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Posts about ology (old posts, page 2)

Not so Floppix...

Disambiguation: The original Linux on 2 Floppies is here.

I, post this from a remastered version of Knoppix that we named Floppix!

It all actually began, with me deciding to do a bit of Emacs-ing at home during the winter hols but I don't have a Linux box at home. Live-CD is the way to go! But then Emacs doesn't \\*usually\\* go with Live-CDs. So I decided to get around making my own. :) [Dunnet "Dunnet Game"), an Adventure game in Emacs, played a crucial role in motivating me to go ahead!] The rest as they say is history….

Actually, I tried a debootstrap from my Debian etch but I couldn't manage to get the initrd working. [[ "Voodoo"][I ain't this geekish, its only that I am incapable of putting these terms in a simpler language.] After numerous futile attempt, I gave up for the time being and that's when the genius of [Voodoo]] came in, he took a different route. Remastering Knoppix.[Modifying an existing Live-CD of Knoppix]

I won't get into the exact details of how we got about it. There's a lot of online help available for that.

A few highlights, for the curious reader…

  • got rid of the default KDE and replaced it with Fluxbox. [actually Floppix = Fluxbox + Knoppix :P]
  • added emacs, cmucl, slime, octave, linuxdcpp, vlc and others.
  • got rid of other packages which we weren't going to use.
  • changed the boot message
  • changed the default background image.
  • removed the default boot image [ couldn't change it as the image we chose wasn't being properly converted to lss16 format ]
  • tested the CD with Qemu [size of the iso got more than 700MB]
  • removed a few other not so regularly used packages [including wine!]
  • burnt the CD
  • Logged in!

Now, that I've logged in, I realize we managed to quite a decent job. Obviously we weren't perfect. It was the first time and done in quite a hurry. [btw, we have our end-sems going on; I've no exam tomorrow though] I was able to listen to music, connect to the DC, play a game of dunnet and make a blogpost! We also missed a few packages, for instance a screen shot capture program! But it ain't too bad, still a long way to go though!

Just hoping we manage to make it better, as we get better at it! ;)

Here comes FloppixV0.1!

Update [3/1/08]: I never knew that GIMP could capture screenshots! ImageMagick can do that too. I had two programs at hand and thought I had none! Here's a Screenshot of the Floppix Desktop.


Picture Source [for the Background Image] : 9

Update 2 [4/1/08]: There is already a floppy distro of Linux called Floppix. I knew about this only when some one searching for it reached my blog. Guess I should do something about this. [I'll be able to do it only after getting back to campus,though]

Telugu Rendering in Ubuntu...

I had problems with this and tried quite a few things to get it working… [uninstalling and re-installing packages… downloading fonts.. etc.. ] but couldn't until I found help here…

[Apparently there's a bug in the Pothana font (in Feisty)]

[ Don't worry if you can't figure out what's the big deal in linking to an already existing post.. :P]

Summer or Awe-TEM!! Whatever... Forever

Writing from Delhi, doing my PS at NPL! One would imagine, that I am here enjoying myself; that I am enjoying thoroughly the exposure I am getting to the world of Physics at a Research Level; that I am spending each moment, inspired. But things haven't been so rosy here… until today! [All this while I had been only doing a lot of mechanical labor, very unhappily…]

Its around 12 noon, when I get a call, in the lab, from my guide asking me to come down to room no. so and so. I had no idea what that room had, or why I had been called. I enter and I am lead to another room inside. I enter and there's a huge machine. (first look, reminded me of Vickers' Hardness Testing Machine, that we had in Lab at coll and I had a test on using it!) and its called a TEM. But when I got closer, I fell in love with it! I dunno how and why, but it looked simply amazing and extremely lovely to me [Nothing like the Vickers' machine]. A 25 to 30 year old machine, lots of controls all over it, lots of circuitry out in the open… absolutely awe-inspiring..[though I knew nothing about them.]

