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Mon, 26 Jan 2015

Bye Bye Grub , Linux Kernel as Bootloader

It had been a while that I had UEFI and GPT installed on my hard drive(my post and during that time I recalled that there was some way to bypass Grub as a bootloader and use the Linux Kernel directly as a bootloader.
So I wanted to try that out.My main criteria was to ensure that my current setup (of using grub) continues to work and at the same time I wanted to only use the Debian stock kernel.
In my quest to achieve fastest boot possible for my laptop , I wanted to ideally get rid of all bootloaders and so I used efibootmgr to register the Debian Jessie stock kernel with my UEFI and lo and behold I completely bypassed Grub2.
Note that as my UEFI board supports multi-boot , I was able to continue to use Grub as my backup mode for UEFI simulataneously with this setup.
All you need to do , to get this working in Debian Jessie(might work in Debian Wheezy as well) is to follow the instructions on this page

posted at: 00:13 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Tue, 18 Jun 2013

gopost , a new service from USPS

I have been a little skeptical of USPS(United States Postal Service) for lack of innovation and rapidly changing with modern times and usage patterns in the world of Internet.
USPS has laucnched a new service called gopost, which allows you the following
  • Ability to pick up your packages anywhere in US where goPost is available
  • Ability to pick up your packages 24x7 in US where goPost is available
  • Ability to hold packages at gopost while you are away on vacation and your cheapo ebay stuff :-) is getting shipped from China/Hong Kong and you dont know when it will arrive.But you don't want it lying on your front door announcing to thieves that you are not at home for a few weeks.
All this is free of charge
On their FAQ's site it does not allow any letters or envelopes lesser then 3/4 of an inch to be delivered to gopost.Alas I still cannot dump my useless mailbox which is most of the times empty or with junk mail.
Personally I feel it is a matter of time , that as people become more and more mobile and more dependent on emails , the gopost way is the right way to go and not so in the distant future , mailboxes fixed to your house will be a thing of the past

posted at: 14:41 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 21 Apr 2013

Induction Cooking

So after a lot of skepticism and inertia for change  :-) , I finally plunged into buying an induction cooktop , as there was a good deal on newegg
After giving it a spin , I was amazed at how fast it boils water.We counted it and in less then about 30 seconds we could see water boiling for our tea.
Also I read quite a bit about it online and found that , most of the authoritative and unbiased opinion is that , induction cooking is very efficient.
Only caveat is that you need vessels , whose bottom can stick to a magnet.Otherwise , any other vessels won't work because if it is not magentic then it cannot be used for induction cooking.If you want to buy branded vessels then i have read good reviews about  induction sets from IKEA .
Here are some links which helped me make my decision to move towards induction cooking , please be sure to read them both from safety standpoint and understanding the difference between conventional cooking and induction cooking.

Induction vs. Gas.. Am I making a mistake?
Induction cooking: barefoot, with a metal spoon
Federal Office of Public Health FOPH Switzerland : Health risks of Induction Hobs
Update on April 21st,2013
To go with induction cooking we have bought the DILLKOTT Pressure cooker from Ikea.

posted at: 16:43 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 05 Aug 2012

Using UEFI, GPT on a USB drive on Debian Squeeze

It has been a while that I intended to play with UEFI(Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) the successor to BIOS(not updated since 1979 or so) and using GPT(Guid Parition table)
Since I'm failry new to this I started off with my expresscard SSD(like a usb flash drive) .
One of the main problems I ran into was that the Grub version on Debian squeeze is much older and kept on giving me weird errors.So I followed the directions in the links below to install the latest grub from SID and then was able to boot from my UEFI into my GPT into my linux partition.
Also I used chroot to make all these changes because once you convert your MBR based hard drive to GPT , your drive will be unbootable , so be careful before you do this on your main hard drives or be sure to backup the MBR in case you need to restore it.
Here are the various links which helped me
http://zeldor.biz/2010/12/install-grub-from-chroot/
http://womble.decadent.org.uk/blog/installing-debian-gnulinux-and-windows-dual-boot-under-uefi.html
http://askubuntu.com/questions/84501/how-can-i-change-convert-a-ubuntu-mbr-drive-to-a-gpt-and-make-ubuntu-boot-from
http://tanguy.ortolo.eu/blog/article51/

posted at: 22:36 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 26 Jun 2011

Social Flights : Wanna share a private jet  ?

