Category Archives: Key Points

Dream 02 of course is a fragmented dream

Dream two (2) of course is fragmented dream.
The full version was dreamt for me (until he takes over the spell cast on me) by Maha Brahma.

Part One of the dream goes like this

1. I was given huge load of linen by some godforsaken guy and he came to collect it soon after giving me a call.

2. At the time of the call the top part of the bundle which was 4 by 6 foot size an 6 foot in height (which appeared to me like bedsheets) was in disarray and fallen sideways and leaning on the doorway and preventing the door being opened when the guy comes to collect the load.

3. I was rearranging the lot and with the sound of the telephone I was woken up.

Before the interpretation was released Maha Brahma asked me a question.

Why are you sending half of a dream, he asked?

Sir, this was a armchair dream and mind you it is a day time dream?

Why are you dreaming at day time?

I could not help, Sir.

We are on industrial action and we have given up our headships and the head chair was empty and I sat on it to see how it feels like without administrative work like filling e-forms and mundane stuff like timetable for students and annual calender.

Then the head’s telephone rang and I was woken up.

I was annoyed that the dream was interrupted rudely but unfortunately for me there was nobody to answer the call.

Did you answer the call?

No Sir.

Why?

It is head’s telephone if I answer it, I will be in trouble.

Why?

If the guy on the other side is from FUTA, he might think I am secretly working.

If the guy on the other side is from the Ministry, he might mark another stupid head is working and add to his statistics.

The beauty is that lot of guys who never had an opportunity to sit on this big chair (like our politicians wanting to sit on high chairs of others when they are sleeping) to see how it feels like and when a call comes unlike me, answer it.

Even before caller’s call ends, guy says, wants to be head speaking for head.

It must be a lucrative post for aspiring candidates.

No Sir it is only Rs.1000/= and not even enough to pay the monthly telephone bill and we pay from over pocket the telephone bill.

Or I see.

Why then people want to be heads?

It is a very good and open question Sir but I think it is a dress rehearsal for becoming a politician, I believe .

Sir, can you tell me the full dream.

Part Two of the dream.

Mind you I like your futuristic dreams shall we make some arrangement for the first part for you to dream and the second part for me to dream and it saves me reading a long email.

No problem Sir, till our industrial action is over we will be dreaming of a pay hike and dreaming is our objective proposal and vision for miracles in this country, like Martin Luther King, we do like to dream even day time now.

He told me the setting is not at your home but at the laundry.

The guy who was dreaming had come to collect the dues (linen) after 3 months on credit card (that is the time laundry takes no responsibility for the clothes). He could not pay for the bill.
He was a professor of political science. Unfortunately had not got any salary hike he dreamed of, for 10 years.

Then before he pays the bill, the guy who gave the first load has given him a second load and that is the reason for it falling sideways.

If the dream was continued the guy gets a heart attack and dies at the laundry.

Was it me Sir?

No you stupid?

These are futuristic dreams not current.

Then?

The guy is a Professor of Political History of Sri-Lanka and this is ten years from now.

Had I let you dream the rest of the dream you would have had a heart attack and die in your armchair (dream).

I saved you in nick of time.

But what’s the point Sir, the way the things are developing in this country we do not have to dream.
We Know for certain we want get anything for our lifetime.

That is not the point.
If you die I won’t get these lovely dreams.
I love them and if you go who is going to dream for me for the first half of the dream.
It is my hobby and I won’t die for eons unlike you!
I am going to have this fun only till you live and Aryubovan for You.

Sir, there are 20 million people here.
We dreamed that we bring the world cup home for the second time round but we did not.

Those dreams are mediocre and not futuristic like yours and lasts only a day and people get on with their work as nothing has happened.

But pay hikes are our daily dreams not only of professors Sir.

Every Sri-Lankan who is able is dreaming of a pay hike.

Only problem is politicians do not see that way.

Sir, can you pass one of these lethal dreams to the treasury secretary and let him dream it in full, instead of me.

That is criminal know?

But if he goes millions will be happy millions time (we made billion in India to be happy by losing the World Cup and we deserve a pay hike at least at Indian Level) and there will be pay hikes!

Well I will see about it and in any case he is in the geriatric age group isn’t he?

I got to go.

Interpretation.

It is 10 years from now.

