Adventures In Computing

October 29, 2007

Parking Is Dangerous For Your Hard Drive

Filed under: Dell, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, Ubuntu, Vostro 1500, Windows, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:45 pm


Three days ago on October 26th, I read about a bug with Ubuntu that would kill my hard drive within a year if left unchecked. I read someplace where someone says that it is the fault of the BIOS vendor and another place it is the fault of the hard drive vendor, yet another place says that it is Ubuntu’s fault. I don’t care who’s fault it is, we have to fix it and fix it ASAP.

The bug is that in laptops the HDD parks itself once a minute and according to most of the articles I read a HDD can do this 600000 which means that a hard disc drive will last a little less than 167 hours. In my case it is not as bad as that but my hard drive will only last 1 year if it continues at this rate.

When I first read this article I did not think that I was affected and that it was just a freaky thing happening to a few laptops. Yesterday I read more and started wondering if my computer was affected with this bug. I checked it and my computer was cycling once every two minutes or so, as I said not as bad as once a second but worrisome. I read of a few fixes but I didn’t really have the time to try them so I waited until this evening to give it a go.

Let me tell you that I was really worried this afternoon, not because that my hard disc drive might fail within a year but because I might have to remove Ubuntu and install XP on my laptop. I have tried the fixes and thank God they are working on my desktop. I am very happy right now, so happy that I want to jump around and yell “hee hah”, but I won’t.

Almost all the information I got to fix my problem I got it from here, thank you Roald Hopman (AKA Ubuntu Demon) if it wasn’t for you I would never have known what happenned to my HDD in a years time.

October 23, 2007

Gutsy Gibbon Up And Running

Filed under: Gnome, GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:47 pm

Gutsy Gibbon is up and running all the three musketeers, yeah that right I installed it on my lap-top, Kramer, last evening. Everything that I use regularly works, hee haa little doggies. I am very happy with this version of Ubuntu.

I had a freezing problem with one of my desktop computer, new-toy to be precise. I had installed Ubuntu on it Saturday and nVidia’s propriety driver and the computer was freezing. I found out Sunday that my graphic card (EVGA 7300GS) and motherboard (E9N) for one reason or another were not really compatible. When I installed the drivers for Windows XP there was a patch for the graphic card so XP works correctly. I tried a few fixes and they seemed to work, but after a while the computer freezes again.

I did not have this problem when I had Kubuntu on it, so guess what? I reformatted it with Kubuntu and christen it Sidney, and what the hell I reformatted precious with Ubuntu and named that one Newman. I did all of this Monday evening.

Today I finished tweaking all three computers and Sidney froze again. I removed the nVidia propriety drivers. It still froze. I was getting pissed off. I read in the nVidia forums that there is no solution for this problem. I have a solution I go and buy myself another video card a GeForce 8500GT. Now Sidney does not freeze. I am a few dollars poorer but I am Video rich.

I am tired so I’ll take a break and watch television and not touch any of my computers this evening. See you later.

October 21, 2007

Gutsy Gibbon Second & Third Steps

Filed under: Gnome, GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 4:43 pm

First off I’d like to say that I am sorry that I did not write on Friday, or yesterday, as promised in Gutsy Gibbon’s First Step. Friday was a very hectic days so when I got home I decided to take it easy and not work to hard on the computer, so all I do is transfer some files from New-Toy to Precious so I don’t have to do this on Saturday.

Yesterday when I got home from work I went back at it. My goal was to complete the Kubuntu 7.10 installation on Precious, install Windows XP (for Games) and Ubuntu 7.10 on New-Toy and if I still had it in me to install Ubuntu in Kramer the laptop.

The first thing I do is start my XP installation on New-Toy and while this is going on and on and on and on and on (get the point it is slow, painfully slooooooww) I install all the packages I can think of that I’ll need. Stuff like Samba, ssh, x2x (to be able to use one keyboard and mouse for more then one computer), gstreamer plugins, flash player, mencoder, mozilla-mplayer, gtkpod (for the iPod), GPixPod (again for the iPod), unrar, etc, etc, etc I am sure that I have forgotten a few packages but it is quite easy to install them when I’ll need them. I set up the desktop the way I like it. I don’t really like the wallpaper/desktop art but no more time to waste to change it at the moment.

I have to mention that when I used Dolphin, the new KDE file manager, I like the look and feel of it but there is no tab option like in Konquerer, the consolation is that there is split view where I can open two folders at the same time. I guess I’ll have to make due with that. In Konqueror I usually opened up to four folders at the time.

When XP is done installing I try to install NOD32 on it but my back up copy of the anti-virus is on Precious and I don’t have my Ethernet drivers installed. New-Toy as never had XP installed on it and I did not expect to install it on that computer so all the CDs are put away God knows where. So I have to download all the drivers I need from the net. I start the downloads and I start installing Ubuntu 7.10 on New-Toy. Same thing happened with the “Scanning the Mirror” being stuck at 82%. I watch television while I wait. When I go back to the computer everything is done in less time that Windows XP was “completely” installed.

