Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Special Thanks to Debaira: The Quest to Boot an ISO from a Hard Drive

Day 953: Boot ISO from a Hard Drive

How many times have you tried to install GNU/Linux from a CD?

Personally, I've lost count after 50+.

I've tried Debian Etch, Ubuntu Dapper, Kubuntu Dapper, Sidux, Arch, FreeBSD, Debian Lenny, Puppy, DSL, and gOS.

It's fun I know, but for the most part, it is a little bit time-consuming and it wastes a lot of CDs.

I've seen it done before - on a WindowsXP machine. A computer technician who used to work for my father installed a copy of WindowsXP on another partition and every time the machine boots, it shows these two options: (a) Install Windows XP (b) Boot to Windows XP Professional.

If it can be done on a Windows machine, it could also be done on a Linux machine.

I've searched Google and asked many times in IRC, but so far no takers.

I am fortunate to have discovered Rakesh Kumar's blog last year and I am happy that he took the time to actually help me on my quest.


Go to http://debaira.blogspot.com/2009/03/boot-iso-image-from-hard-disk.html
for the instructions.

I will update this as I progress.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Perfect System of a Perfect Machine

I have read an interesting article made by Pinoy Linux luminary Jun Auza about the current trend of Linux powered robotics. I must say that I am really excited about this because its all happening now. What's next then?

I must say that the next step would be the "humanization" of these machines. 

As a matter of fact, this "humanization" is already taking place. It's scary, exciting and most important of all - thought provoking.

Forgive me, if I will digress from the topic Linux Robotics since I would prefer to focus on Robotics in General. I would explain later why.

When I watched the movie "A.I." starring Haley Joel Osment of Sixth Sense fame about a robot boy striving to find his place in the universe of organic sentience and "humanized" mechanisms, I thought to myself - that's NOT going to happen in my lifetime.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Come on! A male gigolo robot that plays romantic music while having sex?

But apparently a company named A.I. Robotics, specializing in robotics (duh) already have a final prototype of a "Perfect Woman". Finally your very own Stepford Wife. It already happened.

So, wow, if you have a gajillion bucks somewhere lying around, you could have your very own "perfect woman" robot and uh, well. Dot dot dot. Play the Spice Girls' song "Two Become One"?

Don't worry girls, a male version is coming soon...

The aim for perfection would be the immediate step after creation. You could carve it in a rock and would see that more "perfect men and women" would be created. How do I put this? It's a universal urge...

Perfection can never be attained, since perfection belongs in Plato's World of Ideas. However, this endeavor for perfection, at the very least, could reach a certain "acceptable mark". When every avenue has been exhausted, and every modification tested, graded and approved then that is the time when the market would say, "Ah, its perfect."

To the consumer, the operating system is merely a component, albeit a crucial one. The most salient features would always be form and utility. They are after all created for a purpose. Any operating system, as long as "it works" would suffice.  Unless of course you are RMS and would prefer that every component of his perfect woman would be entirely "free".

You'd bring out your screw driver open up the housing the CPU of the robot, plug in the usb cable and mount the perfect woman, uh, I mean mount the interfacing device on the corresponding port, go to the root directory and remove all proprietary components of the system and afterwards upgrade the kernel to the latest version...

No. I didn't think so.

You'd still need to buy a Trojan though. Never know what's inside there...

Well, like the economic recession which nobody in authority foresaw enough to be able to avert, the future of robotic development is a frontier with many wild lands still to be explored.

Linux as a system is a contender and is widely known for its flexibility as the platform for numerous devices.

What I am really after is the "perfection" part. With humanity's insatiable quest to create perfection - to create both artificial and natural "life" in his likeness where are these all leading to?

It could be a Pandora's box as expounded by doomsday talkers:


Or it could be paradise:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I however, believe that in the near future there will be a realization that by design, robotics is flawed. No matter the level of perfection, it will always be flawed as are all things created by man.

Sure they are good for several things like augmenting and even replacing human appendages. But much engineering problems remain: particularly that of power storage. It is true that fuel cell mechanisms are improving both output and storage - but what about refuelling? Outside of human intervention they would not be able to refuel or recharge themselves without the appropriate logistic support. Much of which is very human dependent.

Whereas nature by design actually thrives without human intervention and existence.

A few hours ago, I watched as a group of about 100 to 200 ants carried a cockroach along the side of a wall, upwards to the second story of our house. Imagine, miniscule organisms that have low fuel consumption but have enough energy that is enough for a single unit to power itself to carry loads that are more than twice its size.

Ants are self replicating and can survive in many different kinds of environments. They do not rust, do not require spare parts, and have an amazing guidance system. They know where my cup of coffee is. They know that they need sugar. They know exactly where to find it. They do not need any external logistic support.