1. Global warming has peaked to 38 F and there is no alcohol (no yeast-no alcohol-the song no woman no pain- theme is adopted to no alcohol no fun) except imported in this country. The imported stuff is available in international institutions and hotels.

2. There is no rain for two years.

3. All rivers have run dry

4. Coal power for 2 hours at night for email services only for booking air tickets etc.

5. No laundry services at hotels.

6. People are asked not to wear anything like IMF boss while in hotels.

7. There is no air conditioning

8. There are no maids for cleaning especially in the International Buddhist Institute.

9. Buddhist monks are permitted to wear only the Andana Kadas by the hierarchy at International Buddhist Institute. There is a big vada (argument ) developing to wear or not to wear Andana Kada.

10. Some get heat strokes while in meditative mode in the tiny cubicles

The laundry load was Andana Kada from the International Institute.

Action necessary to prevent this scenario.

Grow trees in Colombo instead of developing international Hotels!
This applies to Kandy too.

Some Useful Linux Utilities one should invariably have in a Standard Linux Distribution-01

The list can be an endless stream of creative packages that makes Linux as versatile as it is today. There are over 60,000 of them in one repository constantly updated and maintained at cutting edge mentality but my selection is based on their utility value rather than face lift value that Microsoft always add to its Office Package and other ubiquitous utilities (which can be found in any Linux repository free) . I believe this can be easily accomplished with a paint brush but not with any worthwhile code. Any face lift that does not add to the functionality or productivity is a waste of computer resources only fools will try to keep in their armoury of battle fatigued foot soldiers.
The are not commandos with swift command line direct action but fringe dresses to cover the ugly functionality.
So let me introduce the first of many such Linux Utilities.
K-Torrent comes to my mind for its versatile and nanosecond functionality.
This is something one should have in the third world (but would be a workhorse in the developed world) since our Telecoms are one of the worst (other two are water and electricity) Service Sectors for which we pay through the nose and get 10% of what they have promised. Right now I am paying for 56 bits for second and i get only 5.7 throughput. There are no regulatory bodies monitoring this or provide remedy for the users.
If I make a complaint, the context become even worse and there is vilification and victimization.
This is true for election malpractices too, if one reports an abuse of power or subdue of power of authority, there is no mechanism to address or redress. that is wished for.
There a re no good Umpires or Television reviews even though we a cricket frantic nation.

With that type of service available for one to download an unbroken data image and check integrity as it is downloaded and after the completion of the download we need a utility which react to sudden breakdown which include electricity supply.
We are heading for the Month of April which is the month of thunder and downpour and lot of computers burn down including processors and lot of little breakdowns in between and if we do not have UPS to support, I would have lost all my computers,
Even the laptop I provide power through another battery (UPS) and the standalone battery won’t last its lifetime if that protection is not taken. Power surges and voltage drops are universal and no instrument is safe.
Worse scenario is that I have to get up and switch on and switch off the systems in the thick of my sleep when alarm bells go up.

With point to point download every time it breaks down I have to start again.
I was trying to download Taylor Swift which is a Mepis derivative for the last 3 months (unfortunately no Torrents) and it had broken down almost 40 times, sometime in the last few megabytes. I am trying it now to see how long it will last to report you like the ball by ball cricket commentary.
All these hassles are not there if one uses K-Torrents and that s why I use it.
If I list the its virtues for quick look at for a busy body, it goes like this.

1. It monitors the speed to nanoseconds.
2. Graphic face lets you instantly detect when it is broken down.
3. Integrate with the download folders instantly.
4. There is no repetition and once downloaded one cannot download it again.
5. It goes to check mode to see whether the existing image is not broken and report to you in graphic mode.
6. In the last few seconds of a download it had some problem and I ignored it’s report (Image size was OK) and burned an image and it did not boot properly. I wonted to restart a fresh download and within seconds it cheeked everything and downloaded the tiny fragment missing and when I burned the image again everything was in working order.
7. If a file is moved it lets you reconfigure with the torrent so that seed activity is kept alive.

True to its form and as a literal illustration of the points raised, suddenly without thunder electricity supply was disconnected (I will write what i did during that period late at night with clouds covering the moon at leisure) and it came after an hour or so (guess work) and quite fortuitously , when it came sever providing connection to the wider world (Internet) was not switched on till late this morning.
In this country we pay a salary for those doing night work for sleeping and there is no supervision at night what they really do including some doctors too.

