Couldn't get you on phone, so I thought I should document my "fecilitation" for your day. Happy anniversay Pinder and Simi. May you have a wonderful new year and enjoy the best of everything. Hugs and kisses....
26 December 2005
The last weekend, Christmas weekend, was the weekend of the year when you didn't have a problem finding parking spots in downtown around the place you want to go. Otherwise one usually has to drive around for about half an hour to find a parking spot on the street and it is usually far away from the place you want to go!
That was just magic...
24 December 2005
19 December 2005
18 December 2005
I was ready with the first 15 pictures of christmas lightings today and by mistake I uploaded the full versions to flickr. Just uploading 5 pictures used up 90% of my allocated free bandwidth :(.
Now I have the following choices:
- upload very small versions so as not to cross my monthly bandwidth.
- upload tiny versions to blogger instead, with only one size and without flickr features
- wait till Jan ....... no I can't do that.
- ....or I can pray someone gifts me $25 for a pro membership on flickr ;)
Thinking about what to do now. Suggestions welcome.
3 December 2005
I will be doing a series of pictures of various decorations we have around here during the Christmas season. I was going to start on 1st of December, but could not due to some technical glitches. The ones till 3rd Dec should be coming up in the morning and after that it will be a regular feature till year end.
I hope viewers enjoy it.
24 November 2005
I was searching my Yahoo! Mail(tm) yesterday and got a surprise as search results. Before that I want to get it in records that the search feature of yahoo mail sucks! It takes a lot of time to get back the results unlike the popular Gmail.
Back to Yahoo! Mail search results. I did a search for a string in my inbox for some messages in the last month. The results yahoo gave me looked foreign to me (see image above). On closer inspection none of the emails listed in the results belonged to me! Out of curiosity, I did another search and got the results I wanted. Attempts to recreate the original problem did not give me results from other users though. But the possibility of the mixup happening during search of yahoo mail indicates that they have a bug in their search system(atleast). I hope the performance is much better with their new email-client like interface they are developing.
17 November 2005
A friend sent me this poem when told her about the first snow of the season.
How beautiful the sun as it skims
across the air in the hush of ten degrees,
disc of palest yellow hope along a sky
of circumstance; how beautifully we watch it fall,
the random tern, forgotten mole,
the infant tree inside rough winter bark.
How beautiful this frost, female fingers
tracing down the glass, how beautiful
this world too cold to criticize itself;
how beautiful Earth's creatures are, happy
and forever safe from the only perfect tragedy,
which is of course to never have been born.
A big thank you to you.
Poem: "Ten Degrees" by Tom Chandler from Sad Jazz.© Table Rock Books
2003. Lincoln, Rhode Island. Reprinted with permission.
8 November 2005
6 November 2005
With the increasing use of plastic in our daily lives and it not being bio-degradable I had an idea in my mind which could result in reducing the amount of plastic we use.
Ever wondered how many bottles of bathroom cleaner you use in an year? How many bottles of perfume are sold with the spray attachment? Most of the simple devices for spraying some liquid can be redesigned to use less amount of plastic than they currently use. All these containers consist of is a tank and a spray mechanism. The spray mechanism has a tube below it which goes to the bottom of the tank. The tube is usually made of plastic and that is what we can do away with to save plastic.
Losing the tube would require almost nil or a little redesigning of the tank in order to be easily held by our hands. Removing the tube will render the apparatus unusable in its current position. To use it without the tube all that is required is to invert the container and use the pumping action to spray the liquid. Changing the shape of the place where one holds the container so that it is easy to hold would be the only required change in order to use this design. The principal on which the spray works still works would still be valid for most of the non-viscous liquids.
Neat, isn't it? I hope people would use this idea and help save the environment.
31 October 2005
I have been using the Databank wrist watches by Casio since last few years. I have had two models and repeated the second one. The thing I liked about them was that they had telememo and schedule (50 in older model and 150 in the one I have now), world time and a timer in addition to regular features. Telememo and schedule really helps when one doesn't own a cell phone.
However there are a few things I don't like about those models especially the DBC-150 (warning: Macromedia Flash required). I have had to replace the battery after about 6months of purchasing all of them. After the change the battery runs for atleast one year. I know that the watch is there on the dealer's show case till it is bought and is always running but 6months for all three of them is a bit over the top. The second grudge is the low accuracy of time. The product page states the accuracy of the watch to be +/- 30 seconds! And that for today's standards seems to be quite a big error. I'm not that much concerned about this as I can refer to my PC's time for a more accurate estimate.
The third and the worst problem has been the wrist strap. I have had the databank model with the rasin straps but they become brittle and break after around 12-18 months of usage. This behaviour has been consistent for all three databank watches I ever bought. The interesting point about the strap problem is that no dealer carries the replacement straps. Every place I have asked has shown me options of Timex replacement straps (even they don't have one which matches the DBC-150). Why can't Casio either make better straps or provide the replacement? In case I plan to buy new one (as I did the last couple of times) there is the data problem: I have to transfer each phone entry and permanent schedules individually to the new watch.
So my advice to others is to stay away from Casio watches with rasin straps as they are going to break in around an year and a half or even earlier if you were swimming with them. What good is a watch if it not going to last for atleast 4-5 years!
27 October 2005
It looks like Planet Mozilla was down today for some time. I could not access it via the browser and was getting a request timed out error. Trying to ping also resulted into a 100% data loss!
Update: It seems to be running fine now. I wonder what happened!
Update 2: More infomration: the whole mozilla.org was down for 15minutes
25 October 2005
I was setting up a computer account for a new hire today and she requested me two things. The first one was to remove that Word icon from desktop and the second one was to install Google! A bit surprised, I asked her to explain what she meant by "install Google". She said "Well I use google a lot and I don't want to type in the web site address every time I want to use it."
