Fedora 12 on HP tx2513cl dual-boot Vista

This past week I installed Fedora 12 on my desktop computer, dual-boot with Win XP. I haven’t gotten the wireless card working that is installed in that computer, it works great in Win XP, matches our router too. Both router and wireless card have been abandoned by D-Link, meaning: no updates for future OS usage, no updates for XP or any lower OS editions either. So it’s possible that it might not have any driver for linux either. I already have been prepared for having to upgrade the card, and also would like to get a new router anyhow. Both aren’t THAT old, just a few years, but that’s forever in computers.

This week we are not home, and I brought the Fedora 12 DVD I’d burned and used previously, along. I didn’t know if what I wanted to do would work, but I tried it, and it worked! I couldn’t get the wireless internet thing to work though. I looked on my Palm Pre webOS phone on the web for info, and found several ideas of “it won’t work at all” “it’ll work in limited fashion” and a few “I got it to work” or “It should conceivably work if you do this … but I haven’t tried it on that distro” as well as “this works for this chipset …” which is close but not exact … so maybe it’ll work on mine …

After all that I did try yesterday evening to get it going, going back and forth, Vista to find stuff, Fedora to try stuff … I eventually gave up.

This morning I tried it all fresh. I re-installed Fedora 12 on the entire drive. My setup that worked fine for install and usage in general for dual-booting was:

Running Vista on HP Pavilion tx2513cl –> Fedora 12 DVD in DVD Drive –> installed to –> USB external 120 GB laptop drive –> booting from first drive with Vista on it inside the laptop computer.

Once I’d fresh installed it again I went back to all the notes I’d taken on the different methods to make it happen and decided on which thing to try.

I found this site: jomcode.com/fadhil/2008/broadcom-official-linux-driver-bcm4312 and used the information in that post to download the file called “hybrid-portsrc-x86_32_5_10_27_6.tar.gz” .. untar it, and then build the LKM (Loadable Kernel Module) and then on to more stuff in the post. Ended up mixing that post with a README file that came in the tarball file.

In essence it all came out and I again didn’t think it worked, but then I attacked it again and re-thought through it and put the puzzle together a different way, Nothing I can write down, just a “look at both the documentations and do what seems to be doable, from a puzzle angle. Something worked.

I had gone to Network Device Control, clicked the Wireless tab, then clicked “New” and all of the sudden, in a flash indeed, there was a device showing that hadn’t previously been there, so I did something right in my puzzle put together info from two sources that were not separate in the first place, one begat the other, so source and then sub-source, neither worked to help me on their own, but together mixed up some, yes.

So at that point i flicked the button on my wireless radio hardware control … and the blue light came on! Then I had to get a wireless connection created … at the hotel. It was easy enough to add. Easy as typing in the name of the connection (ssid) basically. It connected really fast.

I worked on the internet for a long time then, fixing this and that. I got Flash installed, for one, got music playing in Rhythmbox (it wasn’t working for quite some time until all of the sudden something I updated and voila! I still have to get the DVD playing ability going. On my desktop I gave up on that and downloaded VCL which worked right off. I’m more dedicated this time to try and get the stuff that came in Fedora working before getting an entire new thing installed.

One nice thing is that Fedora 12 works with my touchscreen enough Out-of-the-Box that it brings promise of more touch-able-ness in the future. It works well with the Pen right off. It doesn’t register “touch” though, only pen-hover/touch.

I find my touchpad is very sensitive, I need to see about fine-tuning it, it works well, too well, almost, if that makes much sense.

The pet peeve I have in Vista hasn’t yet once reared it’s ugly head in Fedora 12. Typing in Vista, the drive will just flash and flash like crazy and my typing will get slow feedback, I mean, instant showing of what I type? Sometimes, usually no though. It’s maddening in Vista. I wrote a post about it in December on this blog. I semi-eradicated it turning of Indexing and a few other things. I turned Indexing back on in late January or so, missing the typing of something to easily search programs or documents on the start area. Right back to the halting typing slowdown, spit it out, wait, not yet, ok now your typing shows. Slow down, keep it inside, don’t prove she’s typed anything yet, not yet, ok, now. Let it out. AUGGGHHHH!

Now my typing is so easy I’m messing up. I don’t “remember” how to type well, expecting the halt to come at any moment. If not that it’s my palm brushing the touchpad and my mouse cursor jumps up somewhere else, that’s a matter of training me or the synaptics stuff or both.

So then as to all this, I’m quite happy so far with Fedora, almost wishing I could get rid of Windows Vista. Not sure if I should keep dual-booting with it, or should I upgrade Vista to Win 7 and dual-boot with that.

I have some software that I haven’t figured out, or thought about. I have used Thunderbird and Firefox for years, so that’s a find transition, none. I am familiar with Open Office, used it for years, when I need something, not very often though, just sometimes. Other than that, there is ONE Windows program I have, came with my laptop, “One Note”. I love it, love it, love it. What free software would replace it satisfactorily?

Then there is Adobe Photoshop Elements 7. It’s a Windows product that I have. I’d rather have a full Photoshop product, but neither of those things are going to be on my Fedora install. I haven’t ever looked at any of the free graphics programs. I take a lot of pictures (Canon Digital Rebel) and it’s important to me to have quality software for that. I haven’t connected my camera to my computer with Fedora running, yet. Canon doesn’t have Linux drivers on their site.

I also have a Sony Handycam (HDR-SR11) and their software is for WINDOWS alone, every flavour. Anyhow, I’m not impressed with THEIR software. I need to find a robust program to work with my High Def files. Sony provides little that one can do with it. I can snip the ends and play them. I can convert them to yuckier formats. That’s pretty much it. No splicing, no timing changes (speed up, slow down) no titles, no production. So, I have less video than I want to have taken, and lots of video I have taken that just sits there on my harddrive.

So I guess in the end I can get some graphic something in Linux (Fedora) with a couple of programs, using my TabletPC, as well as my Intuit4 tablet, when I connect it sometime. But, I’ll have to have Windows programs in some capacity, plus for heavy video work …

So it’ll come down to my everyday computing self is interested in keeping Linux around as her full-time computer, with starting Windows for other stuff … sometimes. So I pay for the privilege of having $ software that is used sometimes only. Well, that’s it now nearly. I hardly ever buy software, I have gotten it bundled, or bought something here or there, but mostly prefer GNU-types of product. I have Vista because it’s on the computer I bought. I bought XP long ago to go with a computer I was building, had I had to do something back then like that. So it goes.

I used WP before it wasn’t yet 1, I used Firefox when it was a shadow of it’s current self, same with Thunderbird, not in the very beginning, but close enough. I’ve used Songbird, but haven’t been sold on it, yet. I wish I could learn enough to write code for something. Eventually I may, or not.

I need to get into my scrapbooking, cross-stitching, graphic art. I used to hand code my webpages. Simple HTML & CSS. I’ve pretty much converted to pure WP. I sort of wish to get some simple HTML pages on my sites too though. It’s pleasing to create with code, which is why it’s not just a good environment for computing, but Linux offers “understanding” of what is going on with your computer, how to update you can see it all happening instead of watching a dumb progress bar forever …

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