Monday, 28 May 2007

Ubuntu Installed Grub - Bye Solaris 10!

As usual Solaris suffered when I tried others operating systems.
One of the most common causes of the Solaris destruction is the fact that the Solaris partition ID is 0x82 (the same as the Linux Swap partition). So if you boot from a Live CD (like Ubuntu) it will automatically assign your Solaris partition as a Swap... Yes!!! without a prompt!!! so it will destroy the Solaris installation!.
Later with Solaris 10 Sun changed the partition ID for 0xbf to avoid this problem.

Another problem is the modified grub that Solaris uses.
As you can read in another post I finally decided to install Ubuntu. I have one hard disk with :
Windows XP (that came with the laptop), PC-BSD 1.3.2, Solaris 10, and Slackware 11 (now Ubuntu 7.04).
I have 4 primary partitions :
Windows - Partition 0
Slackware 11 - Partition 1
PC-BSD - Partition 2
Solaris - Partition 3

I was using LILO in my MBR (Master Boot Record / Partition Table). When I Installed Ubuntu over the Slackware partition, it also installed the grub in the MBR. The problem was that I couldn't boot Solaris again.
Yes... I modified the menu.lst of the grub in Ubuntu hundres of times, but nothing worked... I only got different errors messages : Invalid Partition, Filesystem type unknown, etc.
Finally I decided to search in the Sun Web Site and I found the following :

GRUB as obtained from sources other than Sun does not currently recognize Solaris on-disk VTOC and UFS formats. Sun has submitted changes to the GRUB project to support this; until they have been integrated, only the Solaris GRUB will work. If Linux installed GRUB on the master boot block, you will not be able to get to the Solaris OS even if you make the Solaris partition the active partition. In this case, you can chainload from the Linux GRUB by modifying the menu on Linux. Alternatively, you can replace the master boot sector with the Solaris GRUB in the above example, by using the installgrub(1M) command:

installgrub -m /boot/grub/stage1 /boot/grub/stage2 /dev/rdsk/c0t2d0s3

Before the Solaris VTOC and UFS implementation is propagated to the standard GRUB release, only the Solaris version of GRUB will work.

I tried the installgrub command booting from the Install DVD and selecting option 6. But I only got an error message : /dev/dsk/c0t0d0 : Not a character device. I tried with rdsk and another disk number but neither worked.

So I reinstalled Solaris again. But when I click "Finish" and the system rebooted the Ubuntu Grub menu appears... I was expecting the Solaris grub... what happend??
I don't really know but maybe Solaris got confused with ubuntu's grub in the MBR.
So I had to use and old 3 1/2" diskette with DOS and a Norton Disk Editor 4. I booted DOS ran DE and selected the hard disk as physical disk and saved the MBR in a file. Just to have a backup of the MBR!
Then I booted from the Windows XP CD and used the recovery console and ran the FIXMBR command (with my fingers crossed).
It deleted ubuntu's grub from the MBR.
Then I Rebooted and installed again Solaris. Without the Ubuntu Grub, the Solaris installation wrote the MBR with its grub.
Then I was able to boot Solaris 10 and modified the menu.lst in Solaris with the following :
title Solaris 10 11/06 s10x_u3wos_10 x86
root (hd0,3,a)
kernel /plataform/i86pc/multiboot
module /plataform/i86pc/boot_archive

title ubuntu, Kernel 2.6.20-15-generic
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic root=UUID=b98c9312-17fb-4e5b-8459-7d4008a8858d ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.20-15-generic

title ubuntu, Kernel 2.6.20-15-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic root=UUID=b98c9312-17fb-4e5b-8459-7d4008a8858d ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.20-15-generic

title PC-BSD 1.3.2
rootnoverify (hd0,2)
chainload +1

title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainload +1


Now I finally can boot Solaris and the others OS again...

Why does my Solaris always get hurt???

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Installing Ubuntu 7.04 on a Compaq Presario 1500 Notebook

Finally I decided to try again the Ubuntu 7.04 live cd.

I booted and selected the "Start or install Ubuntu" option.

When the screen showed a garbled display I pressed "crtl-alt-f2" and ran the command :

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

Then I chose the following options :

Attempt to autodetect video hardware? : "Yes"
X server driver : "ati"
Identifier for your video card : "ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]"

Video card's Bus identifier : "PCI:1:0:0"
Amount of memory (KB) to be used by the video card : "32768"
Use Kernel Framebuffer device interface : "Yes"
Then a few questions about the Keyboard & mouse
Write default files section to configuration file ? : "Yes"
Attempt Monitor Autodetection ? : "Yes"
Identifier for the monitor : "Generic Monitor"
Video Modes to be used by the X server : "1400 x 1050"
Method for selecting the monitor characteristics ? : "Medium"
Resolution : "1400x1050 @ 60Hz"
Write monitor sync ranges to the configuration file : "Yes"
Desired default color depth in bits : "16"

Then I returned to the console usign the crtl-alt-F7

And pressed the ctrl-alt-backspace twice. Then the gnome restarted with a 1400x1050 @ 60Hz resolution without problem.

I installed the distribution and rebooted.

Then I opened a terminal and I edited manually the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

In the following link you can download my xorg.conf.

The glxgears shows an average of 1000fps.

I pressed the button "Enable Desktop Effect" and activate the options :
"Windows Wobble when Moved"
"Workspaces on a Cube"

But the cube effect didn't work until I ran the following two commands :

gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/hsize 4

gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/number_of_desktops 1

Then I pressed the ctrl+alt+left or the ctrl+alt+Button1 and the cube worked!!!