With then I understood what she meant. She wanted me to install the Google Toolbar in IE(yuck) for her. I told her that we used a new browser and google comes in it. She could just type in her search query and the results will be displayed in the window. She was a bit surprised watching me do it, and then I also did a demo similar yahoo, and amazon searches. In the end she seemed to be pretty satisfied.
But "install google", that seems to be a really vague term taking into consideration all the things google is doing or planning to do!
24 October 2005
I just finished updating my Debian(unstable) box and got a shiny new version of Openoffice.org 2.0. While selecting packages when updating I also noticed that various language packs were available for it, especially Hindi and Punjabi. It is getting so common these days that one gets a choice of interface in their local language. In Linux changing to your local language is as easy as logging-out and then logging-in again in your preferred locale.
Software that I use and have several localizations include but are not limited to Seamonkey(earlier Mozilla Suite), Firefox, Thunderbird, Opera (Opera Hindi & Punjabi release), etc. Opera released its browser's version in Hindi and Punjabi for about 800 million people speaking these languages.
Not only do open source softwares offer your local language but desktop suites like GNOME (l10n status 2.12) and KDE (l10n status stable version) also offer full desktop interface in several languages. Thus increasing the reach of OSS to the furthest corners of the world.
Just last week someone asked me if it was possible to have Japanese version of Windows XP on his laptop. He had only two options: buy Japanese version of Windows XP (costs around $700) or ask a friend in Japan to buy a laptop for him and courier it here! I informed him that Linux was available in most languages for FREE :) in case he wanted to use that instead of Windoze.
22 October 2005
I had a bit of hard time setting up awstats on my Debain GNU/Linux box running apache. Awstats generates statistics for web server, ftp server, mail server, etc. by parsing the respective log files. The statistics can be viewed in a browser and are presented in a nicely layed out design.
For my own reference, I had documented the process of setting up awstats on a Debian box and making the process automate without the common problem of losing some statistics everytime apache rotates its log. The document is now available publicly under a GNU Free Documentation license on its own page.
Suggestions and corrections would be highly appreciated as comments to this entry.
21 October 2005
Since the last 15minutes I haven't been able to send a couple of important email messages because I can't access the address book on my Yahoo! Mail account. The request for viewing the address book times out after a few minutes. I wonder what Yahoo! is doing with their email system! Is the new beta already being pushed in for general use?
11 October 2005
Tonight on "World News Tonight", anchor Elizabeth Vargus started with There is no such thing as FEMA in Pakistan.... referring to the earthquake in Pakistan last weekend and the state of relief for the affected. Well there better not be another FEMA in any other country, becuase it is no use if it is just sitting on its a*** just watching the weather reports before, during and after a huge hurricane!
26 September 2005
I have had a letter lost which was sent as registered post via Canada Post to Germany. Also, if you don't write the "From:" address on the top left corner of the letter, the officials point out that the from address should be above the "To:" address and on the left side of it. And you must have the PIN/ZIP code written down clearly. Some of the letter addressed to me arrive with a black mark on the bottom of my address with the "Write PIN" written below it. I know it all helps to keep the high-tech postal department work flawlessly. But wonder how they will react if they read this news!
7 September 2005
I got an HP flyer today in the newspaper. I was checking out their exhorbitantly priced laser printers with networking capability. Surprisingly all their color laser printers(in the flyer) are designed to look like the belly of an obese person. I wonder what is the reason behind that.
PS: The top 5 in the list are the ones listed in the flyer.
26 August 2005
Johns Hopkins University's online education program website, which deals with technical topics that are required to teach and support an online class, has Nvu on the top of its list of recommended HTML editors. Nvu is the only FREE WYSIWYG HTML editor listed on their web page. They recommend it even to non-technical users! Macromedia Dreamweaver, M$ Fronptage and M$ Word are also listed with their major drawbacks of steep learning curve, IE-centric features, and limited features respectively.
They also have a brief and to the point introduction to Nvu as well.
25 August 2005
Nvu Tutorial version 0.4 is now available from the usual location or via software update process described in the link. Please remember this is my crappy web server so in case you get some errors try again in a few minutes.
Changes for 0.4 include better explanations for generic font-family, uploading a web page, publishing a web page, etc. For complete change log, read here.
PS: If you have any problems installing ver0.4, please comment here.
22 August 2005
The crashed external WD USB HDD should be in transit back to Western Digital now. The new one is working fine, and I hope it doesn't crash soon!
Before packaging the bad HDD for return I wiped it clean to remove all data. Wiping process was:
- Write zeros on the whole disk: ~$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb
- Write random characters: ~$ dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sdb
- Again write zeros on the whole disk: ~$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb
Later I realized that I could have also used shred, or after writing zeros I could have written some porn for WD as a gift ;). Maybe I will do that next time for them.
After Nvu's 1.0 release a few weeks back, now it looks like CaScadeS, the Nvu CSS editor, (original project website) development is picking up steam. Daniel announced on his blog about future CaScadeS release and new features to be expected.
New features proposed for the next version of CaScadeS are:
- non-modal: that would be helpful to people who want to keep the CSS editor open all the time while editing their web page.
- simpler and smaller UI: A definite yes for that as Nvu's target audience are the masses rather than professional web developers.
- cancelable changes: didn't really feel the need for that as one can delete the selector, or remove specific declarations.
- -moz-* declarations: Wow! That would be fun when designing for Gecko based browsers or even editing Nvu Help ;)
- sidebar: having the present style sheet in the sidebar would be convenient. But does that mean with the editor being non-modal and also as a sidebar, we can have some kind of detachable/dockable CSS editor with Nvu? If yes, that would be a FIRST!
