Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hardy Alpha 5 up and running

Yes, that's true, Hardy's up and running!!! :-) I have the latest Ubuntu installed. This was my 2nd attempt at the installation and this time, I suceeded. I guess there was some problem in the way I chose to make partitions. This time, I made a / and a /usr (instead of /home) and all went well.

Now, I came up with another problem. Firefox 3.0 beta wouldn't work. It came up showing the File and Edit menus at the bottom of its window and it wouldn't let me do anything. So, I inserted the Gutsy (7.10) DVD and installed Firefox 2.0. It removed 3.0 and started working just fine. This time, I learnt how to load a CD-ROM into Synaptic.

I chanced upon screenlets while browing Ubuntu forums and I tried a few screenlets (goto to know more about them). They look amazing! I tried the CPU meter, Notes screenlet and System monitor. I must say, I am amazed. I turned off the CPU meter and System monitor because they are going to start timers and I want to make use of all the realtime features that the kernel provides, right? So, I only use the Notes screenlet for now! I will look for more later.

In short, am loving it :)
P.S: I wish to show off all these features and get people to adopt Ubuntu/Linux/Open-source!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Booting from a USB drive - fruitless till now

While I was downloading Hardy Alpha 5, I tried searching for a link that would tell me how to boot from a USB drive. I like to adopt to the latest version of Ubuntu, so, I would necessarily end up with many CDs!!! To avoid that, I wanted to boot from USB.

All the links that came up said, first burn a CD and then do something to get it onto a USB. That's not what I am looking for. I want the USB boot up in the first place. So, the search is on!

Less CDs equates to less e-waste.

Hardy Heron Alpha 5

I got excited to see the features in the Alpha 5 release of Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04, whose final version is to come out in April). I downloaded it, made a CD and installed. Something probably went wrong in the installation, and I could not log into it.

I made a /home partition that's 100G and when I tried logging in, I got an error saying $HOME/.dmrc has a problem; I saw a another problem with gnome-panel app. Because of the gnome-panel app problem, I ended up with a nice wallpaper with multiple colours and a beautiful outline of a peacock. I haven't had the time to look into the problem. So, more work to be done!

Feels great to be at the bleeding edge of Ubuntu adoption!
P.S: Alpha 5 took about 50 minutes to download using bittorrent and I was quite happy with the minimum speed of 225KBps.

Friday, February 22, 2008

pdfsam to merge PDF files

I downloaded the tarball of the ldd3 (Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition) from BTW, I also have the printed book with me. I like to search for things in the book, so, a PDF is great. But, I saw that individual chapter PDFs were present after untarring. I like to have a single PDF file, right? So, I zoomed into pdfsam (, a free open source PDF split/merge utility. I downloaded/installed/ran it to merge all the PDF files. It is a very simple utility and did its job really well. I am now enjoying ldd3.pdf, a single PDF file created out of all the individual chapters. It was a breeze :-)

Thank you to the LWN/O'Reilly people for making the PDF available for free download.
Thank you to the people at pdfsam for the lovely utility.

On a related note, Jon Corbet, one of the authors of ldd3 gave a talk at titled - The Kernel Report. Here's the link -

Open source rules!!!