MBRs (Master Boot Records) can be a pain in the butt when it comes to Windows, Ubuntu, and switching between the two. If you delete the Linux partition whilst using GRUB, you have lost your ability to boot. I did that a couple days ago and it took me about 8 hours to fix my laptop (Alright, I could of done it in 1 but I wasn’t interested in reinstalling Ubuntu). Turns out Super Grub Disk isn’t all it ought to be (Still having to do with the fact my computer was having errors burning CDs with InfraRecorder, and it wreaked the disk to the point where I stuck it in the drive and nothing would open -> CD DoS Attack?) and I eventually had to give in and use UNetbootin to try it. I tried a bunch of the bootloaders that UNetbootin had to offer, still little luck. They either locked, or said they were booting and weren’t. After a while, I just gave up, installed Ubuntu, and fixed the problem from inside Vista (Fixmbr anyone?). After all this I realized, all it takes is some idiot to run that program wrong, and that computer is unbootable until you want to pay to fix it and really, who has that Microsoft restore CD, manufacturers just include that annoying restore program with no repair functionality?

So if someone were to buffer overflow something, they could run a program with similar functionality that wipes the mbr. I actually think that program can do that! So is there a solution to this problem? I say smarter bios that can read partitions and boot them without a pesky MBR. Or a MBR that can only be overwritten by a program made by the HDD manufacturer (Trustworthy people I say!).

With this comes a bigger issue. With a ruined MBR, your computer is still there somewhere, waiting to be awoke. If you destory the file tables, you’ve lost data. Hmm, couldn’t we implent these in a way that can’t be easily exploited? Come on Micrsoft, people hate you. When they read this, you may have an issue.

What’s up!

December 20, 2008

Ok so I’ve realized that blogging isn’t a daily hobby of mine now. So I won’t make promices 🙂

I am taking linux off of my laptop. I need the space for music, and if there was iTunes for linux, screw windows! So I can’t try kde 4.1, amarok 2 (i will for windows, sounds exciting), and kdenlive (I wish vmware was faster!)

Swim team website is going well, I want my own now!

Partitioning management in vista is alright (compared to nonexsitant in xp). Not useful yet. Delete partitions? yea, move partitions? Nope. I need to fix my MBR too… but you can only do that with a vista disk… WTF? the program is prolly 355kb why can’t msoft include it?

I hope that apple will come to macworld and say “PRESENTING SNOW LEAPORD… COMPATIBLE WITH PC’S!” Belive me, I would ditch windows that instant. I won’t pirate osx (with osx86) cause apple has mean lawyers. But really, I want OS X!

My Stuff

October 5, 2008

Now that I finally got my laptop, I had to take a picture of all my computers and other random gadgets. Ok, so there isn’t that many, but for a 16 year old, more then a fair share!


Ok, so here is what I have:

  • HP Pavilion a808x – this is my first computer for myself, it really still works nice too. It has 512MiB ram (I never felt like paying $20 to upgrade), a nvidia 6200 with 128MiB ram (I only got it for ubuntu’s desktop effects…), and a single core 2.2GHZ processor by AMD. It is currently running ubuntu. My brother kind of shares this one with me, so it runs Windows XP as well.
  • Dell Inspiron 6250 – This laptop is 7 years old and S-L-O-W! My parents pretty much let it go to me. It has a 20GIB super slow hard drive to begin with, so it already has problems. Then it’s a slap in the face with 1.6GHZ single core processor, and 256MiB of ram. But on the bright side has a nvidia 2 go and an Ethernet port. So what do I do with it? Nothing. The batteries shot. It runs XP and occasionally ubuntu, if I feel like running ubuntu on 5GiB of space.
  • HP Pavilion DV6885SE – My new laptop. I love it! It has a dual core 2.1GHZ processor, 3GiB of ram, 250GiB of hard drive, a nvidia 8400, a 12 cell battery, and just plain looks awesome being a “special edition”. It has WiFi too, something I had never gotten to play with. This is my favorite and newest computer. It runs Vista, which is new as well to me. It’s what I am writing this post in right now! I highly recommend HPs now that I have two.
  • Sony Handycam DCR-HC38 – My camcorder I don’t use much. I am not really inspired to use it at the second, but it’s nice to have around, because you never know when you need to video document something without a digital camera, laptop, or phone. Yes people, a device that only records video.
  • Apple iPod Nano (3rd Gen) – Had it for a year now, 4GiB of space, it’s cool with a case, I use it every day and charge it every two weeks. I don’t have a cable for it anymore, so it has only 400 songs I am getting sick of. But I probably won’t upgrade, with a case it’s fine.
  • LG Voyager (VX10000) – My phone, and I like it! With the newest software update it’s fine. I always use it for texting, I don’t have the money to activate all the other programs. It can do it all though. With the case, I dropped it 6+ feet onto a road, and it only left a scratch. I have a train as a background! I know hacks for it because I really get sick of the locked-ness of the whole thing.

Well I have a old calculator too, It’s buried in my bookbag though. Being HP it deserves to make it to the list. As do the pile of cables I have. But as I said, I am good computer wise. I just try really hard to keep my stuff nice!

Have some fun with ubuntu!

September 27, 2008

A screenshot of Ubuntu

A screenshot of Ubuntu

Ever wanted to see what the all the jazz that “Ubuntu” is? Well you can do it now! No CD’s, no losing Windows, no geek magic to make your computer start. In fact you can do it all in Windows… the only requirement –  a fast computer (I recommend a dual core processor + 2GB memory minimum).  Specifically all we are doing is running Ubuntu in something called a virtual machine, a program that emulates computer hardware.

