I have had to do this exact thing over the weekend.
I also, am learning about the Linux commands. The mount command is essential for you to get to the rc.sysinit.author, new and old if you have one....
the thing I did not understand about mount is that you do not mount a harddrive, you mount a filesystem. Another thing is that you do not act on a whole HD, you act on the partitions.
here are commands I used...
(First I created a directory to mount a partition onto.)
makedir /hope <==This creates a directory called hope. the "/" makes sue it is at the root.
mount /dev/hdc4 /hope <=="/dev/ shows where the info for the HD device is. "hdc4" is the 4th partition on HD c (or secondary master drive).
/hope points to where the mount will point to and the "/" makes sure it is the directory called hope from the root.
This mount should work. You must go through the partitions to find the one that your rc.sysinit.author is in.
once you do the mount, you need to call the directory in a way that makes sure that you are getting to the right one.
==== These two commands will not get you what you want.
This command should tell you info about your files, like when they were created. Also, more importantly, it works on the partition you mounted into "hope", NOT the one at the root... which is probably on the Linux CD you likely booted from.
Others.... please gently correct any mistakes I have made.
HDVR2 non-RID DTivo running 3.1.1b
Hacked with Sleeper over a year ago and recently recovered from a terrible .author mishap!
Working on hacking another HD using 4.x and killhdinitrd.
(I love doing things that seem impossible.)