Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
A few days ago Adobe released a sneak preview of a new feature in their newest Photoshop version, CS5. Content aware fill. I saw the video on Youtube and needless to say I was very impressed. And I couldn’t wait to try it out. You can see the preview below.
Today, I find out from a post in Omg!Ubuntu that GIMP has had this feature as an add-on and has been around for a long time. It has all the functionality of Photoshop CS5 Content Aware Fill and has more options to tweak it too.
To install in Ubuntu just type the command below in the terminal.
sudo apt-get install gimp-resynthesizer
To use it just select the area you want and go to Filters -> Maps -> Resynthesize
Well, looks like one-up for the open source world!
Ok… Quick note people.
Warning!! Extremely geeky. Don’t bother reading if you aren’t !!!
Thanks to Thameera for this tip. Then after a bit of searching I fount this. Thanks to him too. Ok. This is twittering via the terminal for Linux. First things first. You need curl for this. Install curl with the following command.
sudo apt-get install curl
Then open the text editor. Copy and paste the following code.
curl --basic --user "<User>:<Password>" --data-ascii "status=`echo $@|tr ' ' '+'`" "http://twitter.com/statuses/update.json"
Replace the <User> and <Password> with your username and password. Mine would be…
curl --basic --user "chathuraw:*********" --data-ascii "status=`echo $@|tr ' ' '+'`" "http://twitter.com/statuses/update.json"
Save the file as twitter. Now you have to move this file to /usr/local/bin.
sudo mv twitter /usr/local/bin
Then you have to give this file executable permissions as follows.
sudo chmod +x twitter
Well that’s it. Now you can just open a terminal and type twitter and tweet to your hearts content.
$ twitter "tweeting via the terminal.... Sooo frikkin awesome"
UPDATE : Another cool python script for Twittering from the terminal. I didn’t check this out yet though. http://jspr.tndy.me/2008/05/twitterminal-a-terminal-based-twitter-client-in-python/
Hello guys… Ok… This was sudden… I didn’t even intend to write a blog post today. But once more I have tried another browser and decided to write about it. (Yeah. I like browsers. It’s the most used application on my PC..)
Well. I had installed the Chromium developer build on Ubuntu a couple of weeks back. That wasn’t really usable. Specially without flash and still a lot of functionalities are marked as to-do. Yep. Instead of the options in the options panel it says TO DO .
Shortly after that experience Google released a pre-beta build of their Chrome browser for Linux (Which is based on Chromium). Tried installing that today. It’s currently supported for Ubuntu or Debian only. Get it here. There’s nothing much different there actually. It’s basically the same as Chromium with Google name on it and it sends everything we do to Google. (Typical).
Anyway the reason I started writing this post today isn’t Google Chrome. I tried another browser today. Yep. Another one. Opera 10 Beta for Linux. I’ve heard Opera was a nice browser. And although I haven’t really used Opera on my PC before I knew a little bit about it’s features. But today I actually tried the latest version and lets say my reaction is absolutely positive towards this browser. . . . Let’s see what it’s got.
Let’s see. Where do I start? Let’s start with the most prominent feature shall we? The speed dial screen. Now this is similar to the new tab page of Chrome. (AFAIK Opera had this screen before Chrome). But instead of showing the most visited sites like Chrome this page actually gives us the chance to decide what goes here and what doesn’t. Here’s my speed dial screen after I added the sites I want to it.
(Hmmm… most of this stuff seems to belong to Google…)
And Opera has Widgets too. Did you know that? It’s pretty cool. Obviously I’m still pretty new to this so I don’t really know which widgets i could recommend installing. But the video downloader is one widget I found that’s definitely useful. Here’s a screenshot of how widgets are installed.
Another very very cool feature I found in Opera 10 is the search box. While there is a normal search box as in Firefox, Opera also supports typing your search queries in the address bar as well. But that’s not the really cool thing about it. You can select which search engine you want to use just by typing a letter in front of your search terms. For example to google for flowers you would just have to type “g flowers” in the address bar. And these keys are customizable as well. See the search preferences screen in the screenshot below.
Ever used the Firefox plugin called “Reload Every” ? It’s a plugin that allows us to reload a page automatically in a given time period. Very useful in starting torrents at Imageshack. Well, Opera has that feature built in. Like I said, I don’t know whether this is new in Opera 10 because I haven’t really used this browser before.
