Category Archives: My Contribution

When One is troubled with Windows What one can do?

When One is troubled with Windows What one can do?
It is strange that when one is troubled with Windows he or she goes into shell and blame oneself and not the operating system.
It is the opposite when one is troubled with Linux.
If he / she is a one who comes from the windows background without batting an eyelid he / she blames the distribution as if the whole hell has descended on him / her. 
It is often a minor glitch he or she has overlooked to configure or may be downloading a suitable alternative package or worse come file a bug report to which a ready solution is available within 6 weeks.
If that does not help one can swap the distribution and select one that suits and download it.
(I have two books already available, not digital yet selecting a distribution and also the utilities and packages, if this blog entry is not adequate enough).
One problem with this approach is if one is not using a torrent download (even this can be painful if there is one seeder who has gone into hibernation at night-simply switched off the computer) it can be time consuming. 
The download time can be awfully long and painful (I have enough of stories often due to failure of the telecoms but now never or do not complain because I download several at a time and I know one will be finished by morning when I am in deep sleep and dreaming some bizarre episode of Cloud Computing like star wars of yesteryear).
But once one has a CD (ideally D.V.D with almost everything one needs in one pack) the live session is breezy and installation is cakewalk if not catwalk.
Only thing Linux guys forget is to keep it running 24 hours (cron jobs at midnight are vital to get rid of the junk files that collect is one switches off the computer regularly; leave seeds for others to access) at least once or twice a week.
If you are lazy use a the sweeper or do it manually which I prefer now because of the frequent downloads.
Now come to Window guys/girls.
Steps.
1. Do not blame yourself.
2. It is often the operating system at fault.
3. It can be due to a corrupt file or large macro sitting on the file and spying on you.
4. The pet device to blame is the latest virus and I bet you will not have a solution this side of 6 months.
With so many holes in the operating system which Microsoft will never able plug and then they will promise you the new version is very beautiful (but very slow to run unless you doubled up your RAM) and one should change and upgrade and works better (of course till the next ultra new version is ready for upgrade).
You are in this vicious cycle (V.C) and never get out of it.
If a guy of my age descends on me with a problem, I do not try to convert the guy to Linux fearing one gets a heart attack.
I ask a few questions.
If it a pirated copy.
If the answer is yes, thrash the pirated copy and get a copyrighted version.
This is I am openly campaigning for the guy to remain with Microsoft.
Microsoft should be happy with my efforts now but I do not charge anything for this advice.
The poor guy has to pay through his nose anyway.
Do not forget the virus guard and that also will cost you some quids.
Get somebody to format and install, I won’t do that for you unless he or wishes to have a Linux distribution dual booted.
His has to spend a half a day with me with food and beverages ready and ample.
This is Christmas time anyway.
If the guy has not got the money, then the scenario changes.
I ask what are the things that he uses computer for, regularly.
Invariably, the answer is that he uses the email and nothing else to be in contact with the family and friends.
Then I give him a breezy Live CD and ask the guy to use it till he himself try to find a remedy for the malady or ultimately ditch Microsoft and ask me to install the new distribution in his computer.
The long course works well for Linux and I of course have to have two visits instead of one.
That of course keeps our friendship lasting and viable.
Who says Microsoft is bad.
It makes “my sphere of activity” to enlarge and expand.

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.

Spacesuit and its Occupant

Mind this is an introduction for anybody who is running short of an idea to write about in WordPress blogging site.

This is an idea I hit upon by reading a blog writing of a experienced civil pilot not a fighter pilot.

Have you ever thought of the 50 thinks that the spacesuit occupant in space won’t share with his body soul?

You probably have not but I was one who was very much interested in this in my school days and in early days as medical student.

I cannot remember what I wrote then but this is an attempt to revise some of those physiological constraints not in particular order or in any order of merits.

Suffice is to say I get a sickly feeling when I think of space (occupied especially by alien elements).

Imagine yourself trapped in a escalator without illumination (light) and the computer circuit controlling it up and down movement gone haywire and it is going up and down in an erratic fashion.

That is a the feeling I get moment I put on a spacesuit for travel.

That is one thing you must consider when paying for, an enormous amount for a single trip in space.

Is is worth the experience and the money?

Probably not but having said that I have tremendously high regard for those guys who trained for years end on to go to space. They are a dedicated lot and give them the due respect they deserve if you happen to meet anyone of them.

They were the human guinea pigs on space.

I often wonder how many times they felt sick and vertiginous even in their sleep.

Probably many many times and uncountable and that is the feeling I get if I am invited to wear a spacesuit and come hither for a go.

I will list the feeling inside my head with little imagination and some understanding of my own physiology if not of another being.

