Posted 2009.05.27 19.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Photography by Stephanie

Part of the same family of sites that brings us our lolcats, is the Fail blog.

parent-seatbelt-failSafe parenting?  Fail!

Grub2 Rescue Mode / Console

Posted 2009.05.27 9.28 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

As a change of pace, this missive is actually meant to be useful and informative. If you don’t know anything about grub or grub2 and aren’t interested in learning about bootloaders, then this article is not for you. On the other hand, if you suffer insomnia, then you may wish to keep a copy of this nearby.

Grub2 is the next generation of the Grub bootloader. Grub stands for GRand Unified Bootloader, and offers advantages over LILO and others in that it offers a ‘command line’ mode, enabling one to possibly recover from a non-booting system. Like anything though, there is a learning curve and Grub has it’s own set of commands and quirks. For several years, this article at Linux Journal has been my Grub bible, as it were.

The original Grub (aka legacy grub) is a few years old, and appearantly there were some shortcommings with it, so Grub2 is now out there. It’s available in Debian and Ubuntu repositories, among others. When you install it, legacy Grub is automatically removed. There are warnings that Grub2 is not yet ‘finished’ and all that jazz, but in my case I was having trouble with Grub so I did switch to Grub2, and that seemed to solve my problems. However, it introduced some new ones. Grub2 has a different command set, and more or less works rather differently than legacy Grub. And being so new, there is a lack of good documentation for it. I’m not attempting to write the documentation, only to explain what I was able to figure out myself, in order to rescue a non-booting system.

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Cures for Insomnia

Posted 2009.05.27 8.37 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Like [some large impressive number] other Canadians, I suffer from insomnia.

Over the years, I’ve found a few different methods of coping. One is to just deal with it. After 20+ years, I’m accustomed to being tired all the time. Another is to not go to bed until one is about to fall asleep. Not laying down till one is nodding off in a chair saves on the relentless tossing and turning while waiting for sleep.

Of course, people have lots of ‘helpful’ suggestions, like read a book etc. The problem I find with this is that if it’s a boring book, I can’t read it, and if it’s an interesting book, I end up reading all night rather than sleeping.

Recently however, I stumbled on a great new resource for insomniacs:  Just try and read this. It is a changelog from the Linux Kernel repository. It’s almost 3,500 lines of fairly obscure technical jargon, ubergeek to ubergeek. 

I know I said that boring books don’t work for me – but I started reading that with a purpose… I was trying to find out if the latest linux kernel would contain any new drivers or bugfixes that would help with my EeeTop issues. 


p.s. another good insomnia cure is textbooks. I have some programming textbooks that I really want to read and learn, but those things just make my eyes roll back into my head. The punchline though, is that even when I do get a full night’s sleep, I still wake up feeling exhausted… but that’s another story.