December 2004

Fedora Core 2 on a Thinkpad i1472

I have an old Thinkpad iSeries 1472 (2611-472) laptop. It’s a 1999 vintage Intel mobile Pentium II 366 MHz machine that has served me well with only a few problems along the way. It’s been running Redhat 9 for a while and I thought I should update it to Fedora Core 2 since RH9 is past its end of life.

Knowing an upgrade of RedHat is more trouble than it’s worth, I loaded Fedore Core 2 from scratch. It was OK except for the keyboard repeat rates being way too high. I fixed those with the control panel, then updated everything with Yum and that’s when the trouble started. On the next bootup, I got lots of errors from fsck. The hard disk flaked out on this machine only once before, so I thought maybe it had developed a bad sector. I booted the Knoppix live CD and ran a full check of the disk. No bad sectors. Next I suspected the old battery had a power fluctuation. I reloaded on AC with the battery out. Everything was fine until I did the Yum update. The first boot hung. The second got more fsck errors. I really didn’t think Fedora could cause this. I suspected heat-related problems due to an aging fan. I was about to give up on the machine as too expensive to fix. Luckily, I’m stubborn. I dropped back to RedHat 9 to eliminate the FC2 variable. There have been no problems since. I still don’t know what about FC2 could cause this. If it’s specific to this machine, I’m out of luck. This might be the last running i1472 on Linux in the world. ;-)

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Vadem VG-469 ISA-to-PCMCIA Card

This post is long overdue. I should have entered it when I solved the isapnp problem, as my memory is kinda fuzzy now. The issue was the Orinoco PCMCIA wireless ethernet card wasn’t being detected at startup. The Orinoco card is plugged into an ISA to PCMCIA bridge card.

As best I can recall, this kind of problem is no longer solved by using pnpdump and editing isapnp.conf. The Orinoco card couldn’t be found because the ISA to PCMICA card bridge wasn’t there. The i82365 and ds modules weren’t loaded because the Orinoco card wasn’t listed as a PCMCIA card. After mucking about manually inserting the modules, I stumbled upon the real answer, which was to get the card listed in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth2 as Wireless instead of Ethernet. After this the kernel loaded the modules properly.

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