System Rescue CD & Spinrite

7 January 2017

I am a great fan of System Rescue CD. It is a great distribution for fixing computers. It is basically a gentoo installation customised with a whole lot of tools for fixing systems. Disk partitioning, wiping, password resetting, etc. As well some tools that are separate bootable images like memtest and freedos. I also have and like Spinrite which is not a free tool, so can’t be included in the distribution, but I wanted to find a way of adding this to a USB drive so I had all these tools on the same USB stick.

First I used the included scripts to create the USB stick as a System Repair CD image.

I found that the text file in syslinux/syslinux.cfg that had the menu system in. Looking through this there is a section:

MENU TITLE A) Run system tools from floppy disk image...

I added the following to this menu item and copied my spinrite.img file to the bootdisk directory.

LABEL SpinRite
MENU LABEL SpinRite: Analyse and recover disk problems
kernel memdisk
append initrd=/bootdisk/spinrite.img floppy raw

Works a treat.


The upside-down quad-copter build

3 June 2015

Back in January we had the first rLab quad-copter build party. And here is my effort.

Original Quad-copter build

Original Quad-copter build

This has flown well, and I have slowly learnt how to fly these things. This learning process has involved quite a few crashes, with varying degrees of damage. I think I have replaced the arms about 8 times now, and recently the body frame was so broken that I needed a total rebuild the machine. I decided to try and rebuild it with the body hanging down and all the control stuff inside the body of the copter. Here is the result of my efforts.

Upside-down quad-copter

Upside-down quad-copter

This seems to be a an improvement. The flight is more stable and easier to control. Take-off and landing are easier as there is a bit more space under the props. The control unit is harder to get at but this has not proved much of a problem. Overall a great improvement.