Archive for the ‘FOSS’ Category

Google chrome

Posted: September 25, 2008 in FOSS, Techstuff
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Recently i made a try on Google Chrome – a free open source web browser developed by Google and the beta version of it was released on 2nd of September.Here is the comic by Scott McCloud that was released during the release of Google chrome that explains the need for Google chrome.

I felt it has high speed and responsiveness compared to other browsers.Another feature that impressed me a lot is that the address bar and the search are integrated and the suggestions were applied for both the addresses and the search(In Google’s words: One box for everything).Its a pretty cool feature in Chrome.Every new tab in Chrome shows the thumbnails of most visited websites.The tabs in chrome can be dragged out of the browser and can be had as a separate window.The vice versa is also possible.While clearing the browsing history, there is an option to clear the history from particular period instead of clearing everything.

Another is the task manager.Chrome is a multi-process browser.The website in each tab is considered as a separate process.The task manager displays memory usage,CPU usage and network usage of each process(website).Hence if there exists a problem with any of the web sites there is no need for closing the entire browser, its enough to end that particular process(website) using the task manager option.I also read that IE8(beta version) has also come with this multi-process approach and heard its not as robust as Chrome.I havent tried out IE8.

I cant reason out why the title bar disappears when the window is maximised.The is no fixed status bar in chrome.A light status bar pops up at the left bottom of the window during the page load or when there is a hovering over a link.Also heard of some issues like chrome crash when some special characters are used.I am not sure about it as i didnt face such problems yet.Awaiting for the next release of chrome hoping it would come with add-ons,themes as in firefox and with better development.


Admin Scripts in pgdb

Posted: February 6, 2008 in FOSS, Techstuff
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In my project there was need for writing few admin scripts in python to create database account and database for a user.
In case of MySQL we connected to mysql database (admin database) and then performed the DDL queries like create database.The connection string we used is
conn=mysql.connect(host=”localhost”,user=”username”,passwd=” “,db=”mysql” )
It worked well.In the same way we wrote code for creating database in postgres is as follows:

import pgdb
cursor.execute(‘create database test’)

here postgres is the admin database.
But the create database didn’t work. The following error was thrown.

ERROR: CREATE DATABASE: May not be called in a transaction block

ie., we are not allowed to create database in the transaction block. Later found that doing a commit will end or close the current transaction and hence after a commit we performed create database.It worked then. In order to do that we just included a line


before the line cursor.execute(‘create database test’)

Thus we can just do a commit before issuing any statements that PostgreSQL cannot execute within a transaction and perform such statements outside the transaction block.

FStival’07-a Software Freedom festival

Posted: September 15, 2007 in FOSS
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Today(September 15th) we celebrated a festival FStival’07 in our college which is a part of Software Freedom Day celebration. The function started around 10 am. The foss enthusiasts and our alumni Mr. Praveen, Mr. Senthilkumaran, Mr. Subramani also participated in it and made it a successful celebration.

The welcome address was given by Mrs.Shalinie, HOD of our department. Then the presidential address was given by Mr. Rajaram, Dean of Computer Sciences. Then the report on GLUGOT and GLUG-Madurai was given by my friend Keerthi. The next was a talk by Mr.Praveen an alumnus of our college who is now working in HP, Bangalore. He gave a wonderful talk on what is FOSS, said how it differs from the proprietary software and how it is useful in educational institutions, industries and listed the companies using GNU/Linux. That was continued by Ubuntu installation demo and a demo on looking glass and compiz fusion showed by Mr. Subramani – another alumnus of our college. After few minutes break there was demo on various GNU/Linux tools in the stalls in our department. Some of the tools that were demonstrated : GCC , LAMP, CMS (Drupal) , LaTeX, GIMP , Emacs , Databases , Open Office , Debuggers , GTK/Glade , KDevelop , Beryl(one of the stalls that attracted many ppl), VIM, Games(Supertux). These demos were done by our second and third year students. They really did a good job and hats off to them. I and my friends just visited all the stalls and enjoyed it.

All the stalls were closed around 1.30 and there was a little photo session. Then the hunger started killing us as we didn’t have the breakfast also and we started to Bell hotel where there was a treat by our seniors(Praveen,Senthil and Subramani). We filled our tummies and had lot of fun there. Then on return, myself and Keerthi went to vinayagar temple in our college and reached hostel.Thus it was a wonderful day 🙂

Favourite Pass time

Posted: September 2, 2007 in FOSS, Myself

Now a days i feel bored doing nothing. Now i have started overcoming that by playing Supertux that i have on my Debian etch.I used to play super mario in my childhood. I was so crazy about it. One could see me always jumping along with Mario crossing the hurdles. Now i am getting the same pleasure from Supertux where the tux(mascot of linux) plays the role of Mario.Its really cool and i have started loving it.I have started spending more time playing that.It has become my favourite past time. Kids will really love it.Then i put my hands on gimp and finally designed the header for my blog(the header that you see now)

