Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you, dear reader, whoever you are!

With all these disasters around the world, I guess it was not a great year. but let's hope that 2006 will be a better one...


Firefox 1.5 now available

Mozilla foundation has just released Firefox 1.5. I'm using it now and seems to work fine with Blogger...


Live Domains Beta from MS

A new service was added to the Windows Live Beta family today - Windows Live Custom Domains. The basic idea is that anyone with a domain can now point their MX record to the Live servers. What that means is that users can have Microsoft's servers hosting their own domain's email accounts for free. There's a restriction of 20 email accounts per domain, with each mailbox getting 250MB of space. In addition, the same account functions as a Passport account, and can be used to sign in to MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces etc. I'm assuming users also get access to the spiffy, new AJAX-enabled Windows Live Mail Beta service as the webmail frontend for all their accounts, although that isn't explicitly mentioned anywhere on the site. The team that's working on this also has an official blog, just like all the other Live teams do. View: Windows Live Custom Domains View: Custom Domains Blog


Windows Desktop Search Enterprise Avilable

The new Windows Desktop Search (WDS) Enterprise version is now freely available for download from Microsoft.

Unlike the unmanaged consumer WDS version, the enterprise version is designed to work with automated deployment tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), Active Directory (AD), or Group Policy, or via any third-party deployment product. That means it supports a wide range of configuration options, allowing administrators to specify which features are available, which document types can be searched, and so on.

The product has several new capabilities as well. The Outlook toolbar is better integrated into the Outlook client, providing search results directly in the application--not in a separate window as with the consumer version. The scope of user searches is now configurable by administrators, letting you not only specify one or more custom intranet search strings but also a name of the WDS deskbar that identifies that location. For example, in the consumer version, the deskbar lets you search locally or on the Web; with the enterprise version, users will see a third choice--named as you see fit instead of a generic label such as "intranet" or "local network." Finally, because WDS is easily extensible via a simple API documented on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), corporations can easily add search support for custom document types that they use inhouse. And a wide range of free and low-cost add-ons for WDS is already available on

MSN Search Toolbar for enterprise is available too.


Wanto to see how people draw paintings?

Just sit back and see how amazingly creative artists can draw their paintings on the web using flash at

You can see the exact strokes from the beginning up to the final picture. The quality of some pictures is amazing....


Ever wondered why we have the keyboard letters arranged as they are? A good article about the past of qwerty tells us why:

The first typewriter had its letters on the end of rods called "typebars." The typebars hung in a circle. The roller which held the paper sat over this circle, and when a key was pressed, a typebar would swing up to hit the paper from underneath. If two typebars were near each other in the circle, they would tend to clash into each other when typed in succession. So, Sholes figured he had to take the most common letter pairs such as "TH" and make sure their typebars hung at safe distances.
He did this using a study of letter-pair frequency prepared by educator Amos Densmore, brother of James Densmore, who was Sholes' chief financial backer. The QWERTY keyboard itself was determined by the existing mechanical linkages of the typebars inside the machine to the keys on the outside. Sholes' solution did not eliminate the problem completely, but it was greatly reduced....

Continue reading at the source:


Sony DRM Story

News is everywhere. Sony's latest CD installs a rootkit which hides itself from Windows OS. A few days ago Mark Russinovich wrote about his ingenious investigation and reveal of the rootkit in his blog. Apparently, rootkit was hiding any files that started with $Sys$. Fire caught up and in two days time Sony felt to pressure and responded with the "somewhat sloppy" fix.

SysInternals has a free utility called RootkitRevealer that I would suggest everyone to use as RootKits are much more dangerous that Viruses and Worms. You may never know you have it in your system to begin with! Congrats Mark, you are my hero :)


8GB USB Thumb Drive

Ok, here we are! 8GB USB drive is available from Trancends but guess what I won't buy this toy! Not at its current price of $770.

I really love these drives and have bought several in the past. Right now 512MBs are cheap and maybe you can go for 1Gig but anything above is still not worth the price.

Gizmodo has more on this.

What to buy next?

Boy, have I been on a shopping spree lately! First off, I got my domain back, yeehaaa! I signed up with Yahoo again and it took them really sometime to get over the technical difficulties. Problem was that I had bought the management of this domain sometime ago but had lost the lease for it. When I tried to re-register the domain, they told me that I already owned it (yeah sure) and therefore could not register it although it was seen as available even on their own site. I had to forfeit the management to be able to buy it back! It took 3 hours of talk on the phone with several customer representatives to sort it out.

Then, I decided to add an external HD back up solution for my home environment. I bought a Maxtor / DiamondMax 10 / 300GB / 7200 / 16MB / ATA-133 / EIDE / OEM / Hard Drive from TigerDirect. It's still available for $89 after $45 rebate

As for the enclosure, I had no prior experience so after some digging I bought Ultra 3.5" Mini Portable USB 2.0 / Firewire External Hard Drive Enclosure. Don't let the image decive you. It's really small and almost has no weight itself. It seems to work fine and I was easily able to connect my HD. The only complaint I have is about the fan & the accompanying noise :( It's really bothering me after a while but as it is intended to be a back up solution, I don't run it all the time. I am also trying to find some information on the fan-less models. I am a bit worried that they would get too hot and cause the HD fail. Still, I intend to but another 300-400GB HD but this time with a networked/silent enclosure.

I also had my eyes on LCD monitors for sometime and after some research I settled on 19" ViewSonic VP930b from B&H for about $450. As expected, it turned out to be a superb choice. B&H shipped it immediately and my wife is enjoying it for sometime now. Oh, we actually tilted the screen 90 degrees and she is using it that way. Why not?

Next was a DVD burner and although I tinkered with the BenQ for a while I bought SONY DRU810A RTL DVD+/-RW. I have used a few others Sony DVD burners and never had any issues. It's available at for about $99 now.

Of course, I needed some blank DVDs and visited and ordered
100 x DVD+R 8X Silver Bulk by Taiyo Yuden
100 x 52X CD-R 80min/700MB Thermal Silver Bulk by Taiyo Yuden
just for $74. I also wanted to get some slim jewel case but to my surprise, shipping would cost me more than jewel cases...
I'll be travelling to Argentina & Brazil in December and I desperately need a digital camera. I've already gave away my old Nikon Coolpix 5400. I loved its flip-out screen and I am looking for something similar to it. I'm asking around hoping camera-savvy friends will suggest a good model but have not found anything yet :(


Advanced Google Searching

I've seen an interesting discussion at about using google to find movies. Numerous comments took me to Johnny's who has created a very nice pdf document - which you can freely download - discussing advanced google search techniques. As everyone uses Google, I would highly recommend you to visit the links above...

An example to search movies for Claudia Schiffer (God bless her!), use the following search string

-inurl:htm -inurl:html -inurl:php -inurl:asp intitle:”index of” (mpg|avi|wmv) “Claudia Schiffer”

BTW, Johnny has some other useful downloads including a guide for Securing Windows XP in 15 mins.

Yahoo Podcasts

Yahoo opens its Yahoo Podcast Site...

What is Podcasting?
Think of a podcast as a radio show. Each show consists of a series of individual episodes that you can listen to how you want — on your PC, using your MP3 player, or with just a web browser.

If you've never listened to podcasts, you're in for a treat. Sports, comedy, movies, food, politics, music, books, speeches, walking tours, whatever — you name the topic and you'll find podcasts about it. Not only do you have incredible choice, you can listen whenever and wherever you want.... Continue reading at

Google RSS Reader

Google has released a Web based RSS reader in its, - yes you guessed it right - BETA form. I am not a big fun of Web based readers...