Nature rocks. 

The perfect system and design has already existed. It is called nature.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

23000 Linux PCs Headed to This >>> Third World Country PLUS Free Windows CDKEY for Loyola Schools!

If you haven't heard yet, a self proclaimed independent FOSS advocate slash consultant named Richard Gonzalez is spearheading efforts to distribute 10,000 PCs powerloaded with the superb Operating System called Ubuntu and 13,000 PCs with a Fedora Based Distribution to schools in our very own Banana Republic.

From : ComputerWorld.com.au

Providing high school students with PCs is seen as a first step to preparing them for a technology-literate future, but in the Philippines many schools cannot afford to provide computing facilities so after a successful deployment of 13,000 Fedora Linux systems from a government grant, plans are underway to roll out another 10,000 based on Ubuntu.

Isn't that awesome?

Well, it seems that Microsoftee is not too keen with the strategy of Linux here in the Philippines and has fired back with providing FREE Windows CD-KEYs to all students enrolled in Loyola Affiliated Schools (aka Ateneo). This bit I got from my sister who is a graduating Atenista (YEHEY!) Happy Graduation!


At the time of this writing she is installing Windows Vista on her computer. *Gasp*

Well, wars are fought in many fronts, sometimes it is also fought in the homefront.

Well, going back to my disjointed thought session with you oh faithful reader, the Ubuntu-Ph elite are having a resurgance of volunteer enthusiasm with this news.

The latest news in the Linux vs Windows War is right below this post.

Real Life Interfering with Blogging

Among other things that dannybuntu does, aside from writing horribly written articles about his passion for Ubuntu, Google and FOSS, is doing menial and "average-everyday(ness)" stuff. One of these AES stuff is cooking.

I am a food buff and would wave my spatula to anybody who dares contest my royal claim to the golden chef's hat.

Kidding aside, I am not a professional cook. I am merely a food hack. Food innovator sounds better, no?

I cook anything I can find inside the fridge.

If I find chicken, garlic, onion, cheese and some small green leaves (I don't bother with knowing the scientific names of the spices) I mix them up together to create some Garlic and Onion Chicken Cheese with Small Green Leaves.

Nay, there are no pictures *YET* of my exploits.

My inspiration springs from a Rat named Remi from the movie Ratatouwee or whatever they spell it nowadays.

"Anybody can Cook."

So, that, among other things, interferes with my glorious quest to bring FOSS to sweet victory.

Mix cooking with 3 kids and you have a plateful of TTDFs! Things To Do Fast!

Cook fast for the ravenous appetites of my spawn.

How could one sudo apt-get install insertnewpackagenameforubuntuhere when I am too busy sudo apt-get remove the kitten from the premises at once!

For tonight it is going to be Chicken Caldereta. 


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Star Trek 2009

Pinoy + Tech + Podcast = www.pinoytechpodcast.com

Jerome Gotangco of Ubuntu PH and a group of friends decided to do a podcast dedicated to local technology news and events. It's called the  "Pinoy Tech Podcast" but they're open for better names. They have set up a blog at http://pinoytechpodcast.blogspot.com/ where you can download the MP3 or M4A copy of the first episode, or you can also stream it online on the main page. RSS and iTunes support is forthcoming.

Their plan is to release biweekly.

They are open to feedback to help improve the show. Please feel free to give suggestions for topics in the future.



So there, I just edited JSG's own press release for his new baby  - pinoytechpodcast

Looking forward to hear from the 1337 of the Ubuntu PH community. :o)

Browser Wars at Bottom

And Operating System Wars at Bottom Too.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Test post Using BloGtk. The 'Title' field is grayed out. The interface is pretty straight-forward. I was able to configure BloGtk to use blogger by putting http://www.blogger.com/api/RPC2 in the 'server' field. Without a title, I wouldn't really be putting this to good use.

I also have to fix my weird appearance problem. After logging in, I get the default box like and gray default theme for GTK. I actually set DarkRoom theme as default but it is not working.

Other user account unaffected, it must be one of my home setttings.

Posted to http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6849019#post6849019 to ask for help.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Browser Tabs Making Us Lazy Readers?

I remember the first time I ever saw a website. It was yahoo.com on Internet Explorer version something. The connection was dial up and it took at least 2 to 5 minutes to load the webpage.

Now I have DSL and Firefox 3. I have iGoogle and its RSS showing ability and have a gajillion tabs with a gajillion stories I could open in new tabs.

Not that I am complaining but I have begun noticing that all these 'interesting' tabs make me want to view them quickly. I don't read the complete articles anymore but chomp and gobble through them. Scanning seems to be a more appropriate word.

I scan.

Specially if the article is not that well written, I just tend to stop reading the whole article altogether and "move on" to other tabs.

Do you still read the whole article?