My technical adventures, hacks or what I do in my free time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This is a open source messaging product from Apache foundation. Interesting. It seems to be around for a while and implements two protocols. Trying to learn and see what I can do with it.

Installing Ubuntu 7.10 aka Gutsy Gibbon

Further to the last post, I had managed to install the other required applications on my WinXP partition. Now it's the time for ubuntu.

Gutsy was released last week and everybody was looking forward to it. I had downloaded the ubuntu-7.10-dvd-i386.iso via torrents and burnt into a dvd. The dvd was loaded to do an integrity check which took 40 minutes to complete. Once done, I rebooted and choose to install Ubuntu. After the usual settings of time zone, location, language, keyboard and parition info, I was astonished to see ubuntu offering me to copy the accounts with their Documents and Settings from the WinXP installation. This one I have never seen before :-). It took 23 minutes to install and reboot my laptop.

Gutsy boots up and the first action is to update software. 8 updates are available as of today and it took around 7 minutes to download and install. After that, I checked the restricted drivers section. Found out and installed NVIDIA accelerated graphics drivers for my Geforce2 4200 and firmware for broadcom 43XX chipset. I had to reboot for the nvidia drivers to take effect.

The good part is that it took somewhere around 45 minutes for me to get a usable ubuntu system ready when compared to 7 hours of constant attention when compared with WinXP. Gutsy even reported my battery is broken and yes it is quite old (4 years) and needs a replacement. Cheers Ubuntu.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rebuilding laptop and my experience with reinstalling Windows XP

My laptop's Windows XP has slowed down quite considerably (god knows why?) and I was getting split or piecemeal responses when I was playing Age of Empires II. Its high time and I decided to reinstall Windows XP home edition from the OEM restoration disk.

I remember reinstalling 2 years back when I had a tough time in getting the right drivers for WinXP. Hope the problem would not have become worse after the importance given to Vista. Also I've been reading in some forums and articles that Windows installation is tougher than Ubuntu installation. Let's see how it goes.

My plan is to hav
Windows - 15 GB
Ubuntu - 15 GB
FAT32 share - 10GB

The OEM disk has booted and I have opted for a fresh installation. I deleted all the partitions (I had 7 partitions... oops) and I created a NTFS partition for 15360 MB and opted for a full format. It took exact 10 minutes to finish the formatting. Setup followed closely. My name, location, language and keyboard details were changed to UK. Some other minor settings followed and the whole installation got finished within 40 minutes and WinXP rebooted.

Now the hardest part. I loaded the Dell Driver System software CD and installed all possible drivers. The worst part is I couldnt find the driver for Broadcomm 4401 100 BaseT ethernet driver. That means, I can't connect to the internet and my wireless driver was also not perfect. After minutes of deliberation, I had one idea. I inserted my 2GB USB memory stick and the WinXP recognized it. Cool. I booted my office laptop, went to dell driver and downloads section and downloaded all possible drivers for Inspiron 8600. When installing the drivers, I had to reboot 6 times.

Time to install the updates. When I just configured windows update, it applied more than 40 hot fixes. I thought this is not going to end and instead went to the Microsoft windows update site and after a handful of screens and verifications, Windows XP Service Pack 2 was identified, downloaded and installed. I thought finally I had seen the light of the day, but when I rebooted again my laptop for the 9th time, I was in for a shock. I still had 42 updates to be applied on my computer. Its almost 7 hours now since I started installing Windows XP home edition. The sad part is Antivirus installation is yet to begin. That means I still cant use my system for another day :-(.

To be continued...