Friday, December 31, 2010

Damn canonical

This would be a very bad post for all *buntu loyalists. So, read ahead, at your own risk.

The year ending 2010 is the perfect time to check out the contributions made by big corporations making money out of GNU/Linux. When I talk about contributions it is "code" and nothing else. The contribution of canonical towards the GNOME project is 1.0+ %. This can be checked by googling it. I dont want to give redundant links towards this information. Ubuntu is in todays position mainly because of the GNOME project. Let us be clear that many newbies who have started using GNU/Linux see only the front end and they are not bothered what happens at the back(rightly so). So the visual shell which has held many newbies is the GNOME project utilities, which canonical has used unbashedly since its inception. Just changing to a new visual shell and ape all the futuristic activities of a fruit company is no reason to stop contributing to the GNOME project.

Entrepreneurs are supposed to make their own roads and Mark shuttleworth is not an entrepreneur, he is not a free software evangelist, He is a business man. He is bothered about all the dollars he has pumped into his business. He is bothered to recover the investment he has put in. It is not giving result as he had expected. Now canonical is going on a fast track to ape a commercial company and stand out as a cheap alternative to it. Selling music in mp3 format is the first commercial aping he has done. No entreprenuary idea here.

So is canonical contributing to make GNU/Linux more stable in the deep hearts of it. Let us see what is the contribution of canonical in the linux kernel. surprise....!!!!. It is not mentioned in the list released by the Linux foundation. I am very confident canonical and Mark shuttleworth will continue to ape the fruit company right down to its DNA and come out with a cheap fruit which has nearly all the same qualities but will never become one.

Thanks to all the big corporations who have supported and improved the GNU/Linux eco-system and specifically all the hobby developers who are keeping this project on. Let us keep the computing world "free as in freedom" for the future generations.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

doudou GNU/Linux, what?

You read it right. Pls spell it as doodoo GNU/Linux as per the home page of the project. The project is started by a french developer but is ready with majority of languages in the world and the developer would be happy if anybody would help him with other languages.

Why is it special?

It is for children. It is built on the ever dependable GNU/Debian Linux base and is very pleasing on the eye. I am very sure that children would love the interface and be at home with this pleasing distro. There is also ongoing efforts from the developers to incorporate "parental control" so that children would not be taken to un-wanted places over the public network. There have been numerous efforts to make a GNU/Linux spin for children. But none have had enough success. ButI believe that doudou is on the right path and users in turn should give their valuable feedback to the developers so that they can take the project in the right direction.

I am one who believe strongly that children should be taught of freedom concepts in the earlier ages itself and what better way than to introduce them to the "free as in freedom" concept of GNU/Linux.

Welcome aboard kids. The tux welcomes u.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

is ur data safe and private on the cloud

This is the right time for the general public to realize the pitfalls of storing private/individual data on the cloud. I believe these could be the reasons. If i am wrong and if anybody comes across this post can pls comment.

1. Richard. M. Stallman who foresaw two decades of user requirements has warned the general public about the dangers of storing private user data on the cloud.
2. How many computer users know, what is a cloud?
3. Have all the people read between the fine print before storing the data on servers hosted in an unknown/undisclosed continent/country.
4. Have all the unassuming general public gone through the licensing or terms and conditions of the cloud storage deal.
5. Web service providers(the web sites we access, the services we use on the public network) collect so much information about us by collecting data regarding our tastes/affinities without we giving anything or telling anything about the same.
6. The general public can now think how much they would know about us if all our data was given into these very people's hands.
7. I would suggest cloud to all the companies in the world which would reduce the entropy of the world.
8. The same cannot be said about the general public. In the present scenario where u are never alone or u can never "run away" your data in the big data corporations would make u naked to the entire world.
9. This will be experienced by the general public after few examples come out. Let us hope that it is not too late.
10. I completely agree with Sri RMS that individual data belong to the individual themselves and cannot be used to generate information about the individual.
11. Anybody including the government agencies need not ask you if they want to take out data related to you from the remote servers. For govt agencies law is the only pretexts for others there is alwasy money.

Yes man is a social animal, But every human is unique, and that uniqueness can be honored only with his own private space.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

freedom software: quality or quantity

The title of this post would have made any proprietary software manufacturer grin from ear to ear. For me quantity of software is what matters. Why?
1. Freedom software developers should stop aping proprietary ones and develop unique ones as they have been developing from UNIX days.
2. An application in beta stage, if interesting will attract developers/users who in turn act as catalysts in pushing the development.
3. Freedom software requires code, in addition to donations in terms of cash.
4. We should accumulate enough unique code snippets which can be joined together to form several unique assys of these snippets.
5. Generation of new ideas can be achieved when the block to "perfect" programs is removed, thereby there may be a half hearted development of a unique idea owing to lack of coding/development time/ability.
6. The above step is the only way we can foster new ideas and increase the freedom software circumference.
7.Ultimately we should be following the "small tools" UNIX philosophy.

Start building unique small unique apps, and about the quality leave it to the freedom software universe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The perfect dream pad

That, now is the question lingering on every phone/laptop/pad/slate/netbook manufacturer across the world. I have a few suggestions for them

1. Follow the iphone/ipad completely and implement every aspect of it exactly, ofcourse, implemented originally.
2. Take a radically different approach and design that intermediate computing device which every user across the world is waiting for(Dont ask me what that would be, But i will definitely tell what i think that device would be)
3. ape the iphone/ipad completely and go beyond it and continue to do so.

In my opinion the device people are awaiting are definitely a pad. But, I want it to be a complete netbook replacement. Pls note that I am asking a netbook replacement. It should have enough muscle to run decent desktop apps. Miniature processors with multiple cores will be the future. so these pads which are replacement to netbooks will in future house processors which will be able to run all the desktop apps. Once u have all the desktop apps running, the cloud is just a small part of it. Did i forget that it should be a complete phone. There u have the complete convergent device. I would be delighted if it ran a freedom os like GNU/Linux. It should not be a half hearted freedom os like android or some chrome shit.

Will i get my dream pad?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

rolling release, hmm

Ubuntu wanted to shift its release philosophy to a rolling one. Right now, they are following a release interval of 6 months and one LTS every 3 years. A release like this is tested for the individual and also for how the whole(all packages and their relations) behave. There will be havoc if any specific package from the next release is installed with the whole of the present release. The ubuntu project started owing to the fact that there was no regular release of Debian GNU/Linux. If 6 month release is stopped then the reason for starting ubuntu is immediately questionable. The best option for canonical at this point would be to contribute directly to debian gnu/linux and make it the best alternate os in the world.

Debian GNU/Linux on the other hand is a rolling release from inception. The developer team studies the individual packages and their relations as a whole on a consistent basis. With ubuntu wanting to ape Debian GNU/Linux on this front also, I would believe there would not be any input from ubuntu in it. It is like u just remove the name "debian gnu/linux" everywhere and replace it with ubuntu.

Of late I heard that even open suse wants to go rolling!!!!!!!

Let us see how many of these people can change their release philosophy to a rolling one.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

debian GNU/Linux "Install once" OS

Debian GNU/Linux from its inception had one idea embedded very strongly into its structure. "Install once and once only". In fact there is no need to download the entire os ( n number of cds or n-20 number of dvds or a complete blue ray ). There is a netinstall cd, which when installed will install the basic, barebones, command line front end. It is upto the user to install the packages/applications as per his requirement by connecting to the internet. aptitude is the friend u will need to pull the packages/applications from the internet. I would state that the first thing to install after installing the netinstall cd would be to install X and a window manager( gnome and kde for full blown window managers. lxde, enlightenment or other light weight window managers)

Now install synaptic with the above window managers. synaptic will be ur package manager with the familiar windowing environments. This is ur app market(but here every package is free unlike that of apples). U choose the app u want and click on install. Thats it. Just keep updating the apps once every month/week or whenever u have time and bandwidth. U never have to install the OS again. just keep updating and install any security update given out by the debian developers.

Give way for "release when ready" "Install once" OS. Way to go.

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 years of MPlayer. yipee to that.

10 yrs of Mplayer ... The ultimate multimedia player for GNU/Linux.

