30 November 2004

OOoFf calculations.

Recently, Linspire announced that they were going to sell a software package consisting of OpenOffice and Firefox in retail stores and online for US$29.95. There has been a lot of heated exchange of words between mozillazine community members and at other places too.

People have complained that selling the "open source" softwares which are available for free from the web, would be equivalent to cheating the customers. I think provinding the information that the softwares can also be downloaded from the web free of cost would be playing fair with the customers.

However, the question of legitimacy of selling the open source softwares still remains. The licenses under which the softwares are provided might allow users to sell the software under certain conditions.

But is it justfiable to actually sell the software which is free? I would say YES (in majority of cases), if you consider the following analysis. Consider the people who just have a dialup modem connection available and pay their phone company by the amount of time of phone use rather than a lumpsome. (Its sad that today's average high speed internet user assumes that everybody else is also using a high speed connection!!) Simple calculation* would result into a total time of a little less than 3hours(2h57min) to download OpenOffice(44MB) and Firefox(4.7MB) for Windows (other OS distros are much larger). Is it justifiable to spend so much time and money to download the softwares which one could get by paying a few extra dollars(or whatever unit of money) from a nearby retail store? I would definitely go with the second choice. And in effect would end up getting some exercise by going to the retail store rather than resting my bum on the chair in front of the PC!! Moreover, Linspire's funding of various open source projects makes the money go the complete cirle :)

If you still don't agree, I would suggest you advise the parent open source organizations to concentrate on marketing themselves.

* assuming a sustained transfer rate of 5kBps (I get something about 4.3kBps).

29 November 2004

Linux Discoveries ....

Linux IS fun to play with :)

kds@localhost:~$ hddtemp /dev/hda
/dev/hda: MAXTOR 6L040J2: drive is sleeping
kds@localhost:~$ hddtemp /dev/hdb
/dev/hdb: WDC WD800JB-00ETA0: 32 C

27 November 2004


Lt. Gen J.J. Singh to be the country's first Sikh Chief of Army staff.

24 November 2004

We should learn form them...

Just read this news article on BBC News. Although, Man has progressed so much but I still think we have to learn a lot of stuff from our other friends on the planet. Had we learnt this earlier, we wouldn't have 9/11, Darfur, Iraq, etc happening here on Earth.

Let there be peace.

Edit: Minor spelling corrections.

23 November 2004

Paris aime le Bollywood?

It looks like Bollywood is spreading. The latest in the news is the fashionable and romantic capital of France, Paris. After the hits like Bend it like Beckham and Monsoon Wedding and more lately Bride and Prejudice, Paris will be the center of stage for the upcoming movie "One Dollar Curry". Read the report in Times of India.

The only thing which comes to mind is: Why are they pricing using "$" in France? Didn't it use to be Franc or Euro? Ah......probablement l'influence de bollywood ;)

22 November 2004

Interruption in serving web pages

After getting some annoying advertisements, I had moved the couple of pages I had on geocities to my own machine. Off lately, actually in the last two days, I have been trying to get some hardware to work in Linux and had to reinstall the Windows part of the machine. Not that I boot my machine in Windoze too often(last time was a couple of months ago), the decision was made just because the bloddy $OS$ refused to do an update and was giving errors.

So in case you were trying to view the couple of pages I host myself (for the time being), and couldn't get to them due to machine downtime, please accept my appologies. The machine is working fine now and you should be able to view the pages any time (barring any unforseen reboots!).

10 November 2004

Who killed Firefox?

Ah, so Firefox 1.0 is finally out. I couldn't load the Mozilla.org website in the morning, and heard similar complaints from a couple of people who have it as their homepage. I'm sure the Fire is out there burning $ome and hope it doesn't burn its own servers!

But my Firefox(Debian build 0.99+1.0RC1-4) and Mozilla(Debian/1.7.3-5) were both killed today. And guess who was responsible for that: www.spreadfirefox.com. Seems kind of ironic to be killed by one of your own!

8 November 2004

Bookmarks with Delicious and Firefox

I have been thinking of a way to make all my important bookmarks available to me when I am browsing the net. One way was to copy the bookmarks.html file to all the machines I work on. But that meant that I would have to update the file on all other machines when I added another bookmarks. And what about when I am at a friend's place using his computer?

So the next idea was a webserver with WebDAV enabled. This idea was also scratched as I neither own a domain nor have a web host. And the internet connection at my place is pretty unreliable.

Third option, a USB key drive. That would be ultimate option as I could carry around the Firefox installation and run it off the drive. Doesn't matter where I go, I would only need a USB port. But I don't have one yet, and I'm hunting for a nice deal for a 1GB USB drive under $50. I'm sure I'll be able to buy one with these contraints by January.

So, for the time being I am using delicious for my bookmarks. Firefox's latest release has RSS support for bookmarks and they are called "Live Bookmarks". Delicious provides RSS feeds for all categories for my bookmarks. I added the categories as Live Bookmarks in a Personal toolbar folder. Below you can see a snapshot of Live "Delicious" Bookmarks in action. The last Live Bookmarks in the folder is for all categories.

Ain't got Firefox yet. Get the 1.0 release on Tuesday, 9 November.

7 November 2004


For a long time, I had not fiddled with an home appliance. Today, a friend of mine called me up and said that the new antenna he bought from the $$ store did not give any performance boost to his TV reception. So off I went to his appartment and saw that he was right. But it was surprising that not even the free PBS channel was being picked up. Then I noticed that he was using the AV cable from the VCR to the TV. And there was no way I could find out to start the VCR channel tunning.

Then I thought why not try to hook the antenna straight to the TV. Here was the problem, the jack for the antenna cable was broken :(. No probs, I have worked with tuners earlier too. I opened up the TV, and the tuner, soldered two cables to it and connected the antenna cable. Lo and behold!! Upon tuning we were able to catch about 8 channels, with 5 of them crystal clear (although 3 were French :( ). But the best part was the Butter Chicken his wife cooked for us....yummy.

This guy is lucky for me. Keeps my hands in technicals stuff. Last time I had ended up opening and soldering his partly broken old laptop. It still is running happily :)

4 November 2004

Built PC all by myself.....Yeah

As the title says, I built a PC from scratch. Its a bit hard to get the processor assembly on the board, everything else can be marked as a medium difficulty task. The machine was at my part-time job so I had to be really careful to not to mess it up. As a result, I am now confident enough to buy a PC in parts and assemble it myself.

Gotta get some money in the bank for the parts then.......

2 November 2004

Once burnt, never cautious!!

I don't think I will ever learn!! Today while making tea, there was not sugar in the sugar pot. I checked the storage and found a jar with sugar in it. Made tea, took first sip, yuck!! What the f***!!

The one spoon of "sugar" I had added was actually salt. Damn it, when will they learn to have sugar and salt granules of different sizes.

Thats one of the reason I luv Indian sugar.