1. I hate the space constraint. This is the feeling one gets if one has to stay in a tiny hotel room in Singapore overnight due to some delay, cancellation or transit. I have had that feeling once or twice before traveling by cheap air flights. When you fly on a good aircraft and not on a budget or Mihin (Hemin) Lanka

2. I hate heights. Imagine you are in a hotel overnight on the 21st floor room due to flight cancellation. You are well away from a fire exit and there is a blackout and fire drill. You don’t have a pen torch. If you are one floor above you can think of jumping out and breaking your legs but not on 21st Floor. That is why rooms are cheap as you go above. Please pay a good some and ask for a room down below. It is better even if you go to Colombo taking a pen torch with you with these high rising development projects. Born to this earth with feet firmly grounded and ample space to breath pristine air (not now even in Kandy) as an embodiment, getting into a spacesuit is the luxury I do not want to avail myself not even in my incarnation.

3. Now about the daily routines I enjoy. Sleep to begin with. I think I can manage sleep upside down on space inside a spacesuit since there is nothing else I can do there except dreaming coming home. I can do this since I have learned how to sleep standing on an express bus plying from Kandy to Colombo on a Monday morning. I believe all Sri-Lankans are good at this. Only if you do not have money in your back pocket. There are plenty of pickpockets in this country including politicians who pick our vote without our knowledge. They are called pickvotters or even better pickpotters (stuffing the ballot boxes).
These two are new words, I have coined for the Oxford Dictionary with local elections due now).

4. What about food. I want enjoy the high calorie, high protein dehydrated food fads of space travelers especially they are floating about and not placed on a plate with a well laid out nice table. My worry is not the quality of food but how I to partake them in a more sociable way. Not empty them to my mouth from paper carton after paper carton.

5. Coming to spirits (if they are allowed like a commercial flight) and drinks. When I suck (not drink them) a little, I want them to stay a while in the mouth and oesophagus and stomach and not go flushing down like a vacuum cleaner on full throttle to the colon in one go..

6. After meal I want to brush my teeth as my good dental friends tell me with a tooth brush floating in air and the toothpaste all over the face with me trying to reach as far as it goes to the third molar.

7. That also I can manage but how about a quick spend a penny in the loo with my prostrate pushing hard on the correct track inside but the squirt getting between my spacesuit and the underwear. That is my major worry since I will never master my physiology how ever much I train on earth and mid air.

8. Then the master job of course I have decided one last one here and never in the shuttle till I come home and take some constipating medicare one a week before the departure. I do not want my smelly secrets floating in air and taking pictures of me in flight.

No thank you.

9. Last but not least I fear the algae and the fungi I have been accustomed on earth and living with me with mutual understanding all along my life for years taking advantage of the flight and growing all over me. In nails, wind pipe, mouth and all of my privacies.

10. Last of all I love scratching my skin, just for fun and any other accessible point from my crown to the rump. With these fungi floating around and waiting for a breach, I won’t be able enjoy that luxury.

11. As for the rubbish I collect on flight no problem. We are trained to drop at any advantage point in the town and the Municipalities never clean them. I just open the window and drop it down when we are centering round Sri-Lanka with a note stating “coming from space shuttle in orbit no valuables dropped but destined for Sri-Lankans, war heroes included”.

This is why when President Obama invited me for a flight in space, I refused and gave 0ver 100 volunteers from our parliament elected and wanting to get elected. He of course refused nay parliamentarians after the Health bill was bailed out.

How come a Pelican becoming a Flying Trainer in Ceylon

The pelican was his annual pilgrimage to Ceylon to avoid harsh winter and got trapped in the Batticoloa floods and was waiting to devour some unfortunate sea fish that have come ashore. When he was about to partake the first mouthful of fish in came the Tortoised Chief Minister (TCM) from nowhere and warned him not to do so.

He was puzzled.

I have been eating fish all my life how dare you intervene in my cuisine.

Brother do not be annoyed.

Be calm.

I will tell you the reason.

They are poisoned by accident and not by purpose or design.

 

We got a consignment of food for flood victims from UNO and in the transport of it on a vehicle with fertilizer by some strange coincidence the bags’ label changed from UNO to USA and a certain politician in Colombo decided that they were no good for human consumption and not even for animals.

 

Then the local politician requested that they were to be dumped into sea.

 

The transport man designed a coup.

 

The food items were quickly changed hands with a label UREA and UREA was changed to USA by substituting S for EA. Then only a few UREA bags that contained deadly cadmium were dumped with political acumen to the sea in front of starving residents and they were asked to go fishing in troubled waters!

 

So you may now go fishing in troubled waters!

 

The pelican was visibly annoyed.

I traveled over 8000 miles to land hear on my holidays and you guys spoil it for me.

Don’t you people advertise come here and tither?

Sorry for the misadventure it would have been a different story if the weather gods did not intervene.

