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My T23 died and I managed to get a T43. Of course, the first thing to do was to install a real operating system on it: GNU/Linux.
The laptop came with Windows XP. I wanted to keep it for the few occassions where I need to run a Windows-only program. So I needed to shrink the partition.
My favourite way of doing this is the Gparted "live" CD. Initially, gparted just wouldn't shrink Windows XP's NTFS partition. The answer was to boot back into Windows and defragment the hard disk. I did this twice, just to be sure, and because I read on some website somewhere that it was a good idea.
After this, I used gparted to partition the hard disk.
/dev/sda1 10GB Windows XP /dev/sda2 IBM recovery partition /dev/sda3 788M / /dev/sda8 29G /home /dev/sda6 190M /tmp /dev/sda5 4.9G /usr /dev/sda7 3.9G /var
My favoured system is Debian. I usually use 'unstable' on desktops and laptops because I get the latest software and the bugs and issues are not so serious that they prevent me from getting on with work.
I used the Debian Net install CD to install a base system, which brings me to a little rant against the Debian installer.
If you already have a partitioning scheme set up, the Debian installer doesn't believe you and forces you to use its partitioning program and follow the installation in the steps that it deems are necessary rather than the ones that you know are needed. This is nonsense.
You should be allowed to set up a partitioning system anyway you want and then reboot with the Debian installer and just assign the partitions to mount points. The Debian installer won't let you do this. Fortunately, the operation called "write partition table to disk" is not destructive to data already there.
Also, the wireless network card did not work out of the box. This was a problem as I did not have a wired connection point available for a while. In Windows I was able to download, across the wireless connection, the live CDs for Knoppix, Gnoppix and Ubuntu. Knoppix is my favourite of these, but only in Ubuntu did the wireless network come up.
If I had been thinking properly I would have mounted the various hard disk partitions at appropriate mount points and chroot-ed to the root partition and install Debian that way, while running the Ubuntu live CD.
Instead, I examined the hardware, found that my T43 had the atheros wifi chip not the Intel Pro/Wirelss one that everyone else seems to have. I waited again until a wired connection was available and was able to download the non-free madwifi package and compile it for the kernel. Once the madwifi drivers were installed the wireless network came up flawlessly.
From where do I know, which wireless chip my T43 uses?