An unpleasant news

Posted: August 9, 2007 in FOSS, Techstuff

Today I was reading The Hindu newspaper. On the very first page i found a headline “100 High Speed PCs for Madurai Bench”. I started reading into it. It has been said that 100 PCs with Intel Dual core processors have been alloted for judiciary purposes in Madurai Bench of High court.Its a good news.But what pricked me was that there was a line like “the only drawback is that all the systems have GNU/Linux a free open source operating system installed in it which has limited applicabilities compared to Microsoft Windows Operating System”.It was really unpleasant to read that. The public has such an opinion on GNU/Linux. They didn’t know the benefits of it. In fact most of the government employees will be in need of office suite only.So instead of spending lot of money in buying that proprietary operating system they can make use of GNU/Linux which is of minimal cost. They can make use of application softwares like Open-office…This would result in enormous savings to the government and also they will get a virus free,highly secured operating system.Those saved money can be spent on charity or something else like that. Awareness have to be created among the government officials also about the powerful features of GNU/Linux and various applications and tools in GNU/Linux that can be used in various fields.GLUGs have to create awareness among them and provide technical support to them.The managing director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) has said that the government is fast migrating to Linux operating systems.This has to be encouraged.

Long live GNU/Linux !!

FOSS 2007

Posted: January 13, 2007 in FOSS, Techstuff

FOSS2007-a six day Seminar on FOSS tools started on 8th of January.The flying start of this seminar was by Mr.JoeSteeve – an alumni of our college and a foss enthusiast.The first question he posed to the students was “What is Free Open Source Software”. Many answered some thing. But the way he gave his own explanation was marvelous. He related the free software with a spoon. He related our rights to mould a spoon to our needs and modifying a software to our needs. He put his words in simple terms giving very simple exemplifications that everyone can understand. In that way he explained the License. He said from a single spoon we cannot make a copy or create another similar spoon. But its possible to create many copies of a software. There by he said about the unique feature of a free software. He then compared the GPL License with the License of proprietary softwares EULA(Microsoft).He then said that the FOSS will be very helpful for the students to learn the core concepts of an operating system since they can go through the source code of each process and understand the control mechanism of each process. Then he gave the difference between copyleft(protecting the user) and copyright(protecting the vendor). The difference between FS(Free Software),OS(Open Source),FOSS(Free Open Source Software), FLOSS(Free/Libre Open Source Software) were discussed.Then he specified the two categories of Open Source Development—Cathedral and Bazaar .The the tools needed for developing a open source software—the mailing list and the bug tracker, their importance and the usage were explained. But unfortunately he got some urgent work in his place and he was not able the next day.So on the second day there was a session by Mr.Praveen my senior. But we missed that.
Then on 10th –the third day of seminar there was a session by Mr.Bharathi subrmanian who ellucidated on embedded development tools. But we missed that session also since we didn’t get permission to cut our maths internal exam.
The fourth day was the most memorable day.Mr.Ananth Shrinivas –another alumni from Sun MicroSystems came there and explained about the debugging tools and also gave demo on it. He started with the list of common problems that we face during programming. He then splendidly explained the structure of a program in disk and in memory. Brief explanation on tools like gcc, gdb were given. Finally he threw lights on a really cool tool valgrind showing some examples. He was really enthusiastic in introducing us to such tools.He finally ended the session saying DTrace from SUN Microsystems can track all such bugs. He said he has found some bugs in emacs and ls command using DTrace. He distributed belinix cds. He then met us personally and gave some suggestions as what projects can be done in OpenSolaris. I was really inspired by his talks. He is simply great and a simple man with lot techno stuffs.I booted the belenix cd he gave and found a cool environment there. I also have Solaris 11 on my grub after many attempts. I have to explore a lot in solaris environment and especially learn the tools like Dtrace.
On the fifth day of FOSS seminar there was session handled by Mr.Senthilkumaran (Stylesen)-another alumni who completed his course in 2006 and now working in Spikesource. He spoke on database tools like MySql ,Postgres and on ApacheDerby and SQLite those which have small footprint.He also spoke on some Web programming tools.
Today the sixth day and last day of FOSS seminar, Stylesen would have spoke on Content Management System(CMS) and unfortunately I was not able to attend that session.I expect many such programs to be held in our college to get more knowledge.Awaiting for such rocking seminars.Hats off to these FOSS geeks.
This was really a productive week.But i didnt do any of my internal well.I didnt learn anything.Had no mood of learning and just left it off and expecting very poor marks this time.