Friday, June 24, 2005

Blogger now host photos too!!

This is cool feature I was waiting for long time. Check it our urself by clicking the button between spellchecking and eraser.

Going home again ;-)

Sometime in future I would recall Summer of 2005, those were the best days of my life. These summers have been going great till now.
Firstly my sister's marriage took place on 9th May 2005 and I went home for 2 weeks. That complete trip was just superb.
Then, I got another chance to go home. Yep I am going home again on 25 June, yep tomorrow. Well its just 5 days trip but I am hoping it would be a great trip.
Coming to other happenings I just met someone special today. Would write about it in details later. And also today we finished our BS project with satisfaction of Dr. Vishal. I should be writing a detail entry about the project later (we did do some good work there).
Also I have got in to some great company of developers on this Digikam project. I am not participating much but yet those guys are just great to talk and share ideas and learn from. I am getting more and more memorable events/happenings to jot down should write a complete year roundup blog sometime.

Un rencontre apres 4 ans...

C'est mon premier blog en français. Aujourd'hui j'ai rencontré un amie à moi après 4 ans. C'était une petite réunion mais après un temps et une attente très longs. Elle a changé beaucoup et elle n'est pas la même fille enfantine que j'ai rencontré il y a 4 ans. Je n'ai pas aimé le changement beaucoup.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Four years ago!

This post comes totally unexpectedly. It just happened that a girl who is trying to get admission in to IIIT PG was sitting with her father next to us in the mess. (I have to blog this event as presence of my friends Aiwa and Dixit made it worth writing/remembering).

Well we were just talking amongst ourselves when the girls' Father, lets say Mr, X asked me, what course I am doing here? I told him M.S then he asked MS Vs. MTech and also that regular questions anyone who is new to this MS thing (It happened a lot when I met my relatives) has. At the end the girl asked about placements and Dixit replied "Don't worry for placements, take the field of your choice and take admission here".

When the both of them have left(Mr. X and his duaghter) we remembered the scene 4 years ago, when we came here for admissions. Things have changed so much that remembering old time is hard. But still some things were remembered, how most of us were not sure about joining IIIT, Aiwa recalled happily that had he not made this decission to join IIIT he would have been mining in Dhanbad( well thats a phrase to say ur rank in IIT JEE was around 2000). For me too it was a tough decission actually on the day of my admission here I came to know about my selection in Dhirubhai Ambani's DA-IICT. Then the confussions arose. All kinds of discussions went among the parents who were sitting with my father on those seats. Finally I was told that I was the last number to be taken in, I gladly accepted the admission.

It's hard to recall the situation completely, but that was a tough one. Well what happened b4 we came here: As expected I didn't get a call from IIT and Roorkee it was 1559 and against all expectations I didn't get a chance to take any field there and then came DCE 565, Papa and I went there and against our expectations the admissions closed at 240( the prev year they went till 917 for civil) foofed badly I took courage to ask papa about going to Kota again. (don't exactly remember how he reacted)) we came back home and I was not sure what to do. I was probably gonna wait till PET results and join PET if I got any good college. But then one day came IIIT Hyderabad's telegram. They just wrote we have some seats left ur waiting number is 161(i.e rank 661), I recalled that number of seats were just 500 and thought we were just going to have something similar to DCE trip. But Papa was hopeful, and we came here...

This college was just a newly born institute and they had not yet been recognized by the UGC to give a B. Tech or B.E degree. The discussions and debated continued untill one day we had a declaration that IIIT was declared a deemed university. Before that annoucement I had got to know that I was ranked 285 in MPPET. Though I didn't knew much about it but somehow computers as a stream was fixed in my mind. It feels great to realize that our decission four years ago came so fruitful.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

M$: The FUD company

I don't know if I will ever we able to change my impression of Microsoft (Majji said that), but it seems more and more inevitable with the regular FUD tactics by this company. Today I read this article at slashdot and my inner-self hinted me that the study must be supported(Funded) by Microsoft (and it turns out it is). The articles describes a test in which they proved Windows Server 2003 outperforming Apache and Redhat Linux. This tests validity has not been questioned till nowbut the history is an interesting read.

