Friday, April 18, 2008

24hrs Sinhala Blog Marathon Starts Today!

The Sinhala Bloggers Union is organizing a 24hrs Blog Marathon starting from 8pm local time today, 18th to the 19th. There are currently over 30 participating blogs, including our sister (or brother depending on where your from :) site Each blogging site will be trying to reach a crazy difficult target of 96 posts! In otherwords, we're talking about a blog post appearing from each site every 15 min! Multiply that by 30+ sites and boy I hope the net doesn't crash :P

The easiest way to catch all the fun is to constantly reload, the official blog aggregator (syndicator) for the event. But it doesn't stop there. These guys have created a custom Face Book application for the FB junkies, a twitter channel for twitter addicts like myself, a Yahoo Pipes mash up for the web services oriented and even IM based updates.

If your interested in blogging in Sinhala Unicode, it might not be too late to enroll your self by contacting them.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Best Last place to listen to Music


If your a music lover and also inclined to discover new (&old) music then is the place to be. I've signed up a couple of months back and have really been enjoying music surfing. Thats right! similar to channel surfing is about discovering music based on what you like and what others who are like you like. There is plenty of research in this field, some of which are headed by the folks at lastfm, but what it essentially means is a good trip down music lane :)

You can sign up for a free account and search based on artist or a tag such as pop, rock, jazz or female vocalist. In any case your search result becomes a virtual radio station which goes off on all sorts of tangents discovering similar artists or similar artists, tags and so on. When you hear a song you really like, you can express your pleasure by marking it as loved, or display your hate by banning it and you shall never hear it. You can also skip tracks, unlike web streaming radio but can not seek within the song, since it isn't meant to be "music on demand" sort of a service but more of a personalized radio like service.

The killer feature is scrobbling, which you can get by downloading and installing the Free/Open Source client on your computer or portable device such as an ipod touch/iphone or N800. What scrobbling essentially is tracking the music you play and uploading that information to the server against your profile to improve the kind of music you hear and to provide user listening patterns and charts.

The ipod touch/iphone client for those who've managed to jail break their device is simply awesome. I am so hooked on listening to music wirelessly while lying in bed and marking tracks I like and checking out lyrics, information on the artist using the integrated wiki lookup as well as checking artist tour dates and locations (not that I'll ever go but its fun). Unfortunately the desktop clients seems to lack some of these fine features integrated for the time being.

So if your music lover, go check it out. Its web 2.0 done for music where you can form your own little friend network and discover music together. if your really hooked on it, might even be worth dishing out a couple of extra bucks for the value added features the network provides.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sinhalen FOSS Blogcast

Recently I've been trying to start a Blog and Podcast as a means of reducing the language barrier when it comes to learning and playing around with Free and Open Source Software, aka FOSS. So a couple of months back I started the Sinhalen FOSS Blog at The idea of the blog is really to introduce various aspects of FOSS such as howto's, command line tips/tricks etc. and provide a forum for other Bloggers to contribute related articles. In this regard, I am grateful to Lakmal and Kanchana for their contributions and hope more of you will take the challenge in installing Sinhala Unicode and getting in to the habbit of remembering to write in Sinhala :). Yes it can be a pain, especially with the current state of input methods. Yes there are always complexities in writing proper Sinhala. But as far as I'm concerned writing something is better than not trying at all. In this regards, I'd have to thank my mom who is my personal Sinhala specialist (she's got a degree in it), and Dhahajaya who is an upcoming singer/song writer (not to mention our accountant).

So the next natural evolution from text is to get into audio. Actually thats not really the case, but for now about an year I've wanted to start podcasting. I've, myself am (me me me) a huge fan of podcasts and listens to over 10 podcasts while on the road on my ipod. Besides I've always had a thing for talking so finally with the help of 2 more geeks, chanux and seejay, I've managed get over the inertia of getting into podcasting.

With the launch of the podcast, I've decided to get its own domain so from now on both the Sinhalen FOSS Blog and Sinhalen FOSS podcast will live at We'd like to call it a BlogCast because its a fusion of both those elements. Talking about the show, its going to be bi-weekly (hopefully) at first and depending on the feedback and our time availability we might go in to a weekly format. The show will roughly be an hour long, where we will talk informally about news events in the foss world, reviews, gossip and what not in sinhala.

