rakhesh shows …

May 26, 2006

the supermarket thing

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:11 am

Nice post here by Joey. §

I gave up on using Ubuntu sometime ago. Infact I gave up on using Linux itself sometime ago. But I do agree with whatever the author has to say. 

Meanwhile, Google has released Picasa for Linux. More specifically, for a "certain" bunch of Linux distributions. §


May 15, 2006

Ubuntu 2.0 (Twobuntu?!)

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:58 am

… if the most popular Linux distro has the smallest engineering team and is the least stable, it threatens the perception of the desktop distro market as a whole. Meanwhile, if Debian had 2 million new customers and 10,000 new bugs, I’ll bet they could pick up the pace for the increased workload, especially if it came with a few New Maintainer applications. §

A very interesting and critical look at Ubuntu. Heck, after reading the above line I seriously started wondering if sticking with Ubuntu was a good choice after all. For one, are they really doing much good for Debian (a distro I like loads) with all their work? And two, how much can I trust it for stability and stuff?

A good read.

May 13, 2006

Removing Spyfalcon

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:00 pm

My boss's home machine kept throwing messages that the machine was infected by spyware/ malware and that one needed to click the prompt to remove them. The machines looked very much like Windows's Security Centre warnings, but something about them wasn't quite normal. Clicking on them didn't produce any effect; and neither did there seem to be any spyware or similar programs in the startup menu etc (I used HijackThis and StartupList). Finally I booted into Safe Mode, and then clicking the link gave me a Page Not Found error (coz I wasn't connected to the net). Turns out the page in question was SpyFalcon.com, and from there it was easy to search the net and find a way of removing it. §

May 11, 2006

Hu understands the thoughts of chairman Bill

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:17 am

When President Hu Jintao of China arrived in the US last Wednesday, his first appointment was dinner with Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, at Gates's mansion (aka San Simeon North) on the shores of Lake Washington. They dined on smoked guinea fowl, which had been shot at by the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney. (He missed, and hit one of his friends instead; the guinea fowl was later killed by humane means.) The pair were joined by Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, the Chinese ambassador to the US, a number of the President's aides and the deputy assistant head of protocol at the White House. Owing to an unpatched security hole in Gates's Windows-powered home-monitoring system, the meeting of the two Great Leaders was bugged and a transcript of their conversation has been obtained by The Observer … §

May 10, 2006

Kevin Carmony: Walking The Line of a Divided Community

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:07 am

Carmony's position is that, in ten years of holding out, the FOSS community has made relatively few gains, in terms of convincing vendors to release libre codecs and drivers. In other words, the strategy doesn't seem to be working. Additionally, while some will be patient, most users would prefer to have something – anything – that works in the meanwhile. One could argue that more people need to reject the non-free software and related hardware, and I agree that it takes a mass movement to convince vendors to change. The problem is, we would most likely need the vast audience of Windows users to join our cause – a rather unlikely scenario, if you ask me.

Carmony did reiterate the hybrid car anology with me. He also spoke of the Open Source "vegans". "Just because someone is a vegetarian, I don't think they should try to force everyone else to be that way (and those who do are incredibly annoying people to be around =). Some are what I call "open source vegans," meaning they refuse to use ANY proprietary code. Fine, I respect that, and I would never want to take that choice away from them. All I ask in return is don't try to take MY choices away either. If I want to toss some "junk food" (proprietary software) in with my fruits and vegetables (OSS), I should be allowed to do that.

In order for businesses like Linspire to compete against Microsoft, they have to educate people about the advantages of the GNU/Linux (your platform here), system. They already know about the non-free "choices". FOSS technology is fantastic. People need to be informed about the FOSS choices, and why they are so fantastic. In explaining the advantages of a FOSS system, one of the overriding concerns must be – has to be – the fact that, without the freedom offered by a copyleft license, they would not be able to experience the phenomenal power of a GNU/Linux system, the freedom to share software, and the genuine freedom to learn new skills.

Theo De Raadt recently lamented that many developers take from the OpenBSD community without giving back. And while I assume he is still committed to the non-copyleft approach, I think it speaks volumes to Eric Raymond's claims that the GPL is no longer needed. §

Through Thick and Thin!

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:55 am


Scott’s Pet Peeves

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:49 am

It bugs me when I can’t figure out who is next in line. I always blame the second person who arrived. The first person is blameless because one person can’t form a line even if he tries. But that second bastard can doom 20 people to incurable tension by refusing to stand directly behind the first person in an obvious “this is the line” fashion. That second idiot will start drifting to the side, perhaps checking out nearby merchandise or reading signs. That’s when the trouble begins. §

Hehe! I found this funny.

