Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ubuntu saves the day

I have just spent the entire weekend fixing my brother-in-law's laptop. I don't know what he did to it, but he managed to get Windows XP in a state where it was impossible to run any programs, access the control panel or set up a network connection (actually, I have an idea what he has done, judging by some the the videos I found, but that's another story). Not a problem I hear you say (well, I don't hear you, because no ones reading this), just reach for the restore disk, and start again.

However, he had lots of work related data on the laptop, not backed up, that he didn't want to lose. So, here's this laptop, can't burn anything to CD, can't copy anything across a network, and disk probably full of virii.

That's my cue to reach for an Ubuntu live CD. 15 minutes later I have Ubuntu running on the laptop, with a wireless network connection, the offending Windows drive mounted and shared using NFS, and the data flowing across the network onto my Ubuntu machine. Moving 20Gb of data across a wireless network with NFS wouldn't be my first choice of how to do a backup, but beggars can't be choosers.

Having backed up the data, I wiped the hard-disk and re-installed XP (sorry, but he insisted), but I also set aside some space for Ubuntu, so the next time he screws it up (and there will be a next time), I just boot into Linux and get on with it.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Dapper Drake

Lured by the promise of Xgl I have uprgraded my Ubuntu distribution to Dapper, which is still in testing. I got Xgl to work, and it looks great. Unfortunately my computer started crashing regularly, usually when I access the internet. At first I blamed Xgl, and went back to vanilla X, but the crashes still happened - a full system freeze, only sorted by a hard reboot.

I have now pinned the problem down to my wireless network card (which worked perfectly with Breezy). If I unplug it, no crash. Unfortunately a PC without an internet connection isn't a lot of use to me.

The network card is a Linksys USB card, installed via Ndiswrapper. It looks like I'll have to download the latest version ndiswrapper, and compile it from source. However, downloading may be difficult if my network card keeps crashing the PC!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Joys of Parenthood

We're having an absolute nightmare with my daughter. I came in on Wednesday night and found her climbing the walls. She appeared to be scared of a packet of sweets, she jumped at the slightest touch, was convinced we were cross with her, and were going to smack her (she's never been smacked in her life). We were ready to head off to the hospital, but she went off with her twin brother and he seemed to calm her down.

We've now got an appointment with the consultant paediatrician. I really hope he can diagnose the problem. The GP says there is a form of epilepsy which can cause hysteria, and she certainly was hysterical.

We've been told to keep to the normal routine, but after another bad night last night, she's too tired for school this morning. Hopefully she'll be fit to go at lunchtime.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

World Series of Poker

Well, as the 2006 WSOP is coming round, I thought I'd give a satellite a go. I started well, doubled up on my third hand, and got over-confident - 10 hands later a busted out, went all in with QQ, a queen came along on the river but unfortunately it gave the other guy a straight!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


It is looking more and more likely that my daughter has epilepsy. After appearing under the weather, we decided to give her the day off school. Having returned from taking our son into school, my wife found her slumped in the passenger seat, apparently unconscious. She roused quickly, with no memory of anything unusual happening, but was slightly confused.

My wife took her to the GP, and was fortunate enough to see a Neurologist on secondment. He was fairly confident that she had suffered a Grand Mal.

We have an upcoming appointment with a consultant paediatrician, along with an EEG, so at the moment we have to just wait for them.

It is all incredibly worrying and frustrating, whilst she isn't suffering greatly, it is wearing her down at the moment, she lacks energy and concentration, which for a normally bright and lively child, is getting her down.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Perfomancing for Firefox

I decided I might get round to blogging more if it was simpler to do. So, I set about looking for a blogging client. I started because of this post by Wil.

In it he talks about using a WYSIWYG editor like ecto, or something as yet undiscovered for Linux. So, thinks I, just because Wil hasn't discovered it, doesn't mean its not out there. What is Google for, after all? The debate about Moveable Type or Typepad is not something I'm getting into - I'll stick with Blogger now I've started.

Well, I discovered the blogging client for me - its called Performancing and it seems to met the requirements - it works in both Windows and Linux, enables me to blog whenever I've got Firefox open, works with Blogger (and Typepad, Wordpress, Moveable Type...), and supports TrackBack, so, this post is written using it. With a bit of luck this post is readable, and has sent a trackback to Wil's blog. So, here goes nothing!

Meanwhile, back at Pokerstars...

I gave Coral Poker a try - its got pretty pictures, and a lower cost of entry than Pokerstars. Well, I burnt through my initial buy-in, and now I'm back at Pokerstars. No one talks to each other at Coral. The chat box is completely empty. At Pokerstars when things are going bad you can have a laugh with the people you're playing against.

I've started playing Sit'N'Go, rather than cash games. It just seems to suit my style of play more, though for some reason I cannot get into the money in the Turbo games, so, I'll stick to the normal games, and see if I can keep regularly hitting places 4-7. At that, I make a little each game. My best place is second, I just can't seem to get it right heads-up.