Install Ubuntu from floppy + network; no CDROM

Ubuntu Logo This blog entry brings together instructions from various other source on the internet, for a particular scenario:

  • Compaq Evo N1015v laptop (“the Laptop”) – should work on many other machines though
  • CDROM drive is faulty – cannot boot or read from it
  • Network card/BIOS cannot natively boot from the network
  • Cannot boot from USB
  • The Laptop does however have a floppy drive
  • Windows is currently installed on the Laptop
  • Another Windows-based computer (“the PC”) is available and both machines are networked and connected to the internet

The objective was originally to have XBMC running on a now-defunct laptop. Unfortunately it transpired that the graphics card was too old and obsolete to be supported by XBMC. Nevertheless, we can still use the Laptop for many other purposes.

The steps

  1. Find out what network card is installed on the Laptop. In my case this was easy – within Windows, the device manager told me it was a Realtek RTL8139 something-or-other. Otherwise, Google can help.
  2. Still within Windows on the Laptop, use the gPXE ROM-o-matic to create a bootable floppy disk for this network card. Very easy. Select the most recent “production release” >here<. Choose the correct NIC type (in my case “rtl8139”) and click “Get Image”.
  3. Still within Windows on the Laptop, write that disk image to a floppy disk using RawWrite.
  4. Following the instructions on the Ubuntu documentation site, download the appropriate netboot files for your architechture and set up tftpd32 on the PC.
  5. With tftpd32 running on the PC, reboot the Laptop from the floppy (set BIOS to boot from floppy first). This should automatically boot into the Ubuntu installer – select “install” and proceed with Ubuntu installation over the internet. This will take a long time, even over a fast internet connection!
  6. If the installation is on an older machine, it would be worth selecting “Xubuntu desktop” (rather than “Ubuntu desktop”) at the software selection screen. This installs a leaner desktop system. After the installation is complete, run aptitude from the command line or Synaptic Package Manager from the desktop to choose any other software packages required.

Image copyright © Canonical Ltd. All rights acknowledged.

Fine-tuning divert to voicemail for iPhones (and Android, BlackBerry, etc.)

Answerphone by jypsygen http://www.flickr.com/photos/jypsygen/3461757736/sizes/l/
Hi! This is the one of the most viewed (and I hope, one of the most helpful) pages on my web site. Thanks for visiting! If you find the information here useful, please feel free to express your appreciation in the comments or, even better, by grabbing a copy of my novel. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Only 99p/99ยข! >more info<.

– Rob

Answerphone by jypsygen http://www.flickr.com/photos/jypsygen/3461757736/sizes/l/For some reason, the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 (with the current or recent versions of iOS) have very few options for call diversion. Fortunately, it is possible to set up all the usual diverts using network codes from the keypad. To divert to voicemail, you need to know your <voicemail> number (see the section below).

The instructions below work regardless of phone operating system, so do work for Android
, BlackBerry and other devices. Those phones tend to provide these features in a more intuitive fashion, but if you can’t find the settings, the procedures here should work anyway.

Press the call button after entering the codes below:

Function Dial
Activate divert all **21*<voicemail>#
Deactivate divert all ##21#
Query divert all *#21#
Activate divert when no answer* **61*<voicemail>#
Deactivate divert when no answer ##61#
Query divert when no answer *#61#
Activate divert when not reachable **62*<voicemail>#
Deactivate divert when not reachable ##62#
Query divert when not reachable *#62#
Activate divert when busy **67*<voicemail>#
Deactivate divert when busy ##67#
Query divert when busy *#67#

*You can vary the number of seconds to wait before diverting when there’s no answer. The delay can be between 5 and 30 seconds. Enter that as a two digit number (05 to 30) in place of “<xx>” in the following code: **61*<voicemail>**<xx>#

Voicemail numbers

On the UK T-Mobile network, your voicemail number is usually +44063, followed by your mobile phone number (without the leading 0), e.g. if your phone number is 07123456789, the appropriate voicemail number is +440637123456789. Long-press the 0 key to get the +. BUT! in the voicemail number prefix (+44063) , the ’63’ may be something different for your phone – e.g. for the Fresh sub-network, the prefix is +44060. You can check the correct prefix by entering *#67#.

Voicemail numbers for other networks are more straightforward:

  • O2 901
  • Orange +447973100123
  • Virgin 212, or try prefixing your mobile phone number with +44002 (dropping the leading 0)
  • Vodafone 121

Answer phone image copyright © jypsygen, licensed under Creative Commons. Used with permission.