Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And he's one month today... :)

Its been a month today... since he came into our world, the tiny one.

He's added a new dimension, a whole new perspective to our lives. The way of thinking is changing already, the way we plan our lives is changing, the core values which governed our lives are now changing from growth to growth mixed with stability...

Its a huge change, no doubt being a parent means a lot. It sure is a LOT...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First time as a brother...



Here you see the baby, being treated as a brother, while cradled in mother's arms.

In our family, we have this tradition of "teeka" (applying the roli on forehead with some rice grains) on certain occasions. This was first such occasion after his birth, and you can see him crying his heart out at being treated that way :)

The coconut you see in the hand of the mom should have been in his hands, but for obvious practical reasons, he cant hold it right now :) So, a proxy is doing it for him :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

काँच की बरनी और दो कप चाय - एक बोध कथा

काँच की बरनी और दो कप चाय - एक बोध कथा

जीवन में जब सब कुछ एक साथ और जल्दी-जल्दी करने की इच्छा होती है, सब कुछ तेजी से पा लेने की इच्छा होती है , और हमें लगने लगता है कि दिन के चौबीस घंटे भी कम पड़ते हैं, उस समय ये बोध कथा , "काँच की बरनी और दो कप चाय" हमें याद आती है ।
दर्शनशास्त्र के एक प्रोफ़ेसर कक्षा में आये और उन्होंने छात्रों से कहा कि वे आज जीवन का एक महत्वपूर्ण पाठ पढाने वाले हैं...उन्होंने अपने साथ लाई एक काँच की बडी़ बरनी (जार) टेबल पर रखा और उसमें टेबल टेनिस की गेंदें डालने लगे और तब तक डालते रहे जब तक कि उसमें एक भी गेंद समाने की जगह नहीं बची... उन्होंने छात्रों से पूछा - क्या बरनी पूरी भर गई ? हाँ... आवाज आई...फ़िर प्रोफ़ेसर साहब ने छोटे-छोटे कंकर उसमें भरने शुरु किये, धीरे-धीरे बरनी को हिलाया तो काफ़ी सारे कंकर उसमें जहाँ जगह खाली थी , समा गये, फ़िर से प्??ोफ़ेसर साहब ने पूछा, क्या अब बरनी भर गई है, छात्रों ने एक बार फ़िर हाँ.. कहा अब प्रोफ़ेसर साहब ने रेत की थैली से हौले-हौले उस बरनी में रेत डालना शुरु किया, वह रेत भी उस जार में जहाँ संभव था बैठ गई, अब छात्र अपनी नादानी पर हँसे... फ़िर प्रोफ़ेसर साहब ने पूछा, क्यों अब तो यह बरनी पूरी भर गई ना ? हाँ.. अब तो पूरी भर गई है.. सभी ने एक स्वर में कहा..सर ने टेबल के नीचे से चाय के दो कप निकालकर उसमें की चाय जार में डाली, चाय भी रेत के बीच में स्थित थोडी़ सी जगह में सोख ली गई...प्रोफ़ेसर साहब ने गंभीर आवाज में समझाना शुरु किया - इस काँच की बरनी को तुम लोग अपना जीवन समझो.... टेबल टेनिस की गेंदें सबसे महत्वपूर्ण भाग अर्थात भगवान, परिवार, बच्चे, मित्र, स्वास्थ्य और शौक हैं, छोटे कंकर मतलब तुम्हारी नौकरी, कार, बडा़ मकान आदि हैं, और रेत का मतलब और भी छोटी-छोटी बेकार सी बातें, मनमुटाव, झगडे़ है..अब यदि तुमने काँच की बरनी में सबसे पहले रेत भरी होती तो टेबल टेनिस की गेंदों और कंकरों के लिये जगह ही नहीं बचती, या कंकर भर दिये होते तो गेंदें नहीं भर पाते, रेत जरूर आ सकती थी...ठीक यही बात जीवन पर लागू होती है...यदि तुम छोटी-छोटी बातों के पीछे पडे़ रहोगे और अपनी ऊर्जा उसमें नष्ट करोगे तो तुम्हारे पास मुख्य बातों के लिये अधिक समय नहीं रहेगा... मन के सुख के लिये क्या जरूरी ह? ये तुम्हें तय करना है । अपने बच्चों के साथ खेलो, बगीचे में पानी डालो , सुबह पत्नी के साथ घूमने निकल जाओ, घर के बेकार सामान को बाहर निकाल फ़ेंको, मेडिकल चेक- अप करवाओ..टेबल टेनिस गेंदों की फ़िक्र पहले करो, वही महत्वपूर्ण है... पहले तय करो कि क्या जरूरी है... बाकी सब तो रेत है..छात्र बडे़ ध्यान से सुन रहे थे... अचानक एक ने पूछा, सर लेकिन आपने यह नहीं बताया कि "चाय के दो कप" क्या हैं ?प्रोफ़ेसर मुस्कुराये, बोले.. मैं सोच ही रहा था कि अभी तक ये सवाल किसी ने क्यों नहीं किया... इसका उत्तर यह है कि, जीवन हमें कितना ही परिपूर्ण और संतुष्ट लगे, लेकिन अपने खास मित्र के साथ दो कप चाय पीने की जगह हमेशा होनी चाहिये ।

अपने खास मित्रों और निकट के व्यक्तियों को यह विचार तत्काल बाँट दो..मैंने अभी-अभी यही किया है.. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An interesting read on rediff...

Taken from : http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/dec/10mumterror-8-things-india-inc-govt-must-do-against-pakistan.htm

The three-day-long terror strike on the country's financial capital was devastating in terms of its reach and impact. It has left Corporate India badly shaken and the elites numb.

It is no more about bombs being thrown at bus stations or trains getting blasted. It is no longer about only Nagpada or Govindpuri residents losing limbs and lives. Terror has now climbed up the value chain.

As the new age entrepreneur Kiran Majumdar Shaw told a Bangalore newspaper, "So far, the terrorists targeted common people. Now the society's elite, the business sector, is the target. What happened in Mumbai is a loud wake-up call for all of us to do something to protect ourselves."

Corporate India did not bat an eyelid when Mumbai train blasts took place, or when Sarojini Nagar was burning on a Diwali day, or Hyderabad was weeping two years before.

  • Light a candle for the fallen
  • Terror strikes at Mumbai's heart
  • But today, every corporate captain is angry, and so are the celebrities who people Page 3 of newspapers, due largely because the attacks on the three top hotels were directly aimed at those who frequent these places, for business or pleasure (contrast this with the scant coverage of the carnage at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, for example, where commoners were involved).

