Error 13: Invalid or Unsupported Executable Format

October 27, 2009 at 8:25 pm (computers) (, , , )

Just a quick techy post.

I was setting up Windows 7 on my laptop, which trashed access to the existing Linux Ubuntu installation on the machine (as any Windows install will do).  By the way – if you want to install Windows 7 on a free partition to dual boot, its possible, but I had to make the free partition ‘active’ to make Windows recognise it as a ‘system’ partition … but I digress.

Anyway, I followed the instructions in this post – – to restore the boot loader (Grub) and get Linux booting again, but then had to add an entry to allow me to select the new Windows installation.

Well, again I was able to use the usual way you get another non-Linux OS running within Grub, and there are loads of resources on the Internet to tell you how to do this.

For me it was an entry like this in menu.lst:

title          Windows 7
rootnoverify   (hd0,1)
chainloader    +1

But I was getting the error “Invalid or Unsupported Executable Format”.  After quite a bit of searching around, with lots of varied responses to this particular error, I just couldn’t see what was wrong.

Then, after staring at the grub configuration for quite a long time, eventually I realised that the rootnoverify command had no space between the rootnoverify and the brackets – i.e. “rootnoverify(hd0,1)” … after adding a space, as shown above, all was well.

This post is just in case someone else has the same problem, and to remind them that before they start trying all the variants of grub commands and partition numbers that the Internet serves up in response to that error, do check the exact syntax of the menu.lst file first!


(Now thats enough geek for today)

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Social Media Counters

October 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm (internet) (, , , , , )

Ever wonder how often someone does a blog post?  How many new Facebook users there are every second?  How much video is uploaded to YouTube? No?  Well, from time to time I do.

Well, I need wonder no more.  This chap, Gary Hayes, has produced a social media counter.  Using numbers from public sources, he’s written a small web applet that uses those numbers to illustrate how much activity goes into things like blogs, online social networks,  and virtual worlds.

I can’t embed the applet here, but it looks like this (showing the numbers for 30 minutes of activity).  You can find the actual counting version here –

Social Media Counter

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Bagpuss Ballet Shoe Song

October 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm (kids) (, )

Just recently acquired a Bagpuss DVD to replace an old video.  I do like Bagpuss, from the smallfilms pair.

I especially remember the folk songs and the mouse tales.  My favourites were the chocolate biscuit machine and the ballet shoe mouse song for ‘row, row, row the boat’ (over the kitchen floor).

“what a lot of bosh”


bagpus - mice shoe song

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3D Internet Shopping

October 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm (computers, internet) (, , , , , , , , )

I’ve mentioned the 3D virtual side of the Lego shop before.  Well some people will tell you that the future of the Internet lies with 3D.  Forget Web 2.0, go Web 3D!

Well Lenovo, the PC manufacturer who took over the IBM laptop business, have created a 3D virtual shop where you can ‘go in’ and browse their laptop range, walk up to and communicate with sales assistents, take a friend in with you, and so on.  All you need to do is go to their ‘elounge’ website, download a plug-in, learn a few basic commands and off you go.

There are a number of people I’ve spoken to that say they would never use such a system, but my view is that if the whole idea of 3D virtual worlds loses some of its clunkiness, and sites like Amazon or Ebay were just using the technology, then people would just use it, just because that’s the way things are.

People didn’t conciously choose to use the web to get to Amazon or Ebay, these companies just used the default technology available, and made it as painless as possible for consumers to use the sites.  If they decided that 3D virtual worlds was the way to go, because it was a differentiator, enabled more sales or for whatever other reason, and the technology was mature enough to enable them to make it painless for consumers, then people would probably just get in and use it.  I am always amazed at how popular the cartoony virtual world games, like YoVille and FarmVille, are on Facebook.

The issue right now as I see things, is that the technology isn’t quite there yet.  Well, maybe experiments like the Lenovo eLounge are starting to lay the groundwork for the tech to catch up.

Kevin. eLounge eLounge

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What to do with grey Lego

October 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm (art, kids, odds) (, , , )

Ever wonder what to do with small, grey lego bricks?  No?  Well, you should!  This guy has a great idea – use them to create walls worthy of the most expensive Sci-fi film set.  Oh, and if you have a few small coloured parts too, then how about a robot or two?

The design of these walls and robots is great.  Very creative use of Lego to very good effect.


Lego Walls and Robots

Lego Walls and Robots

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