Category Archives: My Philosophy

Beautiful Thinking

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.

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SuSe Community and making an Image for Archives

Edited on the 14th, March, 2011

I am not sure whether the comments i have mde below is correct, since I have found the same problem with Debian 6. DVD. Unable to copy the DVD image. It is 4.3 GiB (same size as SuSe) and Linux unable deal with a file size above 4 GiB in one file and has to be broken into two which can be done only with torrent.

PCLinuxfullMonty has restricted itself to 4 GiB and Gentoo with 4.4 GiB has  probably divided the file into two (32 bit and 64 bits ) and  by doing that has accommodated above 4 GiB.

I hope since the SuSe DVD has Gnome KDE, LXDE and xFce by dropping one of the latter two SuSe should be able to reduce the DVD lod to $ GIb in future so that image can be saved for posterity.

I hope somebody enlighten me on this issue.

SuSe community has the peculiar habit which they have acquired form Novel and Microsoft annoys me a lot, to say the least.

They let you download (which takes more than 36 hours or more from K-torrent in Sri-Lanka) a single copy of the image and and won’t let you copy the image as an archive. In the final seconds of the copying it has a script to abort copying which only commercial companies can use as a ploy to protect the copyright (which I am in total support).

This is not a Linux Tradition even if they are commercially operational.

In fact violates the principles of FOSS and true spirit of open software and OS systems.

When it happened for first time I deleted the image and kept the DVD for installation.
If I want I can copy the DVD but always have two copies one for use other one for safe keeping.

Mind you DVD cannot be kept indefinitely and if the image is copied to a external hard drive, a CD/DVD can be written if the DVD in use is damaged.

For example for an emergency but not for re-sale. I am not interested in copying and selling it to a third party.

 

My intentions are are academic and only for archival and retrieval purposes..

Unfortunately most of the old distributions are not in any archives or servers. The servers and linux tracker included have the habit of deleting not used (frequently) distributions from the sever to accommodate space in the server for new distributions.

They write automatic script to do this house cleaning job without archiving them.

The point I am raising is relevant now.  Currently LinuxTracker is down but gradually adding the images to it’s servers and it cannot retrieve even the most recently used distributions quickly enough to get the sytsem running in double quick time and it is a headache and lot of heart burns for many system administrators.

There should be a way of transfwring the infrequently used into a system category away from the main stream and thereafter after a lapse of a period  if still not used can be transferred to an archival medium. All these cost time and money.

I was once downloading BigDaddy (my favorite PCLinux’s original successful version) from a server. If I remember right it was softpedia. Half way through my download (which takes ages from Sri-Lanka) it was no longer avialable and I was heart broken. I could not finish the downkload it.

I made a humble request at PCLinux forum and one nice gentleman let me directed to a server and I quickly downloaded it for archiving. It is live and cannot be  installed but I use it for demonstrating the humble beginning of  very successful distribution.

Similar incident happened with Pendrive Linux. These was a defect (I got it downloaded from a Microsoft machine with Nero) in the imabe,

This was the first time I got a bootable Linux Image in a Pendrive.  Now even Pendrive site does not have a copy of the Original Image and I cannot get it from distromania or from Linuxtracker. It is like collecting old stamps and coins.

It has become a hobby and a pastime for me keeping the archives.

Coming from an academic (not commercial) background, simple thing like these matter a lot in the long run.

Commercial investors when they want to introduce a new system they begin by not supporting and then destroying the old system by default making the user vulnerable. Microsoft does this very well.

I cannot understand why Linux does this and good example is SuSe who has got under the fold of commercial CEOs.

 

Coming back to my story what I did was to make a copy of the image (this is something I used to do for old Distributions without an image but only a CD/ DVD for archiving) with K3B and saved it instead of deleting after the image is written to the CD/DVD.

When I tried and used the saved image for writing to a DVD it gives an annoying warning that the Image ” file size is different from the declared volume”.

Linux (K3B) checks the file size before writing and gives a warning before it writes to prevent one from copying a bad image and wasting a CD or DVD.

This warning or the deterrent cannot be true since the file image property goes as 4 GiB.

These are some of the nuances of SuSe and Mandriva which are driving Linux fans or uses away from them.

