June Hardware/OS Audit

Nothing to see here. Just listing what I have for future reference…

1)
AMD Athlon X2 4000 AM2 (2.10GHz)
Emaxx MCP61S-AVL
2GB Geil DDR800
GeForce 7300GT 512MB
160 GB HDD
*Windows XP

2)
AMD Sempron 2200+ (1.60GHz)
Asrock K7VM3
1GB DDR400
GeForce FX5200
Seagate 160GB IDE HDD
Samsung 80GB
Maxtor 40GB
*Windows XP
*Linux Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron”

3)
Sony Vaio VGN-CR35G
Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 (2.10GHz)
14.1″ WGA Display
Wireless 4965 AGN
Mobility Radeon X2300
2GB SODIMM
Toshiba MK2546GS 200GB HDD
*Windows Vista

4)
Western Digital Scorpio External Drive 80GB
*Linux Mint 5 “Elyssa”
*Linux Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron”

5)
Linux Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” – Since April 2007
Linux Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” – Since January 2008
Linux Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” – Since May 2008
Linux Mint 5 “Elyssa” – Since June 2008

June Hardware/OS Audit

Copying Firefox 3 Bookmarks

I installed another OS on my portable hard drive and didn’t want to go through the hassle of rebuilding my bookmarks. Got help from nice people and thought to share. For Firefox 3, they make it fairly simple. You only need one file – places.sqlite. Now I’m on Linux so I’m not sure if the windows version has this file or hides it. The only thing that I had to do was copy places.sqlite from my working FF3 to my new one and closed/reopened it. I got everything I need. It copies the bookmarks but not the passwords. So you’ll have to enter those again the first time that you access emails and other sites with logins.

Hope this helps!

Copying Firefox 3 Bookmarks

Stage 1: Portable Multi-Distro Linux USB Drive

Like the title says, I want to install 5 Linux distributions on my USB drive. It is a Western Digital Scorpio drive with 80GB of space. I thought it was broken and unusable until I plugged it in recently. Seems it was the pc that wasn’t reading it right after all. Now that I have a new power supply unit in this old box, everything seems peachy. I was using the drive as a back up but I already have 3 hard drives and only 2 are currently plugged in. I ran out of IDE connectors. Did I mention it’s old? :p

I have my drives set up to work independently as I sometimes take them out and test them on other pc’s. I don’t need all of them to be hooked up just to boot up one drive or OS. I just invoke the BIOS Boot Menu using F11 during POST and pick the one I want. Simple and easy for me.

I used my GParted Live CD to make the partitions the way they are now. See image below. Shrunk my NTFS I use as a windows back up sometimes. Next up was 2 Gigs of swap then an extended 60GB partition for my /home and 5 partitions for the Linux distributions I want to try. Looks nice and organized and most importantly – it works fine.

GParted Screenshot of USB Drive Partitions

I got the torrent from LinuxMint.com and got some rest while waiting for it to finish. Burned it at the lowest possible speed using the simple CD writer in Linux Ubuntu 8.04, my primary distribution. I had some issues booting up the Live CD. I got an “(initramfs)” prompt instead of a regular desktop. Using the Compatibility Mode, I found out that it was some error with it not detecting the floppy and SCSI devices. I used the Live CD troubleshooting guide provided by nice people in the Mint Forums. Pressed F6 during splash, pressed tab, deleted “quiet splash–” and entered “all_generic_ide”. That worked and let me into the Live environment. I liked what I saw, was curious and proceeded.

The installation was smooth. My first boot was met with the famous Grub Error 17 and 18. The reason being how the BIOS and the Live CD arranged the drives. In the Live CD, the usb drive was third and my BIOS read it as the first drive. The solution was to edit the menu.lst and change all references to (hd2,4) to (hd0,4), which is where my Mint is.

Tried again and here I am posting the results. Four more distributions to go. I’ve narrowed down my choices based on release date, number of packages and most important is the community or support. I did not include Linux Ubuntu since I’m already using that and it has its own hard drive in my pc. The list goes:

  • ArchLinux – 10/07/2007 with 15,000 packages
  • Debian – 04/08/2007 with 26,000 packages
  • Fedora – 05/13/2008 with 8,000 packages
  • Mandriva – 04/09/2008 with 16,000 packages
  • Sabayon – 09/07/2007 with 12,000 packages
  • Sidux – 04/12/2008 with 22,950 packages
  • [Simply]MEPIS – 12/23/2007 with 20,000 packages

*data is based on http://en.wikipedia.org

I wanted the distribution to be recent, within the last year or 2 years, so I wouldn’t be learning something that’s at the end of its life cycle. I wanted as much packages as possible because… just because. I’m still a beginner and still have a lot to learn. Now I have not looked into the community or support sites for these distributions yet. Well, I went into Debian once but for after reading some threads, I felt unwelcome because of my choice of OS – Ubuntu. I will give it another go and keep an open mind.

That’s about it for today. The rest is yet to be determined. Hopefully, I’ll get more information in a few days and start installing a 2nd OS on my USB drive. Until then…

Stage 1: Portable Multi-Distro Linux USB Drive