FStival 2010

Note: This post contains reference to names and places, which might make sense only to TCE folks. It will be a bit long too. And at few places managed to mention about FStival, the main reason behind the visit πŸ˜›

After two years break, i was back at FStival, the software freedom day celebration organised by GLUGOT and GLUG-Madurai. Accompanied by Junior Sai went to the function a little late as usual and stayed away from the chief guest address which seemed to be halfway through in K.S. Auditorium. The chief guest was none other than our senior, Mr. Amalan Joe Steeve. When the chief guest was addressing the crowd, myself and Sai, decided to roam around the college and check out the changes. And our junior Karthikeyan, who is presently doing 3rd year gave a good company for more than an hour. In two years, college has changed a lot, but there are still a lot of landmarks left to make you nostalgic.

The CSE classes are being held in the new building in front of IT department. The open air auditorium is functioning. There is a new building in the pump house. There is some new building coming up in front of the Maths Department. There is one more new building coming up near hostel. Very few monkeys in pump house and CSE Aalamaram. Z0 my final year class room has changed. The tables where 10 of us sit in a row has changed and it is now replaced with single chairs, and the room looks clean. I think the lab which was adjacent to Unix lab, previously called as Client/Server lab is now called as IBM lab !!!! Wondering how it got the name though and whether there is a plan to change the names of other labs to HP, M$, Oracle labs πŸ˜› N/w lab is now called as Multicore lab or something. No changes to Apple and Web Design labs. The ditch in front of the library remains occupied with boys and as usual guys were having fun.

Met all the staffs in Unix lab except for Shalinie mam, since she had a meeting to attend after FStival and went straight there after the chief guess address. Met a staff who managed to talk as though he remembered me, while i doubt whether he did really. And then a mam who was travelling in auto showed signs of recognition. Whatever it is, it was great to be in College after two years and to get a feeling few staffs still can recognize you. This FStival also gave an opportunity to meet few of my juniors. It was fun as usual talking to them.

Coming to FStival, there were so many stalls this time. Congrats to them. Also there were around 300+ audience for FStival, including people from near by colleges and schools which was good. Roaming around the stalls was fun, we had stood behind and had explained the audience few years back πŸ™‚ One major change was that students were using personal laptops in stalls. Looked like a corporate presentation with around 10 laptops in lab πŸ˜›Β Β  Finally left the college at around 5.00PM planning to visit later when i get time…

Weblogger mode with Tag support

Right from May, all posts to this blog were made from Emacs. Slowly losing the habit of using the web interface. Thanks to the hard work of geeks out there, who have tweaked the weblogger.el to a greater extent. With the new version of WordPress, and introduction of Tags, the main problem i faced with the weblogger mode in Emacs is the lack of support for the tags. Hence though the draft is created in Emacs, used to edit the blog posts once it is posted and add tags. Was searching for the weblogger mode with Tag support for wordpress. From the wordpress site found that it can be done specifying the tags in the mt_keywords in the metaweblog API. Thats all it ended there. Did not go beyond that.

After some time came across the link, http://blog.nethazard.net/emacs-weblogger-mode-with-wordpress-tags-support/ where the weblogger with the Tags support was available. From then, it has been a satisfying experience while i blog from Emacs. If i could find someway to type in Tamil, will soon try posting to my Tamil Blog from Emacs. Still without luck, 😦 If anybody is aware of some way to type in Tamil in Emacs, let me know.

Upgraded to Debian Lenny

Upgraded to lenny about three weeks back. But it took three weeks for a blog post on it. Could not get enough time to post about it(Belive me ;)) When i moved from Ubuntu to Etch, i had faced a lot of issues. First issue was with Wireless card. Next one was with ALSA. Not sure what the issue was, but at times the volume remains at 0 and when tried raising goes upto 100 with a lot of noise. Running alsaconf fixed the issue everytime, but i could not get enough time to set it right. Badly needed Firefox 3.0, but it required GNOME higher version hence the rendering was not all that great. So was waiting for Lenny for a very long time.

Once Lenny was released, i started the download but took so many days to download it. Finally it was done. I was a little worried about the upgrade, since saw fw issues in mailing lists. But the upgrade went smoothly without troubles. I had copied all the DVDs to the disk and made sources point to the filesystem dump. Booted expecting to see some issues, but till now, it has been great. Impressed with the look and feel.Β  Actually it looks great. Though the packages are not the latest, i am happy with the versions available. Totally impressed with Debian this time πŸ™‚

Intel 4965 AGN Wireless card in Debian Etch

Atlast a sign of relief πŸ™‚ After a bit of struggle i was able to go wireless in my laptop, HP Pavillion 6833us. The laptop came pre installed with Vista. Anyway vista is sleeping there in the harddisk. I am yet to find a good use for that. Anyway installed Debian and faced a few problems with driver support. First one with the sound. Laptop had HDA Intel card, and alsa shipped with Debian, 1.0.13 had problems. Googled and upgraded to Alsa 1.0.15, which solved the problem.