Still, I tried to import my susbcriptions that I had exported to an .opml file and it looked like it could not do it. But when I refreshed the page, they all appeared as new subscriptions.

I like tree-like hierarchy so , it look a bit difficult to read if you have a large number of feeds, I think...


Windows Vista CTP Version

Windows Vista CTP - 32-bit - Build 5219 (English) is available to MSDN Subscribers. It's about 2.8 Gig DVD ISO. Downloading right now... :)

Scot's Newsletter - Oct.2005

I regularly read Scot Finnie's monthly newsletter and find it useful. This month's issue is our. You can read it here:

New 'CTP' Beta of Windows Vista
60-Second Briefs - Office 12 to Support PDF Creation Natively - Office 2003 Gets Service Pack 2 - Microsoft Announces Reorg and Jim Allchin Retiring - PC Today Columns on Windows and Office
Using the Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR Camera
Firefox 1.5, Opera Free, IE 7
Revisiting MAC-Address Recommendation
I Get Mail — And I Can't Read It All
Link of the Month: IEBlog


Opera Freed

It's been a long time since I tried Opera. It was one of the first to come up with one of my favorite features of a browser: tabs! Of course, several browsers use it now and personally I like to use Firefox. However, when I heard that Opera decided to finally go free with version 8.5, I downloaded it and started testing.

I really liked what I saw. It's fast as promised and feature rich. I like the ability to cascade web pages I'm browsing. It proves useful when checking things in two different sites. One thing that bothered me is that, it does not seem to work properly with Images do not show up properly and some of the menus disappear (so I'm using Firefox to type this message), speaking of which, Firefox 1.07 has been released today. I hoped they ironed out these nasty bugs I was seeing in the beta version.


Last (Minute) Action Hero

Oh well, no need to hide, I was never a big fan of eBay's auctions. If I want to buy something, I simply can NOT wait. BUT, now there seems to be a solution: Last-minute auction web site. Yeah, it has lost of junk too but as name implies, it tells you about the auctions that has a minute to end. Get your bids ready, fire away!!!

Originally reported by LifeHacker. Go ahead and read'em!

Web Based Instant Messaging

I just read in LifeHacker that a company called Meebo has come up with a Web Based IM that you can use to sign on to your yahoo, msn, icq and aol messenger.

ICQ already has a web based IM for quite a while. Although, it's a good idea to combine them, I'm sure many companies will block them in no time :(

Google BlogSearch

Finally! Google has now joined the ranks of daypop, Feedster, IceRocket and Technorati in searching the blogs. Yes, it's still beta and can be accessed either at or at It does a very good job, I must add.

You can sort by date or relevance (default) and it will also give you the 'related' blogs too. Nice!


vbscript saves the day

I had some mp3 tracks of an audiobook in different folders but not in succession
Disk 1 - > 01.Track.mp3, 02.Track.mp3
Disk 2 - > 01.Track.mp3, 02.Track.mp3, 03.Trackmp3
Disk 3 - > 01.Track.mp3, 02.Track.mp3

I wanted to put them all into the same directory but to do this I had to rename them so that end result would be like

Disk 1 - 01.Track.mp3, 02.Track.mp3
Disk 2 - 03.Track.mp3, 04.Track.mp3, 05.Track.mp3
Disk 3 - 06.Track.mp3, 07.Track.mp3

I googled for file-renamers but did not see one that was fit for this purpose so, I wrote a simple vbscript:

set oFSO=CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
set oFolder=oFSO.GetFolder(".")

Dim sUsage
sUsage = "Usage: cscript rename.vbs NumberToAdd"

If ((Wscript.Arguments.Count = 0) or (Not IsNumeric(iAdd))) Then
Wscript.Echo (sUsage)
End If

Dim iAdd: iAdd = CInt(Wscript.Arguments(0))

For Each oFile in oFolder.Files
If IsNumeric(sFirstTwo) Then
sFirstTwo = sFirstTwo + iAdd
sNewName = sFirstTwo & sRest
Wscript.Echo (sFile & "-->" & sNewName)
oFile.Move (sNewName)
End If

C:\Disk 9>cscript rename.vbs 159
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

01. Track 1.mp3-->160. Track 1.mp3
02. Track 2.mp3-->161. Track 2.mp3
03. Track 3.mp3-->162. Track 3.mp3
04. Track 4.mp3-->163. Track 4.mp3
05. Track 5.mp3-->164. Track 5.mp3
06. Track 6.mp3-->165. Track 6.mp3
07. Track 7.mp3-->166. Track 7.mp3
08. Track 8.mp3-->167. Track 8.mp3
09. Track 9.mp3-->168. Track 9.mp3
10. Track 10.mp3-->169. Track 10.mp3
11. Track 11.mp3-->170. Track 11.mp3
12. Track 12.mp3-->171. Track 12.mp3
13. Track 13.mp3-->172. Track 13.mp3
14. Track 14.mp3-->173. Track 14.mp3
15. Track 15.mp3-->174. Track 15.mp3
16. Track 16.mp3-->175. Track 16.mp3
17. Track 17.mp3-->176. Track 17.mp3
18. Track 18.mp3-->177. Track 18.mp3
19. Track 19.mp3-->178. Track 19.mp3
20. Track 20.mp3-->179. Track 20.mp3
21. Track 21.mp3-->180. Track 21.mp3
22. Track 22.mp3-->181. Track 22.mp3
23. Track 23.mp3-->182. Track 23.mp3
24. Track 24.mp3-->183. Track 24.mp3
25. Track 25.mp3-->184. Track 25.mp3

Overly simplistic, but did the trick :) Copy the code sniplet into the directory and give it a name eg. rename.vbs to run it.

Oh, BTW, I would strongly suggest that you take a look at a free utility named Ant Renamer by Antoine Potten who also wrote another fantastic free application called Ant Movie Catalog

I actually talked to Antoine today and told him the story. He mentioned that I could have in fact used 'Enumaration function' in the Ant Renamer to add sequential numbers in front of the filenames and then delete the old numbers using "Characters Deletion" function. Nice!

Mexico City Pictures From Above

In his W2KNews e-mail, Stu has mentioned a link to a site that has Mexico City pictures taken by a guy named Oscar Ruiz.

Oscar took these large number of impressive pictures while he was working as a helicopter pilot.

Definetely worth checking out!

Coming from a Civil Engineering background, I especially liked the creatively shaped apartment buildings like the ones on the left.


Simply Fired | If You Don't Laugh, You'll Cry

I've read about someone named James Garrison being fired 'because he ate two slices of left over pizza' in Micro Persuasion Blog. He was the winner of an offbeat Internet contest that solicited stories about outrageous firings.

Of course, everything is not black or white and several people have interesting comments about the firing in the forums...Funny!

Live Blog from New Orleans

I've seen the link about this blog in W2K News where Stu said the following:

directNIC is a domain name registrar in New Orleans that has employees there trying to keep the servers up. One of their employees' blog is extremely interesting. It's a first hand report on what is going on, pretty much a posting every hour...

There was also a link to 'An extensive collection of Photo's of Katrina devastation''


When a Wall isn't a Wall

When a wall isn't really a wall. The French call it "trompe d'oeil".

You can search for this term on Google and get some good links too, it's an art form many centuries old.