    All the same, the bleeding-heart liberals would be back to their routine ways after a few days. They will lament that the captured terrorist has not been given his favourite food and not allowed to watch TV or use his cell phone; they will say his human rights are violated. Just wait for the chorus.

    Of course, this time it will be between Page 3 and the jholawalas (activists) and that should be an interesting match to watch, but that's another story.

    In the last ten years, not a single session of any seminar sponsored by the CII or Ficci or business/general journals has focussed on terrorism. When this writer once broached the importance of talking about it, a senior business captain said it is for the government to deal with.

    Many of those seminars gave importance to Musharraf and now Zardari, as if they are going to provide any solution when they are a part of the problem.

    Now, at least, terrorism is being realised as a problem facing the country.

    Let us summarise what the real situation is and what the corporate sector should do if we are serious in fighting terrorism on our soil.

    1. Recognise and treat Pakistan as a terrorist state. The state policy of Pakistan is terrorism and their single-point programme is to destroy India. This needs to be internalised by every business baron including the owners of media.

    2. Now, the elite of Pakistan are more angry, since India is growing at 7% and they are given CCC rating and stiff conditions for borrowing from the IMF.

    Many an academic from that country, who I have met in global conferences, has openly lamented that nobody talks about Indo-Pak relations anymore, but only Indo-China or Indo-American, etc. They want to be equal but they are in deep abyss.

    3. Pakistan is the only territory in the world where an army has a whole country under its control. This is an important issue since studies have found that a large number of corporates in Pakistan are ultimately owned by the Fauji Foundation (FF), Army Welfare Trust (AWT) Bahria Foundation (BF), Shaheen Foundation (SF) all owned by different wings of armed forces (See paper presented by Dr Ayesha Siddiqa-Agha on 'Power, Perks, Prestige And Privileges: Military's Economic Activities In Pakistan' in The International Conference on Soldiers in Business -- Military as an Economic Actor; Jakarta, October 17-19, 2000).

    Hence, do not try to think of Pakistan without its army, irrespective of who rules that country temporarily and nominally. At least 70% of the market capitalisation of the Karachi stock exchange is owned by the army and related groups.

    4. There are three groups in India, who are obsessed with friendship with Pakistan. One is the oldies born in that part before partition and who are nostalgic about the Lahore havelis, halwas and mujras. The second is the Bollywood and other assorted groups, who look at it as a big market. The Dawood gang has financed enough of these useful idiots. The third is the candle light holding bleeding heart liberals (BHLs) who cannot imagine India doing well without its younger brother taken care of.

    All three have been proved wrong hundreds of times, but they are also opinion makers. Shun them, avoid them and ridicule them.

    5. We should categorically, unambiguously, unequivocally boycott Pakistan in all aspects for a decade or more. Be it art, music, economy, commerce, or other hand-holding activities. That army-controlled state has to realise that it has done enough damage to global civilisation.

    More than 100 acts/attempts of terror recorded in the world since 9/11 have had their roots in Pakistan. More than 40% of the prisoners in Guantanamo are Pakistanis.

    6. We should recognise that it is our war and nobody in the world is going to wage it on our behalf. What the Americans are thinking, or what the Britishers are going to do, will not help. A determined country should have a sense of dignity and independence to fight its war.

    We should stop interviewing leaders from that country who mouth the same inanities that "you have not produced any proof." The Government of India should perhaps create a museum of proof between India Gate and North Block.

    I am amazed that a country of a billion is required even to furnish proof. If one-sixth of humanity says that the terrorist state of Pakistan is the root cause of global terrorism -- it is factual. Let us not fall into the trap of providing proof to the culprits.

    7. We should realise that a united Pakistan is a grave threat to the existence of India. Hence, we should do everything possible to break up Pakistan into several units. This is required to be done not only for our interest, but for world peace.

    8. We have made a grave blunder by suggesting in the international fora that "Pakistan is also a victim of terror." That is a grave error and it will haunt us for decades. They are perpetrators and our government is in deep illusion if it tries to distinguish between organs of power in that country thinking it is like India.

    There is only one organ, namely its army (with ISI as a sub-organ) in that country, which owns and controls at least 70% of the GDP in that country.

    If we want the world to treat Pakistan for what it is, then we should start practising it. Always call it the 'terrorist state of Pakistan' and never have any illusion that it is going to be any different.

    If corporate India, including electronic/ print media, starts practising this, we should see results in a few years. Are the elites listening?

    The author is professor of finance and control, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and can be contacted at vaidya@iimb.ernet.in. The views are personal and do not reflect those of his organisation.

    Monday, December 8, 2008

    violence on sea beach... vizag


    violence on sea beach... vizag, originally uploaded by s_raghu20.


    taken by a friend, this shot kind of captured my imagination at the first moment.

    The clouds and the water give you a sense of an upcoming storm...pretty terrifying sight...

    great shot guys, worth sharing...

    Friday, December 5, 2008

    Useful mysql stuff...

    Here's a compilation of my day to day use of mysql related stuff...
    1. Resetting root password in mysql
      - Goto this page https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MysqlPasswordReset

    2. To give privileges to a certain user in mysql
      - grant all on *.* to username


    Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Finally... IE on Linux / Ubuntu...

    Great..... It works... :)

    Initially, when I needed to run a few IE specific sites on my Ubuntu installation, I spent quite some time searching around google, and some more prominent linux sites... But I did not hit success...

    Today however, my search bore fruit... I found IEs4Linux project, and its so damned simple.

    I am still running Hardy (not Interpid) on my desktop, and wine (the default). I picked up the instructions, kind of updated them myself to work in my hardy, and bingo.. it installed and works...absolutely.

    Here's what I did -

    1. Found this page for installation instructions on Ubuntu :
      http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/page/Installation:Ubuntu

    2. Run the following commands -
    3. sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install wine cabextract
    4. And then run this -
    5. wget http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/downloads/ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
      tar zxvf ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
      cd ies4linux-*
      ./ies4linux
    6. The last one would open a dialog box and would ask you basic questions about what version do you want, choose what u like and bingo.. it would start installation...

    7. Within minutes, it automatically downloads some files from here and there, and is done.

    8. It just works...

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    Agile : What is, Comparison, Transition...

    Generally on Agile Methodology -
    1. Agile methodology home page - http://www.agilemethodology.org/
    2. Manifesto of Agile methodology - http://www.agilemanifesto.org/
    3. Working with Agile methods - http://www.agileadvice.com/

    Some links on Comparison of waterfall and Agile development methodologies.
    1. http://agileintro.wordpress.com/2008/01/04/waterfall-vs-agile-methodology/
    2. Youtube -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XokJLWp7icI
    3. on Agile Advice - http://www.agileadvice.com/archives/2006/05/waterfall_vs_ag.html


    Some links on the transition from Waterfall model to Agile methodology...
    1. Agile Blog: Transitioning from Waterfall to Agile - Some tips
    2. From Udayan
    3. Scrum Alliance
    4. A Presentation

    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    And the name is here....