I cannot simply agree with this ploy and that is why I am moving away from Oracle, SuSe and Mandriva.

A CEO with commercial interest makes these decisions and my concern is why can’t they openly say DO NOT COPY but use these underhand methods.

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.

Coconut Tales of Tail Spin and the Windshield of Whirlwind

Coconut tree which lives over 50 years of productive life sometimes more than 80 years if left untarnished by human activity lives behind a tell tale story of the weather beaten life.

If one looks at a human face at 80 (eighty) it leaves behind a sad tale of wrinkles but never leave behind the tale of destruction he or she has caused over his or her life time, leave alone the junk that is collected and left behind.

On the contrary, the coconut tree tells us all the rough times it has had over the years, if we look at the way the trunk had twisted and turned against the air current around it, it bears the true tale of forbearance.

What a contrast?

In fact it can tell the exact time of the last grand cyclone it had managed to withstand on its own.

Unlike the humans they are a barometer of wind currents of today and tomorrow.
If one looks at its leaves, the gentle rustle they create with the wind and how it raises a rhyming tune with some alarming whirring of a whirlwind, foretelling a thunderstorm that is about to land is something we have taken for granted but never given thought in any scientific manner.

We take it for granted that the water is abundant but at the same time pollute it in every possible way from Adams peak to the sea.

The same story is true for the coconut tree.

It is vandalized to the stem and we cry hard only when the coconuts go high in price but never cared to listen to its story and the windshield it creates on a daily basis.

My observation days back to my childhood inquiry not necessarily based on any scientific themes. If I wanted to fly a kite I look at the coconut trees and their leaves and then bring out the kite if I consider the conditions are favorable.

Then I go to a place where I can get the kite over the coconut trees quickly and off I go with the wind.

I never paused to think what a service it does as a wind breaker.

This little piece is to finally put to rest and peace of my mind with the wind physics (theory) of biological nature and facts which I call the biophysics of coconut saga.

I should have done this decades ago!

Not only the coconut tree stands to the wind upright but it divide the wind to upstream high and a downstream gentle for us to live in peace. This we forget when we chop it for fast growing development and consumption as timber.

It is the scene of coconut trees that touches my heart when the plane lands at Katunayake. It was strikingly beautiful 30 years ago but now we see s few coconut trees near the airport and the sudden thud of landing.

The landing is also not as smooth as it used to be.

I even go to the extend of saying that the planes used to land smoothly due to the coconut plantation driving the unnecessary tailspin and head wind currents well above the plane as it touches down making it easy for the pilots to land.

Think about it this as food for for thought for scientists who are hell bent on discovering new source of energy along with foot prints of destruction.
I wish our veteran pilots do some study on this keeping in mind those who were on service during the second world war II might know it better than the present day autopilot youngsters.

Coconut tree is a wind breaker and a windshielder.

Of course it will provide its trunks to climb when the next tsunami comes if we start growing thousands and thousand of them around our beaches instead of constructing polluting hotels that divert the sewerage to the sea.

This is my wishful thinking but I am sure more trees will be down to move the fast development trends of our political mights.

Good Bye my friend windshield and welcome thy whirlwind of destruction in the name of construction!

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.

10 things your Counsellor won’t tell you and 50 ways to Leave your Counsellor

Come Christmas with everybody in elevated spirits (both in spiritual and blood alcohol content) counselors are wee bit hard pressed to find customers and I was hard pressed to find a topic to keep my web friends in highly elevated Mode / Mood and with a Beautiful Mind.

If for some reason people who read this and exchange this with others increase by exponential terms, quite a number of counselors might lose their jobs or find their income drop drastically during the Christmas season and I have a way out for them, too.

Become an instant Buddhist (like instant noodles) and start preaching and practicing meditation (it is a lucrative industry in this part of the world where Dhayana Stage Certificates are offered to Primary School Children to pass their competitive examinations disregarding their childhood fantasies, dreams and spontaneous fun and games).

Coming to the first part of the discussion that psychiatrists do not tell you in advance,

1. They are more depressed than average person who comes for counseling.

2. They commit suicide more often that an averagely stressed doctor in practice.

3. Their rate of consumption of alcohol is higher than an average doctor (that the doctor’s consumption is higher in proportion to an average simple man’s consumption).

