Archive for the ‘Computer’ Category

How to explain Ubuntu

November 30, 2007

I found a great metaphor which explains Ubuntu and the open source idea in an easy way and very comprehensible. I won’t tell spoil anything – look it up yourself ;-)

By the way I am deeply impressed by the newest Ubuntu release. It’s just amazing. Try it out. Definitely!

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How to fuck up your hard disk – and how to recover it

April 8, 2007

A few days ago, I got a computer from my host dad to avoid conflicts with my host brother about using his computer. There was still Windows XP installed with files and data from the previous owner, but I wanted to install Ubuntu anyway. That day the internet in my room wasn’t working so I really had nothing to do and started right away to install Ubuntu.

This shouldn’t have been that difficult – I installed Ubuntu already a few times on different computers and have never experienced any problems. That’s why I didn’t made any precautions. Lesson learned, I won’t ever do that again. Always make a damn update!

I would have made one, but I was/am rather short of funds: It’s an old machine, Pentium III, floppy disk (thank god – nowadays many computers are shipped without, I myself sometimes consider it as lesser important), CD drive and a 10 gb hard disk drive. So how am I supposed to do an backup without the resources I can use in Germany?!

Live Disk as usual, I change the partition by hand. It seems to go well – until to the next installation step: I need to assign root and swap to the partitions. But the wizard tells me the partitions are somehow broken. WTF? I cancel the installation, but it was too late, Windows wouldn’t boot any more.

It’s about fine with me – I could have used Ubuntu only. The big nasty problem was that my host dad, or better the computer’s previous owner needed some files he forgot to copy/backup/whatever. Shit.

I knew there were recovery tools for these kind of problems. I just had never ever needed something like that and I had to teach myself from scratch how to do it. Where? Big, old pal Internet would help.

I got a few tools which made hope, it showed all the data. But it was only freeware and didn’t allow to write the found data. How convenient.

I had a hell of a stress the last days. My host dad wasn’t that happy when he found out what’d happened. But after all it only confirmed his opinion that I was responsible for breaking every computer. My host brother didn’t let me use his computer, because he always has been pissed of about the need to share it and afterall I had now my own computer. Fine.

Last option: Internet cafe. A very interesting experience. Surrounded by Russians (age 9-17) playing Counter Strike and similar games. But at least the feeling that you can use a computer as long as you want and need to (okay, I had to pay … but that were peanuts 1Ls/3 hours).

I figured out how to use a tool I already tried out, but with which I was overburdened: testdisk. Back home I tried it out (after arguing with my host brother to change keyboards – I had only one for usb port which is pretty useless in DOS) and was relieved that it worked about as described, although it was a slightly newer version.

Even better: Windows worked. Internet worked. Ha, life is fine.

I wondered how I could donate something (I don’t have Paypal), but the main brain behind the tool also collects Euro coins! Very good, I ordered my parents to collect some and sent them over to France. Maybe I can even think of some lines in French to write him!

Ubuntu Live CD – Unix again

July 13, 2006

I’m actually online using the Ubuntu Live CD. Ubuntu is indeed very neat. Thanks for your suggestion, William. But I used my brothers computer and the keyboard sucks.

Nevertheless, I should install a Unix system on my own computer again. Because Windows actually sucks a great deal more.

Maybe I try this time Ubuntu instead of Linux (i always crashed my Linux – i had it at least 4 times installed and I crashed the graphical interface since I tried to install more advanced drivers (for games of course)). I still have Linux on my main computer (with text mode only) and I can’t reinstall it, because my dvd has some scratches (I happen to destroy every cd within a short time – my Windows too).

I still need my Linux because the boot.ini files of both my Windows installations doesn’t work too. It’s still a little more complicated, but I forgot the details (I have several hard drives with and without RAID technology which isn’t supported for booting or something like this).

But I wanted to tell you something about Ubuntu (did I?).

As I said, Ubuntu is very n eat (argh, shit. I’m tired of corrcting all my mistypes – sry :D). At least what I can say about the Live CD version. As a used-to-windows user it’s strange to the the bottom bar at the top. I may wan’t to change it, but I didn’t figured out yet how to change it. THE background-image (I m doing to much CSS) wallpaper is nice too. Okay, that was an exorbitant important information, I know.

The installation is very quick and easy. AGAIn (the fucking shift button sucks most) at least the Live CD. THE real installation takes more time, that’s sure. I had only to choose my language (it suggested me countries – Germany, Swiss, Belgium, Austria etc – very nice and than a keyboard language) and it loaded a few drivers and that’s it. I didn’t took the time. Less than five minutes I think.

You can use a hell of a lot programms. D’IDNT anticipated that – with only about a cd full of disc space. Firefox of course, other internet progs like GAIM (an instant messanger) Oppen Office, GIMP and similiar stuff (for watching, scanning, ec), mail and damn much games!!!

GOMEtris is great. I LOve that name. I lay on the floor for a while, laughing. I would say about fifteen(!) games. Of course these funky games for the lunch break or when your boss pays more attentionto his new secretary.