Useful Active Directory Links

Below is a collection of links from a friend at work about Active Directory...

This is a great readme and is holding up well despite its age:
Note: Firfox does not wrap the line so I introduced hard breaks
copy them to the same line: 25201%2520-%2520Understanding%2520Microsoft %2520WSH%2520and%2520ADSI%2520in%2520

The best is yet to come: ADSI primer parts 1-12:
Understanding ADO Search Filters in LDAP Queries

Slightly off topic: You may also want to check out and .

Combine this with,,,, and, We should all be well-rounded network experts.

I know we are still a big MS shop but a lot of this stuff is platform neutral (to a degree) and are freely available.

For those who want to mess with RHEL there are 2 very good Redhat Clones out there: and .

You might as well skip Fedora. For desktops, I like Centos, Memphis and Knoppix.


Problem with displaying properties of "My Documents"

I am not sure when it started but for some time now, whenever I right click the properties of "My Documents", it just gives me an error message: "The properties for this item are not available".

Anyway, today I decided to look into this, because I am going to move around "my documents" folder. I found the simple solution in a forum:

Go to Start > Run
Type regsvr32 mydocs
hit enter!

That's it! It worked for me and I can now see the properties of my documents folder properly :)


Yet another funny video from Rocketboom

I love to watch daily videos from RocketBoom. Apparently, Amanda Congdon is on vacation to Russia. In this video, you see her dancing in several magnificent places tuning to an Ukranian folk song named pidmanula. Everyone must see this! Oh my God, she's so funny!

Well, while you are at it, you may want to see from where Amanda got the inspiration.

Oh, BTW, CBS news recently had Rocketboom and vlogging in the news. You can check out the news and the video on their site.


Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Audiobooks

News is everywhere: Google finally has its instant messenger application available as a, yes you guessed right, BETA product. It can be downloaded from Don't expect miracles, it lacks a lot of bells and whistles other IMs have.

Some people are already talking about Google Talk Easter Egg in Inside Google blog.

You need to use your gmail account to log on. If you do not have an account, leave me a message for invitation or better yet, get an invitation from Google via SMS. Once you get your invitation on your cell phone, go to step 2 and enter it, there you go!

As reported by NeoWin.Net, MSN Messenger 7.5 (build 299) is out and can be downloaded from
Among the new features are Dymanic Backgrounds and Voice Clips. Dynamic Backgrounds fill your MSN Messenger conversations and subtly animate during the conversation. Voice Clips allow you to send short audio clips (15 secs max) to your friends on MSN Messenger.

New audio improvements mean talking over MSN Messenger is far improved from recent versions.
You can also do the following:
Start a conversation with a contact: msnim:add?
Add a contact to your contact list: msnim:chat?
Send an invitation to start a video conversation: msinm:voice?
Send an invitation to start a voice conversation: msinm:video?

I am so much into Audiobooks these days. I've listened Harry Potter Vol. 4-6 in the last week via my new Rio Carbon. I've seen interesting article about turning a DVD into an Audiobook. I liked the VLC Media Player application, which can be downloaded from It seems like a nice media player (still testing)!

Some crowded audiobook newsgroups:


Back from Jamaica

We got back from Jamaica on Saturday night (8/20/2005) after a wonderful week in Couples Negril Resort. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.


Removed Google Desktop Search Tool

On my WinXP Pro box, I have about 2 hard drives with a total capacity of ~300 GB. That was enough for me for quite sometime. Recently, however, I noticed that I was running out of space. So, I decided to do some clean up last night and noticed an usually large folder: my profile which was taking up about 12.5 GB.

That did not seem right and invited further investigation which made me realize that Google Desktop Seach Tool was the culprit!

The size the folder below
"C:\Documents and Settings\ADIL\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search" was 11.6 GB! What the gell is going on here?

I also have MSN Desktop Search Tool and "C:\Documents and Settings\ADIL\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Desktop Search" only occupies 600 MB???

I removed Google Desktop Search Tool, as I really did not need it. I checked their search help page but they do not offer any info. What I learnt from there is that For text files, it indexes McAfee Antivirus Scans)...


Yum Update issue in Fedora

In one of my Fedora Core 4 (FC4) installations, I started to have issues with yum

[root@var]# yum -y update
Setting up Update Process
Setting up repositories
updates-released 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00
extras 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
base 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
primary.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 553 kB 00:01 [Errno -1] Metadata file does not match checksum
Trying other mirror.
Error: failure: repodata/primary.xml.gz from extras: [Errno 256] No more mirrors to try.

I still could not resolve the issue :(

I tried:
  • yum clean all (which removes the files from yum's cache: /var/cache/yum)
  • yum makecache

Nope! Suspecting proxy could be the issue, I've checked if I could access the file via web browser (successful) & via WGET, no problems there:

[root]# wget
=> `primary.xml.gz'
Resolving {Internal Proxy IP}, {ProxyIP}
Connecting to{Internal Proxy IP}:82... connected.
Proxy request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 565,841 [application/x-gzip]

100%[========================================================>] 565,841 473.93K/s

16:26:30 (472.87 KB/s) - `primary.xml.gz' saved [565,841/565,841]

I also tried playing with wget cache as suggested in this article. So, after I clean yum cache, I went into
/var/cache/yum/extras and run the following:
wget --cache=off
wget --cache=off
wget --cache=off

After successfully downloading these files, livna repos started to crap out. I used the same method to fix livna and back to original problem, extras keep on failing. Pretty frustrating...

[UPDATE-1: 8/11/2005]
I edited /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-extras.repo to disable this repository:

I ran yum -y update, it worked!

Economists Join Blogging Frontier

That was the title of an article I read in WSJ today. It mentioned some dominant blogs by well-known economists including:

  • Econbrowser by James D. Hamilton, Professor of Economics at the Univ. of California, San Diego
  • Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal, Professor of Economics at the Univ. of California, Berkeley
  • Vox Baby by Andrew Samwick, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College
  • RGE Monitor (Roubini Global Economics Monitor) by Nouriel Roubini NYU Stern School of Business
  • Economist's View by Mark Thoma, Assoc. Professor of Economics at Univ. of Oregon, Eugene


Hot or Not Meets Google Maps

Yet another fusion of Google Maps: Hot or Not + Google Maps = Hot people by Zip Code! Hmm, is not that cool. I like the idea...


Microsoft SyncToy Beta 1

My pc is connected to my wife's Pc via my home-network. To back up them, I cross copy the files. Ie. My files to her pc, and her files to my pc. We also have common folders. I use robocopy to sync these folders across the network.

I read about synctoy in "Windows Tip & Tricks July 25 Update" (Click to subscribe) and it looks like a good solution instead of command line based robocopy. Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite agrees:

New SyncToy Gives Briefcase the BootLike many business travelers, I maintain roughly overlapping sets of data on two PCs--my desktop PC and my notebook. Although various ways exist to synchronize data between two such devices, including the out-of-date Briefcase tool that first appeared in Windows 95, Microsoft recently released a beta version of a free new PowerToy called SyncToy for Windows XP that lets you keep the contents of a folder synchronized between two locations, regardless of where they are.As a PowerToy, SyncToy is unsupported, but if you're looking for a super-simple way to keep data files up-to-date in two different locations, you could do a lot worse.

