Suramya's Blog

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April 28, 2008

Wifi autoconfig

Filed under: Humor — Suramya @ 7:04 PM

Now this is what I call an autoconfig:

Source: xkcd By Randall Munroe

– Suramya

April 27, 2008

DRM: All your music are belong to us…

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

Yes, I couldn’t resist making a play on “All your base are belong to us”. ;)

All readers of this blog know that I don’t like DRM (Digital Rights Management) because it restricts access to books/music/media to specific systems and/or Operating Systems. The following news confirms all the stuff I dislike about DRM’d systems.

If a person bought music from the MSN Music store are only allowed to hear it on specific computers and devices. Whats so wrong about that? you ask me. Nothing much except that Microsoft is the one who controls the licensing server and they can decide to shut them down. In fact thats what is going to happen by the end of the summer, MS is going to shut down the MSN music licensing servers and after that no new computers can be authorized to play *your* music that you have paid for.

So lets say you have this laptop and have authorized it to play your music, a few months down the line its hard drive dies so you get a new one and want to transfer your music to the new laptop. Unfortunately you can’t do that, because the licensing servers have been shut down you can’t authorize the new system. So all the money you spent on ‘buying’ that music has been wasted.

In reality with DRM’d files you are not purchasing the music. You are renting it. Other people can decide weather they want to continue allowing access to these files or not. This is my problem with DRM.

Another example, I bought a book online from Fictionwise. It is DRM protected and the reader software only works on Windows. I have switched from a windows system to Linux so I can no longer read the book unless I convert it to another format.Which I can’t do because its illegal to break DRM.

So what can I do? Should I have to keep one machine running windows to read this book? Should I crack it? Buy another copy?

Would you agree to buy a car that would only run on specific roads? No? Then why do we allow DRM’d information that is only accessable on specific computers/OS?

Think about it.

Thanks to open… for the story.

– Suramya

April 24, 2008

Some random thoughts

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 4:34 AM

Its late and I realized that I haven’t been posting on the site, but don’t feel like typing a complete blog entry so this post is just going to be some random thoughts I have been thinking about:

There’s an application in Linux called ‘kBluelock’ that allows you to setup your computer to monitor a particular bluetooth device and if that device goes out of range it automatically locks your computer. I have it set to watch my phone so whenever I leave the desk it locks my computer automatically as I always carry my phone in my pocket.

Looking to buy a new phone, this one is giving me a lot of issues. Keeps dropping my calls in the middle. Any recomendations? I need something with a good camera and a GPS. It should allow me connect to an email server and the web.

Seriously want to buy an automatic door opener or something. Its a pain to get out of the car to open the main doors so that I can park the car inside.

Giving out free samples increases your sales. Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy. Tor publishing has been emailing free copies of some of their books every 2 weeks and I have already found two authors that I really like and will buy their books in the future. i.e. if the shipping charges don’t bankrupt me first.

Amazon shipping kills you, $5 shipping + $5 per item additional. So a $18 book ends up costing me $28. Not going to buy from them.

Skype is a cool software, getting Skypein to work is a pain for some reason. It even works on linux. Need to figure out how to merge skype chat logs from two computers. Copying everything to one folder doesn’t work

At 4 am the roads are completely empty so its fun to drive

Delhi heat sucks

* Debian Unstable/Testing don’t like my laptop. Stable works great. Need to roll back to Stable. Will end up formatting again. Will do it over the weekend. Don’t want to end up without a laptop during the week if something goes wrong. (Will post a complete list of issues later)

* My post on setting up the wireless card ended up on Debian-news site. :)
* Delhi mosquitoes suck… literally.
* need to organize a get together for school friends
* ebooks are great. esp the no shipping part.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

April 21, 2008

Getting my wireless card working in Debian

Filed under: Computer Tips,Knowledgebase,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 2:03 AM

As promised here are the steps that I followed to get my wireless card working on my Comaq Presario V3000 in Debian:

1. Install ndiswrapper

In my case I allready had the ndis wrapper installed. If thats not the case with your system run the following command as root to install it:

apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils ndisgtk

2. Disable the “bcm43xx” driver on your system

Run the following command at a command prompt as root :

echo 'blacklist bcm43xx' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

3. Download the Windows driver for your card

My system uses the Broadcom Corporation BCM4310 card and I had to download the Windows driver for it from the Dell site. For some reason the driver I found at the Compaq site refused to work. You can download it from here.

Save this in the /tmp directory cd into the /tmp directory, and unzip the Windows driver package:

cd /tmp
unzip R123456.EXE (or whatever the name of the download is)

4. Install the Windows driver with ndiswrapper

To load the driver you need to run the following command as root:

ndiswrapper -i /tmp/DRIVER/bcmwl5.inf

The you should verify that the driver has been successfully loaded

ndiswrapper -l

The output of this command should look like the following if it is loaded correctly

Installed ndis drivers:
{name of driver} driver present, hardware present

or

{name of driver} : driver installed
device ({Chipset ID}) present

5. Load the ndiswrapper module

You now need to load the ndiswrapper module. Run the following steps at a command prompt as root:

depmod -a
modprobe ndiswrapper

if the above commands don’t give any errors then the drivers have been successfully installed.

