Archive for May, 2009

Obama… getting powerful!!

Looks like Obama has more followers than God himself!!




How do you microblog ?

Microblogging has been the latest trend among the Internet users. I learned about twitter from an article in some tech magazine. I wasn’t really planning to use it when I joined. Now it has become a habit rather than a hobby. For those who have not yet entered this world, microblogging is rather like the status message in your IM client. As twitter puts it, “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”. You can see the updates of people whom you follow and vice versa.

Then I came to know about identica from the tweets of @anivar which seemed to come “from identica”. “ is a microblogging service brought to you by Control Yourself, Inc.. It runs the Laconica microblogging software, version 0.7.3, available under the GNU Affero General Public License.” You can integrate your twitter account with your identica account so that your tweets also come “from identica”.

Posting from the web will get tiresome after a while. So most people will go for a microblogging client. A simple google search will show you plenty of options. Every microblogger develops his own style of blogging. Here is what I do:

Now that all my twitter posts are done from identica, I have to post to only one account. Identica allows you to send and receive posts through Jabber/Gtalk. Simply give your gtalk address in the identica settings page ( and identica will appear as a friend in your Gtalk. To post a notice, send a message. This way you get updates from your friends as offline messages(Mind you, this can get annoying after a while.) This has got a problem. You don’t get updates of your friends who use only twitter and not identica. Being a hardcore ubuntu user, I use pidgin for my Gtalk(thereby identica), Yahoo and IRC. So using another client like twitux was not a comfortable choice. So I needed a plugin that made pidgin a twitter client. As usual, google gave me the answer. I found such a plugin – Twitgin. This plugin allowed me to listen to the updates of my friends. Now pidgin is my answer to Yahoo, Gtalk, IRC, Identica and Twitter.

But these days I use a faster way to post to identica: gnome-do. Here is a screenshot:

Identica gnome do

Follow me on twitter : @aswins

Follow me on identica : @aswins

Please share your microblogging habits as comments to this post.

Suffering from the cluttered-gnome-panel syndrome??

Are you suffering from a cluttered gnome panel because you have the habit of experimenting?? Well, I am!! Here is a screenshot of my panel:

ScreenshotThese are what flood my panel: The standard gnome menu, My application launchers(Firefox,Pidgin,Deluge,Bluetooth file sharing,Synaptic,Terminal), Music Control Applet, Eyes, Netspeed Applet, Tomboy, Force Quit, Notification Area (Banshee,Bluetooth Applet,Receive Files Via Bluetooth,Pidgin,Tracker,Gnome-Do,Power Manager,Network Manager,SCIM), Volume Control, Brightness Applet, Clock , a separator and the Fast User Switch Applet.

I just got my Ubuntu CD…

I just got the free Ubuntu CD shipped by Canonical! Thanks to the Canonical team for the help. I will make sure I will “Pass it on!”.




To request free CDs goto

A post on two ads…

This is something I have been wanting to write for a long time. At least, a part of it. I would like to share with you two advertisements, one which is my favorite and the other which I hate the most!!

Yeah! I am referring to the one in which a guy goes door to door cleaning toilets! I don’t know why they have advertisements like these. Imagine having to see this when you are eating… Yuck!!

zoozoo wallpaper-767997
Vodafone ads never ceases to amaze us. No one would have forgotten the girl with the dog. The cute white people of the new vodafone ads have achieved more glamour than the IPL players themselves. My neighbour has a boy who is in Kindergarten. I don’t think he understands cricket. But he watches IPL with his father and laughs with the vodafone people. I recieved a forwarded message this evening. I’ll list some of the content here. (The author does not bear responsibility for what is mentioned below).
The cute white people are named zoo-zoo. Vodafone has made 30 ads at 30 crores featuring this zoo-zoos. Already 15 has been released. Rest will be released between the IPL matches. Little known is the fact that zoo-zoos are not animation. They are actually humans inside costumes.  They are all females who are short and thin and they were selected from drama theatres in and around Mumbai.

Taming the jackalope…


Ubuntu 9.04,

Jaunty Jackalope

I have been waiting to reorganize my hard disk for a month. Release of jaunty was of course, the best time for this. I can’t still believe I broke my wrist on the day of the release… Now I have to install Ubuntu ‘Single-handedly’ in my laptop(Lenovo Y410) 🙂

The torrent was well seeded. The CD image was downloaded within a litte over an hour. I couln’t find a blank CD, so I created a bootable USB drive using the USB startup disk creator in Ubuntu 8.10.

The live usb-stick booted without any trouble. The installation was a breeze with a few welcome changes to the installer. The time zone selecion method has changed. Also the partitioner. This time I obeyed the tech-gurus and gave a seperate partition for /home. Of course all the partitions were ext4 (the default was ext3, but I couldn’t wait to try it out). A cup of coffee and the installation was done. Now to try out the the long awaited release…

I was greeted by cool new usplash and GDM themes… and the boot time…wow! less than 20 secs…


But oh! no compiz! I tried to enable that and failed. A bit of googling told me my graphic card was blacklisted or something. So i created a file ~/.config/compiz/compiz-manager with content “SKIP_CHECKS=yes” and then ran compiz –replace. Presto! My desktop was all flashy again!!

Next thing I indented to do was to customize my firefox and pidgin. I had earlier taken backups of .mozilla and .purple folders from my home folder in intrepid. I simply copied this to my home folder. I could not believe my eyes when I started firefox. Everything was there like before.. my bookmarks, addons, saved passwords, everything. Pidgin was restored too. I had to install the plugins again. But all configuration was restored.

I installed deluge instead of the default torrent client Transmission. I could continue the unfinished downloads without difficulty. Cheese was needed to take pictures using the webcam. For those who like small games, install frozen bubble. It is one of my favorites.


The new notification system is awesome. Brasero is now the default CD creator. The indicator applet is good. But I got tired of it after some time and removed it. The tracker search and deskbar applet are missing. I installed tracker and indexed my home folder.

I installed all multimedia plugins along with vlc. My whole music collection is now OGG. But I knew I would need these codecs for later. Vlc really disappointed me. It opened all the videos in two seperate windows and there were no controls in full screen mode. I couldn’t find a way to change this. May be I’ll have to wait for an update.

I was actually going to check whether gcc worked when I found out that vim was absent. There was vi.. but still..
It was a good thing that I read A byte of vim by Swaroop C.H. Or else I wouldn’t know navigation could be done using h,j,k,l because vi didn’t support the arrow keys. gcc worked fine. I installed vim with the plugins and wrote the .vimrc configuration file.

Ubuntu developers have disabled Ctrl+Alt+Backspace Combination for restarting X.  Problem was solved by running sudo apt-get install dontzap && sudo dontzap –disable.

The computer Janitor is a welcome addition. But here is something funny.


I dont think any end-user will cleanup  after this message.
I use replacements for certain default applications now. Like vlc instead of totem, banshee instead of Rythmbox, Deluge instead of transmission etc.

I have been using this for over a week now. I will have to say this is yet another fantastic distro from the free world!!

My Rants :

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May 2009
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