So my train of thoughts were rudely interrupted to add the last 3 points  regarding K-Torrents which I have to do sometimes later, once my anger dissipates.
Mind you I was up till 4 am tidying up some (recovering some photos) computer configurations of my laptop including deleting Sinhala Linux etc.
As I expected Taylor Swift and MacPup were rudely disconnected without completing the downloads (point to point) and I did not have any K-Torrent downloads too.

The Hassle one has to go through when you buy a new Laptop / Netbook-Isn’t it pain in the neck?

The hassle one goes through when one buys a computer with Microsoft installed is something that I never wondered for the past 3 to 5 years or so.

It is mind boggling for a Linux guy.

Once a year I format the root partition and sometimes leaving behind the home partition for a while and install the Old / New version of the Linux distribution in that partition.

This time I had to delay it till March (including Mageia) since most of the distributions including Debian delivered or released the distribution (except PCLinux which was right on the button during December) in late February or March.

The slowest and the laziest was SuSe, though.

My work and cricket world cup were other distractions.

Mind you I install many distributions for various reasons and for testing and not because I lack anything on PCLinuxFullMonty.

Other reason is I need to fill the hard disk so that it is not left idling and rotten.

I will list the hassle a Microsoft guy has to go through.

1. S/He has to backup the data.

2. S/He has to remove the crap the OEM guy install

3. S/He has to download the free software

4.Then has to install the paid software

5. Then anti-virus software

6. Then he has to get Firefox, Opera or safari

Suffice is to say in this time I will install 15 (3×5) distributions in my main computer and two other spare ones I use for testing.

One of the major benefit of Linux is I save lot of time and do other interesting things like watching cricket or water the plants or feed the fish and testing distributions and this time additionally Sinhala Linux distributions.

This list is endless and I will stop at this point and give you a list Linux Free (point number 3 expanded) software that one get FREE

Please go to NiNite web site and get them free if you are a Microsoft user.

If you have chosen the right Linux distribution of your choice you will get all this and more in one go except perhaps Flash.

1. Web Browser Group- Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera

2. Messaging Group-Skype, Pidgin, Google Talk, Yahoo, Messenger, Thunderbird

3. Media group-iTunes, audacity, KMplayer, HULU, Songbird and many more

4. Runtimes – Flash, Java

5. Imaging Group- GIMP, Picasa, Inkscape

6. Office Group-LibreOffice, OpenOffice,Adobe PDF Reader, CutePDF, SumatraPDF, Foxit reader

7. File sharing-uTorrent, eMule

8. Security- What a medical problem for sick machine?

9. Cloud computing-Dropbox, Google earth

10. Image Burners-Nero

11.Compression- win 7, winzip

12. Utilities

13. Developer tools-Putty, Python, Filezilla

14. Others I may have missed

You do not have to do any of these if you select a Linux distribution and all are packed in one and installed in one go.

What a waste of time trying to run windows 7.

That is why Windows users do not have any creativity and continue to lack creativity at work place or on the go.

They are Potato (not hot potato) Guys bloated with Image of Crisis.

Would you pay more money and go the Exrta Mile or is it pain in the neck?

There is so much hype about Windows 7 and on my daughter’s request I went and bought a Windows 7 Starter Pack but kept on delaying opening of the pack to install it since the netbook I bought her already had Windows XP.

She has a working knowledge of Linux with  the desktop she had and I bought the netbook stating that if it started giving problems she has to go back to Linux for her work.

Something simple like Lubuntu or Meego or something advances like Sabayon, PClinux or Mepis or even Decian.

Then I wanted to repartition (re-size) the hard disk but the XP installed did not allow me to repartition unless I delete the operating system with it.

Since I have paid for the operating system, I realize it is not a wise thing to do since if she wants there are enough computers at home to try Linux including her desktop.

Then everything went into cold storage and she was down with some illness and Windows 7 was completely forgotten.

Today as part of my full reformatting exercise, I deleted all my partition and booted this Windows 7 Starter Pack to see what it has.