1. Mplayer is my darling app on GNU/Linux. After XMMS, its debacle and inumerous forks, I settled down with mplayer for all my multimedia tasks on GNU/Linux.
2. Many people using media players on windows do not know that they are running mplayer for majority of their decoding and encoding tasks. mplayer classic hosted on source forge is used by many windows users without knowing that the backend is mplayer.
3. mplayer, after 10 yrs is not out with version 1.0. It is not doing the mistake which Linus did with linux by shifting the version no to 0.9 without the networking code. The versioning scheme is excellent indicating the vision of the developers(mentioned in their tagline.
4. No front end has utilized the complete command line magic available with mplayer or mencoder.
5. mplayer and mencoder are in full flow when run from the command line. It is a swiss army knife for all the multimedia tasks.
6. mplayer multi-threaded builds use the multiple cores of the modern computers efficiently and fully.
7. The file formats and containers supported is going up every moment.
8. Normally, it will play any file format you throw at it.
9. compiling mplayer for the specific processor and the number of cores would result in an executable which will make u grin from ear to ear.
10. Long live the mplayer project. Thanks to all the developers for making my GNU/Linux experience more fun.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What the hell is "open core"

Now form where has this term come from, I am unable to fathom. This is the "class 1" evil, the free software community has to keep out of the freedom ecosystem. This will bind the freedom core(FLOSS base system) and encapsulate it with a proprietary shell. Much of what we are seeing with Android devices is basically this piece of shit. Every system manufacturer is having his own proprietary UI on the android(open core)

Android is a lesson for the freedom evangelists of how any license can be twisted to meet the proprietary requirements. I have always bothered about this happening whenever I come across a realtime or embedded os based on GNU/Linux. Android played safe to see the effect of backlash from the GNU/Linux community by creating a layer of java for the apps to communicate. With this google made sure that the apps developed for the android platform are always safe to run though the OS beneath the java layer can be changed for any other alternative like Mach or a combo of Mach and bsd(available in a nearly public domain licence, much of what apple has done with osx). The move has backfired in a very bizzare way, on an issue which google did not anticipate at all(ie, oracle going after google for java itself!!!!!!!).

If that layer has problems from IP infringements, there is a huge task ahead of google, that of replacing that particular code with self implemenation.

Now, the discussion is about open core. All glitzy and fancy names are given to the UI(particularly touch screen UIs). But contribution in this field from any of the proprietary manufacturers to the FLOSS world is zero. Google has a successful fork of the Linux kernel, apps created can run only on the java implementation of google(this has constrained the apps, which otherwise would be available to the freedom world). So, open core results in "constrained" freedom

Well, we now have a variant of freedom, ie, constrained freedom. Freedom w.r.t google java implementation only. The same apps would not run on a meego mobile, since its java implementation would be different.

I hate the concept of open core, I hate and desist the whole ecosystem being developed with that as the basis. This is the reason I am not buying an android phone. I hope that when meego is released it does not have any concepts of the open core. Right now, I love the way N900 is created and hope that when a complete implementation of meego runs on it, the resulting freedom is the same. This hope is because that is my next freedom phone.

As in Sri Mahatm Gandhis' words only "sampoorna aazaadi" (complete freedom) is my demand and right.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is wayland the way to GNU/Linux's mainstream entry?

Is the decision to include wayland as the display architecture into the GNU/Linux atmosphere the only way to ensure the entry of GNU/Linux on to the mainstream?

When i talk about "mainstream", I am talking about all the dumb users who use the computer as a tool and not to be bothered about the functioning of the back end and whatever happens with the interaction b/w the hardware,os,apps(including webapps) and of course they are not bothered how it happens, whether whatever is happening is optimum and more importantly "Not bothered about the freedom aspect of computing"

The majority of the computing power users are not bothered about the fact they are strengthening a few, in fact very few Big companies. Now why are we discussing freedom when we are talking about wayland? hmmm. let us see

1. The X server is a boon to the educational organizations particularly those run by govt organizations or NGOs. This would convert an inexpensive computer to a client which could connect to a more powerful server running the Xserver.
2. The X server the favorite tool of majority of the server admins owing to its Network architecture which is built into it during its design itself.
3. The X server has served the GNU/Linux and the proprietary Unix systems well during all these years. People/corporations have borrowed heavily from the X server in developing proprietary ones owing to the standard being public domain.
4.The standards being publc domain, nobody bothered to give the improvements back to the project.
5. The Xfree86 project has been the driving force behind whatever GNU/Linux is at present.
6. Instead of optimizing this implementation people have decided to support a nascent stage product(wayland). The only incentive being the that the wayland stack sits just above the graphics card. This is aping what microsoft is doing with directx.
7. With this Sri shuttleworth is expecting that he will be shuttled to sell GNU/Linux with his proprietary mp3 store and mainly, his proprietary high handedness.
8. In fact, he wants to ape whatever apple is doing with its os. He wants GNU/Linux to be a "dumb computing power user's" Mac osx.
9. It is also astonishing that these moves are supported by people who projected the death of the pdf format 2 yrs ago.
10. Sri shuttleworth should keep his eyes open and see what happened to all the distros who tried to ape windows.
11. I am not against waynad or any path breaking technology. But declarations like this is not right. Ubuntu is tried by many of the dumb users who just want to come out of the virus filled proprietary os.
12. Sri shuttleworth dont expect these users to be the guinea pigs of ur experiment. U are going to remove whoever came in late with ur buggy and incomplete implementation of waynad which i am pretty confident based on the amount of development ur company has put in in improving the true GNU/Linux in terms of RMS's philosophy.
13. Experiment with waynad in ur house, crash it down, rebuild, debug and do all the developmental activities inhouse(I know u have enough money to keep doing it) and dont put this step on users.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is unity good for the freedom movement?

Unity, the visual shell which is supposed to replace the gnome shell( which is the most radical redesign of a desktop environment i have come across )in the next release of Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Will this augur well for the freedom movement? Let us see. To be clear we will present the scenarios and discuss at will without any order.

1. Unity is developed, right now, only by ubuntu. Gnome developers are wide spread across the globe but for it to reach its stage i would credit RedHat more. I am still at awe at the improvement it recieved during redhat 7 and 8.
2. None of the distros have talked about unity until now. Even those developed on ubuntu have not commented on this. On the other hand majority of the distros are betting big on Gnome 3.
3. Seeing the capability of shuttleworth's developers over the years, I have a doubt regarding the final product. Going by the ability of the Gnome developers I am pretty confident of them releasing a stable product( release when ready, instead of releasing a crap product with a time bound frame)
4. Unity "may" be good for touch screens but pretty bad, infact worse for desktop and notebook products. Gnome is excellent for the desktop and notebooks since "usability" is at the core of its design.
5. Instead of designing one more visual shell, ubuntu developers should have concentrated on making gnome 3 a better product aimed at usablity. Ubuntu already has a netbook edition, by developing unity, it has put whoever used their netbook edtiion to shame. They could always use the "ubuntu" branding and develop features which are indeed different. If users are happy then it would be absorbed into the main Gnome tree.
6. Shuttleworth is trying the iron hand approach in trying to make ubuntu to stand apart from the crowd in the freedom os world. brand ubuntu will draw flak if an idiotic product is given to the public and tell them it will improve in time. This would be the joke on the freedom os world.
7. Shuttleworth should stop aping Apple, and instead try to buy majority shares of this company and run it instead. Here none of the users are to be taken into confidence.
8. If unity is just a visual shell for gnome 3. ubuntu would be better of by modifying gnome 3 itself to suit shuttleworth's silly developers.
9. I am not a person with high inertia, I am not for re-inventing the wheel.
10. shuttleworth is not clear as to why "Gnome is not for the future"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Musings on Mac osX

From the day I saw screenshots of Mac osX when it was released(I believe it was "Tiger"), I was fascinated by the looks of the desktop,the dock and more shocking was that it was based on BSD code. BSD code is licensed liberally, ie, propreitory companies can make a derivative out of it and include in their binary environment. No need to give back the improvements to the community. Actually, No questions asked.

And when it was release GNU/Linux desktops were just emerging. I couldnt imagine that GNU/Linux environments would be as pleasing as a Mac. Now at this moment I am proud to make the statement that the GNU/BSD and GNU/Linux projects are heading in the right direction compared to what Apple is doing to OSX.

Here are my reasons.

1. They started with a micro-kernel approach(Using freely available university project Mach3). Incidentally GNU, the operating system envisioned by RMS is based on the Mach micro kernel. But they found out that still a lot of work is to be done for realising micro-kernels. So they took the best part from it and added the other parts from the BSD kernel to complete their xnu kernel. The summary is even the best hackers at apple couldnt write an OS from scratch.

2. The amalgamation is not to my best taste. For eg, a process creation is not a simple fork() as is the norm with the *nix os. If this is complicated then, I really do not care about the remaining. The apple engineers have not achieved anything outrageous, except for the quartz engine and the aqua interface.

