Archive for October, 2009

Free disk/sector editor from Microsoft

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

This is just a random note that I’ve actually known for quite awhile, but I figured I would post it online somewhere where others could find it. Apparently Microsoft made a disk editor thing called ‘Disk Probe’, which came in the NT Resource Kit. I had found it available to download standalone a really long time ago, but it doesn’t appear to be available anymore. However, you can find it in the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools available from Microsoft’s download website.

Its a bit weird (at least, the NT version was), but its pretty useful if you ever find yourself playing with raw disks and you need to access them from inside windows in a pinch.

Ubuntu Karmic: definitely a good upgrade

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Ubuntu just released the Beta for Karmic a few days ago, so I figured that I would give it a whirl on my desktop now that I’ve switched to using Linux on my desktop fulltime. So far, I’m very happy about this upgrade, hopefully they don’t screw it up before release. :p

My first impression so far as been that its a vast improvement — and I’ve got rather old hardware, so I think thats a really positive thing. Maybe its just firefox, but it seems like to me that everything works a lot better and is more responsive. The file browser in GNOME too — it used to lag quite a bit while browsing through my drive — now it seems to work exactly as I might expect. I know they’ve been touting a really quick boot time, and it feels a little bit faster, but I’m not quite sure about that. I haven’t bothered timing it or anything though.

There were two annoying things about the upgrade. First, X didn’t work at first and just kept blinking in a loop — but that was totally my fault, since I’m using the latest NVidia drivers, and forgot to reinstall before I rebooted. However, a quick boot into a command prompt and reinstalling the drivers got it all working again. The second thing that is a bit weird is they must have changed the font or the way its anti-aliased now, since everything looks a bit more.. blurry. Or something, I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m starting to get used to it, but its too bad the fonts aren’t a bit crisper.

FWIW: Keep in mind that I’m using rather old hardware on my desktop, but XP always worked well on it! I’m using an Athlon 3000+ with a triple-monitor setup on two NVidia 6600 cards (one PCI, one AGP). 2GB RAM, and some various SATA and IDE disks.