It immediately recognized the 20 GiB ntfs partition  (I made as an extra storage facility), the hard disk had and it started giving me instruction that it can be installed in one computer only and the blah blah.

It pulled out the internet wire fearing it is going to note my laptop machine number and the details and it’s identity and then allowed it to install.

Mind you this was the computer I bought in Singapore after big fight with the vendor stating that I did not want windows installed in it and I only want the machine and I know what to do with it.

Then I booted Linux while waiting in lounge of the Changi Airport with Linux a DVD I downloaded in Singapore (in one of my relative’s residence in Singapore).

After installing it goes up several times rebooting and this is the time it gives all your details to the Microsoft head quarters to subsequently send warning after warnings to lure you to buy all the extra utilities.

Finally it booted up and this one lets you have a password facility and the system has nothing at all to work with.

I told my daughter how stupid was to buy it and booted up and showed her the latest 10th anniversary Knoppix 6.4 live with compiz graphic and Pingus game in it and amazingly beautiful graphics.

It has enlightenment effects and LibreOffice and over 6000 t0 10,000 packages in it’s DVD.

Who is stupid Microsoft or little Me I will let you decide it.

Mind you I installed Knoppix and Sabayon KDE while typing this bloggy blog and tested PCLinuxfullmonty has 64 bits capability also, in between watching the last stages of the Sri-Lanka New Zealand cricket match too.

I must tell you Win 7 took a longer time to install and restarted several times.

Sabayon has a media center called XBMC and it is something windows users will never have the luxury of using.

PCLinuxfullmonty has blender and with these three distributions in my laptop I have amazing rich collection of graphic utilities.

I did not have to pay a red cent but had to spend some time downloading the 3 DVDs with K-Torrent.

Only limitation was the slow download speed of Sri-Lankan Telecoms.

How to Freeze a American Credit Card

It is very difficult to be a very SMART credit card user.

About 12 years ago when I returned from sojourn abroad and decided not to go back in spite of the many risks involved (including losing my life on public transport or in a public place like Central Bank of Ceylon-now it is no more public, it is almost private where few cronies make all the decisions, or while watching a cricket match) in Ceylon. 

I had six credit cards and a small saving abroad.

Unfortunately those cards were international and one can use it in this country in spite of the war.

I was without a job and was not hunting for a job wanting to take a welcome respite since the sojourn abroad was lot of work covering for three local doctors who did not want to work where I worked but was a beautiful, place now almost wretched by the recent earth quake.

I was enjoying the welcome respite but I could not resit the indulgence with the credit cards.

One day when I looked at the credit balance abroad and the amount of money I owed and the interest accumulated, and it dawned on me I may not survive even a year.

That night I took all the cards and cut them in half and went to sleep.

I have made a few smart decisions in my life and very many structurally poor decisions (including returning to my mother Lanka and watching absolute corruption at all level including schools, health sector (both public and private) and electioneering.

But this was one of those SMART decisions.

I could foresee the credit market collapse (but not so soon though) even though I was not a financier.

The decision was to live within my means and not bloated like the mega politicians on credit loans from abroad.

I have some information for you how to FREEZE your Credit Card that you got the other day, thanks to the Lifehacker International for sharing their wealth of financial advice with me.

They are as follows

1. Take the card in your hand and oil it with some Sri-Lankan butter and wrap it with a tin foil. It may be useful to swipe a strong magnet over it to demagnetize the inner foil.

2. Buy 12 plastic containers that fit in inside the other and gradually become smaller that would have the capacity to hold a small piece of fish cake sold at Rs.100/= in a super market food stall-For example Majestic City.

3. Now put the credit card nicely foil covered in the inner most container and place other containers on top of it. By doing this you are going to save on the electricity, bill .
The innermost will have the coolest air trapped which cannot escape and the outermost will have the warmest air.

4. Now switch on the freezer and put the lowest cooling rate and place the credit card containing cartooned cartoon deep inside the freezer compartment and put all the reused or rotten food you eat on top with few onions and garlic to sanitize the rotten food.

5. Now you have to pay your electricity bill with cash and not by credit card.

This way you can Freeze your card till you become old enough to say good bye to this world.

Do not forget to put a note inside stating that “I do not owe the bank any money”.

This will stay put and a STATUS SYMBOL for your name since you may the only one under the hot Sun in Sri-Lanka who does not owe anything when you died.

