Richard Jones' Log

Wed, 31 Oct 2007
Yay for RAID, boo for grub (well, Ubuntu's grub)

One of the disks in my home Linux machine died a couple of days ago. Boo. After the last time I had this happen, I set up a RAID-1 volume for our data. Yay! No data loss, and got the RAID up and running with the new disk in very short order. Even after installing the latest Kubuntu release at the same time.

Well, except for the frustrating 2 hours lost to grub. I ran into a problem I've previously run into (but clearly blocked from memory): under Ubuntu, grub doesn't order the disks the same as the BIOS, and thus the system can become unbootable in a most confusing way ("Grub stage 1.5 ... Error 15" and I'm on my own).

The solution for me was simple: make sure the disk you're going to boot grub off is the first in the list according to the BIOS, regardless of what grub or Ubuntu say. While Ubuntu was calling it "hd0", the BIOS knew it as "the second disk". When I re-plugged things so the BIOS saw the disk "the first disk", Ubuntu called it "hd2". Woot.

It's working now. Just. Unfortunately last night I had a transient boot problem (aka the system didn't boot but I reset and then it did) reminiscent of a previous problem ... I'm not ready to replace the damn motherboard yet, but if another connector dies I'll be down to two and I'll have to :(

I've also just installed the same Kubuntu release on my work Dell laptop - and everying works, even suspending etc. The screen setup stuff is a little annoying to deal with after using an OS X laptop at the last job (where the OS is capable of detecting screen plugs & unplugs, unlike X11).

Fri, 19 Oct 2007
The cake is a lie

Play Portal. I've previously been excited about games before their release, but never have I been so pleasantly surprised by an unknown game. Game of the year for me (narrowly beating out Team Fortress 2). You don't necessarily have to take my word for it - a lot has already been written, drawn and spoken (fast & loose language warning on that link) by others about the game.

It's certainly one of the funniest games I've ever played with superb writing and pacing.

I just can't seem to get it out of my head :)

category: Games | permanent link
Wed, 10 Oct 2007
Thanks, Kriss Deiving!

Thankyou Kriss!

category: Python | permanent link
New job

I'm back working with Familiar, friendly faces, and some new ones. We're looking to hire a couple of junior devs too, if you know any...

Python lecture series finished - phew!

Only two slightly embarrassing glitches during the 6 lectures (the last one being a show-stopper demoing some BeautifulSoup functionality right at the end of the last lecture ;)

Overall the lectures went really well. Feedback from the students reinforced the feeling I had that I was getting the information across well. We'll see how they go in the assignment and exam, I suppose (though only 1/3 of the class actually attended the lectures).

I'm looking forward to doing it again next year with this experience under my belt.

category: Python | permanent link