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Installing Ubuntu Via Internet


Installing or adding an operating system on a computer is very easy, as long as you have a working CD/DVD drive or bootable USB device, and the OS (in a CD/DVD or USB stick). What if you have a broken CD drive, non-bootable USB device, or perhaps a very old computer? One alternative is to install the OS (Ubuntu in this case) via the Internet. This is easy as long as the two computers (working PC = PC1, and the computer for installation = PC2) are in the same subnetwork (subnet). In this article, PC1 is a working desktop PC (dual boot with Windows XP and Ubuntu), while PC2 is a vintage Compaq Presario M2000 laptop with a problematic XP installation (pesky Windows behavior).

Ubuntu 11.10 desktop

In Ubuntu (or a similar Debian distribution), one can read its Netboot install page. On my part, I used the Windows version because many use it, and I have a Windows partition anyway just to put it into good use. This article is based from a work in which came out after googling the topic. Because it was based on Ubuntu 10.04, I modified some things for this purpose. So someone who reads this material in the future must modify it because Ubuntu is a dynamic project—2 upgrades per year.

One indication that the 2 PCs are in the same subnet is that the Internet cable (connected to WiFi) is forked and wired in the router (although I guess the wireless devices are likewise in the same subnet). It's hard to explain here but one may go to the Subnetwork topic in Wikipedia to learn about subnets, and also to determine if the 2 computers you're using are in the same subnet.


Create an Install folder (or any name you prefer) in the root directory, or at C:\. You should now have a folder C:\Install\. Download tftpd32 standard edition (installer) from, and install it. In the installation options, choose Installation and Start as the type of install, and check all the checkboxes. Choose C:\Install\ as the installation directory before clicking Install.

Tftpd32 contents

Install contents

To fetch the needed files, it's convenient to use an FTP program and input as host. For me, I just went directly to the appropriate folder and downloaded the files to C:\Install\. When I did this installation, Oneiric was the latest stable release, so I entered /ubuntu/dists/oneiric/main/installer-i386/20101020ubuntu72/images/netboot/. This url will be obviously different in the future (even by a few days ahead). The article I was referencing mentioned that I only download pxelinux.0, pxelinux.cfg\ and ubuntu-installer\, but I downloaded all files and folders there.

Open C:\Install\Tftpd32\ and copy tftpd32.exe into C:\Install\. See image for the contents of the two folders (pxelinux.cfg\, Tftpd32\, ubuntu-installer\, pxelinux.0, and tftpd32.exe are required in C:\Install\).


DHCP Settings

If it's not running, open C:\Install\tftpd32.exe. Click the Settings button below and select the DHCP tab. Configure the network settings (see figure). I noticed that the server interfaces are automatically set so they vary in different PCs. The tricky part here is that you input the appropriate numbers based on the Server interfaces. Determine which fields you increment and which you preserve. Then click OK.

The moment of truth: power on PC2 and don't forget to tap F10 before booting the system. This enters the PhoenixBIOS Setup Utility in my machine. In the Advanced menu, enter Boot-order and modify it to put Network Adaptor on top. Then input F10 to save and exit the setup. It will then boot via the network PXE. Follow the boot instructions, and in a few hours you'll have a working Ubuntu system. When the time comes for you to reboot the new OS, enter the BIOS utility again just to put things in order, meaning the boot from hard disk option must be on top. Save the settings and boot from the hard disk.

Because it's a fresh install, do the initial housekeeping so as to enjoy Ubuntu's full potential.

“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu — the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality — Ubuntu — you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Away From The Usual Word-Processor


If you ask someone to write an article or a report, chances are a word-processor (OpenOffice, Word, etc.) will be used. Of course they offer the WYSIWYG convenience of instant gratification. But there's a pitfall: formatting. This may not be a problem (especially for power-users) but for some, it's a nightmare to have to spend a lot of time tweaking it! I think this problem is common in academic institutions—people just differ in their preferences.