3. There is no need for apple to demonstrate the scalability of the *nix os. We know that bsd/linux kernels scale excellently from toasters to super computers.

4. They hid the complexity of the kernel on their mobile device by not providing the capability to run multiple programs(This is a crime in the days of n cored processors)

5. While the users drooled on the touch interface and the beautiful interface, the apple engineers out of pressure from android devices, put in a restricted amount of running multiple programs in the next iteration. If apple had their way the users would be locked on to the single process model of iOS.

6. Right now, I think they would be scratching their heads to reach the multi-tasking capability of android and other GNU/Linux devices in the future.

7. Even the hardware on apple's desktops and laptops are way behind the advances in processor technology. This is owing to the fact that they code their os so tightly to the hardware that every change in the hardware requires a re-write of inter-dependent modules.(Oh my god, re-inventing the wheel every time).

8. To give the apple coders sufficient amount of time to catch up with the capability of GNU/Linux devices apple is now behind android devices so that, development in that camp also slows down.

To summarize, the MAC OSX is nothing beyond the aqua and the quartz engine. If it was anything but fantastic, apple would be in google's position now, that is selling the OS stack to anybody and everybody in the handheld world. Whatever apple tries, it will never be able to build a coherent kernel from the bits and pieces of contradictory software pieces of the free software world. Its high time that apple recognizes this fact "Software in the free software world is based on the *nix philosophy of doing one thing and doing it best".

xnu kernel is one big monolithic kernel which would give sleepless nights to Andrew.s.Tannnebaum, in such a way that his next book would excuse Linux for being monolithic and take the xnu kernel as an example for monolithic kernels going wrong and haywire.

More reasons to love GNU/Linux,GNU/Bsd,GNU/Minix and also Microsoft windows 7(!!! really? !!!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

27th Birthday of the GNU project.

GNU was a software computing environment envisioned by Richard M Stallman. The vision was to build an operating system(UNIX like) and then provide it with all the user mode tools so that users could use it, build upon it, share it and improve it. This is more of the principles of "freedom" expressed by Sri Mahatma Gandhi.

I would request the reader to refer to the first announcement RMS made about his passion and plan for the liberation of the software world Well the operating system part did not turn out as easy as RMS envisioned. But with the advent of the Linux kernel the incomplete part was now complete. GNU vision with the free software foundation provided all the user mode tools. This gave rise to the GNU/Linux system. Anybody with the clear information about the history of both the projects(GNU and the Linux kernel) would like to call the Operating system they use as GNU/Linux. This pays gratitude to both the projects which has put to shame many propreitory protject software teams on the subject of its longevity and its productivity.

This is a true example of the human nature of "sharing". So will we have a "GNU" operating system? NO. RMS himself is not confident on the GNU/HURD project. GNU/HURD was also a micro-kernel OS. Now, we have a project (Minix 3) which is still alive and been funded by the European Union. If this project goes out and reaches to the developers of the linux kernel and convince them that the micro-kernel approach is the way to go(By the way I do believe in micro-kernels). I believe the ideas look great. But message passing through t the OS for any communication b/w processes looks complicated. I am hoping for one more option GNU/Minix. Which would be excellent owing to the multiple cores on todays desktops.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Forking times ahead!!!!

Forks everywhere. That is the beauty of FLOSS. Anybody with a little background about the working of Operating systems will know that "fork()" is the system call used to start a new process. When the "fork()" system call is called, the os makes a copy of the parent process(complete with data, program and stack content). After this the "exec" system call would replace the parent image with the child information.

Exactly the same is happening in the FLOSS world. It all started with the orphaning of the opensolaris project by oracle. There was an inevitable fork and there are two projects which have taken the original code and released their own taste of opensolaris. So Opensolaris lives on without the support of big daddy.

Sidux, one of my favorite distro also had the same problems with its sponsor. So, what happens, fork is called and you have aptosid, which is true to the sidux project in all respect. It prides itself in packaging software from the unstable(sid) branch of the debian GNU/linux project(Debian once again).

Now, can Redhat stand up and fork mysql so as to continue the flagship programming model of the GNU/linux universe. I meant the LAMP stack(GNU/Linux, Apache web server, Mysql DBMS, PHP scripting). I request redhat to take up mysql under its umbrella of development or I would suggest it to merge whatever possible code with postgresql(Dont flame me regarding the technicalities).

Corporations, beware!, nobody owns Free/libre software. It is and will be developed for the public good and in testing times, they will always be FORKED!!!!!!!!!!. ha ha ha ha!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

GNU/Linux on Dell laptops

I happened to install Pinguy GNU/Linux on a friends' laptop. Everything went smooth except for one caveat. The installer made a grub entry to the first disk partition /dev/sda1 which is where windows can ever install. But I was shocked to see that the that partition had some testing tools specifically developed by and for Dell laptops. I do no know whether all models of Dell have the same feature. This is for somebody with a laptop and their windows grub entry takes them to the system testing.

Open the /boot/grub/grub.cfg and copy the menu entry of Windows and paste it below it(That is duplicate that entry). Now edit the (hd0,1) to (hd0,2) so that it points to the second partition. Now backup this grub.cfg because these entries are overwritten any time update-grub is run(which might happen when u upgrade grub). After any upgrade just replace with the backed up grub.cfg.

Thats it, now select the menu entry which relates to the second partition and u have ur Windog up and running(after all the runners have started running).

I welcome the new entrant(without any fee).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

LMDE(LInux Mint Debian edition) is here

Well, all the new users of GNU/Linux, Rejoice.
Here comes a Debian GNU/Linux distribution (testing) combined with the Linux mint tools. Many new users I believe are at home with linux mint. That is owing to the fact that it comes pre-loaded with all the codecs and has an excellent hardware detection tool which offers the users the option of installing proprietary drivers the easy way. You are just to start the tool and the tool will come up with all the devices which are not running to their potential due to proprietary drivers not installed. Once you select the device from the list the installer will search for the proprietary drivers and install them automatically.

Add to this the excellent Mint menu, Software manager u have an excellent distribution which is as close to the roots as possible. But as the link explains it requires certain amount of knowledge to maintain an LMDE. The change is because of the philosophy behind Debian GNU/Linux. Debian GNU/Linux is designed to be installed only once. The system has to be upgraded regularly from the debian repositories. I have been using synaptic ever since I have installed debian and until now I do not have any problems at all.

I do not install debian GNU/Linux regularly. I have selected the testing branch of debian. As the testing branch reaches release stage, the unstable packages are promoted to testing stage(when ready). So I just have to update my repository metadata to get to know about the latest packages. Once I decide to upgrade any package I will be informed to install any dependencies. It has worked like a charm until this day.

This distro is for somebody who wants to cross the ubuntu line and go into higher prospects and more deeper into the workings of GNU/linux distro. LMDE would be the perfect gap stop for enthusiasts wanting to make the shift to Debian from ubuntu.

All ubuntu users are welcome and Thank u Mint developers for taking the plunge. I request the Linux mint developers to please share their coding effort with the upstream also.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

pinguy OS "Just use it GNU/Linux"

I have been using pinguy GNU/Linux for the past couple of months and I am mighty impressed with this excellent ubuntu spin. It just works. The packager has collected the packages which would make the "perfect" operating system for a desktop user. While building it on gnome gives it that simplistic feel. I personally believe that the the GNOME interface is lesser intimidating than the others(persona opinion, I dont want any flames here!).

It combines the best of GNU/Linux mint, ubuntu, debian and a lot of other customizations like the dock and the very interesting TED. I just added few more things to the excellent selection of software like GNU/emacs and Transmission. I believe these two are required very much. The deluge client is too complicated and GNU/emacs as everbody know is more of religion.

I would recommend pinguy os to all the newbies who have to do some configurations to the basic GNU/Linux os to start using it in its full capability. All the codecs/flash are pre-installed. You have a well configured conky, hardware detection and driver installation tools taken from mint, mint updater etc.

Give it a try and u will be at home with this great ubuntu spin.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ps3 media server on GNU/Linux

Excellent job(patting myself!). I got that killer app which I have been dying to get working on GNU/Linux, ps3 media server. I think the audience owning a ps3 know that there is no hardware acceleration available when GNU/Linux is installed on the ps3. So to run movies encoded with various formats available to the public is a big no no for the general public. But with the RSX on the ps3 and genuine FULL HD Play back available with fantastic upscaling available with 7 cores available for processing, not using all these resources to have an immersive movie experience is a crime. This crime has been committed by me for the past 4 months.

