Technology — Khosrow is Dreaming

October 29th, 2009 — Tags: internet, kubuntu, linux, Technology, Web 2.0, work

As with most things in tech, large companies catch on to the power of instant messaging late. Where I work is no exception. They rolled out Microsoft Office Communicator a couple of months ago (as a side note, that is a horrible landing page) and made much of the new and improved power of communication between employees. It’s a great thing that I can finally communicate using instant messaging, but the proprietary software threw a monkey in my desktop setup. After some research I found out how to get my desktop to connect to the Office Communicator server: Pidgin and SIPE.

First, I needed to install Pidgin
sudo apt-get install pidgin

Then, I installed the TLS plugin for Pidgin
sudo apt-get install pidgin-encryption

Now, the important piece of the puzzle was SIPE, which is needed to connect to proprietary server. I initially tried the usual
sudo apt-get install pidgin-sipe
But the version of SIPE available for jaunty was version 1.2-1 and it didn’t work. So, I went with the old school way of compiling my own binary. I got the code from here and followed the simple instructions on the same site. They are as follows:
tar -zxvf pidgin-sipe-1.7.0.tar.gz cd pidgin-sipe-1.7.0 ./configure --prefix=/usr/ make sudo make install

Once installed, I started up Pidgin and after entering the necessary info connected successfully. You can see the detailed info of what I entered in the pictures below.

Google Wave in 2 Minutes

October 3rd, 2009 — Tags: google wave, Technology, Video, Web 2.0

And like the video says, “if I could get an invite, it would be great!” Anyone?

[via: Lifehacker]

Open Source on the Desktop

September 10th, 2009 — Tags: apple, linux, opensource, Technology

The desktop wars have been heating up since the arrival of ubuntu on the scene. There’s been many articles stating that Linux has arrived on the desktop and so on. But last month while at an open source conference I realized that aside from ideological battles, balance is what’s needed. My friend had a laptop running the latest version of Ubuntu, he quickly ran into trouble when doing something as simple as a hibernate and ended up having to reinstall the OS to fix the problem.

So what do I want to say here? Well, to me where open source makes sense is in the enterprise. A place where the cost of software is minimized and the benefits of open source are quickly realized. But on the desktop, where I don’t have time to deal with unsupported hardware or small issues it makes no difference! So at this moment, the deciding factor should be what runs what I need to run painlessly and seamlessly…

VIA Rail Website Failures

July 28th, 2009 — Tags: internet, Technology, viarail

Someone at VIA didn’t think that introducing a 60% off sale would slow the site to a crawl. Since yesterday, their stunt (thanks to the strike) has made their site and all the services they offer through it inaccessible to the public.

I’ve been on their site for 2 days trying to get a ticket. During the day it’s non-responsive and even past midnight the site doesn’t function. I’m not sure if they thought about this rise in traffic. But in today’s world, this kind of weak infrastructure really looks bad on the organization, especially the guys greasing the wheels in the server room!

Here’s a thought guys: before you put out a call for a going-out-of-business sale, buy some bandwidth!

I Fought Windows And I Won!

March 3rd, 2009 — Tags: linux, opensource, Technology, windows

Yesterday I went to my home theatre pc to be greeted by an endless barrage of error messages. In my efforts to fix the problem, I forgot to take a snapshot of the error, but suffice it to say that it was some odd error about svchost.exe being unable to write to a memory location.
I tried a reboot hoping it would fix the problem, but after the system came I was bombarded by pop-ups! Good old adware! It was years since I was a victim of one of those…

I saw this chance to put one of my diabolical plans into action: Install Linux.

So, I didn’t even try fixing the computer. I quickly backed up my important files, and knowing my media files were safe in a separate drive popped in the latest copy of Linux in – which happened to be Kubuntu 8.04. The install took no more than 45 minutes, and right away the difficult stuff was over with and the Logitech diNovo Edge was detected with all buttons working!

As we speak the system is updating itself to the current version of Kubuntu: version 8.10 and soon I will be able to install MythTV and have a proper HTPC.

