TestDisk — A life saver

TestDisk
TestDisk

Turning on your computer one not-so-fine day just to discover an entire partition (drive on harddisk) gone is nothing short of a nightmare potent enough to give you a mild heart attack. Unfortunately, exactly that happened to me yesterday.

An ardent distro hopper that I am, I recently installed (K)Ubuntu 11.10 on my laptop. Things were all fine for 4 days until I fixed a startup issue with my Windows installation using its DVD. The issue was temporarily fixed and I was able to log into Windows. But the next time I booted into Linux, my Windows partition was no longer being shown in the file manager. I fired up “fdisk -l” just to find out that the Windows partition had been overwritten by another hidden 2GB FAT partition, which was now being shown as a twin duplicate of the original. It didn’t take me much time to realize that the Windows DVD had screwed up my partition table, making the whole 80GB Windows partition disappear!

After some research, I found this excellent opensource partition recovery tool by the name TestDisk. Thanks to its Linux version, I was able to find the lost Windows partition, recover it and write the updated partition table to the harddisk. Although it’s a command-line application, believe me, it’s damn straight-forward, and as simple as any other GUI thing.

(God forbid) In case, some day, you find yourself with a partition or two gone from your harddisk, give TestDisk a try. Highly recommended.

Don’t blame the players, blame the board

Enough! The huge defeat of the no. 1 Cricket test team at the hands of the English side was enough humiliation for the players already. But think about it, the Indian team lost the match because they didn’t have the will to win? True that the Brits had a seemingly more fierce hunger for a win, but how did they go about it? By practising. Now don’t even start by saying that India had the best and most experienced players in Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Harbhajan. Experience is one thing, but you need constant practice to keep yourself upto that level, especially in tests. But where was that practice? And who is culpable for that? The players, who never got the time and chance to acclimatize themselves on foreign soil? No. It’s the board, of course, who truly deserves the blame.

On one hand, BCCI wants to fill their vaults with huge piles of cash, and at the same time wants its players to “switch” between different formats of the game within the matter of days. They even forgot that the Brits were going into the series with a big advantage at their side – home conditions. And given the Indians’ lack of ability to play the swing and short balls, what did the board do to correct that? If it could not arrange for west-like bouncy pitches in India itself (for simulation of foreign conditions), they could, at least, have arranged for more time for the Indian team to practise in England itself before the start of the series. Shame, a real shame that did not happen.

I bet the day when the board starts caring less about the money and more about the true spirit of the game, India will start winning matches, consistently.

Google network’s performance on BSNL EVDO in Linux

has been annoyingly sluggish ever since. Pinging Google sites via command-line shows heavy packet losses. I use the same browsers in Linux (Chrome & Firefox), and the same browsers in Windows. Still, performance of all Google (and related) sites is very poor in Linux (but OK in case of Windows) due to an arcane reason that is still now clear to me. Even (innocuously) normal sites with Google ads take 4-5 refreshes to load properly. And don’t forget almost no site (ok, except some only-HTML stone-age sites still lurking around) in the world today are devoid of those nasty Google ads.

So until I solve the mystery, Google will keep me frustrated in Linux.

In and around

So, what’s keeping me busy these days? It’s office work, of course. Working on quite a challenging and bigger project has its side-effects as well (working till late and missing daily fruit juice doses in my case). Other than that, I am enjoying the work as it has to do with web development, my area of interest.

Being a strong advocate of open-source and Linux, I read a lot of articles on these topics daily. And I hate when people use words like “switch”, “migrate”, etc. when referring to making the move from Windows to Linux. Why do people, who try to compel people to switch from Windows to Linux, forget that there is always an option called “dualbooting” and that Windows still has the astronomically largest market share? I really hope people use the word “dualboot” more when advocating the use of Linux to others. By the way, I am also writing an article highlighting this matter (Why Switch? Dualboot!), which I intend to share pretty soon.

Talking about Linux, the latest Ubuntu release (10.4; Lucid Lynx) has been getting good reviews from all around. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. I am planning to install it on my home PC (the one currently in use by my Dad and sister).

Also, two of my good friends, Chandan Puggal (working at Aricent) and Amritpal Singh (working at Accenture) recently joined me in Gurgaon (my present work location). 🙂

Finally, I did mention it earlier also, but it really is a frustrating life without a proper Internet connection. (Looking upward) God, please me my EV-DO back. Amen.