- Links to CSS reference: Ah ha! We had the similar thing in mind a few months ago for an HTML reference sidebar in Nvu Help docs. But it was never plugged into the official Help. Will this give us the final push? Maybe.....
For the curious ones: check out the selector builder (Gecko based browsers only) xul application already implemented. Selector builder helps users to create selectors for their style rules using an intuitive GUI. Although some of the selectors are not even implemented in non-modern browsers, selector builder will increase the comprehensiveness of number of CSS2.1 selectors being available to the user through the GUI.
21 August 2005
I will touch upon a few of the review points which I think need attention. Here they are one-by-one:
- Graphical Head Tag Editor
- That is the beauty of using Gecko as your backend. Just as with Firefox, Nvu too is capable of having extensions to increase its functionality. And if you haven't looked around, there has been a graphical head tag editor extension for Nvu since version 0.8 or 0.7. Other extensions include Nvu configuration editor, Launchy for Nvu, Venkman, etc. all are available from Nvu website or Mozdev NvuExt project.
- CSS editor
- Agreed that learning the CSS editor process has a longer learning curve, but that doesn't mean that it is worthless. After all, it's CaScadeS version 0.40. What do you expect from an extension which was primarily created as a proof of concept and hasn't gone much development over the last year as Nvu was being improved upon? Even then it's capabilities are as good as any other CSS editor; check out the Nvu demo done by only using the GUI components of Nvu complete with div tags, multi-column tableless layout, and absolute positioning. Also, check out the few pages on geocities maintained by Nvu only! And to top it all, for those who feel its a bit hard to work with the CSS editor, check out the 15 minute guide to CaScadeS.
- Advanced Layout Suppport (DIV)
- "limited CSS support"....what else does one want than CSS2.1 support (minus a few CSS definitions)? Also, for the DIV and column layout, check out the links in the paragraph above. I think Nvu is more capable of DIVs and column layouts than FPE(waltbren.com) and don't forget that Nvu produces standards compliant HTML and CSS code. But I do have a features request for it: Capability to add comments in stylesheet.
- No, your list is not significant as it doesn't include the most important bugs.. I can cite a few of them, but then again don't all softwares have bugs?
- Online Help
- Could you explain a little more in detail about wasn't available in the "online help"? Here in the Nvu community we volunteers try our best to have the documentation written in such a way that users can find the solution to their problems and that the explanations are self explanatory. Nvu includes the inbuilt Help Documentation, and then there is an Nvu user guide. Which online help were you referring to?.
I agree that there are a few bugs in Nvu, CSS editor is not as user friendly as it should be, source syntax highlighting isn't rendered live, etc. but the major point here is that Nvu is open source. It fills the long gaps of a true WYSIWYG HTML editor for the masses. It sticks to standards instead of giving you the code in a garbage bag. One of Firefox's brilliant feature is the ability to add new features with extensions and hence increasing Nvu's functionality. Nvu is still being developed and at version 1.0 it is already being talked in the same breadth with Frontpage and Dreamweaver.
On the other hand, I noticed that WaltBren.com's principal services include "Web Development Consultant". But they should know better to have their own website's links working in order to offer those services. Links at the bottom of the blog are broken! Do they want help in configuring their Wordpress blog?
13 August 2005
The replacement external USB HDD arrive yesterday. It took a tad long time for UPS to deliver taking into consideration that the package was created on 4th of August! I was expecting just the HDD with the enclosure in the package but WD sent the adaptor, USB cable, and the enclosure support blocks too!
I have the Thinkpad with me till the next couple of days so I though why not start it up with a Knoppix Live CD and partition the HDD using parted. I had the done the same with the earlier HDD. But this time when I committed the changes, it took more than 2 and a half hours for it to write the partition table and inodes on the 90GB partition. I heaved a sigh of relief when it finished. Now all that is left is to copy the configuration files for dirvish vaults and initialize the backups. Keeping my fingers crossed.
12 August 2005
I'm writing this from a shiny new install of Ubuntu 5.04 release "Hoary Hedgehog". Yes, I know that Hoary was released long time back in April, but this is the first time I got a chance to install Ubuntu. This machine is an IBM X30 Thinkpad which I have just for another couple of days so I thought why not give Ubuntu a chance.
I had ordered the free Ubuntu CDs a long while ago when they were shipping them with the Warty release. Being too lazy to download the Hoary CD, I just popped the Warty CD in and rebooted the machine. Walla, after reboot the installer started and just asked a few configuration questions and went ahead with the installation. I have to admit that the last time I installed Debian, which was just 6 weeks ago, the debian-installer didn't behave as nicely!
After installing the basic packages, the system rebooted and automatically checked for any security updates and there were many. Remember, it was a warty installation! After doing all the updates, GDM started with a very welcoming drum music. I want to have that for my Debian Unstable box too :). Logging in to Gnome had an equally pleasant. At this point, I realized that almost everything had been detected by the installer; the audio, video, and even the trackball mouse of the laptop. The Ubuntu guys have done a wonderful job to make Ubuntu an out-of-the-box operating system.
As everyone knows by now, Ubuntu comes with the GNOME desktop with the default "Human" theme. Overall I liked the artwork for the theme! I'm sure it is professional enough for OEM installs too. But in case you are a KDE person (like me), you can go to the Kubuntu website and try the KDE version of Ubuntu instead.
Ubuntu default install does not allow logging in as root but advises to use sudo command for administrative tasks. At first I was a little confused at the password to type-in for the sudo command, but when I tried my own it worked. Ubuntu gives the root rights to the user created first on the system to use the sudo command. You can also go in and set root password to su and do the admin tasks the normal way.