The SyncToy interface is pure simplicity: You create a folder pair, which represents the two locations you'd like synchronized. After selecting the two folders, simply called Left Folder and Right Folder, you determine how to pair them: Choices include synchronization (new and updated files are copied each way); echo (new and updated files and renamed and deleted files are copied from the Left Folder to the Right Folder); subscribe (updated files from the Right Folder are copied to the Left Folder when a file of the same name already exists); contribute (new and updated files and renamed files are copied from the Left Folder to the Right Folder, but deletions aren't repeated to the Right Folder), and combine (new and updated files are copied both ways, but renamed or deleted files aren't copied either way).The tool is amazingly powerful. You can preview how the synchronization will change things, run synchronizations, and manage existing folder pairs from a simple interface. SyncToy is available from the Microsoft Web site and requires Windows XP. Definitely check it out if you have a need for this kind of functionality.

Fixing Corrupted Desktop Icons in XP

After I logged on to my XP pro with a different user id, some of my desktop icons including My Computer icon & Internet Explorer icon got corrupted. I recalled from my desktop support days that it had something to do with dllcache but could not remember exactly how I used to fix it. So, I googled it and instantly remembered the solution when I saw it here:

To fix the problem:
  • Right click on the desktop
  • Go to properties
  • Select Appearance
  • Click Advanced
  • Select "Icon" from the Items
  • Increase Size from 32 to 33
  • Click OK & Apply
  • Repeat the same procedure to resize icons back to 32.


Installing JRE Plugin for Firefox in FC4

Many web sites need Java Run Time Environment Plugin for Firefox and but it can not be installed automatically and manual installation will direct you to Sun's site. Fedora Core 4 release documents, however, advise against installing the rpm from there as it interferes with FC4 libraries:

6.1.8. Java Package Recommendations

Fedora Core 4 users are advised not to use the Java RPM provided by Sun. It contains Provides that conflict with names used in packages provided as part of Fedora Core 4. Because of this, Sun Java might disappear from an installed system during package upgrade operations.

Fedora Core 4 users should use either the RPM from or manually install the Sun Java tarball into /opt. Sun Java 1.5+ is recommended for stability purposes.

So, here is how I installed it:

  • download the JRE 1.5.0 update 4 (not the rpm version) from Sun Site to "/opt" directory
  • chmod 755 /opt/jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586.bin (make it executable)
  • ./jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586.bin (unpack the package)
  • clicked yes; it installed the package to /opt/jre1.5.0_04 directory
  • cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins
  • ln -s /opt/jre1.5.0_04/plugin/i386/ns7/ (create a symlink)
  • Restart Firefox & Test your installation.


Windows SharePoint Services Templates

Microsoft Download site has been flooded with Windows SharePoint Services Templates today. Something to check out!


Windows Vista Beta 1 - First Impressions

I've downloaded Windows Vista Beta 1, formerly known as "Windows Code Name Longhorn", from MSDN yesterday. I was planning to install it on my pc where I have Fedora Core 4 but this version is picky about file systems and refused to install there. I could have probably tried the suggested method of hitting shift+F10 and use diskpart to get rid of all partitions but decided to install it on my other pc which has 2 disks.

Anyway, I was able to just insert the DVD when I was using XP and install it. Installation was seemless. It just asked me a couple of questions and installed it.

I am not sure how much disk space it actually takes but Windows folder itself is about 3.2GB, Program Files takes less than 200 MB, so does the users and others folders. So, it looks like a 4GB installation.

I've installed on my HP XW6000 workstation with 2x2.8GHz CU, 1 GB memory, nVidia Quadro4 980XGL card, Sony DVD RW 510A, Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Card. They all work fine with the default drivers but nVidia already has alpha drivers for Windows Vista which according to some NeoWin.Net Vista Forum users works (There are several Vista forums there). It did not, however, recognize my FlashCard when I attached it to SanDisk Reader and claimed that it needs to be formatted.

I have tried to run Yahoo Messenger but it kept on crashing. There does not seem to be windows messenger bundled with this version either :( When I go to, site thinks that I have Windows 98 and offers me to download that version of MSN Messenger. I installed XP version but could not connect yet.

Microsoft has a Windows Vista site up but there is not much content there. MSDN Windows Vista Site has more information about Vista with lots of Screen Shots.

I'm using Free Edition of AVG Antivirus application which sems to work OK for the moment. Vista has not been performance tuned yet, so it is kinda slower than XP.

Vista Beta 1 comes with IE 7.0.5112 which has tabbed browsing and a nice, very clean interface. I have not managed to make RSS feeds work yet though. I will post more info as I find more about it later...

[UPDATE - 08/02/2005]
MSN Messenger finally worked! I also found out how to add a RSS feed to IE7: just right click the RSS/Atom/XML icon and choose "add to favorites", then choose feeds.

[UPDATE - 08/03/2005]
I think I found out why IE7 is painfully slow. It has an option to check the authenticity of the sites you are opening in your browser. When asked, I had selected to check the sites. To turn it off, Go to Tools > Options > Advanced and select "Turn off Phishing Filter". Life is back to normal.



I fell from my mountain bicycle yesterday and hurt myself (I am doing that pretty often these days). Anyway, here is a video that describes how I feel.

MSDN Channel 9

MSDN Channel 9 is probably not news to MS techies but I'll blog it anyway :)

It's a forum/blog etc. where you can talk to MS developers and listen to them. It hosts pretty cool videos with the key people inside MS.

Nowaday, the half an hour video of Chris Jones talking about Windows Vista Beta 1 is quite populer. Check it out.


Bash Tips

Below are some useful Bash tips (For more check out Tip Of The week from Fedora News & Power Shell Usage Page):

There are a couple of tricks you can use to save time in a BASH terminal, by making use of BASH's history, silently stored in the file ~/.bash_history. These work in all BASH terminals, including Konsole, XTerm and gnome-terminal.

Here are a couple of Tips:

  • If you press the up, or down arrow, then BASH will cycle through the list of recently used commands
  • If you type part of a command, and then press , BASH will finish the command name for you. If there is more then one command, all of them are displayed on pressing again (see Command 2 in screenshot)
  • If you type part of a filename, and then press , then BASH will finish the filename for you. Again, if there is more than one option, all are diplayed on pressing again (see Command 3 in screenshot)
  • Press ctrl-R. A search box comes up for you to find previous commands
  • ! commands - This will search the History and execute a command. The command will be displayed before execution (See Commands 4-6). There are 5 ways you can use the ! in BASH
  1. !! - Execute The Last Command
  2. !x - Execute The Last Command Starting with x
  3. !-n - Execute The nth from last Command
  4. !?abc - Execute The last Command that contained abc
  5. !n - Execute The nth Command in history (not very useful)
  • ctrl+u and ctrl+k 'cut' from the cursor to the beginning and the end of the line respectively. This can later be pasted using ctrl+y
  • ctrl+w deletes a 'word' to the left of the cursor
  • If you press alt+. then the last parameter you passed to any command will appear at the cursor. Example below: First time I press alt+., it displayed -lr, 2nd time I did it it displayed Desktop etc.
  • [adil@ahlinux ~]$ ls -l
    [adil@ahlinux ~]$ cd Desktop
    [adil@ahlinux Desktop]$ ls -lr
    [adil@ahlinux Desktop]$ -lr Desktop -l

  • Define functions providing default options in .bashrc
  • function ls
    command ls -F "$@"
  • command runs the real command
  • "$@" inserts the user arguments

  • Commands with arguments can have different names:
    function duff
    diff -ur "$@"
  • Safe to export, for use in shells embedded in editors:
    export -f duff
  • Leaves the original name alone for programs relying on it

Carlton Draught big Ad

check out this big ad:Carlton Draught Big Ad


A Huge List of RSS Readers

I came across this huge list of RSS Readers. I personally use the one from & SharpReader. I've written a comparison entry about them in April 2005. I am not very happy with either of them and still searching for a perfect reader...

