Showing posts with label computer devices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label computer devices. Show all posts

Kolibri OS GRUB2 menu entry

Kolibri OS is another alternative operating system that is non-Windows, non-Linux. It is a super lightweight OS that was branched off from Menuet OS from 2004. It uses very little storage space and very light on hardware resources. I got intrigued with it when I happened to bump into a YouTube video showing how super fast it booted up!

Until now I still haven’t got a chance to try out Menuet OS because it needed to rawwrite onto a 1.44” floppy disk. I haven’t gotten around to collecting the stuff to try it out and then this KolibriOS came along. Ok, since they should be similar I will try this first. Besides this operating system felt simpler to prepare. The image was an ISO file and it was just a matter of burning it to a CDRW to give it a go.

Haiku OS GRUB2 menu entry

Haiku is the current continuation of the old discontinued BeOS system. I had the BeOS installation CD a long time ago and played with it a little when it came out. It didn’t catch on and sort of fizzled out. But lived on as an open-sourced Haiku.

I was surprised to find Haiku as a form of BeOS still hanging around the internet. I have been curious about the various OS that have been developed and how the usability of the different OS compared against the big giant Microsoft and the interesting Linux OS.

LibreElec GRUB2 menu entry for booting

I first learned about LibreElec when I got my Raspberry Pi 4. Having played around with it to watch some movies and connect to Netflix, YouTube and Spotify in the little RPi SBC, I was thinking of installing it on my spare old PC.

LibreElec has a simple Linux shell making it very lightweight. It just concentrates on being a media player by running Kodi fully.

FossaPup Puppy Linux GRUB2 menu entry

Puppy Linux is one of the most handy of the super light linux and considered my goto distro whenever I need to make changes, edit files, and copying files or moving files between distros and between partitions. It dispenses with the need to key in sudo privileges because it is already considered as root and has no issue whatsoever when I need to access another Linux partition.

GRUB2 Menu Entry Manually Set Up For Non-Detected Linux & Other OS

My earlier post about super multi-boot using Linux GRUB2 as my main boot loader and menu selection had been fun to do! There were also some tricky issues such as some OS need to be installed first before Linux and other OS could be installed.

Now we come to the issue of those Linux OS that could not automatically be detected by way of issuing terminal command ‘update-grub’ and had to be manually written into the GRUB configuration. I scoured the web for the commands and there were some variations to the menu entry. In some cases, some amount of tweaking was required in order to get it to work.

How Much Hard Disk Space to Allocate for each Linux and Windows Multiboot OS

During my preparation for a super multiboot computer, I needed to know how much hard disk space to allocate for the various Linux, DOS/Windows and alternate operating systems. These were usually easy to check by visiting each of the distros websites. Anyway, I took some gparted partition manager screenshot of my hard disk, hopefully this would give a fair idea of how much space each distro used up.

How To Build a Super Multi-Boot Linux OS

Having cleaned up several of my old PCs, I’ve decided to embark on my next project. To make a super multi-boot OS system with Linux, DOS, Windows XP and alternate operating systems. Dual-booting is fairly easy, but multi-booting with 10 OSes, now that would be a feat! In order to cram in so many OS, some prior preparation would be needed. Since these are old PCs with Pentium 4, Dual-Core and Core 2 Duo, I would need to look for pretty lightweight Linux. I also wanted some alternative non-linux, non-Windows OS.

Planning the multi-boot OS for Linux, DOS, Windows & alternate OS.

Cleaning Up Dusty Computers

I have a bunch of old computers which I would like to repurpose for experiments and other tasks. These old PCs were given to me by family members and some were salvage from the office. These were more than 10 years old and they were no longer capable of running the latest Windows 10. However they were still capable of running light weight operating system like Linux.

However before I could reuse them, I needed to clean them out as the dust accumulated inside was like a mini grey moss jungle, well one of it anyway. The rest had dust in hard to reach corners and on the board itself. Since they were old, I decided to do some drastic cleaning measures. I think most technician would've frown at my methods, but I found it to be truly effective! However a very thorough cleaning was no easy task and it took me the better part of an entire day to clean up one PC. With so many old computers at my disposable, it spanned several weekends just to clean them up! Fortunately with the pandemic lockdown and working from home, I have some spare time after hours to tinker with my various hobby projects!

Cleaning Dell old PC computer

Alcatroz Xplorer Go! 100BT and Rapoo 8000s keyboard review

Recently I got myself two keyboards, the Alcatroz Xplorer GO! 100BT (Bluetooth) and the Rapoo 8000s dual keyboard mouse combo nano wireless. With this review hopefully would help anyone out there who may be planning between a bluetooth type devices and wireless type devices.

