My space in the world

Code is poetry

Posted by Sayak
November - 27 - 2008

I’ve been thoroughly looking around brainstorm ideas today. I found many ideas that already have been implemented in KDE4 :-

Say for example, Dim files when ‘cut’ — Dolphin 1.1 (KDE4) already does that

And this: Timer for resolution switcher — Again, KDE4 shows a timer window (see screenshot)

There are more ideas for giving a handful of good wallpapers (KDE 4.2 wallpapers are beautiful!!). Yet another one asking for an app that would show multiple folders on desktop (Folder view plasma widget)

KDE4 is very well engineered. Cheers to the KDE4 developers \o/

Posted by Sayak
November - 26 - 2008

I was trying out everything KDE 4.1.3 gives me and loved this desktop theme Elegance.

Of all the above, I finally set Elegance as the active theme:

Wallpaper belongs to the KDE 4.2 defaults family. I really like this black + green combination.. very soothing! Since about one whole week, I have it on now.. Wow! that’s the longest time I haven’t fiddled with the UI! πŸ˜‰
Posted by Sayak
November - 26 - 2008

I cant help laughing at this. Yesterday, one of my friends came up my hostel room to take some documents from me, took out his USB flash drive, split it open and took the device out from it’s case, and plugged in my laptop’s port!
On asking why he did that, he said “Why? Don’t you know? I do this every time. I read somewhere that it works 200% faster when plugged in without it’s case.”

Really? My God!

I managed to click this on my phone (seeing his face turn a bit reddish at the same time!)

Don’t try this at home πŸ˜›

Posted by Sayak
November - 22 - 2008

Powerdevil is a feature rich power manager for KDE. I had been using kpowersave on KDE4.1.3, and now powerdevil looks great !!

General Settings

General Settings Screen Dimming, Battery Levels and Notification settings. Powerdevil uses knotify with a sound event and customizable messages for it’s notifications.

Power Profiles

Powerdevil provides 5 default power profiles that are customizable:

  • Performance
  • Presentation
  • Powersave
  • Aggressive Powersave
  • Xtreme Powersave

Edit Profiles

Provides options to create new/edit existing profiles. For each profile, the following fields are customizable:

  • Screen brightness
  • Kwin compositing toggle on/off
  • Computer idle actions
  • Power/Sleep/Lid button actions
  • CPU frequency scaling
  • Turning off CPUs
  • Screen power management

Also provides options to Import/Export and clone profiles.


This screen lists all system capabilities that Powerdevil can make use off.

Sadly, my laptop does not support turning off of CPUs. Everything else work perfectly.
Powerdevil is most likely to be integrated in KDE4.2
At first, I was a bit surprised after not seeing a systray icon, but well, I don’t need one really. I use the Battery Status plasma in 4.1.3, while the same widget integrates well with powerdevil in 4.2
This is definitely worth trying..

Posted by Sayak
November - 22 - 2008

I had a friend visiting over last night asking for a PC Suite for Motorola phones for his Windows box for accessing the internet via GPRS. That reminded me that I had a basic Moto phone myself thrown somewhere. After a bit of head-banging, I discovered where it was, plugged out my N73, plugged the Moto in, configured wvdial a bit and w00t! I was online πŸ˜€

Poor friend of mine! Wonder if he found a Moto PC suite somewhere. I’ll offer him Ubuntu next time he calls up/visits πŸ˜‰

Posted by Sayak
November - 22 - 2008

I have always been a compiz fanboy. I have lived on Gnome since my first Ubuntu install.
My migration to KDE has been worth the hassle though. KDE 4.1.3 and KDE 4.2 are amazing with a great UI, features and give a variety of great software to it’s users (Amarok!!!). I absolutely love plasma and oxygen.

But the only thing that is making me rip off hair from my head is my graphics driver, I guess. I must say that compiz was *very* smooth on my old laptop (T5500, 1GiG DDR2, Intel GMA950 onboard). But no matter what I use in Kubuntu Intrepid, I can’t seem to get a smooth output.
Say for example, launching FF can never be smooth and the window is heavily distorted upon opening:

This applies to all menus, all windows, everything. Looks very odd and ugly. Even compiz runs very slow. Surprisingly, glxgears still shows around 1100-1200 fps as it did in Hardy. Neither am I trying to get direct rendering working on an Intel GPU. I wonder has it got anything to do with the fact that I never actually downloaded the stable version of Kubuntu, but I kept on adding updates to the Intrepid alpha I once downloaded.

Am I the only one with this, or do I have company? Oh well, I guess not many have an old laptop like me πŸ˜‰

Posted by Sayak
November - 21 - 2008

Came across Martin’s blog post published on :

Was disappointed that I didn’t already have the themes. But yay! They were up the next day πŸ˜€

I must say that they look amazing! Esp the pebbles, desk and planets themes.

