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Showing posts from January, 2010

More on "Ubuntu on Desktop" experiment

After reasonable success with the usage of Ubuntu 9.10 on my desktop - for about 2 weeks, I gathered courage to replace PCQuest Linux 2005 with Ubuntu 9.10 on one more PC.

It is a P-IV 2.4 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB harddisk, Intel 845GSVR motherboard and DVD writer. The installation would start fine but would freeze after 3-4 minutes of disk activity. It won't even reach hard-disk partitioning stage. After many attempts, installation worked in Safe Mode. But, after that no matter I did, I just could not make it work in better resolution than 640x480. Installed latest updates worth about 110 MB. No luck. Installed earlier Intel 2.4 graphics drivers. No luck. Tried even manually configuring 'Monitor' section of xorg.conf file. No luck. Gave up after lot of trial and error.

Took out Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop CD from the cup board and put it in the DVD drive. It installed without any problem with full resolution. But, it would just freeze after entering user name password. Found solution…

Magnetic north pole is shifting eastwards 40 miles a year

Today I read a news in Mumbai Samachar (Gujarati daily) saying Mangetic North Pole is rapidly advancing eastwards - towards Russia - at about 40 miles (68 kms) a year. Interesting!

Then I came across a 24 Dec 2009 daily news in National Geographic, which is the source of this news item. The article says following:

A rapidly shifting magnetic pole means that magnetic-field maps need to be updated more often to allow compass users to make the crucial adjustment from magnetic north to true North.

Wandering Pole

Geologists think Earth has a magnetic field because the core is made up of a solid iron center surrounded by rapidly spinning liquid metal. This creates a "dynamo" that drives our magnetic field.

(Get more facts about Earth's insides.)

Scientists had long suspected that, since the molten core is constantly moving, changes in its magnetism might be affecting the surface location of magnetic north.


It's predicted that magnetic north and south poles will be reversed, …

Defective product replacement experience within warranty period

Generally speaking, in India, customer is at a receiving end while asking for replacement for a defective product within warranty period. I shall narrate my experience, one bad and other slightly good.

It's a experience most people in India would agree and say it's not new - it's common. Any way, draw your own conclusions.

We had purchased Creative's EP-630 Ear-phone from a dealer in Lamington Road at about Rs.850/-. After few months, it became defective. When we contacted dealer, he said warranty is only for 2 months. I pointed out to him that on Creative's web site, it's written as 1 year. He said we don't get replacement from the distributor. I contacted distributor - Cyberroam. They said warranty is for 6 months from the date of manufacture. When I saw the date on the box, 6 month had just got over. I pointed out to them that Creative's warranty is for 1 year from date of purchase but they refused to acknowledge same saying it's only for 6 month…

Started New Year with Ubuntu (what is that?)

In past, I tried to switch over my desktop to Linux number of times. I tried SLED 10 (Suse Linux Desktop 10), Fedora 8, PCQuest Linux 2005 and finally Ubuntu 9.10.

But, before gathering courage to try out Ubuntu, it was my tryst with Nitix 5.0, which gave me courage and confidence. About 1 year back; I was seriously looking for replacement for Novell NetWare 4.2; which has been going on non-stop for last 10 years; and earlier versions of NetWare (2.2 and 3.2) for previous 8 year or so. Actually, it will go on for another 25 years, if the server on which it is running won't fail. Even, the server (HP E-45, PII 300 Mhz, 64 MB RAM, 4 GB SCSI hard disk) is running for last 11 years with only component failed being 4 GB Tape Drive. I suppose it would run for another 5 years or so. But our accounting software (Work Horse) has outlived it's useful life. So, last year we switched over to Tally ERP 9.2 (finally).

At that time, we signed up with Nitix as their reseller by purchasing Not…

Saw '3 Idiots' movie

Last week saw '3 Idiots'. Theater was packed. Very entertaining. Too good. Re-lived many moments of my stay at IIT Bombay. Movie has some really good messages like 'we go to college for learning and not for grades'. 'Enjoy your work, money will be incidental then.' etc.

People just love the movie. If I were to give title to this movie, I would say, "Ajab Dil Ki Gajab Kahani'. It was all about 'heart' ruling over 'head'. Through and Through it was same thing.

But, wait, people don't do this in their real life. In real life, it's almost always head ruling the heart. Isn't it? Then why people love this movie? Because here they see what should be. Vicariously they feel relieved for their inability to allow 'heart' over their 'head'. They feel nice and feel money well spent because it relieves them of the guilt.

In fact, I almost agreed with one critic who said "it's a time-pass". In other words, fee…

Idea to conserve water discharged from Flush Tanks

This year there has been a threat of water scarcity looming over the city of Mumbai. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is seriously looking at ways and means of conserving water. Given below is my idea which could save tons of water, if implemented.

Recent flush tanks are coming with 2 knobs - one for half discharge and other for full discharge. But, even half discharge knob releases substantial volume of water. I learn from few minutes of Internet search that at least 10 to 15 liter of water is discharged with each press of the knob.

Yesterday I got a simple but good idea to reduce volume of discharge from Flush Tanks. Implementation is easy and would easily conserve about 2 liters of water per discharge.

You will require:
1. A plastic bag which can hold say 1 or 2 liter of water. Ordinary Milk bag or small size plastic carry bag would do.

2. String (Plastic, preferably) 6 to 8 inch long

Step-1:
Take a plastic bag. Fill it with water. Tie it up with the string at the top. …