So go check out the pilot episode and give us feedback on how to improve, what you'd like to hear more of less of.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good bye Gentoo - Hello Leopard

The following post was an April Fools Hoax :) While bits of it are true such as I did finally move away from Gentoo as my primary distro its got more to do with lack of time and laziness to reinstall gentoo. Hopefully I'll do another post on me moving to Kubuntu (Ubuntu + kubuntu-desktop package). I did find few annoyances but one should expect that running a beta software. I am happily using kubuntu with full desktop effects that is far superior that of Apple of Microsoft.

I did buy the Mighty Mouse and Apple keyboard as mentioned I wanted a good portable bluetooth device and they worked effortlessly (almost :) on the latest Ubuntu 8.04.

No Leopard's were harmed in creating this hoax as the desktop your seeing on my Acer laptop is actually a full screen screenshot sent to me by Siraj using his Mac notebook which I loaded before taking the picture.

Its been a little over 3 years since I switched from Debian to Gentoo. I still remember my blog post titled "Goodbye Debian, Hello Gentoo" like it was yesterday. Gentoo was a gr8 distro for me since my machine ran like a speeding bullet as a result of being able to optimize it to my old P4 notebook at the time. Actually before loading Gentoo on my notebook I actually ran it a on my AMD64 bare bone system as a 64 bit OS. I later install gentoo on my Mac Mini PPC as well and was loving it.

But then came the painful realization of upgrading packages and I would spend a lot of time on the PPC machine and the AMD 64 machine downloading and compiling packages. You see unfortunately in most cases downloading source code takes up more space than the compiled binary and compiling it on an old PPC system or even an old AMD 64 (2GHz equivalent) was a killer. But I must say I enjoyed it - until of course the system was still half broken and I had to do a revdep-rebuild to rebuild those packages.

Eventually I gave up running Gentoo on those systems and started running Ubuntu or Debian. Till recently my Apple PPC G4 was running Debian but when I upgraded to Leopard (aka Mac OSX 10.5) it replaced the boot loader so now its just running on that. My AMD 64 is running Ubuntu 64 with a Leopard like theme by following the instructions at Mac4Lin.

So basically till last weekend I was only running Gentoo on my main notebook and funny enough it was the same installation I did 3 years ago on my HP P4 notebook. You see when I got this new Acer, I was too lazy to re-install Gentoo so copied the files across and re-emerged everything. And thats how Gentoo is. You can rebuild the whole system and have it like a new one. But for things to work right sometimes you end up recompiling a couple of times only to find by the time your done its time to upgrade again :) But more recently I had a couple of apps which just crashed like wvdial and X with compiz.

So last weekend, I carefully backed up my data and started installing Ubuntu. Since I was already using xorg 7.3 and what not I thought I'd install Ubuntu+1 (aka 8.04 beta). Its one thing to switch from Gentoo to Ubuntu but another to also switch from Kde to Gnome. I've been a Kde user for over 6 years! So I did the apt-get install kubuntu-desktop. Oh boy is kubuntu not so ready. Compared to Ubuntu I find it buggy and not polished at all.

After spending the whole of weekend I managed to get something which sort of resembles my favorite desktop - Leopard.


But it was such a pain. When ever I rebooted the machine kubuntu would not properly start desktop effects. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure this out and even went on IRC #kubuntu but no luck. Finally I nailed it down to a some sort of a dbus error. And that was the last straw! I've had it spending time messing around with my OS. The reason I left Gentoo was to have an easier time enjoying the desktop and now the same thing with kubuntu!!!

All this happened yesterday and I was quite frustrated with Kubuntu and Linux in general. I know linux has come a long way and its still a great OS but when all you want is to "just do it" Linux tends to fail more often. So I was quite frustrated and went for a shower since by then I was feeling so sweaty and sticky. While showering it occurred to me that I was really most comfortable with the Mac OSX GUI than anything else. If you've been following my blog you would remember that I wrote several posts from even before Compiz-beryl was invented on making the desktop look more like Mac OSX. I remember a couple of years back I managed to install a hackint0sh version of OSX Tiger on one of the IBM Thinkpad, so yesterday started looking into it. I had the ISO for Tiger but wanted to install Leopard instead. Luckily I had the ISO's for Leopard also :) since I had upgraded my Mac Mini with it so after following the instructions at this site I managed to get OSX Leopard running on my Acer.