The killer app for the above condition is ps3mediaserver by shagrath. I just loved the way the app was written and licenced under GPL(whoa whoa). But I got it work only with windows. Windows detected both my lan cards perfectly(one for the internet and one for the connection b/w the pc and the ps3). What is so special about this app?. It streams audio/video(It is a UPnP DLNA compliant server) and is "specifically" optimized for ps3(programmers itch). There are "n" number of UPnP servers but ps3mediaserver stands apart by its property of on the fly transcoding of audio/video files. (Purists not to frown) The transcoder converts the source format to a format which the recieving device(UPnP client like the ps3) understands. Ps3 understands the Divx/Xvid format. So the ps3mediaserver re-encodes the file available on your pc's hard disk and streams the data to the ps3 which in turn goes through the fantastic RSX graphics chip(nvidia) to display an upscaled view of the file on the pc.

The additional bonus is the support for subtitles, which is a boon for the non-english speaking countries to understand movies in their true sense.(Can u feel my adrenaline!). The ps3mediaserver is true to the UNIX, GNU/Linux philosophy which is very simple "Do not re-invent the wheel". Surprised how that applies here? hmmm. Ps3mediaserver makes use of GPLd software like mplayer,mencoder and java to come up with a piped command with a result which is the more than the sum of the individual parts.

So, what was it that did the trick.
1. Disconnnect the internet cable and connect the cable connecting the desktop and the ps3
2. Right click on the network icon in gnome(I am using pinguy os(spin of ubuntu))
3. select edit connections
4. select the card(eth0 or eth1) based on ur connection to the ps3 and click edit
5. Go to the IPv4 tab and select local connection and save it.
6. wait for a few seconds the notifier will tell that now u are connected.
7. start the ps3 media server app(run it from the cmd line or double click on it in gnome and select "run". do not create any short cut. If the program is started with a short cut it fails to load the ps3.conf which will result in an "Unknown renderer" in the status page. Which in turn will show files the ps3 cannot play natively as unknown format.)
8. Go to ur ps3 display screen and voila!!!, there it is, the ps3 media server is listed!!
9. Now connect ur internet cable to its lan card.

Thats it. Start downloading on one side and in the mean time enjoy ur favorite movie at the same time. I love the world. I love freedom software. I love debian and I really enjoyed using pinguyos.

Thank u, all the freedom software developers and supporters. Keep it going.

One more FLOSS "Interested user"!!!!!!!

Yes, It is certainly a happy day. There was an "Interested user" who wants to know more about freedom software. As usual there is a lot of FUD in his mind. There was one more "knowledgeable" user in my organization(H.N. Anandbabu) who took up the cause of coding as the highest priorrity and my "enthusiasm" as negligible or irrelevant. But according to me freedom software requires contribution in terms of code and contribution as much as the enthusiasm from the "users" to use freedom software and to spread awareness about it also.

It is happy to find one more mallu who is interested in freedom software passion in the same organization. It is a known fact that the govt of kerala and LUGs are very active and support FLOSS to the maximum extent compared to other states. But, let us welcome one more passionate FLOSS supporter with open arms in achieving the dreams of Sri RMS of a freedom software world. Now, he seems lost with all the definitions and the complications of freedom software.

My suggestion to any new freedom software enthusiast would be to understand the principles of freedom as defined by Sri M. K. Gandhi. The ideals would match with the propositions of sri RMS relate to software. If that appears to be daunting, then I would recommend them to read the GNU/GPL licence(complete text) starting from version 1 and end with version 3 or the latest. This would give them a knowledge of how the licence has evolved and how the propreitory world has tried means to grab freedom software into its repertoire. If not for the liberal policy of free bsd we would not have an OSX or the OSX would be lot different and would have taken a long time fo apple to come out with modern operating system. If the freebsd kernel was licenesed as per GNU/GPL(linux is) then apple wouldnt have dared to use it since it is the boss of propreitory companies.

I would suggest a visit to and and start using GNU/emacs to really appreciate the efforts of sri RMS. So, will the new freedom user become a freedom software enthusiast, or will his effort be just information, I will keep it posted.

Until then, Enjoy your freedom as long as it exists.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Was 1% the target of Sri RMS

Was 1% of users the target of Sri RMS? Did he envision the Free as in freedom for only 1% of the computer using population? Why am i getting this doubt? The reason for the doubt is that as years are rolling by the number of desktopers using free as in freedom software have not increased in any possible mathematical curves. Yes, there has been lot of activity on the freedom software front to ape windows, osX so as to draw those users to the freedom software front. But I dont think that it is a good idea at all. There are niche users who will use osX at any cost. There are very few users who can tell the same thing about freedom software.

Does it mean that we should be happy at whatever we have achieved and continue to satisfy the loyal customer who are into freedom software at any cost? Yes. We should continue the work which sri RMS has started with the same ideals without any addition or deletion which would dilute the ideals of freedom.

Why is my logic correct. Users are not bothered about the technology behind any product. They are happy until the product serves their needs. They are not bothered whether it is propreitory or free or anything else until their job is done. They are going to go and search for alternatives only when the product ceases to function or it is affecting their other jobs for which the product is intended to. This has happened over many centuries and it is going to happen once again. When it does happen and all the users are chained to propreitory software and these companies start to force the people sit, walk, talk and do all other thing in propreitary ways which will make their life one bored one.

Human civilization has always fought oppression. The fight will happen and the revolution will start and you know the most important thing, the very people who are chaining human civilization with propreitory solutions, themselves, will enable this revolution and then the world, will be once again, FREE

At that juncture the freedom software revoluition will come to the aid of human civilization and stablize it once again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Debian GNU/Linux is "the" distro of the past and the future

We just celebrated the 17th birthday of Debian GNU/Linux about a couple of days ago. Now I come across a post on the public network questioning its relevance in the present world. Debian GNU/Linux is relevant is the present world and also to the future as much as it was in the past. Debian GNU/Linux gets as near to the "free as in freedom Dream OS for the world" envisioned by Sri RMS.

Debian GNU/Linux has stood the test of time over the past seventeen years. A project of such a magnitude having stood the test of time is in itself a magnanimous achievement. This is testament to the ideals for which the distribution has stood for all these years. Debian GNU/Linux is like the "ideal" democratic country. It is very difficult to achieve "ideal" conditions in any issue and if achieved still more difficult to maintain. Debian GNU/Linux is what is today because of its free software ideals and has been led by developers and maintainers who believe in those ideals.

I for one, believe in the ideology of Debian GNU/Linux and would continue using and spreading word about it for anybody who would like to have a "free as in freedom" computing experience.

Long live Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/Kfreebsd

Monday, August 16, 2010

17th Birthday of Debian Gnu Linux

Happy birthday debian. Debian is one of the first distributions to add the GNU/Linux tag to its name. This goes with the argument of RMS to call the entire "Linux" based system as GNU/Linux. It was started with a very clear focus in mind. To deliver an OS which was envisioned by RMS(complete with all the generic applications required for a normal user). The social contract is one of the best drafts I have seen except that of GPL v3 to hold the community together and to have between them a "social" well being. This concept in turn holds the distribution together with around 28,000 packages and counting.

If people thought maintaining the linux kernel was awesome, they should check out the number of developers, document writers, artists etc.. who contribute to the Debian GNU/Linux system. Infact Debian GNU/Linux is a tribute to the social attribute of human beings and is a living proof of the Democratic style of governing(Sri M. K. Gandhi always comes to my mind when I talk about anything related to sri RMS).

Thank u debian for allowing to do what I want with my computer. Thank u for giving me the feeling that I am indeed living in a democratic country with democracy at its heart.

Thanks a lot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Should the ownership of GPL'd code be handed over to FSF

I believe i have answered the question by not using the question mark at the end. I would suggest/appeal to all the free as in freedom software developers, docu writers and all contributors to hand over the ownership of the GPL'd software to the FSF. This would give the FSF a much needed push in fighting any infringements on the freedom software. It would make the individual/group/organization in question to think twice before using the GPL'd code. This in turn would result in them studying the GPL in depth understand it and think whether it suits their style of working or they want to re-invent the wheel.

Users would start appreciating the values hidden in the GPL. You never know there may be freedom software evangelist hiding in that jungle of the corporate world. Giving over the ownership of the freedom software to FSF would be the best option for small time developers/hobby developers who do not want to be bothered with the judicial issues. In this way FSF can develop a much comprehensive freedom software directory, which in turn would stop further freedom developers from re-inventing the wheel by plugging in the available software from the pool maintained by the FSF.