I am Debian

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:32 am

Interview with Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu). Good one. §

May 9, 2006

Gone in 60 seconds–the high-tech version

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:01 pm

First introduced in the 1980s, modern remote keyless entry systems use a circuit board, a coded Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology chip, a battery, and a small antenna; the latter two designed so that the fob can broadcast to a car while it's still several feet away. The RFID chip in the key fob contains a select set of codes designed to work with a given car. These codes are rolling 40-bit strings, meaning that with each use, the code changes slightly, creating about 1 trillion possible combinations in total. When you push the unlock button, the keyfob sends a 40-bit code along with an instruction to unlock the car doors; if the synced-up car receiver gets the 40-bit code it is expecting, the car performs the instruction. If not, car does not respond. §

Using Sarge with backports and other sources (even sid)

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 3:11 pm

Gotta read this later on myself. Pinning is a concept that confuses me big time. And for a while I have been thinking of using Debian Sarge and somehow get it to use Backports or other sources. So this article is a godsend for me. :) §

Interview: Theo de Raadt (OpenBSD)

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:57 pm

Jeremy Andrews: You've also made mention of "mini-hackathons". How do these work, and are any currently planned?

Theo de Raadt: A few years ago we held a mini-hackathon for pf specifically, after a cansecwest conference in Vancouver which a few developers were attending. The mini-hackathon was held in a cabin near the town of Sechelt, in the woods, up the Sunshine coast; it even took a ferry ride to get there. I think there were about 15 people, staying in giant hunting tents that our hunting developer Bob brought from Edmonton. The cabin had power, but no net! There was a DSL link just under 1k away, up a hill, but it was at the maximum distance. We cut with a machete and rolled fiber through the bramble between the two buildings, and then we had net and could do commits! We were afraid that the deer would break the fiber, but the next day we saw them avoiding it, very carefully stepping over it… §

I like interviews with Theo. And I like OpenBSD. I dont use it much now coz I have a laptop, and hence don't have the luxury of having 3-4 HDDs. I like to try out all the BSDs (even though OpenBSD and NetBSD are my favourites), and with one HDD you cant install them all. When I was in college, I had all the 3 BSDs on my machine there, and spent a lot of time learning OpenBSD. Its a very nice OS. With an amazing installer program (totally geeky!) and an amazing fdisk program and a very nice bunch of manpages.

Wal-Mart seeks smiley face rights

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:30 pm

Crazy! Heh! §

Bluetooth Headset Roundup

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:14 pm

I liked the Jabra BT800. Liked it from the time I saw its specs on the Jabra site, and now I like it even more after seeing some pics and reading the author's opinions. §

Live Messenger Opens to Public

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:06 pm

Go get it tiger! §

May 8, 2006

The Paradox of Choice

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 2:12 pm

In his book The Paradox of Choice, author Barry Schwartz says that contrary to conventional wisdom, giving people many choices is often bad for them:

  1. When presented with many choices, many people experience "choice paralysis" and do nothing, even when doing nothing is the worst possible choice. For example, give people 20 choices of mutual funds in their 401k, and many more will just let their money sit in a low-yield money market fund than if they only had a few choices.
  2. When people do select from a large field of alternatives, whether for consumer products or life partners, they usually experience greater "buyer's remorse" than those who selected from a small number of alternatives.

A very true observation. §

Rename Windows files in bulk

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:14 pm

Pretty cool tip. §

Desktop Linux needs to develop standards

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:01 pm

A very nice article on the problems faced by new Linux users coz of the ever changing GUIs of Linux. §

Database War Stories

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:58 am

Interesting stories from TimO'Reilly on Web 2.0 companies and their experiences with Databases. As of now there's 7 parts to it. §

May 1, 2006

Debian sid FAQ

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:28 pm

Past few days I have been toying with the idea of running Debian Sid. I have Ubuntu Dapper Beta/ RC/ whatever installed, as well as ArchLinux. I like ArchLinux coz its always "current", and I like Ubuntu coz it gives me a stable/ tested snapshot of Debian "current". But you know how it is, after a while you start to think how it would be to keep running Debian "current" itself. Sid. So I was searching around the net and found this FAQ. §

One thing that I don’t understand is this: How can I be on ArchLinux current and keep updating without any problems, while if I am on Debian "current" (unstable) its such a big dangerous deal? To quote:

Should I use sid on my desktop?

If you think you can handle a broken Debian system, sure. Do you know what to do if libpam0g breaks, preventing all logins? Do you know what to do if grep breaks, causing the boot process to hang forever? These things have happened. They will happen again.

If you’d like to avoid the brown-paper-bag bugs like these, then use testing instead.

Does problems like this apply if I am using ArchLinux current too? :-S 

(Update: I figured from the Arch forums that by Arch’s current is not exactly testing/ unstable. Their "current" has stuff which has been tested and hence not (hopefully) unstable. If you want the Sid equivalent of Arch, then you must uncomment the testing and unstable repositories in your /etc/pacman.com file and if you do a pacman -Syu after that you get all the "testing" stuff. Cool, that’s nice to know). :)

I want to see most of the planet online

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 12:43 pm

An article § on Sun’s new CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, as well as a nice interview with him. §

Jonathan’s blog is something I try and read regularly. He doesn’t post there much, but whatever he posts is quite interesting.  

What economic trends do you worry about?
I worry about the American attitude toward education, engineering zpecifically. And I worry about our immigration policies. The cofounders of companies like Google, Intel and Sun were not born in America. If we persist in this idea that innovation will only come from within America, I think we’re going to miss out on the next Sun Microsystems, Google and Intel.

I liked that.

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