Thursday, November 23, 2006

A good weekend picnic

How do you define a good picnic?

1. College friends.

From Picnic

2. Places where even after spending 3-4 hours you still want to stay.
From Picnic

3. Good, cheap place to stay and good food to eat.
From Picnic

4. No quarrels. Lots of enjoyment. Lots of jokes, laughter, leg pulling.
From Picnic

5. Spending some time alone.
From Picnic

6. Reaching home late at night, so exhausted that you don't want to move a bit next morning.

I just did all this on last weekend. It was whole lot of fun. :-)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Beryl - Special effects at your desk(top)

Following the keystrokes of G0SUB and tuxmaniac, I finally installed Beryl on Edgy Eft i.e. Ubuntu 6.10 .
('Following the keystrokes' is computer world analogous of 'Following the footsteps')

It is too good. It provides loads of special effects. It is too hard to express in words. That is why I have made a small video for all to checkout. The effects included in video are, minimize/restore, shade, show desktop, switch workspace, switch applications, close application. The video is in Theora/Ogg format. If you are in Windows/Mac OS X, you will probably need VLC player to play it.

Download the video - Beryl Video. The download is about 2 MB.

People using Mac OS X 10.3+ should be already familiar with these effects. Windows users will have to wait till Vista is out I guess.

1. I have followed the tutorial provided at I use ATI Radeon 7000 AGP card. If you are using any card other than Intel, ATI, nVidia then you will have to use trial and error method.
2. I have recorded this video using istanbul. For that one need to tweak some settings.
a) Once you load istanbul, select 'Record 3D' instead of 'Record Mouse Pointer' in the context menu of tray icon
b) Select 'Full' size in the context menu of tray icon.
c) Open gconf-editor and edit the setting video_framerate in /apps/istanbul. Set it to 5 instead of default 10. Lower the value, more watchable video. This setting is not exposed through UI.
3. I am sure some of you will notice that the time shown by the clock in video is 1st January, around 12 pm. That is because the battery of my BIOS died today and time gets reset on every reboot. :-D

Thursday, September 28, 2006

First experience of l10n

When we were being trained as new developers in my company two years back, our training included concepts of l10n and i18n and how to implement it in programs. Although our project is i18n enabled, I never actually ever took part in any translation.

My first experience with l10n is translation of Totem to Marathi. It has been so far good with Totem getting 50% translated except that I was hit by this bug.
It is funny to get bitten by the bug in your own work on an OS that is in pre-beta stages.
(This is the first time I dared to install a pre-beta version of Ubuntu, or rather any OS)

Following are some sample screenshots.

Totem playing an audio (you can see the properties of file, menus translated)

Totem playing a video

About Totem

Translation credits

The translation is in GNOME CVS and will be available in GNOME 2.16.1
Now I plan to translate at least one more application in Rosetta, probably Sound Juicer, before LanguagePackTranslationDeadline in Edgy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tracking the money in FOSS way

In last 23 years the only time I ever tracked my expenses was when my sister-in-law was with me last year. When she moved to Australia, the habit died eventually.

Due to some recent developments in my financial life, I have been thinking of starting it again. But I am too lazy to write down everything. So finally I decided to give GnuCash a shot (my fingers work faster on keyboard than with a pen).

Yesterday I installed it by compiling from source as latest version was not available in repositories.
I must say that I am pretty impressed with it in whatever time I spent using it from yesterday. Things like various account types, different expenses categories, interlinking of transactions, scheduled transactions make it damn easy to manage/track personal finances. Not only this, the UI is as easy to use as it can be.

I have never seen or used MS Money. But I am sure it can not be better and cheaper than GnuCash (free). Why would someone want to spend money ($20 at least) on MS money to track money when one can do it for free.

Unfortunately (for some of my friends), this software is available only for GNU/Linux systems.
But isn't it one more good reason to use GNU/Linux.

Monday, August 07, 2006

URL handler for GtkAboutDialog

I have been doing some coding for gnusim8085 for some time. Yesterday Sridhar asked me if there was a way for the website link in 'About' dialog to be clickable. I was already looking for something that would accomplish it.

Although there is an API gtk_about_dialog_set_url_hook() which will hook a function with the dialog for handling of urls, I didn't have idea what the function should look like. I have devhelp installed on my machine and API reference of GTK+. But it was missing sample code for this particular thing.
Finally I hunted down the solution by downloading gedit source. Turned out that I just needed to call another gnome function. I am giving it here for all those who may need it.

1. Declare and define a function in the file which defines the major part of UI of your application.

-- interface.h --
void activate_url (GtkAboutDialog *about, const gchar *url, gpointer data);

-- interface.c --
activate_url (GtkAboutDialog *about, const gchar *url, gpointer data)
gnome_url_show_on_screen (url, NULL, NULL);

2. Hook up the above mentioned function for url handling in dialogs.

-- main.c --

int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {

/* hook up url handler */
gtk_about_dialog_set_url_hook (activate_url, NULL, NULL);

Monday, July 17, 2006


(Shamelessly copied from Orkut)

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
बाईकवर मागे बसावी
जुनी हीरो होंडा सुद्धा मग
करिझ्माहून झकास दिसावी !

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
चारचौघीत उठून दिसावी
बोलली नाही तरी निदान
समोर बघून गोड हसावी !

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
कधीतरी सोबत फिरावी
दोघांना एकत्र पाहून
गल्लीतल्या सगळ्या पोरांची जिरावी !