Everything pretty much works great such as Sound, 3D acceleration, Networking, Wi-Fi and even bluetooth. I recently bought an Apple Mighty Mouse since I wanted a bluetooth wireless mouse and it works great. It was so much easier to configure on OSX than on Linux.

So it looks like for the time being until I have a bit more time on my hand I am leaving the OS I spent the last 8-9 years using for an OS I've aspired all other OSes should become. Apple has always been very innovative and I think the desktop OS will be won by them at the end.

I am still a hoping to use a lot of Open Source software from within Mac OSX. When I get more time I might even look into the wonderful Darwin system which is a truly Open Source kernel based on BSD Unix. I am also very keen on getting into Apple's Objective C based CoCoa development using XCode since it will provide me with the means to develop iPhone apps using the SDK. I also hope to buy an iPhone once the 3G version is available. Wooh! can't wait!

Anyway I wrote a lot and I'm quite excited and hope to bring you guys more articles on using Mac OSX!

Leopard on my Acer

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wicked Shell Programming Workshop @ UCSC

We had a nice couple of sessions on shell programming today at the LSF lab @ UCSC. Anuradha started off with a great introduction that set the stage for the rest of the day. I followed with my invent as I go style of presentation, which for the most part I believe (hope) made sense. Then Sapumal did the evening session on brining all of it together with an advanced session.

There was a good geek crowd that filled the small LSF room where geeks were seen on chairs, couches, on top of tables and on their feet. All of the speeches and some interludes were recorded and could go up youtube if and when someone gets around to it. Overall it was a good first day and more will follow tomorrow.

I have a session in the evening and will try to pop in and out between my usual Linux lectures at UCSC and the workshop. In the mine time, enjoy these few pics I took from day 1.

Shell workshop 2008Shell workshop 2008Shell workshop 2008Shell workshop 2008Shell workshop 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Our first IEEE paper has been published!

Dr. Ajantha came back from the "International Conference on Advanced Communication Technology" after submitting what appears to be our (that is myself and Wathsala's) first paper at an IEEE conference. The subject of the paper which you can download and read here, is about a Next Generation Proxy caching system which fuses the idea of Cached content and Bandwidth utilization with web 2.0/x.0 trends.

These ideas are the result of what we learned by implementing Bassa, an Open Source Next Generation Proxy Server (NGP) at UCSC. We are very excited about continuing our research and development to expand its scope.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just another day @ the Sri Lanka Customs Office

Oh boy what a day it was! I spent a good 5 hrs at the Sri Lankan Airport cargo office on Friday trying to clear a 3" tiny piece of memory which I had ordered for my Toshiba L1 laptop.

I didn't really expect this to be held by customs in the first place, considering its size, weight, cost and the fact it was a 256MB chip (quite outdated by todays memory standards). I was also misled by FedEx's tracking comments which gave no indication of the shipment being held at customs but stated that it was on its way for delivery. It was only when the courier guy came and handed a letter I knew what happened. What was more amusing was the next update on FedEx's tracking site - Goods delivered.

I called up FedEx and they said in order for them to clear it I had to get apply for a VAT number which seemed like an unnecessary hassle. They did suggest I go to the customs and try to sort it out myself - thank you FedEx for getting me FedUp!

So I made my way to Katunayake which turned out to be a real Katu (needle) trip :) Granted you have to go through a strip search of the vehicle and get two passes, one for the person and another for the vehicle, considering the current security situation is understandable. What really ticked me off was the series of events that happened after I got in.

To be continued ...

Friday, February 15, 2008

IMPORTANT: Upgrade Linux kernel to fix possible root exploit

Its rare but sometimes it *can* happen. This is an important one to fix! If your running a GNU/Linux server (or desktop), running kernels from 2.6.17 -, it is HIGHLY recommended that you update the system using what ever package management system your distro provided, IMMEDIATELY.

If not updated, your system could be at risk allowing a normal shell user to gain root access (i.e root exploit).

A technical overview of the exploit and links to POC code and source code patch can be found here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

OLPC coming to Sri Lanka

Last Friday, I had the privilege to attend a workshop on "One Lap Top Per Child" or OLPC as they call it, at HNB Towers. The OLPC is a marvellous piece of technology (note, I fell short of saying hardware). For instance it has a very low power processor that was developed by AMD to only consume 2 Watts of electricity, compared to 30 - 40W on other notebooks!

