Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Partition Recovery

Just a quick post to mention I managed to get my data back of my external usb hard disk I thought I had lost. I downloaded an app called Partition Table Doctor from http://www.ptdd.com

As soon as I ran it, it found my external disk, and said it could repair the partition on it. It did its stuff, I saved the partition back to the disk rebooted and I could see the disk again.

It only cost $40, so its well worth it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventures in Ubuntu - Part 1

Over the weekend i blew my home pc away meaning to install XP and Ubuntu side by side. However, i'm only using Ubuntu at the mo, due to the fact that some how when I tried to re-install XP somehow the my USB hard disk got stuffed, so i'm not happy.

I'm not entirely sure what happened, it looks like the partition on the disk has been deleted as I can see the disk in Windows disk management but it wont mount the disk and giving it a drive letter. I blew away the Windows install and put Ubuntu on to see if that could see it any better but nothing. So i'm now looking for something that will hopefully be able to re-build the partition.


Anyway on to the Ubuntu install. The first problem I has was using the default install it kept hanging on what looked like loading the drivers for my graphics card. I started it in the cut down installer and it seamed far happier and completed the install without any other problems.

As it rebooted my display seemed up to scratch, and I heard the startup sound so that meant at least my sound card and vid card were both in working order. Problem was when I logged in my wireless network card wasn't being listed as a device in the network config.

The first thing I did was check in the Hardware manager to see if it had recognized any hardware at all. It had as you can see below found the hardware, it just did'nt know what to do with it.

Knowing that it had found my hardware i started searching around the newsgroups and came across this page here.

This contained virtually everything I needed to know to get my card up and running.

I had to install the ndiswrapper packages, using the package manager, as below. All the files were on my install cd so I did'nt have to download them.

using this I could then load the windows driver for my card. I then had to create a new entry in my network config file for the interface.

After a reboot I could see the wireless access point using iwconfig command, but I couldn't get an IP address. I put a static IP address in, but I still couldn't connect to anything. After a bit more searching I read about people who had a similar problems, and it came down to the encryption being enabled on the wireless access point. I disabled it and hey presto I could get a connection!

So, not ideal but at least I could now get a internet connection.

After all this i am going to blow the pc away again to get XP back on, but Ubuntu will be going back on as well. I will still have to try and get my graphics card working better as all the modes weren't available and I couldn't seam to get that 3D desktop Compiz Fusion working ether.

Judging of my experience doing this install I would say that Linux still has a fair way to go before its going to be wildly accepted by the majority of home users. I wasn't to hard for me to get working, but i suspect the average Joe in the street will go no wear near it if they know they have to hack about with config files to get it working

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Facebook and Linux

I've decided to join the 21st century, and sign up to a social networking site. I chose facebook for a couple of reasons -

I HATE the navigation and layout of myspace. Lets face it, its awful. And your profile is open to everyone witch I dont like
Most people in the real world I know have Facebook profiles, and dont use anything else.
Facebook just looks nicer and seams to be 'cooler' at the mo.
You can write your own apps for Facebook, and that brings me onto my next point.

I've decided I want to write an app for Facebook, problem is they seam to want you to use PHP witch I have never touched before. There are unofficial libraries for other platforms, but i've decided to take the plunge and try and learn PHP and write the app in that.

And then, i've also decided i'm going to write the application under Linux, something i've never done before. My pc at home needs re-building so when the latest version of ubuntu (7.10) is released this week i'm going to install that along side Windows XP.

I've used Linux in the past, but only when i've had to. This is going to be my chance to experement with it from scratch. It will probably take me ages to even get it installed with all my hardware (I want all my stuff working), but i'm sure it will be worth it.

Anything I come across while on my quest to use Linux to develop my app I will of course post on here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Google Maps and IE6

I've been doing some messing about over the last week or so with the Google maps and Fickr API's, to get photos on Flickr displayed on a map.

After much tinkering and hacking around, I finally got it working. You can see the results on my beer website at http://www.oldmanales.co.uk/feat_OktoberFest07.asp

While writing this I came across a strange bug that seamed to effect IE6. I only started noticing it the last couple of days though, so maybe Google have been messing with the code.

Anyway, what would happen is when I loaded my map I got the little error icon at the bottom left corner of my browser. Double clicking it gave this error:

GIcon is undefinded

GIcon was the variable I was using to create a marker on the map that you can click and it would show a pop-up window.

I looked at a few posts, some suggested changing the version of the maps api, some building the icon differently and a couple more. However, the only one that worked for me was going into IE's advanced settings and turning on allow HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections option.

Once this had been turned on I know longer got the error and my map is displayed without ant problems.

Once I thought about the error I realised that I noticed it first when I checked the map at work, using a proxy server, and judging by the name of the setting it probably only happens when using a proxy to access the web.
I'm not entity sure what the setting means but i will look into it.

On the topic of the map, once I have finished it off all the features i want to put in it and I've tested it as much as possible i will post the code for it on here.