After that left with the task of enabling wireless. First attempt was with Ndiswrapper. Looks like Ndiswrapper does not support Intel 4965 AGN Wireless. Anyway Intel has released the native wireless drivers for linux. The project is called iwlwifi, visit http://intellinuxwireless.org/ for further info. Also got a link, with steps to install in debian etchΒ  http://www.nanonanonano.net/linux/debian/iwlwifi . What else is needed ? It is time to go wifi in debian πŸ™‚ Follow the steps blindly you will have wireless configured in Debian.

As for Vista, RIP.

Specifying categories for posts from weblogger

After all it is possible to specify categories for the blogs posted
from the weblogger mode in emacs. All you have to add is to add the
“Keywords” section to the header and specify the categories as comma
separated values. The only limitation is that, you cannot add any
new categories using weblogger.

If the header that you get is something like this,

Subject:
Newsgroup:
–text follows this line–

Add the “Keywords:” header and specify the existing categories,
something like,

Subject:
Newsgroup:
Keywords:
–text follows this line–

Now the only feature that is needed to make the configuration complete
is adding tags. Searching for ways to add that.

Using Weblogger mode in Emacs

Wow finally i was able to blog from emacs. First had thoughts ofwriting a python client using xmlrpc for posting in wordpress but thatwas all before i came to know about the weblogger mode. What has to be done to enable the weblogger mode in Emacs ? All you have to do is to download the weblogger.el and the xml-rpc.el to a directory of your choice and enable them. Once you downloadthe el files add the following lines to your .emacs file

(add-to-list ‘load-path “”)
(require ‘weblogger)

Now reload the configuration or restart emacs. Weblogger need xml-rpc and URL. If you have themΒ  installed, Emacs would startup without any problems. Setup weblogger using the command, M-x weblogger-setup-weblog and enter the weburl, username and password. For wordpress the URL is http://yourblogaddress/xmlrpc.php

Now you are done, start blogging using M-x weblogger-start-entry.

There are still few loose ends to be tied up to make the webloggercomplete for my account. Still i am not able to specify the title and the category for the post. Hope to do that soon….

cscope with emacs

During my college days i have never heard of cscope at all. The first tool that my mentor asked me to study was cscope as it is often difficult to read large source codes without cscope. I found it difficult to first use cscope since by default opens the source code in vi which i have never used. Heard that cscope can be integrated and gave it a try. It was not a difficult process at all. All you have to do is to set the EDITOR environment variable to emacs, so that cscope opens the files in emacs. You can safely set the EDITOR environment variable in .profile so that it is set every time you login. And for navigation you need to creat TAG table file for Emacs. Emacs has the solution in hand. All you have to do is to use the etags binary that comes with emacs.

The command ( etags `find . -name “*.[h|c]”` )Β  would create the TAGS file which emacs uses for navigating tags. Now to navigate `M-.` would take you the definition of a function or variable. `C-u M-.` would take you to the next definition. To return back to the original place where the search started the key binding is `C-u M-*`. There are number of cscope.el files available in internet which makes the navigation job easier but i did not try them as i was contented with this.

My Remembrall – Emacs Planner

Started using yet another feature of Emacs. The latest feature i am using is the Planner mode in Emacs. I was badly in need of a something to keep track of things as the silly little brain of mine was not able to keep track of everything. What i wanted was some sort of mechanism to remind me about the work i have and tasks that i need to complete. But what emacs gave was something different. Emacs Planner has a lot of features than what i expected. All you need to use planner in emacs is to download Planner and Muse and copy it into elisp folders or home folders and add configure your .emacs file to load planner. Planner requires the wiki feature of Muse so it is necessary to install Muse first. To get planner working for you, there is a detailed procedure starting from emacs installation to installing and configuring Planner. This link http://pigpog.com/node/1974 contains a step by step procedure to install emacs, install and configure planner and steps to use planner.

If the topic does not make sense to you, read this.

FStival ’07

It was the first FStival i attended as an aluminus. It was a great feeling to visit the college again and meet the juniors and staffs out there. I went a little late after going to my home and i missed praveen’s speech and the installation session. Heard that praveen gave an inspiring speech and inspite of some problems with the installation, juniors managed to finish the session in a good note. When i entered the KS auditorium, Subramani was explaining some cool compiz features and 3D desktops. After that there was a doubt clarification session during which i got the opportunity to poke my nose and utter few words.

After then it was time for the demo stalls. As usual we had stalls like GCC, GDB, Emacs, Databases, CMD, LAMP, GIMP, Games & Multimedia etc. Vim and “Linux Day to day” stalls were added this time.This time Juniors did a fine job with the demo stalls and were explaining with good examples. For the first time i saw juniors explaining Blender with some real animations. Almost all of them did fine in explaining the functionalities of the softwares. Regarding the audience, this time we had a diverse crowd ranging schools and colleges in and around Madurai and from other departments.

After all this it was time for fill the tummy and we proceeded to hotel Bell for the treat that was pending for a very long time.Praveen, Subramani and myself atlast treated our juniors πŸ™‚ After that headed back home to enjoy the remaining one day at home.

Managed to take only very few snaps. Check them out at http://picasaweb.google.com/sens2003