This would also make the entire world to awe at the enormous amount of software with the GPL. Above all, this would make me extremely happy and RMS a proud man.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ignorance of the general public to alternat operating systems

It is an astonishing fact that the major public(my friends, colleagues) are ignorant about the alternate operating systems available. I can quote a few reasons
1. No need to look beyond the windows as majority of their requirements are met
2. Call up the local assembler and re-install the windows in case of viruses.
3. Be ignorant about the virus and assume the Operating systems are such.
4. During their academic journey they did not come across alternate os or even know about it.
5. If they do remember, it maybe for an odd project.
6. They are bothered about the application rather than underlying os.
7. They just use only Office.
8. They dont know that they have paid for the os when they bought their shiny new laptops.
9. They did not pay for the os when they bought their assembled desktops.
10. They dont know that there can be a situation where it can be made difficult for "anybody" to write a virus.

In this context I would like to bring to notice a few remarks I have heard relating to my passion

1. How much are they paying you to put up an advertisement related to GNU/Linux(I have it written on the back of my car and on my doors)
2. Laugh at me for supporting such a small and a foolish reason.
3. Think that the whole thing I am supporting is plain dull.

I have tried many a times to explain things. But to no avail. This does not mean that I am giving up ideologies for "free as in freedom" software world
Infact, seeing this response has spurred a new energy in me and proved to me beyond doubt that RMS is dead right and the free software revolution has
to gain momentum.

Jai Ho RMS.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Giving back to the community

There appear to be innumerable number of distributions built around Debian GNU/Linux. That's good. But are all these distros(spinoffs) giving back anything (at all) to the debian pool. I do not think so.The biggest user ie, Ubuntu has really not given back much to the debian community or to their desktop counterpart, Gnome. There has been a lot of discussion over this aspect over the public network. But for me the crux of the matter is that spinoffs should give back the improvements to the base distros which in turn would strengthen their own base.

This would result in a healthy concept of not "Re-inventing the wheel". It is now public that Apple in the course of developing a new age OS chose a free bsd base with the Mach microkernel which was "free as in freedom" software to come out with Mac os X(ten not X). But how much has been give back is quite obvious by the fact that we do not have a usable GNU/Linux distro with Darwin base. The graphical shell which apple prides and has all the computer illiterates drooling over it is very much a propreitory property. Imagine the state of GNU/Linux distros or GNU/bsd distros if the entire OS X was available with "free as in freedom" licenses. By now Apples os would have been put to shame by the FLOSS developer community by developing their own spins. And with every GNU/Linux droolable nothing would be special.

Majority of the FLOSS developers spend their time in re-inventing the wheel by writing parallel drivers for propreitory ones thereby wasting the valuable soft provess available in the world. This is a call to the entire FLOSS community to avoid re-inventing the wheel by sharing the improvemnts to the base distros. I think the reason for this has been to keep with themselves a USP which would make their own distro stand apart. All the distros would do themselves a lot of good if they started sharign "all" the improvements and continue the "free as in freedom" concept for the future generations to come.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Linux growing old?

I think you should be astonished at the title of the post. why? This time I am talking about just the kernel portion of the GNU/Linux OS. The title question has been asked from the time the Linux kernel was put up for public.(First by Mr. Tannenbaum). The argument was that monolithic kernels are old school and do not make use of the latest features of new age processors like multi-core processors on one die, Bad device drivers bringing the whole OS down etc. You can find more of this over the public network by running your favorite search engine.

Well linux has answered many of the shortcomings which were in its older versions. Runtime Loadable module support has augured well for linux. Symmetric multiprocessing has come of age in the latest kernel versions, though there is continuous improvement on this front. The major cause for rather slow development on many fronts is the lack of attitude of the customers to give back to the kernel project. Many proprietary companies have scaled the linux kernel to many processors. But this work is not given back to the project.

Now I am not the person to talk too technical about the pros and cons of monolithic or micro-kernels. But the multi-core processors of the present day would do well with an OS with the micro-kernel design philosophy. It is the right time to start the development of the GNU/HURD project to provide the users with a true GPL'd micro-kernel OS. This would definitely bring some excitement into the kernel space. I for one request Mr. RMS to kick start the road map to bring the GNU/Hurd project on the right path and complete what he had promised all the Hackers around the world and as a side effect provide GPL enthusiasts like me to continue the enjoyment and freedom of using a free as in freedom "complete" OS with micro-kernel design.

Mr.RMS all the best in all your endeavors. I love you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I am not tired of talking about and reading about GNU/Linux
I liked and disliked the above article. Both at once. Now, how many times do you feel like that!!. I liked the article because there has been lot of duplication of information without adding any value to the original information. I felt bad because there were duplication of information like this which in turn would add value to the original information and would take me ahead where the original article had left.

So, cool down buddy. Dont worry about all the hue and cry. Be happy about the options being given to you to meet your computational needs. Be clear about what you search and once you get enough information(Which,I am confident you will get) forget it. Try to improve the information with whatever you made out from the info upstream.

Thank you Debian GNU/Linux.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Gnu/Linux distro shuold follow the Debian GNU/Linux route

With reference to the following post(, I would like to comment that whatever all GNU/Linux or GNU/BSD distros do I bet that no distro would come closer to whatever Debian GNU/Linux has been or is or will be. Debian GNU/Linux is a big book of "co-operation" for benefit of the entire humanity. Majority of the distros have a more focussed or smaller objective which would in turn support their commercial offerings. In summary the free versions are the testing grounds for the commercial offerings. They are guinea pigs in guise of Floss.

This is where I love Debian GNU/Linux. It has been true in spirit and action to the vision envisioned by RMS(A free as in freedom OS and related apps used by normal users). If users start to use the vanilla versions, then huge corporations are forced to support their hardware on this platform just because of the reach the OS has got. Commercial support will develop around the vanilla version of GNU/Linux. But what is happening is distros are aiming for commercial support first and then build the distro around it. I believe this is bad for GNU/Linux in the long run. An important case where I completely desist is the idea of selling music by ubuntu one. When I recieved 10 cds of ubuntu 5 I was overjoyed at the ideologies of canonical and Mark shuttleworth. I was happy that at least one of the richest men in the world has vowed to help out the poorest in the world.

The popularity of Ubuntu which should be owed to the marketing by canonical and in large to the GNU/Linux community has made canonical to be bullish and as a result are starting to dictate terms to the community. I am not very happy with this improvement. Ubuntu one is serving music but in mp3 format!!!!!!!!!!. This is outrageous. The vorbis format is prooved to be of better quality and smaller size at smaller bit rates. Ubuntu should have been the first to provide music in this format with an option to download mp3s also to whoever are having devices with support for mp3 only. This would have created an environment wherein the device makers would add support to ogg/vorbis format together with licensed codecs like mp3, acc, wma etc. This, I believe is what shuttleworth started out, I think.

So, Mr. shuttleworth, am I right. You owe too much to the GNU land of software and in turn RMS. Wake up Mr. Mark and be a propreitor for GNU/Linux in the true spirit, I gurantee you ROI in terms of happy users and also path breaking financial health in the future. Dont look up to Debian GNU/Linux for only the packages. Look at it for the ethical part of "free as in freedom" philosophy

Sunday, April 11, 2010


After a stressfull April, it was time to head out and chill. My family(wife, son) and my wife's sister's family(husband, son) decided on a week long trip to kodaikal and ooty. But the inspiration and the courage to go on this particular trip was from this travellogue from team-bhp. Excellent travellogue with lots of photographs. I would recommend this travellogue to any body who want to go on a week long trip on this route. Beatiful and informative.

Only the cars used are same. But the route we took was very traditional. It was not as optimistic and detailed as mentioned in the travellogue. The itinerary was bangalore - kodaikanal- ooty - bangalore.
Reached kodai at around 14.30 pm on wednesday 07.05.10
Took rest in the hotel(Hotel TTDC 1650 per room per day)
Went to the lake and took up a pedal boat. Returned just in time before it rained cats and dogs. The lake is neat and less smelly compared to that at ooty. Reach the lake before 5.00 pm. Took a stroll along the lake havin hot bajjis and hot coffee. Went back to the hotel and retired for the day.

Around 10.00 am on 8.5.10 we are ready and drive towards palini(Go back on the same route and take a u turn-indicated on the way), coimbatore, mettupalyam, coonore and finally towards ooty. Reached charring cross around 6.30 pm and booked a hotel (hotel managed by the co-operative bank. It is behind the bank, 10 steps from the charring cross on the commercial street) 1350 per room per day. Rooms were fantastic with spacious verandas, halls, bathrooms and one of the room was equipped with an lcd tv!!!. Had non-veg at a restaurant run by a muslim keralite(very good non-veg except for the biryaanis)

10.00 am on 9.5.10 Doddabetta, tea factory, chocloate factory, Rose garden.
9.00 am on 10.5.10 stinky lake and boating, dashing cars. Lots and lots of people.
1.30 pm start to pykara falls. But lose it on the way and head towards mysore and then bangalore.