The battery has a life span of 4,000 hours compared to about 2,000 on others and only costs USD 10 to replace it (costs about USD 60 - 100 on our laptops). The screen works great in both indoors and in bright sunlight where it consumes less energy and has a higher resoultion in a black & white mode. The screen's back light can be replaced easily without having to replace the whole LCD panel and it only costs 25 cents to replace!

It has a WiFi like no other! It supports mesh computing, a standard known as 802.11s (as opposed to 802.11b/g). And still normal wireless devices are welcomed to connect as p2p devices (ad-hoc mode). Wireless distance can range all the way up to even a 1km away (shhh don't tell TRC) by auto negotiating its connection speed to a lower value. All it needs is 1 laptop with an internet connection for others to have internet connection. It even triangulates and shows other OLPCs in a relatively positioned map.

Its water proof, dirt proof and shock/drop proof. Held together by 13 or odd screws, this is probably the only laptop in the world where you are encouraged to take it apart and try to fix problems before taking it for repairs with no warrenty issues.

So in other words, this is device of freedom. Total freedom! And who better to have that but the next generation. I just wish they'd come up with an OLPD too (see below :)

With all that enthusiasm, I started digging around the OLPC's shell to dig up info I could cherish about its specs (hardware & software). So for all you GNU/Linux geeks out there this bit is for you. Other (Mac & Win users) can enjoy the pics, read about the hardware and run to learn GNU/Linux ;)

olpc_colombo olpc_colombo olpc_colombo


processor : 0
vendor_id : AuthenticAMD
cpu family : 5
model : 10
model name : Geode(TM) Integrated Processor by AMD PCS
stepping : 2
cpu MHz : 431.222
cache size : 128 KB
fdiv_bug : no
hlt_bug : no
f00f_bug : no
coma_bug : no
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 1
wp : yes
flags : fpu de pse tsc msr cx8 sep pge cmov clflush mmx mmxext 3dnowext 3dnow
bogomips : 863.54
clflush size : 32


MemTotal: 237852 kB
MemFree: 27792 kB
Buffers: 1008 kB
Cached: 98988 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 118936 kB
Inactive: 67584 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 4 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 86544 kB
Mapped: 26180 kB
Slab: 16588 kB
SReclaimable: 5712 kB
SUnreclaim: 10876 kB
PageTables: 864 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 118924 kB
Committed_AS: 163984 kB
VmallocTotal: 794604 kB
VmallocUsed: 17856 kB
VmallocChunk: 776592 kB
HugePages_Total: 0
HugePages_Free: 0
HugePages_Rsvd: 0
Hugepagesize: 4096 kB

lspci -v

00:01.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Unknown device 0028 (rev 21)
Subsystem: National Semiconductor Corporation Unknown device 0028
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 248

00:01.1 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Geode LX Video (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Subsystem: National Semiconductor Corporation Unknown device 0030
Flags: 66MHz, medium devsel, IRQ 14
Memory at fd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8M]
Memory at fe000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Memory at fe004000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Memory at fe008000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Memory at (32-bit, non-prefetchable)

00:01.2 Entertainment encryption device: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Geode LX AES Security Block
Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Geode LX AES Security Block
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0
Memory at fe010000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]

00:0c.0 FLASH memory: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4100 (rev 10) (prog-if 01)
Subsystem: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4100
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
Memory at fe020000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [88] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [9c] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-

00:0c.1 Generic system peripheral [0805]: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4101 (rev 10) (prog-if 01)
Subsystem: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4100
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
Memory at fe024000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [88] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [9c] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-

00:0c.2 Multimedia video controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4102 (rev 10) (prog-if 01)
Subsystem: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4100
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
Memory at fe028000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [88] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [9c] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-

00:0f.0 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] ISA (rev 03)
Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] ISA
Flags: 66MHz, medium devsel
I/O ports at 18b0 [size=8]
I/O ports at 1000 [size=256]
I/O ports at 1800 [size=64]
I/O ports at 1880 [size=32]
I/O ports at 1400 [size=128]
I/O ports at 1840 [size=64]

00:0f.3 Multimedia audio controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] Audio (rev 01)
Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] Audio
Flags: 66MHz, medium devsel, IRQ 5
I/O ports at 1480 [size=128]

00:0f.4 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] OHC (rev 02) (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] OHC
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
Memory at fe01a000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2

00:0f.5 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] EHC (rev 02) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] EHC
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
Memory at fe01b000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2