I do regularly follow news about all the get the fact crap and FUD that M$ continues to spread spending $'s in it. I have never come across a NON MS funded report praising M$ perfomance over Linux Server. Did I also hear that SCO case was somehow related to this company? Grow Up M$! try making better software, you can refer to Linux's or other software's open source code for that :-) don't spend time in doing BC. You know IBM is gonna start the reverse process, if you don't stop.

I don't really think except of money anything would make a person work for such a company, and as better companies come up people are leaving from this company.
And I know this question gonna come, so let me answer in advance. I won't consider applying to M$ for a JOB. There are much better companies to apply for now.

Friday, June 17, 2005

RPMBuild using a source rpm

Disclaimer: This is just description of what I did for my purpose and what worked for me, if you need actual documentation see here. Anyways correction over some wrong understanding of the process are most welcome.

Digikam developers told me that FC3 was a 'broken distro' with regards to KDE development. Their basic suggestion is to change the distro for development to Suse, Mandrake(iva), Gentoo, Debian etc. The problem in KDE developement in FC3 is that the debug message like kdDebug and kdprintf (?) were patched up by FC3 KDE packagers to disable console printing. This will of course create lot of problem to the developers.

When I asked for an easier solution of this kdDebug problem( I was hopeful that changing some .h file in kde includes might help as changing the kdemacros.h did in case of visibility="visible" bug of kde 3.3.0-5), but it was not that simple. Renchi told me that I can get it to work by downloading source rpms of kdelibs removing the kdDebug patch and building those rpms. For an instant I felt why shouldn't I better install some other distro itself as all this seems to be very risky, in the sense of updating KDELibs which must be very important for KDE.

Finally I had to do what Renchi suggested, I downloaded the src rpm from rpmfind and proceeded as follows(mostly taking help of Renchi on IRC):[ I refer to rpm as kdelib.src.rpm ignoring the actual version number]
$ rpm2cpio kdelib.src.rpm > kdelibs.src.cpio
$ mkdir kdelib; cd kdelib;
$ mv kdelibs.src.cpio kdelib
$ cpio -i < kdelibs.src.cpio
#this unpacked the archive in to a bunch of .diff .patch and a single tar.bz2 file
Then edited kdelib.spec file to comment the line containing
#Patch2: kdelibs-3.0.0-ndebug.patch

and later a set of lines refering to Patch2 in a if else condition.
#%if %{debug} == 0

#%patch2 -p1 -b .debug
#%endif

Now I didn't go through much of what the documentation on site said as I was in hurry. I did.
$ cd ..
$ cp kdelib/* /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES;
$ cd kdelib
$ rpmbuild -ba kdelib.spec
and then things happened for some 2.5 hours or so on my decent hardware(Athlon 2800, 512 MB RAM). Finally I had 3 kdelibs.rpm(basic, devel and debug) ready in /usr/src/redhat/RPMS
I just installed them using the command

$ rpm -Uvh /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/kdelibs*.rpm
Thats all, I now have kdDebug working on my system.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

My Review for Motorola A768i


I recently purchased Motorola A768i phone. I wanted to use it for some time before I gave a review so now the time may be perfect, I have used it for around 2 weeks.
[update: The volume issue is solved, the side keys do change volume, thanks vishnu, although I had learnt that already from the manual.]
To make is easy to read I categorize the review in to these categories.

