default media size [Was: Proposed F18 feature: MiniDebugInfo]

Przemek Klosowski przemek.klosowski at
Wed May 9 22:06:09 UTC 2012

On 05/09/2012 05:34 PM, John Reiser wrote:
> On 05/09/2012 01:33 PM, drago01 wrote:

>> A DVD burner costs ~12 € ... and any computer that old isn't really
>> that capable of running  fedora reasonably anyway.
> Such a claim is FALSE.  My 700MHz PentiumIII with 384MB RAM runs Fedora 11
> just fine.  OpenOffice is eminently usable, for example.  It's a 2001
> laptop that has only CD-ROM and USB1.1, and the BIOS cannot boot from USB.
> I have added USB2.0 via PCMCIA card, and somewhere around Fedora 12
> could boot from external DVD via USB2.0 (via trampoline from the harddrive)
> because the PCMCIA drivers for the bridge that enables the USB2.0 card
> were in the initrd.  But then the PCMCIA drivers were dropped from initrd,
> so it no longer boots newer Fedora from DVD.  Meanwhile deteriorating
> support for RagePro graphics has nudged me back to Fedora 11.  Fedora 11
> is only 3 years old.

Would that laptop not have a floppy disk that'd let you boot in 
combination with an external USB flash/CD/DVD drive? 1-2GB flash drives 
cost 2-3$ so they would be the cheapest/simplest thing to use if your 
system doesn't already have a DVD. The next best thing would be an 
external USB DVD burner that should be less than $30 or so, and is 
actually a good thing to have around the den anyway.

This reminds me of the old days in the mid- to late 90s when we were 
running DCLUG Linux Installfests in Washington DC and RedHat crew drove 
up from North Carolina, to test their install process. People would 
bring the strangest hardware, and we'd give it our best, sometimes 
working the entire afternoon on the most recalcitrant systems.

That experience taught me to make a judgement call: while, on one hand, 
hardware constraints are good because they keep things honest and 
simple, and make things fast on modern hardware, at the same time some 
limitations are just too onerous.  I would say that BIOS inability to 
boot off USB devices crosses that line.

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