Hope to see more of such surprises from Google πŸ˜‰

Posted by Sayak
November - 20 - 2008

Bug #23471: Study time crashes with SIGSEGV

With Ubuntu and other distros, study time crashes with SIGSEGV in __pebkac_category_main()

ProblemType: Crash
Architecture: x86_64
DistroRelease: All
ExecutablePath: /usr/share/birdbrain
Package: birdbrain 2.3.4
ProcAttrCurrent: unconfined
ProcCmdline: birdbrain –study-now

Signal: 11
SourcePackage: birdbrain

To Reproduce:
1. Install any FOSS on your computer.
2. Take admission at a college that provides 24×7 internet.
3. Join some FOSS related forums and subscribe to numerous blogs.
4. Keep your course book open in front of you

Expected Result:
You should look into the book atleast once while you surf.

What Happens Actually:
The book remains untouched for the whole day. This can cause a D in the concerned subject.

Patches (optional):

  • burn-down-modem.diff

Attachments (optional):

  • report-card.txt

Posted by Sayak
November - 19 - 2008

One of the more bizarre accusations flung by Microsoft at GNU/Linux over the years is that it doesn’t scale. This is part of a larger campaign to portray it as a kind of β€œtoy” operating system – fine for low-end stuff, but nothing you’d want to run your enterprise on.

Sadly, that narrative has been rather undermined by the independent Top500 supercomputing sites ranking. Five years ago, the GNU/Linux family ran 36.80% of the top 500 supercomputers; worse, Windows ran on precisely one supercomputer.

Obviously, this was somewhat embarrassing for the company, which has poured huge sums into beefing up its Windows HPC operating system for use on supercomputers.

And all that money has produced some stunning results. Compared to five years ago, Windows has increased its share of the top 500 supercomputing site by a staggering 400% – that’s right, it’s gone from one machine, to five – 1%. Meanwhile, GNU/Linux has grown less impressively: it’s only increased its share of the market by 51% in absolute terms, growing from 36.8% to 87.8%.

So, time for GNU/Linux to watch out for this super Seattle hotshot? Well, maybe not. It’s true that Microsoft notched up five machines in the latest rankings – but it achieved that in the previous table.

Posted by Sayak
November - 19 - 2008

Every time there is a new Linux distro that is making a lot of noise in the Linux community, it is just waiting to be forked by someone. Most of these forks are cosmetic in nature and are generally design improvements of user interface and sometimes adding packages not installed by default or removing few not used by many. Some go as far as bundling them with custom kernel or using a different package manager. Ubuntu – being the most widely used Linux distribution – is also not immune to the clone/forks attacks. Today, we will look at some of the well-received Ubuntu based forks out there, which are not supported by Canonical.

Linux Mint is the most popular Ubuntu forks out there – most Ubuntu users who have switched to Mint are generally very satisfied with their experience. The main elements that distinguish Mint from Ubuntu are:

  • A custom collection of system management tools (Mint Tools)
  • A Unique user interface with custom theme – a lot better than the brownish theme you get with Ubuntu.
  • Default installations of plugin so that you can play most common media files out of the box. Unlike Ubuntu.

While Mint uses Ubuntu repositories for all software updates, it relies on its own repository for Mint specific packages.

Ultimate Edition (NOT Ubuntu Ultimate Edition) follows the tradition of Linux forks by having codecs of popular media files easily accessible by default for a better media experience. But unlike Mint, it is up-to-date with the latest Ubuntu build and has its own repositories for restricted drivers and repositories. UE is installed with large number of packages and Desktop Environments by default, hence the ISO is only available in large DVD formats. The author of the project also maintains Ultimate Gamers Edition for game addicts.

Based on Ubuntu 7.10, gOS (good OS) is an excellent example of what you can do with Linux and open source software. The whole distro is designed to work with mostly Google Apps and other online applications (Web 2.0 Apps). Though the design could use some work but IMHO it looks a lot better than Ubuntu default theme. The earlier releases were based on E17 desktop environment – the latest release has moved to Gnome as its interface of choice. You can think of gOS as an improvement of Ubuntu the same way Flock is an improvement on Firefox.

CrunchBang is a lightweight Linux distro with openbox as the default Desktop Environment. It was built with speed, usability and configurability in mind. It comes pre-installed with some popular applications not available in Ubuntu by default including restrictive drivers and codecs.


OzOs is an elegant stable environment of beauty, specifically “The Reality Different”. OzOS is built on Xubuntu or to be more exact a Debian base and utilizes the sexy Enlightenment 17 Desktop. This is a special version of e17 that is brought to you by the most discriminating e17 user: Rui Pais; with his precious time and Enlightenment knowledge, he has created a Distro that is OzOS.

While there are many Ubuntu forks out there, these four are the most interesting ones that caught my eye. It is important to note that, contrary to popular belief, Ubuntu Studio is not a fork but has the blessings of Canonical.

About Me

A son, brother and friend. Enjoys scripting and making small bits of apps here and there. Wants to conquer the world (well, who doesnt). A geek who has an obsession for ponies. Loves acoustic and wants to play guitar sitting on the Hollywood hill one day!

A Word About KDE

KDE is a versatile software compilation for all platforms. It is an intuitive and powerful desktop environment that focuses on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems, and creating a vibrant, open atmosphere for experimentation.