    Ha... It was a busy day... the day he got a name, at least officially speaking. They always call a baby with thousand names anyway but the one name that is used formally is given on this day.

    Now, he is called Krishna... (based on Lord Krishna, born in the same town as we live in).

    The ritual was long and tiring, but we all go with it. I am not best equipped to explain all the logic and reasoning behind it, but will try to post enough images to show how and what happened.
    Here's the formation of the worship place, wherein the priest would summon all the gods and goddesses to be part of the procession.

    Herein rice plays an important role, along with the water brought from Ganges.

    Chosen fruits which have seeds in their core play a rather important role.

    Every indian house has a place of worship, which has idols of the favourite gods. On occasions like these, the idols are brought out and worshipped along with other religious proceedings.



    Further, there is havan, wherein a small pyre of fire is lit, which is fed purer stuff, e.g. pure butter, wood from the pipal or mango tree etc.











    The idea behind is that the fumes from such a fire are supposed to be cleansing for the household. That way, the whole ritual turns into a cleansing process, purifying one...

    After the chanting is done, the pyre (with fumes still emanating) is taken across the household (so that the fumes spread).

    As is visible from the snaps, the new parent couple sits together in the process, praying to the almighty as single person (the couple acting as one unit). In the havan process, the male puts in the butter to the fire, whereas the female puts in the havan Samagri (a mixture containing many things meant to generate pure fumes).

    After the havan is done, the newborn is handed over to the grand father, who would then let baby know the names of the 7 generations of the baby.



    that would be
    1. my great great great grand father
    2. my great great grand father
    3. My great grand father
    4. My grand father
    5. my father
    6. me
    7. my son

    Well, thats when my father (baby's grandpa) whispered the new name to the baby through a funnel made of beetle nut leaf.

    From priest's version, the funnel should be made of gold, but he would make do with this workaround.

    Such workarounds are very common with Indian rituals. The scriptures, where there are methods advised to perform a certain ritual, refer to the process as if a king would be performing such ceremony. However, in real life following the scriptures is practically impossible. So, such workarounds are more and more common during such ceremonies.






    And then there is celebration from the womenfolk of the home and neighborhood. There is song and dance in praise of the newborn, wishing him good, in comments/taunts (all in good humour) to the new parents, grandpa and other relatives.








    Even the older ones wont stop from a bite of the celebration... :)








    Friday, November 28, 2008

    Jaundice... Its nothing...

    We saw another doctor today for his neonatal (it took me some good time to learn the meaning of that word) jaundice....

    The doctor we saw last time with his serum bilirubin reports said that his jaundice is going to go through the roof in a day or two or three. However, our common sense prevailed over his advice and we took the baby home. Tried showing him some early morning sunlight for the week. (Actually less days than the week).

    Today, when we saw a different doctor, he was of exact opposite opinion. According to him, for a baby of this age, such readings are perfectly ok. Its absolutely not a problem. According to him, there is nothing wrong with our baby as far as the jaundice goes.

    Also, according to this doctor, the baby needs nothing in terms of medication. He was also of the opinion that the child should not be given any medication unless really necessary. The best medicine for the baby is mother's milk. One should not feed the newborn anything other than the mother's milk.

    To the end of the whole examination, the baby boy comes back clean, no problems of any type, no medication needed. Just normal care and feeding needed. Feels absolutely great....

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    When he wont stop crying...

    Long before my marriage I had feared one day.  This would include a newborn baby in my hands who is crying.  Now, he is dry, is fed just now, but wont stop crying...

    I feared this day, and today it happened to me all the same.  Our junior did exactly the same thing. He was dry, nothing on that department.  Was just been fed, good there too. But, the guy wont stop crying.. I mean literally, there was nothing I could do to calm him.

    We tried rocking motions, providing comfort in mother's arms, feeding again but no.. none of it would worked.  He stopped after about 15 minutes on his own. I guess he just got tired of crying or something happened...

    I still fear this situation, when the baby is too small to say anything, and the obvious signs of discomfort are all checked but baby wont stop crying... :(

    gud luck to every new person in the situation...

    Indian Mythology : Baby Naming

    Well, to be honest, naming of the baby is a ceremony in Indian culture.  There are  a few things involved which need to be looked into before you can name your baby.

    First of all, family astrologer is consulted and he figures out the baby's moon sign based on the date/time wherein the baby was born.  Remember that Indian astrology is based on moon signs and not sun signs (like Western stuff.. e.g. Linda Goodman's popular books).

    With the moon sign comes along a list of letters with which the baby's name may start. This list of letters is pretty small, but not many people follow this anymore.  We plan to follow this,  but lets see how it goes.

    Then there is this concept of purification of the newborn and the new mother.  The new mother is considered impure after giving birth.  Not only the mother, but the whole family related to the father and grand father, except the daughters and sisters in the family consider it impure. Those days almost no omnious tasks are taken up, the house gods are not worshipped (remember - its impure) and stuff like that.

    After about two weeks (again, astrologer guy comes into picture and looks for a good day), a purification cum naming ceremony is held. Its here in this ceremony that the family is purified by performing a Yagna .  Its here only that the baby is then given a name. 

    Some details on the newborn rituals are available on wikipedia.org

    Now there can be as many pet names as one likes, but the one given by the grand father is considered the most respected one, and is mostly taken up as the formal name.

    For our baby, we are thinking of holding this sometime next week. I'd sure post some details and the snaps of course.


    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    The Chhati ceremony....

    Its celebration of first six days of baby's life...and is first of the rituals after baby's homecoming.

    Besides being the first formal announcement of the birth to the relatives and the neighbourhood, this is the first formal celebration also. The basic idea of chhati is to get the baby and the mother inducted properly in the household after the newborn comes home for the first time. Here, ladies get together and sing ominous songs about the newborn, wishing him and the parents-family luck and good in life.

    Its mostly praying to the gods, praying for safety and health of the baby, and of the mother. The poor father is nowhere mentioned along the process boo hoo hoo hoo... :(

    For the ritual, the baby is put in a new set of clothes gifted by the aunt of the baby (or if there is no aunt to baby, aunt to the father).

    Some sweets and sometimes meals etc complete the process. Towards the end of the process, Kajal (black carbon extracted from burning of mustard oil on some brass pot) is applied to both baby's and mother's eyes.

    Snaps from 7th day

    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    he's home...