Module Size Used by
nls_utf8 1888 2
vfat 12064 2
fat 48124 1 vfat
sg 33276 0
i2c_dev 7268 0
usb8xxx 18084 0
libertas 183324 1 usb8xxx
ieee80211 32232 1 libertas
ieee80211_crypt 5664 1 ieee80211
cs5535_gpio 4740 0
mousedev 11192 0


# Xorg configuration file for OLPC

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "fake" "CorePointer" "CoreKeyboard"

# Fool 1.4 autoconf into seeing a mouse and keyboard so it won't
# try to synthetize them
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "fake"
Driver "void"

Section "Module"
SubSection "extmod"
Option "omit XFree86-DGA"
#Option "omit XFree86-Misc" # needed by 'xset m'
Option "omit TOG-CUP"
Option "omit Extended-Visual-Information"
Load "freetype"
Load "evdev"
# Load "record" # Mostly a debugging tool

Section "Extensions"
Option "XTEST" "Disable" # Mostly a debugging tool
#Option "SECURITY" "Disable" # CRASH!
Option "XC-APPGROUP" "Disable"
Option "XINERAMA" "Disable"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "DCON"
HorizSync 30-67
VertRefresh 48-52
DisplaySize 152 114
Mode "1200x900"
DotClock 57.275
HTimings 1200 1208 1216 1240
VTimings 900 905 908 912
Flags "-HSync" "-VSync"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Geode"
Driver "amd"
VendorName "Advanced Micro Devices, Inc."
BoardName "AMD Geode GX/LX"

# Disable VGA for the OLPC board
Option "NoVGA" "true"

Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "NoCompression" "true"
Option "CustomMode" "true"
Option "DconPanel" "true"
Option "PanelGeometry" "1200x900"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Geode"
Monitor "DCON"
DefaultDepth 16

SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1200x900"


lo no wireless extensions.

msh0 IEEE 802.11b/g Nickname:"Mesh"
Mode:Repeater Frequency:2.412 GHz Bit Rate:2 Mb/s Tx-Power=18 dBm
Retry limit:8 RTS thr=2347 B Fragment thr=2346 B
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality=90/100 Signal level=-46 dBm Noise level=-86 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:15504
Tx excessive retries:424 Invalid misc:781 Missed beacon:0

eth0 IEEE 802.11b/g ESSID:"olpc-mesh" Nickname:"MRVL-USB8388"
Mode:Ad-Hoc Frequency:2.412 GHz Cell: 02:24:14:95:01:57
Bit Rate:2 Mb/s Tx-Power=18 dBm
Retry limit:8 RTS thr=2347 B Fragment thr=2346 B
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality=54/100 Signal level=-59 dBm Noise level=-78 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:15878
Tx excessive retries:432 Invalid misc:794 Missed beacon:0

