Quickly Determine What Version of Ubuntu You Have

If you have several machines running Ubuntu, or several versions installed on the same machine, you may, like me, sometimes forget what version you have are running presently. A quick and easy way to do this is with the following command:
lsb_release -a
An example of the output on my system is as follows:
peter@peeeter-karmic:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:?? ?Ubuntu 9.10
Release:?? ???? 9.10
Codename:?? ??? karmic

It's Time To Be Lucid

Yesterday, while fiddling with my eeePC and attempting to install Crunchbang on an SD card, I accidentally nuked my GRUB config. Note to self: GRUB and GRUB2 = Oil and water. I started to look at the process of repairing the dreaded GRUB error 21, and then decided that this was a good opportunity to just try Lucid Lynx alpha 1. After all, I have a separate /home partition and my machine was already not booting, so what did I have to lose? Continue reading “It's Time To Be Lucid”

Nokia e71 – Phone Startup Failed. Contact Retailer.

That’s what my Nokia said to me today. “Phone startup failed. Contact Retailer.” Swell. I tried several suggestions that I found on the Internet, mostly “reset the phone,” (which I could not do, since I couldn’t even boot it) and “press 3, #, and the green button while powering it on” (no effect) or “press 3, *, and the green button (SEND/ANSWER) while powering it on (also no effect). I also tried booting it with and without the SIM card (no change).
Finally, I removed not only the SIM card but also the memory card, and powered it back on normally. It gave me the brand new startup configuration screen, and the phone’s alive again. Reinserting the memory card makes the phone not start up, and removing it allows it to start normally. So… bad memory card? I guess so. I’ll try formatting it again and seeing if that helps. For now, I need to remove the memory card in order for my phone to start up. Annoying, but I can work around it.

200 Squats – Completed

Last night as I prepared to do my final exhaustion test before strting week 6 of the 200 squats challenge, I decided to just go all out. In my previous tests, I’d always stopped short of really exhausting myself, so I decided this time would be different.
It was. I finished them. Straight to 200. Actually, I may have done 215. I lost count around 160 and it could have been 170, so I did 15 more for good measure.
Now, I shall spend the rest of the day on the couch.

Cell Hell

On Saturday night I lost my iPhone. Fortunately it was found (yay!). Unfortunately, it doesn’t work anymore. After months of terrible battery life, now it won’t power up at all, despite my best efforts and those of Apple tech support. To add insult to injury, my Nokia e71, which was working fine, now won’t start up either, and tells me to “Contact retailer.” Wonderful.
Fortunately Apple is sending an advance exchange replacement iPhone, thanks to my buying AppleCare.
In short, don’t try calling me on my cell any time in the next few days.

All I Want for Christmas

Note: this post is for the benefit of friends and family members who say they “have no idea what to get me.”
World peace. I’ll settle for a lot of aikido practice.
A car mount and charger for my iPhone 3Gs. My iPod recently vanished. I suspect the worst – that it fell out of my pocket during a recent snowstorm. Therefore, I need to use my iPhone as an iPod as well. That’s okay, except the battery life is terrible. Also, when I do try to use it as a GPS, it would be nice if I could have it dash-mounted.
Learning Python (Animal Guide). Okay, seriously, I asked for this book for like three years in a row, and nobody got it for me when it was only 384 pages. Now it’s over 1200 pages, and we’ll all suffer because of it! Me because it’s tripled in size, and you because of shipping costs.
Daemon The security community loves this book because, while it’s a work of fiction, all of the attacks are real and the scenarios possible, which is what makes it really scary. The companion book, Freedom (TM) also comes out in a couple of weeks.
An espresso machine. A big one. The professional kind you see in coffee shops. A dual-header. I understand if this one has to be a combined Christmas and birthday gift because it would be silly for me to expect someone to spend $8000 or more on just one gift-giving event. That’s okay. I understand.
A Zircon Ultrasonic Measure with Laser Targeting. Tape measures are so 20th century.
Gift certificates to thinkgeek.com or Amazon.com