Damn Small Linux and the ThinClient

After finally locating a ps/2 keyboard in the dumpster (no, i wasn't specifically looking there, my neighbors were moving), I was able to try out my Netvista 8364. At first, the standard post screens looked quite normal: keyboard. check. Mouse. check. DHCP. check. But I soon got lost in what I can only describe as IBM menu hell. My only real aim was to try to boot from an external device, such as a cd rom drive or a compact flash drive, but it only wanted to boot to the network.

Finally, even after I scanned it before for pertinent info, i reread http://www.freegeekmichiana.org/netvista.html
and found the boot menu option I was looking for. Success! The boot from IDE option menu seemed hidden to me, but after I fiddled with it, I could now either boot from my attached desktop DVD-drive, or the CF adapter, which shows up as a hard drive.

A few hours later, it was up and running, with some caveats. As I learned later, the best instll method involves two partiions, one for the base install, and a backup partition for stuff you want to save across boots. Damn Small uses MyDSL, a nifty way to extend teh base install for users. It allows you to use and update the base install to boot, then add the components on the fly. So, to do a proper install, I will reformat and try again. The CF card does boot slower, truth be told, and I'm wondering if I couldn't try booting a bigger CF card. 128mb is tight when adding DSL extras.

For the most part, however, the only thing left in the hardware equation is a nice touchscreen LCD monitor.


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