(holding it like those TOI images;-))
Design & Hardware:

Merits:
  • I liked the design mostly. Considering the device has a weight of 120 grams, its packed quite well in to a slim body.
  • The flip works well. It automatically switches off the phone display on closing it.
  • The display screen size is quite good for most practicle purposes.
  • One of the side buttons allow you to see the time/battery/signal strength keeping the flip closed. That is a cool nature.
  • The loudspeaker functionality is great.
  • The memory(58 MB user space) look sufficient for most practicle purposes.
Demerits:
  • The worst thing with this phone is the BATTERY. It drains out very fast.
  • I feel the hard reboot key is not suitably places at there are chance of it getting pressed accidenly when kept in your pocket.
  • Although I haven't felt the need of a key pad. I read somewhere that application requiring key board input are not usable with this phone.
  • The camera looks excessively bad in quality. Not only its resolution is small (320x240) the photos look dark( for some unknown reasons). For any photography freak this sucks.
Software:
Merits:
  • This phone host Linux which was one great reason for me to buy it. I wanted a Linux PDA for long.
  • Supports Linux/JAVA applications. ( I have tried neither of them)
  • Bluetooth/Ir/USBLAN based sharing are great feature for sending data to and fro from PC to phone and phone to phones.
  • Music formats supported are : amr and mp3 (default player), Video Formats supported are: 3gp
  • Moreover you can set any music file as ringtone. So you can save money you had to spent for downloading ringtones from your service provider.
  • Full screen display is supported with video. and Audio player works well even after flip is closed(this is intitutive but even then it is good).
  • Some usefull apps like File manager, Calender, Alarm, Notepad, and most importantly Pixcel browser are provided. Picsel browser may not have a very intitutive GUI but the functionalities are great, I can easily read HTML files with western-characters.
  • Contact book is more or less good.
  • Multitasking works well, you can open many apps at same time. You can note down something while talking to someone on the same phone!!!
Demerits:
  • The default media player application is not good. Real player should have been a great replacement.
  • Again Real Media format support would have been great.
  • I am not sure but sometimes I feel the speakers don't work well. (something is buggy will verify and write it in details),
Overall I am satisfied with my cellphone, except for its battery. I would like to see motorola improving its reputation in terms of battery power.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Samsung Miniket.. A Nice Device to have with

The Device is one of the coollest one I have seen. Any computer geek would simply love to have this one. Don't know about others.



Well what's to great.
1) Diskless Camcoder (720x480 resolution video up to 1 Hr)
2) Digital Camera (800x600 shots, 10X zoom)
3) MP3 Player
4) Storage Device (USB connectivity and 256MB/512MB/1GB space options)
5) Webcam
6) Voice Recorder

And the greatest thing...
UCLinux in the backend.

For details: http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT7933085076.html

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Sony too entering Linux devices market?

From Slashdot:
PlayStation 3 HDD to ship with Linux!

Gamespot.com is reporting that Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, has disclosed in an interview that PlayStation 3 will natively run Linux. In fact, it will come bundled with it, if you purchase the HDD peripheral.

Now my wishes seems to be coming true. Why not a combination of a Cell processor(2-3 TFlops) with a mobile device running Linux inside. That should be the best smartphone+pda I can imagine. Should sony put more technology and make something as good as PSP(playstation portable) , but with size bit reduced and phone technology embedded, wont it be a killer device.

Waiting for an annoucement of Sony's entry to Linux PDA/Phones market.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Finished reading ...The Da Vinci Code...

Its a great book. The book is really well written and looks very enlightening and surprizing to me atleast.
I was not very happy to hear from Ranjith and Jagmohan that most of the facts (or whatever) in this books are not proven and they are just interpretation by Dan but even then they mostly look sound and logical.
Anyways happy to finish one more book( I am really bad at reading novels), not planing to start any big one for quite some time now. [update: Thanks to Imran for pointing my typo]

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Using Digital Camera with Linux

I recently bought( or say got) a Kodak DX7590. 5MP camera. I will review that later. But the point of this post is that I am able to dump photos to my Fedora Core 3 box without any extra installation or compilation or rather say any hack. Just plug and play, you might say.