Mark-up language developers (e.g. HTML) have noticed this and separated the data and the formatting. Thus, CSS was invented (latest version is CSS3) just to take care of the formatting. A web writer just takes care of the content. Well, another typesetting mark-up language is LaTeX—all you need to do is write and the formatting becomes automatic. Admittedly, LaTeX beginners need to read a lot initially, but this pays-off later when all you worry about is the content.

Lifting from its website: “LaTeX ('X' pronounced as 'K') is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents.” The program can output many kinds of files, but what I use is PDF (readily viewed with many Document/PDF viewers, including Adobe® Reader).

There are many LaTeX documentations on-line and several tutorials are available. I made a TEX file (text file with a .tex at the end) below that incorporates a mini-tutorial. One can use this file because the notes are commented out (preceded by a '%' symbol). Download template.tex file...

% template.tex - LaTeX template source file
% Mini-tutorial incorporated as comments
%   uncomment, comment-out or modify as necessary
%   (my LaTeX program accepts all these commands; check your
%    LaTeX syntax & documentation if error messages appear.)
\documentclass[14pt, letterpaper, english]{extarticle}
% \documentclass[12pt, letterpaper, english]{article}
%   {article} only allows 10 (default), 11 and 12pt sizes
%   {extarticle} is used for larger fonts sizes
% alt classes: {book, letter, report, thesis ...}
% alt option: [twoside] = for 2-sided document (odd, even numbered page)
% Some packages here are default in Texmaker
%   (
% In my computer (Ubuntu), installing texmaker automatically installs
% other required packages.  However, some computers need to have perl
% ( for Windows) and TeX Live
% ( installed.
\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}    % encoding
\usepackage[letterpaper, top=2cm, bottom=2cm, left=2cm, right=2cm]{geometry}
%   comment-out to use the default page geometry/layout
%   alt option: [landscape]; [portrait] is default
\usepackage{mathptmx}     % scalable fonts (similar to {times}) in MATH mode
\usepackage{babel}              % formatting
\usepackage{graphicx}           % importing EPS graphics
\usepackage{ulem}               % use underline in text
% \usepackage{lscape}           % allow selective {landscape} environment
% \usepackage{multicol}         % uncomment if {multicolumn} command issued
% \usepackage{multirow}         % uncomment if {multirow} command issued
% \usepackage{fancyhdr}         % customize headers/footers
%   \pagestyle{fancy}           % used with {fancyhdr}
% \usepackage{setspace}         % change line spacing
% \usepackage{alltt}            % to use {verbatim} with commands enabled
% \usepackage{moreverb}         % uncomment if {listing} env is used
% \usepackage{wrapfig}          % wrap figures; caution: not a float
% \usepackage{natbib}           % alt bibliography package
%   \bibpunct{[}{]}{;}{s}{,}{,} % ancillary to {natbib}; alt to {s}: {n}, {a}
\usepackage[pdftex]{hyperref}   % allow hypertext
    pdftitle={PDF \LaTeX{}},
%     add {backref} if with bibliography backlinks
% \DeclareMathSizes{ds}{ts}{ss}{sss} % change font sizes in Math mode
%   {ds} must be the same size as the document font
\author{NAME \\                   % \\ = newline character
\texttt{EMAIL}}                   % additional AUTHOR data
\date{\today}                     % insert DATE today
\normalem                         % \emph{} = italicized, not underlined
% \maketitle                      % place TITLE data on document
% \thispagestyle{empty}           % suppress paging for this page only
% \tableofcontents                % insert TOC
%   \setcounter{tocdepth}{depth}  % set depth (default: 3)
% \listoffigures                  % insert list of figures
% \listoftables                   % insert list of tables
% \division{header}               % syntax
% \division*{header}              %   div numbers omitted
% Divisions:
%   section, subsection, subsubsection  % class article, extarticle
%   Others:                             % other classes
%     part, chapter                     %   higher levels
%     paragraph, subparagraph           %   lower levels
% To include unnumbered entries in TOC (not included by default):
% \division*{header}                    % syntax; lines bunched together
% \addcontentsline{type}{section_level}{entry} % to reinstate a line in TOC
% \phantomsection                       % used to build links in TOC
%   Example:
%   \section*{Preface}                       % unnumbered section
%   \addcontentsline{toc}{section}{Preface}  % place at appropriate location
%     of section/figure/table in document in order for it
%     to be extracted in the correct order in the TOC.
%   \phantomsection
% \begin{ENVIRONMENT}                         % syntax
%   ...                                       % content
% Environments:
%   abstract                                  % insert Document Abstract
%   flushleft, flushright, center             % Justification
%   singlespace, onehalfspace, doublespace    % Line spacing
%   landscape                                 % Page Orientation
%   quote (short quotes), quotation (longer quotes/more indent)
%   verse (poetry)                            % \\ to break a line
%   verbatim, alltt (verbatim + enabled commands)
%   listing (+ line numbers in verbatim; eg: \begin{listing}[step]{1st line})
% List environments      % can be nested up to depth = 4
% \begin{itemize}        % bulleted; \begin{enumerate} for ordered list
%   \item item 1
%   \item item 2
% \end{itemize}          % or \end{enumerate}
% \begin{description}    % similar to glossary
%   \item[entry] item 1
%   \item[entry] item 2
% \end{description}
% Table environments/commands:
%   \multicolumn{spanned columns}{format}{cell contents}  % syntax;
%              % used in merging columns
%              % if associated with {figure}, use {figure*} to span columns.
%   \multirow{spanned rows}{*}{cell contents}             % syntax
%              % used in merging rows
%   \setlength{\columnseprule}{1pt}  % place before environment
%              % to have a line width of 1pt, e.g. (default = 0pt)
%   \setlength{\columnsep}{20pt}     % place before environment
%              % to change default separation of 10pt to 20pt, e.g.
% Example:
% \begin{table}[htp]  % table = float; [htp] = where LaTeX will place table:
%                     % h = here, t = page top, b = page bottom
%   \begin{center}    % center justified
%     \caption{table-title}                    % Title of table
%     \label{table-label}                      % anchor/label