MSN Virtual Earth

According to Steve Rubel's Micro Persuasion Blog, MSN has launched Virtual Earth. The team's Virtual Earth Blog has some tips and tricks. Although promising, it does not look a match for Google Earth Plus to me. Still check-out Chandu's blog for a more detailed review.

Smallest MP3 Player - MobiBLU DAH-1500

This tiny (1" x 1" x 1" and weighs only 18 grams) mp3 player is available at Walmart in 6 colors and 1Gig version costs around $130. There is good review about it at Anything But iPod Blog, well -worth reading.

Also check out MobileWhack site for specs. I like radio & firmware upgradibility features ;-)

I am reading conflicting news about battery life which ranges between 10-20 hrs. The official web site of MobiBLU claims 17 hrs though.


Cirque Du Soleil - VAREKAI

Wooooow! That's what I have to say about Varekai Show by Cirque Du Soleil in Meadowlands, East Rutherford that we have seen on Saturday (July 23,2005).

What a great show! Colorful costumes, beautiful music, original choreography and mind-boggling acrobatics were all fabulous.

They will be around just until the end of the July. This is something not to be missed!


Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai.

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.

The word varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.


IBM OpenPowerProject

Jan Weck told me about this IBM site: I signed up already (sc0ri0n). Below is from the site:

Welcome to the Beta launch of the OpenPower Project – created just for Linux users. It's a great opportunity to pioneer an online Linux initiative, dedicated to testing the latest Power Architecture™ technology that's intended to advance Linux on Power.

This is where you can test and tinker with the latest OpenPower servers tuned for running Linux. You get remote, non-root, shared access via SSH to the latest POWER5™ processor-based OpenPower™ servers. Compile and run your applications, test them, compare them, whatever – it's up to you and your imagination. Power Architecture technology is an ideal platform for Linux® – simple, fast, and robust. Simply put, OpenPower servers take Linux to the next level. Join us. Others already have.

There are two remote locations you can choose from, in two different configurations. Choose your machine, get your most challenging code, and have some fun!

Jan's Blog

Jan Weck is a guy I met years ago in one of NT Server Admin discussion lists. We kept in touch mostly on ICQ for years and shared tips and tricks. We lost contact shortly after I moved to US & started working for Wall Street Companies*.

Anyway, recently I installed my Fedora and started using GAIM and to make the long story short we are able to keep in touch again. I've added Jan's blog to my links at the rights side...

(*) Security Exchange Commission - SEC - requires Wall Street companies to retain logs of all communications especially on Trading Floors.


Whose line is it anyway?

Karl Rove said in an interview: "I did not know her name, I did not leak her name". That's playing with the words at its finest. So, if he says "His wife is a CIA agent", and then utters the words above, is he being honest?

Watch this movie from Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and have some fun. Be warned, it is big [~46 Megs)


Saving Gnome Terminal Window Size

I did not see any options in FC4 to save Gnome Terminal Windows Size and I was getting annoyed with Terminal size resetting everytime I close the window. So, I did a little research but did not find much about it. Then I asked about it in fedora-list and got 2 answers:
1) Create a shortcut to gnome-terminal --geometry=80x10

2) Adil, I had the same problem... switched to 'konsole' and am very pleased.
There are also a few bugs in konsole, but it is more flexible, and
offers more control than the gnomne terminal. It may not be on your
desktop. Type 'konsole' in the "Run Applications".

I tried both and both works fine!

Fun links of the day

Here is a fun link: Subservient chicken. Get chicken just the way you like it. Type the commands (sit, run, fly, etc...) and have fun...

[UPDATE]: I've forwarded this link to a few friends of mine and guess what? I am told that I am too far behind of 'the circulated entertainment materials' and was asked to challange Lord Vader. You'll be impressed! Thanks, Sam Li!


vim - the perfect cheat sheet

I copied this useful cheat sheet from "Command Line Warriors" blog. Check out their blog for more.

Command Mode ESC
Insert Mode i

Movement commands

h, j, k, l left, down, up, right
w, W, b, B forward, backward by word
H highest line of the screen
M middle line of the screen
L lowest line of the screen
Ctrl-F forward one screen
Ctrl-B backward one screen
Ctrl-D halfway down (i.e. forward) the screen
Ctrl-U halfway up (i.e. back) the screen
0 (zero), $ start, end of current line

Inserting text

a append after cursor
i insert before cursor
A append to end of line
I insert at start of line
o open a line below current line
O open a line above current line
r replace char

Delete text

x current character
dh previous character
dw current word
db previous word
dd entire line
d$ to end of line
d0 (zero) to start of line
ndd next n lines


p insert after cursor
P insert before cursor

Goto line

nG Goto line n
:7 Goto line 7

Save and exit

ZZ write if changes and quit
:wq write and quit
:w filename save to new file
:q! quit vi
:x save & quit (Thanks for the tip Jan!)


/pattern forward for a pattern
?pattern backward for a pattern
n repeat previous search
N repeat previous search in reverse direction

Search and replace


* Search from current line and replace first occurance
* Search from current line and replace all matches
* Search from every line, replace confirmation (with [y]es)
* Search lines from 10 to 20


u the latest change
U all changes on a line

J concatenate two lines


Rocketboom : drinking game

Rocketboom: "drinking game played to karl rove ongoing investigation from white house press briefing by scott mcclellan". Boy, THIS IS FUNNY!


GUI tools for YUM: yumex & kyum

As per Fedora News yumex (YUM extender) has now been added to Fedora Extras. yumex is a gui for YUM (Yellow Dog Updater Modified - used by Fedora to update/install applications). It's pretty easy to install:
$ yum install yumex

The other tool I tried is KDE's kyum. Although, I am now using GNOME, I installed it to see the interface. I found both yumex and kyum are pretty easy to use but yumex has a filter option which becomes very handy...

[UPDATE - 08/11/2005]
After using both for a few months, it looks like kyum serves me better. When I had an issue with one of the repositories, yumex kept looping and crashed while kyum just displayed the the error. Kyum interface does allow you to disable/enable repos easily too.

You can install both by typing
yum install yumex kyum


Problem with Google Toolbar for Firefox

I have no idea how this has happened! After Iinstall the new Google toolbar for Firefox (1.0.20050707) on my Fedora Core 4 linux box, firefox menus and google toolbar menus changed to German! As soon as I uninstall it, menus revert back to English. I tested this a few times and it does happen all the time. Screenshot above...

[UPDATE]: I sent an e-mail to Fedora List about the issue. Apparently, I am not the only one who has encountered the issue. I'll report this in Google Groups > 'Google-firefox-extentions'. I am guessing that someone from Google maybe watching the list...

[UPDATE]: Today, Jeremy Tan from Fedora list sent me an e-mail saying that he too had the problem but menus reverted back when he closed all the Firefox instances and restarted it. I tried it, it worked for me too - with a catch: when I, for example hover on this text (or a link), it displays some message in German. See the screenshot below:

ratDVD: DVD movie format for online download

ratDVD claims to be a DVD movie format for online download. Author says " RatDVD is the result of my downloading experiences. Downloading movies, even DVD rips never really worked out to what I expected.