It is 10 times or more depending on the income and the status of the doctor.

4. That many of them cannot start a session without a good tot to boost their ego above that of the one who is counseled (patient gives a wrong connotation to the victim- they are not patients but bit stupid in the first place not been able to manage their own simple affairs).

5. Many of them take up this post since they get a free license to indulge in mood elevating drugs themselves apart from making others addicted to them.

You must have got the hang of it by now, do you want me to continue and bore you or continue with the common sense approach.

6. Many of the theories (they are still theories and waiting to be fixed or implanted to an unsuspecting victim of theirs) are never proven in practice but are found only in old textbooks.

7. Their vocabulary is far in excess of physics, mathematics and philosophy all put together and none of them have a proper definition or ( true or false) truth and validity concept of philosophy.

8. A psychiatrists never discusses his or her own problems (with nobody in fact) with another psychiatrist lest both of them end up diagnosing opposing conditions and they cannot agree who is a counselor and who is being counseled.

They live with this handicap throughout their life unless of course they commit suicide or become clever and change their profession to some other mundane one.

9. They never want any patient to recover fully and also pray that god should not come back to heal them in one go, lock stock and barrel!

10. They never believe in incarnation or reincarnation since they are so confused whether they themselves are in this birth or past birth or next birth or what ever the birth it could or may be.

I can add a few more but if I do so by strange coincidence if any one of them reads this he or she might think I am gone bonkers and incarcerate me for life.

Now how to leave a counselor.

This is very easy, elementary and you must come out of the very same door you went in but never  the door he opens for you.

That is when disaster sets in for both. You are hooked and he is more hooked to you.

Most of them are very simple ploys even a kindergarten kid should be able to play and practice them with their parents!

1. When you go to him remain deaf and dumb ( or pretend you to be blind).

Without you opening your mouth he cannot enter into your mind (not even with Magnetic resonance) and he is at a loss or make a invalid diagnosis.

2. Always think of what he feels in the session than what you feel (whether he is broke or whether he is under the influence a drug or alcohol) and outsmart him in every nick and corner.

In other words you become the counselor and he becomes the reciprocate.

With these two ammunitions majority can come out unharmed.

Please do not break the poor souls composure mentally.

3. Ask him some money to settle an outstanding loan and promise him that you will settle it in good time.

4. Ask him for drink (at least a beer) before you start the counseling.

5. Ask him to open the windows for a healthy draft.

6. If the room is well lit asked him him for a dark room ( most are scarred of darkness).

7. If the room is large ask for a smaller one and if the room is small ask him for larger one.

They cannot do this because they have a fixed way of doing things and composure.

8. If he asks you to write something say you prefer electronic mail to save the trees and the planet.

9. If he ask you to fill an electronic form say either you do not trust computers or vehemently protest by stating that it violates Microsoft’s Piracy Act and you are not willing to pay a fine. (Mind you this piece or script or code is copyrighted and use the information at your own discretion)

10. If he still insists on counseling, you have to have an exit strategy preplanned.

This is very a simple ploy ab average Sri-Lankan employs.

When you are in a busy meeting and you are getting cornered or fixed, then you get somebody to give you a call stating that your only great great great grandma died of a car accident (she was driving the car- even a healthy male cannot drive in this country).

So take your cell phone with you and just send a S.M.S to the guy or girl who gives the call in time.

Please do not use the story I mentioned above since all the psychiatrists I knew hated their grandmas (unlike us) and they do not still know how to slip out their hands even as an adult leave alone as a brat.

Moment you say grandma they soil their pants.

All these tricks have worked for me and I do not need to hinder your creativity and reciprocation (give as much as you take principle).

If any one of you need more than 12 strategies, you are in serious trouble and you perhaps may need some help or have to go to a psychiatrist but before that you better contact me.

If you are a Linux Addict or visit this blog at least at once a year (Christmas) it is free.

Otherwise the chargers for help (no consultation), I have increased by 100 folds since I cannot survive with 5% salary increase and I cannot go home without few Bombay Onions in my hand.

Otherwise my wife will cut me into onion rings (pieces)!

Merry Christmas and Happy New year 2011, everybody.

