Monthly Archives: July 2011

Lions and Snow Leopards

Ever heard Lions and Snow Leopards living in the same home.
In Sri-Lanka Lions and Leopards live in such close proximity and in harmony only a terrorist can drive them mad.
I hear they cannot simply because they are proprietary products from Apple Mac.
Some time ago I wanted to write something Apple computer and final cut but for no reason I could not.
It was a very fortunate lapse on my part and had I done that I may have to eat every word of my short piece.
The other day I happen to walk into Kandy Super market and I saw something very similar to Pinguy and drop into see who is promoting Linux in Kandy.
I was wrong and it was a posh Apple Mac store but I could not see any iPods.
All the computers had Snow Leopard but not the new Lion roaring. It looks like they are dishing out the last remains of Snow Leopards on unsuspecting but rich customers.
Just yesterday I posted and updated today that one can install four Linux distribution in over 2 and half hours and make them cohabit but unfortunately Snow Leopard and Lion can hardly ever cohabit in the same computer.
The trouble one has to go to install (which has two disks) Snow Leopard on Lion computer only and expert can do that also on has two apple computers side by side with firmware attachment.
This guy who is a keen photographer wanted to transfer some photographic stuff from a camera and his old camera is not supported by the new Lion.
But if he gives his video to me I can convert them to many formats using ArtistX or AVLinux.
This poor guy, metaphorically of course (who is poor who can afford a new Apple computer) should learn some Linux be gets older like me.

Updating My Laptop at Night

I was waiting for the PCLinux2011 64 bits Version but it was never coming and decided to upgrade my laptop with a bigger hard disk which are becoming cheaper by the day.

The steps are

1. Remove the battery.

2. Remove the Hard disk.

3. Fixed the new Hard Disk and place the old one on a portable mini USB bay/tray.

4. Use gParted to partition the new hard disk (15 partition restriction applies for SATA Hard Drives.

5. Install Knoppix 10 th anniversary edition. No problem.

6. Install Pinguy. No problem with GRUB and detects Knoppix but painfully slow when updating on line.

7. Install Dropbox in about 5 minutes.

8. Install Sabayon 6 with no problem and detects both Knoppix and Pinguy. No problem with XBMC media center and mouse does not freeze.

9. Boot up Pinguy and let Dropbox synchronize and me go to sleep and it is 6 am in the morning.

10. Test the USB Hard Disk and boots up OK but slow and my data in old hard is intact. All these without paying any ransom to Microsoft and now I have 7 operating systems 4 on the old disk 3 on the new one with another 7 partitions left for install.

Two for Linux Image Storage in ntfs partition and three for Debian Sinhala another three for PCLinux 64 bits when it comes and I still have another partition for testing new Linux distribution and a FAT partition for posterity but sometimes destructive Linux distributions with my oversight might make me to reinstall all in one night of hectic work and the whole Saturday for me to go into sleep mode and have a couple of dreams for Maha Brahma.

Please note that installing was done in the night only because out Telecoms download is painfully slow for on line updates (takes ages if done day time) in day time and all Sri-Lankan including doctors on duty sleeping except poor Interns who have poor diagnostic skills.

Please do not get sick at night we do not have ambulances to take you to a hospital and the ambulance drivers also prefer a good night sleep. Then you might wonder me keeping up all night. Well I had to keep all night up when on call abroad often working for three others and patient prefer coming to me at night since i use to solve problems those GPs took ages to give an appointment let alone solve.

Those nightly habits are a bonus when one deals with computing in Linux not that Linux gives problems but often due to human errors like installing a root partition on some other distribution’s home partition due to wrong numbering of the partition table.

Higher Order Discipline not in Higher Education!

My virtual connection with Maha Brahma (yesteryear Kandy dog now the Maha’s Assistant acting on his behalf of, on leave of absence on a long vacation, Maha, the Proper Chief) was a blessing in disguise.

1. Maha tells me to dream even though the dreams never come true, like the dreams we had prior to the elections that disappeared into thin air.

