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Linux Nightmares!

If you think it'll never happen to you... think again!

1.  I had an interest in Ubuntu 7.10 Linux distro

2.  I got the steps needed to install dual boot from internet.

3.  My 160GB hard drive is partitioned into C:\ and D:\ of equal size.

4.  I moved all my pictures (20-25GB) to the D drive because C was choking.

5.  Everything seemed fine.

6.  I booted into Linux using a Ubuntu Live CD.

7.  I couldn't connect to the internet - I was getting an IP address of

8.  ...Meaning if I wanted help with installing, I had to re-boot back into Windows every time.

9.  I proceeded with the more permanent installer.

10. I had to cancel it half-way because it was taking too long to import my user account settings which I didn't need and could opt out of.

11. I re-booted back into Ubuntu, as this gives me a fresh install every time.

12. I went through with the installer again. Once again I had to specify what partition to store it on.

13. As usual I resized one of the partitions to accommodate the Ubuntu installations.

14. I can't tell which was which in terms of logical partitions, as they're obscurely labelled as something like: "/mba/dev/media/"... or something like that.

15. I just hoped I wasn't over-writing anything at this point.

16. Ubuntu didn't behave as expected, and even though all the files seemed to have been installed, the hard disk it was installed on was now called "File System", not "disk-1" and needed no extra mounting. Maybe it was now recognised as the default boot disk?

17. A lot of restarts and further unsuccessful attempts at a clean install later, I tried to go back to Windows to find out what the heck was happening.

18. This was supposed to be a matter of removing the Live CD and waiting until Windows did its thing.

19. I started to get worried when I saw a continuous blank screen. The only hints that the computer was actually doing something was the hum of the hard drives spinning.

20. I grew increasingly worried that it might never come back into life. I started looking around for that Windows CD I got with the computer just in case I might have to re-install Windows.

21. After a long, anxious wait, Windows seemed to be coming round. I saw the familiar "Windows XP - loading..." logo.

22. I got another blank screen. I was even more worried.

23. The machine somehow re-booted itself and was now loading all over again... Strange. Maybe it usual startup disk-checking (or whatever) detected something was up and so took some action?

24. XP loaded up just fine this time round.

25. I dived straight into My Computer to check on the state of the partitions.

26. Partition D was missing!

27. Went on the internet to find ways to get back that partition.

28. I feared that Ubuntu had overwritten my folder of photos!!

29. I booted back into Linux, and sure enough, "File System" had completely replaced my D drive.

30. Panic! 2 years' worth of photos!

31. Since I had used a regular cut and paste job to move the files, it may be a case of finding software to "undelete" the files.

32. I found some free software fairly quickly, however every time I wanted to "undelete" the files, the program hesitated, saying I have to dump them in a separate hard drive to prevent over-writing.

33. How the heck am I gonna get another hard drive at 2a.m?!

34. Think... think... think...

35. I had to get back that D partition, no matter what. Now.

36. To get back the partition, all I had to do was go to Disk Management and "re-allocate" it.

37. This involved formatting the partition too.

38. Now I attempted to "undelete" the files, and send them to this partition.

39. I started writing this log of events.

40. After an anxious wait, the program said it had successfully undeleted everything.

41. I went to check the integrity. First signs were good...

42. Catastrophe!

43. The files were completely botched up. Some were there, but most weren't.

44. While it had recovered the files, with sizes and everything, it didn't seem to get them properly. Most were completely un-readable, corrupted files.

45. Some were mixed up too (scanned documents in the middle of a wildlife shoot?).

46. Whoa! Now I'm completely shaken up. I lost two years' worth of work, love, and joy.

And so ends one of the saddest days of my life

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Sigma DP1 (gallery up at dpreview)

Phil Askey over at has just posted a beta gallery of the new and upcoming Sigma DP1 (site)

The new Sigma is the latest iteration in a series of cameras which tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to capture the hearts of "serious" photographers.

There have been many notable attempts, including the memorable Sony R1, Canon Pro1, Sony V3, and a few more. Nearly none of them had any successors.


The Sigma had to make a very big compromise. Instead of attaching a slow zoom lens, they've gone and attached a (moderately slow) fixed prime lens, thus keeping the total size and weight extremely pocketable. This means that the DP1 will have NO optical zoom whatsoever. It comes equipped with a compact 28mm f/4 that seems to be extremely sharp.

This is because of its sensor.... an APS-C sized sensor, which is around 5x larger than compact camera sensors. Sigma have stuffed a Foveon X3 sensor in it. This created the need for a larger lens. Having such a large sensor will invariably result in much greater image quality than regular compacts.

Looking at the samples this seems to be a great camera! Images are nice and sharp, and noise is kept low. Those 4MP images look fantastic from corner to corner with little CA and distortion. They look like prime candidates for up-rezzing to much larger resolutions like 10MP or so (a signature of Foveon sensors).

Colour is excellent, vibrant yet very natural. I'm a little put off by the greens, which seem a little strange, but maybe it's just me.

I have never seen this kind of superb quality in a compact camera! I'm impressed on so many levels (Sony R1 fans: you can't call your camera "compact").

Will it sell?

Sigma have been very brave with this camera. They certainly didn't go for big numbers with this camera like virtually every other compact camera manufacturer.

They're not selling a huge zoom range. They're selling a good quality 16.6mm (28mm equiv) lens capable of rivaling the best lenses out there.

They're not selling a big pixel count. They're selling a sensor capable of outputting very sharp images, albeit low-res.

They are selling image quality.

Sigma have also done a great job on the design. It's all-black, with black buttons, knobs, etc. They've included a hot shoe and even a mini-control dial. Great for photographers! Unfortunately though, the general public isn't likely to see it that way, and will probably be more tempted by that cute pink 12MP Casio sitting next to it.


So will it sell? I certainly hope so, but unfortunately I doubt it. It's drawback sales-wise is its lack of big numbers, making it harder to sell if you own a camera store. It will appeal to the niche of real photographers who want a compact when they can't lug around their bulky DSLR.

That said, this so far seems to be a great, great compact and offers a very interesting alternative to the throngs of compacts out there. Judging by its output here, I would pick one up in a heartbeat!

Coming in Spring 2008, apparently.

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