ps aux

root 1 0.0 1.7 4968 4152 ? Ss 05:51 0:02 oatc /init
root 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [kthreadd]
root 3 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? SN 05:51 0:00 [ksoftirqd/0]
root 4 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [watchdog/0]
root 5 0.1 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:03 [events/0]
root 6 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [khelper]
root 47 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [kblockd/0]
root 48 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [ksuspend_usbd]
root 51 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [khubd]
root 53 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [kseriod]
root 114 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S 05:51 0:00 [pdflush]
root 115 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S 05:51 0:00 [pdflush]
root 116 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [kswapd0]
root 118 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [aio/0]
root 518 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [kpsmoused]
root 560 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [kmmcd]
root 616 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? Z 05:51 0:00 [init]
root 642 1.3 0.0 0 0 ? SN 05:51 0:39 [jffs2_gcd_mtd0]
root 645 0.0 0.2 2136 664 ? Ss 05:51 0:00 init [5]
root 734 0.0 0.2 2260 600 ? S>s 05:51 0:00 /sbin/udevd -d
root 863 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [libertas_main]
root 864 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:51 0:00 [libertas_worker]
root 1231 0.0 0.2 1804 600 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 syslogd -m 0
root 1234 0.0 0.1 1740 396 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 klogd -x
dbus 1257 0.0 0.4 2956 1040 ? Ss 05:52 0:01 dbus-daemon --system
root 1279 0.0 2.8 15700 6704 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 /usr/bin/python /usr/sbin/rainbow-daemon --daemon
root 1294 0.0 0.3 5392 936 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 /usr/sbin/sshd
root 1306 0.0 0.9 7564 2188 ? Ssl 05:52 0:00 console-kit-daemon
root 1339 0.0 0.4 5336 1108 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 crond
root 1383 0.0 0.2 1740 624 ? SNs 05:52 0:00 anacron -s
68 1416 0.1 1.1 4696 2828 ? Ss 05:52 0:03 hald
root 1417 0.0 0.4 3080 992 ? S 05:52 0:00 hald-runner
root 1441 0.0 0.9 28740 2152 ? Ssl 05:52 0:00 NetworkManager --pid-file=/var/run/NetworkManager/
root 1451 0.0 0.4 3172 1072 ? S 05:52 0:00 hald-addon-input: Listening on /dev/input/event0 /dev/input/event1 /dev/input/event2 /dev/input/event3
avahi 1480 0.0 0.6 2788 1504 ? Ss 05:52 0:02 avahi-daemon: running [xo-05-26-00.local]
root 1481 0.0 1.4 9140 3372 ? S 05:52 0:00 /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/olpc-hardware-manager
avahi 1482 0.0 0.1 2656 432 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 avahi-daemon: chroot helper
root 1507 0.0 0.1 1728 464 tty1 Ss+ 05:52 0:00 /sbin/mingetty --noclear tty1
root 1511 0.0 0.1 1728 460 tty2 Ss+ 05:52 0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty2
root 1512 0.0 0.2 1740 508 ttyS0 Ss+ 05:52 0:00 /sbin/agetty ttyS0 115200 vt100
root 1513 0.0 0.5 2884 1196 ? Ss 05:52 0:00 /usr/sbin/olpc-dm
olpc 1538 0.0 0.4 2556 1068 tty8 Ss+ 05:52 0:00 /bin/sh /usr/bin/startx /usr/bin/olpc-session -- -fp built-ins -wr
olpc 1555 0.0 0.3 3072 928 tty8 S+ 05:52 0:00 xinit /usr/bin/olpc-session -- /usr/bin/X -fp built-ins -wr -auth /home/olpc/.serverauth.1538
root 1556 2.5 3.0 12540 7284 tty3 Ss+ 05:52 1:11 /usr/bin/X :0 -fp built-ins -wr -auth /home/olpc/.serverauth.1538
olpc 1566 1.9 13.1 53660 31184 ? Ss 05:52 0:56 python /usr/bin/sugar-shell
olpc 1574 0.0 0.2 2836 612 ? S 05:52 0:00 dbus-launch --exit-with-session sugar-shell
olpc 1575 0.0 0.4 3076 1176 ? Ss 05:52 0:02 /bin/dbus-daemon --fork --print-pid 4 --print-address 6 --session
olpc 1586 0.0 1.8 8008 4484 ? S 05:52 0:01 matchbox-window-manager -use_titlebar no -theme sugar -kbdconfig /usr/share/sugar/shell/kbdconfig
olpc 1588 0.2 4.6 15368 10948 ? S 05:52 0:06 python /usr/bin/sugar-presence-service
olpc 1590 0.0 1.2 8200 2920 ? S 05:52 0:00 /usr/libexec/telepathy-salut
olpc 1592 0.0 3.7 13272 8820 ? S 05:52 0:01 python /usr/bin/sugar-shell-service
olpc 1594 0.3 5.8 46412 14012 ? Sl 05:52 0:09 python /usr/bin/datastore-service
olpc 1603 0.0 0.1 1728 380 ? S 05:52 0:00 /bin/cat
olpc 1605 0.8 9.7 35768 23244 ? S 05:52 0:24 python /usr/bin/sugar-activity journalactivity.JournalActivity -b org.laptop.JournalActivity -a 5b61a1f8af585a3b41fd3bb974a9289ac4695e81
499 1670 0.0 0.2 1824 708 ? S 05:54 0:00 avahi-autoipd: [msh0] bound
root 1671 0.0 0.1 1776 356 ? Ss 05:54 0:00 avahi-autoipd: [msh0] callout dispatcher
root 1749 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 05:58 0:00 [scsi_eh_0]
olpc 1802 0.0 0.1 1732 384 ? S 05:58 0:00 /bin/cat
olpc 1827 0.0 0.6 3440 1636 ? S 06:01 0:00 /usr/libexec/gconfd-2
olpc 1843 0.5 10.3 49576 24560 ? Sl 06:04 0:11 python /usr/bin/sugar-activity terminal.TerminalActivity -s -b org.laptop.Terminal -a a33cc298fb40442a4de34be74e637289c40777e6
olpc 1844 0.0 0.2 2424 628 ? S 06:04 0:00 gnome-pty-helper
olpc 1845 0.0 0.6 4688 1528 pts/0 Ss 06:04 0:00 /bin/bash
root 1966 0.0 0.4 2872 1092 pts/0 S 06:11 0:00 su -
root 1977 0.0 0.6 4684 1536 pts/0 S 06:11 0:00 -bash
root 2144 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 06:39 0:00 [scsi_eh_2]
root 2145 0.0 0.0 0 0 ? S> 06:39 0:00 [usb-storage]
root 2182 0.1 0.4 3176 980 ? S 06:39 0:00 hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/sdb (every 2 sec)
root 2191 6.0 0.3 4516 944 pts/0 R+ 06:39 0:00 ps aux

