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February 6, 2010

My Blog and Facebook account are now linked

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:20 PM

BTW, in case you are wondering why all these posts from me are showing up on Facebook all of a sudden, its because I have linked the two together and any posts I make on the blog automatically get published on my Facebook feed.

Just thought I should let you know.

If you don’t want to see the blog postings then I should be able to block the application (wordbook) and you won’t get any feed updates from it. In any case the blog posting are usually only once a day so I hope that people don’t find it too annoying.

Let me know if you have any comments/questions.

– Suramya

Visited the International Book fair in Delhi

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:15 PM

The 19th International Book fair has been going on at the Pragati Maidan in Delhi for the past week and will be ending tomorrow and since I love books there was no way I was going to miss it.

So I left for the Fair today at around 12 and got there at 12:30. The fair was in ~10 halls (not sure of the exact no) and I walked through 8 of them completely. It took almost 6 hours to do the entire trek and I ended up buying 9 books. The selections were good but for some reason there were not as many second-hand books as last year. So I only bought 4 books second hand the rest were new but at a discount.

Now all I have to do is figure out which one to read first. All sound very interesting (duh.. that’s why I bought them). In any case if you are in Delhi and are free tomorrow check the fair out. It’s open from 8am to 8pm.

– Suramya

February 5, 2010

Learn to use search effectively in Linux using grep

Filed under: Linux/Unix Related,Techie Stuff,Tutorials — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

grep is a really powerful tool that allows you to search for specific string/data within a given text. This text can be a list of files or the content of a given file, even a list of programs running. Basically it allows you to filter the required text from background noise.

As you can imagine it is a very powerful tool but most people don’t really learn to use it well. Zahid Irfan wrote a very nice blog post on ‘Why grep almost never yields something productive‘ for new Linux users and has some great examples that explain grep usage quite well for all users both new and experienced

Check it out.

– Suramya

February 4, 2010

Amazon pulls all Macmillan books from its listings

Filed under: Books Related,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:56 PM

Last weekend Amazon and Macmillan Publishing got into an argument about the correct pricing for ebooks. Amazon wanted to limit the cost to $9.99 while Macmillan was pushing for $15. If I was just looking at this portion of the debate then I am firmly on Amazon’s side because as I have said before pricing ebooks at hardback prices makes no sense.

However Amazon lost all my respect and future business when it decided to throw a tantrum and removed all books from Macmillan and its subsidiaries from its listing (about 1/6th of the books in its listing) without telling anyone about it. Basically one minute the books were there and the next they were gone.

By this move instead of being gaining support for its stand for reducing costs they gained a lot of bad publicity and really pissed off a lot of authors whose books were removed from the listing without any fault of theirs. A lot of these authors posted about this on their blogs/twitter feeds/Facebook pages (I came to know about it from Mercedes Lackey’s posting on FB) and their fans are calling for a boycott of Amazon and are asking people to buy their books from other online stores instead. A lot of them have removed the Amazon affiliate links from their sites because of this.

Amazon then made a statement on Sunday that they are putting the Macmillan books back but at the time of this writing (4th Feb 2010) you still can’t purchase their books from Amazon except for used copies for which the Authors don’t get any royalties but Amazon still makes money on the sales.

When Amazon started off I did buy a couple of books from them but over a period of time I stopped because I was getting better deals at other sites. Then when I moved back to India their shipping costs made it unfeasible for me to buy anything from them.

Since I don’t buy anything from them any more, I can’t really boycott them, but if you do then do consider one of the alternatives listed below (Suggested by Mercedes Lackey):

From my side I suggest the following additional stores:

  • flipkart.com/: A Good store but only delivers within India.
  • Barnes and Nobel: Used to be my Favorite store. Haven’t really tried to get them to ship to India but within US they are awesome.

Here are some posts that explain what is happening in a little more detail:

Support the authors. Don’t let amazon bully its way to the top.

– Suramya

February 2, 2010

Exorcising my Dad’s HP dv5000 Laptop by dismantling it

Filed under: Computer Hardware,My Life — Suramya @ 10:35 PM

A few days ago dad’s HP Pavilion dv5000 started acting funny. He had put the laptop in hibernation but all of a sudden it would start up on its own for a few seconds and then would shut down due to low battery. This woke him up so he brought the laptop to my room so that I could take a look at it. I looked at it but didn’t find anything funny so I shutdown the system and told him that I would take a look at it in the morning.

A few minutes later the laptop started up again even though I had shut it down completely. I then removed the battery and left the AC Adapter plugged in to see if the problem was caused due to a faulty battery. But the laptop still started up again without anyone touching it. So I decided to take the laptop apart to see if there was a loose connection or something that was triggering the boot.

This laptop is designed in a way to make it really hard to open without knowing exactly where all the screws are located. Some of them are hidden behind other items like the Harddrive and the DVD-ROM, some are on the other side so you only see them when you remove the DVD Drive and look under the laptop again. It took me a couple of hours to get it all open.

The photos posted by Chris Davis on his flicker account helped a lot in getting the stupid laptop open. Thanks Chris. I owe you a beer.

Compared to this my Sony Vaio had taken me about 1/2 hour to open. The worst part is even simple stuff like resetting the BIOS by removing the battery require you to dismantle pretty much the entire laptop. I think this is an issue with all HP systems because I remember trying to upgrade the RAM on a HP desktop and that took us most of the day (this was back in 2006 I think)

Anyways once I managed to open the laptop, I cleaned it and put it back together. Since then the laptop hasn’t started up on its own again (so far) so I guess we are good for now. Dad’s happy that the laptop stays shutdown when he turns it off and I don’t have to take it to a hardware repair shop to get it fixed which would have been a pain.

The next item on my repair list is my N95. I think I need to update the firmware on it but before that I will have to backup all the SMS’s, logs, etc etc on it. Plus all the programs I have installed. So that’s a task for another day.

– Suramya

February 1, 2010

Update on the Website update process

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 4:01 AM

A little while ago I posted that I was in the process of updating the actual content of the site along with the layout. The process is still going on and this is a quick status update on it. I am adding a lot new content to the site which is why its taking so long to complete.

Currently the following sections have been completed:

* Home
* About Me
* About India (all subsections)
* Hotlinks
* Misc Section

I am in the process of updating the Linux section and once that’s done the following sections will remain:

* Mirror
* Photogallery
* Scripts
* Tech Section

The Tech section will take the longest out of all the remaining because of all the sub-sections but the other sections shouldn’t take that long to update.

Will keep you posted on the status.

– Suramya

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