Ubuntu Troubles: Lost write access to root filesystem

Recently, I was in class and, after a suspend, I lost write access to my root filesystem on my eeepc 1000h. This was a really pernicious problem, because I couldn’t do anything to save my notes. It was a very difficult problem to get help with in #ubuntu on IRC and I had to get my hands more dirty than I normally like. More confirmation that linux is amazing, but not really ready for the average desktop user.

After trying some websearch, I turned to #ubuntu on IRC for some help where I was helped by jrib, and RussM. After some discussion with them, it became clear that I needed to boot from a rescue CD and run fsck.

As I couldn’t even log on to the filesytem, the first thing I had to do was to make a boot disk using my usb drive.

Per the directions on, http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/node/21, I typed:

tim@Lincoln:~$ sudo apt-get install syslinux
/dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/sdb1 on /media/disk type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal,shortname=mixed,uid=1000,utf8,umask=077,flush)
/dev/scd0 on /media/cdrom0 type udf (ro,nosuid,nodev,utf8,user=tim)

I noted that /dev/sdb1 seemed to be the usb drive so I typed:

tim@Lincoln:/dev$ sudo syslinux /dev/sdb1

Now I needed to get a copy of the “Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix disk” available at http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/

tim@Lincoln:~/tmp$ wget http://rescubuntu.info/files/iso/ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
--2009-02-22 11:31:27--  http://rescubuntu.info/files/iso/ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
Resolving rescubuntu.info...
Connecting to rescubuntu.info||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 164347904 (157M) [text/plain]
Saving to: `ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso'

100{aaa01f1184b23bc5204459599a780c2efd1a71f819cd2b338cab4b7a2f8e97d4}[======================================>] 164,347,904  340K/s   in 8m 3s

2009-02-22 11:39:31 (333 KB/s) - `ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso' saved [164347904/164347904]

tim@Lincoln:~/tmp$ md5sum ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
ef32541cb6f33dbe9840a9bc56e7cb27  ubuntu-rescue-remix-8.10.iso
tim@Lincoln:~/tmp$ cd mnt/isolinux
tim@Lincoln:~/tmp/mnt/isolinux$ cp * /media/disk/
tim@Lincoln:~/tmp/mnt/isolinux$ cd /media/disk/
tim@Lincoln:/media/disk$ ls
boot.cat   isolinux.bin  isolinux.txt  ldlinux.sys  System
Documents  isolinux.cfg  LaunchU3.exe  splash.rle
tim@Lincoln:/media/disk$ mv isolinux.cfg syslinux.cfg

Now, I ejected the flash drive and placed it into my left (<– important) usb drive on my eeepc. By holding F2 during startup, I set my boot options to boot first off of the CD. After startup, however, I was presented with the normal grub menu and booting to ubuntu produced the previous error.

Please comment if you have any suggestions as I press forward with this problem. I’ll update and inform the world with what I find.


So today is the first day in my self-imposed month of discipline, in which I spend an hour every night reading and answering the question: how was my discipline today? I don’t really know how to summarize how the day went. I am inclined to say it went well, because in some sense I feel that the shell is cracking that my hardness is softening and a small ray of light is sneaking in through the cathedral ceiling.

I had a restful evening with Lauren. We sat down in the bookstore and I read books as she sat on my lap. There were inane books; they were books about princesses. We had a silly conversation on the way there in which I explain the function and purpose of the human lung. I explained that the lungs are like two big balloons which fit inside your chest. I explained that when you breathe, you fill the balloons up with air and when you exhale you empty them. This was trenchant for Lauren because I had recently patched a hole in an exercise ball as she watched. She was fascinated by the fact that I had created a patch. When I was explaining this to her, she said that she learned nothing new, but I knew better. I could feel in her silence, that I had impacted her worldview and I know she will never look at breathing the same. Simply because I have shared something with her — real parenting is a desision.

From this, I was convicted in a very real sense just how much of her worldview I’m actually forming. It truly surprises me to think that the way she views the world is, in part, a reality that I have constructed. She is so precious, and this time is so important and informative in her life. I feel that this is the most important time in her life, when her Dasein is formed and where my impact is the greatest.