For example healthy salary hike and retirement benefits (even the bonus interest for senior citizens who worked hard without going aboard for greener pastures was nullified within hours of re-election) we dreamed of are no longer valid even after lengthy industrial action.

2. Then he tells me to not to do any Kusala or Akusal Karma and only do Kriya or actions to suit the day to day living.

He says if I do that I will dream futuristic dreams which he can interpret for our consumption which is his hobby.

3. Then he tells me not to be a voter (de-register) and remain anonymous in the electoral list, so that I won’t go to hell and can remain as the Apaya (The Hell) Web Master General’s earthbound and worthwhile adviser and software engineer.

The last point I was practicing for the third decade but has not produced any tangible results but pain.
The second point I had to practiced for sometime now almost 2 decades because of the war and I cannot agree killing anybody for any cause as a true Buddhist.
There is no justification of any Killing from America to Middle East to Ceylon.

The first point of dreaming I was not comfortable till lately and was never a true dreamer in any sense.

In actual fact, I never had a dream except when I am sick and running a temperature especially as a kid, as a result of hallucination due to overdose of aspirin given by our own GP.

I was very realistic and did not expect any favors or miracles from anybody, even from heaven but my association with Maha through virtual email has opened up another hidden aspect of the ability to dream futuristic dreams like King of Kosol.

The third point above is the most outstanding realization of how democracy works here, there and currently.

In heaven there are no political parties Maha tells me.
Work is done with consensus and there is no room for compromise.
He tells me all the voters which ever party they belongs to end up in Hell and even in Hell they fight and had to be put in special cells for managing affairs in hell.

There is a proposal under study in Apaya to ban all political parties and their activities until the current server can transfer data to another super computer.

He tells me that giving political freedom to the poor Tamils in the North and East was wrong and many will end up in hell in future (as much as 50% who voted) unlike the time when Praba was running the show and many ended up in heaven due to no political activity or affiliations in them.

All these opened a new dimension in my thinking, just like lateral thinking of Professor De Bono’s.
If we ban political parties most of the division in society in disappear. That is his bone of contention and is not mine.

I was in fact thinking that we must ban all four major parties and re-organize our thinking on a scientific basis and form Citizen Groups of interest, just to represent pressure groups.
In other words make another political dimension and to which the Maha objected and asked me, if that fails like the other four parties what are you going to do?

I was speechless and his point is whichever the way we look at it, the democracy is as fallacious as it could be and never works.

Then I asked him shall I make a computer program to which he said Indian will find a way to manipulate it, like the IPL cricket.
Anyway go ahead and do something will you.

So I thought of a simple way to elect a President.

1. We give each human a ID nowadays and we can enter all the IDs into a computer (20 million data pieces for Sri-Lanka) server.
2. On the election day everybody keys in.
3. Computer selects the President from by random number generation protocol from ones who keyed in.
He becomes a President for three years irrespective of his intelligence or integrity.
4. The Vice President is selected with random number generation like before but with a slight difference. It has to be of the opposite sex of the already chosen President.
5. Cabinet is selected similarly with equal sex ratio and balance and all the relatives of the President and Vice President are ineligible for selection. Nepotism is rooted out.
6. One person can run in for three terms but never consecutively and if he or she is selected on two consecutive periods by random chance he or she has to skip the immediately subsequent period and let the Vice President takes over the mantel and after he/she finishes takes over without any election for the third period (save election expenditure).
7. If the President elect is incapacitated or dies of natural causes (if unnatural re-elections for both President and Vice President), there will be no President and a figurehead sort is, made of clay and the physical object becomes the President for the lapse period. This is the only period where voters (after the election one automatically becomes a voter even though he was a candidate just for a while) are not bothered by rulers and the Constitution and the Chief Justice takes over day to day running.

8. First priority of the first President is to re-structure the Constitution and make all existing constitution redundant.
10. The other important role is to arrest all the central bank administrators and their statisticians on charge of treason and make US dollar the currency circulating depending on the gold sovereign left in the bank if not stolen by thieves.

