GRUB Menu – Putting Windows Back on List

The Problem – upgraded Ubuntu kernel and the GRUB menu no longer had a line for starting Windows.

Solution tried: Opened menu.lst for editing using command:

sudo /boot/grub/menu.lst

and added the following section (+ reset default – NB zero-based so item 1 is 0 etc)

title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

Nope – hd0,0 not correct on the dual boot kids computer.

OK ran the following command to see what partitions there were:

sudo fdisk -l

(NB that is an L not an i)

This returned something roughly like:


where the sda4 was the Windows partition. So I changed (hd0,0) to (hd0,3) and dual booting worked again.

And to prevent Ubuntu from wiping the Windows entry again I only put Windows under the Debian automagical line.

Slow query yet indexed – collation mismatch on index?

I had a simple query with 3 tables linked with one inner and one left join. Ran indescribably slowly – unless I changed the left join to an inner join (which I didn’t want to do). Yet all the links were indexed. EXPLAIN showed that the indexes were not being used. Why? Answer – one indexed field had a collation of utf8 and the other of latin1. Aligned that and everything worked nice and fast. Was there any indication from the output of EXPLAIN that this was the issue? No! Anyway, the syntax is DEFAULT CHARSET = latin1 or whatever after the ENGINE = part.

ACTA Concerns

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is currently being negotiated under the radar. See:

There are some major concerns about existing rights being signed away. The InternetNZ submission also makes numerous excellent points about TPMs (Technological Protection Measures). The major risk is that the interests of major multinationals will be allowed to outweigh the interests of citizens in a secretive, anti-democratic process.

Resistance is building thankfully, including international support for an open letter:

Signatories of the letter include everyone from the EFF to the Australian National University to the Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic to Korea’s Christian Media Network to the Dutch Consumentenbond to Thailand’s Drug Study Group (DSG) to the Ecologist Collective from Guadalajara, México to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

Posted in IP

Fix for Firefox 3 Annoyance

Firefox 3 is great overall, even (especially) the Awesome Bar, but there is one annoyance. If you accidentally untick “Do not ask next time” when closing Firefox with multiple tabs open (e.g. by clicking anywhere above the buttons you do want – an easy mistake), it won’t ask you to “Save and Quit” again. The ability to Save and Quit is one of the great new things Firefox 3 has introduced.

Fortunately, you can recover. But only if you know what has happened and what to do.

Tools>Options>Main>Startup>When Firefox starts – Set to Home Page
Make sure Tools>Options>Main>Startup>Tabs Warn me when closing multiple tabs – TICK