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Showing posts from September, 2005

I want my CDMA! How my rights were violated.

Last Wednesday, I went to pick up a CDMA phone from Bell after hearing all good about it and how fast it was. I had been using Bell for now over 5 years, primarily to surf the Internet. Sure it wasn't fast at 33.6, but atleast it was the next best economical thing until ADSL shows up.

Naturally when CDMA came along with a lower rental and a 5x claimed speed, it did raise my eye browse. But I had already invested 15,000/- on my current phone, which included paying the old owner his phone deposit of 7500 and another 7500 for the phone transfer.

Still, I was paying 600+ on rental alone and wasn't using the two lines that came with it that much. After waiting and rethinking for about two months and checking on ADSL, I decided to bite the bullet and go for CDMA, while disconnecting the old line.

Boy! was I in for a surprise as I left to the Bell head office It seemed as if I had committed the ultimate sin, by asking that they disconnect the old phone, while I buy another brand new ph…

Taprobane hits Distrowatch!

Today is a happy day for all of us who started working on our very own GNU/Linux distribution, appropriately named Taprobane GNU/Linux, as it gets accepted as a Linux distribution worth listing at Distrowatch. It is remarkable to see that Taprobane was approved by for listing at Distrowatch in just 30 days since appearing on the waiting list, especially considering the standard 90 day waiting period.

This is what Distrowatch had to say on it's front page:


Taprobane is an ancient name for the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka and a Debian-based Linux live CD built by a group of developers at the Lanka Linux User Group (LKLUG). The new version 0.4.1 is the project's first public release. What's in it? "X.Org 6.8.2; official NVIDIA driver support out of the box; KDE 3.4.1; OpenOffice.org 2; Linux 2.6.12.4; SquashFS and Unionfs; Apache, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Zope, started and stopped from the K-menu; excellent hotplug support; saving data to persistent media; educational softwa…

Colombo goes crazy over books!

Reader discretion: This post is long. Try not to fall asleep and crash your monitor

Yes! It certainly has to be the biggest exhibition in Colombo, if not the Sri Lanka, when you consider the long car strip that extends a couple of hundred meters, just waiting to get in to BMICH. The International Book Exhibition happens every year and it seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year!

This morning (if you consider 11AM as morning that is), as I was approaching the Book exhibition, I thought to myself - "I'm not waiting in that queue to checkout a couple of books!". So I temporarily lost hope, especially after seeing that both sides of the road were pretty much occupied by parked cars, but much to my delight the public park down Longdon Place had plenty of space.

The exhibition was just jam packed! So much that the main entrance to the BMICH was temporarily closed off to encourage us to visit stalls at the SBMICH and come back later. I decided to walk over to the Universi…

Phew... Did we pull it off?

After months of going to planning meetings and running around organizing "The biggest FOSS conference", ever in SL, well the FOSS week has finally come to end today. Hopefully we can now sleep a bit longer and breath a little easier.

I'm not going to waste any longer, but just before I hit the sack, I thought I'd recap some of the events for those who'd like to read by refering to blogs and news items.

Keep tuning to this page as I hope to update it as I find more links.

Blogs

Rasmas Lerdorf'skey note on PHP5
Sam Ruby's keynote on Ruby :)
Sam Ruby's Blog on his experience in Sri Lanka
10 things every Java programmer should know about Ruby
Martin Michlmayr Blog
Greg Stien's blog and his Python examples at the FOSSSL
The Source coverage of FOSSSL05
Prabath's blog on Rub-on-rails keynote by Sam Ruby
Prabath's blog on Sahana keynote by Chamindra
Prabath's blog on FOSS at the hospital keynote by Dr. Nandalal
Anuradha's Blog about the somewhat unplea…

De ja vu at the Installfest

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Today was the last day at the Installfest and my first day attending it. Yesterday my time was totally killed repairing my car A/C and then I had to conduct a lecture at the committee room.

Anyway today as I got to the Installfest De ja vu striked! A guy had brought a mini PDA to install GNU/Linux on to it. Now if you had watched Revolution OS, where coincidently most of us heard of the concept of an Installfest to in the first place, a similar guy comes hoping to install Linux on to tiny machine.

It seemed I was the chosen one to play the person who would have helped that person in the movie (except its never actually shown).

The PDA was an HP Jornada 680. After searching on the net, I came across its hardware specifications and a Linux distribution that was made to put on a Compact Flash (CF) disk. Lucky for me I had a 128MB CF card with me, which I recently bought for my digital camera that only came with 8MB ram.


Jornada 680/690 specifications:
CPU: 133MHz Hitachi SH3
RAM: 16MB(680) or …

Chillin' with the Stars

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Picture of me posing with MySQL(David Axmark)/(me) and PHP (Rasmus Lerdorf)

The last two days have been absolutely wonderful hanging out, driving around, chit chatting and going out to dinner with some of the most respected people in FOSS. Most of them were also really good speakers and were a delight to listen to.


Michael Tiemann on G++


Here we are now at the last day of the conference and although there is still a Tutorial on Saturday, I think most of us feel sad that its all coming to an end. I for one may not be attending the Tutorial on Saturday as I will be busy with the Install fest.



The day ended with a panel discussion with different views on the role of Government in promoting and/or adapting FOSS, Women's role in FOSS and how to get more women involved as well as cool thinks each of the panel members like to tinker around with these days.

Finally with a few more snapshots the day came to an end. I must say that even though sometimes I was amazed to be around great people and…

The Code Fest

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The codefest got on to a somewhat good start with people showing up pretty much on time. WHat we are stuck with now is what problems to solve. Some of the more obvious ones are ofcourse localization issues and writing an installer for Taprobane.

There are some renowned hackers such as NIIBE Yutaka who is a kernel hacker, Kuniyasu Suzaki who maintains the Japanese version of Debian Jr and Kazuki Ohta who works on qt-im.

We killed some time in the morning setting up the machines, connecting to the Wi-Fi network and eating pizza. We also had a visit and a couple of interviews from ETV for the wired program.

Now we have just started introducing each other.



The pizza finally arrived, a bit late for the international hackers, who had already gone out for food. Oh well, that just meant we had to have more slices than usual. No one complained.



Finally the guys (and girls) settled in for some quality programming:



More people walked in to the codefest to checkout what these hackers were upto includin…

I went Digital and now I am back..

I've gone silent on the blog since I got DVB cable, and been falling a sleep watching cable more often than not.

But during the day, I have been extremely busy going through some major transformations in my life. Here is the Reader's Digest of what's been happening:


I left Virtusa to join another startup building GNU/Linux based devices
I've been trying to study for my Msc second semester finals. Sat one exam, two more to go
Been extremely busy organizing for the first ever FOSS week happening now (5th - 11th). The scale of this event is gigantic!
Been working with schools in and around Colombo on a pilot project to install GNU/Linux and train teachers on FOSS
Started a new GNU/Linux distribution with Anuradha called Taprobane. We hope to address some of the issues that are missing on some more popular distros, and make it a convenient and pleasant one to use.
A lot of other tweaks to my desktop as usual. I now run Enligtenment


Yesterday we had a very successful FOSSchool'…