Rescue Me….

It’s summer so I tend to spend more time outside. This means cutting the grass (natch…), visiting people and places, and reading.

I read both fiction and non-fiction. Last book was the latest Clive Cussler (yes, it is Harlequin Romance for guys) release called The Spy which isn’t one of the Dirk Pitt series. Based around the turn of the 19th century (you know you’re getting old when you think “turn of the century” you think 19th-to-20th century and the yunguns today will think 20th-to-21st. Again, Natch…. Anyway, it is an different time and I like it.


I’ve been running Ubuntu 10.04 (upgraded from 9.10) on my Dell Mini 10v (the original Inspiron 1011) for the last 9 months. I originally installed Windows 7 RC and then RTM and, I have to say, that Windows 7 is MUCH better than Windows XP. Those of you who have used both will agree; for those of you who haven’t you should at a least get the evaluation version and try it. The only complaint that I have is that no operating system for a general purpose PC or laptop is not worth more than $100 new. I’ll go further and say that an upgrade isn’t worth more than $50. So, because I didn’t way to pay for Windows 7 for the netbook and I didn’t want to use XP as my standard OS. I’ve used Ubuntu when it first became popular (I’m an old Red Hat fan but after Red Hat 9 I wasn’t fussy about Fedora – anyway…) and decided to try it again.  I remembered that you used to be able to buy a Mini with Ubuntu Netbook Remix so it looked like a good choice.

I didn’t want to waste too much space on Mini so I only put aside 10 GB for Ubuntu.  Of course, I liked Ubuntu better than Windows 7 on it!  It uses less memory (I still only have 1 GB because putting in a new 2 GB DIMM is, frankly, ridiculous – could this have been a sop from Dell to Microsoft to let them install Windows XP?  “If you make sure you can’t upgrade the Mini to 2 GB it will be fine to sell it with XP” – simply supposition  on my part!) than Win7 and I can get all the apps I need under Ubuntu!

However, as I was transferring some movies from DVD to the hard disk I quickly found I had run out of space.  The answer: simply shrink the Win7 partition and increase Ubuntu partition.  The truth is that I got lazy and tried to try the easy way out – boot with the Ubuntu 10.04 install CD (yes, still small enough for a CD!) and use the partition manager from the install to resize the partition.  Well, I could easily shrink the Win7 partition but the Ubuntu partition wouldn’t resize.

Oh well, reboot to think about how to resize.  Lo!  Grub’s black screen of death.  Obviously, I killed Grub and needed to re-install the boot loader.  Thankfully, I have far too many systems in the house (my wife would suggest that more than on computer in the house is two too many 😉 and it was just to drop down to the office and do a search.   Google, being your friend, gave me the answer and after manually running through the boot loader commands I had the Ubuntu partition up-and-running.

I still had the problem of being out of Ubuntu space.  Back to Google again.  I found the solution with the obvious: GParted (see  This is a GREAT utility no matter what OS you use.  Also on the GParted page is the link to the UNetbootin (see which is how you can create a bootable Live USB drive.  GParted has the instructions to create the boot USB drive.  Works like a charm – recommended as well!

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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