Away From The Usual Word-Processor


% \begin{tabular}{| l | c | p{5cm} |} % lcr = cell justification; % % | = vertical line visible; p{5cm} = width is 5 cm in this column % \hline % horizontal line visible; & = cell-separator % contents & contents & more content \\ % \\ = newline % \hline % \multirow{2}{*}{contents} & \multicolumn{2}{|c|}{more content} \\ % % \hline omitted to avoid overlap due to the multicolumns/rows % & content & This is a wrapping sentence. \\ % \hline % \end{tabular} % 3x3 table % \end{center} % \end{table} % % FIGURE/GRAPHICS % % Example: % \begin{figure}[htp] % figure = float; h = here, t = top, b = bottom of page % \begin{center} % center justified % \includegraphics{image} % image: EPS for latex command % % JPG, PNG, PDF for pdflatex command % \end{center} % \caption{caption text} % optional caption % \label{image-label} % optional anchor/label % % use of label: text can reference it like so... % % ... See figure~\ref{image-label} for reference... % % alt: \pageref{} % reference page (not figure) % \end{figure} % % Wrap text around a figure: % caution: not considered as float % \begin{wrapfigure}{r}{40mm} % {wrapfigure} replaces {figure} % ... % can run over a page break % \end{wrapfigure} % check final document because of above % % FORMAT % % \emph{emphasis/italic} \textbf{bold} \texttt{teletype} % \textsc{small caps} \textsf{sans serif} \textrm{serif} % \uline{underline} \uwave{wavy underline} \sout{strike-out} % % - (hyphen) -- (en-dash) --- (em-dash) % `single quotes' ``double quotes'' or " \\ (newline) % \& (&) \% (%) \$ ($) % \# (#) \{ \} ({}) \_ (_) % ~ (nbsp) \ldots (ellipsis) \textbar (|) % \textbackslash (\) \textless (<) \textgreater (>) % \textregistered \copyright \pounds % \LaTeX{} \dag (dagger) \`{a} % \"{o} \^{o} \r{A} % \'{e} \~{n} \.{o} % \c{c} % % White space: % \quad = font size \qquad = double quad % horizontal space % \, = small space (1/6 quad) % \: = medium space (2/9 quad) % \; = large space (5/18 quad) % \! = negative space (-1/6) % \vspace{width} % vertical space % Example: % \vspace{\baselineskip} % vertical space between paragraphs % % Size: % should be used rarely % \tiny \scriptsize \footnotesize % \small \normalsize \large % \Large \LARGE \huge % \Huge % % in case where size format continues, insert \normalsize % % so that succeeding text is back to default % % Other formatting commands: % \newline % or \\; breaks line % \linebreak[number] % breaks line + stretch line to the margin; % % [number]: 0-4, with 4 as most insistent % % seems LaTeX has final say % \newpage % ends current page % \pagebreak[number] % breaks current page % \nopagebreak[number] % stops automatic page break % \clearpage % ends page + pending floats will be printed % % NOTES % % \footnote{footnote text} % insert footnote % \thanks{title-footnote} % insert footnote within \title % \marginpar{marginal text} % few characters (may overflow) % \cite{name01} % insert to mark bibliography reference, e.g. % % alt: \citep, \citet, \citep*, \citet* % % CUSTOMIZE % % Headers/Footers: % % \fancyhead{} \fancyfoot{} % insert at the beginning % \lhead[even page]{odd page} \lfoot[even page]{odd page} % \chead[even page]{odd page} \cfoot[even page]{odd page} % \rhead[even page]{odd page} \rfoot[even page]{odd page} % % put header/footer data within [] and {} % Input data examples: % \today = date today \thepage = page number % Example: % \cfoot[\thepage]{\thepage} % put page number in all pages (default) % % Redefining Counter styles: % % \renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\alph{footnote}} % % redefine default \footnote to use lower case % \renewcommand{\theenumi}{\Roman{enumi}} % redefine enumerate 1st level % \renewcommand{\labelenumi}{\theenumi} % \renewcommand{\theenumii}{\Alph{enumii}} % redefine the 2nd level % \renewcommand{\labelenumii}{\theenumii} % \renewcommand{\labelitemi}{symbol to use} % redefine itemized labels % % alt: arabic, alph, roman, fnsymbol % % HYPERTEXT % % Hyperref: % \href{URL}{linked text} % similar to HREF in HTML % \url{URL} % url is shown/linked % \nolinkurl{URL} % url is shown and NOT linked % \hyperbaseurl{URL} % set base url % \hyperlink{id}{link to target text} % link within document % \hyperref[label]{linked text} % similar to \hyperlink, \ref{label} % \hyperimage{image-URL}{linked text} % link to image-url % \hypertarget{id}{anchor/target text} % target text % % MATHEMATICS % % \begin{math}...