While waiting out during this Covid-19 virus lockdown and working from home, I went ahead and purchase th Alcatroz Xplorer Go! 100BT keyboard thinking that it might a good idea to use bluetooth to connect to my PC and other devices without having to sacrifice a USB port, especially on my laptop where there is a limited number of slots available. However after using it for awhile, this didn't turn out to be such a good idea, plus this keyboard design was not going the way that I've planned out.

Keyboards Alcatroz Xplorer Go! 100BT & Rapoo 8000s

Celcom XPAX Prepaid SIM card must be upgraded to get 3G

I decided to pop in to a Celcom centre to try to find out why my XPAX 24 could only get 2G/EDGE internet data. A quick check with my phone number and it showed up in their terminal that my SIM card was only meant to be used as 2G.

I found it odd that the Celcom shop was selling 2G XPAX prepaid card when everyone else, Maxis, DiGi, etc were selling 3G enabled prepaid SIM cards. It seems like Celcom stock is slower moving compared with the other telcos. In order to have 3G/HSPA+ internet data connection, I need to change and upgrade my SIM card to a 3G version. And the shop that sold it to me didn't even informed me about it! And when I called up Celcom support sometime back, they were just as befuddle and didn't understand what was my problem. Why is it Celcom support so poor? Anyway,...

Celcom Axiata XPAX 24 prepaid cut into a micro SIM card size.

Nested Cloud Storage and NTFS Symbolic Link

Having a bunch of free cloud storage from the likes of Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box.com and many others, you could embark on a synchronization strategy to back up to your precious files up in the cloud and even give you a convenience or two.

Scrounging around the internet I found you could do some rather interesting sync and backup using the cloud storage on offer.

As of this writing, I have:

Google Drive = 15GB variable with email storage
SkyDrive = 7GB plus a free 1 year 20GB storage for being a Windows Phone user
DropBox = 2GB, can be bump up by doing various task, and recently a link from my mobile Samsung Note 2 gave me a bonus 48GB storage for two years!
Box.com = 10GB
Ubuntu One = 5GB
Amazon = 5GB
Apple iCloud = 5GB


Surprise! Google Drive Storage is now 15GB

This came a surprise to me when I found that I have 15 GB free Google Drive storage. However after digging around the information online and on closer inspection of my account, this was not really an increase but rather a combining of storage from the various storage. Some blogs said the Drive storage account was increased because it felt like you gained 15 GB of Google Drive / Picasa storage and 15 GB of Gmail storage. So let's look at this closer.

LiveScribe distributor Big'Ant in Malaysia is no more

Talk about bad timing! Big Ant (M) Sdn Bhd under the K-One Technology Berhad who was authorized distributor of Livescribe Pulse and Echo digital pen products has gone bust! Just at the time when my 2GB Pulse pen just ran out of ink and I thought of buying a refill ink cartridge.

LiveScribe ink cartridge refill compared

I found it strange when my usual IT haunt at All IT Section 14 PJ suddenly removed all the Livescribe products. At first nobody seemed to know what was happening and they weren't able to sell me any of the accessories and replacements. So I searched online and obtained the contact number for K-One Technology / Big’Ant division. Called them up but nobody picked up the phone. After several futile attempts, it dawned onto me that this company may have gone bankrupt.

DNS Servers in Malaysia and Overseas

Every now and then, I would tinker with my router modem and network adapters. In most cases DHCP would be fine. But some of the legacy devices like my very old HP Laser Jet 5000 series printer as well as our re-cond all-in-on Ricoh photocopier machine (although fairly new, but uses some very old network communication protocols) worked better with a fixed network IP protocol.

For small office like mine, manually configuring each PC to a fixed IP was not such a big issue. However when setting the Internet Protocol TCP/IPv4 from DHCP to manual settings, the "obtain DNS servers address automatically" sections gets grayed out.

So I would need to key in the DNS servers manually in order for internet connection to work. Scrounging around the internet, I managed to gather all the local DNS Servers as well as some international ones too! I set up this list because I can't remember the DNS server address, so this post was made as sort of a note for me for quick access!

Device failure one after another! Must be Murphy's Law

Just my luck, I got several electronic device failure one after another. Must be Murphy's Law at work here! First after a battery change, my wife Toyota Wish car remote control didn't work. The Toyota service people should have known better than to change the car remote batteries. Now it needs to be reset in order to work.

