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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

Sun, 28 Dec 2014

My Friends

Over the last couple of years there has been a good amount of websites popping up called social networks like Linkedin,Facebook etc .All these are fabulous sites the only problem I see with them is that they are islands and your data is really locked in it.So I prefer , a distributed social networking like FOAF(Fried-of-a-Friend) or microformats like XFN to represent my social relationships where there is no central authority controlling the data and locking it.
So essentially I have listed my friends in the list below and the publicly available information about them.The list is in the order of ascending first names.
N.B. If you want to get  yourself removed from the list below , please send me an email and I will remove you immediately.I respect your privacy and hence I have just pieced together your public information ONLY.
  1. Akila  Chandrasekharan
  2. Akhil  Dhar
  3. Alpesh  Sheth
  4. Amar Nair
  5. Amit Prabhushastri
  6. Anand Ahire
  7. Anand Raja
  8. Ankit Shah
  9. Appajee  Papolu
  10. Archana Kataria
  11. Brigid  Walsh
  12. Carolyn Agabin
  13. Chethana Chidambara
  14. Cheryl Ehlman
  15. Chuck Elwell
  16. Chris  Pettibon
  17. Dipti  Srivastava
  18. Danny Liang
  19. David Sirbiladze
  20. Devang Raval
  21. Dinamani Nagabhushan
  22. Edward Vinokur
  23. Engel  Martin   
  24. Eshita Shah
  25. Eugene Kramer
  26. Gaurav Pal
  27. Gary Kincade
  28. Geetika Bansal
  29. Giathang Dao
  30. Girish  Krishnamurthi
  31. Govindarajan  Rangarajan
  32. Harshvardhan Kelkar
  33. Hubert Siu
  34. Jagjit Arora
  35. Jay Shankar
  36. Jerry Hu
  37. Jayadev Surapaneni
  38. Jiani Chen
    1. Home Page
    2. LinkedIn
  39. Jigna Modi
  40. John Weigand
  41. John  Thornton
  42. Junaid  Mohammed
  43. Karen Garcia
  44. Kash Noorani
  45. Kathy Phan
  46. Kelly Deaver
    1. Home Page
    2. LinkedIn
  47. Khalil Sheikh
  48. Krishna Prasad
  49. Krishna Mandava
  50. Kunjal Parikh
  51. Madhura Walia
  52. Madhumita  Guha
  53. Manish Patel
  54. Maruthi  Dogiparthi 
  55. Meghna Patel
  56. Mital Talati
  57. Mohita Sinha
  58. Mouneel Mehta
  59. Murali Balijepally
  60. Narayan  Kumar 
  61. Narayanan  Arunachalam 
  62. Nitin  Mahajan 
  63. Narendra Desirazu 
  64. Nilesh Dixit 
  65. Paul Zinn
    1. LinkedIn
    2. Paul's Band
    3. Home Page
  66. Peter Dai 
  67. Prashanth Shah
  68. Prashanth Talanki
  69. Prijesh Patel
  70. Pritesh Parekh
  71. Pritpal  Singh
  72. Priya Ayyar
  73. Rahul  Virkar
  74. Raj Cheruvu
  75. Ravikiran  Vemuri
  76. Ravishankar  Murugan
  77. Raviraj  Murdeshwar
  78. Rich Bradley
  79. Ronnie So
  80. Sachin Tappe
  81. Santosh Kumar Kancha
  82. Seema Kaul
  83. Sheetal Desai
  84. Sriniwas Chaubey
  85. Sujatha David
  86. Supri Babu
  87. Susanta Pattanayak
  88. Mohammed Sirjad
  89. Usha Rajesh
  90. Vamshi Bhoopalam
  91. Vitaly Morozov
  92. Victor Martin
  93. Viju  James
  94. Vincent Lasfargues
  95. Vipul  Desai
  96. Viral Mehta
  97. Vishal Thakkar
  98. Vladimir Katsman
  99. Zarana Gandhi

posted at: 13:01 | category: /personal | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sat, 02 Nov 2013

gpsd as a gelocation provider for Firefox

As you know with Firefox 3.5 geolocation is in-build into the browser. I was looking out for ways to integrate my gps with Firefox or for that matter any websites.
Let me give a brief use case of Geolcation .So if you are in a city while driving and you are looking for the nearest hotel of your favorite cuisine.So till now you would have to type in your location etc.But with geolocation , if you allow Firefox to give your location to a website you can get context sensistive searches.You can read more about geolocation in a browser @ http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/geolocation/