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
जिच्याशी निर्मळ संवाद असावा
कधीतरी छोट्या भांडणाचा
एखादाच अपवाद असावा..

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
आयुष्याच्या अनोळखी वळणावर
तुमच्या व्यथा वेदनांवर
तिने घालावी हळूच फुंकर..

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
जिच्या मैत्रीत विश्वास रुजावा
तुमचासुद्धा खांदा कधी
तिच्या दुःखाने भिजावा..

एक तरी मैत्रीण असावी
चांदणीसारखी मैत्रीच्या आकाशात
मित्रांचे दिवे मावळले म्हणजे
चालावं पुढे तिच्याच प्रकाशात...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Bug in iPod

I didn't know exactly what to call the event that occurred. That is why I am calling it a bug.

The problem:
Receiving a call on a mobile close to iPod increases the volume of song currently playing.

Steps to reproduce:
1. Make sure that some song is playing on iPod.
2. Keep the mobile on 'Vibration Mode'.
3. Keep your mobile close to iPod.
4. Ask your friend to give you a call on your mobile.

Receiving call shouldn't affect your iPod.

Volume gets increased.

Additional notes:
iPod used is iPod Video (30 GB) with latest software version (1.1.1)
Mobile used is Sony Ericsson K700i.
The song being played was from movie 'Rang De Basanti' (if that matters).

The problem could be reproduced by two different persons, three times.

Waiting for comments from different iPod owners.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Marathi/Hindi transliteration in instant messenging

I had been trying to make some Marathi transliteration tool for email sometime back.
Although that work stalled, recently I came across one plugin for Gaim which converted English to Tamil.

I was able to modify the plugin for Marathi/Hindi using Varun's (author of original plugin) help.

I have released first version of this plugin for Gaim 1.5.0 on Windows and Linux.

Please read README and transliteration legend for instructions.

The plugin can be found at

Please try this plugin and mail me your comments and suggestions.

1. Varun, for original idea, helping me understand Gaim API used and implement some additional logic.
2. First victims of some (un)readable Marathi/Hindi messages - Debajit, Shrinand, Himanshu, Rahul and Varun (although he doesn't understand Hindi at all).
3. Shridhar Ratna (whose 8085 simulator project I took over) for giving inspiration to Varun for original plugin.
4. Last but not least, Gaim team for such a wonderful software.

I hope these plugins make their way into Gaim and be a compelling feature for using Gaim.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Last Action Hero

I took this quiz Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0 as suggested by Shrivallabh and following are results.

Tell me if you really think the results are right.

You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.



Indiana Jones


The Amazing Spider-Man


Lara Croft


William Wallace


Neo, the "One"


The Terminator


James Bond, Agent 007


Batman, the Dark Knight


El Zorro


Captain Jack Sparrow


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's about choice

Yesterday morning I and Debajit had this chat.


Debajit: yes the intel macs will definitely be out in 2006
Debajit: apple will mostly come out with a new intel laptop line that will be cheap or at least comparable to the current dell, compaq laptops etc
Onkar: :-D Then I will wait

(Currently I have no intention to buy a new machine)

Debajit: it will most probably be based on Intel's new "dual-core" Yonah processor, and not on the pentium -- and it will also be 64 bit I think
Debajit: :)
Onkar: Coooooooooooooooooooollllllllllll
Debajit: apple will make an announcement at macworld later this Jan -- it will all be confirmed by then

(Read more about it)

Onkar: Ok
Debajit: apple is also releasing Leopard (Mac OS x 10.5+) the new version of their OS -- that will compete directly with Longhorn when it is released later this year.... and with Linux, the competition is going to be really hot -- 2006 is said to be the year of the 3 L's -- Leopard, Linux and Longhorn :D
Onkar: :-D
Debajit: I think by 2007 firefox may become the most popular browser --
Debajit: :D
Onkar: But by end of 2006 we will have two more releases of Ubuntu family, one more Mandriva, Suse, Slackware, Fedora and perhaps one more Gentoo.


So by the time Windows Vista (Longhorn) or Intel based Macs release by end of next year I would have two OS upgrade cycles for my desktop and my dad's laptop which will ...
1. Accomplish almost any task that I will ever want to do including Bluetooth transfers, video transfer over FireWire, video editing, wireless connectivity.
2. not require me to upgrade my machine or buy a new. I already have 512 RAM and my Dad's laptop has almost everything he (and eventually me) will need for next 5 years.
3. not cost me any money other than buying/downloading Ubuntu CD and still I will be using one of the most robust and advanced OS. I will be fool to call Windows robust and advanced. I am comparing Linux to Mac OS X.

I remember Oracle saying to Neo in Matrix Revolutions, "You have already made the choice. Now you have to understand the choice"

In my case I have already understood the choice.

My advice to you,
1. If you are buying new machine then buy something Linux based and save money to be paid for Windows.
2. If your machine is more than 3 years old, having speed at least 400 MHz, RAM at least 128 MB then try Ubuntu/KUbuntu. You won't be disapponited. Once everything is working you can always upgrdae your RAM.
3. If you think Linux doesn't support mp3 or wmv out of box then understand the reason behind it. Know the process to enable the support. Even Linux newbies can do that.

Enjoy the freedom of choice.

NOTE: I have a wish to own a Mac sometime in my life. But I am really happy with Ubuntu currently and don't plan to buy a new machine at least next 5 years just to check Mac OS X.