When I download movies, I want the full DVD feature set and I want to be able to watch it on any DVD player - without loosing any features of the original DVD. That is what ratDVD can do for you".

It sound like a promising new tool. AfterDown has a nice article on how to use it. A must read!


Yahoo Shortcuts

It looks like Yahoo has followed the steps of Google Special Searches and done a very good job with 'Yahoo Shortcuts'

You can use the search box as a calculator. In the screenshot above you see the result it gave me when I typed a interest calculation formula 1000*(1+0.11)^2 = 1232.10

Take a look at other useful shortcuts!


Goodbye to Martin Eriksen

Martin is a friend of mine from work. Today is his last day at work. He is going back to Denmark. Last night, we had our "Farewell to the "Great Dane" party at Pravda - 281 Lafayette St, NY.

Goodbye baby! (baby is Martin's favorite english word). We will miss you.


Google Earth Plus

I got the news from InsideGoogle Blog and immediately downloaded Google Earth Plus. I loved it! I was holding my breath when I saw it zooming from space down to NYC! Wow, such a cool effect! Checkout the original post here.

Free Music Downloads from BBC & Others

I ran into a few sites which offer mp3 downloads. Before we get serious though, let's listen to this song - Another Irish Drinking Song 96kbps (dedicated to Gil, my Irish manager :)

Ok. I found the other sites thru BBC, so I will just list the important links on their site...
For a limited time BBC is allowing people to
Download an mp3 of Symphony no.9 (61.7 MB)

Check out the following link for more info

Here is the link to other sites where you can download (mostly classical) music:


Morningstar Investing Classroom

Morningstar Investing Classroom is a pretty cool place to learn about investing. They are best known for their ratings of Mutual funds but recentrly they offer individual stock researches over 1500 companies. It's FREE. Go for it!

Oh, while you are there, check out their new indexing system. I like it!

Flash Games: Get Outta Room...

I've collected some flash games where the purpose is to get out of the room:

Crimson Room

Viridian's Room

The Pink Room

Yepyip Room

Maama's Room

Swan's Room


Blue Chamber

The Doors

Dr. Metro


Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement...

All day today, TVs are repeated talking about Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement after 24 years at the age 75. She is called 'the swing vote' as she sometimes contradicted to her own position she took in the past.

There are several references to her position to upheld Roe vs. Wade which seems to be the single most controversial decision in the recent American History. As usual, Wikipedia has a very good article on this case thanks to which Women can choose to have abortion.


LCD Monitor Review

Firing Squad has a pretty good article about 19" lcd monitors on their June 2005 review. While you are there, you may want to check out the 17" LCD Monitor review they published a few months ago.

Who are The Turks

I came across this comprehensive document about Turks and Turkey. It's written by Justin McCarthy and Carolyn McCarthy as a manual for teachers. It's a pdf document and can be freely downloaded. Check it out...


Goodies from New york Public Library

NYPL, Digital Library is your gateway to The New York Public Library’s rare and unique collections in digitized form. NYPL Digital helps fulfill The Library’s traditional mission in the Internet Age to collect, preserve and make its holdings available. Also check out here the e-books & e-Audio New York Public Library is offering.


Create a DVD image from Fedora CDs

Here is a link to a shell script which lets you take Red Hat Linux/Fedora Core Linux CD images and build a DVD image!

Microsoft vs. Bittorrent? What ?

I got this news from Windows IT Pro e-mail (check out their forums here):
Microsoft researchers have created a new peer-to-peer (P2P) file- sharing system that's similar--but superior?--to the widely used BitTorrent system. Microsoft researchers say that the system (code- named Avalanche) is 20 percent to 30 percent faster than BitTorrent.
Like BitTorrent, Avalanche breaks large files into tiny chunks, which are distributed to the users who want the file. As users complete the download, Avalanche uses their systems in a distributed manner as servers, and other users download chunks from a variety of systems simultaneously. This process speeds downloads for many users.

I have no idea what guys at MS Research decided to work on this but they published a white paper titled "Network Coding for Large Scale Content Distribution" that explains a technology which claims to be better than bittorrent.


Configuring yum for proxy

I've installed FC4 on one of my test pcs @ work but of course I had to set up proxy all over the place. I found a useful article in one of the fedora forums. In short here is what I did to resolve the issue:

backed up my current wget config file:
su -
cd /etc
cp -pr wgetrc wgetrc.bck

& then edited it:
gedit wgetrc &

went down to the section below, change it to my proxy settings & removed comment (# sign)
# You can set the default proxies for Wget to use for http and ftp.
# They will override the value in the environment.
http_proxy =
ftp_proxy =
# If you do not want to use proxy at all, set this to off.
use_proxy = on

then edited /etc/profile and added the following 2 lines
export http_proxy=
export ftp_proxy=

Voila! Yum is yummy again :)


Fedora Core 4 Mount Problem

Below is the e-mail I just posted to
I hit my first problem since I upgraded to FC4: I had mount points that

connected to different XP drives using something like

mount -t cifs -o
username={username},password={password] //{machine_name}/{share} /mnt/c

There does not seem to be a problem during mounting but then when I try
to access the mount point, what used to be an instant thing takes ages

If I replace cifs with smbfs, mounting is instant.

Anyone else having such problems? Any leads how to troubleshoot


How to snatch an expiring domain

I found this great article about snatching a domain name. Gee!

Aha! Yahoo Domains is the one to blame?

I talked to GoDaddy and consequently sent an e-mail to Yahoo. Apparently, Yahoo was supposed to transfer the address from GoDaddy but they did not. I got the lengthy answer from Yahoo why they did not. What they are saying is when they are selling the domain, they are actually not selling it but selling the management of it? Oh, Puhleease, that info is nowhere to be found in their Domain Selling site!

Original E0mail from Yahoo Domains Support:

-----Original Message-----
From: Yahoo! Domains []
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 12:09 AM
Subject: Re: Email - - Domains (KMM4310551V8506L0KM)
Hello Adil,
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Domains. I hope this email will answer your question.
I understand that you are concerned about the transfer of your domain, '' to Yahoo! from your current registrar,
According to the public Whois database, your domain name registration was expired on April 16, 2005 and it has been put under the 'REDEMPTIONPERIOD' status by your current registrar.
For your reference, included here is the information about your domain as reflected in the Whois public database:
Whois Server:
Updated Date: 27-may-2005
Creation Date: 16-apr-2001
Expiration Date: 16-apr-2005
Please know that your domain name was registered through another registrar. Even though this domain name has expired, most registrars will normally hold onto a domain name for a short period of time before releasing it to the public.
It appears that you have only transferred your domain hosting to Yahoo!, and not your domain name registration when you signed up for Yahoo!
Domains using an existing domain name registered elsewhere. Please understand that Yahoo! is not a Domain Registrar; we register our domain names through our partner Melbourne IT ( Once you register a new domain name through Yahoo! your domain name is put under Yahoo's!
Reseller list. This makes Yahoo! the Reseller of your domain name.
Yahoo! will be responsible for renewing your domain name, which is covered within the service charges of your account.
As Yahoo! is a reseller and not a registrar we are not able to perform a registrar transfer of your pre-registered domain name. Once you transfer your existing domain name to Yahoo!, using one of our Small Business packages, you will still be responsible for renewing your domain name through the original registrar of your domain name.
After you order services from us, your domain name will need to be re-delegated to Yahoo!'s nameservers to host your domain with us. The process varies depending on which registrar you originally registered your domain. Many allow you to make the changes online at their website.
Yahoo! uses the following nameservers:
Primary Name Server:
Primary IP Address: (may not be required)