I do not know whether Maha will agree to this but in any way I am posting it as an email for his perusal and refinements.

Dream-12 and its interpretation from Heaven

I was dreamless for long period of time and may have to wind up dreaming now that the industrial action is all over, unless of course we may start it again if other side of the bargain counter is closed for new ideas and innovations.

I had a fragment of a dream and to keep Maha occupied in his job, rather his hobby, I posted it. The dream was on the day of the second part of the local election night where unlike the Cricket World Cup I was not at all interested because it was one horse race and the other horses were in the stable with the tails up.

The dream

I had gone out and I was stranded in a massive bus station newly developed after the war.

Location I cannot remember.

I can only remember my destination which was to go to Colombo and from there work myself back to Kandy.

The place was filthy in spite of being a newly developed site with filth was all over the place and even the filthy drainage spills into the floor of the bus station. Except me most of them were on roller skates to avoid the filth and dirty water and in that process of skating were splashing filth in waiting commuters including me.

There were lot of buses and they were all going to a godforsaken destination, again I cannot remember, somewhere in the direction Budulla or thereof towards the jungle terrain.

I asked several drivers and conductors and they said there are no buses to Colombo and the buses are plying only in the direction Badulla and beyond which was very unusual.

The usual routine is for the buses to ply towards Colombo and nothing from there to remote destinations like Budulla, especially after 6 P.M.

All those buses were chockablock and fill to capacity and there was noway I could have squeezed in and survived a trip.

The place looked like to me the real hell on earth and the stench was so unbearable I felt vomitish and soon I was woken up.

Maha was ready to blast off and I told that the industrial action was over.

That means you are not going to dream and I will miss my hobby.

Sort of that is unavoidable Sir.

Is it a good dream Sir.

Not really, he said.

What was the second part of the dream Sir.

There was no second part and with your composure that is as far as I would have let you dream or go free and that is as far as you would go on your own and it is towards the Server Master General.

It must be the newly built university computer center isn’t it?

I would be in charge of the database isn’t it?

No stupid.

Don’t you realize you were at the big Gate of the Hell and you were scanning the Computer Server.

My goodness!

Interpretation

There is no difference between the dream and the interpretation.

You were at the entrance to the Apaya. the Hell Gate International and you were on the Sri-Lankan Gate for Transit and the Computer Server doing the scanning of applications.

I remember you have sent a software to man the Apaya Server and it has eased the work but scrutiny takes a long time for Sri-Lankan applications.

There are lot of forgeries and wrong stamps on wrong pages.

The data entry is the slowest process but once they are entered correctly your software produce a token ring and you are immediately in a Apaya cell built for Sri-Lankans.

No more red tape.

It is not a bus station but a giant Server Station General (this is a French word) for Sri-Lankans entering Hell.

Don’t con Sir We Buddhist would never get there with all the Punya Karma and defeating the terrorism for good and making miracles in this Buddhist country.

You think so?

Yes sir.

Not a faintest chance the way you violate or not taken advantage of the elections, its administration and proper conduct.

In my estimate all the eligible voters ends up there in hell.

Either you do not make use of the franchise or if you use it you violate it in some way.

Upaya Chief has no alternatives but to scrutinize the violations and send you to hell for ages.

Is there a way to prevent it Sir.

Yes only one way.

By voting for the correct candidate Sir.

No stupid.

If you do not register as a eligible voter, then only you are safe.

In that case only Sinhalysa will be in Hell Sir, No Tamils?

It is not fare. There must be no Tamils there, now know?

How come?

Praba did not allow or register them to vote know!

I did not know that Maha responded and reflected politely and said it is good know.

Then you won’t have Tamil to fight in Apaya know?

That is good know?

That is not my point Sir even in Apaya we must continue our struggle for supremacy and without that no fun in Apaya know and no news coming out from there for me (from Apaya) to relate to the earthlings.

That is very selfish of yours.

I am human and Sri-Lankan Sir, I am entitled to some graphic action (horror) stories.

By the way have you got a vote?

No Sir for 35 years.