 

The TCM said in a quiet voice.

 

You may go down further and find another island he suggested.

There are no islands till Antarctica and I haven’t got the strength to fly that far.

 

Then he asked are you good in navigation.

 

Yes of course and if I may ask you why you raised that question?

 

Even though I am here I still have some connection with the Air Force Top Brass and I can fix you a job with them till spring with full on board service.

 

He was not happy but picked the crab instead and took to flight and landed on a tree top.

He tried hard to pierce the shell bone but could not and in with anger dumped the fellow down but it landed with a thud and turned upside up downside down and side tracked safely to water.

 

This he has never seen before and went back to the now friendly TCM and asked how come the shell of a Sir-Lankan crab is so hard?

 

Elementary my dear!

 

He was in charge of my armed car when in service.

He was also in charge of making service to my vehicle with three quotation in hand which is the usual practice.

He was given the bullet proof metal sample for verification.

He without my knowledge changed the specification to inferior quality metal and hid the real metal sample under his helmet and pocketed out the contract extras.

Then in the final blast of which we all died in an unfortunate accident the metal got stuck to his skin.

He is a hard nut in any case and was difficult even for me to pierce his intentions!

 

In that case I say yes to your offer with some reservation.

That was how the pelican was made a the flying trainer for healthy remuneration.

 

You have to wait why he quit and deserted the post for my next edition on web.

Keep counting the SiRs please.

Good bye!

Please note even though these stories are quite akin to Buddhist stories and anthology, they are not designed for Dhamma sermons and any recitals without my implied consent will be strictly prohibited.

PS.

The chief minister who took over from the TCM was mildly hurt when in a routine test a bullet pierced the serviced part of the vehicle and went inside. It was an indirect hit; that is why the injuries were minimal.

He quickly dumped the vehicle to junk and bought a new one from the fresh quota allocated to him. He did not forget to send a telegram to the ex-officer thanking him for his service acumen.

I had to deliver it through my special courier service in conjunction with Apaya International.

Flying Officer Grounded

You may think that the war efforts are accomplished that most of the flying officers are grounded and not flying any more.

Nothing of that kind but a flight record of a blackbox conversation of the final 5 to 7 minutes of ill fated flight of SL (UL-Usually Late) named P.P.P.

Thank god it is not a civilian flight but a training flight with only two involved one surviving and the other succumbing to injuries ending at Mahabrahma for another round of life cycle.

I have to put the middle of the story first (but the beginning will related briefly in the flight record) to make it brief and interesting and I may have to go for another record for how Mahabrama (his assistant-that part would be interesting) dealt with the emerging crisis.

Flying is a pastime for some (politicians on our money and government coffers) and fantasy for many Sir-Lankans. Many a Sir-Lankan young blood wants to become a flying officer but never get a chance to get there.

I remember I wanted to become a volunteer officer many moons ago but even though I had all the qualifications and the paper work my application never got to the scrutiny table when Public Service  Commission was in operation.

In my case, I was able to make amends and fly almost once a year or more on my own money never a red cent reedemed from the Government and one of my posts  abroad down under was almost a Flying Doctor on distress calls (not me in distress but with adrenaline high and mood elevated)

It is a different story now that the Chief Minister decides the fate of everybody.

In this story Chief Minister also has a fair share of involvement.

Sit tight and listen to the flight recorded data.

The conversation is between a pelican (Flying Instructor) and the flying officer in training.

You may wonder what the hell the pelican doing in the cockpit.

He was not trapped in air but he was the trainer in white suit with beautiful avian stripes to adorn.

Yes he was the trainer.
Then who was the trainee?

The trainee was a typical Sir-Lankan man who went up the ladder by being a yes man all his life without any decoration or qualification to boast about

He was somewhat similar to Bun Ki Moon who is a yes man for the big nations and red bully for small nations.

I hope you got the picture.

If he say yes to big shots he will be sure of another term in UNO.

Our man of course did not have applied mathematics but a forged certificate to say he passed the “O” Level in mathematics applied and general.

The conversation went on like this rudely terminated in mid air.

Hello Sir!
You are my trainer?

Yes is there any problem?
No Sir have I got to Sir you.
It depends!

If you end up passing with flying colours yes but not otherwise.

He was bit confused but continued to say SiR to which the pelican with good senses did not object.

He was wanting to count how many times he Sirs him during the first flight.

Sir, you have a big beak but no hands.

So Sir, how are you going to help me with the joystick?

I have good eyes and a small brain and that were enough to navigate from Europe to Sir-Lanka to escape from harsh winter believe me I can navigate you if you listen to me carefully instead of saying Sir.

He firmly ascertained his navigation skills.

Besides you have too hands, don’t you?

Now nose up, flaps up and raise off the ground.