K-Torrents

I was wondering how to speed up my downloads but could not find a solution yet.

The point to point downloads are painfully slow and only in early hours of the day the download speed recovers its speed to what we pay by the minute. 

 

Guys / Girls working at the Telecoms are nice but due to not upgrading the infrastructure for decades and by consistently increasing (without increasing the loops and servers) the number of paid user connections without increasing the throughput, the Telecoms as an industry is failing in its duty and also in its efficiency

 

In no time it will become like the Electricity Board or Water Board.

All the signs of impending crisis is there.
 

 

Electricity Board has failed on two counts.
1. The Cost of Electricity is way beyond an average user.
2. The Power outages are frequent (both high and low) and recently our switch board caught fire. The cost of repair was over Rs. 15,000/=.
All we have to do it ourselves (private) no compensation or help from the Electricity Board.
 

 

Water Board is worse.
1. Water purification is questionable (one has to drop into a Service Station and see what I mean)

 

2. Again payment structure is badly streamlined

 

3. When an important guy visits Kandy, water is diverted from elsewhere and never restored even day after the guy leaves the city. 

 

4. Wastage is enormous. 

 

5. Corruption is rampant (including illegal tapping of water)

 

Why I stated above is not as a diversion but in spite of its giant strides in another 5 years Telecoms will be very similar to above two. 

 

Why? 

Mismanagement?

 

 

 

Like flood gates opened, they are increasing the connections without increasing the throughput (both uploading and downloading)

 

One has to go and look at the http://www.speednet.com site and verify the speed. 

 

It is easy.
Anyone can do that. 

The testing is free

 

 

 

I went for K-torrents.
Even that is a total failure. 

 

Bit torrents cannot help us if the services (Telecoms) are poor

 

Since we cannot expect the Government to do anything about it, I have a few suggestions for those using Torrent Services (what ever the client side may be). 

 

Mind you, institutions block torrent downloads due to various reasons including the Universities. 

 

Like Open Software Community, Torrent is a Community of Services. 

 

Service should be open 24/7.

This is how you do it.
 

 

1. There are Seeders and Leechers in the Torrent Community. 

 

Like politicians do not become only the Leechers only (bleeding the country-with war or otherwise). 

 

2. I won’t go into technicalities but please follow my leads. 

 

3. If you download a file after it is finished do not Switch Off the computer. Let it run for few hours (connected to the Internet) after the download for the Tracker to establish the seeding of the computer. 

 

4. Keep the upload speed to 90% of your service speed. That is, give as much as you take from others. 

 

5. If you download 700 MiB make sure you give back at least 500 (better 700) MiB. 

All what you have to do is to keep your computer running and leave the downloaded file in the same directory (do not remove or change the directory) for seeding to occur.

That is it.

 

 

 

6. You can copy the file at your wish and fancy but leave it there as a copy for others to access it.
Tracker knows how to do that and get there.
Only time you remove it is when you run short of memory in your hard drive. 

Then also remove in stages.
Oldest one to go first and the newest one the last.
In the mean time one believes that at least several other seedings have been established.

This is how the community exists.

 

 

 

7. More you give back more you get.
Just keep your computer running connected to the Internet while doing other tasks.
 

 

8. Keep off days not doing downloading so others can use the limited services. 

 

9. More seeders are there in the community the more the download speed will be. 

 

10. So leech less and seed more but not excessively to a bleeding point (like our politicians). 

 

11. Give what you have to the community. 

After all this is Christmas time.

 

 

 

I know lot of our guys / girls are downloading films / songs and not letting other people have them (to sell sometimes as pirated copies for a profit-if it is a pirated copy you are selling you ought to be ashamed of yourself). 

Buying pirated copies keep these guys in practice (I want call it a business) and we need to wean them off from the society for good.

 

Understanding in the web is that you download for your personal use and not for selling. 

 

Sharing with friends is a different story. 

 

Pirating is illegal especially if we call this a Buddhist Country.

Even Dhamma is sold
in CDs.
I cannot believe it. 

 

Because of a few bad leechers in the community even my Linux downloading comes to a standstill.
There are no seeders.
I leave some of the Linux images in my Dropbox and they are for sharing.