    Well,  after five days of hospital life, the baby is finally home. And boy, is he happy.. are we all happy to be out of that hospital place... its just so great.

    To be home, with the newborn is a wonderful feeling. To have him in the same house where you have grown up, married and then dreamt of having a baby... its all so wonderful.

    The decision to get him discharged from the hospital has not been the easiest one.  He still has that physiological jaundice (as wikipedia put it). At home, its much easier to put him in morning sunlight, which is supposed to be the best cure for the jaundice thing.  Now we are doing this, and hopefully this will cure it.  If not, I do plan to take him to the pediatrician and see what more can be done.

    However, for the moment, knowing that its a minor thing, the focus is on celerating his homecoming... :)



    From 6th Day..

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Some research about jaundice to newborns...

    Since our newborn has symptoms of Jaundice, I did some research over internet.
    The results are relatively comforting, especially since they mention nothing about it affecting brain, if prolonged.  Actually, my doctor here scared me by saying that it can affect brain if prolonged for a certain length.  Well, more reading tells me that it might actually affect the brain, only if it developes into Hyperbilirubinemia

    Over the internet, its been presented as a relatively normal thing that happens to almost every other baby. And, more often than not, subsides automatically with time.

    Only in very very rare cases, does it go wrong and require a blood transfusion...

    Here's some of my research.... the links etc...

    Banking of Cord Blood for Stem cells...

    We decided to put his cord blood stem cells in a stem cell bank for possible future usage.  Generally known as Cord Blood Banking, we found out about this recently (of course before delivery).

    In this, they extract stem cells from the blood found in the umbilical cord at the time of birth of the baby.  These stem cells have been found to be able to regenerate almost all human organs, with technological help.

    As I write today, researchers claim that about 75 diseases are curable using stem cells. With ongoing research, this number is bound to increase for sure.

    From where I see this, its a sort of Biological insurance for the newborn.  Given the medical research progress, this is going to be the single most useful method of treating diseases in future.

    We have banked with Cryobanks India, a subsidiary of Cryobanks International.  

    They have proved to be pretty professional with their service till now. One of their guys came over for the presentation, the other ones came over to our town (where we were delivering) and collected the blood.  The next day evening I got a phone call telling me about the storage of my baby's blood.

    Till now, things have really gone smooth with them, lets hope it goes on like this.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    The Fourth Day...


    Not much new things happened on day 4. 

    The regular stuff, bathing, crying, feeding, sleeping, sleeping under the UV rays instrument etc...

    However, the mother started to feel a lot better just then.  She has been allowed better food now, bit more on the solid side.  She started walking a bit (as was expected from her health anyway).  It looks pretty good now.

    Here's one from day four of the baby...

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Snaps from third day....



    Let me pose for you.... :)



    cute cuddle in granny's lap... but u only show my face... :)

    The third day...

    Well, the third day did bring some rather not so nice news after a while.

    Like every newborn, this kid has also developed initial symptoms of Jaundice. The result is on the expected lines, some phototherapy. Put the baby in the ultraviolet rays.

    When the guy came over for extracting blood for the test, we were all so weary about this. Imagine extracting blood from a two day old baby, who barely has any blood in him anyway. But, the guy did a miraculous job of extracting blood for sample. The baby just didnt cry at all. He put in a needle to get the blood and took out about 2 ml out of him.

    The efforts to put him under the phototherapy instrument have gone sour as well. He would stay with anybody, anywhere, but under the instrument. He would start music immediately.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    2nd Day Snaps....

    How they say that the baby changes face almost everyday for the first few days after birth... I guess these photos around here prove the point a lot...

    There seems to be a lot of change already from the first day shots...



    cutie pie....




    Hey there... how u doing ??



    Hi.. dont I look cute ??

    The Second day...

    The second day in his life has been special too...

    - he got his first bath
    - first change of clothes

    Expecting a lot of crying trouble from the little one, we had much less of it. He was amazingly calm during the night and did not cry as much as the hype.

    The bath was the event of the day for the little baby. He nurse handled him in such carefree way that I was shocked to the core. she was turning him around with utmost ease, as if he were some rubber toy. I would probably never be able to handle a baby as easily as she was doing.

    Then there was this baby kit discussion and the usage of it. There were people suggesting the baby kit from Himalaya, and there were others suggesting to go for the tried and tested Johnson & Johnson's. It did consume some energy on the discussions, without result of course. Finally, I had to get the doctor intervene and he decided for J & J 's .

    Today morning I got to see the kit in action, i.e. being used. It was used during the bath. Besides the expert handling of the baby, the nurse was great from the experience point of view as well. She was actually telling which components of the kit were great and which have some better alternatives available.

    Well, the day has gone pretty smoothly. Fewer people to come visit, and I managed to get some sleep too.

    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    Its the birthday today...

    17th November 2008 has become one of the greatest days in our life now. Our firstborn, yet to be named officially, has entered the world today.

    It was some pain for sure, since it was a cesarean section operation, but otherwise things have gone rather well. No complications except that she never had the pains. And therefore the surgery.

    This has been a very long and interesting journey. Sometimes more interesting than others, and sometimes sad. Especially when we lost my mother, who was the single most interested person to see this baby coming into the world.

    The attempts to get pregnant, talking to doctors in Switzerland, their views about it. They always said that we should not worry about getting pregnant too much, it would automatically happen when the couple is not so tense. That perhaps happened exactly the way. By end of feb/march we were bit tired of trying and had given it up on the mother nature.

    The initial three months of pregnancy were spent in Switzerland. It was a mixture of happiness and anxiety, put together with nervousness of not doing anything wrong. But then it turned out alright, when we completed the first trimester without any issues.

    Then came possibly the worst news one could expect when expecting a new member of the family. My mom passed away during the second trimester, and we had to rush back to India immediately.

    Afterwards, nothing was same in our lives. The normal life, the pregnancy, everything was different then. We were missing her in lot many ways, especially the part that an elder has to play when there is a expecting female in the house. To a large part, her mom filled in, but nobody can replace another person, and so we still miss her in many ways.

    Recently, when there were talks and discussions about having a normal delivery or a surgery, her presence was missed the most. She would have had her own opinion, and probably would make a lot of difference to the situation we stand in today.

    When the baby was born, and I saw him for the first time, the first thing I felt was, “Oh god, her wish is fulfilled, if only she was present today to witness this.” It was a baby boy, something she wished for a lot, since my generation of people in our family only has daughters. It was much sought after.

    We miss you mom, and will keep missing you. Probably, his arrival to our lives will only strengthen the absense we feel for you.

    Remembering you,

    pooja
    raghav..


