Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

installing ubuntu on an old machine which can't boot from CD or USB

Here is a guest post by V:

Installing Ubuntu on an old machine

The Dell Inspiron laptop had 384MB RAM and a 30GB HDD. It was running Windows XP and was predictably very sluggish. So I thought installing ubuntu would give it a new lease of life.
  • CD drive does not work
  • BIOS does not have option to boot from USB drive 
  • Removed the HDD from the laptop  
  • Connected the HDD as a external drive using IDE-USB connector  
  • Created two partitions on the HDD using 'Disk utility': 1GB (FAT32) and 29GB (Free space)  
  • Setup the 1GB partition for Ubuntu 8.04 install using 'Startup Disk Creator' (Lubuntu 12.04 / Lubuntu 12.10 are too heavy for the system) 
  • Plugged in the HDD back into the laptop 
  • Selected 'Try Ubuntu without installing' option 
  • In Live Mode, selected 'Install Ubuntu' (on the top right corner of the screen) 
  • Answered the questions on Language, Location and Keyboard Layout 
  • Selected 'Manual' option for partitioning the drives (as against options for 'Guided' partitioning) 
  • Followed instructions given in
And that's it!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

AmazonGlobal's free shipping - but not duty-free

Recently I got an email from Amazon - FREE AmazonGlobal Shipping on Orders of $125 or More - now available for India. But checking it out, K told me that import duties are levied at checkout, making it not so attactive. Also, only very few items are available for this free shipping to India. Import duties came to roughly 30% of the value of the product for a few which I tried out. Eg. item cost Rs. 17,000, shipping = Rs. 350 (and if we choose free shipping we save this Rs. 350) and import fees = Rs. 5000. So really not worth it. Family and friends can get small items for personal use through customs for free, this is a much more viable option.