Unfortunately like every other browser Opera has downsides as well. It’s not nearly as fast as Chrome or Safari. But Opera is widely known for following web standards precisely. Passed the ACID3 test with 100/100. Anyway, downsides. . . Opera does NOT render sinhala unicode properly at all. This is a very big minus in my book because I visit quite a few sinhala sites every day and I get emails in sinhalese too. See how Opera displays sinhala below.
Anyway. Other than the sinhala problem I’m very impressed with Opera 10. As I’ve mentioned it’s still a beta so there might be some bugs. And I’ve played with it only for a short while and might have missed another cool feature or another problem. Let me know in your comments. Until the next post then (Whenever that might be). See ya
Hmmm… Long time since the last blog post. I was so up to my neck in work and other stuff I didn’t have the time to write one. Didn’t have anything to write about anyway. But today I’m writing a rant just because I’m in the mood to …
Anyways as some of my twitter follwers might be aware of I’d been grumbling about needing a new phone. My trusty old Nokia N73 ME gave out and I had to get rid of it. Spent about a week or so without a phone of my own. Well yesterday I finally got a phone that I could afford and do the stuff I wanted it to do. (Or so i thought)…
Well… The phone i got was a Nokia N95 8GB. 5MP Camera, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, HSDPA, A-GPS, Symbian S60 3rd Edition with Feature Pack 1 blah blah blah (I’m sure you’ve heard about some of this before. And yes, I know the phone is nearly a couple of years old. But this one fitted my price range )…While I’m more than satisfied with its features there is something I really really hate about the bloody thing. Just shows How much a good phone can get screwed up because of one stupid mistake the designers make.
Before choosing the phone I looked through the internet and read some reviews about it. But not one… NOT ONE… not even the trusty and very detailed GSM Arena review thought about mentioning this. OK…Before you get fed up (If you haven’t already..) I’ll get to the point. Take a look at the following picture.
Notice anything out of the ordinary? Nope? Hmmm… Not even I thought of it. Take a look at the next pic.
As you can see the 3.5mm headset jack is positioned on the left side of the phone. When the headset is plugged in its poking out nearly an inch. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE THE PHONE IS IN MY JEANS POCKET???? Forget listening to music with it in the pocket. Can’t even pocket the damn thing with the headset plugged in. I usually travel a couple of hours a day back and forth and I listen to music while doing so. Which is one of the reasons I went for this phone as it has 8GB of storage which is more than enough for me. But with this headset jack placement I have to keep the phone in my hand. Grrr…. It can be pocketed with a little difficulty of course. But the headset won’t survive the procedure for long.
Well… That’s it. I just wanted to get that off my mind. Stupid Nokia!!! Don’t ever do that again!!!
P.S :- Other than the above mentioned reason can I just say I’m positively in love with the phone?
OK. I wasn’t really going to write a post today. But as I was checking my mail suddenly. . . (Well people living in Sri Lanka are very used to this). . power went out (Courtesy of the C.E.B.). So instead of staring at a “Page not Found” screen I decided this might be a good time to write a new blog post. So here goes.
Well there’s really nothing much to write about here. All of us like the Gmail chat program right? (Well most of us at any rate.). You can just log into your gmail account and just start chatting away.
Google also offers the facility to use the Google Talk Gadget to chat from anywhere. This works in a similar way to Gmail chat. But you might notice some differences here too. And as a bonus you can even add a Google Talk Gadget right to your webpage. I’m just going to add one here. You can login with your ID and start chatting away.
Like most widgets this requires only one line of code. You can customize the border size, color and the size of the widget and Google will generate the code for you to embed on your website. Easy as 1,2,3.
EDIT : Ok… Either WordPress doesn’t like the script or its not easy as 1,2,3. Sorry about that. I was hoping to post the gadget here. But here’s a screenshot for now.
Right.. I’ve finished the post too. So I saved the post as a note and went downstais to have dinner. And I decided to suspend the laptop to conserve power while I’m gone. And after I come back what do I find. The laptop refuses to resume. (Using Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope) Grrr… Well as there was nothing else to do I held the power button pressed and turned it off.
And after reboot . . . GRUB. . . Ok. Good. . . Select Ubuntu. . . Now the loading screen displays. . . and. . . . nothing. . . nada. . . Ok now i was getting seriously pissed here. I spent a lot of time today customizing the damn thing and was I going to have to do all that all over again?