And then came the moment. The lights in the room were turned off, and slowly and steadily the beam intensity of the TEM was increased. Gradually the Greenish Fluoroscent Screen (displaying a sample magnified X27,000) came to life… with control lights blinking here and there… in the darkness of the room.It was absolutely amazing; A great feeling. Though I was in there for a very short while… an absolutely unforgettable experience; and will remain so, for the rest of my life.

Now, it doesn't matter to me even if I don't learn much, during the training period, I don't mind doing any kind-of mechanical work, I don't mind not getting any results from my work, whatever… it doesn't matter any more. This one moment; that's all that matters.


A few days back.. we [the usual gang of Ringo,9,UC,Vudum n me.. along with a lot of others who joined us later] were in the park, just relaxing and having a chat… but with the others joining us [with whom I usually don't hang around..] , the topics discussed were quite different from those that interest me…and we usually talk on.. I was getting bored.. but suddenly an interesting idea popped up… the funda of living on CS.. [though the tone in which they looked at the idea was different… I found it interesting..]

The ppl were criticizing a guy (don't wanna name him :P) {who hosted wierd maps with soccer and other such stuff in it..}.. the people were imagining wild things like.. maps in which class-notes would be read out/scrolled… maps where food items would be displayed at lunch time.. etc.. This might look like a funny and weird idea.. (that gave us all a nice laugh..) but it doesn't seem ridiculous or crazy to me.. the very fact that the idea was conceived, annihilates it ridiculousness, for me. Though such a degree of dependence (and addiction??) may be an over exaggeration but…

A walk in the hostel corridors any time during the night will tell you why i say this… I can see people in every room… (literally every one.. and mind you I am no exception to this..) stuck to their comps doing all sorts of things… [actually not a wide range.. its pretty predictable… :-(] and now after my comp's network card got burnt out (…probably… thanks to the lack of grounding in hostels) I can see it even more clearly… that computers are ruling our lives… [at this point.. I'm confused why I started writing this… what's it that's bugging me? I'm definitely not against ppl using Comps.. for I love them…]

Is it that it pains me to see people use comps for stuff that's not so technical? Does it hurt me that we have such "Powerful" machines before us.. and all we do with them is trivial things like chat with others or play? I don't think so… Yes, when I read the book Hackers:Heroes of the Computer Revolution, I felt ashamed of using my comp in a meek and powerless way… but then I realise that they were the Hackers from the Hacker land .. and everyone can't be one, can they? Then what's it, that bugs me?

I guess I miss the time we spent in the first (and a little of second) semester… when very few people had comps. We had a great time… doing other activities that were more physical… and refreshing (than sitting in front of a comp and posting this!!).. I miss those football tourneys we had in the quadrangles.. I miss those "leg" cricket matches… I long for something like the Wrestling match we [Vudum, Ravi,Thatha n me] had in my room… I miss those thermo sessions with Vudum n Ravi.. I miss the tuts in Ravi's room… (mind you we sometimes studied even when there weren't exams!!) I guess I miss a lotta things from the first sem… The time at dinner and the chats in parks, are the only things that are still intact… [ I wouldn't dare forget to mention our recent trip to the woods near the lake… it was awesome!! something that we'll all cherish for life…] I just hope we have more and more and such moments… moments that i will cherish for life… moments.. that "we" will cherish for life…

Update: I just saw Ringo's old cd of Illayaraja songs… and realised, I forgot to mention the wonderful time we [Ringo,9,Hari,UC n me..] had listening to them in Ringo's room on a CD player… and Ringo's mouthorgan!!!

Everyone hears what you say, Friends listen to what you say, Best friends listen to what you dont say. – Anon.

Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Johann Von Goethe

A Second Blog...

  • It can't really be called a Second Blog… because I won't be posting any new stuff there…
  • I just started it to have a Wordpress experience…
  • I started it to know.. to compare… and to choose…
  • I started it just for fun…
  • I started it because Blogspot may soon be blocked on campus!!!

Windows©, Doors or Homes!??!

