Semi-hosed Wind UMPC (Fixed)

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Fixed by overriding the GRUB lines, editing the GRUB menu, and correcting the entries in the /etc/fstab.

Here is the original line that causes the bootup to panice:

kernel (hd1,0)/boot/vmlinuz BOOT_IMAGE=linux root=/dev/sdc10 vga=788
initrd (hd1,0)/boot/initrd.img

PCLinuxOS is configured to use the graphical GRUB menu so pressing the ESC key will allow the users to go into text mode that allows the editing of the line command. Pressing ‘e’ on the selected entry enabled to correct the order of hard drive being searched [ (hd0,0)/boot] as well as the correct root [root=dev/sda10]. After both the kernel and initrd lines have been updated, pressing ‘b’ will continue the boot process.

The GRUB entry is only half of the problem since the boot operationg still panics and dumps me in a command line. The culprit is that the fstab file still contains incorrect entries since all of the partitions are being searched at /dev/sdc. The USB flashdrive I used for the installation has 3 partitions so there are also 3 incorrect entries for it in /etc/fstab.

As I said, the boot process dumps me into a command line. This is where knowledge of vi comes very handy. It is small enough and ubiquitous enough to be in most *nix system. A quick ‘vi /etc/fstab’ to correct all linux partitions (and temporarily disable mounting of windows partitions) and I am now good to go. Invoking ‘mount -a’ confirms that I am able to successfully mount all partitions.

This problem is solved but unfortunately the PCLinuxOS Minime distribution is not the answer to my wireless in the Wind woes. πŸ™


Semi-hosed Wind UMPC

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Doc Mana (or rather his daughters) own a Wind and has pointed me to the released Linux realtek drivers. As Doc Mana has stated, the released drivers are in RPM format but this gives me a good opportunity to use the alien utility for converting packages. Doc also said his Neo empriva is working fine with a similar wireless chipset.

With the extended weekend, I promised to try it out with a refreshed Xubuntu installation, or better yet try installing the PCLinuxOS MiniMe distro to get native support for RPM. The nutshell is that I now have a semi-hosed Wind UMPC. πŸ™

Here is what happened:

  • I replaced the gnome network manager with the kwlan application and I hosed down my network connections. I then decided to refresh the Xubuntu installation from the my 4GB flash disk. And then…
  • I tried converting the package using the alien utility with the “–scripts” parameter because it told me so. It said it is for including the scripts inside the package. When it was time to install them with dpkg, an error was thrown out that there is a parsing error in the post install script. Both drivers show this error. Great!
  • As this is a refreshed installation, I decided to try again the tip from the wiki as this is also stated in the Gentoo Wind wiki. The build essential tools refused to install properly because of the problem with the botched realtek drivers installation.
  • I cannot uninstall/purge the realtek drivers from synaptic becase there are errors in the hooked scripts. πŸ™
  • I wiped by flash disk with MiniMe and proceeded to install over my Xubuntu system. Everything seems to be fine until I rebooted. The system got reconfigured with my flash disk as its main storage (sda) and my Wind’s drive as its secondary (sdc) so the GRUB entries refuses to work.
  • I tried booting with the flash disk inserted and tried to select the HDD Minime installation but the boot process refuses to proceed and ends with a kernel panic.

Right now the Wind will only continue booting if I have the flash disk inserted, and its too late into the night to start tinkering with livecd options. The bright side is that I have effectively created a very crude security key. /lol

I hope I can fix this properly tomorrow as the wife is giving me weird looks when she can’t easily get into the Windows partition to play Mystery Case Files. πŸ˜€


On small things taken for granted


Today I have a perfect example of small things that I take for granted: walking on uneven spaces. πŸ™
Base image courtesy of

Last Friday I suddenly felt an excruciating pain in my lower back. It was severe enough that I couldn’t walk for five minutes and was hobbling for the next two hours. The doctor in the company clinic prescribed some pain killers and suggested that an X-ray be done on my spinal column to rule out any severe causes such as slipped discs and another medical term that I can’t remember. Good thing that the company’s HMO will cover it.

Since this was already in the afternoon, I finished the pending paperwork requirements and then took a cab to the SM Megamall where the X-ray will be done. I was done with the procedure by 6:15PM but the technician said that the results will only be available the following day. I asked the reception if there is a possibility of getting somebody to read the results over the phone since I live quite far but they say they are not allowed to do that even if I give my written consent then and there.

As I am feeling better today with only a severely sore back, I opted to just go tomorrow since we also have engagements in the Quezon city area. Even if it is a medically related errand, I don’t think it is worth it to spend at least 3 hours for something that may just be normal back sprain.

The wife, with her typical optimistic attitude, is now preparing for either my funeral or the prospect of me being wheel-chair bound. Nice attitude, eh?

Back to the subject, I am still feeling a pain when doing small things that we do automatically. Bending to pickup a dropped object, going too fast from one level to another (even if there jsut an inch of difference), getting out of bed, and what have you. The good thing is that I can still drive but have to rely more on the side and rear-end mirrors since I cannot twist my body fast enough.

[update 2008.08.26] The orthopedic doctor said that there is a curvature in my spine but it is too slight to be considered as scoliosis. I am to undergo one week of (expensive) medication and three preventive PT sessions. Sounds good to me, I’ll take it. πŸ™‚


Two more reasons what religion is not for…


Chris Haravata posted this item in his blog which details a seemingly perfectly fine relationship between father and son that has endured trials but was shattered when the son “loves this woman, he is willing to get married in this woman’s church”.

Which one will you side on? Is it with the father who in his self-righteous narrow-mindedness thinks everything in this world fits perfectly in a black-or-white category. Or are you with the son who has the romanticist love that will forsake all just to please his bride?

I am with neither as both of them aren’t what I would call believers. The father is a lost cause fanatic that has anchored everything in what his religion espouses. He will probably spew out bible verses or quote some pastoral superstar when encroached in debates. Deep inside he is just as good as the “non-believers” that he condemns since he is a hypocritical and rabid hyena in sheep’s clothing.

The son is a spineless coward who thinks converting from one belief to another is like changing clothes (or jobs). Religion is all about beliefs: you either believe or you do not. If you are neither then welcome as you are an agnostic like me but grow some cojones and stand up for what you believe in. Love cannot make you a believe nor does love should force you to change. If it does either then that is called brainwashing. Ever heard of “love conquers all”? It doesn’t say “be conquered by love”. The same goes for the woman, she accepted the son when he wasn’t of the same faith. Why should he convert if she really wanted to be with him? Crafty manipulator.

Oops, long rant. πŸ™‚