Powerless for 30 hours

There was a heavy downpour in Chennai and it rained about 24 cm within 4 hours. So almost the entire city was switched off from power by the electricity board as a precautionary measure.
Power returned back to my area after more than 30 hours. Due to the rain I was not able to go for the premiere of “Legend of Zorro”. Very bad day.
Anyway I am back with more blogging and more news and articles.

MySQL 5 released

MySQL 5 is ready for production use. Here is the snip from MySQL web site…

“MySQL 5.0 is the most ambitious release in MySQL’s history. MySQL 5.0
delivers the enterprise features the community has been asking for,
including Stored Procedures, Triggers, Views, Information Schema, XA
Distributed Transactions, and new Storage Engines. We also added
Strict SQL Mode to eliminate some of the ‘Gotchas’. Plus, MySQL 5.0
builds on our reputation for Reliability, Performance, and Ease of
Use.”

Visit http://dev.mysql.com for more info.
Here are some MySQL and Postgresql gotchas one may be interested in reading.

If you find a bug in the newly released MySQL 5.0, then can win an iPod Nano.

Free as in Free Beer

After reading the article I wrote earlier where opensource powers a milking robot, I saw another link where someone has brewed beer from milk.
There is also another link where they have posted a recipe for brewing beer under the Creative Commons License and so you can create your own open-source beer.
Who said “free as in free beer” is not possible.

Can someone try the recipe and tell whether it tastes the same as the original one?

Linux powers robotic cow-milking machine


A 122-year-old dairy equipment company has used Linux to control a robotic cow-milking system (the system is robotic, not the cows). Delaval’s “Voluntary Milking System” lets the cows decide for themselves when to be milked, and gives dairy farmers a more independent lifestyle, free from regular milkings. The system runs a 2.4.18 Linux kernel.

Tech Tags: linux vms

Minix 3 released

MINIX 3 is a new open-source operating system designed to be highly reliable and secure. It is based somewhat on previous versions of MINIX, but is fundamentally different in many key ways. MINIX 1 and 2 were intended as teaching tools; MINIX 3 adds the new goal of being usable as a serious system on resource-limited and embedded computers and for applications requiring high reliability.

MINIX 3 is initially targeted at the following areas:

  • Applications where very high reliability is required
  • Single-chip, small-RAM, low-power, $100 laptop for Third-World children
  • Embedded systems (e.g., cameras, DVD recorders, cell phones)
  • Applications where the GPL is too restrictive (MINIX 3 uses a BSD-type license)
  • Education (e.g., operating systems courses at universities)

MINIX 3 Features

  • POSIX compliant
  • Networking with TCP/IP
  • Two ANSI C compilers (ACK and gcc)
  • Over 300 UNIX programs
  • Many improvements since V2
  • Full multiuser and multiprogramming
  • Support for memory up to 4 GB
  • Device drivers run as user processes
  • Full C source code supplied
  • Runs on 386, 486, Pentium, etc.
Tech Tags: linux kernel freebsd

Restricted Formats – Install Packages

In Ubuntu, many formats are not available as there are licensing or patents issues with such formats. Such examples are MP3s, which require about 75cents for every player that plays MP3 files. Other formats that are not available CODECs for DVD playback, Java, Realplayer, Flash, etc.
You can install them by following the steps in the the wiki page of Ubuntu.

Package Management

Applications for GNU/Linux are available in various formats like source(.tar.gz), deb, rpm. In my opinion Debian’s package management is far superior than others as it automatically checks for dependancy packages and installs them too(there is yum forRedHat, but I don’t use RedHat).
You can install/update/remove packages using synaptic package manager. Open synaptic from System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager.
You can find the interface easy to use. Just select your package at the upper-right corner and click the tick box. Synaptic automatically installs the dependency packages too if required.
So you may be asking from where does synaptic install the software. There are various repositories on the net that is used by synaptic to install or update the system. Usually we use the command line tools to install them, but synaptic gives a easy to use interface.
You can view the repositories or add new ones by going to the Settings>Repositories menu and a list of repositories are shown. Click settings and tick the Show Disabled software sources.
You can now see checkboxes next to the repositories.
Enable the Universe repository. You can also enable the Multiverse and the Universe Security updates repository. Save the changes.
You need to update the packages to obtain the list of packages in the repository.
After this, you can install the packages.

You can also add new Repositories. For eg
deb http://www.grawert.net/ubuntu/ warty universe
Here the various fields are
deb – neaning it is a binary
http://www.grawert.net/ubuntu/ – URi(Uniform Resource Identifier) which is the location of the repository
warty – the release name
universe – section name. There can be several sections seperated by a space.

Hope you have got a nice overview of the package management in Ubuntu.

Tech Tags: ubuntu linux synaptic

Easy Ubuntu 2.3

Easy Ubuntu is an easy way to make Ubuntu usable in few minutes. This is a beginner’s tool using a graphical interface.

Easy Ubuntu allows you to:

  • Add extra repositories for installing a lot of additional software.
  • Install multimedia codecs for reading all videos, musics and DVDs.
  • Activate the “audio preview” feature in Nautilus.
  • Install the most needed Firefox plugins: Flash, Java, Real, videos. Adds Microsoft fonts, GNOME’s Firefox buttons, officials Firefox icons.
  • Install archiving support for RAR and ACE.
  • Install the most used peer-to-peer softwares: aMule (a clone of eMule) and Azureus (for Bittorent).
  • Install the Skype voice-over-IP software. (Warning: at this time Skype is not packaged for Breezy so install don’t work)
  • MSN: Install AMSN cvs with webcam support.
  • Num lock: Active the num lock at system startup.
  • Replace the GNOME foot logo with Ubuntu’s logo.
  • Install the NVIDIA or ATI driver for 3D support.

I guess everyone using Ubuntu must get this and install. Really how easy life has become with free sotwares.

Tech Tags: ubuntu linux