\end{math} \(...\) $...$ % text type % \begin{displaymath}...\end{displaymath} \[...\] $$...$$ % displayed type % \begin{equation}...\end{equation} % alt to {displaymath} % % equation numbers printed % % Commands: % \times \div \frac{}{} % ^{} = power _{} = index \sqrt[]{} % \left(...\right) % scalable parentheses; (...) = non-scalable % \mbox{} % put text in equations % % alt to \mbox{} (can be wrapped around equation): % \mathrm{} \mathit{} \mathbf{} % \mathsf{} \mathtt{} \mathcal{} % (calligraphy) % % Predefined math text sizes: % sizes decrease % \displaystyle \textstyle \scriptstyle % \scriptscriptstyle % Example: % \frac{1}{\scriptstyle a_1...} % denominator is smaller % % Matrix: % $$ \left[ % scalable [ % \begin{array}{ c c } % 2x2 matrix % 1 & 2 \\ % similar to {tabular} environment % 3 & 4 % \end{array} \right] % scalable ] % $$ % % Equation arrays: % use for multi-line equations + equation numbers % \begin{eqnarray} % use {eqnarray*} to disable equation numbers % left expression & = & right expression 1 \\ % & = & right expression 2 \nonumber \\ % \nonumber = no equation number % & = & right expression 3 % \end{eqnarray} % % BIBLIOGRAPHY % % \bibliographystyle{plain} % default linked bibliography % \bibliographystyle{plainnat} % uncomment if {natbib} is used % latex makebst: command to make own bibliography style % \bibliography{/PATH/to/the/bibliography/folder} % % Example of linked bibliography: % placed in a BIB file in bibliography PATH % @book{name01, % used in \cite{} % author = "Surname, First Name", % author % title = "{T}itle", % title; {T} = capitalized character (optional) % edition = "Edition", % edition % year = "2012", % year published % publisher = "Publisher Data", % publisher % address = "Address of Publisher" % publisher address % } % add other entries as necessary using the same pattern % % entries should be separated by blank lines % % Example of embedded bibliography: % \begin{thebibliography}{9} % embedded in TEX file % % 9 = maximum number; alt: 99, 999 % \bibitem{name01} % used in \cite{} % NAME, % author % \emph{TITLE}. % title % Publisher Data, % publisher % Nth Edition, % edition % 2012. % year published % \end{thebibliography} % % NOTES % % Save TEX files in own folders/directories, with referenced files. % Running pdflatex in console: % $ cd /directory/where/TEX/file/resides % $ pdflatex file # file.tex (.tex is dropped) % # that's enough for simple files % # large files with many references may require at least 2 passes % # check the text output if more passes are required % # files with bibliographies may require an additional command: % $ bibtex file # usually issued second % # bibliography file (file.bib) must be present % # at '/PATH/to/the/bibliography/folder' % $ pdflatex file # repeat command as necessary (maybe up to 2x) % A file.pdf will be generated in the directory % % If you prefer running latex in console: % replace 'pdflatex' with 'latex', but a file.dvi is generated. % To make a PDF file, issue the command: % $ dvipdf file.dvi file.pdf % A file.pdf will be generated in the directory % % For LaTeX developers: why not issue only ONE command, % and let the program do all these other repeated commands? % % Check:, Google, etc. for more information. % % Start typing and let LaTeX do the formatting! %%============================================================================%% \LaTeX{} DOCUMENT \end{document}

