The happy story of Hovera

Hovera is my 8'th home computer. Hovera was born on the 18 August at Skribofont http://sf25.skribofont.se/. I've never had any problems with Hovera. Installing by dual boot Linux/Windows system on Hovera was breeze.

At this point I must say that Skribofont service is awesum. I clicked in my order on their web site on Thursday morning, and on Friday morning they phoned to say that I could pick up the machine on Friday afternoon. Skribofont do a (as far as I know) unique service - you just put together any machine out of their enormous on-line catalog and they build it for you.

This nice thing about this about this is that you can choose combinations of components that none of the big name suppliers will offer you. I chose a 433 Mhz Celerion with a BX6 chipset motherboard 128M memory and a 16G IBM 7,200 rpm disk. This is a hot machine by any standards - what Dell, Gateway and all the others will not do is put a cheap processor (Celerion) with lots of memory a good motherboard and a fast disk - no they have to put in a Pentium III and a big disk and lots of memory, despite the fact that for anything but the most demanding applications a much cheaper processor and more memory and a faster disk would have been a better option.

Another andvantage is that you get all the boxes and manuals for all the components you have put in. One of the problems of buying a Dell or Gateway is the noname lookalike souncards etc. that they put in. These things usually work fine if you run the pre-configured Windoze that comes with the box. But if you want to run Linux or FreeBSD you're on your own - and then it really helps to have a card with a name tag on it. Amazinly the origonal cards often work out cheaper than the cloans, since the price difference is swallowed up by the manufacturing and distribution costs of the machine.

Back to my machine; as usual I did a dual boot installation with Windows 96 and Red-hat 6.0. One think I've learnt recently is to ignore all the advice about installing LILO on the master boot record of my machine - with big disks this can often be very problematic. Remember, the boot images that LILO can boot from have to be completely below 1024 cylinders, and with large disks this is becoming more and more difficult.

A much easier way is to use the "dual boot" facilities available windows AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.

This is what my files look like so you can see for yourself.

First AUTOEXEC.BAT:

    
    @echo off
    goto %config%
    
    :Win98
    SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 T2
    SET SNDSCAPE=C:\WINDOWS
    goto end
    
    :Linux
    C:\LOADLIN\LOADLIN.EXE C:\LOADLIN\IMAGE root=/dev/hda3 ro
    
    :end
    

Here the section between :Win98 and :Linux should contain whatever the contents of you original file had. Then you will have to copy LOADLIN.EXE and an appropriate Linux kernel from the distribution disk to some directory on you machine.

and CONFIG.SYS

    
    [menu]
    menuitem=Win98, Windows 98
    menuitem=Linux, Linux
    menudefault=Win98,20
    
    [Win98]
    DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
    DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE
    
    [Linux]
    

I have used this method on many machines without any unexpected results.