See to it that your car is in good shape. It has to take on a number of hair pin curves especially from ooty towards bangalore. Central(remote) locking was a problem. It was like locking a Maruti 800. Otherwise, a fantastic trip. Nature rocks!!!!!. Hope we keep it that way.

"Other OS" option to be removed from "fat ps3s" also!!!!!!(END)

Well the big corporations have won the battle. Sony has gone ahead and disabled the other os option from fat ps3's. Users have been treated as a piece of shit. From various posts all over the public network I have users divided over this issue. I have come across a majority of users bothered and shocked about the ability to run a full fledged OS on their console. They want to hide their ignorance by ignoring this aspect. The same lot will wake up when other non-technical options are deleted from the ps3 like disable the Blu ray movies play back(Well, did you think it is impossible!!!), disable the media server option(SECURITY reasons can be qouted once again), Disable the remaining USB ports(SECURITY, once again), So what u have is a dumb game console. No user in his right mind would have bought the ps3 without requiring any of the options mentioned above. The user base which has turned a blind eye towards the removal of other os option, should just watch out.

I appeal to the entire user base of ps3 to REVOLT against the "feature disabling" steps taken by sony. We bought the ps3 for a specific option beyond its gaming abilities. If it is the question about gaming only then there are plenty available with cheaper games on the anvil.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Other OS" option to be removed from "fat ps3s" also!!!!!!

Now, this is the news i hated to hear. While Sony was selling the last remains of its fat ps3's it made a statement that whoever has access to the fat ps3s will continue to enjoy the benifits of "other os" option. I rushed to the showroom and bought one right away. Now sony is going back on its words. I heard on slashdot and then went to the official blog to find out that sony, indeed is rmoving the other os option. This is back stabbing and non-existence of any ethics. Now, that is the danger of proprietory systems. We are at the mercy of the manufacturer. I paid 20 grand only for the joy of installing GNU/Linux on the ps3. Kernel hackers have put a lot of effort in making the platform ready for installing GNU/Linux. It is upto the point that there have been spins of GNU/Linux distros tailormade especially to the ps3.

I have the ps3 connected to a full HD LCD TV. this set up doubles as a gaming hub as well as a SOHO setup. I detest this move by sony. It is my right in doing so because I bought the console with the support for installing other os. I appeal to all the buyers and users of ps3 to join together in revolt against this move by sony.

The vulnerabilites discovered because of the other os option is one in many. This vulnerability can be patched from time to time. The developmental effort would be mininal. Since sony is not trying to improve or open up any other feature of the ps3 through developmental efforts related to the hypervisor, the decission is childish and does not smell of any sanity at all. I , as a customer would like SCE to reconsider the decission. I do not want sce to improve the other os interface at all. Instead live that portion of the hypervisor alone and try to improve the other aspects related to gaming.

SCE, please keep the "OTHER OS" option in the ps3 "forever". Let me add that, I LOVE THE PS3.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

rotating the screen, tablet mode tx1301au(tx1000 family)

Rotation of the screen on my laptop did not work with evtouch drivers. The touch screen configuration would go haywire and result in a crazy screen, unusable for any normal use.
With the binary(non-free) Xorg driver from nvidia's website and Touchkit driver from eeti's website the rotation worked perfectly. To use the laptop as a tablet rotate the touchscreen and latch it. Go to the gnome menu system-preferences-nvidia X server settings and then click on Xscreen0. select one of the rotation arrows based on your requirement and there it is, you have a touch surfboard.

I am still on the look out for good handwriting input apps. Hang on.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

grub2 = grub1 + Zing!!!!!!!!

Grub2 is an excellent re-write of my favorite boot loader. I have booted GNU/Linux from linloader(remember the real mode dos based win98 boot loader which would erase all traces of windows in the ram and replace it with the GNU/Linux kernel and boot to "freeedom"), lilo, an excellent boot loader before it was sidelined by Grub(I did like lilo to start with). With grub editing boot loader configuration is so easy as just editing the menu.lst with my favorite editor(os), emacs. No commands to run to update the configuration info, just plainly edit the menu.lst to meet the requirement. The caveats i experienced was setting backgrounds, limitation in resolution and format of the backgrounds.

The caveats have been resolved in grub2. I loved all the extra freedom I got with it. I loved it.
So what did I do to the default grub.cfg file which was auto-generated during a squeeze install?
1. added the following code to grub.cfg to boot windows. Though grub2 recognized the windows partition it did not put an entry into grub.cfg

menuentry "Windows XP" {
set root=(hd0,1)
chainloader +1

2. change the background. find the line with if background_*** and replace it with the path to your favorite image, preferably background_image /usr/share/images/desktop-base/brushedgnu.png Be careful with the resolution of the image. It has to suit capability of your display and the video adapter.

3. Change the resolution of the splash screen. This and the background should have the same resolution.
set gfxmode=1280x800

4. change the resolution of your console. This can be done by
set gfxpayload=1024x768
The max resolution available in console mode can be found out by running "vbeinfo" from the grub prompt(press esc key during the splash screen)

That is it. This will make you happy about grub2 and the beautiful splash screen will have you and your friends drool over it. Thanks again to all the Free software developers and the users who really make my endeavour into free software land ever more interesting and beautiful.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Debian squeeze on HP tx1301 au(tx1000 family)(contd 2)

Well, Now I have a complete Debian GNU/Linux setup on my tx1301. Am I pleased? Very much. But this is short lived. A GNU/Linux enthusiast doesnt end at that. Now I wanted to beatify my desktop a bit. Where to start?

1. Wall papers A plethora of wallpapers available with GNU/Linux as theme. Download and apply the wallpaper which identifies your identity(freedom).
2. Login themes These identify you and your notebook to the tee. Choose them very carefully so that they exactly match your persona and your attitude. Many are available over the public network. Go ahead you are "free" to choose and express yourself.
3. Now for a little hard work. Before your login screen your laptop will present itself with the grub screen. Now let us see how to change the grub background.
a. search for "gfxmode" (without qoutes). and replace the line with "set gfxmode=1280x800", depending on the capability of your notebook.
b. search for "gfxpayload"(previously vga= in grub1). and replace the line with "set gfxpayload=1024x768". This setting will be used for the framebuffer or this will determine the resolution in your console mode when you switch to virtual consoles. To find out the max resolution supported by your framebuffer run "vbeinfo" from grub console(press esc key when presented with the grub menu)
c. Take your favorite background and scale it to the resolution of "gfxmode" and save it in png format, using what? ofcourse The GIMP.
d. search for " if background_image ...." and replace it with "if background_image=/path/to/backgroundfile.png
e. If you want to save as jpeg format add insmod jpeg before the line mentioned in point 3.d

More in the coming days.... By the way If you have a multicore processor under the hood then install mplayer-mt from This is a multithreaded mplayer wherein decoding is carried out by all the processor cores.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Debian squeeze on HP tx1301 au(tx1000 family)(contd)

To compile the latest kernel download the latest kernel source from and download the config files from These are extracted from official Debian kernels. Load this config file and hack the kernel config to your hardware requirements. Compile the kernel and then there were no problems related to hard disks and alsa drivers. The config from debian/GNU Linux project is fantastic.

Install the latest binary driver from Nvidia, 195 series(for the lates graphics hardware). It installs without any problems.

Install xcompmgr to enable basic composting. This is enough for GNOME DO. I am a big fan of GNOME DO and cannot stop craving about how the GNOME project has increased the keyboard friendliness for GNU/Linux. I appeal to the GNOME project to innovate in small but effective ways similar to the DO and not to aim an overhaul.

Oh man, Do I love the freedom of free software!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Debian squeeze on HP tx1301 au(tx1000 family)

This is a log of installation of Debian squeeze on HP tx 1301 au notebook.

1. Installation is a no problem issue.
2. During installation after the network configuration is over remove the internet connection. so that software packages are not downloaded from any mirrors. There seems to be a dependency problem which fails the installation.
3. Install the software from cd and dvds.