Taking the social networking concept to the next level , where in like minded folks can share the cost of a private jet to get similar deals as commercial airlines.
Check out their website @ SocialFlights.com
It seems this website is in very early stages as not many flights to choose from.

posted at: 23:09 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 29 May 2011

Made this site compatible with Open Graph Protocol

Here is a short description on Open Graph Protocol,
"Introduction
The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page.

While many different technologies and schemas exist and could be combined together, there isn't a single technology which provides enough information to richly represent any web page within the social graph."

It just took me few minutes to add all the relevant tags to support Open Graph Protocol

posted at: 03:04 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 16 Jan 2011

Personal Locator Beacon : Your personal emergency beacon in places where cellphones don't work

Ever thought about going to remote locations and/or rock climbing where there is no hope in the near future that cell phones will work.Thought that  satellite phones are too expensive and you would just like the ability to push a button in any terrain and seek out help in an emergency and search and rescue team can find you.There is help on the way .
For anywhere between $200-400 you can buy a Personal Locator beacon , it is a device which has an inbuilt gps and signals a radio signal to the satellites(birds as they are often called) telling that you are in emergency need of help and help comes looking for you and that also at no monthly service charges etc.So next time when you head out into the wilderness of Alaska or are hiking in the Gand Canyon etc you might want to evaluate PLB's(Personal Locator Beacon)

Few good websites on this topic
The Ultimate Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) FAQ
Review Of The TracMe Emergency Locator Beacon

posted at: 21:57 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Wed, 29 Dec 2010

Bitcoin P2P Virtual Currency

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency. Peer-to-peer (P2P) means that there is no central authority to issue new money or keep track of transactions. Instead, these tasks are managed collectively by the nodes of the network. Advantages:

  • Bitcoins can be sent easily through the Internet, without having to trust middlemen.
  • Transactions are designed to be irreversible.
  • Be safe from instability caused by fractional reserve banking and central banks. The limited inflation of the Bitcoin system.s money supply is distributed evenly (by CPU power) throughout the network, not monopolized by banks.
Bitcoin is an open source project currently in beta development stage.

My take : I haven't read thru this enough to determine if this is something  I want to participate.

posted at: 22:57 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 27 Sep 2009

Digital signatures/Id

I learned quite a bit on digital signatures this weekend.I also generated a free email signing certificate from http://www.cacert.org .It is community driven non-profit organization running out of Australia.
After reading a lot and experimenting i finally stumbled upon this article of how to use it in Outlook 2007.Be sure to read about it @ http://wiki.cacert.org/EmailCertificates
Then I finally was able to send my first digitally signed email :-).
Then I thought of using it a lot but came to know that if you send any signed emails to a webmail accounts like Yahoo/Gmail/Hotmail etc the end user gets an attachment(smime.p7m) with a blank body line.Now to open this attachment you will need to download a viewer for it from http://www.cryptigo.com/p7mViewer/

Overall after spending about 12-14 hours reading about it and experimenting about it I feel that it is too difficult for average used to use Digital signatures.
The idea is great and we should use it but i believe the learning curve for people is going to be huge and it will take sometime before people actually start using it.

posted at: 22:33 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 01 Feb 2009

Using Open Id to login into many websites without creating new logins

Have you felt the need to leave comments on someones blog or felt that one login should work on many sites.At the same time have  you worried that if you lock yourself with one login and password at some centralized authority like Microsoft passport.
There is a very elegant solution to this and most likely if you are are Yahoo or AIM user you already have what you need to start using OpenId.
In simple terms OpenId allows you to login into any site that supports OpenId and at the same time it does not lock you with a particular certifying authority so that you are free to move to other certifying authority as you please.
If you are a yahoo user you can sign up for using openId by going to the website http://openid.yahoo.com and then just login with your regular Yahoo userid and password.
Once you have done that now when you see any site with the logo as OpenId logo then it will ask you about "OpenId Url:" , in the text box just type in yahoo.com and you will be taken to the Yahoos website to authenticate yourself and then brought back to your original page and you will not need to sign in.

For a video of how to use Open Id you can go to the following screencast @ http://simonwillison.net/2006/openid-screencast/

posted at: 23:46 | category: /cuttingedge | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

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