Dualbooting Windows 7 and Ubuntu

So, I decided to take another stab at the Ubuntu/Linux Operating System and this time around, i decided that it would be best to have separate physical hard disks as opposed to partitioning ONE hard disk. The process has become less frightening for me because I’m learning to read the prompts & not be scared of hitting the “cancel” button. 🙂 I installed Windows 7 first because it’s much easier to do the dualboot when Windows is on the disk already. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was painless particularly because I had separate hard disks. BUT I ran into an issue when I decided to switch my installations of Ubuntu and Windows 7 around i.e. moving Windows 7 to the larger hard disk.

I assumed that since the larger hard disk had been wiped clean, Windows 7 would take care of the NTFS formatting that was needed and whatnots. Well, Windows 7 refused to install because it detected the presence of a “System” partition on the computer. Based on what I’ve since learned, the system partition holds the files needed to boot up Windows and this partition needed to be removed. Thankfully, this was an easy fix although I had began to panic slightly. Simply firing up your Disk Management tool (by going to “Adminstrator Tools” and clicking on “Computer management”) and reformatting the disk that holds the system volume. Again, please make sure you don’t have data residing on this disk or that you have backed up any data you care to retain. Once I got rid of the old system partition created by a previous Ubuntu installation, the installation of Windows 7 was able to proceed seamlessly.

Be aware that GRUB (GNU Grand Unified Bootloader) will replace the boot manager for Windows 7 and you will need to be physically present at your computer to select your Windows 7 operating system if you want to boot up into Windows 7. Otherwise, Ubuntu will automatically load. Cheers!

The life of a tech. lady. :P

So, I had the pleasure of being called upon to resurrect a friend’s PC from issues ranging from a missing graphics driver (how this got deleted, I have *no* idea), various Trojan flavors to dealing with an anemic hard disk drive (67MB of space left on a 30gb disk). I was eager to call upon my superior googling skills to solve the issue, but I faced just more than fixing a ‘sick’ computer. I was faced with the biggest problem of all: user apathy. You see, one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a computer and its software go unpatched and/or un-updated. I kvetched to my hubby about how said friend should just move to a Mac if he couldn’t handle the responsibility of owning a PC and it got me thinking about how Microsoft could change the perception that PCs are a lot of headache. Seriously, the main reason from my limited view) about the plethora of virii available on the Windows platform is solely due to its popularity. By that theory, Macs will soon witness the same epidemic if people migrate to that platform in droves which they apparently are doing as Macs are gaining user share rather quickly. Anyway, I digress. Why I subscribe to the school of learning about my tools and being a proactive user, I can appreciate the fact that not everyone gets excited about learning how to protect their PCs and they would frankly rather NOT bother with running Microsoft Update if it didn’t know to update itself already. So, I guess the point of this little nugget of a post is: what can people who care about technology do to encourage technologically-challenged or plain disinterested people to ‘care’ about their PCs. To computer makers: what can YOU do to make the experience of caring about your PCs a better one for us, users?

Just a thought. 😛

Three reasons your Facebook account keeps sending me spam

So, I’ve always wanted to write a “best practices” style post for users of the popular social networking website, Facebook. The blast of fame that Facebook has experienced has expectedly drawn the lowest scum of the earth, spammers. Thankfully and for the most part, Facebook’s engineers have tried to combat that by actively encouraging users reporting of spammy profiles, etc. They also have a powerful ally in their privacy permissions which can be very daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you might think it’s the next best thing since the the redesign. 😛

So, in my years of using Facebook, I’m very proud to say that I have NEVER been hacked/tricked into using a sketchy app or have my wall/profile hijacked. I’ll delve into the reasons why my account has been relatively secure so far, but here’s why I *think* your facebook account won’t stop spamming others:

  1. Number 1 is the biggest culprit of all: Facebook applications. Do you realize that enabling Facebook applications without tweaking certain privacy settings means the apps developer has access to a LOT of information about you? Don’t believe me. Take this quiz to see for yourself what Facebook apps know about you AND your friends, courtesy of the ACLU. There are a bunch of things that applications can do including posting to your profile. If you enabled a sketchy app, guess what it can do? Post all sorts of NSFW or embarassing links on your profile. Please if you are a serial quiz taker, you need to check your Applications Settings STAT and remove any apps you’re done with.
  2. Number 2 is one that’s not very publicized, but I suspect is a biggie based on what I’ve experienced: Friends from Hell. Not your true friends of course, but my rule of thumb is: if I don’t know you (by that I mean, interact with you either in person or online), I won’t approve you no matter how many friends we have in common. I almost wish I’d started a study of the number of suspicious friend requests I’ve had and taken note of the people he’s managed to friend in order to back up my big suspicion that a prevalent route of “infection” is through approving friends that aren’t really your friends. Then again, there’s a certain percentage of facebook users who aren’t very discerning about whom they friend. Remember that being online is partly about social networking so please interact with a hefty dose of suspicion.
  3. Number 3 is a newbie mistake and often rectified quickly: enabling Facebook to update all your friends with every update/sneeze/breakup/makeup that happens to you. For simplicity’s sake, if you’re on Facebook to reconnect with friends or family, all you really need to let everyone know about your business is: status updates, photos of you/you+friends/pets. Anything else: video, notes, external applications need to be scrutinized before you let them appear in your news feed.

These are the 3 biggest things (or pet peeves) about Facebook.com users and I hope that this post will, at least, cause any current offenders to re-think their ways. 😛