Attack of the Lettuce Monster, and the Return of Work

After disappearing for a few months, I went back to the justCheckers website again. Much to my horror I discovered a group of spammers decided to “borrow” my forums. Now I have to engage in anti-spamming. The forums are cleaned of NSFW content, and I began the process of deleting and banning users. Joy. I think that sailors feel the same way, when cleaning barnacles off their ships. Spammers are just as pesky, and I don’t have the online equivalent of a high-pressure water hose.

Even my brother is not as pesky. Even when he turns into the dreaded Lettuce Monster, and begins eating all the lettuce leaves before I can finish the salad, my brother is not as pesky. Nor obnoxious as a earn-a-quick-buck spammer. Bad comparison, but my brother wanted to be mentioned as the Lettuce Monster in my blog.

In other news, I need to tie up a bunch of loose ends before I leave for Europe. After a few summers of work or school, I decided that I need a vacation. But I need to finish off my work and plan for the trip. I am still figuring out the itinerary. I wonder when should I start looking for a job too. So many decisions.

My friend and fellow justCheckers admin, Chris Bellini recently switched over to Ubuntu from Windows. And he nuked his Windows too. Wow. Even I am not quite prepared to leave my Windows yoke complete due to some of the PC games I bought. But 2007 really seems like the mythical year of the Linux desktop, with all the talk of switching away from Windows. But I think we still need more commercial game studios to start making Linux clients, before we see a more dramatic exodus.

My First (Ubuntu) Linux Convert

On Monday, I converted my friend Robert into a Linux fan.Without getting into details, Robert needed to access the Internet and Windows XP just would not cut it. So he proposed, that I should install Ubuntu Linux on his desktop. I agreed to help him out, since I had considerable installing and configuring different Linux distros.

The main challenge we faced was the dual booting. His computer contained a single NTFS partition and I did not want to nuke his Windows. First I used the partition manager, inside Ubiquity, to resize and move back his NTFS partition. I was afraid that GRUB needed a small /boot partition on the front, to work properly. Later on, I realized that GRUB only needed the first few sectors on the harddisk to move.

The next three hours consisted of attempting to move the NTFS partition. First with qtparted, and then a commercial product, but the partition refused to move. Qtparted actually could resize the partiton, while the closed source program coughed, choked and spluttered. Robert decided to backup some of his stuff, just in case we need to nuke Windows XP from “high orbit”. After the backups finished, we decided to install Ubuntu.

I opted for the default install. In half an hour and one reboot, Robert had a fresh working install of Kubuntu 7.04 and an intact Windows XP. After a few minutes, Robert said, “Screw Windows. I will be using Ubuntu from now on.”

Two days later, Robert is still using Ubuntu. I guided him in the task of mounting his Windows XP partition and installing the MP3 codecs for Amarok (My thanks go out to the Medibuntu team). And my first Linux convert enjoyed Ubuntu so much, he rebooted into Windows once. Just to see if it still worked.