    Friday, November 7, 2008

    Some Oracle data dictionary help...

    To get parameters information for your functions/procedures/packages etc. you can use all_arguments view. A sample query is attached...

    select owner, object_name, package_name, argument_name, position, data_type, in_out
    from all_arguments
    where owner = (case when lc_user is null then user else lc_user end)
    and package_name = (case when lc_pkg_nm is null then package_name else lc_pkg_nm end)
    order by owner, package_name, object_name, position;

    Further another view called all_source is also pretty useful if you have to look at the actual source code of a component.

    Following links helped me on this -

    1. http://www.eveandersson.com/writing/data-model-reverse-engineering#plsql
    2. http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/Forums/ShowMessages.aspx?ThreadID=48498


    Friday, September 19, 2008

    My new quad core desktop system...

    Recently managed to get a desktop system home, especially after coming back, it was necessary. The laptop just doesnt provide enough power.

    This sure looks like a monster for a desktop system usage.

    - Quad Core CPU (Core 2 Quad Q6600) at 2.4 GHz, 8 MB L2 Cache
    - 2 GB RAM @800 MHz
    - 250 GB Seagate Barracuda Hard Disk
    - Here I was a bit disappointed. My local vendor just couldnt manage to get me a 10K rpm or higher hard disk from his supplier. He kept saying it would require a SCSI card and all that configuration. From my understanding it should be a simple SATA or SATA2 disk. But, well, this is the first one in place, may be we'd have more... :)

    So, with this system in place, I plan to do some interesting things... e.g. running my long awaited local oracle server so that I can work with apex (http://apex.oracle.com)

    Running Hardy on it. To say the least, hardy flies on this system. To start with, everything was detected normally on this configuration and I had no difficulty to make it work with Ubuntu Hardy. Even the live CD worked fine.

    Now with the installed copy along with all the updates so far, the system literally flies... The system monitor shows me 4 CPUs and it adds so damned much to my confidence in using this power.... :)

    The only issue I have found till now is with my power supply ratings/configuration. It somehow draws a lot of power (the rating on the PSU box says 450W) whereas the Display is not connected to the CPU power (its a TFT anyway). The UPS that I have is a APC with 500 VA rating. The UPS just doesnt hold.

    All the power from the UPS comes to just this system and the display. Still it doesnt hold. About the power supply, I was told that the rating (450W) is an indication of how much can this provide, not how much does it need all the time. That might be wrong or right both. I am still figuring that out. No idea till now.

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Rain Drops...


    Rain Drops... (1), originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    It was probably my first rain since I came back to India...

    I caught a small pool of rain water in my lawn and then got my camera and decided to have fun with it...

    These pictures basically are an attempt to capture the splash...

    Rain Drops from light bulb....


    Rain Drops from light bulb...., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    Needed quite a bit of timing...

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    iPhone 3G in India...

    Finally... finally... after such a long wait.. iPhone comes to India.. officially. But, despite all the hype and wait around it, the affordability of it really a huge question mark.

    I didnt change my mobile phone for last 2 years, waiting for the iPhone to come to India. I booked an iPhone for me through both the prospective service providers in India, Airtel and Vodafone. It was all in anticipation that once its released in India, there would be huge queues for buying it, as was seen in other parts of world for iPhone 3G release.

    However, the launch in India was not as expected. There was hype, but not as many customers. I am not a statistician and therefore cant give any numbers to prove my point, but I guess I have a feeling for the situation.

    In my view, the pricing of the iPhone is a big reason for its slow launch. I cant say whether or not it would pick up in future, but right now, the price tag of 31000 and 36000 INR for iPhone is a very very high price. I mean, yes its a good phone, there are nice features, but thirty one thousand rupees... its just too much for a gadget in my view. And then, compare the price of the phone in US, 200 USD.. converts to around 8000 INR and so it shows that apple is selling that phone 4 times as costly as in US.. what kind of business strategy would that be ??? Especially in a cost sensitive market as India...

    There would be people buying it, but not like me, not the average Indian IT guy, who knows the features, their meaning and usage and has a wish to own one. I dont know many who'd take up the phone at this price tag.

    May be Apple will come back with a price cut in India as well, as they did in US... but will they offer people refunds for the difference.. we'll see...

    Till the time apple decides to cut down on the price tag, my wait for owning an iPhone continues...

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    Swiss Alps...


    DSC_1102, originally uploaded by _maze_.

    Wow shot...
    From somewhere in Swiss Alps, Marcel has come back with this one... super shot...

    What an expanse...


    DSC_1134, originally uploaded by _maze_.

    A wonderful valley (actually vallies) view from Marcel...

    keep it up..buddy..

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Data Warehousing on a Shoestring Budget : TDWI

    Another interesting set of articles around low budget data warehousing...

    Data Warehousing on a Shoestring Budget

    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Ideas on DWH Testing...

    Recently I was asked about strategy on data warehouse testing.  Realizing how rarely we talk about this, I went to google for this and spend about half an hour searching.

    Found the following links, which still need to be researched/analyzed further.

    DM Review : Where are the Articles on Data Warehouse Testing and Validation Strategy?

    A Wordpress blog : Strategies for Testing Data Warehouse Applications « Business Intelligence and Datawarehousing

    DM Review : Strategies for Testing Data Warehouse Applications

    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Lookup Transformations in Informatica

    Lookup is a transformation to look up the values from a relational table/view or a flat file. There are two types of Lookups in Powercenter, namely;
    1. Connected Lookup 
    2. Unconnected Lookup
    Caching is an important facet of lookup transformation planning. You need to know what kind of data you are dealing with, how frequently do you call the lookup, how frequently does the data change, what is the size of your lookup table etc. among other things. Once you use cache, the trip to database can be avoided, thereby enhancing performance.

    Different types of caches can be used with lookup like static, dynamic, persistent, and shared(The dynamic cache cannot be used while creating an un-connected lookup). Each of these has its own identification. For more details, refer to Informatica Transformation Guide.

    Lookup is a passive transformation, and can be used either connected or unconnected.  Typically, connected lookup is used when you want to do the lookup for all rows. When you have selective lookup requirements, its normally better to go for unconnected lookup. Unconnected Lookup can be used as if its a function call.

    To read more, here is a good article -
    What is lookup transformation in informatica? - IT Community



    iPhone screen capture


    iPhone screen capture, originally uploaded by yOOrek.

    Still something I am waiting on... specially since I am back in India and Apple is to launch iPhone in India (officially, though cracked versions are already available). Personally, I am not the biggest fan of cracked phone... :)

    nice screenshot tip ..

