Showing posts from December, 2004

Farewell Phil :'(

Today I got to learn that Philip Nicholas too was an unfortunate casualty of the tsunami title wave that hit Sri Lanka yesterday. At the time of his death, he was holidaying in Arugambay (located in Pottuville) spending Christmas at the Star Dust Beach Hotel . The wave that struck the area had completely destroyed the hotel. Phil was the founder and lead developer for Hibyte Co. , a UK based web development company. He came to Sri Lanka in 1999, to work on the Star Dust hotel's web site, and directly gone there at a time when going to Pottuville was unthinkable do to terrorist activities. Ever since then he had fallen in love with Sri Lanka and had worked and lived here since then. I met Phil towards the end of 2002, when my former company ITABS formed a partnership with Hibyte LK. I worked with him a little over an year on a few projects. He was a perl and DHTML genius. I would say most of my current perl writing styles and even some PHP generic functions were greatly


It started just like any other day.. I got up in the morning, burned a few calories on the road (road rage!) and made it to office. Fast forward roughly 8 hours -- it was time to go home, or was it! (This is where your supposed to hear the siren like sound from horror movies) I was never scared of the dentist. The sound of the drill nor the injection, which I now refer as to “Lethal Injection!”, didn't bother me. But my ignorance towards the dentist, has finally caught up with me! I finally share the sympathy, and plead forgiveness for I have laughed at you, while you were rightfully frightened to go to THE DENTIST! Removing my wisdom, took a little over an hour and a half, which is a bit longer than usual. Except for the pain of having to tilt my head slightly back for the whole period, the operation didn't really hurt much. There were some complications, as expected, since it is said that wisdom is difficult to obtain as well as remove :) My tooth was surgically r

A new day has come!

Welcome to virtusa is a phrase I kept hearing all day from many who gave me a warm welcome. Today was my first day at the new office. A new machine was already allocated with a sticker containing my login details. The machine boasted a 2.8GHz processor and 1GB RAM which made me quite content. It was as if they had been waiting for me. I spent the rest of the day remove that other OS, and reinstalling Debian Sarge Linux. The new Sarge installer , which is still beta, turns out to be very user-friendly when comparing with the previous Woody installer. Within a couple of hours I got a very good desktop linux running on KDE 3.2.3. There was a problem with Xfree86 probing the correct monitor frequency for the Samsung SyncMaster 753DF, so I was stuck with 60Hz at 1024x768. Now I must admit a secret. I have super powers which enable me to view 60Hz flicker. This also makes give me a headache so I decided to get the proper frequency values for the monitor. I was too lazy to go around and se

A Christmas LAN party...

Couple of us were invited for a warm Christmas lunch at the Hiran's residence. Myself, Asanga along with Kanchana had decided to meet up early to get a card and a gift since that's usually the hard part. But when I saw the Lava Lamp staring at me, I thought this is all that's missing from Hiran's high tech home! I mean after all how can a solar/wind powered, wireless, broadband home with a sound space system not have a Lava Lamp? Everyone else agreed so we got that and rushed off. When we got to Hiran's, Marlon and Andre had already arrived with a can of beer in their hands. Surprisingly we weren't that late as thought since these guys had also arrived few minutes earlier. I got myself into a cozy beer, while Kanchana sipped on a delicious home made Anoda drink by Maneesha, of which I too was lucky to have a sip. More guests soon arrived which, included Hirans beautiful sister, who'd come down from UK and Thilani who is sometimes called a crazy girl, if

Last Day...

Today is the last day I'm officially spending at ITABS, but I'm not feeling nostalgic nor sad today. After all this is the end of the week and the weekend is coming up right! But more than that, it's because I was feeling sad and nostalgic yesterday ;) Yesterday was my unofficial last day at ITABS, only because today some guys were supposed to be somewhere else and so they decided to do something yesterday instead. Yesterday, I was busy the whole day at a client's location and was hoping to come back to office in the evening for a Linux class. I've got a call around 3:00pm, as I was entering the network server room at the client, from Lakmal asking an odd question "which type of DVDs my writer supports?". Without thinking twice I answered "any type, plus or minus". He then immediately kept the phone. For a second I thought it was odd, but then thought may be he is researching again on the net for a good DVD writer to buy, and got back to work.

Need a 5,000 rupee ticket to use the Toilet!

That seemed to be the tone coming out of some of the security guards patrolling the "takaran" gates of CR&FC. Though I would have much liked to use different title for this post, considering the vibrant concert that followed, I can't help myself! If you weren't living under a rock, you would know that Air Supply is in town. I some how managed to squeeze a few minutes to go out and buy two 1,000/= tickets. Like most sensible people I couldn't afford paying 5,000/= a ticket even though Air Supply is such a wonderful band. Apparently the organizers hadn't anticipated that people who bought the 1,000/= rupee tickets just might need to use the restroom. When this scenario cropped up it was just sheer panic! The guard said "You have to go out of the gate and get in from the 5,000/= gate but once you come back we can't guarantee that we'll let you in. You might have to buy another 1,000 ticket". One of the organizers with a tag hanging

The Handover..

By now most of you reading this blog already know that I will be exiting my current work place to join Virtusa at the R&D dept. If you didn't know, well now you know why I was making various hints on previous posts! My appointment date at the new place is from the 20th of this month so there really isn't much time left. Today began the handover of things to friends who worked with me. I spent the whole morning with Janaka explaining him the firewall config tool that I was building over the last couple of weeks and getting him up to speed with it. I'm also working on setting up some infrastructure to streamline some of the redundant operations we currently have. Last week I setup a CVS server and today I started to install RoundUp an issue tracking system. I'm still going through the feature list and leaning to use it, but I'm hopeful we can track software bugs as well as customer issues with this. That way I wont have to install a separate bugzilla which

Exhibition Ends we Get-2-Gether...

Today was a busy day for myself and the other guys. I was busy at the UCSC, preparing few lecture notes that I didn't have time to do over the week, as well as conducting lectures and instructing the practical. The other guys were busy at BMICH explaining and demonstrating to the large crowd that turned up for the last day of the ASCIO exhibition. I got a call from Nadeeka around 6:00p asking me when I'd come over there. We had planned to meet up after the exhibition to go out and eat, drink and chit chat. "I'll be there soon" was all I could tell him. The class had just finished, but my good friend Vinesh had come over to UCSC and was trying to setup MRTG , a network monitoring tool for his new office. He had gotten some weird error on Redhat when he had tried it and now I was getting a similar error on a freshly installed Mepis (Debian like). Ah! it suddenly hit me... the FIREWALL, stupid dog ! Turning off the the Guard Dog firewall rules seemed to fix i

Its Exhibition time again

I've really been busy the last couple of days and didn't have any time to write my blog. But in any case except for a few developments, nothing exciting did happen.. that is until now! Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization or in short ASOCIO is an exhibition that is usually held else where, and its the first time they are holding it in Sri Lanka. There was a BIG marketing campaign on the media announcing it as the BIGGEST exhibition in South East Asia, with big names like Intel, PC House, Suntel and oh.. almost forgot that company from Redmond sponsoring it. Yesterday I was running around to help setup the LKLUG stall, at SLECC (Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Center). I lent them my Wi-Fi USB gadget, a wireless Keyboard and Mouse, Sound Blaster Live 5.1 card and a power extension cord. Today was my day at the ITABS stall, which is located at the BMICH. Yes you heard me right! Its same exhibition, but held in two places. We've got a small corn