2008 April Archive - Arun's Blog

Apr

30

Posted by : Arun | On : April 30, 2008

KDE team has released an alpha version of their next KDE release, KDE 4.1. KDE 4.1 brings the following news features:

  • Akonadi is among the new big things in KDE 4.1. Akonadi is the desktop-independent storage engine for Personal Information Management (PIM) data. While not yet based on Akonadi, KDE 4.1 also brings a KDE 4 port of PIM applications such as KMail and KOrganizer.
  • With KDE 4.0 being available for X11 platforms, KDE 4.1 will also be available on Windows, Mac OS X and OpenSolaris. The ports are not yet completely finished yet, but good for a first preview nevertheless.
  • KDE 4.1 Alpha1 is based on Qt 4.4. Qt 4.4 brings improvements in performance and functionality to KDE 4.1. SVG rendering speed has vastly improved, and widgets and layouts can now be used on canvases such as the Plasma desktop and panel. Migrating the Plasma codebase to these new features is still work in progress, so some instability here is to be expected.

Source: KDE.

Apr

29

Posted by : Arun | On : April 29, 2008

According to a recent study by MIT, Bill Gates‘s Carbon emission was 10,000 times the national average. United States, which represents 5% of the world’s population is consuming almost one quarter of the energy available worldwide. So, what about the average Americans and the ultra-energy conscious? There does not seem to be much hope that Americans can consider themselves as energy-conserving as people living in other countries anytime soon.

The lowest annual carbon dioxide emissions was 8.5 tons and that was the usage calculated for a homeless person who ate in soup kitchens and slept in homeless shelters. If you look at a self-sustaining level, the
person with the lowest energy usage was a Buddhist monk who spent six months of every year living in the forest and had total annual spending of $12,500. His carbon footprint was 10.5 tons. The average annual carbon dioxide emission per person was found to be 20 metric tons in U.S., compared to a world average of four tons.

Source: tgdaily.

Apr

28

Posted by : Arun | On : April 28, 2008

I installed Ubuntu 8.04 in my Quad core desktop 2 days back. The installation was smooth. The only issue I had was with partitioning. I usually create separate partitions in my hard drive for boot, root, home and swap directories before installation, but I didn’t do that this time. I first thought of using the Guided Partition in Ubuntu installer, but I wasn’t sure how it would partition. I never used that before, so I fired up GParted from the live CD and created partitions for the ext3 file system and installed Ubuntu.

My Gateway system has a hidden partition for system recovery. I was wondering whether to remove that before installing Ubuntu or not. I didn’t touch it when I installed Ubuntu, so when Ubuntu created the GRUB menu, it created 2 entries for Vista (with same names). The 1st one will take you to the restore partition and the 2nd one to the regular Vista. I didn’t know it until I tried both.

When I started System Monitor, it showed all 4 cores of my system and their usages. I then started restoring my files from the backup. I copied my pictures directory from the backup to the pictures folder in the Windows partition (NTFS). The directory was 18.6 GB and the copying operation took 30 minutes to complete. When Ubuntu was copying the files, all 4 cores were running at 100%, as you can see from the picture below. I’m fine with that, but the problem came when I started using Firefox during that operation. Since almost all CPUs were being used for the copy operation, my Firefox response was quite sluggish. I had to wait few seconds to minutes when I switched tabs or scrolled down the page. I’m not sure whose fault was that.

Once the copying was done, the system was back to normal. I then tried to reboot the system, but Ubuntu didn’t reboot. I had to force it to reboot. If you generally press CTRL + ALT+ Delete, Ubuntu would reboot, but with Hardy, pressing those keys brings the option menu (options to reboot, shutdown etc.) again. When it rebooted, it didn’t mount the Windows partition (157.3 GB media in the picture), to which I copied the files. I got an error saying the shutdown was not proper, so I have to use the force option to mount it again. Further reboots didn’t help. I then added the force option to /etc/fstab file. I have to go home and start the system to see if it mounts.

The other issue I had was with the Tracker search tool that comes as default in Ubuntu. I checked the Generate Thumbnail option in the Tracker preferences and whenever I searched, I saw only the number of search results on the left pane. I didn’t see anything in the result page. Once I unchecked that option, Tracker worked fine.

When I log into Vista, the default login with Vista‘s sidebar & all startup programs including Norton 360 take 1G of my 3G RAM. When I log into Ubuntu, the total memory usage was only less than 5%. As you can see in the picture, with the big file copying operation plus Firefox occupied only 13.7% of the memory, still less than half of what Vista uses by default.