    Go on yOOrek... :)

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Getting Started with ActiveScaffold

    Recently I returned to my rails env to do some more experiments (which might be used for a future project)

    To start with, I have seen a bit of active scaffold stuff and was very impressed with it originally already.  In the meantime, rails 2 have arrived.  Quite a few things have changed and I was thinking that it might have an effect on the overall picture of active scaffold also.

    However, checking up on railsforum etc brought out that not much effect has gone down to active scaffold kind of plugins from rails 2.

    Starting up active scaffold is really easy as they say on its website also...

    try it here... www.activescaffold.com It turned out to be really simple to initialize yourself with it. 

    Searching a bit more I came across a few tutorials -

    Tutorial from Active Scaffold guys

    Another one from someone like me, experimenting with activeScaffold...

    AkillesBlog » Blog Archive » Ruby on Rails: Experimenting with ActiveScaffold   
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Open Solaris build May 2008 ( 2008.05 ) released

    Today I came across a few news items and articles here and there that talked about the release of OpenSolaris projects' May 2008 release.

    Though its available for download from the open solaris home page, Sun is offering Free CD shipments for the latest release here : https://www2.sun.de/dct/forms/reg_us_2307_228_0.jsp

    I already ordered my copies :)

    Also, there is a nice article about bit of unix OS history and open solaris 2008.05 release review here : http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=8703

    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Installing Oracle 11g on Ubuntu server 64bit on vmware server 2 beta

    I have this wish to install a hardy server version on my system. Since I did not want to add another partition, so I chose to do that inside a virtual machine (using vmware). vmware supports 64bit Guest Operating system, as opposed to virtual box which does not. :(

    So, I have been able to install the server edition inside the vmware machine. I have never used nfs before, but the tutorial I was following was suggesting to use it.

    http://www.pythian.com/blogs/654/installing-oracle-11g-on-ubuntu-linux-710-gutsy-gibbon

    However, I am having problems with -
    1. Trying to expand the virtual hard disk inside vmware. I tried it, but havent succeeded yet.
    2. The Oracle installer exits with a strange error message.
    I have posted my issues on the ubuntu forums, and havent got any solution yet. Lets see how it goes...

    Using Base64 encoding with Oracle / Perl

    For basic encryption purposes, base 64 encoding can be used. In fact its so basic that it would probably be incorrect to call it encryption. Its more encoding, basically preventing the subject text from appearing in plain text.

    For example, if in some tool, all the parameters are stored in repository tables, and therefore, its not very nice if the passwords are stored there in plain text. They should at least be made illegible, so that they dont appear in plain text and there is some effort spent in decoding it.

    Base64 encoding is an industry standard and almost all programming languages, development toolkits provide plugins for this. For Oracle, there are pre-existing packages providing the functionality.

    We can use base 64 encoding on oracle side using Oracle supplied package UTL_ENCODE. On the perl side, we could use cpan package MIME:Base64. Other languages provide different kinds of plug-ins. For example, ruby on rails has a plug in for this, Javascript also allows this to be done relatively easily.

    The idea is that, such sensitive data to be entered by customers, in encoded format. So, we also dont see the plain text version. And then the program uses the encoded version, right to the point before actual data needs to be used.

    For achieving this, following way of working can be used :

    1. On Oracle side, the sensitive data is encoded using a program call equivalent to the following will return an encoded/decoded string for a given input string.

    FUNCTION fnc_encrypt(lv_str IN VARCHAR2)
    RETURN VARCHAR2
    AS
    BEGIN
    RETURN utl_raw.cast_to_varchar2(UTL_ENCODE.BASE64_ENCODE(utl_raw.cast_to_raw(lv_str)));
    END;

    FUNCTION fnc_decrypt(lv_str IN VARCHAR2)
    RETURN VARCHAR2
    AS
    BEGIN
    RETURN utl_raw.cast_to_varchar2(UTL_ENCODE.BASE64_deCODE(utl_raw.cast_to_raw(lv_str)));
    END;

    Its a design decision whether to put this code in a procedure/package somewhere.

    2. On the other end of the processing chain, reverse operation would have to be performed. For example, in Perl, the implementation relies on the cpan package MIME:Base64

    use MIME::Base64 ();
    and then use the decode/encode function as per the need...
    MIME::Base64::decode($PI_CAT_PWD);
    MIME::Base64::encode($PI_CAT_PWD);

    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    vmware 2 beta on hardy

    I installed vmware 2 beta on my hardy. It was a surprise and a pleasant one at that, the installation procedure did not require any tweaks at all. It worked out of the box.

    Further, when I tried to connect to the web based management interface, I encountered my first problem. vmware requires a log-in with root user, and as any ubuntu user would tell you, the root user is well-hidden in ubuntu. Almost never used, my knowledge on how to set a password to root user was zero.

    Again, communities came to help. This thread on vmware communities helped me through that.

    http://communities.vmware.com/message/901283#901283

    Its a small tip, but none-the-less important. Just run "sudo gnome-terminal" and it would open a root terminal for you. Once there, type "passwd" to change the password for root user and you are done.

    now, in the browser, log in to vmware web mgmt interface with user as root, and password you chose for root user.

    As a precaution, I gave my normal user admin privileges so that I dont have to login as root all the time.

    Oracle wrap utility...

    Oracle's wrap utility helps to hide the application logic from being visible. However, I recently discovered that it doesnt hide string literals.

    Hard to grasp though, since my understanding was a bit different. I cant really think of a reason why would they keep strings etc in plain text. Perhaps to force people (like me) not to store their encryption key in a package and wrap it to achieve another level of security...

    Here's the standard statement from Oracle about the limitations of wrap utility -

    Limitations of the Wrap Utility

    String literals, number literals, and names of variables, tables, and columns remain in plain text within the wrapped file. Wrapping a procedure helps to hide the algorithm and prevent reverse-engineering, but it is not a way to hide passwords or table names that you want to be secret.

    From : http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B10501_01/appdev.920/a96624/c_wrap.htm#LNPLS016

    I wonder if there are any tricks to achieve something like that... my investigations are still on.. will report...

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    xgl - System monitor bug in hardy...

    On Ubuntu's latest release, Hardy Heron, if you are using xserver-xgl package for graphics, you are in for a surprise.

    The system monitor carries on a bug in xgl package wrt incorrect reporting of memory usage, and shows processes using zillion bytes of memory.

    I started using xserver-xgl from the times in Gutsy when Compiz would not run on my hardware without that. However, I didnt quite notice this until I involved myself with beta release of hardy.