Yes Sir.

Now they were in flight in the first few seconds and the flying officer was inquisitive  enough and wanted to find the loop holes in his flight instructor’s credibility to get some bonus in the first flight itself.

Sir how you come you become a trainer in Ceylon (In heaven they still call it Ceylon coming from Cinnamon Garden).

It is easy any foreign joker or a bird can get a job in Sri-Lanka even in supermarkets without knowing the  food habits of locals. You just put a label for export and that works.

I had a export label tagged from my childhood he said.

Sir who appointed you and turned his head around to the right and the plane  the two seater veered to the left?

Look what you  are doing get the nose straight not your butt.

OK Sir!

It is your Chief Minister who appointed me and it is a long story.

But Sir, I would like to hear more, thinking one day he might become a trainer himself by getting in good books with the Chief Minister and twisting his arms.

But your ex-chief Minister is a tortoise now.

How come Sir, I thought he went to heaven by the celebration we had after his death.

He never got a chance. The way he abused official vehicles and the way he drove with the entourage annoyed the Maha and he decided to pace him down to earth and made him a tortoise.

Sir my goodness will the Maha makes me also a tortoise in my next birth Sir!

In the first place you have to die!
Are you ready for that.

Yes Sir!

This answer pleased the pelican very much since he knew he did not have to train this guy for long.

Where did you meet this Tortoised Chief Minister, SiR?

Near a lake flooded in Batticoloa with a water crab with him.

The water crab was his escort Police Officer. on entourage who could always bend the law of the country for his master’s favour in real life in Sir-Lanka.

But he could not prevent the premature death of the entourage who met with a fatal accident.

SiR why he was made a crab

Two reasons.
It is a delicacy in Sir-Lanka.
This officer could never walk straight with the law he always side stepped and went horizontally instead of straight.

By birth right he had to be a crab in next life.

SiR will I become a crab in next life.
This was too distracting for the pelican that the plane was in full speed now in turbulent weather.

He said autopilot now!

My friend in excitement put the nose down.
He was only educated in Sinhala and could not read the English word autopilot and he pressed the button right under his nose without reading it in the first place.

Pelican was very happy now that his flying lesson would end abruptly.

Pelican opened the cockpit door and before making a nose dive himself said, your first and the last flying lesson are over.

Good bye and slammed the door closed.

To which our yes man said.
Yes Sir!

The rest is history and the blackbox is the only evidence we have now.

Incidentally this plane was taxied from Hambantota and landed nose down in the newly build port at Hambantota.

The blackbox was traced within minutes since the water level of the harbour is deep enough to see even a blackbox from above and our pelican friend hovered around it as if he was looking for a dead body of fish that helped the Navy very much.

Unfortunately the body of the victim was never found and the air force is still looking for the deserted officer in flight training and the flight trainer.

Our flying officer trainer, the pelican disappeared from his post.

I will tell you the rest of the story if you could count correctly the number of times this unfortunately grounded officer said Sirs in his first flight lesson instead of concentrating on flying and why the pelican deserted his post!

Flight P.P.P stands for Paksheta Pashsha Pora and I hear even the Pakshaya is having a nose dive now!

Please note even though these stories are quite akin to Buddhist stories and anthology, they are not designed for Dhamma sermons and any recitals without my implied consent will be strictly prohibited.

P.P.P can  even stands for Paksheta Patata Pakshapatha (Pora)

Enjoindre, the Parade

The story related before is not complete without an enjoindre.

I will be brief.

In addition to wearing shoes marching according to military discipline was another thing we hated.

The way we could avoid being selected was to come to school without shoes..

We leave home with shoes on to comply with home discipline but leave them in a safe place (hide).

Nobody would will steal the shoes with their “toejam smell”.

That is the word we use for smelly shoes.

In the parade of course we have many ways to disrupt the proceedings including putting the wrong foot in front or both foot and hand on the same side in front when we march (very difficult in real life but we could do it perfectly).

So one day the ones without shoes were asked to tie a handkerchief around one leg (for right) and march in a separate platoon.

This was fun for us.

Instead of right we say Lensu (handkerchiefed leg) Kakula and for left Nikam (leg without the handkerchief) Kakula and march.

We would RHYME Lensu Kakula and Nikam Kakula INSTEAD of RIGHT and LEFT.

That was fun.

Ultimately they had to made me the sergeant of the platoon to get things working.

We got uniforms shoes and the accessory and we played the game by rules of engagement and if I can remember right we were island 2nd in the overall championship.

We scored heavily on sports (me specially under 12 champion and under 14 champion runner) and inspections if not the march past.

I gave up cadet after one go since I hated the food and the cold weather at Diyathalawa and I left this regimented school too later.

That was my service to the nation as a cadet.