Now it was time for updates. I used sudo to apt-get update and then did a apt-get upgrade which had several new packages as updates. After that a apt-get dist-upgrade the Warty installation was up-to-date. Then it was time for the real upgrade, i.e. to the "Hoary". Changing all instances of warty to hoary, apt-get upgrade, apt-get dist-upgrade and about an hour later I had another shiny release on the desktop: Hoary. The upgrade went without a hiccup unlike to what I had expected. Again, full marks to Ubuntu for inter-release upgrade compatibility.
The Hoary release after an upgrade has the latest versions of the commonly used softwares like Mozilla Firefox, Open Office, Gimp, Evolution email client, etc. The Synaptic package manager and Ubuntu's Update Manager are one of the most impressive administrative programs that are easy to understand. Even newbie users won't find it hard to learn how to run them to keep their systems up-to-date and install new programs or delete unwanted packages.
Even though Ubuntu seems to be so much easier to setup and maintain, I will still keep Debian GNU/Linux Unstable on my desktop PC. But testing out Ubuntu had definitely made it a highly probable Linux flavour for my laptop (when I buy it!). And the best thing is even if I use Ubuntu, I will still have all the advantages of Debian :)
11 August 2005
Great news for Mozilla/Firefox fans: Mozilla Store has reopened!
I was almost going to buy a shirt to support the project but couldn't do that because my browser Mozilla does not recognize the security certificate of the website https://store.mozilla.org. Should I be using a different browser like IE to buy stuff from Mozilla Store?.
9 August 2005
8 August 2005
Being based on Firefox, Nvu is available for various OSes like MS Windows, MacOS, Linux (different flavours like Fedora, Debian, Linspire, etc.). I just found out from the changelog of SkyOS that they have ported Nvu to SkyOS!. This just proves that Nvu (and hence mozilla based applications) is truly portable to different operating systems.
Check out their screen shots on their main page where you can see open source applications like Gimp, Firefox, Thunderbird, Nvu, etc. in action. A closed source operating system other than MS Windows running open source applications....Intersting!
4 August 2005
It seems that my external USB hard disk drive(HDD) crashed today. It was making loud humming noise along with periodic clicks. After checking all the processes running, I noticed that the regular backups were still not finished. Normally, they take less than a minute as they are differential ones rather than full backups. The cron job had started at around 04:00hrs and was still running when I discovered the noise i.e. at around 09:00hrs.
After trying to stop the task and then kill it, the HDD was still making the noise. So I decided to reboot and check it. The PC did not shutdown as it was waiting for the USB HDD to unmount first. The USB HDD was not responding and in the end I just turned it Off.
After rebooting the system did some journal correction and said everything was fine. However, the clicking noise was still there! To test it with the Western Digital software, I had to boot in windows and did the quick test and the extended test. No error was reported, but the clicking sound was still there. So I called up WD as the disk was still under warranty. WD's 1-800 number does not have that many choices and the best one I could find was "1" = RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization). To my surprise the person at the other end just asked the serial number of the drive and said that it was still under warranty and I just needed to give my shipping information to them so that they can send me a new one.
Yippie, I will be getting a new HDD and I just hope it doesn't die on me like this one!
3 August 2005
The Mozilla Foundation (MoFo) has annouced a reorganization plan. In this reorganization Mozilla Foundation has created a wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. The new Mozilla Corporation will focus on Firefox and Thunderbird (,etc.) branded products whereas MoFo will continue to just focus on the Mozilla project.
2 August 2005
I almost forgot to mention about the new Nvu extension: Site Manager Extender 0.2, but a quick glimpse on Daniel's post prompted me that it deserves an entry. The extension mainly adds (a little bit of) much needed functionality to the inbuilt site manager.
Since Nvu 0.90 does not allow you to arbitrarily position text and graphics on your web page, nor does it allow you to create multiple columns using Cascading Style Sheets (...snip...) from the WYSIWYG interface, you will have to use an old webmaster trick to accomplish this.
The tutorial goes on to use tables for a multi-column layout, urgghhh. However, the truth is that Nvu has been quite capable of creating multi-column layouts using just its WYSIWYG interface i.e. just the GUI without any source-view editing.
So, to prove my claim about Nvu's capabilities I cooked up a page a few days ago which uses pure CSS for the multi-column layout. Nvu's in-build style sheet editor, CaScadeS, was used for the layout generation. At no point during the creation the of the demo was it required to edit from source-view. I know Nvu's style sheet editor has its short comings in user-friendliness, and unimplemented CSS2.1 rules, but still it is feasible to create multiple column layouts with Nvu.
The demo features on Nvu's demo repository.
1 August 2005
31 July 2005
30 July 2005
Once again after a long time I get a feeling that I am an engineer. I had posted about my problems with my Sony monitor earlier. Today I went to a few shops trying to get a couple of components for the monitor to change. I had to walk for about an hour and a half to go through those shops (this doesn't include the time to travel to that area from home). But patience paid and I finally got the capacitors and resistance for the monitor.
Opening the Sony monitor was a difficult process but if you do it step-by-step with some patience you do get to learn a lot. It took us around an hour and a half to dismantle it completely. See the D-board for it above. Changed the capacitor which looked faulty and built the monitor again. Connected power supply to it and carefully switched it ON. Walla! High-pitched noise is almost gone. Whatever is left was only heard for the first minute and has not come back again.
The monitor is working perfectly now although I think I might have to change a couple of more components. But I can't complain, the engineer did such a nice job!
