Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playing With Arch Linux

I have Ubuntu 11.10 and Arch in a dual boot setup. Most of the time I
use Arch because it's faster and applications feels nimble. Gnome in
Arch doesn't slow down after hours of use. The feel is light all around.

But now and again there are bumps in the road. I usually have Banshee
playing tunes while I work. I just upgraded to the 2.4 release
yesterday. Songs suddenly halting randomly. Turns out it's my hard
drives. So I went and use fsck on the partition. I did a $shutdown -rF
now and enter.

Arch failed on the automatic fsck and instead handed manual repair to
the user, me. So I log to root and run fsck -f -p /dev/sdb3 to force
check of the partition. It runs and returns a clean partition.

The next time I boot Arch, it runs automatic fsck again and fails and
hands manual repair to me again. I tried to skip it and reboot. Does it
again. It only goes as far as udev and fails at mounting the filesystem.

Some google solutions I tried are appending fastboot in grub and editing
/etc/fstab. They don't work for me. I'm seriously thinking using the
system rescue CD to repair the installation.

What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Xorg Uses Too Much Memory

Most people with laptops use their machines 3 hours continously. The limit is the battery and how efficient the hardware and their operating system use resources. For Desktop boxes plugged in to the electrical socket, this is not an issue.

But my battery is not my topic today.

I work with Ubuntu and Arch on my Desktop. It is natural for me to leave the computer on for 8 hours straight sometimes more than that. I do not encounter this in Arch and I have the Gnome environment on both. Now for the bug.

Xorg.

Xorg just uses too much memory. My top says it has 67-70% memory usage after 4 hours. The practical effects are sluggish mouse responses and slow graphics.

After 6 hours of this, the whole thing is just unusable.

Of course, I can just log out and log back in. Then it's fixed, until after 5 hours again.

But this happens in Ubuntu and not in Arch.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

How To Recover From A Bad Superblock Error

A couple of months ago I suffered a bad superblock error in my hard drive. The hard drive in question made clicking sounds and refuses to boot. I ran some terminal checks and got the bad superblock error. I have multiple hard drive devices so I booted using the other devices by changing BIOS.

But how do you repair a bad superblock?

A superblock is a summary of data kept in your hard drive. Like a table of contents if I'm not mistaken. The ext4 file system in Linux keeps a backup of the superblock somewhere else in the hard drive. Check where that is - find the location.

$sudo mke2fs -n /dev/device?/

where the device? is the hard drive you want to repair. It will output a group of numbers separated by commas. These are superblock locations.

You must restore the backup.

$sudo e2fsck -y -b output_number /dev/device?/

where the output_number is one of the group of number listed from the operation above. The device? is the hard drive you want to repair. The -y flag or switch just gives a default 'yes' answer to the interactive mode of the command.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Crystal's Got Serious Identity Issues

The embryo of an African black-footed cat was planted on a surrogate
domestic cat. Crystal is the first product of an inter-species embryo
transplant.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Picture Tells A Story



I was around 9 yo when I first saw Stan Stearn's picture of Kennedy Jr. saluting his father's hearse. I rushed to the library and read about JFK, the civil rights, RFK and Jackilyn Kennedy. This was 1975 and by the end of that year at Grade 3 (3rd grade) this image was all over my notes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Uprading To Ubuntu Precise 'beta' Now


With all the positive feedback from testers of Precise beta, I am installing the beta version of the new Ubuntu which is the LTS with 5 years of support.

Update Gnucash 2.6.16 --> 2.6.18

It's a long road to this update. It isn't a normal update at all. I had to manually compile goffice0.8 and webkitgtk as well as gnu...