LaTeX is a good addition to the writer's arsenal. Let the writer write

A New Beginning


It's been awhile, almost two years since my last entry, and perhaps it's about time that I write again, maybe like a New Year's resolution.  A lot has happened in the last two years, in the family—the loss of some loved ones; in the country—those vicious typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and even war.  We know the people who really help, and those that just blame others.

I recently visited the hospital (more than a month ago) for some nasty bowel problem (colitis), particularly at the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Medical Center in the provincial capital.  Even as a doctor, you never get used to being a patient.  I particularly remember being attended to by an anesthesiologist (I forgot the name of the lovely lady) one minute, and being in my room a few hours later.  Some lost time in the twilight zone!  I don't know if others share this experience, but it's a good feeling, and I'm not sure if what I remember were just dreams or the effect of anesthesia—a sense of well-being.  And I'm sorry for the atheist, but I felt God there!  Just to cut the story short, I got well and was discharged in a few days!  Of course I'd to take the home meds.

I thank the hard-working nurses there (I'm sorry I forgot the names), technicians, etc.  Of course I thank my doctors who didn't collect any professional fees (I don't want to make a mistake so they remain nameless for now), although my surgeon I remember (of course): Dr. Anton Lugue.  The other doctors were classmates to my little sister so I've to ask her again.

