Not another Ubuntu 7.10 review

Well, this certainly won’t be your usual Ubuntu review. Rant is probably the more appropriate word. If you don’t want to hear a rant, stop reading.

I received the ShipIt live CDs for the latest 7.10 release in the mail today, and decided to test drive it immediately. Started the live CD, and everything works just great. Wi-fi, sound, resolution, everything’s just dandy on my Advent 7093 laptop.

So I decided to proceed to the installation. I decided on a clean install, overwriting my existing 6.06 setup. Chose the locale etc., partition got formatted, files got copied and then… nothing. The installer just quit at around 45%. I tried starting it again. Same thing. So I thought maybe it’s done, a bit weird that there’s not confirmation message, but let’s restart.

Not only had ubuntu not installed, but grub was messed up too – I couldn’t even boot WinXP. Here are the steps I took to get XP back:

load live cd
sudo -i
sudo mkdir /mnt/try
mount -t ext3 -o rw /dev/sda4 /mnt/try
grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/try /dev/sda

This gets grub back on restart. Unfortunately, that’s just your garden variety grub, without any boot options populated, and just a grub> prompt. Load XP using

rootnoverify (hd0,0) makeactive chainloader +1 boot

Once XP is loaded, I decided to get rid of grub altogether using this method :

So yes, I’ve decided to get rid of linux altogether. For the first time in many years, I’m going to not use linux at all. The reasons for this are:

  • XP, really, works perfectly well for the light, non-work use I need.  It’s got all the programs I need, and is still blazing fast with a core duo processor
  • I am sick and tired of bugs with linux. This laptop is 3 years old, and the version of ubuntu out back then installed perfectly fine. So it isn’t about driver support. Just some change that happens to mess my system up
  • I’m not a student anymore. My time is too valuable to spend, as I just did, 3 hours fixing a buggy install. This is not a dig at the people willing to ride out linux’s bugs, and I’m not suggesting my time is more valuable than yours. But personally, I can’t afford this kind of tinkering around anymore. This laptop worked fine with ubuntu several releases ago. The following release, wireless support went buggy. I did the bug reports etc. This release won’t even install. I’m sick of this shit
  • For the fanboys out there: I’m not goddamn anti-linux! I’ve been using ubuntu since warty, and before that I had redhat, suse and gentoo on my box. I know how to use the forums, I know how to submit bug reports, I know how to fix a lot of newbie and not-so newbie mistakes. I ran betas for several ubuntu releases because I wanted to help out. I’ve contributed to the forums. I just don’t want to anymore.
  • I also know that the installation probably went just fine for you. Sure, I’ve been there too. I’ve just had one bug too many.

November 6, 2007 at 10:51 pm 1 comment

Recommended sites for training and nutrition information

There have been a number of people who’ve asked questions about nutrition and such on the comments for some of my posts. While I really am more than happy to answer such questions (along with others who have been kindly helping people out), I would really, really recommend these sites :

  • : These have got to be the beginner-friendliest forums out there. Great advice, nice people, and a good dose of experience speaking. Read the articles, browse the forums, make the most of it.
  • : Great place for articles. No, make that the best. Heaps of routines. The forums are a mixed bag; there’s a lot of experienced lifters who contribute, but the discussions can get a bit tedious.
  • : Awesome, no-nonsense advice. Has a bit more of a hard-core feel to it.
  • : Lots of articles, generally good fun. The forums are even more of a mixed bag than t-nation; you’ve got legends like Serge Nubret posting, sure, but the majority of the conversation I’ve seen consists of what I can only imagine to be 15 year olds with self-esteem issues questioning each other’s sexual preferences.

The negatives for these sites I’ve stated above are my personal preferences, and quite frankly, are far outweighed by the positives. I read these sites regularly, they’re excellent sources of information, and most of what I’ve got to offer in the form of advice I probably picked from one of those sites to begin with.

October 14, 2007 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

How to rotate a .mov file

My trusty and somewhat aging Nikon records videos in 15sec chunks, and saves them as .mov files. If you’ve made the same mistake as me, and recorded while holding the camera vertically, it’s a bit annoying. Fortunately, there’s a simple process to string the files together and rotate the picture:

  • Get Bink And Smacker Video Tools:
  • Get virtualdub:
  • Get your favourite compressor (divx, xvid, wmv etc)
  • Start bink and smacker, choose the input .mov file, and convert to an avi. If you choose the first .mov file in a sequence, the software is smart enough to ask to append them all together
  • Start virtualdub and open file. Choose filters, and add the rotate filter. Save to output file
  • Open previous file, then choose compression options, and resave. Voila!

June 18, 2007 at 10:35 pm 3 comments

So it goes

God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, “Sit up!”
“See all I’ve made,” said God, “the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars.”
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going God.

Goodbye, funny man.

April 12, 2007 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Philips HQ 6707 Cool Skin review

I got this shaver about 2 years ago, after having tried a Braun Activator. I’ll give you a quick review-in-a-review: I couldn’t get used to the Braun. It shaved close, but the neck area was plain impossible, cutting me at times, and I gave up on it.

Then I got the Philips Cool Skin, which is a lot, lot better. I really like having a wet shave with it, as I have somewhat sensitive skin, and this helps. Still, the Philips is not perfect. Cheeks, chin, these areas are easy, and come out really smooth and closely shaven. The neck area took me months to figure out, and it’s still pretty poor, and looks like I didn’t really shave it. I have to go round and round many times to catch all (well, most of) the hairs on my neck.

If you’ve never tried an electric shaver before, I highly recommend the Philips Cool Skin range. When the time comes to retire mine, I’ll probably end up just upgrading it.

P.S. The Nivea sachets you can use with it are nice, but really it’s not the best shaving gel (try the King of Shaves, or Real Shave Co ranges), and overpriced. The good news is that this shaver will work with anything, so you can keep your wet shaving habits!

Update:  I resisted doing this for the longest time, since it felt like going against the shaver’s strength, but I’ve finally tried using it dry for a bit, and I’ve found that this makes the shave quite a bit easier, and faster around the neck/adam’s apple. So I’d have to say that the Cool Skin is a brilliant idea if your facial hair doesn’t extend too far down your neck, like mine does.

January 24, 2007 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

I… goddamn…. want it !!!!

I can only mutter and moan until I get my hands on one of these.

January 9, 2007 at 11:04 pm 1 comment

Weider maximum protein drink review

I got one of these on a whim – I’d never tried a pre-mixed protein drink. I would go into the details (53g protein – can you even digest that much at one time?), but I never finished the damn thing.

Now, despite my whining in other reviews about taste, I’m really not a fussy eater. I just try to be critical when reviewing – there’s not much point saying “5/5, it was ok” for everything, is there ? But this… this thing was terrible. I don’t know whether the particular one I tried had gone bad (it wasn’t past its sell by date), but after one gulp I’d had enough. And I won’t be going back for a second try!

January 4, 2007 at 9:39 pm 1 comment

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