My technical adventures, hacks or what I do in my free time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This is a open source messaging product from Apache foundation. Interesting. It seems to be around for a while and implements two protocols. Trying to learn and see what I can do with it.

Installing Ubuntu 7.10 aka Gutsy Gibbon

Further to the last post, I had managed to install the other required applications on my WinXP partition. Now it's the time for ubuntu.

Gutsy was released last week and everybody was looking forward to it. I had downloaded the ubuntu-7.10-dvd-i386.iso via torrents and burnt into a dvd. The dvd was loaded to do an integrity check which took 40 minutes to complete. Once done, I rebooted and choose to install Ubuntu. After the usual settings of time zone, location, language, keyboard and parition info, I was astonished to see ubuntu offering me to copy the accounts with their Documents and Settings from the WinXP installation. This one I have never seen before :-). It took 23 minutes to install and reboot my laptop.

Gutsy boots up and the first action is to update software. 8 updates are available as of today and it took around 7 minutes to download and install. After that, I checked the restricted drivers section. Found out and installed NVIDIA accelerated graphics drivers for my Geforce2 4200 and firmware for broadcom 43XX chipset. I had to reboot for the nvidia drivers to take effect.

The good part is that it took somewhere around 45 minutes for me to get a usable ubuntu system ready when compared to 7 hours of constant attention when compared with WinXP. Gutsy even reported my battery is broken and yes it is quite old (4 years) and needs a replacement. Cheers Ubuntu.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rebuilding laptop and my experience with reinstalling Windows XP

My laptop's Windows XP has slowed down quite considerably (god knows why?) and I was getting split or piecemeal responses when I was playing Age of Empires II. Its high time and I decided to reinstall Windows XP home edition from the OEM restoration disk.

I remember reinstalling 2 years back when I had a tough time in getting the right drivers for WinXP. Hope the problem would not have become worse after the importance given to Vista. Also I've been reading in some forums and articles that Windows installation is tougher than Ubuntu installation. Let's see how it goes.

My plan is to hav
Windows - 15 GB
Ubuntu - 15 GB
FAT32 share - 10GB

The OEM disk has booted and I have opted for a fresh installation. I deleted all the partitions (I had 7 partitions... oops) and I created a NTFS partition for 15360 MB and opted for a full format. It took exact 10 minutes to finish the formatting. Setup followed closely. My name, location, language and keyboard details were changed to UK. Some other minor settings followed and the whole installation got finished within 40 minutes and WinXP rebooted.

Now the hardest part. I loaded the Dell Driver System software CD and installed all possible drivers. The worst part is I couldnt find the driver for Broadcomm 4401 100 BaseT ethernet driver. That means, I can't connect to the internet and my wireless driver was also not perfect. After minutes of deliberation, I had one idea. I inserted my 2GB USB memory stick and the WinXP recognized it. Cool. I booted my office laptop, went to dell driver and downloads section and downloaded all possible drivers for Inspiron 8600. When installing the drivers, I had to reboot 6 times.

Time to install the updates. When I just configured windows update, it applied more than 40 hot fixes. I thought this is not going to end and instead went to the Microsoft windows update site and after a handful of screens and verifications, Windows XP Service Pack 2 was identified, downloaded and installed. I thought finally I had seen the light of the day, but when I rebooted again my laptop for the 9th time, I was in for a shock. I still had 42 updates to be applied on my computer. Its almost 7 hours now since I started installing Windows XP home edition. The sad part is Antivirus installation is yet to begin. That means I still cant use my system for another day :-(.

To be continued...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

how to enable mod_perl in apache2 for Fedora 6

I had a tough time in configuring this, may be my brain was not working at its best. perl.conf is the required conf file usually found under the httpd conf.d directory. In Fedora 6, it is found under /etc/httpd/conf.d/perl.conf. Open the file and uncomment and alter where ever necessary. Leave the PerlSwitches -w and PerlSwitches -T in your development environment and not in the production one. This will help you to identify problems easily. I usually consider it safe to keep the perl scripts in different directory as the default configuration goes. Uncomment the Alias /perl /var/www/perl and the subsequent Directory section.