A couple of days back.. one guy called green_mamba asked me.. "Why do you use Linux (GNU/Linux) and not Windows? What is it that makes LinuxGNU/Linux] so special for you?" I avoided that question then.. {I was in no mood of answering questions… Exams had finished just the day before!!} I am trying to answer it now… green_mamba also told me that Roopesh said, "I use it because I can look at the source code. I am allowed to look at how things work and fiddle with the way they work!"… I knew it immediately that this was not the reason for me.[I rarely looked at source code… and making changes to it.. haha..] So what is it? I think I can answer this question if I get back to the time when I started using Linux…[hehe.. not too long ago!! :P]

So how did I start using GNU/Linux? How did "we" first meet? It was during last summer holidays.. that Voods sent me this link … [I had definitely used GNU/Linux on a few occasions before… but.. this was when I really began using it…] and within hours I was a fan of GNU/Linux!![and Richard M Stallman (RMS)]

So its the "philosophy"… The philosophy of Free Software… [Free as in Freedom, not as in Free Beer…(English is a wierd wierd Language…)]… The philosophy of Open Source… that brought me to it… This song says it the best…

Free Software Song –RMS

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Hoarders may get piles of money,
That is true, hackers, that is true.
But they cannot help their neighbors;
That's not good, hackers, that's not good.

When we have enough free software
At our call, hackers, at our call,
We'll throw out those dirty licenses
Ever more, hackers, ever more.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

now I continue to use it.. for a variety of reasons..[they are NOT in the order of their priority/importance]

  • Firstly, using Linux gives me a sense of community… a sense of oneness [this can't happen with Windows.. because you can't share stuff… :-(]
  • I have begun to hate the concept of Proprietary Software… can you believe that.. "Sharing stuff.. makes us PIRATES!!"
  • I am a growing fan of the Command Line… It simply rocks!!
  • There's almost no problem of Viruses/Malware.. You simply don't need an Anti-Virus..(that needs to be updated every night.. or u'll have nightmares…)
  • Then there's this wonderful concept of Live-CDs.. {specially Knoppix.. Its absolutely awesome!} It put me(us?) out of soup… a lotta times…
  • The fiddle factor… I have just started to fiddle with things(…source codes… I added a small feature to my dc-client Microdc2].. the feature of away messages.. it feels gr8! :P)
  • One of my best friend is using it too! [you know who…]
  • The Mascot looks cool!! ;) [I liked the GNU mascot too! (It's on my side-bar) ]
  • The name "LINUX"!! [There's so many flavors(Distros) of Linux.. that I can keep trying different ones.. all my life :P.. presently with Slackware!]
  • Its Fun!! and I want to use it…
  • and finally… Windows sucks! [I don't have to use it… :P]!!

Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. "Don't bother us with politics," respond those who don't want to learn. –Richard Stallman

When you say, "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say, "Hey, I got those with the system, for free". –Linus Torvalds

"What happens when you read some doc and either it doesn't answer your question or is demonstrably wrong? In Linux, you say "Linux sucks" and go read the code. In Windows/Oracle/etc you say "Windows sucks" and start banging your head against the wall." — Denis Vlasenko on linux kernel mailing list

"The box said that I needed to have Windows 98 or better… so I installed Linux." –

Quark 07

This post is to promote QUARK'07… This post is here… little due to my desire.. and almost totally bcos somebody [the ppl here at coll..] expect "us" to do it..

Blogspot.. Orkut..[i don't use it any more] were blocked on campus [don't ask why cos none of us have been able to figure out.. atleast about Blogspot..] but the blocks have been lifted for a fortnight.. just so that we can publicise Quark [our techfest..] Its from 17th March to 19th March.. check out the link for more details..

So ppl.. Quark coming up :)…

and… blocks coming up too :(…

[But why Blogspot???]

Lisp as an Alternative to Java

Here's more on LISP… one more article from Peter Norvig.. This is another of his on my blog… Look at the follow-up study document.. its good…

Update: - [2010-10-11 Mon] - Removed the article's copy.