I found myself disgusted with a slow notebook running Windows XP painfully slow. I decided to replace the operating system with a small distribution of Linux. After some searching I picked DSL (Damn Small Linux ). I tried with an embedded iso file in Windows using QEMU and I fell in love with it instantly!
I was very pleased to be able to work with a fast system again. To start I used another of my computers running Ubuntu and downloaded the bootfloppy.img and the dsl iso file. Using the graphical disk utility, I formatted a a floppy disk and a flash drive. On a shell I used the dd command at the directory where I saved the files:
dd if=bootfloppy.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440
To make the bootable flash drive I used the following command:
dd if=dsl version you downloaded .iso of=/dev/sda1 bs=1024
After I got all my media ready I started to work on the second part of my project: installing DSL in my old notebook.
Step 1: Installing the operating system
Then the moment came to install DSL on my hard drive. I had no problem replacing Windows XP for an operating system like Linux made for brawny men like me. I inserted my floppy and the usb flash drive and started the system. Although it seems that the Inspiron 2600 BIOS allows the system to be booted from a CD ROM the reality is that it did not worked in mine, so I had to try the flash drive method. At the "cheat code" prompt I typed the following
dsl fromusb xsetup
This allowed the usb flash drive to be booted. At some point the booting process will ask you about video modes. Tap the space bar and let the system continue. If you try to select a video mode for some reason the system will hang.
Step 2: About video resolution
The Intel 82830M Graphic Controller in my notebook is capable of resolutions of 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 at 16 bit and 32 bit with Windows. With DSL you will have resolutions of 640 x 480 x 16, 800 x 600 x 16 and 1024 x 768 x 16. When xsetup asks for dpi type .28.