Filecopy 300x240

Apr

25

Posted by : Arun | On : April 25, 2008

I’m not sure if the developers/theme authors are not interested in updating the Thunderbird themes or Mozilla doesn’t encourage them to work on Thunderbird themes as much as they do for Firefox. I downloaded 18 themes today from Mozilla addon site and only 6 of them are compatible with Thunderbird 2.x series. I couldn’t find an option to filter the themes based on Thunderbird version. The only way I could check is by downloading and installing them. Most of those themes support Thunderbird 1.x series and some only supports 0.x series. I couldn’t install some of the themes I like because it’s outdated. I hope the theme authors will update their themes as soon as a new version of Thunderbird comes out, similar to Firefox theme release.

Apr

24

Posted by : Arun | On : April 24, 2008

Canonical has released Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron today. You can download the latest version from here. Ubuntu site is having trouble at times trying to handle the bandwidth. If you get server error, go back and try again.

Kubuntu team has released Kubuntu 8.04 with 2 versions. One is Kubuntu 8.04 LTS with KDE 3.x series and the other one is cutting edge KDE 4.x series. You can download Kubuntu 8.04 from here.

To learn more about the new features in Ubuntu 8.04 and Kubuntu 8.04, refer to the following links:

Link1
Link2
Link3
Link4
Link5

Apr

23

Posted by : Arun | On : April 23, 2008

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project which started with the motto of providing cheaper computer to children in under developed countries seems to be changing their motto. They first promised to keep the laptop cost at $100, but increased it to $200 when they finally released it, citing manufacturing costs. One part of the cost cutting effect was by installing Linux in the XO laptop. Now they are sucking up to the big corporation and planning to install Windows XP. This might need more hard drive space and costs. The reason for the change could be either due to the pressure from the corporate heavy weight or a big pay off from them to use Windows. What’s funny is, the same OLPC people cried foul when Intel started the Classmate PC project with Windows installed. It looks like OLPC wants to sell more in U.S. educational institutions than to under developed world since their profit margins will be high here and more schools can afford to buy it.

Source: The Inquirer.

Apr

22

Posted by : Arun | On : April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day everyone.

Apr

21

Posted by : Arun | On : April 21, 2008

ScribeFire is the blogging addon I use to post my blog post from my browser. This is an addon for Firefox. I’m using it for a long time. It used to be called Performancing and later changed to ScribeFire. The initial versions missed some of the features that would have been quite useful while posting, but they kept improving and have added lots of those missing features. ScribeFire 2.0 takes it to the next level with the following changes:

  • Tabbed editing of posts, so you can open multiple posts or notes at the same time
  • Added the Quickblogging feature for easy modification of existing blog posts.
  • All users can now set the timestamp of their posts, not just those using Firefox 3
  • Fixes to the account wizard make for a better account setup experience
  • A cleaner layout: the left sidebar has been shrunk and the
    Delicious/Technorati functions have been combined under a new
    “Share/Promote” tab that also helps you submit your posts to social
    bookmark sites.
  • Fixed YouTube embedding for Blogger users
  • Added custom ping URL option
  • Added easy YouTube and Flickr integration
  • Major fixes for using ScribeFire in its own tab or window

Scribefire2

Apr

21

Posted by : Arun | On : April 21, 2008

According to a test conducted by Alex Brown, Microsoft’s Office 2007 do not conform to the OOXML standard that controversially got approved by ISO. It’s funny to hear that Microsoft’s own Office programs couldn’t conform to the standard that Microsoft was promoting, but the problem was due to changes made during the approval process. People are skeptical if Microsoft would follow the standard they set.

Source: CNet.

Apr

17

Posted by : Arun | On : April 17, 2008

Casey Coleman, the chief information officer of the General Services Administration said in a web seminar that GSA use a wide variety of open source programs including Linux for its data centers, Bugzilla, for bug tracking, JUnit testing software, the JMeter Apache performance monitoring tool, and Eclipse, which can be used for application development and as a run-time engine.

She said they use open source not just for cost benefit as there are other benefits to open source software like the agency won’t be locked in to using a proprietary software program, the agency can move to a new program more quickly should its needs change, the agency could become a collaborator in the further development of the software itself, more transparency and interoperability, the agency can choose its own level of support, which could save money over the long-run and more secure software. True. You don’t get all of those benefits with a proprietary software.

Source: Government Computer News.

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