What else to say? Various Terminals of course. DIFferent terminals. The adminstration panels look great. Some accessories like a English dictiornary. Great.

Ubuntu rocks! As all most (try mailman) OpenSOURCe software. Give it a try.

Talking Hawaiian: or how I chose and set up a wiki

May 8, 2006

Wikiwiki is Hawaiian and means something like quick or fast (just that you get the title).
I was never that much interested in wikis, I only used the English and German Wikipedia with great enthusiasm. But a friend of mine needed a wiki very urgently and offered me even a little reward to set up her wiki as quick as possible. So I did.

At first, I thought that would be easily done. It wasn't. First, she suggested Twiki, but I should do my own research. I found a very good comparison website, WikiMatrix. They have a huge database with wikis and their features and you can choose different wikis you want to compare. For those who have no clue at all (as me, at least I used to) they have a wizard, who asks you questions about your wishes and preferences and suggests you the fitting wiki systems. Very good for a novice like me.

I consulted the WikiMatrix wizard and I had only a few wiki softwares left. I looked over their features by hand and I could exclude a few more. After all, I had still PMWiki, TWiki.

Let's start with PMWiki. PMWiki is PHP based and needs no database. I tried it first with my localhost, the setup is very easy. Very easy. I thought that would fit all my needs and I transferred it to the webserver. The basic installation was the same: Very quick, very easy. As I uploaded PMWiki I wondered for the first time why it was so lightweighted: It's zipped only around 200 kilobytes large, at least without the language files. So, the basic wiki worked.

There was just one problem: My friend needed some important features, as a comfortable editor (like Worpress') and file upload and so on. And I had to change some settings. Though, that wasn't as easy as the installation. WikiMatrix said there would be an WYSIWYG editor for PMWiki, installable with a plugin. Unfortunately the wiki website denied that. Shit, that was a problem. And because the documentation is not as I wanted and needed it to be, I kicked PMWiki's butt and said goodbye. Next one.

Second try: TWiki. TWiki needs no database, as PMWiki. It is written in Perl. I didn't knew anything about Perl and I still don't. Nevertheless I tried it. But I could install it. It seemed easy too, but I had one little problem, on my localhost as on the webserver: The Perl scripts wouldn't work. I don't know why. The wiki has a subdirectory with Perl scripts called 'bin'. The Perl scripts are stored there and they have no file extension. The TWiki documentation suggests, that you may have to change the file extension. I tried several possibilities (e.g. .pl) and I even changed the Perl directory path (?) at the beginning of every file from !/usr/bin/perl -w to another possibility, once for my localhost installation and once for the webserver. Although TWiki seems to be a nice wiki software, I dumped it.

Damn, I didn't knew what to do. I consulted the WikiMatrix wizard again, but with less restrictions. I then spotted MediaWiki. And of course, I knew the software already!!! Do you? You have too, as it is the software Wikipedia uses. I then knew, that I had to get this software to work. And I did.

The installation was a child's play. You have to upload the files (MediaWiki is very large) and configure the database installation with any kind of a webbrowser. Now, the MediaWiki works. I don't want to digg into it, because the documentation for this wiki is very good. I mean, it's an Wikimedia project ;-)

After all, I took some more time to configure the wiki, because you have so many possibilities and it's unlikely that your config file is ready to use (I mean to use – the wiki worked from scratch on) after your first try.
By the way, I created a Wikipedia account when I had finished ;-)

Netvibes, a customizable online desktop

April 3, 2006

Just a short note:

I first found pageflakes (which wasn't bad after all), blogged it and a commentator posted a link to Netvibes.

Netvibes rocks!!! I never used a personalized and customizable welcome page, but after just two days of using it, I couldn't miss it. Be sure to check out the preview modules too.

Fun with keywords

March 7, 2006

Haha! I see there are always a few visitors who came over google or sth. similiar to this blog and I wonder again and again how google works to send them here. It’s just great. I should save the future keywords who appear to be fun somewhere else, because I can only see the keywords for the last two days. I’ll be back with some collected keywords :-)

A long time

February 1, 2006

I’m back again and my computer works again. I was on school vacation and it was great. My Linux Bootloader Grub suddenly didn’t work but it suddenly worked again and I was happy, because I feared the worst. More tomorrow or so. To be continued.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

January 19, 2006

I made my final decision: I’m selling a lot of my hardware and other stuff, to buy an apple laptop. At first I thought of an iBook, but now I’m not sure anymore. Maybe it’ll be an iMac. But there’s a still a little problem: Money. Thats why I would like to sell all this stuff. Another point is that I am going to Finnland or Lettland for one year. Now, I would get more money for my hardware than after this year. Even if I didn’t buy my apple computer before I go I would get some money. And of course, I rarely use my two other pcs. I’m actually not sure what components they have got but I will check it in the next weeks. I even don’t know where I should sell this stuff and how. A complete pc ? Only parts ? Over ebay ? At first, I will ask around the neighbourhood, friends or friends of friends. Sure is: One of these apple babies is gonna be mine. :-)