Saturday, October 16, 2004

Recovering using Knoppix

This article shows how to access a non-booting Linux system with a Knoppix CD, get read-write permissions on configuration files, create and manage partitions and filesystems, and copy files to various storage media and over the network. You can use Knoppix for hardware and system configuration detection and for creating and managing partitions and filesystems. You can do it all from Knoppix's excellent graphical utilities, or from the command line.

Knoppix, which is a complete bootable Linux on a CD, has become my rescue disk of choice. An excellent introduction to Knoppix appeared in developerWorks a few months ago ("Knoppix gives bootable, one-disk Linux" by Cameron Laird).

My old mainstays were Tom's Root Boot, "The most GNU/Linux on one floppy disk," and Peter Anvin's SuperRescue CD, "An overfeatured rescue CD." Both are first-rate Linux rescue disks. One of my favorite show-off tricks is to do a complete bare-metal system rebuild, using only a Tom's Root Boot disk and an Internet connection.

As CD-ROMs became standard on PCs, I wore out several SuperRescue CDs. However, it is based on Red Hat 7.2, which is a great Red Hat but is also an old Red Hat. So, 7.2 does not have the hardware support, such as USB or wireless, found in later distributions.

A star is born
Knoppix, the hot new kid on the block, offers some great features:

  • First-rate hardware detection and support, including PCMCIA, USB, and wireless
  • Latest and greatest Debian and KDE
  • Fast booting, usually around two minutes
  • Commercially produced disks that can be purchased for a minimal price

That last bit didn't become important to me until I moved to an area with no high-speed Internet. Dial-up only, which made 700 MB downloads rather impractical.

Knoppix incorporates the best of Debian, KDE, and its own system utilities. In this article, we'll look at how to do things both from the command line and using graphical utilities. Be sure to use values appropriate for your systems, such as partition numbers, filenames, and network hosts.

<a href="">Joy Of Fabricsa>

Friday, October 15, 2004

USB adaptors & DIY antenna = "Poor Man's WiFi" ?

Make 2.4GHz parabolic mesh dishes from cheap but sturdy Chinese cookware scoops & a USB WiFi adaptor !
The largest (300mm diam)shows 15-18dB gain (enough for a LOS range extension to 3-5km), costs ~US$5 &
comes with a user friendly bamboo handle that suits WLAN fieldwork- if you can handle the curious stares!

Note -the phrase "Poor Man" is not usually considered insulting, but indicates (possibly with a degree of DIY pride) a desire to "make it do, use it up, wear it out" while laterally solving a problem. New Zealand Kiwi's are champions of such #8 wire ingenuity,with electric fences a typical appropriate technology example. Guess our project even has East meets West cross cultural aspects- in the style of Kiwi Fruit evolving from Chinese Gooseberries !? Lab note jottings below pix rather blog style,but arose during an educational WiFi workout & are intended to stimulate others into similar DIY investigation. The author- who first wrangled antenna as a radio ham in the 1960s- is a career educator with a flair for innovation,& has had extensive hands on DIY WiFi experiences - has insights into "his" Sardine Can Biquad antenna.

Read more at:

<a href="">Fabric Bowlsa>