky -- simply popping the battery out and re-seating in always fixes it. The external display has worked in nearly every environment I have given presentations with. I have never had the system hang or reboot unexpectedly. Really. Titanium rocks. Disclaimer: I do not use any sort of suspend or hibernation or avdanced power control. I believe in a clean shutdown and a clean reboot from power-off each time I start my computer. Wholesome living and a fresh reboot each day keep the weird computer glitches away. IMHO.

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Corbin E. Covault, Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University
Mailing Address: 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106-7079
Office: Room 207 Rockefeller Physics Bldg.  Phone:     (216)-368-4006
Secy:  Lori Rotar: (216)-368-4257           Fax:       (216)-368-4671
Home Phone: (216)-707-1618                  Mobile:    (216)-496-2077
Lab:   Room 11 A.W. Smith Building          Lab Phone: (216)-368-3632
Email: corbin.covault@case.edu              Web: http://hea.case.edu
Research: Experimental Physics -- Ground-based High Energy Astrophysics
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