Sadly, it is a time where disappointment is first entering her world. Like the time when I brought her to see the fireworks, but she didn’t see them because we were too late. There was a similar incident, when we were in the restaurant yesterday after she swam by herself for the first time and we told her that we would take her to a restaurant because she had done so well. Inside the restaurant, she noticed that there was another boy who is smaller than her who was dining there. And she asked the question how, being as small as he is, could this little boy possibly be worthy of the same honor that she was. We had to explain to her that there were many different motivations that led people to bring their children to the restaurant and her view that this restaurant was a special place for people who achieved the same special thing came crashing in on her. It was a terrible thing to watch. She didn’t cry, she didn’t complain, she didn’t whine, she just looked into my eyes for a good long three or four seconds as I watched reality form and set in her brain. It is moments like this which convict me to the core and apprise me the importance of my role.

It is for this reason that I’m convinced it was the right thing to turn down the deployment. Five months away. Five months without that joy, the joy of loving and raising my children — when they need me most.

Last Sunday in church I had a big revelation, an important revelation. In talking with the guest pastor, I realized that most of the joys I seek are empty joys that seek and depend on others. They are stolen joys. They are not joys that I own myself. They are not joys that are complete in themselves. They are joys that require observers.

This is a major revelation for me. Observers. How often it is that I share great experiences with unseen companions that sit in my brain. You see, these are the people from my past and from my present who I wish to impress. They come with me everywhere, and I cannot shake them. For example, when I met the president, I didn’t enjoy that moment in and of itself. I enjoyed it because I pictured others picturing me. I pictured the fact that I could explain this experience to others. I pictured me checking off an experience on a list and adding it to my war-chest or trophy-closet. Just the same when I stood in front of the Eiffel Tower, I did not enjoy the aromas of Paris, beauty of seeing a structure like that in the midst of the classical architecture surrounding me. No, the same observers were there, they were there for me to impress. Yes, they would know that I was standing there in Paris. If I would’ve had a FaceBook account at the time I would’ve had my picture taken there and my profile picture updated to reflect this new reality. It was as if the world cared that I had just taken in this scene.

I’ve carried these observers with me for very long, and they will be with me much longer. Perhaps they will never leave my side. But a crack has been exposed in the foundation that they hold in my conscience. I realized that when I hold Lauren in my arms and feel the warmth of her skin against me and looked into her eyes and see the love that she has turned me into realize that her comfort is provided by my strength — that is joy. That is my joy, and I need no observers.

Sonship Answers: 22 Feb 2009

bq. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

that i am weak and in need of God in my life — i noted that i struggle for righteousness because i am trying so hard to be someone for everyone else. not for God. i am seeking to increase my own reward and standing and that in the eyes of men — i am trying for a works-based gospel and a false gospel — in this sense, i am twice wrong.

bq. 3: our discussion never reached this point.

bq. 4: i would cover myself more in prayer and be ready to discuss the gospel with others

bq. 5:

i am committed to doing what i can to make my heart ready to share the gospel.

bq. 6:

that if my life depends on worship — i have to be willing to share Christ. that i am unable to please God without seeking Him first in my life.

bq. 7:

fear and failure of rejection were huge because i hate that uncomfortable region that we enter into

there was a fear that i would fail

i didn’t fully complete the assignment

i did see evidence of the spirit in that i am very convicted going forward.

bq. what is the impact of this teaching assignment on *you*?

I have lost my heart for discipleship and for evangelism. I need to change this.

bq. Think of a relationship in your family where someone needs to hear the truth about you and the gospel; that you are a needy sinner. How might you apply what you are learning to this relationship?

My father needs to hear the truth — to understand the truth of Christ and His love. Without God’s truth, there is no hope, and I feel that my father lacks hope and I feel that he has given up on life. This saddens me and I don’t understand how I might be able to help in this situation. It is so complicated with Chrissy in the mix, she really has been hurt by my parents. I will continue to pray that the situation can be changed.

bq. a situation in my life that has been under attack by the enemy and his lies.

that i have a ‘legacy faith’ == my past events make me no more righteous
that i can afford to compromise my integrity == i can not compromise my integrity

bq. write down what the enemy has done in his or her life.

the enemy has told my father that he does not need to live for the gospel and he is living without purpose.