What is OLPD you ask? "One Laptop Per Dad" of course! Sorry mom, you can borrow mine.

Friday, January 18, 2008

RMS events in Sri Lanka

rms_ucsc I've just come back from UCSC's roof top, where RMS came to say hi to the many geeks, students and staff as the last event before he heads back tomorrow noon.

The last couple days had been quite hectic, balancing between home, work and organizing RMS events. From before his arrival on the 14th to the present day, its been a juggling act of trying to stay on top of things. It was challenging and non trivial considering the nature and importance of the visitor (after all RMS started it all) and the fact we wanted to get so many different groups involved. There was ICTA, (which in itself is a bunch of groups), SLIIT, UCSC, UoM, UoP, IIT, NIMB, APIT, PC House, Cannonical, Redhat, WSO2 and probably more. And looks like we pulled this one off quit well, phew!

RMS arrived in Sri Lanka on the 14th of Jan and I ended up tagging along with Himira of ICTA/LKLUG to the airport. The flight was supposed to be at 11:45am and we were doing the whole CIP (Commercially Important People as opposed to VIP) thing. But it so happens the new CIP doesn't have a lounge and so we ended up staying at the VIP lounge. Besides getting up close but not personal with CBK, JRaj and SarathA as well as me reading RMS's book, we were pretty much waiting, waiting and waiting, for 4 hours! RMS was on a Sri Lankan UL flight from India, which was only supposed to be an hour flight. When asked as to the reason of the delay from one of the airport staff, he humorously explained it was due to UL flights being Usually Late. There was nothing we could do anyways since we were pretty much in house arrest with no way of even going out for a bite.

He finally did come at about 2:30 pm. We greeted him at the terminal and proceeded to immigration after taking few pictures (I'll post them as soon as I get them). RMS started reading and replying to his mail, which I presume he had downloaded before getting on the plane, using Emacs, on his rather bulky Thinkpad, using vt text console. He also offered a stack of CDs and challenged us to pick a CD to listen to. I picked the first one, not knowing exactly which was better. It turned out to be some pretty nice Vietnamese music, which we listened to on our way back to Colombo. There were a few little nice things that happened such as getting my book autographed and him offering us delicious New Zealand cheese but I'm too lazy to blog about details. Your just gonna have to read my twitter if you wanna catch that, or better yet follow me so you don't miss it next time :)

Anyway I didn't see him again till today at the Malabe SLIIT event where he delivered a speech which can only be described as one of the best speeches I've heard of his filled with humor, ridicule, inspiration and wisdom. Somehow he managed to create a perfect fusion of speeches he is known to give into one spectacular speech. The auditorium, known to support about 800 people was full with a few people even standing at the back. And yet the place was silent, if not for RMS's voice. Ven. Mettavihari and Chamath managed to clear the Ubuntu CDs that Cannonical had couriered from customs and bring it to SLIIT just in time, before the event ended. Those CDs vanished fast - 600 CDs gone in 600 seconds!

Now if you knew and admired RMS and still missed the events, may be because you didn't know or just couldn't make it, well you have my apologies (for not doing enough advocacy) and sympathies (might have been a once in a life time chance if he never comes back, though you never know). If you don't know him, well then you probably think your not missing much, but boy were you wrong! In any case we do hope to encode and upload video of his speech on to one or more of the popular video uploading servers. So come back to this post and you might just find a link to it.

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