Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gnome 3 Rocks !

Comparing to the criticism KDE4 has I think gnome3 has learned from KDE mistakes and is a better release :)


I might be partial in my opinion looking out for weirder interfaces and not sticking to the default start menu , my computer interface which has been in our world since windows 95 . I loved Unity as soon it was released in Netbook remix version of ubuntu . But ubuntu kind of screwed it up when they made it the default release and not thinking about the desktop form factor running unity as default . People are bound to hate it and hence linuxmint 12 seems to be the alternative to those gnome 2 fans as it came with Gnome3 /Gnome3+2 / Gnome2 port(MATE) .

Was everything stable ?

In my case this was the second time I tried installing gnome3 and succeeded this time . The first time I made a mess with Apt pinning on LMDE for which the instructions I followed were supposed to be for Debian testing .

The next I installed LMDE and partially moved it to Debian testing . Now I needed some upgrade and yeah the whole machine went into a broken state with still mint components and debian testing components . I went into a newer kernel which was not booting up . Realised after some upgrades that newer kernel( 3.x) is the only one which decently boots up the Gnome 3 .

A post in debian mailing lis
t confirms the fact that LMDE is not "fully" compatible as mint people say so . Anyways I don't even know what my distribution was hence I tried aptitude safe-upgrade and finally a dist-upgrade which fixed everything :)

And yeah I am presented with the beautiful Gnome 3 desktop . Its smooth , though I had issues with my nvidia card which I suspect is still not being fully used thanks to the noveau drivers .

Sunday, August 21, 2011

MInidebconf pune Day 1



It all started with a very irritating journey and a long wait at pune bus stop in the morning . Nopes things didn't at all get worse :D . We couldn't read the no on the buses cause we never learned hindi no's when we were children. actually atleast me couldn't even read telugu no's . So when we were told some no's to catch for Bibenwadi , we were like a lost puppy situation we got a mail with this screen shot on the phone thanks to Sana Khan .



We came to the shani mandir where mihir picked us and dropped us at Shubhmay's house because hostel wont have hot water . First thin to notice were 3 stacks of T shirts . A big discussion on Debian Tshirt has started and I decided to wear the diaspora t shirt for day 1 .

My big bag where 1/2 of the t shirts were put up was carried by Shubhmay while others carried other bags of T shirts and we went by auto to the venue , We entered the backstage and came on the front stage . It was quite big and scary ( lol yeah also to me )

Breakfast of some pune food like puneri ( or something with boiled circles :D ) ( correct name was sabudana khichdi ) and the default vadaa paav happened with shirish and praveen with whom the issue of Tshirts was raised and Yeah didn't want to stress much because the printing was already finished.

On the way back to venue we met sana who was quite tensed to give the talk , shilpi her BFF was trying to give her some confidence while I tried scaring her lol there happened something which should scare her more , her spectacles broke and I called shubhmeyi to fix it , it was done by quick fix thanks to volunteers. We discussed on where to go , I showed my one slide and told them to include it . Sana did that and was reading her notes while the video of actual debconf telling about the video was playing .


I was preparing my edu talk and was quite busy typing and collecting feedback . praveen just sat on first seat while feedback had come that the video was going over the head , we made shirish start , shirish in fact has got very good examples usecases while explaining debian but unfortunately the audience which comprised of new to FOSS ecosystem , Ubuntu users who dunno anything , ubuntu users who don't care about Foss etc weren't interested at all .


I joined in between for an explanation of stable,testing , unstable,experimental while praveen made me tell about package . I dunno if I correctly told it but the message did go across . Back to shirish who gave the con to sana she started with bug tracking , she was quite loud and clear but she went too fast cause she was tensed . I came out to speak again with package managers and then told about desktops in Foss world . Had to lift and show fluxbox on netbook .


we breaked for lunch at canteen where I hated the jeera rice, it was too oily , we did have some photos and I had a cha with abhijeet and another college lecturer . There was another chap from PICT who was actually supposed to make the event happen in their college unfortunately college has gone so strict that even this chap had to take a fake permission that he was speaking at the event .


Post lunch abhijeet has to start his FOSS discussion .



I was told to stand at the diaspora stand , was able to tell some groups who walked over about diaspora . I told about how important decentralised information is . There was a diaspora board with a place for people to ask for joindiaspora invites . I did send them some invites .

Went inside to get my talk straight , took lot of time and I was feeling sleepy . I came out and again had a chat with volunteers and a dejavu discussion with sana which I am getting tired of .


My edu talk covered about debian blends and how people could help with the debian Jnr blend for kids. Also about success stories of skole linux . It was a dull afternoon and I had seen some coep people taking notes hence took the extra effort to show some screenshots of kde edu and gcompris .


praveen took over the con while I went out for a small chat with volunteers . He was explaining about debian packaging and other stuff which he will be dealing the next day . There was also a rapid Q & A .