28 July 2005
Today some telemarketer company called up to sell me a cellular phone. Below is how the conversation went:
- Ring Ring....
- me: Hello
- caller: Bonjour
- me: Bonjour
- caller: Mon nom est Catharine.
- me: OK!
- catharine: I'm calling from xxxxxxx communications
- me: How can I help you?
- catharine: We have selected your phone number from a list to give you a free cell phone.
- me: I can't afford one.
- catharine: Ok. Thank you and have a nice day.
- me: Thanks!
She was offering me a free cell phone and I said I couldn't afford one! Ha Haa. The surprising thing was that she believed me!
25 July 2005
Allright, I confess that I missed Portugal's display on 20th July. I was feeling a bit lazy and there was no one to accompany me.
Last saturday, it was Canada. Right before 22:00hrs the countdown started, 5...4...3...2...1... and nothing happened! They took about a minute to start their thing. They had a really nice start, with an impressive commentary. I got only some parts fo the commentary as it was in French, but I got the jist. Canada had some really big, noisy and beautiful fireworks in the beginning but later it was almost routine. They did start with simple stuff for every song, but impressed just before they finished the song. Although end-of-song displays were good, they should have been much better.
The finalé wasn't that good either. They kind of elongated it a lot with very less color and sparkles. I wonder if I got any good shots that night! All in all, I wasn't impressed by their display. They had actually raised my hopes with the fantastic start but they didn't live up to my expectations.
For me its still either the Czech Republic or Argentina for the top (assuming Portugal didn't do as well). Wednesday, its the U.S.ofA. Lets see how they perform this time.
PS: Yes, uploading pics is pending for Spain, Czech Republic, and now Canada. Don't worry they will be here soon :)
24 July 2005
As detailed in the earlier post, I'm experiencing problems with my monitor. I think it is either a transformer winding or something similar which starts to resonate. I'll probably try to troubleshoot the monitor and hence the webserver on my machine will not be available for some time today.
PS:Even if I decide to not run the monitor, I will be using the other monitor and the machine should be up within an hour or so. If anything worse happens, I will have it up headless!
Just yesterday I connected two monitors to my Nvidia FX 5700LE video card. After hacking my xorg.conf for straight 3hrs I was finally able to make both of them work on my Debian box. I was very satisfied to get two X screens in front of me with independent resolutions and more workspace.
Unfortunately, my Sony CPD E200 monitor has started acting up in a very annoying way. Randomly, some coil starts resonating at a high pitch which is very annoying when you are sitting in front of the monitor. Also, due to the resonating coil the image displayed on the screen has hundreds of horizontal lines :(
I don't want to loose my Sony monitor as its the only one which gives me a 1600x1400 resolution and I can't afford to buy a new one!! Just keeping my fingers crossed.
21 July 2005
It has been just announced that there will be no Firefox 1.1 release. The next final release will be of Firefox 1.5 with beta releases in-between. Firefox 1.5 is scheduled to be released in September 2005. So much for release numbers!
17 July 2005
Due to reasons explained in my previous post and udev playing weird tricks, I wasn't able to download the pictures of Fireworks display by Spain and the Czech Republic to my machine. Hopefully, udev will behave and I will upload the pictures soon.
Speaking about fireworks, Spain's display was OK, but Argentina was still the best. Spain actually had nicely choreographed fireworks having good synchronization. But they lacked the zing in them. Their low altitude fireworks were good, but the high altitude fireworks were almost routine except at in the last 30 seconds. So till Spain, I think it was Argentina who had the best display.
This weekend it was last year's champs, the Czech Republic. They had a brilliant display. Good choreography, good colors, good synchronization, and heart thumping sounds. The quality of their display could be judged from the cheer of the crowd too. If the Czech Republic is not on the top, I think it was atleast as good as Argentina. The are neck-and-neck. Just a few more countries to go, and we will have the winner.
This is just to let everyone who tried reaching the few webpages on my website that the webserver is back online. The cause was an apt-get command which uninstalled several thing from my Debian box. The Unstable is in a pretty bad shape these days due to the x.org transition, and the ABI change. It may stay like this with the upgrade of KDE3.4 in next few weeks.
The result of the accidental apt-get was that I had to reinstall the system due to multiple problems which were created. The install took longer than expected due other commitments during that time. Presently, the webserver is up and running as it was earlier. Even googlebot and msnbot have visited the website atleast once after the upgrade.
It is possible that there might be some downtimes in the coming couple of weeks as there are still problems installing KDE, sound doesn't work, and can't get nvidia drivers to work with xorg.
PS: Anyway, the upgrade gave me a clean install of x.org, which looks cool and a little faster than XFree86 even if its running with nvu drivers.
7 July 2005
4 July 2005
Went to see Argentina perform at the International Fireworks Festival. They did well. Although I some more colors at the end would have been better. Yes, I took pics....maybe I will post them here tomorrow. But don't expect high-res versions ;)
On the way back, we walked through the gay village, which was in a gay mood as always. And later, it was a slow and careful walk through the Jazz festival. Will post a pic of that too tomorrow night.
2 July 2005
I have heard that doctors say that before you start any serious exercise schedule and if you are over 30, you should get a complete medical checkup. Well, thats allright. But I want to know what tests or precautions they recommend for someone who plans to take up a career in running at the age of 81!
Surprised! Yes, this is what Fauja Singh did. His profile:
- Profession before age 81: Farmer in Punjab India.
- Profession after age 81: Running!
- Presently: at age 94, he is still running and has ran several marathons in the UK, US, and Canada.
- Saturday, 2 July 2005 he will attempt running several lengths of track to make various records.
