Linux Slackware 14.1 installation hangs when installing LILO

On my last Slackware Linux installation attempt I faced a tricky situation. Everything went fine (with some exceptions at start) up until the time I had to install LILO. The symptom was that the installation simply hanged but otherwise the system was responding. The problem was in fact with LILO and my 3TB drive which was in /dev/sdb and was not the drive I was using for my root partition. This drive had a NTFS partition. If this is your case then do the following. Let Slackware finish the installation up until the part you need to install LILO. At this point exit the installation process (do not reboot!) and run

I assume you are using /dev/sda1 as the partition you are installing Linux on, if not, then replace it with the appropriate one. Your root is now the same as if you had booted your new operating system. Now it is time to reconfigure LILO. For that open /etc/lilo.conf with your favorite console editor (vim, nano, etc). Add the following line to your lilo.conf file

You can add each one of these lines for each drive you don’t want LILO to scan. For example, all drives which do not contain an operating system installed on them are good candidates to be flagged inaccessible. Now install lilo by running:

That’s it! Reboot and your system should be working properly. read more

Linux Slackware 14.1 installation disk fails to detect disks connected to Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s Controller

I was trying to install Linux Slackware 14.1 on my PC, which has a P7P55 motherboard and Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller. I had my SATA disks connected to the Marvell controller but the boot disk was not detecting them. The problem was that the module is not loaded by default due to some regression issues. In order to solve this you need to make sure the BIOS has the Marvell controller set to use AHCI. For that:

  1. Reboot your PC and press DELETE in order to enter the BIOS management tool
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and enter the Onboard Devices Configuration section.
  3. Go down to the Marvell SATA Controller, press Enter and select AHCI mode.
  4. Press F10 to save and quit.

Make sure you have your Installation CD/DVD or USB flash drive plugged in when the computer reboots. read more

HOWTO: Buy Computer, Laptop, Smartphone, Gadget, Anything

I’m REALLY tired of people asking me advice on “Hey, what kinda laptop should I buy?” when I have no freaking clue because I’ve been happy with mine for the last 2 years, don’t plan on buying a new one anytime soon and I know jack shit about laptops or hardware in general. I’m a Software Engineer, note how there’s no “Hardware” in there. It’s like someone asking a guy that makes GPS for cars what is the best car for them.

But I do buy electronic hardware, so here is how I do it. For simplicity’s sake I’m gonna use a laptop as an example but this “guide” pretty much applies to any thing you want to buy, from a blender to a gaming computer. read more

Script to change Tabs to Spaces to Tabs

A very specific argument that arises when discussing indentation styles is Tabs versus Spaces. For me, there is no argument. It’s the one thing I could never, ever, adapt to when writing code. Before I get flamed for my rant lets check the pros and cons and the typical arguments made by space-lovers. No, not the outer space, I mean the largest key on your keyboard.

View Code

If you use spaces, your indentation will always look the same, be it on your favorite IDE, vim, pico, joe, Kate, Geany, cat, less, more, github online, bitbucket online, etc. But… it will always look the same to you and everyone else. Let’s face it, we don’t all have the same tastes. When coding in group (job, school, hobby) we already have to agree on indentation style, so why should we also give in when it comes to indent spacing? If we had no option… but we do! We can use tabs and everyone can space it to whatever they want since almost any editor out there supports changing the tabsize. Even in your virtual terminal you can change tab size with  ‘tabs’ (if the VT supports it). read more