    As it happened, I raised this issue on the Ubuntu forums (more than once actually, link-1, link-2), and finally after a few discussions/posts, it was discovered that

    • xserver-xgl has a few bugs
    • no more active development is happening on this stream of packages
    • Compiz should work without needing this package as well.
    As a result, I tried removing xgl from my laptop, and voila, memory consumption numbers are from earth again.. the martian numbers have left... :)

    Attaching two screenshots here to give the idea of the Martian numbers...



    I got my new lens.... Canon 55-250 IS

    Wow, it feels great to buy something... especially when its a lens... :)

    So, after deliberations for few weeks, I finally ordered my new lens last weekend. Got it soon afterwards. Its a Canon 55-250 IS F/4-5.6

    There are quite a few reviews ( review-1, review-2 ) available for this one, so I wont attempt at writing one, but I can point out a few things from my experience..

    • The build is not so nice. The feel in hand is much more plasticky than the standard kit lens (18-55 from my EOS 350D days). Even though both are plastic, the finishing of the kit lens is much much better than this one.
    • There is a certain whirring sound when IS is enabled, if you hear really closely. Some investigations (basically asking questions on forums) revealed that its normal due to the IS function.
    • I have just taken my first batch of photos, and not completely done with processing yet. However, the first impressions are great. I have always had the problem with my hand not steady enough for a high-zoom shot, and the IS in this lens is just the life saver for me.
    • Few photos from the first outing are posted on my flickr account.

    Love this thing. Will write more when more experiences show up.... Here are some shots...




    aha..., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.




    Doesnt that sparkle..., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.




    On Grayscale..., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    Dandelion


    Dandelion, originally uploaded by yOOrek.

    A wonderful photo from George...

    absolutely stunning...

    Sunday, May 4, 2008

    acid3 and webkit on hardy

    I have been fascinated with the rendering of web pages by Safari. Always liked it, it has a certain edge to it when talking about the look and feel. When I read more, it turned out that the rendering engine is similar to Konqueror (somewhere I read that its actually based on open source libraries from Konqueror).

    I dont have a mac so I cant really experience it first hand, but the windows release of Safari made me get my first experience.

    This weekend, I was surfing net when I came across "webkit". Reading a bit more about it informed me -
    WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit is also the name of the Mac OS X system framework version of the engine that's used by Safari, Dashboard, Mail, and many other OS X applications. WebKit's HTML and JavaScript code began as a branch of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE. This website is also the home of S60's S60 WebKit development.
    This made me think, if its actually open source to start with, the code must be available and may be I can compile it for my system.

    Well, I didnt had to look much further... search produced this link...
    http://blog.kagou.fr/post/2008/04/21/Test-Webkit-on-Ubuntu-Gutsy-and-Hardy

    However, my first attempt at compilation failed, due to lack of one of the packages. libxt-dev

    So, now the list of pacakges that should be installed on hardy to compile webkit would look like this :

    sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool bison flex gperf libicu-dev libxslt-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libsqlite3-dev libjpeg62-dev libpng12-dev libglibmm-2.4-dev libgtk2.0-dev build-essential libxt-dev

    The sample browser, gives me 98 on acid3 (acid3.acidtests.org). Though very minimalistic in capabilities, this is the best score for acid3 that I could get on my system.

    Here are my scores
    Firefox 3 beta 5 : 71
    Flock : 51
    Opera 9.5 beta 2 : 78
    Midori (webkit based) : 64
    Webkit minimal browser (nightly build r32862 ) 98

    On my windows partition as well, none of the browsers went beyong 70's. Best being opera at 71.

    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Linux Kernel sites...

    Found this interesting site. If you want to start knowing or playing around with linux kernel, this site could be a interesting start.

    Linux Kernel Newbies

    Also interesting would be to watch out for this site... www.kernel.org

    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Friday, May 2, 2008

    The Travel Photographer: Gateway of the Gypsies

    Found this piece about Nomads in northwestern India.  In local slang, we (Indians) call them "Banzara".  I dont know enough about their history to comment on the documentory here, but the mention of the people from India sort of excited me.

    The Travel Photographer: Gateway of the Gypsies


       
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Nice painting...

    Found this while surfing net somewhere...

    http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/nommo/african_dancer.jpg


    I like this painting very much. :)    
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    vmware infrastructure web access on vista...

    For those who try to use vmware server on windows vista (unfortunately I am trying these days), the vmware server 2 beta is using tomcat engine to provide web based environment.

    The access control is weird to say the least. It doesnt matter if ur user has Administrtor rights on the vista box. You have to have the "Administrator" user and log in as that only. So, you got to make a new user called Administrator and then log in to Vmware Infrastructure Web access.

    I found the help on vmware forums. reproducing here for benefit of myself (lest I forget) and others who might come across.

    1. Logon to Vista using your usual account.
    2. Launch the cmd prompt - Make sure you select, 'Run as administrator'
    3. Net user administrator yourFavPassword
    4. Net user administrator /active:yes
    5. Switch User, or logoff
    6. Logon as Administrator Password yourFavPassword
      (Your password may be different!)
    And then the VI web access works... :)

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    misty treeline...


    misty treeline..., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    One more of my shots from my time in Belgium (2003-2004). Scanned image actually, so the image quality is not that good.

    making vmware work on hardy..

    Had trouble originally making vmware work on my new hardy 64 bit system (behaves almost same on desktop and server variants).

    Careful looking up found out two things,
    • the new beta version (2) of vmware works from web based console, and could take quite some time making it work
    • vmware on hardy 64 bit requires some tweaking to do before you can really get up and running with it.
    Finally managed to get through with help from ubuntuforums.org. Nice fellow has posted his experience with 64 bit version, and it turned out to work exactly the same way for me...

    Loads of thanks :) to http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=4357442&postcount=10

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips

    When I went looking for Lightroom presets, this site provided nice options.

    I didnt read all the material on the site, but it sure looks promising...

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Canon EOS Beginners' FAQ

    A very interesting read.

    Found may interesting sections that could add to the knowledge of many a learned ones..

    Canon EOS Beginners' FAQ

    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    25 reasons to use Ubuntu... :)

    Well, its a very interesting collection of reasons to use Ubuntu...

    Some might not be as 100% agreeable as other might be, but still most are completely agreeable...
    Well done...

    Found it on this blog-... here u read 25 reasons for using Ubuntu

    running a 64bit guest os in vmware

    I tried to install a 64bit guest os and that took much longer to realize the problem.

    What I found out (may be you guys already know that) the hard way today, is that, you cant keep your virtual disks on a non-ext3 partition (I was trying to keep them on my ext hard disk - all ntfs) :(

    Also, you need to switch on the VT feature from your bios to be able to actually use 64 bit guest os.. My Core2Duo supported that, so luckily I had it already with my hardware. But if you want to do that, make sure ur cpu supports it.