Man, I remember the days when I had to scour the internet boards to get info on get X working on my old 90MHz Pentium. Or when a simple install was a frustrating experience.

I just like to say great success!.

My Surfing Habits

February 26th, 2009 — Tags: internet, Life, Productivity, Technology

Yesterday I was feeling a bit unproductive, and a bit guilty for not doing more during the work day. So I looked at my trends on Google Reader and realized I could improve by looking at its data.

So as the data above shows my websurfing is at its highest on Mondays after coming back from the weekend. This statistic makes sense to me, considering I don’t read any news over the weekends and I try to catch up on the news. But on the other hand, I think the opposite would be better for my productivity. Where I work getting the bulk of work done on Mondays and Tuesday is more beneficial and leaves me the rest of the week to debug and troubleshoot.

This graph is a bit embarassing and I could do a lot to fix my work habits just based on this. Here’s what I see along with my excueses in italic:

  • I do most of my browsing during the work day. I guess it’s a form of a mental break at work!
  • At 9am and 10am I do a lot of websurfing, along with 12pm (during lunch) and at the end of the day. I just start my day a little slowly that’s all!
  • My surfing remains high during the work day and is never that high in the evenings. I prefer to chill at home!

So what’s the point? I’m not sure. Can you interpret these graphs?

Google rolls out new goodies

November 22nd, 2008 — Tags: gmail, google, internet, Technology

Today I noticed a couple of new additions made by google. First, is the addition of themes into gmail. The theme feature is cool, especially considering that I had been using stylish firefox extension along with a nice theme. For people familiar with the cool ninja theme easter egg in the google reader. Even that’s available!

Second is ranking in google search results. With this google is stepping further into the crowd oriented internet a la digg and friends.

The World of Desktop Widgets – Part 1

October 13th, 2008 — Tags: desktop, linux, Technology, widgets

Back in 2003 when I still had enough time to follow up on the latest Linux applications, there was a new tool (or toolkit) developed called Karamba. It aimed to bring desktop widget functionality to KDE on Linux. Soon there was a new application called Superkaramba that improved on the old application and got a lot of attention. Curious as I was, I downloaded it, compiled it and was soon running it on my desktop.

Looks like the idea of using desktop widgets was catching on at the time. At the same time there was an application called Konfabulator (which got bought out by Yahoo and is now called Yahoo! Widgets). When I started working and was forced back on Windows, I started using konfabulator and liked it quite a lot. At around the same time Mac OS X had an application called Dashboard, which did all the things the other two were aiming for. With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft entered the field and released native widgets called Gadgets. The final development – as far as my exposure lets me believe – was the development of Plasma in the new version KDE. There is also one other player in this game that introduced its own version of widgets. Google created the desktop search back in 2004, and soon after added a sidebar with gadgets and other plugins. As one would guess, these gadgets performed the same general tasks as all the other flavours and aimed to provide the same solutions.

I this article I will try and review each of these implementations both from a user perspective. Part 2 will carry reviews from a developer’s point of view.

Continue reading →

Large Hadron Collider Goes Online

September 10th, 2008 — Tags: News, Science, Technology, Video

After today science will have a chance at discovering great unknowns and proving or disproving some of the most fundamental theories in physics. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will go online in CERN. Although I have no expertise in this subject matter I will try my hand at a quick summary of the most important points. Follow the jump for a brief introduction and a very nice video explaining it all in rap!

Continue reading →

Where’s my PC?

May 26th, 2008 — Tags: Technology

So my laptop died this past Friday, and I have been slowly realizing how useful virtualization or cloud computing would be RIGHT NOW! I am by no means cut off from computers. I have access to a couple of them here at home, and all day at work I stare at various computers. And on top of all that, the laptop that I lost (oh, cruel fate!) didn’t even have many personal files on it. It was a work laptop, but I had gotten so used to having access that I’m in a mini-withdrawal right now.

I think most of all I miss the customization I had done on there, which made my day-to-day tasks easy. I’m beginning to think that if I had that level of customization on a cloud computer, I would never run this risk again. Something like igoogle or the upcoming Live Mesh.