This article http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/pub/a/linux/2005/01/06/digicam.html
which seems to have been written just 4 days ago by Robert Bernier worked as my guide. It a good read. To summarize I will just put down the basic commands.

gphoto2 --auto-detect ;# to see if your camera got recognized.

gphoto2 --list-cameras ;See the list of supported cameras (similar cameras shud also work)
gphoto2 -L ;# list all files in the camera.
gphoto2 --get-all-thumbnails ;# get the thumbnails
gphoto2 -P ;# to get all the photos;
gphoto2
-p 1,3,4 ;# get selected photos where indexing
is based on output of -L option.

gphoto2
-d 1,3,4 ; # delete selected photos where indexing
is based on output of -L option.
Digicam seems to have similar support for Digi cams and seems to have a better GUI, I am trying to build it from CVS. I hope I will not have any reason to use Windows now.

Building apps from KDE svn

Just a small post to jot down the list of things to be done to build some app from KDE svs. (http://websvn.kde.org)

1) Check out from the svn
svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/branches/digikam/0.8-experimental digikam-devel
(for knowing the path for your application, go to Websvn and look for the directory structure add the directory path in websvn to the string svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/ )
2) If some external item checkout fails like this :
Fetching external item into 'digikam-devel/admin'
svn: PROPFIND request failed on '/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kde-common/admin'
svn: PROPFIND of '/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kde-common/admin': could not connect to server (https://svn.kde.org)

Checkout that item seperately and link to it as require
svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kde-common
cd digikam-devel
ln -s ../admin admin

3) make -f Makefile.cvs
configure ...
cd # optional
make
make install
# (much later)
svn up

Thanks to Achim Bohnet and Renchi Raju for the help.

Mostly doing Non Academic work

Somehow the development of Qlickr (My Flickr Uploader software for Linux) got heated up (thanks to Steve Cohen ;-) ) so I spent some time improving it and releasing two version within this week itself. This is the first complete software to be made by me so things are not going that organized. The biggest mistake being messing up with the versioning, I was just releasing a simple moc-up kinda and named it Version 1.0 and later named the second release 1.2. Only to realize that numbering shud have started from 0.1 etc and by version 1.0 the software should have become very much usable. Well I learnt these things while registering my software at kde-apps.org and freshmeat.net

Meanwhile I just joined the DigiKam Developers list and am still trying to build and run digiKam so that I can contribute 1-2 pluggins to this upcoming software.

The other works going one are the French-self-learning lessons. I just wrote a small homepage in French.

Some new project are already coming up to my mind. Firstly some php/XML-API stuff to help me categorization of my blogs at blogspot.com (this is where I am gonna use my dynamic php hack) some apps for my new phone, Motorola A768i. More functionality to this Qlickr stuff for querying from server using XML-API.

Friday, June 03, 2005

IBM Riding on Linux?

Yesterday one of the European Leader said that big gaints are exploiting opensource etc. etc. I think everyone knows that they are Riding on Linux but whats the problem, Linux needs their support in some sense to penetrate the market and they need Linux to compete against the other OS (mind you its not only windows see the ad below).

Oh! this is great

Today I got a mail from kde-apps.org telling that my software(Qlickr) was eligible for posting on their site. I did that without hesitation ;-).

In other happenings, I realized the importance of Freshmeat.net recently. I just released my software with name Qlickr a day ago and when I searched in google today it has already made up to around 10-15 websites of various countries. All of them using RSS feeds from freshmeat. Technology is doing wonders. The hits count also increased a lot.

Topcoder SRM got foofed again. Didn't have a rankfall but was totally clueless in Q2 and 3.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A new style of spamming: Spammers Suck

I get lot of spams everyday, gmail filters almost all of them but our mail server doesn't have that good classifier so I have to face this shit. Now-a-days I see this new way of spamming, the sender sends you a personalised link to click for something and I hope what this clicking will do it to make sure that email id for which the mail was sent was a valid one. So all of you who are spammed, be careful before clicking for free Ipod. watches etc.