Photo courtsey BBC
29 June 2005
- Linux: selecting text with mouse copies it to clipboard, and middle-click pastes
- Clicking "Help" button in dialog boxes like Image Properties, Table Properties, etc. opens Help at corresponding section instead of default page.
Quirks: Help window toolbar does not contain the Copy button by default. To view it, right-click on toolbar, click on "Customize...", drag the Copy button to the toolbar, and close the customize dialog box.
28 June 2005
Oh, so wonderful wine. No its not the red or white wine ;). I love this Wine. I was able to setup and run a couple of windows applications using Wine in Linux. It is a wonderful application and has freed me from rebooting into Windows to do some tasks. My machine will hardly have to process M$ code again. Yippeeee!!!
More on the process of installing, and setting up Wine on Debian soon...
27 June 2005
I was trying to send an email through my gmail account and it said that there was some error and I should try again after a while. I did try again about 3 times in the next half hour and got the same error. I cancelled the message and went in to my inbox. And I see that the discussion that I was trying to reply to, had 4 extra messages!
Gmail, you should either work or not work. It should not be that you tell the users that there is an error and still send the emails, GRRRRRRRR......
26 June 2005
A very nice post about proposed splash screens for different Linux distributions. I think that those could work pretty good for the "Which Linux are you?" like questions generally popping up on blog posts.
PS: The Ubuntu Linux desktop will be pretty nice to have on my desktop ;)
25 June 2005
23 June 2005
Today, I got a nice surprise in the mailbox. It was a package from "Republique Francaise". I was a little confused as I wasn't expecting anything that big in the mailbox. Curiously, I opened the package, saw something black in color and another quite familiar thing embroidered on it! All confusion was immediately cleared, just like a clear summer night.
The package contained a black Nvu T-shirt, that glazou had promised to select people. Thanks, glazou. It arrived just in time for the Nvu 1.0 release next week. Anyone up for a release party in Montreal?
Yeah, the package delivery has changed my preception of postage in Europe. Unlike my other packages sent to Europe, this one was posted from Saint Germain en Laye on 21st June 2005, and I got it on 23rd June 2005. Wow! That is fast.
PS: I will post the image of the T-shirt soon...
16 June 2005
This is for my dear friend who has left me two messages on my phone and I haven't replied back:
I'm alive, and (90%) well. Sorry for not replying back earlier. I got back from London on Monday the 6th of June(but the mosquito marks are still there!). I know I still owe you a coffee and snacks.
PS: And you thought that you are the one who delays plans the most!
Finally got to see a good movie recently. And luckily I got the tickets for the IMAX version of it. I couldn't find any show in IMAX online, so I just went down to Paramount to get which ever ticket was available for a late show. Out of curiosity I asked the ticketing lady if there was a show for Batman Begins in IMAX. She said yes, but the one for 18:45hrs was too busy and that I should try the 22:00hrs one.
Got the tickets for the IMAX show @22:00hrs. and came in early at 21:00hrs because I didn't tell anyone that I finally got the IMAX tickets ;). We were lucky to get there a whole hour before the show started as the line was already about 25meters long.
Enjoyed the show. It was a good one for a Batman movies except the extra fast close-up fight scenes and the first car chase in the city. Overall I would rate it 9.0/10.0. Highly recommendable for anyone (except for underage kids).
10 June 2005
6 June 2005
31 May 2005
After a lot of slacking and procrastinating I have finally released the 0.3 version of Nvu. It contains updated images and screenshots so as not to have any confusion as Nvu had a different theme earlier. The new version also contains updated information for publishing to a virtual server.
If you already have Nvu Tutorial installed, please update it. Otherwise you can download version 0.3 from here.
18 May 2005
I have a friend with whom I usually talk via an IM service or via email. Today when I was online, she suddenly came and sent me an IM with the text, "Problem!!". I wondered what problem she was having. On asking she told me that she had removed Firefox's access of internet from Norton's personal firewall just before upgrading to 1.0.4. She could not use Firefox for browsing the internet as it is blocked and was stuck with IE and "I was so used to firefox that I don't want to use IE:-(".
It just proves that Firefox is actually a better product than IE now. It also indicates that Firefox is more user friendly than IE as users don't like to go back to IE if Firefox is not available for a while. By now I mean the present version of IE, as IE7 could be a different game although they will have to work hard on it.
Anyway, I instructed her how to get Firefox internet access through the (crappy) Norton Firewall (I never liked its interface as its not that user friendly). When Firefox was able to access internet, she as happy as ever. Happy browsing NN.
Another Firefox user solidly secured!
15 May 2005
Yesterday, I went to meet my friend over at lunch (......yeah a late lunch as I had woken up at 13:00hrs). We met at Eggspectation, and it took us about 45minutes to decide what we wanted to order as both of us were not feeling that hungry and the dishes they offer are HUGE.
I finally ordered a gilled chicken sandwich on baguette(which looked more like ciabatta bread) with fries, and as my friend wanted a small dessert she ordered a banana crepe. When the waiter finally brought us the dishes, I had a long sandwich with HUGE chicken breast stripes and veggies in it and the rest of the plate was full of fries. My friend's plate had 2 banana crepes in it and the waiter gave her a bottle of maple syrup :o).
It took us more than 2hrs to finish and still leave about 2 mouth-fulls of the banana crepes. I haven't eaten anything since then as it still feels like I just ate. I will probably only eat something at dinner time tonight.
PS: BTW, the grilled chicken sandwich was great.
12 May 2005
Yesterday, I had to boot a system with a Knoppix 3.8 Live CD for salvaging some data(more on that later...). While waiting for the data copying process, I thought about checking my e-mail. Logged into Gmail, and noticed that something was amiss.