Anyway I decided to check out the Ubuntu recovery mode this time (I really had never needed to use it). So I rebooted and selected the Ubuntu Recovery Mode and a menu is displayed. It displays some options to recover your Ubuntu installation. I had absolutely no idea which one to try. Hmmm. . . Recover from graphics problems. . . OK lets give that one a try. It displayed some console output here saying overwriting any graphics settings bla bla bla. Basically it must have reset the xorg.conf file (I think…).
Since I was already here I decided to push some more stuff and see what happens. Next I went for the scan file system. It displayed a progress bar for one of my ext3 partitions (I think that was the root partition) and displayed a warning message saying the scan might do SEVERE damage if it was run while the file system was mounted. So I decided to skip that one. I wasn’t here to do more damage. Just fix the damage that was already done.
OK. Now I look at the options again. Fix broken packages or something like that. That looked interesting . . . I select that one too. It displayed a hell of a lot of gibberish that no sane person would understand. After it finished I selected the option to continue normal resume.
And voila!… The login screen. Everything was just dandy again. . . . I’m glad because if I really don’t have time right now to install all this stuff again. One of the three i did must have worked (or well maybe all three). And here I am finishing another post of considerable size, after recovering an Ubuntu installation and having dinner and still no friggin power. @#$%^&*(. I’ll post this when I get power (If that happens anytime today.) . . . Later then. Cheers!!
P.S – Anyone else had suspend/resume problems on Kernel 2.6.28-11? And sorry for the linux experts about the lack of clarity in the details. I’m still kind of a newbie
I joined Twitter a couple of weeks back because. . . Well, I don’t really know. Maybe because Facebook tried to copy twitter on their new layout and I wanted to see the real thing in action. Anyway, despite being a Twitterer for a couple of weeks I’ve found myself rapidly addicted to the twitter world. Even though I fell in love with Twitter some of my friends who I’ve forced to join simply don’t understand it. So I decided to share a few of the things I’ve learned about Twitter with you people.
What is this Twitter thingy?
Well first and foremost, Twitter is a microblogging service. You know the Facebook status message (Yes, the one you put “What’s on your mind” or whatever you’re doing). Well Twitter is basically the status message without the rest of Facebook. (There are loads of differences. This is just for simplicity’s sake. So the all-knowing people out there don’t try to bite my head off ). You can post anything as long as it’s below 140 characters. What you do, what’s on your mind, an interesting link you saw on the internet or anyother thing you can think of.
Benefits of using Twitter
Twitter is an instantaneous method of communication to the masses. Some of you might say “Who needs Twitter? IM is better and faster.” You see an interesting video on YouTube while you’re browsing or wish to recommend that newest book you’ve read to your friends. What do you do? IM everyone on your messenger list? No you dunghead! You Tweet it. Your followers see it and check it out. Easy as pie
Another great aspect of Twitter is you can constantly monitor if there’s anything new in something you care about. Know a blogger you like to read? Follow their Twitter (Almost all bloggers are on Twitter and will Tweet as soon as they upload a new blog post. You should be able to figure out these things on your own you know! Jeez!! ). Have an application you really like and can’t wait till the new version comes out? Follow their Twitter. Want to stalk Ashton Kutcher or Demi Moore? Follow their Twitter. Want to see what your friends are doing? Get them to join and follow their Twitter. (I’m sure you get the point by now).
You can also keep on top of news updates on Twitter as well. Follow CNN’s Twitter for the latest breaking news updates.
There are loads of other uses as well. But I’m sure you can figure those out by yourself.
How to Twitter?
I’ve seen a lot of people using the Twitter Web to post their tweets. This isn’t a good idea if you want to get into Twitter. Twitter is an instantaneous method of communication. Some news are on Twitter before they’re on any TV or Radio channels. (Of course, this requires large numbers of mobile twitterers, still a long way to gofor our country ). Anyway, the first thing you need is a good Twitter client for your PC or your mobile phones. I’ve messed around with quite a few twitter clients in the short time I’ve been on Twitter and found several very nice programs. I’ll list a few of the free ones here. There are clients you can buy too. But why should we, when there’s more than enough free stuff?
My favourite and default Twitter client is Twhirl. Twhirl is an Adobe AIR based cliet so its also platform independant. So whether you’re using Linux, Windows, or MAC you’ll have no problem working with it. It supports multiple accounts, has lots of color themes, URL shorteners (You need this! You have only 140 letters), Twitpicking straight from the client. Here’s a screenshot of a user profile on Twhirl on my PC. You can also follow their updates on Twitter (Obviously).