I was reading the blog of Chris DiBona and I liked this particular part of his post against spammer. I agree ;-)
Also, to the spammers, you suck, suck, suck. I hope you die soon before you breed. If you have bred....I'm envisioning your children being given to other, non-scummy family members. Maybe a nice aunt or uncle. Be the best thing for them, don't want them to grow up like you, after all. Lord, I hope it isn't genetic, some spam gene that afflicts people in sunny climes like some kind of a-hole chlorophyll.

Looks like the web is re-evolving

I used to wonder 1 year ago what to do when online. I didn't like chatting much, reading slashdot, osnews, google news etc hardly took out a max of 1/2 hour each. Being regular on newsgroups seemed to be a good way of passing time along with chatting on IRC.

Now I see whenever I sit and start browsing time passes by very fast. The web revolution is coming back probably. So many new concepts came in just very recently:
1) Weblogs http://www.blogger.com
2) Social Bookmarking del.icio.us3) Foto Blogging/Sharing http://www.flickr.com
4) Audio Blogging(Podcasting)
5) Various Friendship/social circle site like Orkut
6) XML/RSS feeds
7) Web APIs
8) Wikis
and many new things are just coming up. For e.g 43things.com
and some copies of above ideas like www.fotoflix.com

Small description of Iptables/The Linux Firewalling system.

Iptables have three primary chains.
1) INPUT: all incoming packets pass thru this
2) OUPUT: " outgoing "
3) FORWARD: Packets which came for routing to some other machine.
Setting behaviour : -j ACCEPT/DENY/DROP
Setting Policy: -P : eg. INPUT/OUTPUT

Any packet for any Chain passes thru all the rules until it is Rejected/Accepted or chain ends in which case its behaviour depends on the Chain policy. If the packet doesn't match any rules it will be acted upon by default policy of the chain i.e Drop/Deny or Accept depending on values set with -P option.(eg below)

To see the current policites command is
iptables --list
to make it faster use -n (to avoid name resolutions)
iptables -n --list
Command to make default policy of droping all i/c packets.
iptables -P INPUT -j DROP
Command to make default policy of deny all i/c packets.
iptables -P INPUT -j DENY

So we disable all the packets other than what we want to allow.
Appending a Chain: -A : for e.g INPUT/DROP/DENY
Source specification: -s : for e.g 172.16.0.0/255.255.0.0, 172.16.0-5.0-22 and many others ways...
Deleting a Rule from a chain: -D [see e.g]

Command to accept ALL packets from 172.16.16.16
iptables -A INPUT -s 172.16.16.16 -j ACCEPT
Command to accept only port 22 packets from 172.16.16.20
NOTE: -p tcp/udp is required before giving --dports
iptables -A INPUT -s 172.16.16.20 -p tcp --dports 22 -j ACCEPT
so in most webservers we will have shud have these two commands
iptables -P INPUT -j DENY
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -dports 80 -j ACCEPT

To remove/delete a rule give the exact same command as used for Appending but replace -A with -D
iptables -D INPUT -s 172.16.16.20 -p tcp -dport 22 -j ACCEPT

To remove all the current Rules/Policy and resort to defaults:
iptables --flush

Qlickr Faces Competition from jUploadr ;-)

As usual I was trying to see if Qlickr got indexed and if someone else listed my software etc using google. I found this post on Scohen's blog (he is developer of jUploadr, which has been given very positive feedback by its users. BTW when I tried commenting I got 404 for the script ;-) )

He says:
"It seems I have an Indian counterpart. A very eager and resourceful Indian counterpart. He’s written an uploader for Linux which –and I’m being generous here– is lacking features and polish..."
And concludes " I’m not saying he’s done all this with malicious intent. From reading his blog, it appears that he’s just very enthusiatic and excited. I genuinely think he wants to make something cool and help people out. It’s kind of sad that his actions have the opposite effect."

So now I have a reason to work harder and make qlickr better ;-) I am looking for co-developers ;-)