I wonder why they wouldn't suppport Knoqueror. Afterall, it is a modern browser with close to full CSS 2.1 support!
PS: I still have several gmail invites rotting in my account. If you still don't have an account and would want one, leave a comment with your email address.
27 April 2005
26 April 2005
Starting a new company or Hiring a new PR Manager? Think twice when you hire the PR Manager. Chances are that (s)he might almost cost you your company!
CEO, Jon S von Tetzchner of Opera Software ended up saving his own PR Manager during his much publicised swim from Norway to the US. Aparently, the PR Manager didn't know how to swim or how to read maps and was accompanying Tetzchner in a rubber raft.
Lately I have been trying out Konqueror along with my normal use of Mozilla Suite. Being accustomed to Mozilla it is a bit difficult to get myself at speed with Konqueror's shortcuts. But setting that aside, I found a neat feature in Konqueror: Split Pane.
One can split a pane either horizontally(Ctrl+Shift+T) or vertically(Ctrl+Shift+L). These individual panes can be further split up and most of the time this further splitting makes this feature useless! However, for a person who is working on two webpages and wants to compare the new one with the original, this feature will come in very handy.
Above is a thumbnail showing two webpages side-by-side. I was comparing mozilla.org's main page to itself about an year ago. Wow! That is a huge change in design ;) I just can't wait to get KDE 3.4 on my Debian box. KHTML(Konqueror rendering engine) is said to be complete CSS2.1 complaint.
14 April 2005
I learnt the meaning of Debian Sid's status of "Unstable" in the last two days. I have never had a problem with using Sid on my system except small hicupps for which I just had to hold some packages for a few days. But day before yesterday, after doing an update I saw an error for the package exim4-daemon-light. It didn't seem like a big problem as I just completed the update process and started using my machine.
Later that night, I had to reboot the machine to do some updates on WindowsXP. Little did I know what was in store for me! After doing the windows updates, I rebooted in Debian. And before it could get X running, I got the same error for exim4-daemon-light. I couldn't do anything at that time. Even CTRL+C wouldn't work! I tried to reboot again and in a different kernel, but luck wasn't on my side.
On further search I found out that exim4 was a mail-transport-agent and upon my repeated tried couldn't finish the configuration and boot my machine. I worked on it even yesterday and didn't get a step ahead of where I was a day earlier.
Finally, I removed some packages and then removed exim4-daemon-light. So as my mail-transport-agent (exim4) was removed, I had to install another one - exim. Its not even supported now, but I thought why not, it will be just for a while till I can get the error with exim4-daemon-light sorted out.
So right now, my machine has booted into the GUI mode after almost two days! Phew...now I understand why they call Debian Sid as unstable.
PS: Sorry to those who were accessing the webserver I run. The above problem was the cause of the downtime. Its up and running now.
7 April 2005
I'm very happy that I still remember how to use the soldering iron. The last time I used it was in year 2000. Yesterday, I noticed that my headphones were not working well as the sound in the right side was erratic. I opened them up and tried to locate where the fault was. After about an hour of testing, I noticed that there was something wrong right where the wires enter one side of the headphones. I could hear the sound on both sides if the wire was bent at a particular angle.
I decided to remove the defective part of the wire and make new connections. I cut the extra part and used the soldering iron to connect the wires to the speakers and tested the phones which worked perfectly. The headphones are now as good as new, I saved around $50(cost for new) and refreshed my skills of using the soldering iron*.
* - Using the soldering iron is a skill, without it you end up with dry solder connections most of the time.
5 April 2005
While searching an address on maps.google.com, I noticed a link on the top-right of the web page saying "Satellite". Clicking on it made the map actually come live with satellite images of that exact area. Depending on which part of North America* you are looking, you can see images with a resolution to upto 1m/pixel! One can easily distinguish houses in densely populated areas like Detroit. I was also able to find the Twin Towers site in less than a minute.
This is a part of Google's aquisition of Keyhole, the satellite imaging company. The take over also included an imaging satellite, which has been rechristined as "gSat". Another big thing from Google(TM).
*-Unfortunately, Google still thinks that Earth has only one landmass, i.e. North America. The easiest way for them to learn is a Google Search.
2 April 2005
I read Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope's Vicar for Rome's comment on Times of India article "Pope serious, given Last Rites". He said "I prayed with him only for a moment which moved me profoundly. The pope is completely abandoned to the will of God."
Surprising that this comment came from the Vatican. I'm sure all the major religions of the world believe that everything is in the hands of God. So whatever is happening is His wish and we are not the ones who can control it.
That said: May he rest in peace.
Today morning, I saw GMail's counter pass the 2GB (=2048MB) mark and it didn't stop. It is still going strong at around 2050MB. Who knows where they intend to stop the quota !!
I'm sure this will have an effect on Yahoo's plans to increase the email quota limit to 1GB by mid April. Does Yahoo plan to do a 2GB or 4GB now? Its all a game!
24 March 2005
|Dec 2004||Jan 2005||Feb 2005||1-24 Mar 2005|
Notice the jump in the hits by users using a Netscape client in the month of March2005! That is phenomenal. Although there was jump in Jan2005 for Mozilla too, but that was due to something I was testing and forgot to turn off logging my own hits :(.
The only plausible reason that I can think of for the Netscape browser hits surge is Netscape 8.0Beta. Such a huge increase in the number of hits would be most probably due to old Netscape users upgrading to the latest offering. I can't figure out anything else which can explain the behaviour. Can anyone suggest some?
Whatever be the reason, the ultimate result is that there are more number of users using Mozilla based browsers than 4months ago. And that number is rising pretty fast.
PS: All the stuff on my webserver is related to Mozilla development or Firefox Intro, hence number of IE hits are so low.