TweetDeck is another Adobe AIR based client. This has almost all of the features mentioned above plus a little extra bonus. You can update your Facebook status message as you’re updating your Twitter. Pretty cool huh? Here’s a screenshot of TweetDeck.
Ah. TwitterFox.The simplest of Twitter clients. This isn’t actually a standalone program. It’s just a Firefox extension. But it does it’s job admirably. This was my first Twitter client and I highly recommend it to anyone. Take a peek.
As I’m using a Symbian OS phone I kind of gravitated towards Gravity. This is the best mobile Twitter client I’ve seen by far. But unfortunately it’s not free. But I decided to mention it here just because it’s so great
Some words you should know!!!
Since the start of twitter there have been some new words regarding the Twitter world. Some of them make sense. Some are absolutely ridiculous. Here are some interesting ones I’ve found.
Twitterer/Tweeter – A user of Twitter
Tweet – noun: A message sent on Twitter
verb: The act of posting on Twitter
Twoosh – A full 140 character Tweet
Dweet – A Tweet sent under the influence of Alcohol
Tweetaholism – Continued Twitter use to the point of addiction
Mistweet – A tweet one regrets later
Twitterrhea – The act of sending too many Tweets
Tweeple – People on Twitter
Twitterati – Glamourous A-List twitterers everyone wants to follow
Twitosphere – The total community of Tweeters
If you want more Twitter related words Twittionary can help you out.
There. I’ve finished the crash course on Twitter. Hope to see you around Twitter soon (If you’re already not there). Don’t forget to follow me on http://twitter.com/chathuraw
As you all can see by the blog title itself I spend a lot of time on the web. And what’s the most important application to an internetaholic? Yep. You got it. The web browser. Usually my favourite and my default web browser is Mozilla Firefox (What else would it be? IE? I think not.)
Anyway, I choose Firefox because of a lot of reasons. The most important one being the huge library of add-ons for it. Ad block Plus, FlashGot, Firebug, X Marks (Previously Foxmarks), TwitterFox, Delicious Bookmarks and a whole lot more of other geeky stuff you wouldn’t really be interested in . I’m also writing this blog post on another Firefox add-on by the way. It’s ScribeFire. (Thanks to Shaakunthala for the tip). It’s more like a whole application platform than just a web browser. And it has the greatest download manager integration with FlashGot add-on and I’ve never wavered from Firefox for . . . well never.
But even with all this Firefox is not without its drawbacks. It’s one of the worst memory hogs in my PC.As I’m running the web browser all day long it sometimes takes around 700MB of memory. That’s a hell of a lot even for a browser. (Well all this add-ons I’ve installed must take their fair share, I admit. But still. . . ). And it’s slooooow. It takes its own time to start up (Which is another reason it rarely gets closed) and page rendering is somewhat slower than its competitors. (Once again, I don’t even count IE as a competitor. It’s popularity is purely based on Microsoft bundling it with Windows. Most people don’t even know they have alternatives.)
But this doesn’t leave me from trying out other browsers. Sometime back I tried Google Chrome. Several times from the beta stage to Chrome official releases and developer builds. It’s the fastest browser around these days and has some really cool features. But somehow it doesn’t seem to work for me at all. I’ve experienced a lot of crashes and other bugs with it and I’ve lost my taste for it since. It never should have left the beta stage in my opinion (Hey! It’s MY opinion in MY blog. You can belive whatever you wish ).
So, to the point now. The reason I started writing this post is I downloaded the new Safari 4.0 Beta from Apple today. (Yes yes, I know. It’s been a couple of months since its out. But its new for me). Safari is one of the fastest browsers out there, second only to Chrome. Apple has added some new features since Safari 3 and most of its eye candy (Yummy!) it seems. Anyways, check out the new home screen. Looks cooool. It’ll learn which pages you most visit and display them for quick access as soon as you open a new tab. (Hmm… Sounds familiar. Where have I seen that before? )
Another major change that’s immediately visible is the positioning of the tabs. It’s moved to the top of the window leaving more space for actual browsing. (I have the strangest feeling that all this sounds vaguely familiar again.) While this might be a change for the good for Mac OS X users, for Vista and Windows 7 users the transparent tabs can be kind of irritating. Take a look and decide for yourself.