All the rest are pawned for another 60 to 100 years by our caretaker politicians.

Ten (10) plus nuances that annoys the desktop user

From its origin Linux was developed by developers for the developers.

Its architecture and file hierarchy is archaic and resistant to change.

I have been using it long enough, it is stable, robust and I do not need to worry about it except running it 24 /7 schedule in spite of electricity bills going up to get its maximum. Since I am doing regular download of Linux distributions for testing (a hobby of some sort) this rigmarole is OK. All the CRON jobs are (regular maintenance) done for me and I do not need to worry about configuring it to suit my needs.

Since I am not a Server Master but only a Desktops User (perhaps as workstation) how the developer can figure out what I do with my computer in the 24 hour schedule is something I ponder.

I would like the computer to be my slave rather than it masters things for me.

 

1.That is one of the weaknesses. Linux is a work horse but my horse is very finicky in its behaviour what he eats and what schedule he follows .

He follows the developers schedule and not my finicky behaviour schedule. One can say in that case you configure it yourself. That is a good argument but with file architecture being streamlined, rigid and resistant to change, one cannot change a cabinet and put it in an less obtrusive place for me. If I do that whole file system crashes and even with the root permission when the system boots next time it goes back to its preferred protocol.

I need to know like a developer every bit of file structure and of scheduling routine. I love to do that but I am a professional in another field not computer field. My field needs and structures are completely different form automatic response of a computer.

 

2. My needs are customer based. That is the second nuance. The file hierarchy and resources are good for a Server but not an ordinary human being like me.

I do not want to go to the loo exactly at the same time and same place and void exact amount of void. In other words I need some personality to my voiding or consumption habits that vary from day to day.

Not the way the developer voids and eats.

The file hierarchy is stable and is not customizable.

3. The sames goes with programs. I cannot change a system program and go for a more flexible program. In that case I have to go for a different distribution or for a different desktop (Gnome or KDE or LXDE).

I cannot interchange desktop experience. It can be done by installing Gnome and KDE versions in the same computer separately but one can use only one session at a time. They do not speak to each others library systems and GTKs are different. That is the third.

4.The real disadvantage is its package management system. One has to be satisfied with one grand package version and and cannot go back to old or new one without radical change to the system and install procedure. One has to wait for the rolling system or to a new radically changed system. For example I have been using Redhat for years (not really I cut my teeth with it and changed with Fedora evolution and migrated to PCLinux) and the company changes its protocol from Fedora 13 to 14 with sea of changes (like Microsoft) and file formats. The other distributions resident in the same computer cannot mount them or effect changes to the files in the home partitions. This is ridiculous change for the user who had being doing something as a routine is changed without his feed back.

It is a corporate decision not a community decision or request.

I am not resistant to change. I am for it but uses are not scape goats or made vulnerable like what Microsoft or Apple does to its customer base.

This is the change that make Microsoft user looking for other avenues like Linux. If Linux distributions also on commercial bent use that strategy it will certainly misfire.

 

GoBo Linux had been trying to address this issue by radically changing the file architecture and ability to use old and new in versions (say Open Office and Libre Office libraries are organized in a structurally different architecture with sharing (common) and not sharing independent (Java Suite).

This can be done but this distribution has not received the backing of the rest of the community. In fact I have been waiting for its new release over last three years and it does not seem to be coming. It is long overdue.

I hope Libre Office coming it to its existence they should attempt to reorganize the library system (at archive level and user level) and make innovations.

It is hard work but worth a try.

Then we can have long term (LTS) support for 10-15 years instead of the present 3 to 5 years instead.

 

5. Other nuance is the release cycles. It is at its extreme from months to years to decades. There is no agreed protocol and they have this rolling system also. It is OK for distro-hoppers but not for old people like us. I of course hopped distributions at a regular interval and I have 5 to 8 distributions in my laptop, that does not mean that I use them regularly.

They are for a particular purpose.

I keep GoBo Linux and Yoper because of their original approach and I love their changes and that gives me some opportunity for research material to engage in.

Then I can give perhaps some visionary advice.

GoBo thinks of the file architecture and its rearrangement.

YOPER thinks of truncating file extensions and throughput.

 

Linux is a visionary approach.