That's probably minor compared to my car remote when I accidentaly shorted my Toyota Altis car remote while changing the broken casing. Should not have used a screwdriver to pry out the electronics. Now it doesn't work anymore.

Next was the old HP fax printer, the modem was strucked by lightning long time ago but still could be used for printing and scanning. While trying to print some documents, the roller was making a ruckus, and finally I got ink cartridge error. I could try buying a new ink cartridge since the current one was already very low on ink anyway. After giving it some thought better not. It could be more than just a faulty cartride because the roller was making such awful noise. Besides ink catridge are expensive and I would have wasted money if the HP printer would not print. So that' the end of life for this HP printer.

My good old Intel D915 GEV motherboard with Pentium 4 - 3 GHz system. Was passed to the church but now it won't boot! I wonder if reset the BIOS would make it work again.

And finally the church PC which I was attempting to reinstall Windows XP. Well some people weren't too keen on using Ubuntu Linux though it would be far more virus resistant than Microsoft Windows. So I got down planning to dual boot it. The partitoning went fine without a hitch. Installing Windows XP was a different story. First round I got boot error. Strange, tried reinstalling a second time and the PC just hung after the initial booting diagnostic start up screen. Tried several reboot still got the same "hanging there not going anywhere" leaving me scratching my head. It could be the BIOS going crazy on me. For now the PC is not working. If the BIOS goes, the motherboard is just another dead wood. Schucks! And this good old Pentium 4 Intel 3GHz with an Intel 915GEV motherboard is a rather good piece of hardware. I should know, I picked the parts myself when I bought it in 2005. But now it no longer works. Argh!

Looks like I will need some replacement hardware starting with a new printer like this Epson Stylus T13. Oh, well.



[update 15/11/11]

Fixing my Intel D915 GEV computer system



Spend the better part of my late nights fixing up the good old Intel D915 GEV motherboard PC. Apparently the hard drive died causing the whole system to freeze up. Hard drive kaput means just change the dead drive without having to purchase the entire PC system, because if the motherboard died, it would be a major replacement. Unfortunately due to the flooding in Bangkok, Western Digital plant is underwater, and that plant account for 50% of the world's hard drive supply.

Which means there is a shortage of hard drive in the market driving up the prices 100% or more! When last I check some vendors are selling at double and some at triple the price! And in All IT Digital Mall section 14 PJ, much to my indignation the sales guy didn't even want to sell to me and was reluctant to give me any price indication!

I'm not going to spend that money yet until Bangkok recovers and Western Digital production is back online. Fortunately I still got an old 40GB PATA IDE WD 7200rpm drive. Well it won't be as fast as a SATA drive, but it will have to do for now.

Default Cluster Size for NTFS, FAT32, exFAT

I needed to reformat my SanDisk 16GB USB flash drive to NTFS file format as I wanted to transfer a large 9++ GB movie file to view it on my media player box. So when the format dialog box came up, I was wondering what would be the best default cluster size for NTFS and what did the "default allocation size" meant.
 
Although I would like to keep my thumbdrive in its default format of FAT32, it was not able to handle any files larger than 4 GB. NTFS filesystem although has more features (encryption, compression, ownership, etc.), it would also mean using up more computer resource in Windows when processing files. Hence I still prefer the simpler FAT 32 drive format, but I have no choice here as the file size was greater than 4 GB. (Note: exFAT or extended FAT can store files larger than 4GB but this disk format is not supported by many media boxes, unfortunately! It was introduced to overcome the 4GB limit but due to lack of support from many devices, access to the files would be limited to Windows Vista/7 onwards.)

Streamyx is absolutely bad today!

It's been a week long and Streamyx is still trying to fix its server or junction box or whatever. The connection is intermittent and if I do connect, is absolutely horrendously slow!



Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android



[update 13/10/11]

How is one suppose to work if streamyx slows down to a crawl every few days? And this is definitely got nothing to do with the damaged undersea cable to the USA. Even accessing local website and data is so, so, so slow! Thumbs down yet again for streamyx. I think there is too many problems with streamyx for the month of October.

be weary of email misinformation

Friends and contacts and mean well when they pass you bits and pieces of trivia via email. Unfortunately some of those information is more like misinformation. I don't know why some people got so much time in their hands to concoct such fallacies, incorrect understanding as well as myths and urban legends. And once it was let loose into the wild wide world of web, it will become viral and spreads.
 