And it seems like Apple’s cover flip has made its way into Safari too. The book marks and history view is now very cool. (Why anyone would actually want it there is a completely different matter). And I have to mention here. The lack of the Ctrl + H shortcut key to get into the history view is very very irritating. I keep pressing it and nothing happens. Here’s the cover flip view.
Well that’s it. I’ve tried the new Safari beta. Just now Kalinga posted a tweet about the new Chrome developer build. (Hmm. Should I try that and waste more time?). Leave your comments about your favourite browser and why you like it. Or why you like or don’t like this post . Cheers!!!
On the evening before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year (13th of April) I was as usual sitting in front of my laptop browsing away. (I do that a lot. Hence the blog title). Anyway out of the blue my mom calls me downstairs for tea and tells me to bring the mugs that I’ve taken upstairs but never really returned. For some reason or other I really felt the need to take my laptop downstairs with me. So I unplugged it and closed the lid and took it in my hand.
When I went to get the mugs I saw there are 3 mugs there. So I get the very bright idea of using the laptop as a tray. (I’m really smart aren’t I? Keep reading) So I put one mug turned down so it would wobble less on the laptop. So far so good. There goes the second mug. And here goes the third mug as well. Piece of cake right? Wrong! As my luck would have it, unnoticed by me there was a little water left in the third mug and it went all over the laptop.
Panic!! Laptop!! Water!!! DON’T MIX!!
But keeping a cool head I put down the cups and immediately took the battery out of the laptop. Ok. Breathe. . . Right. Then I took the first piece of cloth that caught my sight (Which incidentally, happened to belong to my sister. Oh well… ) and wiped the laptop clean. Seemed like no water had reached the keyboard or the vents. So far so good. That meant there could be minimal chance of damage. Holding my breath I inserted the battery in and switched it on.
Fortunately it worked Ok. By Ok I mean it switches on and can do anything I did before. But on the top right edge of the display there was a huge patch of water. Almost like a cloud.
What could I do? As it was my sheer idiocy that resulted in this outcome I resigned to accept the consequences. My dear laptop isn’t even 6 months old.
Then I logged on and did a bit of googling to look at my options. Which did not look very good. I thought of using a hair dryer to dry the water out. But I found a post in a forum advising against it because the heat could damage the screen further.
I also found a very helpful disassebly guide to take apart the LCD screen. (I can’t seem to find the link right now. If I find it again I’ll post it here) Looking at it, and considering my luck I decided I’ll most probably end up doing more damage than good if I tried that.
Feeling utterly helpless I finally posted about my misfortune on my Twitter with a Twitpic. After I told about what happened Kalinga he suggested that I keep the laptop near a tungsten bulb to dry it out.
He also adviced me to keep checking the temperature regularly to make sure it doesn’t heat up too much. To an LCD display over 60-70 degrees celcius is too much in case you’re wondering what is too much.
This idea appealed to me as well. So I emptied a space in a wardrobe, put my lappy on a dry towel and also put in an old table lamp with a 40W bulb. (I removed the Lampshade obviously)
After 5 or 6 hours in my new “oven” the cloud seemed to be fading a little. A little feeling of hope. Can it actually work?
After a full 36 hours (a little more or less. I did’t keep track of time that accurately ) the cloud had completely vanished. It’s almost like nothing had happened. Take a look for yourself.
Thanks to Kalinga and his bright idea I got my laptop back just as it was. A little piece of advice. Don’t do the stupid thing I did. Then you can avoid this entire episode. (Of course you’re not as stupid as me. What was I thinking? )
Ok. Here goes. I’ve finally decided to start a blog for myself. Why? I really have absolutely no idea. It’s not like I don’t have loads of other work to do. Hmmm. Let’s see how this goes.
Who Am I?
Well my name is Chathura (which you already know. It’s on the top in huge letters for gods sake). And I am a 2nd Year Computer Science Undergraduate at the moment of this writing.
What will be in this blog?
Why are you asking me? I really don’t have any idea myself. Who knows what will I write depending on my mental condition (which isn’t at its peak nowadays I can tell you that).
Why would you want to read this nonsense?
Good question! Which I don’t have an answer for. Maybe you need some inner soul searching.
That’s enough for my very first blog post I should think. After reading this perhaps you might feel like never visiting this site again (understandable of course). Ok, enough for now. Later then. Bye!!