Evening aka the end of the sessions came on quick and while prajakta and her buddy was leaving , told her to get laptop for packaging session . She told that her wifi was not fixing and hurray the volunteers know about the model and hey had a drriver ready for it . 30 minutes later prajakta walked out with a smile that it is working :) well that makes one person who would come for sure the next day( she did come and is ready with her package ! ) .

we split up , me praveen( 1 and 2 ) , abdul and muneeb went to the city to have some non veg food . It was really nice to see the congenial muslim atmosphere . Having grown up very close to them all my life , it was very pleasing and the food was nice . Abdul and praveen teased praveeen illa for eating beef instead of mutton lol

way back couldnt find auto , the volunteers made sure we got one , I agreed for meter +30 casue hyd is more extreme in pricing during rare auto cases like this . I checked via GPS to see if weren't take for a ride . actually the auto went on a very optimal route the shortest one :D

Shubhmay came to pick us up and we slept soon( 1 hr of talking) as we were tired. Much surprising to all of us . we all got up early . we started discussing about how many would come . We did take some estimate of who definitely would turn up for the event .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Amazon EC2 ( AMI alestic) fix for debian

As many of the people , I started using Alestic AMI which is quite popular among debian users . A simple apt-get update and upgrade gave me these issues .

Issue with locale .


dpkg-reconfigure locales will fix the issue if you select the proper local type and encoding .

en_US and UTF8 will do for most of the users ;)

Next issue was a bit major because it was not allowing me to install anything before initscripts was configured correctly , it was because of the scripts written by alestic guys . A google search on the issue gave me a debian bug http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=589238 The solution suggested there solved my issue .

All the scripts from Aelestic missed a initblock on the init.d scripts . Hence add a block like this
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: ec2-ssh-host-keygen
# Required-Start:
# Required-Stop:
# Default-Start:
# Default-Stop: 0
# Short-Description: Generate new ssh host keys on first boot
# Description: Generate new ssh host keys on first boot
### END INIT INFO


After adding the lines for all the ec2 scripts in /etc/init.d/ and running dpkg --configure initscripts I could finish with my apt-get upgrade !

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Export osm files to shape files

Shape files of ESRI is a standard geospatial way of representing points, lines and polygons . Its maintained by ESRI and is a open specification .More details at shapefile @ wikipedia .

I have used Qgis before but remember that was on a debian box where everything worked . Now on ubuntu 10.10 Qgis did work but without the python support . Python support is needed for OSM plugin to work .

I tried some things like :

* Use a latest version via ppa
* Use a dev version via dev ppa

Finally fed up searching for a solution , I downloaded the source and built it via the instructions in INSTALL file .

After the python support enabled I was lost looking for a python plugin location .

OSM plugin did come by default and I had to tick it to enable it .

Then importing an OSM file and exporting it to shapefile was baby steps .

Monday, May 09, 2011

Virtual box is nice

I have used qemu before and also glanced at virtualbox but this time I was using it for real .

encountered this when booting a 64 bit edition iso :

VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration has been enabled, but is not operational. Your 64-bit guest will fail to detect a 64-bit CPU and will not be able to boot.
Please ensure that you have enabled VT-x/AMD-V properly in the BIOS of your host computer.


I thought a reboot would load all required kernel modules , but I rebooted primarily to get into BIOS which I could not in first attempt .

No a reboot didn't help , hence went this time patiently to the BIOS and enabled the intel virtualisation support and hurray it worked !

Networking: The default NAT mode is suitable for basic usage like : ping outside and connect to internet . But I wanted to ping from my machine to VM which I couldn't do with the NAT mode . Hence I had to go for bridged mode .

For which I installed bridge-utils package and configured my /etc/network/interfaces to add bridge entries . Then in my VM config I changed it to bridge where I selected the bridge device br0 . Now both real and virtual machines have Ip addresses !

The rest was plain simple .. everything was matter of clicks , things did come a long way !!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Drupal : Rules Module

I hardly am impressed with drupal considering my irritability in configuration . It would have been because of the poor usability in Views and CCK modules . The ironic part is that both those above modules which I have been complaining about are the most used and many drupal developers would say it as "gods gift" !!

So I am surprised and very happy with the module "rules " . It is an extension of the "trigger" module and also a newer version of "workflow-ng" module .

It works on a simple policy of Event + condition = Action . And before someone thinks that its too geeky to use , this little picture would show how simple it is .



I was able to create a new page each time a user comments and also send an email thanking him for the comment in that particular page . It was also easy to substitute variables like user who commented ,user who recieved comment etc .

Kudos to Wolfgang Ziegler aka fago who made such a nice module and has added great documentation with future plans coming as a research article !!