Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Goodbye Microsoft Windows

I have severed the final remnants of Microsoft Windows from my pc last night, I copied off all the important data from the old windows partition, then deleted it, I then expanded my Ubuntu/Linux partition to swallow up the enormous space left by the bloatware called Windows. So what used to be a dual boot PC is now purely Linux.

I have to admit I haven't actually used Windows on my PC for nearly 18 months, so it seems a little silly keeping it there, if the truth be told I was only using the Windows partition as a data store, so it made sense to convert it to purely Linux/Ext4 a far superior file system that doesn't suffer fragmentation like NTFS does.

I used a GNU utility called Gparted, which you download as an ISO image burn to a CD then boot from, it's basically Partition Magic but free and works as well as, if not better than Partition Magic.

Linux isn't bound by the rules Windows uses in that it doesn't need a primary partition to boot from, you can boot it from anywhere. So I expanded the extended partition which contained my original Ubuntu installation and left it to get on with it, it took about 2 hours to shift all data left over the massive expanse of empty disk left by the now defunct and banished Windows. The only problem I encountered was the fact that if you move the directory /boot your pc won't boot because grub2 has the location of /boot (stage1) hard coded into it...

But that was easily fixed by booting my Ubuntu 10.10 live cd, dropping to terminal and mounting the new expanded partition to /mnt then binding /proc /sys /dev under /mnt and then chroot'ing to the /mnt drive and re-installing the grub2 bootloader.... basically the same as using the fixmbr switch in fdisk under windows...That re-wrote the position of /boot and all worked just like it said on the tin.

I've got to admit It did complain because I had forgotten that I had hard coded the NTFS drives into fstab so that they automounted on boot, obviously Linux was looking for them when it booted, but that was easily fixed by simply deleting the entries for the previous two NTFS drive... and all was well in my world :)

So I have reduced Windows now to a Virtualbox Virtual Machine, just in case I need it for anything or possibly just to fire it up and laugh at it in the future.... fair do's though XP is an old operating system and it's still in use today, but it's dated and limited, but it paid a fair few of my bills in the past... if I had been installing Linux from day one, I probably wouldn't have made as much money from supporting it because it just isn't flaky like Windows is ;¬) 

Other news is that Xbox boy's Army selection is looming fast, I think he's got mixed emotions about it all, excitement mixed with a bit of fear of the unknown, all perfectly normal... He's a bit upset that his other step father isn't that interested in his chosen career and he suspects that the lack of interest is because he (other step father) thinks I've encouraged him to join the Army, which couldn't be further from the truth, it was Stewart who one day walked into Army careers and started the ball rolling, without any help or involvement from me... When he's asked about what it was like in basic training or actually in the Army I've told him, I've given him the undiluted truth, but I've never pushed him to join. I think Xbox boy will last a lot longer than his other step father did in the Marines allegedly of course, although not making it through basic training because of an alleged back injury in the first weeks doesn't mean you've been a Royal Marine, or maybe it's because he doesn't want Xbox boy to succeed where he (allegedly) failed ????? who knows....or in fact cares..... All I know is that I'm immensely proud of his decision to join up and will support him as much as I can, while I can :)  

The Sullen one is healing nicely after her operation and is back on fine form... it was quite a quick bounce back to be honest, her voice has changed slightly but that will come back as well eventually.

FOMO boy is starting to get a little too big for his boots at 11 !!! I've kept out of it (mostly) as Andrea is managing it absolutely fine at the moment.... I'll only get involved if some serious discipline needs enforcing, I'm more of an artillery bombardment or missile strike to Andrea's more focussed rifle group, she's keeping him pinned down enough at the moment....He's stretching his wings to see how far they can go that's all, but there are limits and defined boundaries which he is pushing.... so for the time being the red dot is on him and the missiles have acquired their target, should they be needed.

Freya is getting a little bit demanding at the moment and has learned (probably from school) that little girls who pretend to cry sometimes get their way....except of course in our house, it's pretty amazing how they change once they get to school and mix with other kids... I suppose it will all come out in the wash eventually....

As for Andrea she's fighting fit, she did the Rhayader 20 mile race last weekend and knocked a very respectable 30 minutes off the last time she did it, which is no mean feat considering the terrain around that place....

As for me.... I'm doing ok, now the better weather and lighter nights are here I'm going to get out on my road bike and get some miles under my belt... I do enjoy biking and there are plenty of places around here to cycle to and from... the only problem is breaking the legs in again…. And that’s going to hurt….

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