I specially thank my classmate from the UP College of Medicine, who helped a lot—a long lost Cabalen (noon ko lang nalaman na Capampangan pala), Gary Mercado.  He even traveled from Makati City just to see me!  We talked rarely in med school—sayang—anyway better late than never.

Of course, my immediate family is there as a safety net—thanks.  And God up above—he's there in the little things that happen, noticeable if you try to see things clearly.  So folks, don't take anything for granted, okay?

Hidden Hand


YouTube Video

We are all seated around the quintessential poker game of life, and God is the dealer.  He doesn't control the card distribution, but he knows what each player has.  The winner is not the best hand but the one who makes the best hand relative to his initial one.

But what would you do if you got a very bad hand?  Would you curse the dealer?  We must do what we must to improve out lot, and not lose any hope, no matter how hopeless.  We have to look for that one chess move to extricate ourselves.

Before anyone gets so depressed from profound self-pity, it might be appropriate to watch Nick Vujicic's video above.  With this backdrop, all these troubles seem insignificant!  His smile and humor are so contagious you might suppose he's normal.

As Christians, we believe miracles do happen everyday.  If we just open our eyes, such are evident, from the subtle to the spectacular and inexplicable!  While we may be waiting for that rarely-granted prayed-for miracle, we should constantly thank the almighty for all graces and blessings that come.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13.7 RSV).

Changing Router Password (Globe Home Broadband)


My Wi-Fi router password has remained constant since its installation several years ago.  Now I was informed that some people are tapping on it without permission, thereby consuming the data quota per month, significantly slowing the speed.  So I had to Google this, and of course, several hits are returned.  Nothing was helpful because of variation in the terms used (e.g., the term password is not mentioned).  I called customer service (211) and all is now clear.

The first step is go to (I'm using Chromium so the layout may be different).  Then click setup at the bottom right of the page.  In the authentication query, input user in the user name text box, and user in the password text box, and click the Log in button.  Click setup at the upper left portion of the page, then click WLAN at the left column.  Click Security option below it, entering the Wireless Security Setup.  Look for the Pre-Shared Key password box, and type the new password there.  Then click Apply Changes.  Then click Logout.  That's it!

Happy fast and secure computing!

Quid Est Veritas?


 Universal Declaration of Human RightsTruth is not what it seems to be.  In order to be sure, one has to see the entire picture or narrative, which is unavailable. What we read in newspapers, watch on TV, or perceive in the Internet is not necessarily true.  The phenomenon of fake news makes fools of many of us.  Doubt has become a virtue.

A 10-Mbps Internet speed was promised before upgrading my Globe broadband, and guess what is the actual speed.  From, present speed is 8.5 Mbps (49ms, 1.1 Mbps upload); and sometimes it's below 3 Mbps!  I heard in the news that President Duterte feigned an illness at least twice just to avoid eyeballing with US Pres. Obama.  What a childish stunt!

Truth is something good and positive; ally with it at all times.  Ultimately, as we struggle in life, we realize that God himself is the truth.  With patience, we'll know the veracity of things that come our way.  This is one reason why God prohibited us from judging others.  Respect all people at all times, even the obnoxious ones.  Just respect the universal human rights, at the least.

"Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it." (Blaise Pascal)

Chess for Android Game


see game
Chess is an enduring game, and I have been out for some years now.  My last chess blog was 7 years ago.  But then a few days back I was looking for a good chess game on Android and I found Chess for Android and I installed it immediately.  I've been out of this game and I'm a bit rusty, and I found its BikJump chess engine (Java version) very strong.  In the chess game here, I play Black (Queen's gambit accepted) against the app, using the lowest strength of the game (at level 1 [fast]), effectively giving the computer less than a second to gives the opening a winning odds for white though.  I won the game but it took me a lot of effort to do so!  I can imagine if the strength is put to its maximum level.  The app also has very nice options.

With the frequent blackouts here in the Philippines, I find more time in playing this royal game.  Happy playing!