Jan 5, 2008

Evening snack

I plan to keep a log of everything that I eat for breakfast, lunch , evening snack and dinner,

Today's Evening snack:
Konkani: Panpolo.
Kannada: Neerdosa.

Rice, coconut gratings and salt. Ground properly to a fine paste. Then follow standard method to make dosa from paste.

I promise to include pictures from my next "food log".

Jan 4, 2008

Installing 64bit Debian from 32 bit Debian Try 2: Failed

This method failed exactly with the same error as before. duh.

On to Method 3:
  1. Get the kernel and initrd from the businesscard CD
  2. Configure grub to boot from it.
  3. Modify initrd to boot the iso image.
  4. Enjoy the benefits of my pathetically slow but unlimited net connection.
Wish me luck!

Installing 64bit Debian from 32 bit Debian Try 1: Failed

I am running a 32 Debian right now. Want to install the 64 bit OS without a CDROM : I am out of empty CDs and I am too lazy to get a new one. I downloaded Debian for AMD64 and started the installation using qemu. It failed with lot of synchronization issues. May be because the hard disk I had given to qemu was a real one and other partitions, on the same hard disk was being used.

Next try: install to USB portable hard disk using qemu. And then use that to deboostrap my SATA disk.

Jan 3, 2008

CHDK Firmware: Unleash the Power in your 'PowerShot'.

Today, it is not a surprise if you find GNU/Linux that can run on something which you wouldn't guess even in your dreams.. So I set out on searching if there is a GNU/Linux that can run on my Canon A750 IS. I was disappointed when I found that the only result I felt was right, turned out to be an April fool joke.

But my search was not entirely useless though. In fact, It was more exciting than just getting a shell on the camera. I stumbled upon a Free and Open Source firmware add-on for several Canon A750. The project is called CHDK (http://chdk.wikia.com). It gives amazing number of possibilites including some standard features like raw CCD dumps and video compression unfortunately not provided by Canon.

As a precaution, I suggest you wear a seatbelt and have a glass of water/ friend ready before you read the entire feature list.

Jan 1, 2008

Making Images seamless horizontally or vertically only.

I needed to take a scenery and tile it horizontally ( the "Make seamless" plug-in would only make it seamless both vertically and horizontally at the same time ), after 2 tries I got the right steps to to make an image seamless horizontally or vertically only.

These steps are for The GIMP, for making images seamless horizontally. You can guess the steps to make a vertically seamless image easily from this.

1) Open the image in GIMP . (Lets call the default layer the "base")

2) Select and copy the left 1/3rd of the "base" layer.

3) Paste it in a new transparent layer (let us call it "left on right") at the right 1/3rd of the image

4) Select and copy the right 1/3rd of the "base" layer.

5) Paste it in a new transparent layer (let us call it "right on left") at the left 1/3rd of the image

6) Add white layer masks to both the new layers.

7) Select the "blend" tool - use the "Foreground to background" gradient, linear blend mode.
(make sure the 2 colors are black and white)

8) On the layer mask of "right on left" layer, draw a gradient from exactly 1/3rd of the image, all the way to the left boundary of the image.

9) On the layer mask of "left on right" layer, draw a gradient from exactly 2/3rd of the image, all the way to the rightmost boundary of the image.( or you can also copy "right on left"'s mask and paste it on "left to right"'s mask and flip it horizontally)

10) Flatten the image (if necessary.. I haven't)

11) Crop away 1/6th of the image from left and right each.


With these, the image will now be seamless horizontally, retaining the nature of the image vertically.

You can use other portion sizes too instead of 1/3rds and 1/6ths if you have got the logic.

Dec 30, 2007

The spirit of Wikipedia / FOSS and Sir Albert Einstein

The spirit that drives Free and Open Source Software and Wikipedia is based on that of the knowledge as a property of humanity and "sharing knowledge" the essence of human life, thus making it a duty of every human being. I always felt it as necessary for the current generation of students of all fields and grades to cultivate this spirit.

My thrill knew no bounds when I read an address to students made by my favorite scientist of all times - Sir Albert Einstein :

" My dear Children,
I rejoice to see you before me to-day, happy youth of a sunny and fortunate land.
Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labour in every country of the world. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance, in order that you may recieve it, honour it, add to it, and one day dutifully hand it on to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things we create in common.
If you always keep this in mind you will find a meaning in life and work and acquire the right attitude towards other nations and ages. "

It is this address that kicked me out of my laziness, and urged to create a blog - so that I can share my knowledge and ideas, and care the other steps : "add"ing and "dutifully hand"ing, in addition to the "reciev"ing and "honour"ing that I have always done.