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Suffocating Embrace


    Suffocating Embrace, originally uploaded by yOOrek.

    Wont that shot make me buy those macro lens coupling rings...

    Even though he didnt use them, I'd have to...because I dont have a 105 macro...

    push me... George.. by posting such shots... :)

    Sunday, April 20, 2008

    converting .img to .iso and mounting iso

    .img files are CloneCD files created as a result of dumping contents of a Cd into a file. Very similar to .iso files which are more popular for containing cd images.

    Many tools, like virtual box allow mounting .iso files as a virtual cd/dvd. Ubuntu repositories provide a tool called ccd2iso for converting the .img to .iso.

    just install ccd2iso from the repositories using

    sudo apt-get install ccd2iso

    Once installed, just launch it for converting

    ccd2iso file.img file.iso

    This will create the iso equivalent of the img file.

    To mount the iso file normally in the linux environment, just type

    mount -o loop -t iso9660 filename.iso /mnt/iso

    Experiments With Hardy...

    Ubuntu is by far the more stable of the OS's.. nothing new about that.

    Last friday the release candidate of the new Hardy came out. It was beta for sometime now, and I had it for a few days in beta phase too..

    It was my first time playing around with an OS in its beta stage and sure.. it feels good to be involved..

    I found a few things, suggested on the forums, put out bug reports and it all works so nicely. Everybody involved is so open and helping... it was actually very nice exp. A good learning curve as well for a few things... :)

    Currently there are a few things still going on with the "Hardy Release Candidate" with differing opinions, but all in all it looks like a good package to me. On my laptop, it works nicely, no issues as such...

    In my view, the Ubuntu series has had its share of issues with hardware compatibility. With different people using different set of hardware, it turns out that not everything is 100% picked up by the installer as it should be.

    I tried using virtualbox on hardy to install another copy of hardy 64 bit to experiment something, however, virtualbox wont allow that !! People on the ubuntu forums suggest that it could be a "feature" of vbox not to support 64bit cpu as of now... That would be a shame, actually... :(

    Checking out vmware has been another shock. Earlier it used to be "FREE" for Linux, however now its only 30day evaluation version. Sounds like just another corporate, not a company supporting open source...

    On the 64 bit point, I am really thinking of going 64 bit completely... all out... I have tried it for a few weeks now, and for me its been no problems at all... and the support for packages etc is fine for my needs... Yeah, some more programs need to be compiled by hand, but thats ok for me... :)

    Ubuntu directory structure...

    In the *nix operating systems, the tree style of file systems are there from time immemorial. In fact the idea of a inverted tree directory system or all filesystems originated with Unix.

    The root of the tree is called "root directory" here and is the top level directory, and all its subdirectories make up the directory hierarchy. This is different as compared to Windows wherein there are drives. Especially diff since each diff hardware device has its own dir tree with its own root directory. In Unix there is only one root dir. Everything else, falls under that tree...

    Here's a summary of the standard directories found on a typical Unix/Linux system. Current reference being Ubuntu.
    • /bin - binary applications (most of your executable files)
    • /boot - files required to boot (such as the kernel, etc)
    • /dev - your devices (everything from drives to displays)
    • /etc - just about every configuration file for your system
    • /etc/profile.d - contains scripts that are run by /etc/profile upon login.
    • /etc/rc.d - contains a number of shell scripts that are run on bootup at different run levels. There is also typically an rc.inet1 script to set up networking (in Slackwar), an rc.modules script to load modular device drivers, and an rc.local script that can be edited to run commands desired by the administrator, along the lines of autoexec.bat in DOS.
    • /etc/rc.d/init.d - contains most of the initialization scripts themselves on an rpm-based system.
    • /etc/rc.d/rc*.d - where “*'’ is a number corresponding to the default run level. Contains files for services to be started and stopped at that run level. On rpm-based systems, these files are symbolic links to the initialization scripts themselves, which are in /etc/rc.d/init.d.
    • /etc/skel - directory containing several example or skeleton initialization shells. Often contains subdirectories and files used to populate a new user’s home directory.
    • /etc/X11 - configuration files for the X Window system
    • /home - locally stored user files and folders
    • /lib - system libraries (similar to Program Files)
    • /lost+found - lost and found for lost files
    • /media - mounted (or loaded) devices such as cdroms, digital cameras, etc.
    • /mnt - mounted file systems
    • /opt - location for “optionally” installed programs
    • /proc - dynamic directory including information about and listing of processes
    • /root - “home” folder for the root user
    • /sbin - system-only binaries (see /bin)
    • /sys - contains information about the system
    • /tmp - temporary files
    • /usr - applications mainly for regular users
    • /var - mainly logs, databases, etc.
    • /usr/local/bin - the place to put your own programs. They will not be overwritten with upgrades.
    • /usr/share/doc - documentation.
    Some content shamelessly borrowed from this page :Linux or ubuntu Directory structure

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Get rid of the Ubuntu splash screen during boot

    If you want to see Ubuntu booting like the good old text based linux systems, here are some ideas on removing the splash screen from the booting process....

    Quickzi: Get rid of the Ubuntu splash screen during boot
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Firefox Smart Keywords

    A very very useful tip.

    In firefox its possible to make shortcuts for your favourite links (especially useful for searches etc).

    For example, for a typical google image search, you would normally open images.google.com and then type in your required phrase and press search. That constitutes two trips to google image server to accomplish your search needs.

    With this method from firefox, you can achieve this in one trip to server, just by doing a small trick with your favourites configuration.

    You add a particular url to your favourites list. And later on, from the organize favourites dialog, assign that url a shortcut, a very small phrase e.g. img or images or something that you like.

    Now, after this setup, when you want to search for images on keyword india, you'd just have to say your chosen keyword and india, i.e. just type in

    img india

    in the address bar and press enter.. your search results should be on the way...

    More detailing here... Solutions - 25 Useful Firefox Smart Keywords
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Wonderful rose...




    A very very very nice photograph.... Great shot...

    Christina's Rose
    Blogged vith the Flock Browser

    Leaves on a sunny day...


    Leaves on a sunny day..., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    Greenery by the roadside in winterthur...
    shot on a sunny day, just after some rain...
    Everything looked fresh...

    Just couldnt resist shooting...

    Leaves.....2


    Leaves.....2, originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    altered copy, the right right part cropped...

    whatsay !!!

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    From BBC :Day in pictures


    A man watches a patrol by US soldiers in Khost province, Afghanistan.
    BBC NEWS | In Pictures | Day in pictures


    An interesting shot...  
    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    What if...


    What if..., originally uploaded by s_raghu20.

    the sky would change its color and turned into something like this...

    howz that for a change...