(The name of the tar.gz file may change when a new version is released, change accordingly).
mkdir -p .mozilla/plugins
Move the extracted .so file to the plugin directory:
Restart firefox. Go to about:plugins to see if it’s enabled

compile a new kernel.
First compiled a 2.6.30, too many bugs related to the disks, noveau driver and alsa drivers(hda-intel). Two to three days wasted in recognizing this.
Compile a kernel with the default config file provided with debian squeeze. My laptop has a AMD turion x2 64 bit processor. So all the cd images downloaded were of amd64 arch.
This is the first time I am using the 64 bit capabilities of my laptop since I purchased this laptop two years ago.

blacklist the wacom and pcspkr modules in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

I couldnt get the evtouch driver to work with the latest versions. zenity is giving lot of
errors. But the initial hick up of consisted event numbers can be solved as below.
create a file 65-consistent-touch.rules in /etc/udev and add the below line in it
KERNEL=="event*",ATTRS{name}=="eGalax*", SYMLINK+="input/mytouch"

change the name of the hplj****.rules to hplj**** so that these rules dont start at boot time

synaptic touchpad fails to respond to tapping or scrolling actions hence, run the following two commands to immediately make it work:

modprobe -r psmouse
modprobe psmouse proto=imps

To make this change permanent, create a file such as touchpad.conf under /etc/modprobe.d/, and put the following line in it:

options psmouse proto=imps

delete the wacom driver from /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/. More better is not to build the wacom driver.

To boot to windows in grub2. Though grub2 identifies the windows partition it fails to add the necessary configuration to the /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Add the following three lines to the grub.cfg file

menuentry "Windows XP/vista" {
set root=(hd0,1)
chainloader +1
} working with nvidia binary driver, lesser hard disk freeze and no alsa problems

Since evtouch drivers did not work I used the propreitory drivers from eeti's website.
Download Touchkit64 extract and run as root.
comment out the below lines
Install xorg-input-mouse package to provide, which will be removed during installation.

Dont forget to install both GNOME and KDE. Debian's implementation of KDE 4 is on par or better than other distributions. The screen looks beautiful.

It was an enjoyable week. Thanks to all the developers of the GNU land for giving me food for thought and consistently. Thank U guys. I will update the blog with any other info I remember.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jobless feelings

How does it feel to be jobless?
Now, why did this topic come up at this juncture? why does this come in between musings related to free software? Are they related ? NO!!!!!!!!!!.

I just remembered the days I finished my Diploma and the adjacent days after my Engineering degree. They were HELL!!!!!. You are ridiculed. Whatever you do will be seen in bad light.You play a computer game and friends and parents look at you as though you have lost it(?). You cannot watch TV. You cannot go to the cinemas. You cannot crack a joke. You cannot have a point of view. You cannot ask for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Your brother will look down on you. None of your ideas are honored or even heard. Ok, Ok that is enough. I believe everybody agrees with me on all the topics above.

Can something be done about it? Is there a step by step procedure to minimize the sinking feeling. Is there a book titled "Zen of happiness during joblessness"? NOooooooooo. Who would stand by you in the real sense? who would help you out without much complications? who would help you without any expectations on ROI? who would? YES, your real "Friend" and your "Mother".

Other solutions(Impossible ones) include decreasing your credit balance, decreasing your loans and try to save a little as emergency cash and of course be good to your friends and honor your mother as much as possible.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

open standards for online video and audio distribution

The online world is in a tizzy discussing about (the death) flash(propreitory) video format and the emergence of H.264 codec (both based on mpeg4 standards). Reference to this excellent article I urge google and the entire community using the public computer network to embrace open standards. What good would be flash without the standards (mpeg4) on which it is based was not made public.

I appeal to Google to please make open the codec on2-vp8 for public use. This would result in humongous use of the codec and also competition to develop excellent encoders and decoders which in turn would increase the use of the codec. This would in turn put an end to the dependence of the people using the web to depend on propreitory codecs and would thereby increase the video content on the web from developing countries which cannot afford the royalties for the encoding of video in the propreitory format.

Google, pls stand up and open the codec for public use.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Firefox "Internet is a public Network"

Mozilla firefox is one of my favorite software which runs on my favorite OS Debian GNU/Linux. The licensing is very similar to GNU GPL(To be exact, mozilla public license). It has "freed" many users from many of the viruses which were exploiting the many....many exploits in the IE browser and its respective OS. It runs on a variety of OSs including a recent version for mobile phones. The developer network is very large and hence the plugins are very huge in number.

The quality of the software is excellent owing to fact that the source code available is available freely. This in turn allows for quicker patching of any exploits. over its life cycle it has become a mature software with a record number of downloads on various platforms.

I thank all the developers for providing me with a browser which is not controlled by any propreitory group but developed by developers around the world and "gleefully" used by users around the world which once again makes the developers happy and improve the browser further. I am typing this right now on "Iceweasal", the unbranded version of firefox for debian GNU/Linux and I am extremely pleased with "free as in freedom" software.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GNU/Linux based mobile phones

I am a proud owner of a Motorola a1200(Motoming) purchased around 3 years ago. The purpose of buying it: It runs on GNU/Linux. True to the GPL regulations motorola put up the linux kernel sources on their web site. Touchscreens which has caught the fancy of the "Now" generation has to owe a little to this good looking phone. The ming had a touch screen 320 X 240 with support for java games. The main reason for buying it is many apps were ported to this phone from the GNU stable. I could find an optimized mplayer(Zmplayer), Terminal app which gave me root access to the entire phone system and a plethora of others with a Rockbox port also!!!!.

All these things were reason enough for me to buy the phone. I cherish my phone because of its "Open" nature allowing me to install apps which I require from the free software world. I would like to thank all the developers who have created apps for this wonderful phone. If motorola would have observed a pattern then there would be no need for it to wait for one year without releasing a single model of their phone and then going to the search giant(Android) for re-birth. Motorola used the GNU land but did not identify the potential (nor did montavista ).

Once again thanks to all the developers and users who have patronised and continue to do so: the wonderful GNU land of software and ideologies.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Propreitary food

Now, This was something new to me, Propreitary food. I like chips which are baked not fried. These days the market is flooded with chips baked, for the health conscious. But I dont think that it is difficult to find out the ingredients which go into making these chips. Maybe we may notget the "taste" factor closest but it will be close enough for any competitor to fish out his own variant may be, with a different catch phrase. I do not know the consequences if somebody had propreited the method to cook rice!!!!!!!!!!

This does not hold same for propreitary software. It is very difficult to reverse engineer software. This is not re-inventing the wheel, Instead it is going back to the neanderthal age and then proceed towards the age when the wheel was invented. This is wastage of valuable energy which, would have been spent improving the software and take it to the next level of usefulness. It is time the users started asking the makers to ask for what they want instead of using whatever is thrown at them. It is not advisable for software makers to dictate terms to the users which in turn would hide their incapability in improving or providing software "Required" by the user. Most of the industries is now driven by the "Users requirement" except for the software industry which is held at ransom by people with narrow views with a notion that people are idiots and they do not want to learn. The propreitory companies are responsible in providing the users a candyfloss front end with no way to make mistakes which in turn stops the process of "Thinking" which is vital for human existence and persistence on this planet.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Basically, what is "Free software" as envisioned by RMS

Here are four requirements that
-- according to the Free Software Foundation( -- determine whether or
not software is free:

1. Users are free to use the program(source code and executable) for any purpose.
2. Users are free to examine the source code to see how it works.
3. Users are free(can sell it gratis or sell it for a price) to distribute the program(source code and executable) to others.
4. Users are free to improve the program(source code and executable). The changes done in the original source code also have all the four freedoms(including point 4)

If a license provides all those freedoms, the FSF considers the
software covered by that license to be free software.

There are many different licenses which contain all the above four points but also go ahead and give freedom w.r.t cost and the changes mentioned in point 4 do not carry the freedom which the original had ie, Anybody changing the source for improving it or for any other purpose need not give the changes back to the community. for eg the BSD licence(Apple has "GLEEFULLY" used in their OS X since it has point 1, 2, 3). But GPL does not talk about the cost factor. GPL is more about free as in "Free speech", Not as in "Free beer"(binary freeware or shareware etc).

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Start using GNU/Linux, NOW

Well, If any body had any doubts regarding the Positive energy which "Free as in free software" has to deliver to the public at large then I would first of all refer to the link mentionedhere.

The time is now ripe to try out any of the GNU/Linux distros. Please go through the internet to check the plethora of distributions out there. A good starting point would be You can also try out the GNU/BSD systems which are now ready for desktop use. The licensing of these systems are easier than the GNU/Linux systems. But let me make it clear that the "near public domain" nature of BSDs are the way to go. This sort of licensing made Apple to develop an eye candy OS with a tried and tested backdrop of BSD

You know, when it comes to issues related to "licensing" I have to be so careful, so that some multi-trillion dollar enterprise f**s me in some court of some foreign country where the licensing rules are most favorable.