Part of the time I was abroad and the other time I did not furnish proper data.

It is not right know?

It is like this Sir there is de facto and de juro element.

De facto means you are already there and de juro means you are there in the list but you are away serving another electorate.

As a doctor I am blessed with to be de juro all the time.

But you are lying and you had been in this country with at least 3 presidents running the show?

But that was easy Sir.

I have two houses Sir.

When one Grama Sewaka (village headman) comes to register, I tell him my name is in the other electorate, if the other comes I tell him it is in the other electorate and it is as easy as that.

The officers have no way of communicating with each other and they are not allowed to do that anyway!

You are very clever and you will never go to hell in that case.

Is it so sure Sir.

Yes.

Then what about your citizenship?

I have a passport. I have ID card and I pay taxes to the hilt.

I am a true Sri-Lankan in spite of not having a vote.

How can you be so neutral?

It is not neutral Sir.

It is the survival trick.

Survival of the fittest.

If I support the government the opposition guys won’t come to get medicine from me.

If I support the opposition the government guys won’t come to me.

That’s very partisan people aren’t they?

Yes.

Why don’t you ask the people to follow your tradition.

I tried a bit but I failed.

They all are political animals in this country, beside I will be deprived of some entertainment, too.

Now that we have stopped the war we will not get patients to try our trade and suture wounds and repair bones etc.

.

Election violence is the surest way to get injuries both physical and mental.

How mental?

Unlike cricket we let India to win so that 2 billion Indian enjoyed but after elections both side of the divide go into mental mode (2M Mode) discovering how stupid they are.

Or I see.

But England beat India know?

England has to do that Sir.

Otherwise there will be no cricket but casinos and betting pools.

In any case it is English Game and it is a gentleman’s game and India is against DRS (Decision Reviewing System), too.

That is not good sport know?

That is the difference between Indian and Sri-Lankans, Sir.

We rig both elections and cricket.

But Indians rig only cricket and never elections.

Even if the politicians do not return the promises Indian do not blame them as long as if they win any game by hook or crook,.

The average Indian on the street is immune to politics but never to cricket.

That is why we let Indian win.

We are very good neighbours except the Indian politicians especially in the south who are good at harbouring terrorists in their own soil to win elections.

There is always equal an opposite reaction and mutual benefits.

We two nations will survive without the stupid politicians.

We like Indian and Tamil food.

Indians love visiting Ceylon and opening tourist hotels.

We will survive in spite of politicians.

I got to go any more questions.

One Sir.

We did a disservice to Tamils by winning the war isn’t it Sir.

What nonsense?

If they were under Praba none will have a vote and all will be debarred from entering the Hell by your definition.

Now they have elections in the North and East and at least 50% are voting and 50% will be going there for scrutiny.

I suppose so and I have no veto power in politics and that is a human game and we gods have no political affiliations.

In that case I will be coming to heaven.

Isn’t it?

I cannot tell you that Sir.

It is ethically wrong to forecast like economists in heaven but send me some dreams will you?

OK Sir.

Scoring Update on Ubuntu and Unity

I have downloaded Ubuntu LTS and Unity and have tested them on my old and relatively new IBM computers and hardly anything to write home except 3 new introduction to Unity. They are
1. Cloud support with (Ubuntu one) 2 GiB space.
2. Clean up utility
3. New desktop (already made some comments)

Total score for LTS is 915 and for Unity 1255 (300 points for new desktop) both well below.
Linux Mint score is 1235 and difference between Unity and Mint is negligible and Mint is more robust than Unity.
The relative increase of downloads of Mint at Distrowatch may be a reflection of this lack of outstanding difference.
The difference is only cosmetic at the expense of stability.
At least if they had introduced Sinhala capability I would have given another 100 points and the lack functionality for visually handicapped (at least ORCAS) is a glaring omission.

Now you have a choice either go for Debian proper at Debian Mint as alternative.

