Thursday 23 April 2009

New release of UBUNTU

There's an upcoming release of UBUNTU, which is an alternative operating system to Windows that I run on both my laptop and PLAYSTATION3. I currently use 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) but the new version 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) is due for release very shortly:

I've already installed the upgrade by using the development version and it's rock solid. I'm currently upgrading the PLAYSTATION3 as I write.

As an alternative to the world of Windows, I thoroughly recommend it. It's free, it's open source and thoroughly reliable. Hasn't crashed on me once in 18 months of use.


Friday 17 April 2009

Pathetic ANTEL, my ISP

I've had reason to ring ANTEL recently, even though I don't speak Spanish - such was my frustration.

They charge me 35 GBP a month for a pony service. That's for a 2Mbps connection.

Here's a list of my recent results from

I suppose I should just be thankful I don't have to rely on it for work purposes. ANTEL are a bunch of thieves and it's money for old rope. 3 times the cost, and 10 times slower, and that's when it's supposed to be running at full tilt - which I hasten to add never happens, unless you just happen to be downloading from a site somewhere in Uruguay.

Interestingly, when I phoned them, they said they don't guarantee times/speeds outside of Uruguay. Well that's complete nonsense - do they think the internet doesn't exist outside of Uruguay? Idiots, the lot of them.


Wednesday 15 April 2009

Interesting stuff on Google Books

I found this whilst recently browsing the 'interweb' so I'll share it with you, if you fancy the idea of reading up about my home town of Wallington, Surrey:

Wallington (TinyURL)

I found out from this excerpt that my road (Clarendon Road) used to be called Cathcart of all things!


Saturday 4 April 2009

It's all go ....

Big excitement today when there was a major accident right outside where we live.

Apparently a motorcyclist and pillion passenger were trying to escape from the police, and came the wrong way down Luis Lamas and collided with a Citroen people carrier. As you can see, the people carrier was carrying a disabled person and they were stuck inside the vehicle after the accident.

I was concerned for the biker as he didn't look in a good way. His mate ran off but was soon collared by neighbours. Apparently a gun was involved, and that was used in an attempted robbery just prior to the accident.

The biker wasn't wearing a helmet but I didn't feel sorry for him after I found out what he and matey-boy had been up to with that gun of theirs...

Friday 3 April 2009

Grub problems - error 17

I got this error after installing the Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and then the dreaded Vista.

The error usually happens because Linux and your BIOS detect your hard disks in different orders. GRUB tries to translate between the two using the file in /boot/grub/, which is automatically generated. Chances are, it guessed wrong.

In my case, I have three SATA hard disks.

My BIOS sees them as:
HDD1 - 80 GB - Windows
HDD2 - 80 GB - Linux
HDD3 - 250 GB - Media

Linux sees them as:
/dev/sda - 80 GB - Windows
/dev/sdb - 250 GB - Media
/dev/sdc - 80 GB - Linux

So it generated assuming that order was correct, i.e.:
(hd0) /dev/sda
(hd1) /dev/sdb
(hd2) /dev/sdc

When the installer installed GRUB using that data, it tried to install the first part of GRUB on /dev/sda and told it to look for the OS on /dev/sdc. Unfortunately, this translated to "install on (hd0) then look for the OS on (hd2)", so it was looking for the OS on the wrong drive.

To fix it, you have to teach GRUB which order the BIOS uses. To do this, follow these steps:

1) Boot from the Ubuntu CD
2) Open a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal)
3) Run "sudo -s"
4) Run "mkdir /ubuntu"
5) Run "mount /dev/sdc1 /ubuntu" (where /dev/sdc1 is your Linux root partition)
6) Run "chroot /ubuntu"
7) Run "cd /boot/grub"
Edit (using vi or another text editor)

In my case, my new was:
(hd0) /dev/sda
(hd1) /dev/sdc
(hd2) /dev/sdb

which told GRUB that sdc was really the second hard drive, not the third.

9) Run "grub"
10) Type "root (hd1,0)" (where hd1,0 is your Linux boot or root partition using the BIOS order)
11) Type "setup (hd0)" (where hd0 is your first boot drive, almost always hd0)

You should see a message that it's now telling GRUB to load 17+(hd1,0) instead of 17+(hd2,0) or something like that. This is what we want.

12) Edit menu.lst

You need to change references from (hd2,0) to (hd1,0), or whatever your Linux boot drive was autodetected as to whatever it is according to your BIOS.

If you get this step wrong, you'll see an error message something like:
Error 17: Cannot mount selected partition

meaning it's looking for a Linux file system on that partition, but it can't find one (because the drive device number is wrong in menu.lst).

13) Reboot

14) Celebrate

Complete respect to the Ubuntu forums and Mikel Ward, from Melbourne in Australia in particular. Excellent detailed post.