Another day at Rauf’s home

Posted in Environment, Free Software, Home, Reading, Society at 2:24 pm by Administrator

5th of June
Read this and comeback here.

The day started when mom woke me up at 4 ‘O’ clock. I had to be ready by 5 so that I can go to Kadampuzha temple with my cousine. I prepared tea and had break fast with beaten rice (Avil) and banana chips. But there was a misunderstanding as I didn’t turn up the day before and he thought I was not going with him ! So he didn’t stop for me and it was disappointing to wake up at 4’O clock during vacation and for nothing 🙁 Anyway I had ‘Lord of the rings’ to read again at an unexpected time. (I always read books at these irregular hours like once I ventured to read Harry Poter 5 during my sessional exams during 5th semester, a night-out to read ‘Five point someone- what not to do in IITs’, ‘Dance Dance’ (Complete novel – highly recommended ! but you may find something not fiting into the scheme — because it is a sequel) of Haruki Murakami when everyone in the campus was deep in RS agarwal and Sakunthala Devi for campus placement preparations, ‘Sea Leopard’ during s8 exams and ‘Da Vinci code’ within a week before the s8 exams, to point out some 🙂 )

From Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami

Tell me, Kiki, are you dead? I ask.

She spins around in the light to face me.

Gotanda thinks he killed me, says Kiki.

Yes, he does. Or he did.

Anyway it was great time for reading. Now I got hooked to the novel (though I started it two-three days back I didn’t feel the thrill as the pace of the novel is very slow and you take time to get to know the plot and characters and it is also a sequel to ‘The Hobbit’).

By 7.30 I left for Sabeel’s home after extended breakfast with Upma – or Salt Mango tree as one of the Mohanlal‘s teacher characters translates it and ‘Onion Rice’. He was not yet up and when I woke him up he was astonished to see me that early. I am famous (notorious ?) for my early morining sleeps (extended sleeps). I explained to him my situation and watched TV till he was ready for yet another adventure.

World Environment day

As it was the world environment day there was a live (over phone) discussion on Kiran TV ( a malayalam channel from Sun Network) about the environment. One participant from Mumbai urged the government to make sure the pollution control measures are taken before granting permission when starting industries. She pointed out that there are strict rules in Mumbai for getting license for new ventures. Another participant was talking about the sound pollution from bike horns and need for strict law and fine should be increased to prevent violation of such laws.

Another day of GNU/Linux Hacks

At about 9 we left for Rauf’s home for another day of GNU/Linux hacks. We booted into the GNU/Linux box and examined the xorg.conf file and found out what the problem was — virtual resolution. We commented out the virtual resolution stuff and the desktop looked even nicer. Then we moved to the text console ( CTRL+ALT+F2 ) and tried different commands. Sabeel had gone through the book and had an idea of the commands. We tried in detail how to add new users first. Since Suse does not come with adduser command which is an easier edition of the useradd command which is available with most of the Linux-based GNU distros. We tried adding users with different uids and many other options like home dirctory and default shell. Then I showed them /etc/passwd file and how to use finger. The I told them about the .plan file that contains more info about a user and which will be used by finger. [We changed the contents of /etc/default/useradd that contained the default values for useradd – we made zsh as the default shell instead of bash ]. We moved on with ls,pwd,cat,more etc and pipes and input/output redirection.

Recovering Windows

Then we had to recover windows for him. We tried to boot it by adding it to grub menu but without success. We tried to see if editing C:\boot.ini file will get the thing working. boot.ini is the configuration file for Windows’ default boot loader. We had no other option left but to re-install the windows OS. We tried to rescue it but the dir command gave error for C and D drives which were affected by Partition Magic, but E and F was healthy. So went on with installation. When we tried to format D it showed us C as FAT32 which was unknown(to windows installer) till then when we formated D!! (later we knew that it formated C not D 🙂 to show it as FAT32) It made a mess with the partiotions (It is not at all staright forward). Its userfriendliness was even made clearer when we splitted a 10 GB partition (D) which previously had XP and formated K drive, it went on with installing it on K (we wanted it on D). Anyway it got installed in K with two free partitions C and D. The default boot loader (NTLDR) over wrote grub and we inserted Suse 9.3 CD 1 to recover Suse by installing Grub.

Update: Now I know how to install grub in Windows and add it to c:\boot.ini (I found out it when I was struggling with GNU slash Hurd installation).

We expected an easier way to install grub like in mandrake (with just an enter) but got a root rescue shell (Now I think Mandrake – now Mandriva is recommended for newbies).
So we entered grub shell and setup the suse images and installed it in MBR. Now Rauf’s system happily dual boots betweenMicrosoft Windows XP and Suse GNU slash Linux – once we thought impossible – we did it !!

Then we rebooted to Suseand took a copy of Slackware for Sabeel using k3b (The CD burner software for KDE which we use extensively in NITC Main CC). Now we had to leave as Sabeel had to leave for Trivandrum for s7 registration.

Notes: The problem was with the partitions (Windows XP made it a mess so that even Partition Magic and GNU Parted failed to resize a partition).

1 Comment »

  1. pavithran said,

    April 28, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Even I have this notorious habit of reading books ( fiction) at weird timings

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