My prediction is Ubuntu is going to lose its fan base like what happened to Redhat when Fedora was thrust upon Linux addicts, like us.
Having said that I still support Ubuntu’s innovative approach and with touch screen and tablets coming it will make a serge in the customer base.
Till then Ubuntu fans Multiboot with at least 3 Linux distributions in one box.

With hard drives going to 500 GiB and cheap now what other option one has?

Mind you both CDs did not boot with my old IBM and there was loss of font functionality.

Debian the clear winner-The Gold for Light and Heavy Weight Championship

Now that the industrial action is over, we brought the Hero to Gyro (not giro and we could not be bought by money circulating on illegal hands or corruption) except perhaps few individual who had vested interests and wanted to be heroes at the expense of the general body politics of our action perpetuated by sheer needs and not aspirations (fell far short of aspirations of accountability, transparency, fairness).
These instant Heroes had unassailable lead and they had to be pulled down to base level and gyrate them on the correct path lest all of us would be heading for disaster.
We never had the political will to bring Heroes to Zeros but the vision to come to the base level we reached way back in 2008 and gyrate in correct orbit instead of asking for miracles which we will never achieve the way we sink into dirty tricks and manipulations by undesirables.

I hope senses will come to body politics of the country, unless of course the voters will bring the Heroes to Zeroes in double quick time at the correct gyroscopic orbit and time and they are not stupid or donkeys who carry burden.

We are of course in the minority in that context and what we can provide is wisdom if not vision.
We came to equilibrium position neither zero nor hero but a position of comfort from where we can gyrate to greater heights if correct recognition is extended.
Otherwise history will take us backward (like in cricket) instead of forward.

Debian

Coming to IT industry where there are commercial heroes but the clear winner which gyrate at the correct orbit is Debian.
It was no surprise.
Score of above 3000 and well above the Gold Standard of 2500 for the standard CD.
For the heavy weight category it is within the Gold Mark where no other distribution has all the components at hand with over 30,000 package well tested.
It has gParted which is around 100 MiB with partition and security features.
It has Blender, Scribus and Inkscape.
Only missing component was O.E.M. component.
It did not have a printed book but thanks to French and the English translation is due soon and available on line as open source.
It has all the versions from Mini to KDE to Server.
It has multi-language support including Sinhala.
It does not pretend to be a (commercial) hero but the wise counsel to all the other distributions which include Ubuntu and extending a hand to Linux Mint currently.
Additionally it is forging with FreeBSD too.
It is the clear winner.
If I said without my marking scheme everybody will say I am biased. Now it is vindicated and flame wars are not the necessity but a feature of Linux and its multi-faceted distributions..
Now I can say with or without bias it is the one that guides us and the Gyroscope for years to come.
If you need a solid, stable and secure enhanced Linux, there is only one and only one.
It is called Debian.
It is not for the lazy souls and it is the one who wants to dig a lot, sweat a bit and enjoy a lot of the hard labour.
Nothing is easy in the IT World.
One has to go into simple command line and give commanding orders till midnight commander sleeps like a sleeping beauty!

Finnix, the LiveCD for system administrators

Finnix is Genome / Linux Kernel 3 and only 102 MiB and fits a mini CD.
Below is a reproduction from Finnix Organization.
If I write about Linux Live CD that boots with windows X desktop only, I am doing an injustice to the Linux Developers, who make wonderful Little Utilities for system administrators.
Below is one of them, a CD that boots without a desktop window on a terminal (window) with 300 MiB of utilities.
Download and enjoy!
Thank you Guys and Girls of Finnix organization.

Finnix, the LiveCD for system administrators
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Finnix is a self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution (“LiveCD”) for system administrators, based on Debian. You can mount and manipulate hard drives and partitions, monitor networks, rebuild boot records, install other operating systems, and much more. Finnix includes the latest technology for system administrators, with Linux kernel 2.6, LVM2, encrypted partitions, etc. And above all, Finnix is small; currently the entire distribution is over 300MiB, but is dynamically compressed into a small bootable image. Finnix is not intended for the average desktop user, and does not include any desktops, productivity tools, or sound support, in order to keep distribution size low.