SetHandler perl-script
PerlHandler ModPerl::Registry
Options +ExecCGI

Saturday, August 04, 2007

nslu and openslug upgrade

I have a slug which I use it as my home NAS. It has been running fine for last 1+ years with a 250GB hard disk attached to it. I had installed unslung on it which is the open source equivalent of linksys firmware with slight modifications but retains the same functionality. For long I wanted a bigger hard disk and a true embedded linux on my slug and wanted to try how the RAID stuff works.
Bought a new hard drive and upgraded the slug to SlugOS(BE)/openslug 3.10 beta. The whole effort of upgrading and migrating my existing storage is taking more time than I initially planned for.
I downloaded openslug 3.10 beta and flashed it on slug using upslug tool from my ubuntu laptop. Connected the new drive and erased all existing factory partitions. With fdisk, I created three partitions on /dev/sda. /dev/sda1 will have the / filesystem and the linux images. The next one was assigned to swap. The third one is the remaining bulk of the drive assigned to one partition which will be later shared via samba. Rebooted, logged in as root and ran turnup init to setup the initial configuration. After that, I created ext3 partitions (using mkfs.ext3) on /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda3 and initialized swap with mkswap /dev/sda2. With the script turnup disk -i /dev/sda1 -t ext3 created a root file system / and migrated the linux from internal flash memory to the disk. It was ready to be used with a reboot.
ipkg update, updated the packages list. Now, I installed samba with ipkg install samba which fetched the package from nslu2 repositories and applied it on my slug. Once done, I configured and shared some folders via samba.
I have installed mt-daapd as my itunes server which is pending setup. Ntpclient is not available in nslu2-linux package repository and returns nothing to be done here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rebuilding PC

Again, my PC crashed this time because of my stupid mistake of hard booting when I realised the file system had problems. The first time happened when the PC crashed because of a power failure. I usually do with a single / file system to reduce the work (lazy) of creating file systems or LVM. So, I thought this time I will do the proper way. With this, I have lost all my perl scripts which weren't backed up elsewhere. Need to rewrite them again (sigh).
I installed CentOS 4.4 with LVM configured apart from /boot and swap. The installation was successful. Later I created two more logical volumes for mqm file systems under /var. Installed WMQ 6 and planning to learn the new features with WMQ6.
Planning to upgrade/move my nslu slug from unslug to debianslug in near future. I havent got a real value in moving towards debianslug and don't want to tamper with a NAS which is working perfectly fine.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has launched their own open source website with their own license submitted for OSI approval. Is it acknowledging open source? or EEE (Embrace, Extend and Extinguish)?. Time will tell.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sensex hitting 15K and beyond

Today Sensex has touched 15000 mark and has slipped. With inflation on low, interest rates on high, the bulls are riding the market again. IMHO, the interest rates cannot go more and when it returns to normal levels, we may be seeing another spike in the market sentiments. Is the rupee exchange rate against dollar is worth in its current value. Are the Indian companies are over rated in their worth/value. Is their worth of their intrinsic values as Buffet says in his Essays to Investors? Only time will tell, but by the time people are trying to make money as much as they can. I suspect huge profit booking going to happen over the next week, but with new IPOs and NFOs, there is so much money with the AMCs, anything is bound to happen.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Refreshing the Perl and the weekend

Its been a while I did something on perl. So, I introduced perl into one of the tasks I am doing write now. It uses the CPAN module MQSeries to talk to remote queue managers and publish queue statistics. Its been sluggish till now since I have forgotten some basics of perl (too much PHP). I tried out almost all Conf modules for different type of configuration files and finally settled down to XML::Simple with a xml based configuration file.
I was also hearing a presentation by the popular free software lawyer Eben Moglen who has contributed significantly to GPLv3. He was explaining in basic terms to a congregation of lawyers and software specialists of what is community development, patent issues and what was the process followed for drafting GPLv3. Nice presentation must do for all free/open software enthusiasts. Lastly, google maps have come with a customise your route option. Just drag the blue line which you get when you plan your route. Its nice and I am relying google for my daily life and can't imagine a life without google.