keep those floppies!

I’ve recently acquired an old PC which I thought would be good
to have around the house as a simple internet browser and chat client.
I also thought it would be good to install Gentoo Linux on it, which I
currently run on my laptop. (Yes, I’m going to be a bastard and force
my poor family members to use Linux)…. Well, as it turns out, the
ethernet adapter installed on this PC is an ISA Intel Ether Express
Pro. Because of this <sarcasm>
wonderful </sarcasm> setup, I’ve spent
the last couple days trying to figure out what’s wrong with the PC, and
why I could not get it on the network. Finally, I found some decent
From there, I was able to find the driver software on the net,
E10DISK.EXE. This contained the required program, SOFTSET2.EXE. But to
run this, of course, I needed DOS. …but… I just installed Linux!
Oi… I discovered that E10DISK.EXE was just a self-extracting file,
and ran it on my windows PC. Then I copied 2 files, SOFTSET2.EXE and
ISS2.EXE to a floppy. I had to boot my new (old) PC into MS-DOS and run
the setup program to disable PNP on the ISA card. I was able to do this
using my old Win98 startup disk, and then swapping disks. After
changing a couple more settings in the BIOS and adding parameters to
the modprobe, everything WORKED!
And now the PC is syncing with the portage database. Isn’t life grand?
So, the moral of the story is: keep those old MS-DOS startup disks!
That’s not the first time they’ve saved my ass.

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