Instead of making you find the links to download the files, I will give them to you! If you know what you’re doing, feel free to have at the downloads yourself. Or try Kubuntu!

1) First off we want to download and install something called VirtualBox. Download it here!

2) Then we want to get our Ubuntu disk image. Don’t forget where you saved this! It is important later! Download it here!

3) Now we want to install VirtualBox. If you already have good for you! With the install of VirtualBox, just keep all the options to the default and when you get the “Not supported by windows” error, just click “Continue Installition”. This may happen twice, it won’t hurt your computer, I can pretty much say that out of experence.

4) Now we are going to create our Ubuntu Virtual Machine. First we will go to Start > All Programs > Sun xVM VirtualBox > VirtualBox. If it asks you to register, just give them your name/email and click “Do not use this information to contact me” and they won’t :). Now I will go to the Screenshots Tour section!

TADA! You got ubuntu! Sorry for the low quality over all of the tutorial, I didn’t have the time to make it longer 😛

Why I love Gedit

September 17, 2008

I have tried a few IDEs for Linux and Windows. Most proved to be large, memory consuming, and bloated with features a simple developer like me doesn’t really want or need. Then I wanted to try newer things then the things I got IDEs to do, so I have to go back again and look for another large, useless, bloated piece of software. While I was gazing upon some ruby-on-rails screencasts, I noticed their development environment of choice was a piece of software called TextMate on Mac OSX. I really liked the looks of it. It was simple, yet had enough features and ease of use to satisfy a user like me. While I do not own a mac yet, I would fork over the $60 for textmate because it looked so great and useful. They almost look at their project as an open source program with their site and openness to customers desires. Then it hit me… why is there not an IDE like TextMate for Linux? I mean it being Linux I would not put the money in for one, because while I do not code much, I have this little feeling inside of me that feels really perverted for using closed source software. So after so much pondering, the answer is in a little program included with most Gnome based Linux distributions. It’s called Gedit, sound familiar now? I have just installed Ubuntu on my machine again, and it not having Internet, I tried to stick with the software on my DVD, because downloading an entire IDE over a thumb drive unaware of its dependencies is nothing but a slap in the face. (Of course, I couldn’t live without my MP4 music on my Internet-less Ubuntu PC. I have ubuntu in a virtual machine on my moms networked computer. Just find a package in Synaptic, click the install icon beside it, then go to File > Generate Package Download Script. After that find the exported file and run it and get all your packages! Sorry, I found this out the other day and wanted to share with my pals without Internet) So I am trying to practice some C++ from school, and I put it into Gedit, and nifty enough, it’s nice and color coded once I saved! So being a tweaker, I go to the preferences, and play with some stuff. How about a new theme? There are a couple of other options to make Gedit more like a huge IDE, the best way to tell is to play with them yourself and see what you like and hate. But the real power of Gedit is it’s plugin architecture. So that being the powerful part, I have enabled them all and played with a few, and will tell you about my favourites!

1. External tools – This is the most worthy plugin because you can add scripts to it that do different things. I made one that runs a ruby script I am typing with a press of a key, and it’s simple and easy to find out and has the power of Linux to do anything you can in the shell at the bottom of your screen. If you are building a library and wish to test it without working on the main file of a program, you’re going to need to make a shell script to get that all together, which is too technical for right now. Some cool ones built in are: build, open terminal here, remove trailing spaces, and run command (Ok then…). Those are nice, but the power of it is that you can make a killer tool. How to find them: in the tools menu once you enable the external tools plugin

2. File browser pane –  This is something you likely see in a file manager, the pane on the side that has the shortcuts you can go to, or where you are currently browsing. This is nice because if you are building a web site, you might need to get files from multiple directories, which is a pain to go back and forth between a text editor and a file browser. This shows a tree list on the file system on the right side so you can browse about and open files in tabs, another great feature built into Gedit! TextMate has this feature, gedit doesn’t implement it as cool as TextMate can, but nobody builds GTK+ programs like that anyways 😛

3. Snippets – This plugin is sort of poorly implemented (more along the lines of incomplete), but it is not a default plugin to begin with. It automatically enters parts of code when you begin to type them, it has the ability to do it for 30-45 some languages, but the snippets are not all there for all the languages, and I haven’t looked into downloading them (you can though, it has an import button). I have a hard time describing this feature because I don’t do major coding yet, and it hasn’t helped me with hello world!

4. Spell check – This is a GREAT feature! Why? Because we are all so used to butchering the English language! We often overlook spell checking HTML because it becomes tedious after so many lines and all the tags being spelled weird anyways. I don’t recommend this for anything that doesn’t show the end user of something any text, because if you spell check your C++, your program just broke. But still, after all we suck at spelling, and Gedit can be used to make a book realistically!

5. Tag list – Another plugin I don’t use much, because I am not too lazy to not type a tag. It is mostly for HTML/XML tags and special characters. If I were to use this, it would be to insert special characters. I added it to the list because someone could and probably does find it useful. If I have my side pane open to begin with, it’s because I am using the file browser plugin!

So is Gedit sounding great now or what? Gedit can be the notepad of your life, or with a couple option changes it can be the textmate of your life. If you’re building a huge program, I wouldn’t use free software, or cheap software for that matter, but if you do, set the auto save to 1 minute! Well what could make Gedit better? How about a blog editing plugin. I mean, what do you think I just wrote this whole post in anyways?

Gedit can be your notepad!


Gedit can be your textmate!

Gedit can be your textmate!