Secondary Name Server:
Secondary IP Address: (may not be required)
Please be aware that Yahoo! has no jurisdiction over domain names
registered with other services. You (the registrant) through your
current hosting provider or registrar have the ability to modify this
If you want to open a full registration account with Yahoo!, you will
either need to wait for the domain name to be publicly available or
request directly to the registrar that holds your domain that they
release the domain name to the public.
In general, for domain names which are already registered through
another company, Yahoo! can take over hosting for the domain name.
However, the registration of the domain name will continue through the
current registrar. You do not need another company in this case to
manage your domain name.
When Yahoo! Domains is hosting your domain name, all other necessary
updates should be able to be performed directly through your registrar.
In your case, as your domain name has already expired and it is going to
be released to the public soon, may I recommend you to please wait till
the domain name is publically available for new registration. You may
cancel your Domains account with us to prevent future billing. Once the
domain name is publically available you may then sign up for Yahoo!
Domains services at the following URL:
I apologize for any inconvenience it may cause you. Please do not
hesitate to reply if you need further assistance.
Yahoo! Customer Care
For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:

Original Message Follows:
Mail-Id: 1118795906-9497
Domain name:
Service: Domains
Topic: Domain registration and renewal info
Please describe your problem or question here.
I had registered via I did not want to extend
my contract with them and decided to
move to Yahoo. So I paid Yahoo for
this domain for 3 years and got the
confirmation letter below:
Service Ordered
"Plan: Domains "
7 A single-page Web Card or Web
address forwarding to another web site
"Purchase Date: April 08, 2005 "
Billing Summary
Domain Name Term Yearly Fee Total 3 year(s) $9.95 $4.98 1
(save 50% per year
for up to 5 years) $14.94
"Today's Charge: $14.94 "
As instructed in your web page I went
back to and changed the
name servers to yahoo.
It worked fine until my contract with
them expired. They are telling me
that yahoo never transferred my domain
and now I lost it. How is this
possible. I paid for it and I do not
have access to it? Please help
rectify this situation.
While Viewing:
Date Originated: Tuesday June 14, 2005 - 17:38:26


Never use again!!!

These guys are really driving me crazy! Their support can not resolve anything don't understand a thing! They keep on hijacking my domain...

I wanted Yahoo to handle my domain '', so I redelagated the domain to Yahoo. Ie. changed the Name Servers to yahoo at All was fine until my contract with godaddy expired. Then, they changed my name servers to

I contacted them and after several e-mail exchanges I realized that discussion is going nowhere. They keep on explaining me why they did it. Anyway, I changed them back to Yahoo. Apparently, a few days ago, they again changed them??? I sent e-mails to both Yahoo and godaddy again, arrgh :(

Helicopter accident at Pier 11

Just a few mins ago, a helicopter went down near Pier 11 at New York City. Our office building is on Maiden Lane next to FDR. We can see the scene thru the windows facing the Pier. Fire Department is on the scene. I guess Helicopter immediately submerged but we have seen someone carried away. This has not even hit the news channels yet...

The Hive

Are you a MS community leader? Do you have a group about MS products with at least 50 users? If yes, join The Hive! A forum for online community leaders.


Fedora Core 4 Finally Out

After a few days of delay FC4 is out. Fedora site has the release notes. As one might guess all mirrors are a bit slow as people are rushing to download it.


WinkFlash ;-)

So, you have tons of pictures and you don't know where to put them, eh? Hmm, this may be answer for you: winkflash . It's free and and it lets you store your photos in the original size without any limitation of storage. You can share your albums with 'other' Winkflash users. Although signing up is fast and free, I wish it was possible to share albums without forcing people to sign up.


Hi5 - Who's in?

Have you ever heard of Hi5? Well, I had no idea until today. A friend of mine invited me, so I joined in. It looks very much like Orkut but just does not seem to break every so often. I'll post a review once I have more time to check it out...


Fedora Sound Problem (Resolved)

Yehaaa! I finally have sound on my Fedora FC3 linux box. It was always working in Mandriva 2005 LE but after upgrading the kernel to 2.6.11-1.27_FC3smp, I had no sound.

Anyway, muting Headphone Jack Sense & Line Jack Sense via 'alsamixer' resolved the issue. Below is my e-mail to

I checked my settings again for these two you mentioned and as I wrote
above they were already off but I did not hear anything. Still, I kept
on trying to mute/unmute others and got noise at some point. Then, I
muted all and started to unmute them one by one. After a little bit
more trial-and-error, suddenly it worked! Interestingly, it turned out
that I really just needed to have that two Muted! Why it did not work
before is beyond me.


Browsers compared

Here is a nice Comparison of several Browsers. I heard several good reviews about Maxthon. It's worth trying!


No sound on Fedora FC3

For the last two days, I'm trying to find out why my sound card would not work on Fedora FC3. I know that sound card itself is fine because the other linux distribution on the same box - Mandriva 2005 LE - has no problems and when I was installing the Fedoram it correctly found my card:
ICH4 845G/GL Chipset AC'97 Audio Controller & I heard the sound.

I think problem started after I used "yum update" to install all updates which included a kernel upgrade to

I found out via "alsamixer" that all volume controls are muted by default and pumped them up to no avail.
Card is detected and drivers are installed properly:

[root@ahlnx ~] lsmod |grep snd
snd_intel8x0 35329 2
snd_ac97_codec 73145 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm_oss 55153 0
snd_mixer_oss 22465 2 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 92741 3 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 28741 1 snd_pcm
snd 57765 8 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore 13217 2 snd
snd_page_alloc 13765 2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm

So? This sucks!

Does Orkut rock or suck?

I started using orkut about 2 months ago. My experience is that it is PAIN to use orkut. Honestly, 8/10 times you get an error when you click on something. I was just trying to post something and after 10 trials, I got tired and stopped. It's too much frusturation...

Having used other Social Networking sites like Yahoo's 360 and Microsoft's Wallop, I think I clearly see the pluses and minuses now. I actually posted a lengthy suggestions list on MS Wallop Team's page. Somebody thanked me for suggestions but I don't know if they will implement them.

Basically the big advantage orkut has over the others is that it has 'communities' (or forums). That is where people meet others and I believe that's why orkut is so populer. I mean it really rocks when it works. Unfortunately that is not the case most of the time.

One may ask what does it have that yahoogroups do not? Interestingly, not really that much. I believe yahoo can do some magic to make 360 work like orkut.

Online File Storage

I was talking to a friend the other day who had just purchased a digital camera. He asked me what I was doing to back up my photos / files. I told him that I has written a script to copy important files to my wife's pc over the LAN and time to time I burn them onto DVDs.

He said he was afraid to keep them on his pc because he was afraid to lose them so he was looking for an online file storage solution. It made perfect sense! The challenge is to find a 'saf' location. You do not want to put your files on to a server and find out that company went out of business the other day.

I know a few guys who are using fotki for storing their fotos (I never liked the name). They charge a flat fee of $50/year for unlimited access, not that bad actually.

If you just would like to carry around a few files, Yahoo hass its Yahoo briefcase which can hold about 30MB only. Some people are using their gmail accounts to store files but that is not really convenient.

There is a company called streamload, offering 10 GB storage area. The catch is that you can only download 100MB/month, yet it is free.

