Friday, 30 October 2009

Solution for GRUB 2 to detect Windows 7 in Ubuntu Karmic Koala

Last night, I installed Ubuntu's latest offering Ubuntu 9.10 also known as Karmic Koala on a partitioned hard drive. Following the installation, GRUB2 did not detect Windows 7, which was on an other partition. I figured out the way to get it.

Step 1: Login to Recovery Mode of the Ubuntu 9.10 Kernel.

Step 2: Once the Recovery mode screen is displayed, look for the option Update GRUB. Click on it.

Step 3: GRUB will detect all the installations including Windows 7 on another partitions.

Step 4: Restart and you will find Windows 7 in the GRUB Boot Loader.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials

I installed Microsoft Security Essentials as a second AntiVirus (AV) software on all my computers running Windows. It is a relief to see a free AV software from Microsoft, atlast. For the past six years, I have been using Trend Micro on my windows run PCs. It costs me approximately £60 for a two years subscription, for an installation on three computers. This latest offering from Microsoft hopefully will save me from paying for an AV software in the future. My first impressions are this is quite a good software from Microsoft. Its operation is fairly non-intrusive, which is quite appealing. The size of the download file is only 4.28 MB and the installation occupies only 10.3 MB. If Microsoft offers this software for free in the coming years, it will shake up the AV software market completely and may make the bigwigs (Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky, ESET NOD32) redundant. Here is a screenshot of the software.....

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Windows 7 Home Premium Edition

Last night, I installed Windows 7 Home Premium edition on my two year old desktop PC, which I pre-ordered from Amazon UK in September for £68 (including VAT and Postage). The total installation process took about 20 minutes, which is quite good considering that I had spent an hour or so on Windows XP installations in the past. So officially, I installed Windows 7 a day before it was released in the shops.

This is how I set out installing Windows 7 on my desktop PC.

The hard disk on my PC has two partitions. On the first partition I had Windows 7 RC and on the second I had Windows XP. As a good measure, I backed up my Windows XP partition first. Thereafter, I backed up the Users folder in Windows 7 RC. I didn't install any software that I had bought for Windows XP on Windows RC, expecting that I might need to reinstall when the official edition of Windows 7 gets released. In the end this proved to be the right move, because, Windows 7 cannot be upgraded from Windows 7 RC or even from Windows XP directly. Only a clean installation is possible in either case.

Coming to the installation itself, firstly, I booted from the Windows 7 DVD-ROM and tried to install straight-off the DVD-ROM onto the Windows 7 RC partition, but the software didn't let me do it. I had Windows XP on the second partition, so I logged onto Windows XP and clean installed onto the first partition, leaving the Windows XP installation intact. A screenshot of the new operating system....

POST UPDATED ON 24/10/2009:

A couple of days later, I received three further installations of Windows 7 Home Premium Edition from Amazon UK, which I pre-ordered in July for about £45 each (including VAT and postage). Though I ordered an Upgrade Edition, Amazon were gracious enough to send the Full Edition. This is a great value for money offer, because I was able to upgrade four Windows XP machines to Windows 7 for £200 (half the price of a decent Notebook and less than the price of a Netbook).

Sunday, 11 October 2009

GNOME Do on Ubuntu

GNOME Do is a launcher tool, which allows you to perform simple tasks like starting an application or search for items on your computer from a single point. Furthermore, it has a dock bar which allows you to drag and drop commonly used applications onto it for easy access instead of cluttering your desktop. Though the dock bar is not as good looking and versatile as the one in Apple Mac OS X or easy to use as the task bar in Windows 7, it is still quite good and useful application from a functional standpoint. Have a look at the screenshot of the dock bar....

For example; if you want to Open Firefox, click on GNOME Do icon on the extreme left of the Dock Bar and type Firefox. It will Open Firefox. Similarly, if you want to access say your music files located in a folder titled "Music", instead of going through the menu route, just type Music. It will display the Music folder.

Though the Dock bar is not available as default, it can be displayed by going into Appearance and selecting the theme Docky. The following screenshot explains better....

In the past I used Awn (Avant Window Navigator) and Cairo docks. Though the appearance of Awn dock is good, functionally it seems a bit unstable. Cairo dock on the other hand has two different versions; (1) Cairo-Dock (No OpenGL), which is relatively stable, (2) GLX-Dock (Cairo-Dock with OpenGL), which is very unstable, though graphically it seems to be quite attractive. Cairo-Dock is probably the best of the three for customisation.

GNOME Do however is the most stable of the three docks. The stability seems to stem from the fact that GNOME Do is just a simple 2D dock bar. Thus, for this reason I am sticking to GNOME Do for the moment, though I may give an occassional shot at the other two.

POST UPDATED ON 27/10/2009:
After writing this post, I went back to check the stability of Awn. It seems like Awn has become lot more stabler. Have a look at the screenshot of the Awn dock bar.

It appears like the icons are placed on top of an iPhone. This can be done by setting the Bar Appearance as per the following screen.

I am beginning to like this Awn dock bar. So bye-bye GNOME Do and welcome to Awn.