6. Configure the wireless card

I have found the ‘netcardconfig’ command the easiest to use when configuring a new card. Run it as root and answer the questions it asks and it will configure the card for you.

7. Set the ndiswrapper module to automatically load at boot

ndiswrapper is not started by default when the system starts up so you must configure your system to load the ndiswrapper module at system startup. To do this, edit /etc/modules file as root to add an entry for ndiswrapper at the end of the file.

vi /etc/modules

Add ‘ndiswrapper’ (without the quotes) to the end of the file in a new line. Save and exit.

Now the module will be loaded when the system next starts up.
—-

A special thanks to JamesGu from the UbuntuForums for figuring out the solution and posting it there.

Hope you find this useful. I certainly did. ;)

Will post about my sound card next.

– Suramya

April 16, 2008

Last week brought a lot of changes

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 12:10 AM

This past week have brought a lot of changes. I started the week with a new job. Thats right I just switched jobs. I am now working for a company called SourceFuse Technologies that’s based out of Noida and has offices in the US also. I have joined as a senior project manager for PHP.

The week started off pretty well, I got to work at 1pm (yeah, I still work US hours) and was back home at ~1:30 am. Wasn’t that bad. The next few days however were crazy we were here in the office till almost 5 am. On friday I got home at 6:30am. This was because we had a project deadline. Thankfully that is now deployed and confirmed as working.

The other major change was that I got a new laptop from work, its a Compaq presario v3000 with Dualcore processors (1.7 Ghz) and 2 GB of RAM, 160GB hdd. Its a great system. It had Vista installed on it and it was running really slowly. Plus I hate Vista anyways. BTW, do you know. The first time you start a computer running vista it takes it about 20mins-1 hour to configure the system? Saw this on a piece of paper that I found with my laptop in the bag.

I have installed Linux on it and it ran great except for the following issues:

1. Headphones weren’t working. When I plugged the headphones in the system sound was played on both the speakers and the headphones. – Fixed

2. Can’t get a resolution higher than 1024x – Still working on it. Had fixed it but that broke the touchpad. :( Not really a major issue. Just irritating

3. Wireless not working – Fixed. Needed to install the drivers.

Other than that, everything worked out of the box. Including the bluetooth, builtin webcam, LAN etc.

Really enjoying playing with it. In the process of installing windows on it in a virtual machine. I will make a separate post on how I got everything to work.

This is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

April 6, 2008

Weekend was fun.

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:56 PM

This weekend was fun. Surabhi & Vinit had come over from Bangalore for a meeting/conference. So I got to go receive them at the airport. Surabhi came at 7:20 pm and I had reached the airport at 6:55 so I got to spend 30 mins sitting in the car waiting for her to arrive. Good thing that now I can read books on my phone, otherwise it would have been painful.

Vinit arrived at 1:20 am but thanks to Surabhi being impatient we reached the airport at 12:15am. So we got to spend one hour in the car. Thankfully there was a Narula’s express counter in the gas station where we were waiting so the wait wasn’t that bad. By the time Vinit arrived it had started raining so we got back pretty late.

On Sunday we went for a late dinner at this restaurant called Panjabi Pindi. Where the food was excellent and the prices were reasonable. Would have also watched a movie but nothing good was playing so we came back home and they both crashed as they have to get up early in the morning.

I watched the First episode of the new season of Dr. Who. I Loved it. The new companion is a lot better than Martha and thankfully they won’t have that stupid love interest this time with the new companion like they tried last time. So far I like this companion, though Rose was a good companion too… When I was reading the comments on the latest episode I saw this comment made by a user:

drewmit: But, by not being in DW, Billie Piper can instead do season 2 of Secret Diary of
a Call Girl. A series in which she appears nude. I think she should keep her
current job, don’t you?

It made me laugh.

The Second season of Torchwood has ended. Liked this season a lot better than the 1st one. Lot of good storylines this time. Actually make that: they actually had story lines this time… Too bad it ended.

Now I am off to bed. Long day tomorrow…

– Suramya

April 4, 2008

Converting Laptop to run Linux

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 7:11 PM

Today I finally decided to install Linux on my Laptop. Though I have been running Linux on my desktop since 2000. I have never installed it on my Laptop, primarily because I needed to run Windows for work. So for the past year I have been using Windows as my primary OS with Linux serving as a storage server and used for tasks where I needed to do some scripting/automating.

I used the Kanotix LiveLinux Cd to install Kanotix on the laptop, primarily because I wanted to see if all the components would be detected without issues. So far everything seems to work great. I didn’t allocate enough space for the Linux partition (I had only given 2 GB) so I will try to resize the partitions. Hopefully that will work ok. Obviously I need to backup the system before I try it. So I will not be doing it immediately.

Almost every component of the Laptop was detected without issues and they all are working without me having to manually configure anything.

The sad part is that since its been so long since I have used KDE (I used the command line for working on the desktop) that I have to relearn a lot of the workings, esp the configuration screens etc. Ah well, atleast I am learning some new and interesting stuff.

Other than that life has been fun. Busy but fun.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

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