This Space for Rent

I hate micro diskettes.

Why do I hate them? Easy; because all the modern Linux distributions require multiple floppies for booting. And if you have a distribution that requires 3 (Slackware) or 4 (SuSE) floppies, you can spend a lot of time hunting for floppy disks that will accept a disk image for loading.

SuSE is pretty annoying, because you have to keep feeding it floppy disks until it finally gets around to telling you that you don't have enough memory for it, but Slackware linux is ultra-annoying, because you feed it one disk, it does some work, you feed it a second disk, it does some work, then you feed it a third disk and is finally gives you a login: prompt (which may be pointless if the third disk fails) and at no point can you do anything but reset the computer and start from the top if any of the floppies go bad.

It took me 11 floppies to get Slackware 10.1 to load on my laptop (8 thrown out because they [3.5" diskettes are made from tissue paper] went bad during the disk copy) this afternoon. And then I discovered, to my intense dismay, that the Wavelan drivers on that version of Slackware would reliably fall over dead after you'd pushed 300mb of data into the box, and that they would then stay dead until you manually removed and reinserted the pcmcia wavelan card.

I'll probably just toss the Toshiba laptop (the value of a 3 year old laptop is approximately US$0 if you don't include Bigotsoft Windows with it) and try to hand-build a laptop from a VIA mini-ITX motherboard and one of the LCD flat panels I've got lying around.

I will point out that Mastodon Linux only takes one floppy disk to load. And that after doing the great diskette hunt to find enough for the other linuxes to load, it plan to have it stay that way, even if I have to do a slackware and break it up into boot-ide, boot-usb, boot-pcmcia, and boot-scsi disks.