The thing is, some of this bits of misinformation seemed plausible. Especially if you don't have the background academic knowledge or remembering a partial bit of information that you may have studied a long time ago but then you forget and when you receive the email, the explanation seem rather possible because your memory was a bit hazy on that subject matter. This brings to mind the show, "Are you better than a fifth grade" reality show. And yes, we don't have perfect memory, and things that we studied at one time is gone with the wind after many years of not referencing it in our brain.
 
Although for me, I still have good recollection of some of things that I have studied especially on those subject matters that I liked (but unfortunately for me, I don't know why I'm so poor at remembering names with people that I met! Must be the way my brain is differently wired). Anyway, we don't all have that good memory and we use whatever means to memorized information be they important or trivia.
 
So whenever I receive emails about some interesting discovery, trivia, and even warnings, it is best to do a little research online to find out just how accurate those information. Some people just have too much time in their hands, and will take real information and give it a little twist. So when you receive it, the information seems correct at first glance, but in reality it is already in error due to bad interpretation or overly simplistic view or misunderstood or could even be a joke or malicious intent of creating disinformation.
 
Thank goodness for sites like Snopes, BreakTheChain and various website and individuals trying to debunked bad information. Yes, internet communication (websites and emails) may be the best thing that has happened because it provide vast information for your research and reading at the touch of the button. And yet there are also sites or individuals whose grasp of their subject matter that may be less than well researched or poorly understood or just plainly made wrong intentionally to create disinformation.
 
So while you are surfing around or receiving emails with those pieces of trivia, do be weary of misinformation. Don't be lazy, but do a little bit of research and find out its accuracy before passing it along to your friends and family. Perhaps you might learn a thing or two about the subject matter that was circulating in the wild and avoid the disinformation and to inform the sender that the information they are sending should be more accurate so that they won't learn the wrong thing and pass bad information around.
 
 
 
 
 

iPhone IOS 4 update is a pain

Updating iPhone IOS 4 to the latest version is really a big headache! Why can't Apple provide a separate file download? Why must it go through the iTunes 10 software for update? Mind you the file size is really huge at 666.6 MB (uh, the number of the beast too?) that's about the size of a CD-ROM. I know, I know, it takes me just as much trouble to download the 700 MB Ubuntu Linux ISO file, but I can use those helpful download software like uGet to continue my download if the connection breaks and also split my downloads to a couple of days if the server is really slow.
 
iphone4_update
 
And this Apple update server is indeed really crawling at a snails pace! Could be Streamyx throttling my speed due to large download file. Or perhaps both, a slow server from Apple plus Streamyx broadband throttle, now that would really make your download day a super slow event. Wish they have a separate file for download. That would really make things it easier. I wonder why they don't do that? Perhaps they are afraid hackers would get at their code and reverse engineer it?
 
Whatever the reason, it makes for a poor user experience. That's why I don't always want to update my phone software, be it Apple's iPhone or Google's Android. Fortunately the Android update was far more faster, took me only about an hour plus for the update to be done.
 
However, my wife complained that the Apple iPhone was getting cranky and according to her fellow iPhone users in her office, that the mobile phone needs an update to make more stable. Her colleague left the phone overnight with the PC to download the update. Uh, with 666 MB and a slow server and broadband throttling, I guess that's the way to go about it.
Otherwise to keep your sanity the other option is to bring it over to the Telco (after all they bundled the phone in the mobile phone plan package) for the update since they have far more faster connection and perhaps even have the software at hand or they simply just have ultra fast broadband connection without being throttled.  
 
Anyway, I'm going to give this self-updating of Apple iPhone IOS 4 a go before crying surrender if it fails. Anything for dear wife!
 
 

Digital Pen Livescribe 2GB Echo now at MYR399

Prices are coming down, the digital pen Livescribe 2GB Echo model has drop to MYR399. Ouch! If I have known I would have waited instead. I bought my 2GB Pulse model some 3 months back.

So what's the difference?

The new Echo model has new features, it is more ergonomic and rubber grip. That should help ease my aching hand from prolong usage.

And it uses a cable rather than a dongle, so you can use it like a mosue while connected to your PC.
And they not round like a cylinder so it won't roll off your table.

These are little extras. Initially they were marketing it for MYR699. That price too steep lah. Now at MYR399 then more reasonable. If between Pulse vs Echo at same price, then Echo is the better choice.
Well, too late now. Will just have to make do with my Livescribe 2GB Pulse digital pen instead of the improve 2GB Echo version

My review of Livescribe 2GB Pulse model
Big'Ant Malaysia / K-One Technology, distributor of LiveScribe has closed shop