I log in and I again get a restricted driver notice. I do install the nVidia driver so that I can use the desktop effects. The basic setting is, let us say, basic. I install the CompizConfig Settings Manager and set up the desktop effects to my liking. I again install all the packages I’ll be needing. I have to mention that both New-Toy and Precious had the correct screen resolution when the were turned on. This is the first time this happens for me since I apparently have abnormal monitors. Everything else is working, sound, Ethernet, modem, printers. I have to download and install drivers for my XP installation, which is simpler? My choice, on three computers, is easy.

I do change the wallpaper on New-Toy to Elephant, note to self find a blue Elephant wallpaper for Precious. Once everything is done on New-Toy Ubuntu. I restart the computer with XP to install the drivers. I spend the rest of the evening/night installing drivers, anti-virus, anti-spyware, a good firewall, burning software, updates and a secure web browser (Firefox). Time is up it is 11:30 and I call it a day.

This morning after I get home from my morning walk I decide to install Battlefeild 2 and Bioshock and a few more game on the XP partition. I try them out for several hours,in fact about 4 hours. I don’t play computer game very often but when I do I play them for way too long. Nothing creative done yet today except that now I am transfering files back to New-Toy from Precious and I am putting yet more music in my iPod, when will I listen to these songs? Soon I hope.

I decided not to install Gutsy on my laptop at them moment I wait until I have more time to devote to this endeavour. I guess that is it for this overlong post. From what I have seen Ubuntu has another great release under their belt. Now we have to get ready for Hardy Heron Ubuntu 8.04 when it comes out in April.

This has been posted to both my blogs, Adventures in Computing and No Name Blog. Usually this would only have been posted in the Adventures blog but I wanted to see how much traffic it would create on the No Name Blog.

October 18, 2007

Gusty Gibbon’s First Steps

Filed under: GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux — Normand Bissonnette @ 11:38 pm


Kubuntu 7.10, code name Gutsy Gibbon, is now installed on my oldest computer, code name precious. I bought the computer after seeing Lord of the Rings – Fellowship of the Rings when it was at the theatres. I have to say that the installation was slow this time around since I believe that a lot of people could not wait to install it and the repositories are swamped by us impatient nerds.

I popped in the installation CD chose to manually partition my hard drives. I did this because I used to have windows on this computer and I decided to ditch it. I’m ashamed to say that I will install it on my other desktop computer to try out Bioshock and a few other games.

The installation was going fine until it got to 82% a was taking a lot of time “scanning the mirror”. After waiting fifteen minutes I stopped timing and went to watch some television. I watched The Office after I checked to see if the installation was done. It was. I did a reboot. When the computer came back on, my log in screen was slightly different from Feisty (Kubuntu 7.04). I now can choose which user to log in with. There is not much choice since I’ll be the only person to use this computer.

I notice that when I am logged in my screen resolution was correctly detected. I also have a notice that there are some restricted drivers available. All I have to do is click on the Restricted Icon to see which one. The nvidia driver is the only one available for this computer. I choose to install it. It takes 15 minutes to download and install (again because all us nerds want gutsy now).

I then decide to install gstreamer plug ins so that I can watch video on the computer. This again takes time, It is fine wanting to update as soon as possible, but next time I’ll wait a few days before doing the install.

This is where I end tonight because it is getting late. I’ll continue tomorrow and keep you updated.

October 11, 2007

Boring Update

Filed under: Gnome, GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, Ubuntu, Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:11 pm

In the last post I told you that I was upgrading to Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Beta release. The upgrade went fine. The only problem I have is that I don’t have the time to try it out. Maybe I should have upgraded my laptop instead since I use this one everyday.

Last time I said that I’ll be installing Gutsy on my three computers the 20th and 21st of October, this hasn’t changed. What I decided to change is I’ll be installing Kubuntu on my older computer and Ubuntu on my newer desktop computer and both on my laptop.

I guess this is it for this post, I know it was a boring post but you know what they say: “Life is a Bitch and so is Britney Spears.”

October 1, 2007

You Have To Be Gutsy To Try This

Filed under: Gnome, GNU/Linux, Gutsy Gibbon, KDE, Kubuntu, Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:13 pm

As I am writing this I am upgrading my old computer to Ubuntu 7.10 code named “Gutsy Gibbon” beta. I have waited longer this time around to do the switch. I had switched over to “Edgy Eft” Ubuntu 7.04 when it was still in its alpha stage. I can’t wait to try it out.

In the Ubuntu communities everybody has been posting about Ubuntu Install fests around the date of 18th of October since this is when 7.10 is coming out. I am going to have one on the 20th and 21st since I’ll be doing 2 fresh installs, maybe three. My old computer, named Precious, will have Ubuntu. My newer desktop, named New-Toy, will have Kubuntu, and the lap top, named Kramer, will have both version of the distribution. I am getting giddy with the anticipation.

I hope that they work out all the kinks out before I upgrade my new vostro laptop, since the hardware in it is relatively new and as I am writing this there are some issues. This is the main reason why I did not do the upgrade yet. I am using the lap top 60% of the time, so I don’t want to use a buggy system.

I invite you all to go to The No Name Blog for a good time and a less serious blog. I warn you that you may be offended by the content and/or the sarcasm. Thanks again for reading my musings. See you later.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.