• how to reformat your pen drive ·

    USB pen drives are everywhere these days, and for good reason, since they’re dead useful. I use mine with my Linux box, my Powerbook, and various other systems I’ve had cause to stick it in. After a while, my 1 GB drive was only holding a few hundred MB. When I would do an ls -a on it, I would see several hidden directories, such as .Trashes and .Trash-sarah. Trying to sudo rm -rf .Trash\* would fail out, however, giving complaints of a read-only filesystem. If you’re having such problems, or just really want to make sure your drive is clean, you can reformat it easily in Linux. I reformatted mine using Ubuntu, so the instructions have a slight bias; your mileage may vary. Warning: reformatting your pen drive will delete all its contents.

  • the ease of Linux with a focus on Ubuntu ·

    It was the case, back in the day, that Linux was for the hacker elite, but those days are long gone. Now, you can pop in a live CD and you’re off. Most live CD’s offer an install option, so if you like browsing around the OS, double-click an icon on the desktop and it’ll install to your hard drive. When I got my new computer, to install Ubuntu, I just popped in the CD, let it boot, and chose the install option. I then sat back as it did everything for me. Oh, it asked me a few questions, such as my name, where I was located, etc., but those aren’t exactly questions that computer newbies would have trouble with. The whole thing was easy; I watched TV while I was doing it and just glanced over every now and then to see its progress. It rebooted when it finished and I was presented with a login screen. I typed the user name and password I’d chosen, and boom! I had a pretty desktop with very normal looking menus. If someone is used to Windows, they’re going to feel pretty comfortable with a distribution such as Ubuntu because the layout is easy to work with.