It needs new vision and dimensions for the current century.

Live CDs was a vision (demo to begin with) but now it is a universal approach.

Try it before you use it.

Then speed of booting is another vision.

 

6. With big hard disk coming we must make not 15 to 60 partitions but 1000 or more partitions.

Linux can handle it but not Microsoft. The number of partition a distribution uses (the minimum and the maximum) changes constantly.

7. Hardware compatibility is a major issue. This is not due to the fault of Linux. It is the manufacturers and vendors ploy to support one particular operating system over the other. It is time we should have legislature to regularize this at least in the European community if not America and UK.

8. Cloud Computing is taking a corporate stand now with Google taking a bigger bite. Linux User must be ready for dual purpose. One is browsing, the other is using Linux utilities like Gimp, Sribus and Inkcape and Blender for personal use. We must not let these excellent utilities disappear with Cloud Computing.

9. There are over 300 very good distributions and reviewers review only a few and the reviews are also not balanced, They do not do it at a research level. They do it at the level of blogging not professional to say the least. Gut feeling like in politics and daily papers.

Review means reviews (pros and cons and neutrals) and not shoddy hasty writing. There is professionality attached to this word.

Nothing more nothing less.

10. Last but not least. many distributions do not have a multilanguage capability. Only recently Sinhala has two distributions supporting it. This is essential for children programs doudoulinusx is attempting it.

    Others should follow.

    11. The lack of commercial software or similar equivalents applications(Flash, Java) is another handicap.

    There are many other minor matters but this is to highlight no operating system is perfect. We only have to know the good and the bad and drop all the ugly ones.

LinuX Discussions, Forums and Flammes

I Love this Lovely Discussion going on at the beginning of the year, unfortunately Cricket World Cup is on, hence, my contribution is mild and muted.
Being a medical man I look at problems in a practical way.

Poor patients need simple solutions not elaborate diagnosis and surgery.

This applies to Linux community and computer users too.

I feel Linux community’s service to it user base is better than what the WHO offers to medical fraternity.
There (WHO) contribution, I feel us very, very poor.
Because there is no scrutiny.
We are experts and “nobody can contribute better” is their attitude.

When it comes to Linux (not Microsoft) everybody is an expert in one sense or the other as a user who has some good and some very very bad experience (pain and suffering of medical patients).
Unless Linux Guys and Girls voice their frank opinion (if patients do not tell us their difficulty we cannot help them) we cannot improve.

We should not pretend we are the best.

If we assume that scenario like WHO we are going to be doomed.

One voice had opined that Linux biggest strength is its wide variety of choice. And he turns round and say its biggest weakness is also that.

That is a professorial comment but taking a cue from Professor De Bono it is Lateral Thinking at its best! (Read his books Lateral Thinking, Beautiful Mind).

Linux Guys and Girls have beautiful minds (not like Microsoft) and Ideas.

That is why I love this forums and lively arguments (for and against).

Some people are not good at Lateral Thinking but I think these “flame wars” are part and parcel of Linux Evolution. I am of the opinion it is essential for the generation of new ideas. It is the Live (Love / Hate) Wire as long as nobody takes it personally (keep the evolved opinion “floating” for some time, till it finds a suitable land to settle).

That is why we have over 300 Live distributions.

There are over 200 inactive ones where discussions have ceased or died a natural death and new directions are not sort for.

That is where I come in and promote Live Linux 100 (like the 100 fortune companies).

MYAH, MORPHIX, TAOS, Video Linux and ADIOS are examples of good distributions that have gone inactive.
I push young ones to go to the dormant repository and have a good look at them and jump start them with new direction or fork them to new offspring.

They are too good to be in the archives.

My vision for future Linux is every one should be customized to individual (like medicine is tailored to young, old and the pregnant) needs,

We were going in that direction and unfortunately Cloud Computing is making a definite twist and turn to this need with corporate (not community) influence.

Keep on “bashing a bit” we are going to be none the wiser at the end of the exercise.

I work with young people and their enthusiasm lasts (unlike old ones like us) only a brief period. If we do not tap them at the right moment they are lost for ever.

In my case I go to the grave with a several inactive distributions in a sealed PENDRIVE (somebody could discover their potential a century later like Myahs of old Americas.

Good luck with your future discussions.