GNU/Linux

Posted by stylesen

I gave a short interview for gnuNify 2010 blog as a part of "Know the Speaker" drive. You can read my interview here - http://blog.gnunify.in/2010/02/know-the-speakers-senthil-kumaran-s/

I gave my message for the first time contributors to Free software as follows:

Posted by stylesen

On 19th and 20th of February 2010, I ll be giving two talks in gnuNify 2010 at Pune,
India. gnuNify is an annual Free Software based tech event conducted by Symbiosis
Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR) in association with Pune
GNU/Linux User Group, since 2003.

The following are my sessions:

Posted by stylesen

damn simple linux LFY article cover

An article on customizing Damn Small Linux, which I wrote for Linux For You magazine and got published in January 2010 issue.

A gist from the article is follows, you can download the entire article from the attachment to this post,

There's an old unused computer at home that doesn't have a great hardware profile—a Pentium II processor with 64 MB of RAM. I wanted to use this computer meaningfully, and hence came up with this idea of customising Damn Small Linux (DSL), a small GNU/Linux distribution that can work with minimal hardware. The users of this system were my parents, who know very little about computers and merely wanted a simple interface to browse the Web and check e-mails. I decided to make the system as simple as possible so that anyone could switch it on and start using it.

Here are the requirements specifications:

  1. Use low-profile hardware
  2. Quick booting
  3. Show my name during start up :-)
  4. Should not require entering a user name and password to log in to the system
  5. Show the Web browser with some URL, as default
Posted by stylesen

Often we find that our time zone is not what we expect to be in our Ubuntu/Debian boxes soon after installation. Specifically in Debian these days during installation we don't have fine grained control to choose our timezone like 'Asia/Kolkatta', instead we choose 'Eastern' and later decide to change it. In order to change the timezone in command line use the following command in your Ubuntu/Debian boxes,

# dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

The above brings up an ncurses based interface where you can have fine grained control of your timezone selection.

Posted by stylesen

svn version compatibility LFY article coverThere exists a lot of confusion in choosing the compatible versions of Free Software. This article which I wrote for Linux For You magazine, published in December 2009 issue, was an attempt to explain the compatibility concerns of Free Software using Subversion Version control system.

A gist from the article is follows, you can download the entire article from the attachment to this post,

The toughest job for any server administrator is to choose the correct version of software to install and use for maintenance. Most server software have corresponding clients that access the software to get data from them. This kind of client-server model creates a few problems when a server administrator is trying to choose the right version of server software.

In this article, we will discuss one such problem in choosing the appropriate release of the popular version control system, Subversion. This article will also help decipher version compatibility among most of the free  software available.

Emacs goto line

08 Jan 2010
Posted by stylesen

I was reading through this post and thought I can share my recipe for the same problem. In the past (3 years back) I had the same difficulty of instructing emacs to goto a line. Each time I want to do that I need to "M-x" and type "goto-line" (tab completion is there). But this is annoying since I may need to do this 'n' number of times while writing code.

Posted by stylesen

If you see Java Runtime Environement (JRE) plugin not available in your Iceweasel or Firefox system and auto installation fail, asking you to do a manual install, then install the following package which will automatically put the JRE plugin in place in Debian/Ubuntu based systems.

# aptitude install icedtea6-plugin

The above loads JRE plugin in the web browser. I really wanted this in order to attend webex sessions from my Debian/Ubuntu boxes. Check your browser's Tools->Add-ons->Plugins which will have "IcedTea Java Web Browser Plugin" loaded after installing the above package.