I have an old AMD K5 500MHz machine (named Bluto) that I have been using for wireless routing. It’s been running Redhat 6.2 for years. The cablemodem runs to my main machine (named Hoover), then via ethernet to Bluto. This all works fine, except that Internet access for the house depends on Hoover. Since this is my main machine, it is subject to tinkering, and when I run into trouble, there goes the Internet. I thought I’d buy a dedicated router to solve this problem. I got a LinkSys WRT54G and hooked it up. Unfortunately, the signal strength couldn’t match that of my old Orinoco card with the extension antenna. There were some other issues also including grabbing the DHCP assigned host name from Comcast for Hoover’s use. So I sent the router back and set about using Bluto as the router for the entire network.
One of the reasons I never upgraded Bluto from 6.2 was that the monitor attached to it is a Gateway CrystalSan 1024NI. This is a vintage 1990 monitor from the era when monitors didn’t always sync well with the input signal. Redhat 7.x used a text mode that caused the monitor to freak out. When I ran the Fedora installer, I was pleasantly surprised to see that problem was gone. I’ve since found out Redhat 9 works, too.
So I started the upgrade process on Bluto. BTW, if anyone has an old CrystalScan, set the scan rates to 48KHZ horizontal and 72Hz vertical to fix it to 800×600 resolution. It’s happy with that.
The installation went fine with one exception. The motherboard in Bluto has 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA slots. In the ISA slots are a 3Com 3c509 Ethernet card that connects to Hoover and the Orinoco PCMCIA to ISA bridge card that the Orinoco wireless Ethernet PCMCIA card plugs into. Fedora didn’t recognize the ISA cards at all. Neither did Redhat 9. In Redhat 6.2, there was a utility called pnpdump that would talk to the ISA bus and read in card data. You’d use the output of pnpdump to create /etc/isapnp.conf and edit this file to set up IRQs, and so forth. Fedora and Redhat 9 don’t have a pnpdump anymore. Not only that, but the standalone isapnp program has been moved into the kernel. So now I’m stuck figuring out how to create /etc/pnpdump.conf.