Saturday, July 02, 2005

Kubuntu Repositories

After a fresh Kubuntu install

You're going to want to set the appropriate repositories so you have access to most every available piece of good software for Linux (at least that's my understanding, not to mention the security updates).

So after a fresh install, you'll want to access your sources.list which is found at:


If you're an Emacs user, you might want to start up Kynaptic, opened from a terminal by:

> sudo kynaptic
> password:

and then CTRL-F to bring up the list of packages. Do a search for emacs and select emacs-2.1 or whichever version is showing. Click ok, then press the last (third) button to commit changes. Press enter to agree and it well set off installing emacs for you. When that's done, to access /etc/apt/sources.list you type:

>sudo emacs /etc/apt/sources.list

Of course if you use vim then you've alread done this part before the others have finished installing Emacs. And if you do use vim, you're probably already done this walkthrough.

Now edit the sources.list to have these package addresses in them. Five should already exist, you should only have to uncomment two of them, and only have to add the last two, the multiverse and backport:

deb hoary main restricted
deb-src hoary main restricted

deb hoary-updates main restricted
deb-src hoary-updates main restricted

deb hoary universe
deb-src hoary universe

deb hoary-security main restricted
deb-src hoary-security main restricted

deb hoary-security universe
deb-src hoary-security universe

deb hoary multiverse
deb-src hoary multiverse

## Backports
deb hoary-backports main universe multiverse restricted
deb hoary-extras main universe multiverse restricted

After you have edited sources.list it may be a good time to open up Kynaptic again and under file click on:

Refresh Package Information

then update all your packages (that's the middle button of the three). I just did that here and it took about 5 or 6 minutes on a cable connection to download and update on my 750MHz computer. Have fun installing games and toys through the package manager.

-Frozen bubbles?

Impressive Quick Install

30 minutes

That was all it took to install a fully functional operating system on my working hard drive. And I'm not talking about anything Microsoft related, either. My 15Gb hard drive was taken off life support yesterday afternoon. It was pronounced dead at 12 noon. The corpse still resides within its steel mounting as a reminder of what could happen should I choose to mess around with my computer without proper grounding straps and knowledge of disconnecting the power before handing components.

-Very impressed with my new Kubuntu

Friday, July 01, 2005

War with HG Wells

There's a war

And that war is between two worlds. In a few hours I'm going to catch the afternoon matinee of S.Speilburg's version of War of the Worlds. Roger Ebert was naysaying the movie. He thinks the movie is too much like the book version. Honestly, that's what I was looking for. I want aliens stomping around on tripods of death. Though Ebert may have a point in saying the tripods of death would be more believable if the movie were to take place in the late 1800's like the book.

-Bacteria saves the day

Computer play

I've been messing around with my computer, playing with my 15Gb hard drive. Messing around with Linux. It turns out my 15Gb drive has died. The head is off alignment and clicks every available random interval. To really test this I had Kubuntu installed on it three times. And that was a 5 hour install every time (5 hours due to the broken hard drive). When Kubuntu satisfied my theory that the drive was b0rken I then proceeded to put Suse 9.1 pro on there. That didn't work either. Broken hard drive.

Now I've booted from a Win98 floppy and have removed the partitions on the 15Gb drive. Now I'm setting up a large partition on it and am going to format the drive. One last test, I'm going to see if WinXP can get the drive working as it should (I doubt it, but this is an exhaustive test). I still hear random clicking, though, during the (very slow) partition sequence. Finally, when I see just how dead this drive is, I'm going to format my 120Gb and start fresh with that. I wouldn't bother with the reinstallation of WinXP on the 120Gb drive but I kinda screwed up.

Here's what I did. I mounted my 120Gb hard drive to the Kubuntu OS installed on the 15Gb hard drive. When I didn't think it had worked, instead of umounting it, I rm -r it. When I realized it shouldn't take 4 seconds to recursively remove an empty directory I cancelled that, unknowingly just what it was I had erased.

Surprisingly every thing I tried in the WinXP drive (upon booting up in Windows again) worked! It would take a long time before I find whatever was (partially) erased. It could be a game, half an episode of HackTV, etc. Except when I went to defrag, had to run Windows scan-disk and found a few cross-ref'd files. I assume scan-disk fixed that, so I then went on to the defrag. Unfortunately my 120Gb hard drive seemed to die then. (This was yesterday). I came back to my computer and was greeted with a blue screen. Not a BSoD, just a plain blue screen. An unexplained, something-has-happened-but-as-the-computer-I-won't-tell-you-what blue screen. So I shut down the computer hard, in the middle of an unfinished defragmentation.

When I tried to boot the computer up again, it really didn't want to. My BIOS couldn't find the hard drive on the IDE cable, but it could find the slave, 15Gb. I felt the hard drive and it was hot. Defragging a large hard drive in a warm room with a case that's clogged with bits of cat hair (damned cats and their shedding). I'm thinking the drive just got too hot and shut itself down preventatively. I waited for the drive to cool and Lo! It recognizes and boots up. The Western Digital diagnostic tool says the 120Gb drive is perfect. It says the 15Gb drive sucks.

I've backed up all the important bits I need to reinstall WinXP on the 120Gb drive. Tomorrow, after I'm done playing with the 15Gb, I'll format the 120Gb and reinstall WinXP with another partition for Linux and Swap.

-Crossing my fingers, toes and eyes

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Throttle control

Just passed

I'd taken my motorcycle skills test (MST) last week and failed with 5 demerits. I don't know how many I'm allowed, but I failed all the same. The inspector, female, sent me home, telling me to come back in one week.

This morning I took the MST again. The inspector, a guy, passed me with 3 demerits. Wheres last week I rawked out on the slow-speed straight ride and was alright on the pylon slalom, and utterly screwed up the quick-stop from u-turn; this week I utterly screwed up the slow-speed straight ride, wobbling all over the straight line... twice. But I was great with the pylons and I rawked out with the acceleration/deceleration of the quick-stop maneuver.

Upon completion, I stalled the bike. A demeritable offense, one which he ignored since the test was over. He handed my license back to me saying "have another printed up inside", where last week she kept mine and said "have another printed up inside". But before I left, he made sure I knew that I sucked. "You need to practice. Holy Crap! You need to practice that throttle control. It's like riding a bicycle, that's where the balance is. It'll keep you in a straight line."

-And I drove home this week. 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk

Monday, June 27, 2005

One Funny Joke

Laugh a little

A young couple are laying in bed, sharing a pack of Gummy-Bears. The girl pulls out two Gummy-Bears that happen to be stuck together.

Girl: Look, they are having sex.

Boy: How come we're not having sex?

Girl: We're not Gummy-Bears.

-My girlfriend and I made up that joke.