I checked some other site like flipdrive, xdrive etc. For the convenience they are offering, they are not that pricey either. The question remains: are they secure enough and are they going to be around.

In fact, I keep on asking myself, why would not Google (or Yahoo) go into online storage business. They have a good reputation and are trusted. As they are already offering GB e-mails they seem to have no issue with space.

Yahoo! Mindset

I have been seen more articled about Yahoo! Mindset which is basically a beta product (aka. in research phase) that gives you a new way of relating searches to your needs.

It has a slider. On one end is "shopping", on the other is "researching". when you move the slider to a side, results of the search changes accordingly. I just started playing with it and thingking that it is in beta phase one should not have high hopes but I think it is a cool idea!

Oh BTW, while you are the, take a look at Yahoo Research page.


Dual booting Fedora and Mandriva

Last weekend I've downloaded both Mandriva 2005 LE DVD and Fedora Core 3 DVD and installed them on my spare pc. Problem was that I only had 1 SCSI HD and when I installed the second Linux distibution, its loader did not recognize the other one. So, below is how I tinkered with grub and finally made it work in anyway I wanted.

I posted an e-mail to Mandriva expert group and asked for help. Someone extended his handed and suggested that I copy Mandriva boot files into Fedora boot partition and add an entry for it in the grub. I did it and it worked.

Below is from my e-mail to the grup but note that boot loader application 'grub' does not care if you have an ide or scsi. First harddrive will be shown as hd0 (not as sd0 as one might expect).

[root@ahlnx ~] fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 36.4 GB, 36420075520 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4427 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Cap. Id System Holds
/dev/sda1 300MB 83 Linux (Mandriva /boot)
/dev/sda2 12.5GB 5 Extended
/dev/sda3 100MB 83 Linux (Fedora /boot)
/dev/sda4 22.5GB 8e Linux LVM (Fedora /)
/dev/sda5 2.0GB 82 Linux swap
/dev/sda6 10.0GB 83 Linux (Mandriva /)

First I mounted /dev/sda1 - where my current Mandriva boot images are
hold - to Fedora & copied everything under it to /boot/Mandriva:

mkdir /mnt/bootMandriva
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/bootMandriva
cd /mnt/bootMandriva
rsync -va . /boot/Mandriva

Then, I added these lines in /etc/grub.conf
title Mandrive 2005
root (hd0,2)
kernel /Mandriva/vmlinuz-2.6.11-6mdksmp ro root=/dev/sda6
initrd /Mandriva/initrd-2.6.11-6mdksmp.img

Happy ending, eh? Well, not so quick...Once I got on to Mandriva, I
could not go back to Fedora as it did not know anything about Fedora!

So, I tried the same approach by mounting fedora boot partion /dev/sda3
to Mandriva and adding an entry to /etc/lilo.conf after copying 3 files
that I thought would do the trick:

Unfortunately I got errors during boot...

I'll keep on troubleshooting this as it serves as a good learning
practice for me. For the time being, I loaded grub back (to MBR):

[root@ahlnx ~] grub
[root@ahlnx ~] grub> root (hd0,2)
[root@ahlnx ~] grub> setup (hd0)
[root@ahlnx ~] grub> quit

root (hd0,2) tells grub that my boot partition is /dev/sda3
setup (hd0) loads grub into MBR (Master Boot Record) so that it will run next time I boot.

After rebooting, I am back to Fedora.

Well, actually after a little bit more digging, I realized that I did not need to copy boot files from the linux boot partition at all. So, I added the following entry into /etc/grub.conf on Fedora's boot sector (/dev/sda3)

title Mandriva 2005 (From /dev/sda1)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz ro root=/dev/sda6
initrd /initrd.img
And just to prove it to myself that I could it do the same from Mandriva side, I added the following entry into /boot/grub/menu.lst on Mandriva's boot sector (/dev/sda1)

title Fedora (Boot from Fedora /boot)
kernel (hd0,2)/vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.27_FC3smp root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
initrd (hd0,2)/initrd-2.6.11-1.27_FC3smp.img

The interesting thing is the part which reads root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
This notation seems to be specific to my installation and Grub. Lilo does not recognize it as a valid root (/) partition.


Google Labs

Google Labs is Google's technology playground. Currently they are testing personalized home pages. Check it out...


Yahoo! Messenger Beta - Fixed

I fixed my connection problem by choosing "No Proxies" instead of "Firewall with no proxies" which used to be my default in the previous version. The new build number is: 7,0,0,242!

Yahoo! Messenger Beta

Yahoo! Messenger Beta is available for download from Yahoo. I tried it but seems to have some connection issues.

I checked Yahoo's page. Apparently there is a page for those people who are having connection issues with Beta but guess what. It is not accessible: "The requested URL /pager/download/beta/more.html was not found on this server."



Traffic & Weather info on Google Map

Traffic/Weather info on Google Map

I found out about this cool web site called . Apparently, someone found yet another useful way to hack Google Map to display Traffic & Weather info on it. In fact, you can also display such info on Yahoo Maps too. Pretty neat trick!


Scot's Newsletter - Customizing Firefox

Scot's Newsletter | The Best Of | Customizing Firefox I'm posting this for my own reference. Scot has a nice list of customization on this web site. I am also a subscriber of his monthly newsletter. Check out this month's issue here and if you like it you can subscribe to it here.

Google puts the brake on Web Accelerator

Google puts the brake on Web Accelerator The Register
Wow. My site took the greatest page hit when I posted the issue I discovered with Google Web Accelerator. I stopped using Google Web Accelerator since then.

Apparently Google has disabled downloads of its Web Accelerator software less than a week after introducing the service. The suspension follows reports that the software was caching sensitive content, such as user control panels to online forums. Continue at source


Have some fun: Rocketboom

I learnt about a vlog site called Rocketboom. They have 3mins long funny vlogs everyday. Oh, do not forget to check out yet another histerical 'numa numa' video.


Google Web Accelerator - 2

Citrix Error Posted by Hello

OK, it's been a few days since I installed Google Web Accelerator . I have not had a chance to use my pc much but it claims that it saved me 1.9 mins.

Anyway, last night I started seeing the error above when I was trying to connect to my office via Citrix. As soon as I shutdown the Google Web Accelerator, it started working. Hmm, I tried it again today and the same story. I guess I will report it to Google...


Google Web Accelerator

Google Web Accelerator Posted by Hello

Here is yet another Beta tool from Google: Web Accelerator . Hmm, maybe I should really go ahead and buy their stock...

You may ask, 'hey I already have Broadband! Why would I need a web accelerator?'. My answer would be 'If you are asking that, you probably do not need it'.

Honestly, as a broadband user, I do not really need it but as a curious technologist, indeed I went ahead and intalled it. I read the help & faq, it looks like a giant proxy server implementation to me. I'll post my findings later on...


War Nerd - Glory to the Turks!

eXile - Issue #212 - War Nerd - Glory to the Turks! - By Gary Brecher

A friend of mine forwarded this link to me. There are a few small mistakes (it was Ottomans that captured Istanbul not Seljuks) but it is a fun article about Turkish History...

Circumventing Group Policy Settings

Mark's Blog: Circumventing Group Policy Settings

Group policy settings are an integral part of any Windows-based IT environment. If you’re a network administrator you use them to enforce corporate security and desktop management policy, and if you’re a user you’ve almost certainly been frustrated by the limitations imposed by those policies. Regardless of which you are, you should be aware that if the users in your network belong to the local administrator’s group they can get around policies any time they want. Continue at source...