07.06.05

Project Killing (time) — and lots of Partition hacks

Posted in Free Software, Home, Movies, NITC, Reading, Society at 6:14 pm by Pirate Praveen

Noted on 19 May 2005

I’ve been able to engage myself in ‘something or other’ for the last 3 weeks since I left NITC, like
Changathikkoottam,
IT@School training,
Movies (Akkareyakkare Akkare, Ninathen vanthai),
Sleeping
Reading [K.L. Mohanavarma’s ‘Settlement’, News papers — almost complete!! ]
or ‘Bakar’ (Kathi) with sabeel (he left for exams on 14th).
Update: He is placed in HCL Infosystems through Campus Recruitment
I went to rauf’s home to demeonstrate GNU/Lnux as Sabeel got really exited as I kept on telling him about my hacks. Well, it seems his interest has gone as he saw it as a simple thing !!! [It was Suse 9.3 Professional and I could not go into much of the commands and configuration files and options ]. To some it is interesting when it is not common or not challenging.

We both share many interests and one thng we got in common is ‘the standard book/foreign author syndrome’. Those who suffers from it can be found with standard/foreign authored text book on the eve of any exams. Suresh Kumar told us that he also used to have this syndrome when he was in IITM. He used to study the subject after the exams if it is interesting [You know it is interesting when you read a good book] !! But clearly we lack this second characteristic of this particular syndrome!!!

I’ve been telling him colourfully how I hacked the boot.ini file when Windows XP in Manjunath’s computer stopped working when we partitioned it for Suse [Suse is trying to be more like Windows and so it choses the partions on its own and messes it up wholly at times like windows!!] and got XP back for him. It was a simple increment in the partition index as one partition was splitted for installing Suse and the absolute partition index [number of the partition with XP in it from the starting] was increased by 2 [one for the root partition and one for swap from the existing C drive], the problem wouldn’t have arised had XP been installed on the C drive. I could diagnose the root cause of the problem that it is boot.ini that is to be edited when it is saying HAL.DLL is missing error!!! because we solved exactly the same problem at Dilpu’s home at Harippad in Alleppey when I was there with Shankar for our IT (Industrial Training) at PGCL (Power Grid Corporation of India Limited).
….I had 3 IT during the 4 year period at NITC, during first year in Lower Periyar power House in Idukkki, during second year in TELK [Transformer & Electricals Kerala] in Ankamali and in the third year at PGCL Kayamkulam…

There we searched the net for solution to HAL.DLL missing problem through the newly installed Redhat GNU/Linux system.

At Rauf’s home Sabeel had to satisfie with a “Rauf’s XP” in place of “Microsoft XP Professional” [anyone can do it yaar — as simple as it open the text file C:\boot.ini in notepad and change the quotes sya from “Microsoft XP Professional” to “Microsoft XP Pirated Edition”]
Update: We had longer and intense sessions after that

As GNU Partition editor (Qtparted -qt gui front end for GNU parted) couldnot resize the partitions. It was XP corrupting the partition table.
Update: It was proved correct when Partition manger “successfully” [It gave an output ‘Successfully completed all operations!] messed up the partitions and lost both 98 and XP [If you believe this GNU/Linux could mount those partitions and Windows Installed failed to recognise the partitions]

We got a similar problem when we tried to install EduMorphix on KSTA computer at Palakkad. Arun of FSF India told us thet it was XP corrupting the partition table. I guess newer editions of partition editor might tackle it.

He had 4 partitions of 10GB each and almost complete and freeing a partition by copying was not an option. Another option we had was formatting C drive and divide it into two partitions – anyway 98 does not need 10GB and reinstall XP and install GNU/Linux into the newly freed space of C. As we didn’t have an XP CD we couldn’t go forward. [I didn’t take a copy from college as I was sure that I wouldn’t need it as I’m not going to use it nor I’m not going to give it to anyone. Now I guess Sabeel has a “copy” and we are gonna experiment at manjeri when he come back after exams. If Rauf is willing we can have it there too
Update: Infact we did go forward (both places too)!

I successfully installed Xandros for Chandramohan sir Freeing one partition for GNU/Linux after copying contents of it to another partition and deleting it. I also installed smoothly Photoshop 6 and 7 with Cross Over Office4.1 that comes with Xandros (30 day evaluation version).

Cross Over Office Really rocks!!!
It smoothly run Photoshop 6,7 (probably latest edition too, which I didn’t try), Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player, Dreamweaver MX, iTunes, Quicken … and the list is ever increasing. Previously I saw Cedega successfully playing Half Life 2 and Quake like graphics intensive games smoothly in Shyam’s computer and he asserts it is only better in the Free OS [No hangs, crash…]. And it plays in native speed too. Now yet another argument is made invalid — “I have spents lots of money of software already and if I switch to GNU/linux how am I gonna use these softwares ?” Also some say “I am so familiar with Photoshop and Microsoft Office and it is tough to move to Gimp and Open Office”. Well now you can use your favorite apps in GNU/Linux as you would in Windows thanks to the wine [Wine Is Not and Emulator] hackers.

Ofcourse this is not a permanent solution to the problem but only an interim solution to the age old chicken and egg problem. “I’ll use Free Software when there is enough softwares and we will develop Free Software when there are a lot of people using it”. Well I don’t support non-free software bundled with the Free Distros. All the above was just to show how powerful and superb is wine.

Adobe has released two of its softwares under open source licenses recently and Macromedia (now owned by Adobe) had plans to release GNU/Linux versions of its popular offerings like DreamWeaver that run with wine.

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