19 March 2005
I had heard bad experiences about getting USB webcams to work on Linux. However, my own experience wasn't that bad. I had recently got an old machine from a friend who was going to throwing it away. It had a lot of paraphernalia along with it, e.g. microphone, a 1-to-4 USB hub, wireless keyboard and mouse (sans the reciever!), and a cheap USB camera.
The machine my friend game me is now happily running Debian Sarge. And while going through the other things before throwing them away, I noticed the webcam. Out of curiosity I sat down last night to see if I could make it work or not. After about a couple of hours of searching/reading on how to make USB webcams work on Linux I started compiling the qc-usb-source package which would give me the module for the logitech webcam, installed xawtv and loaded up the videodev module. And after a little bit of additional chnages, I was running the webcam on my Debian Sid box.
The most helpful web pages in making the webcam work in Linux were:
In the first link, the author advises to chown the qc-usb-source directory. I instead added myself to the src group and did the compilation of the module.
The first link is more helpful for Debian users like me. After getting the webcam working on my Sid box (tested with xawtv), I installed the packages webcam. The webcam packages allows one to take pictures every n seconds and send them to a pre-defined directory of your webserver which can be either local or remote (via FTP).
Once again, I can say: Linux Rocks!TM
18 March 2005
Bugs are a part and parcel of software development. They are there for us to remind that we need to improve the software all the time. Theoretically, critical and security bugs should be taken care of as soon as possible. Other bugs e.g. normal and feature requests are resolved as the developers get round finding time for them. But there are some bugs which live for a long long time. By long I mean really long! Check out the brief details of the top three (age wise) bugs for the Debian GNU/Linux system on this page. The oldest one is going to be 10 in a few days!
I wonder if there are bugs older than those!!
7 March 2005
Then he gave me his cellphone number and asked for mine. In this world of ever enhancing technology, I still do not own a cell phone. I told him that it was too expensive for me. He said that his cellphone plan is such that if he just wants to stay connected and receive calls he would be only charged Rs. 54 (i.e. about CAD 1.54 or US$1.28) for a month. And all SMS, sending and receiving, is FREE. He can send SMS to anywhere in the world for free.
I'm sure if someone does a survey about cell phone plans and their costs, the cheapest ones would be the ones in India.
PS: I do not own a cell phone but this is for another friend :
3 March 2005
I stayed there for about half an hour amazed by the artwork and the design of the building. The feeling inside the basilica was the same that one gets when one is sitting in a Gurdwara. It was really peaceful and calm inside.
On my way out, a person stopped me and asked me if I got good pictures. He is also asked me about my religion and about any conditions necessary to go and visit "your Gurdwara"(thats not correct, but we can give him the the benefit of ignorance!). I said all that was needed was to cover your head and take off your shoes. Then he said that to enter a Catholic church it was mandatory for the males to take off their "caps". And as I was a visitor and didn't know about that fact (I was wearing my turban as always), I apologized and thanked him for the information, but doubts still remained.
Does Catholicism not distinguish between a cap/hat and a Sikh wearing a turban? It seemed odd that nobody had said anything to us when me and my friends go to St. Josephs's Oratory where other officials were present everytime we went there (the person at St. Peter's was an usher).
19 February 2005
I had tried to style the Hendrix page just for fun a few months earlier. It was accepted and is online at hendrix.mozilla.org. Its based on the Planet Mozilla design, and includes enhancements of it own like: mozilla.org head section, highlighted form sections, framed image of Jimi Hendrix, etc. :)
Its fun using CSS for creating HTML designs.
Today, I got the first spam email in my gmail.com account. Its the first one since I started using gmail about 8months ago. Good work Google. Just for the records, below the the spam email info:
From: "Neateye" < NitaiGouranga@aol.com >
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 05:57:49 -0000
Call out Gouranga be happy!!!
Gouranga Gouranga Gouranga ....
That which brings the highest happiness!!
In case you are curious, the email was sent by Outlook Express :)). If the above email address looks familiar to you, please let the person know that he does not own his PC ;). Its time he made better chioces about which softwares to use.
13 February 2005
8 February 2005
Google Maps is out. Try it at maps.google.com. You can search cities, get driving directions, etc. The search also show important landmarks with icons on the map and details on the right. My only complaints: They say that Consulate General of Honduras is 7.7km from my place :(, its in the same building. They could have made the marker pins of different color. Sample marker pin...
Go ahead find your paths with Google :)
7 February 2005
Time: 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds
For Real? Yes. This is not a writer's imagination.
Ellen MacAurthur has made a world record by going around the world in just over 71 days, eclipsing Francis Joyon's earlier record of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds set in Feb 2004.
That is a highly commendable feat which requires a lot of courage and wants you to be really tough. Congratulations.
5 February 2005
2 February 2005
After a few seconds after Firefox started I saw the pending updates icons (red arrow) on top right of Firefox window. Just to check if everything worked allright, I went into Preferences and clicked the "Check Update Now" button. Firefox's auto updater started and showed 3 updates were available for downloading. They were Firefox1.0, DOM Inspector, and Feedback Client. I selected all of them and to my surprise it downloaded all of them. I did not have to do anything else till it finished downloading and installing the updates. Finally, it gave me the following message:
Firefox successfully downloaded and installed updates. You will have to restart Firefox to complete the operation.
That is perfect as far as normal user is concerned. The update system worked seemlessly with minimum user interference. Had I not shutdown my machine for this long, I would have never known how nicely the updater works as I normally downloaded the nightlies weekly.
Congrats to the Mozilla community for such a professional product.
24 January 2005
22 January 2005
12 January 2005