After reading the link in the beginning, I would like to refer the interested user to this link This is a must read for any human before trying to use any GNU/Linux or GNU/BSD distros. This is because majority of the software will be "copylefted" with GNU GPL and there may be binary blobs(propreitary) like NVIDIA GLX drivers which the user may install at a later stage.

Copyright- Take away all the rights from the user. Command him to submission
Copyleft - Give all the rights and also few responsibilities to the user. command him to see to it that the subsequent users also follow the rights and responsibilities. This is to see to it that the hard work doesnt end up in some binay blob.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Gimp

The Gimp is for GNU/Linux what Photoshop is for windows users. The similarity ends there. The Gimp is central to any complete GNU/Linux distribution. It completes the distro with Open for home users and for users spending their life on the public network. The Gimp is central to the GNOME desktop environment since its libraries were used profusely in it. The Gimp is a little crypted to start with but once the users get the hang of it, its mighty productive. There are many tutorials available on the internet to get you started. If you are in India then my favorite mag(monthly) "Linux for You" is providing tutorials to use The Gimp for the past couple of months.

The Gimp is true to the "Free as in Freedom" vision of RMS and is under constant development. Microsoft Windows users also rejoice because The Gimp is ported to the Windows platform also and distributed under the GNU GPL licence. I would suggest The Gimp to any casual Home user which would consist of touching up the photos here and there upto the most artistic rendering of your photographs. Please do give it a try and spread the word if you liked it. If you are a programmer and like digital photography lend a hand in improving it by helping the developers

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Programming in curriculum of India

It is high time that we change our curriculum to reflect the rapid strides happening in the FLOSS arena. We now have a kernel(Linux) with pre-emptive multitasking, loadable module support and running on everything from mobiles to super computers. We have the kernels from the BSD stable which have optimizations based on their application(free bsd oriented towards the server market, PC BSD oriented optimized for the desktop, Open BSD for the security paranoid etc..), We have Minix written specifically for teaching. But unlike the other OS, Minix is a micro-kernel which is now in its 3rd version with lot of apps ported from the GNU userland. I sure liked the basic concept of it and am looking forward to its most practical application in the form of GNU Hurd which is again micro-kernel being developed by the free software foundation with volunteers around the world.

The curriculum should now move from teaching "UNIX", to a more practical Linux/BSD/Minix etc which would in turn produce developers and hackers required for continuing the legacy of RMS and to make GNU/Hurd see the light of the day. GNU/Hurd would be the most apt kernel for anybody thinking of doing a project on Operating systems. Instead of re-inventing the wheel that is, writing a monolithic kernel from scratch, It is better to bring up an Operating system which would bring radical changes in the way OSs are viewed. The curriculum in India and elsewhere should be oriented towards making the students learn the past and to instill a vision oriented towards knowing the un-known.They should be given confidence to step into unchartered territory. In summation an "Itch" is to be created in every student which when satisfied will help the mankind in a larger way.

For a generic discussion about FLOSS in education

Monday, February 8, 2010

Open and India

Open is the office suite developed by community for use as "Free as in freedom". This office suite started its life from star office (sun microsystems). As of date this suite is capable of opening files saved in Microsoft Office 2007 format. is the perfect document suite for developing countries like India. Why?
1. It is licensed under the GNU GPL
2. It is in sync with the latest ODF format(more about this format later)
3. Best for teaching office suites in schools and colleges who cannot afford the royalty for paid office suites.
4. The curriculum in Indian schools requiring the teaching of office suites should be as generic as possible. That is students should be taught "Office suites", Not M***Office.
5. Since source code is available freely it might ignite the minds of students to alter the suite. This is how many FLOSS apps have been written, ie, to satisfy "itch" of a programmer.
6. It runs on GNU/Linux and GNU/BSD making it a no-cost and no-royalty option and puts a stop to piracy.
7. The interface is very similar to M***Office which makes the migration very easy whenever required.
8. Fantastic support from the user and developer community.

I appeal to the governments of all the developing countries to and all their representatives to please consider this option and save tax payer's money. The same money can be used to hire developers to customize and to further fuel its development.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Debian GNUs /Linux such long name for an OS

Is it a long name for an OS? Well, that just shows the teams involved in bringing the free Operating system to main stream use. Let us take one by one.
1. Debian is a community effort in putting together the other two team that is, GNU/Linux into a nice "little" package(The number of apps available ever increasing. Right now Lenny occupies five DVDs or one Blue ray disc!!!) complete with installers, configuration files, partition tools and others which make all the apps gel together.
2. GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNUs Not Unix". It was started by RMS as a complete operating system complete with all the regular apps required for any computer user. It was to be based on Unix. GNU/Hurd the kernel was started with a micro-kernel approach a la minix. But the project is still in alpha stage. But the apps are now available in plenty. So RMS has completed one of his objectives. the kernel issue was filled up by Linux. All the apps which are a part of GNU project is called the "GNU user land".
3. Linux is the kernel now being used by the GNU project since Hurd is still not ready. Linux is the core of the free operating system. It is a monolythic kernel unlike any other since it has loadable modules support. process mgmt, Device access, file operations, memory management etc are carried out by the kernel. The kernel is the portion which makes the user apps not bother about how memory is managed or how processes are created.

So now we see that we need all the three teams to collaborate closely with each other to successfully produce the "Free" operating system which any user can use without any licencing problems associated with other copyrighted OS. So start using any of the GNU/Linux flavors and taste the real meaning of freedom.
In the next blog we will see how Debain Gnu/Linux can be Debian GNU/kbsd or Debian GNU/Hurd.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Debian-The Universal operating system

I have been using Debian GNU/Linux from the days of "Woody" ie, v3.0. I am amazed at the size of the project in terms of the collaborators, the humongous numbers of developers, beta testers and die hard followers. The philosophy of "Release when ready" rather than "Timed release" puts the Operating system in a different league. This path taken by the debian team is detested by many users who want to have the bleading edge applications which are not stress-tested.

Debian tries to satisfy the cutting edge followers by alowing them to install testing/unstable(beta/alpha stage). But it is my sincere advice to stick with the stable distribution with any available backports provided by the community.If any hardware is not supported then it is better to compile the latest stable kernel with the necessary drivers thereby having latest hardware support plus the stability of applications used. Its been five years since I started using this ultimate community OS and every day of its use increases my love towards it and gratitude to the hackers around the world for building such a fantastic operating system true to the principles of RMS.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Free as in Freedom

The meaning of freedom is vastly misused and misunderstood by many. But not by Mr. M. K. Gandhi or R. M. Stallman. They clearly understood the meaning of "freedom" in its entirety and never compromised on its different levels. Freedom had to be re-told as "Poorna swaraj" in the Indian context. I would translate it as "Complete freedom", though not exactly the same. They are the same in the feelings felt by both the great people.
I have understood freedom exactly after I started using the Debian GNU/Linux(More on this long name later).The freedom to choose what I want, what suits me, what interests me, what inspires me, what I know is right, what I adore, what I comprehend. For the first time I had options(once again, freedom), I felt like I was one among the universe. If all this is too much then I would recommend you to and go through the GNU GPL ver 1 through 3.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vision of RMS

Typing this on a debian lenny system gives me utmost happiness.
RMS has succeeded in creating an operating system. In fact he has
created "Nature" which will evolve by itself and give users a free as in
freedom operating system and the related apps without any specific terms
and conditions. I thank RMS for his vision and consistently standing by it
including his boycott of coca-cola products. I am happy to be
a GNU/Linux/BSD enthusiast.

movie pan's labyrinth

Fantastic film that. With subtitles in english streamed via my ps3 media server
on a 47" screen, fabulous. We are right now in a time of technological nirvana.
beautiful visuals, good background score, good acting by the protogonist and
excellent direction and special effects. Great movie. Must watch for any

PS3 media server

Huge thanks going to all the developers of the PS3 media server. I can now
watch all my favourite movies iwith amazing clarity on my LG47LH35. I love the
PS3 system as a whole and its basic funda being "the entertainment box".
The only problem I faced is with the subtitles being displayed large. The correction would be to enable the font config check box and disable the check box on the left of it.and rename the
font file with exactly the same name as the video file and both should be in
the same folder. The PS3 media server would stream both the video and the
subtitles beatifully. A font size of 2 would be ample which otherwise would
disturb the viewing experience.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My first log

Well, Here iam with my first log. This log would be related to Debian on my
desktop, tablet and my family.