Category Archives: Life

Why Programmers Work At Night

An interesting article that I just discovered. And it looks like I’m on my way to a short night again 🙂

…programmers work at night because it doesn’t impose a time limit on when you have to stop working, which gives you a more relaxed approach, your brain doesn’t keep looking for distractions and a bright screen keeps you awake.

via Why Programmers Work At Night – Business Insider.

Use WordPress as an Evernote replacement

I discovered Evernote a few months ago. A lot of people are using it for saving all kinds of notes, pictures etc.  Obviously they are happy with it, and are writing and talking about it. I decided to give it a try and although I thought it was a nice service, I didn’t have much use of it, and I forgot about it.

It’s only a few days ago that I that I thought it would be nice to have a central place where I can save all my notes, instead of having them in paper format or small files in different parts of my hard drive. A remote access would be nice to have too.

So I thought again about Evernote a few days ago. I started to use it, and I liked the use of notebooks and tags for organizing the notes. But something bothered me: I didn’t own my data.

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Fixing Ubuntu 11.04 after a problematic installation

As I wrote earlier, I had problems installing Ubuntu 11.04 on my laptop, but after som fights I managed to have a computer running Natty Narwhal.

But not everything was fine though: there was no time-out in GRUB2 and starting daemons like Apache didn’t work.

For the first issue, my laptop could display GRUB until I pressed the enter key. Setting the timeout in /etc/default/grub was useless. Obviously the install wasn’t fine so I corrected this by reinstalling GRUB:

I’m not sure the last line is necessary, hopefully apt-get takes care of updating GRUB, but it’s better to write one line too much than having a system which can’t start.

The other issue was starting daemons. Ubuntu doesn’t use anymore the System-V init but another system called Upstart. But Apache and MySQL didn’t start at boot time, and when I wanted to start them I got Warning: Fake initctl called, doing nothing. As above, the install was corrupted and I had to reinstall upstart:

My computer is better now, but I might reinstall more packages as soon as I have other issues.

An Ubuntu 11.04 install story

Two days ago Ubuntu 11.04 was released. I didn’t want to upgrade my system that day, but this silly box announcing a new Ubuntu release when I logged into my system tempted me a lot and yes, I clicked on the upgrade button.

The process began, and obviously I wasn’t the only one upgrading because the download speed was very slow. I stopped it and I downloaded the install CD via Bittorrent instead. That was quickly finished. I made a live USB and rebooted my computer. I didn’t want to try Ubuntu live, so I clicked on the install Ubuntu button, and after answering a few questions the installation upgrade began.

When I went back my screen was black with a lot of system messages and it was freezed, which is of course very unpleasant when you’re installing/upgrading your system. I could reboot and this went fine. But when I came to GDM, my usual username wasn’t listed and after a few tries I had to admit that I couldn’t log in. I rebooted again the LiveUSB, and reinstalled Ubuntu. Then I could come into the system but I had no wireless. I rebooted again in Ubuntu live, in which I could access the Internet.

I looked for this issue of freezing installation and I found that I wasn’t the only one. But I found also this page, which was very useful. So I did this:

sudo mkdir /media/fix
sudo mount /dev/sda6 /media/fix
sudo chroot /media/fix su

Then I checked that everything was correctly downloaded, since the installer freezed:
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get dist-upgrade

apt-get was happy so I supposed that the system was okay.

I rebooted again and well, I could log in, but still no wireless available. Then I realised that my grub menu listed the same kernel as the previous release (2.6.35) instead of 2.6.38. I made a
sudo update-grub
and grub showed me the new kernel. I selected it, booted and now I have a nice Ubuntu 11.04 with the WiFi working 🙂