Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Is Ubuntu / Linux for geeks only? (Part 2: partitions)

Part two of my journey in search of lands beyond MS Windows.

Within a couple more minutes, the installer looked at my hard drives, and reported on what was available. Unfortunately, it reported the partition sizes in decimal gigabytes, rather than binary gigabytes, and I didn't recognise any of the numbers.

(This is the same effect as when Windows users buy a 500 GB drive and only see 465 GB reported in 'My Computer'. Both values are correct, they just have slightly differing units.)

Seized with doubt about which partition to nominate for installation, and suspecting (but not knowing for sure) that SDA1 equates to Disk 0, First partition, I aborted the installation and restarted Windows, to write down a few vital statistics from 'My Computer'.

Armed with this info, I restarted and spun the Ubuntu install disk up again. I wanted to install on my Drive G, which meant nominating SDA2 in the setup program. And I was told that "No root file system is defined".  


I was invited to correct this from "the partitioning menu". Well, the drive's already partitioned. Into four chunks.

I don't want to repartition it, and screw up my existing Windows OS, do I?  So I didn't even look for any obscure partitioning menu, I just aborted the install, restarted the computer, and fired up Windows once again.

Researching, I got the impression that Ubuntu can't be installed in an NTFS partition. OK, Ubuntu can 'see' NTFS partitions, and access files from them, but it seemingly needs a different environment for its own little nest.

Groan. Why wasn't I told about this beforehand?  Again, a simple "things that Windows users need to know" guide would do the trick.

I get the distinct impression that the Ubuntu people aren't really that interested in helping Windows users explore alternatives.  Maybe they're geeks, maybe not. But useful info on their website is damned hard to find.

Anyway, that's as far as I'm going, right now. I'm shelving the whole thing til another week.

Is Ubuntu / Linux for geeks only? (Part 1: WWBMU)

Desiring to try out an operating system that isn't Windows, I downloaded the Linux Ubuntu installer yesterday, and burned it to disk, to create an installer disk.

It's not the fault of Ubuntu that the Windows file icons can mislead people into performing an 'extract' on the initial 'ISO' file.

And it's not Ubuntu's fault if people then create a data disk instead of an image disk; then encounter a DOS prompt; and then, choosing to run the one and only executable - WWBMU - end up reading pages of German text.

These are known pitfalls: I did a brief search on the internet and found that others had strayed down this dead end. No, it's not Ubuntu's fault - however, a "Guide for Windows Users" or a strategically-placed README could certainly be offered by Ubuntu.

Anyway, having belatedly created a proper disk image, I spun it up, with the aim of installing Ubuntu on a spare partition. And then encountered more problems!

(To be continued.)

Monday, 19 November 2012

BBC withhold important election results data

The day after the PCC Elections, the BBC posted various pages that purported to give the results.

 Yet all of them have the same recurring phrase: Turnout does not include spoilt ballots.

Here's a copy of my complaint to the BBC about withholding Spoilt Paper numbers

Type of complaint:
BBC News (TV Radio Online)
What is your complaint about:
General News
Complaint category:
Contacted us before:
Complaint title:
Incomplete info on election results
Complaint description:
Your reporting of the PCC Election results did not include the Spoilt Paper numbers. Why not? I spoiled my paper, and I want to know how well we did. This business of spoiling of papers was a recurring topic in media coverage the day after the election, and the BBC deliberately denied us basic information on how many spoiled papers there were..

Friday, 16 November 2012

And the results of the police commissioner elections are...

...nothing'll change!  ( Except for the worse, of course.)

Yes, sometimes there's nothing to be done except spoil one's paper. The police will continue to abuse every power that's granted them, and go for the easy options like arresting people who comment on Facebook or Twitter, while homes are being burgled left, right and centre.