Monday, April 30, 2007

Zip disks are fun

I've had a couple zip drives laying around for awhile now but I've never used them because I've never bought zip disks for them. With the huge hard drives we have now, every new computer having a DVD burner, and flash media... no one uses zip disks anymoar. They're kinda expensive and just aren't practical. But my girlfriend got me some for $1 and a yard sale. $1 is pretty damn good. They were made in 1994 but hadn't been opened yet. Getting the zip drive working in kubuntu was kind of a pain. It's a really old ZIP 250 that plugs into the parallel port. Here's how you make one of these work on ubuntu (or how I did it):
1. make a mount point
sudo mkdir /media/zip

2. load the imm module (load ppa for zip 100 drives)
sudo modprobe imm

3. Mount the disk
sudo mount /dev/sda4 /media/zip

4. That's all there is to it. If you want imm to be loaded on startup do this:
sudo nano /etc/modules
and add imm to the bottom (or ppa for zip 100)
Note: I've noticed imm will not load if a disk is not inserted. You will have to load it manually if a disk is not inserted at startup.

5. press ctrl+x and then press enter when done

6. set up fstab
sudo nano /etc/fstab

7. add this line (change vfat to whatever filesystem you will use on it. I used ext2) then save.
/dev/sda4 /media/zip vfat noauto,user 0 0

8. Format if needed
You can format a zip disk the same way you would a hard drive. I used QTParted and formatted it as ext2.

You zip drive should now be accessable when your computer boots. Sometimes it acts a little weird though. If for some reason your zip drive isn't letting you access it, try reloading the imm module.
sudo modprobe -r imm && sudo modprobe imm

Here's another neat trick: eject disk from the command line:
eject /dev/sda4
I could do that for hours. srsly.

I got bored and didn't know what to use my zip disk for. After awhile I decided that I'd like to backup my /etc directory. Here's how I did that:
sudo su

mkdir /media/zip/sysbackup/etc

cd /etc

find . -depth -print0 | cpio --null --sparse --no-preserve-owner --preserve-modification-time -pvd /media/zip/sys_backup/etc

Neat huh?
I was surprised at how fast these disks really are. They're not that bad.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 is here!

Yeah, the new Ubuntu is out. I just ordered some Kubuntu CDs from shipit (I don't like gnome). I'm using 6.06 and from what I've heard, upgrading from 6.06 to 7.04 is stupid. So I'm just going to do a clean install. people using 6.10 can just use the upgrade tool. 7.04 has many new features and many things have been improved. One thing I really like about this new release is the OEM installation. It's not really new. I guess it had it before and I didn't know about it. Anyways.. it's been updated quite a bit. This will make it easier for computer dealers to preinstall Ubuntu for their customers. Maybe more people will switch to linux.
Other nice features are:
The new network manager
New help system
KDE has been updated to 3.5.6 (gnome is probably updated too. I don't care though.)
Improved power management
Other stuff - GCC 4.1.2 Glibc 2.5 Python 2.5 Linux 2.6.20

Those are only a few of the good things about 7.04
I'll have an update when I get my CDs in the mail.

My only complaint about ubuntu at this point in time is that they no longer support PPC. This really pisses me off. I have a G3 that I'm using as a file server. It's running Ubuntu Server Edition 6.10. I now have to look for another distro to run on it. Though I probably wont install anything else for some time. My server works just fine and I'm going to leave it alone for now.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Welcome to my stupid blog.

I don't know why I just now decided to start a blog. I don't really want one. Maybe I just need a place to ramble on about mooses and ground beef. I really like ground beef. I also need to complain about Microsoft and how much their operating system sucks (it really sucks).
This blog will be my place to talk about things that interest me... Mostly computer stuff, mooses, ground beef, and Dani - my really hot girlfriend.
... Yeah. That's about it.