Now I'm using Ubuntu... so... I'm Finally a Human Being!!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Is Ubuntu not for ati mobility beings???

I decided to test the Desktop LiveCd of the most popular linux distribution (according with

Yes... I tested the Ubuntu Live Cd of the versions 6 (Dapper Drake) and 7.04 (Feisty Fawn).

According to its site ( ubuntu is a linux for human beings and a "linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers"...The graphical installer enables you to get up and running quickly and easily...

So I expected to insert the cd, boot from it and just use it.

But as usual I found some problems with these "easy to use" distributions.

My equipment is a Notebook Presario 1500US with a Pentium 4 2.4GHz and an Ati mobility Radeon 7500 32MB a 4-year-old equipment.

I was able to boot and use version 6 (Dapper Drake) but the screen was a little moved up and when I tried to change the resolutions/refresh rate I saw something very strange :

Resolution : 1280x1024
Refresh Rate : -19569 Hz

What??? A 19569 negative Hertz??? what!? My notebook is displaying characters more faster than the speed of light?? or I'm traveling in Warp 10??? One second for the laptop is -1 seconds to me...

I would like to show my notebook to Heinrich Rudolf Hertz but unfortunately that is impossible... roughly 1 Hertz can be defined as 1 cycle per second. So what is a negative hertz? are they the cycles that don't happen in a second? or maybe because the time scale for the notebook is different than mine...

Am I reaching the time dilatation of the Einstein Theory? For Einstein it was the relative motion which caused both observers to see the other's clocks as having slowed down.I'm sitting in a chair It has a small wheel and I admit that sometimes I use it to move in the room, but reaching the speed of light with these small wheels???

In a fast movement I shutdown the X server because I was afraid that I couldn't return to my time (year 2007 BC).

So I inserted the Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Desktop live Cd and I chose the "Start or install Ubuntu" option.These time the screen went worse, I only saw a garbled display.

Here is the image :

I reset and choose the "Start Ubuntu in safe graphics mode" and I got this funny output :
Later I boot again and pressed "F4" and chose a different resolution... I always got the same garbled display.Later still I used the crtl-alt-f2 and ran the "sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg" command. Unfortunately I tested a few configurations without success.
(update : I finally made it work. Here is the guide :
Really I don't want to download another cd (the alternate cd that has a console installation) burn it, test it and spend four or five hours trying to get the ATI driver to work, because this is "an Easy to setup distribution" if I have to spend four or five hours trying to install a so called "Easy to install distribution" then that make not sense to me.

I can install a new slackware in less time (A so called difficult to install distribution).

So. Is ubuntu not for ati mobility beings??? or maybe I'm not a human being.

Anyway, now I could boot the Dapper Drake with a -19569 Hz frequency and I'm reaching the limits of the reality and the universe...

I'm travelling at the speed of light!!! join me, don't be afraid : "No one can face the infinity without feeling vertigo"

Thursday, 10 May 2007

A Wow echo?

Why did Micro$oft decide to use the "Wow!" slogan for the new windows Vista operating system?
Maybe it was because Bill remembered hearing it said in another Windows Operating System presentation, Windows 98.
Do you remeber that presentation???
Here is the link :

Thursday, 3 May 2007

My Experiences with OS/2

I would like to share my experience with OS/2.
It was mid 1993 (I guess) and I saw in a computer store the OS/2 2.1 box so I decided to purchase and test it.
I started the installation and all went well, the only problem was that I had to choose the standard VGA because it didn't recognize my video card (an OAK-067). So I called to the IBM BBS using my 2400bps modem in order to look for my drivers ( wasn't there in those old times). Amazingly they had the drivers, but the driver downloads was only permited to registered users...
I called IBM and a telephonist explained me that I had to send the registration card that came in the box in order to validate that I was a OS/2 customer. So I filled the paper and sent it.
A few weeks later I was able to download the file. The driver worked fine. The operating system was robust but I didn't found additional OS/2 native applications.

Two years later, mid 1995, I bought the OS/2 Warp 3.0 a better OS : excellent compatibility with DOS or Win applications, it included the Bonus Pack, true 32 bits OS not like Micro$oft windows 3.1 or 95 running over DOS. But with most of the old problems : it was nearly impossible to pass information between applications, the single input queue problem. And you had to choose if the application was full-screen or windowed, but was impossible to change the mode after you selected one.

I really never understood this "blue pill or the red pill" Matrix Philosophy.

Morpheus : You take the windowed pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the fullscreen pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember -- all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.
Unfortunately, no one can be told what the difference is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance.
After this, there is no turning back.
(Neo Takes the fullscreen pill)

I never found a free Software Development kit too. And the OS itself was expensive. Nowadays the sucesor of OS/2 warp the eComStation 1.2R costs $ 259 dollars.

On the other hand, in those long gone times, Micro$oft Windows was cheaper and in some cases almost free (my mouse logitech came with a complete windows 3.1 edition for free) with a lot of drivers (and no one asked for a registration card to download a simple driver), free Software Development Kits, came pre-installed in millons of computers, and a great marketing campaing. I don't like Micro$oft Windows, back then I prefered OS/2 (later I chose Linux). But I can deny that OS/2 died before Windows (I am still hopefully waiting for that day, the fall of Micro$oft). And for me that had everything to do with those issues. (expensive software, lack of hardware support, registration to download a driver (?), the windowed or fullscreen pill...)