Booher Life Vision

I envision my life to eventually become:
* a life of worship
* a life of service
* a life of learning
* a life of joy

I picture myself as a man who:
* to be morally pure and dedicated to God
* has time for people, elder in the church
* can play piano
* can talk about history
* is deep, can engage with people
* can speak german, spanish, etc (languages)
* is a subject matter expert
* is in shape
* can write
* is engaged in a number of communities
* is good in chess

Every day I want to be cultivating:

* racing schedule
* general fitness

h2. Studia Humanitatis

comprising grammar, rhetoric, moral philosophy, poetry and history

h3. Grammar

Grammar is the field of linguistics that covers the conventions governing the use of any given natural language.
Learning languages

Fluency in how the world works in the following subject matters:
* Business and Economics
* Fine Arts and Music
* Literature & English Language
* Philosophy & Intellectual History
* Religion
* Science and Mathematics
* Social Sciences

h3. Rhetoric

Rhetoric is the art of using language as a means to persuade
I want to learn how to write, to communicate effectively, to be a ‘man of letters’
I am convinced that I learn more by production and synthesis than input

h3. Moral Philosophy

Devotional understanding

h3. Art (poetry)

Music: piano, on basement . . .

h3. History

Understanding the past

The Boohers.org plan


* Who are we?
* What are we doing?
* Reading?
* Watching?
* Living?
* Writing?

* What are our pictures?
* What are our movies?


* How am I living?
* Who are my friends?
* Who are my contacts?
* What have I lost?


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pdf rtex

I love LaTeX and I love ruby/rails. I want to use rtex, it seems perfect for me. But, I am having trouble and am looking for help — once i get this working i’ll make a blog post for the world.

First, do i have what it takes?

tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ which pdflatex
tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ which latex
tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ which rtex
tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ which pdflatex
tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ rails -v
Rails 2.2.2
tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ ruby -v
ruby 1.8.7 (2008-08-11 patchlevel 72) [i486-linux]
tim@polycarp:~/test_rails$ more /etc/lsb-release

Now I need a rails app to test this with:

rails test_rails/
cd test_rails/
./script/generate controller make_pdf

i was getting a sqlite3 error and I had to

sudo gem install sqlite3-ruby

Now I needed a model to work with, so using the scaffold generator:

./script/generate scaffold Item name:string purpose:string next_step:text
rake db:migrate

in emacs, i created, app/views/layouts/application.pdf.rtex



i also created: show_pdf.pdf.rtex in app/views/make_pdf

     @items {aaa01f1184b23bc5204459599a780c2efd1a71f819cd2b338cab4b7a2f8e97d4}>

now i create the controller:

class MakePdfController < ApplicationController

def index

def show_pdf
    @items = Item.find(:all)


but from ./script/server and went to http://localhost:3000/make_pdf/show_pdf.pdf

Routing Error

No route matches "/make_pdf/show_pdf.pdf" with {:method=>:get}

I thought i might need to initialize the gem as a plugin

test_rails$ rtex -i .
Installed at ./vendor/plugins/rtex

but i still get the same error after restarting mongrel

after adding config.gem "rtex" to my environment.rb and getting a nasty stack error (caused because i enabled a gem and a plugin). i realized that i can't use both together and commented out the config.gem "rtex".

in discussions with August Lilleaas on IRC, it became clear that I needed to add:

map.connect ":controller/:action.:format"

to my routes.rb.

Now, this is very close to working -- when i load: http://localhost:3000/make_pdf/show_pdf.pdf in firefox, I can open or save. If I save, all I get is simple text:




if I try to open (in ubuntu using document viewer) I get:

File type TeX document (text/x-tex) is not supported

As an interesting aside, I wanted to test that rtex was actually working.

Creating a textile file test.textile with some basic textile.

rtex -o output.pdf -f textile test.textile

generates output.pdf, which is a true pdf formatted file.

After some excellent help from Bruce Williams, I was able to get it working just fine -- just download the new gem (rtex 2.1.0, and you should be fine)