Install Ubuntu without a livecd or pendrive

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So i decided to upgrade my desktop’s ubuntu..

it had been rocking some version of Ubuntu 11 for a few years.. was time for a change. So i got the latest version (13.10) from the site,

burnt a live dvd and popped it in. nothing happend on boot! after a lot of fiddling i gave up on the live cd route, and decided to use a live usb. thats how i installed it on my Dell XPS earlier this year…

So i created a live USB.. and that didnt work either. Basically the motherboard was so old, it didn’t support usb booting!

Since the wifi card was having issues i decided to try something i’ve never done before: Install Ubuntu directly from the hard drive.

Basically what you do is
1) copy the downloaded cd iso to a specific location
2) make an entry in GRUB2(this only works in GRUB 1.9 onwards) so that you can just boot the iso..

heres how you do it(required basic terminal navigation knowledge.. that i googled)

STEP1 – The Live CD is also known as the “Desktop Installer”. It is the default Ubuntu installation CD. The ISO you downloaded has the name “desktop” in its name copy it somewhere easy to navigate to(later you’ll need to type the address in terminal)

STEP2 – Copy CD/iso contents over to the system using the commands:

mkdir /tmp/install_cd
 mkdir /tmp/installer

 sudo mount disk-image.iso -o loop /tmp/install_cd
 sudo mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/installer

 sudo rsync -a /tmp/install_cd/ /tmp/installer

 sudo umount /tmp/install_cd
 sudo umount /tmp/installer

Replace the name of the ISO to whatever you downloaded and /dev/sda1 with whatever your new partition is(use system monitor to check the disk and partition names).

STEP3 – Edit your grub configuration file

GRUB1 users :
to edit the Grub file as root(so you can save your changes) run this

gksudo gedit /etc/grub.conf

or

gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Edit your grub configuration file to boot from the new partition by adding the lines

title           installer
root            (hd0,0)
kernel          /casper/vmlinuz boot=casper root=/dev/ram ramdisk_size=1048576 rw
initrd          /casper/initrd.gz

the first line after the title tells grub which partition contains the installer. hd0 stands for “first hard disk,” and the 0 following it standards for first partition. You will need to change this if your installer partition is different from /dev/sda1. sdaN becomes (hd0, N-1), sdbN becomes (hd1,N-1) and so on. As you can see, grub starts counting from 0, which can be confusing.

GRUB2 users :
to edit the Grub file as root(so you can save your changes) run this

gksudo gedit /etc/grub.d/40_custom

With Grub2, the bootloader in new installations of 9.10, the procedure is a little different. You should edit the file /etc/grub.d/40_custom and add the lines

menuentry "installer" {
        insmod ext2
        set root=(hd0,1)
        linux /casper/vmlinuz boot=casper root=/dev/ram1 ramdisk_size=1048576 rw
        initrd /casper/initrd.lz
}

Note that Grub 2 counts drives from 0, but partitions from 1, so /dev/sda1 becomes (hd0,1).

STEP4 – Having done that run

update-grub

to rebuild the grub configuration.

Reboot and hold “shift” to see grub(incase its hidden) and select the installer.

for more detailed instructions.. like how to install ubuntu to a different partition etc.. check the page i found this originally – here.

For the entire list of methods available for installing Ubuntu on a problem system, check this comprehensive page.

UPDATE:
hmm.. i knew it all went too smoothly.
Ubuntu 13.10 won’t show me the other partitions..
so i can’t even see them in order to mount manually…
This can be fixed if one has.. PySDM .. which i can’t install without internet..
i can’t install it with the cd.. because ubuntu won’t mount the cd drive! ..

looking into other workarounds now..

The Hyderabad Graphic Novel

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Got my copy of The Hyderabad Graphic Novel(written by Undurti and drawn by Chattoraj) a few weeks back, and finally finished reading it!
The book has been published in the large magazine format usually preferred by European publications like Asterix and Tintin.. and the cover is absolutely gorgeous! see for yourself..

I’d already read the online chapters, and loved them.. but now that i had the book i was able to see how they fit together. Especially with the Auto Rickshaw(the Tardis of the novel).

Finally getting to read the rest of the young poet’s journey was quite fulfilling. The plot about the city planning and the architect’s grand plans was a new one for me.. it was unlike anything i had read in a while.. the hystoric detail and philosophical/occultic references made me feel like i was back in one of Umberto Echo’s books! The book is well researched and well written, I’d recommend it for anyone with an interest in historical fiction.. although be warned it is heavy reading.. and some of the themes may be a bit difficult to grasp for readers lacking enough background knowledge on some of the historical figures mentioned. This may lead to a slowing in pace for those readers.

For the most part its quite good, in fact I found some parts pretty entertaining 🙂
A must have for every serious graphic novel reader/collector.

my rating:
Artwork: ✩✩✩✩✩
General plot: ✩✩✩✩★
Overall: ✩✩✩✩★
as far as Indian graphic novels go: ✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

The book is not yet available for purchase online, however some complete chapters are available on the website for reading online hgnp.wordpress.com/read or downloading and reading offline(pdf, cbr) hgnp.wordpress.com/download

for more info as well as the availability in various Indian cities(Hyderabad, Bangalore and others) visit the Facebook page – facebook.com/HydGraphicNovel

Blog Action Day: Human Rights

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Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance.

Today’s theme is Human Rights!

When one thinks about ghastly human rights violations, one generally thinks of certain African nations and then south east asian countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.. very few people realise that there are violations of that scale occurring in India as well.

Heres a quick run down for those who need a refresher:

1)Police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and torture.
according to a 2002-09 study, over four people per day died while in police custody,
with “hundreds” of those deaths being due to police use of torture.

2)In this country, human rights defenders have been killed, tortured, ill-treated, disappeared, threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, falsely charged.

3)Freedom of speach … remember when blogger/blogspot was blocked years ago.. in 2011? – refresh your memory how about the time Reliance took it upon themselves(without authorisation from the govt.) to block certain websites.

4)Slavery(yes we have it in India, under various other names, click here to learn more)

ok the list goes on and on.. and i’m no expert on the matter, so will just point you at this page where you will find everything

I’m going to concentrate on one incident that blew my mind. Back in 2011 the govt actually banned a website that hosted cartoons against corruption!
heres a glympse of the objectionable material..

the cartoons in question were
1) the one depicting of the national emblem(original has four Sarnath lions of King Asoka) with 3 bloodthirsty wolves,with the motto “Bhrashtamev Jayate” (long live corruption)
2) the representation of the Parliament as a Toilet
3) mother India(in tricolour) being gangraped by a politician, a beurocrat and a demon “corruption”

to see the cartoons, click the image above or head over to cartoonsagainstcorruption.blogspot.in

Crime Branch, Mumbai banned the website of Cartoons Against Corruption during the hunger strike of Anna Hazare in December 2011. Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was arrested in September 2012 and was sent to judicial custody till 24 September on charges of sedition, which is a non-bailable offence.

He was subsequently granted bail and released. Mr. Trivedi has now turned fulltime activist fighting against censorship in India.. and runs a campaign(along with journalist Alok Dixit) for internet freedom called Save Your Voice

More on the incident and its fallout here

my last BlogAction Day post was a light hearted post on Climate Change(2009). see it here

Painted the old 3D Prints

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Had these models printed years back.. theyve just been sitting and gathering dust.. so decided to “update” them.
used standard acrylic paints, and a paintbrush.

Angry Tentacle Guy
Before

After

Alien Centaur
Before

After

oh, and both models are available for free at Thingiverse(incase you have your own printer) and at the Shapeways store, in case you just want to buy one.