Although I suspect it will take at least until Xmas to get up
to speed I took your suggestion (mlw) to get KNOPPIX, although
I still have figure out how to burn something called an ISO
image of it onto a CD.
However there is also a Flash Linux designed to boot directly
from a USB flash key. This might be a neat idea instead of
using a hard drive on a mobile robot?
I tried to burn KNOPPIX 3.7 that came with the Linux
Format magazine using Nero Express. Then I tried to
burn SimplyMempis 3.3 that came with the APC magazine.
At first I thought nothing had happened. However using
the disc info button on Nero it seems I have filled the
CD with a number of burning sessions :)
Just have to start again with a new CD. I think maybe
the Linux Format needed a linux OS to work. I had hoped
they would come with gcc and a beginners tutorial on
programming Linux with C. I tend to learn by stepping
through examples of how to do something not by trying
to extract the info from some boring manual.
I guess Flash Linux doesn't need to be burnt just copied
to a USB flash key. Then I need a C compiler and a tutorial
on writing C code for Linux, in particular how to access
a web cam to load images into an array at a reasonable
speed. I hoped to use the flash memory as a hard drive
for data and programs. I thought maybe a 1GHz flash key
might do the trick? Portable Linux that can run on any PC.
Flash Linux was on the Linux Format magazine disc.
I use Gentoo (2005.0) -- but if you're new, I wouldn't recommend this
particular distribution. For a WM I use WindowMaker -- I don't use
either KDE or Gnome.
A great way to test drive is to use knoppix -- you can just boot it from
the CD and have a full distribution (desktop and all) up and running
directly from the CD. It does very good hardware detection as will.
If you like it, you go ahead and install it on a spare partition, new
disk, or even into an NTFS partition (there is some trickery involved
here, but knoppix makes this fairly straightforward). The resulting
distro is basically debian -- whioch can lag behind the leading edge
quite a bit but is pretty stable, and has a good package management system.
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)
I am running Slackware 8.(something). I do not run an X server on the robot,
and just X and FVWM on the machines that talk to it (no KDE).
It has been very reliable (I have been running Slackware for nine years or
so), and has most of the features I need.
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