Now coming back to the original post that you want to use your own gps , to provide your location to firefox then recently someone has checked in a fix for it in firefox.So I anticipate for it to show up in 3.6.I will try out the nightly builds as Im extremely excited about this fix.
Update : Instructions to test gpsd on GNU/Linux with Mozilla Firefox
There is very little documentation on the topic of using GPSD with Mozilla as location provider.
After a few searches I came across this very little documentation buried in a bug on Bugzilla
So to test gpsd on GNU/Linux please make sure that your GPS connectivity is correctly established between your computer and your GPS device.
In my case I used a free open source application called Blue NMEA on my android phone and used Bluetooth to connect to it.
In my case the serial port bound to bluetooth was /dev/rfcomm0, so I did a simple cat on it using root.You can run any other command based on your GPS device to ensure the GPS is working fine with your computer.
# cat /dev/rfcomm0
Ensured that the GPS was running fine by seeing all the NMEA sentences.
Next step is to ensure that GPSd is working fine with your device.
Once gpsd daemon is working fine then we will proceed to make configuration changes in Mozilla Firefox as stated by Doug Turner in the bug 492328
I have modified a dead URL in the instructions and here are the revised instructions
1) Navigate to 'about:config'
2) Create a new string preference, name 'geo.gpsd.host.ipaddr' value '123.123.123.123'
3) Create a new boolean value, name 'geo.gpsd.logging.enabled' value 'true'
4) Open the error console, select 'messages'
5) Navigate to Live Example On Mozilla Developer Network
6) Scroll to the section of Live Result and Click on the button "Show My Location" and when Firefox prompts , Press Share My Location
7) Verify that there are messages in the error console starting with '*** GPSD GEO: Got info: ...'

posted at: 01:17 | category: /firefox | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 27 Oct 2013

Freedom Pop Bolt on GNU/Linux

I recently bought Freedom Stick bolt to try out WiMax coverage in my area.
There was a deal going on where you could buy this device for less then $10 shipped.
With this device you get free 500 MB per month for WiMax coverage on Sprint/Clearwire's network.Most likely with the recent acquisition by Sprint for Clearwire they might stop investing in it , and just standardize on the global LTE standard.But until then if you are in one of the metros which has Clear wire coverage you can enjoy high speed interenet wirelessly for your computer.
I tested it with Debian GNU/Linux wheezy version and out of the box it is working fine and I can browse the internet from anywhere there is coverage.I was amazed by the ability to plug and play this device and getting an internet connection without any configuration changes.
The stick is called a Ubee Stick PXU1964 from a company and is marketed under a different name on Clear wire's network as "Clear Stick Atlas "

posted at: 14:40 | category: /linux | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Fri, 28 Jun 2013

Downloading Knoppix 7.2.0 with Metalinks

I have converted all the HTTP/FTP link on the download/mirror page for Knoppix downloads into both Metalink/meta4 format.

Warning : First ensure you take a look at the file which you want to download.The metalink has ALL files of version 7.2.0 that is English DVD/CD and German DVD/CD and if you don't specify an index you will get all files ,which is unlikely that you want all of these DVD/CD's.
You might want to familiarize yourself with your Metalink compliant download manager on atleast 2 parameters(choosing a file in a multi-file metalink and the closest mirror).

As an example , I will show how to download using aria2, which is a command line download manager which supports metalinks and is available on all platforms.
Download the any(not both) of the file(KNOPPIX_V7.2.0.metalink,KNOPPIX_V7.2.0.meta4) which has mirror information from Knoppix 7.2.0.
Note you just need to download one file.The file with extension .metafile is version 3 and file with extension .meta4 is the latest version format from IETF. For this example I have downloaded the file KNOPPIX_V7.2.0.metalink using my browser.
The command to look at which files are in the metalink is as below

aria2c --show-files KNOPPIX_V7.2.0.metalink

Output of the above command will be something like below.Pay attention to the first parameter under column idx , that is your index of the file which you want to download.Remember you don't want to download all files as they are huge.

In the current version the following indexes are there
>>> Printing the contents of file 'KNOPPIX_V7.2.0.metalink'... Files:
idx|path/length
===+===========================================================================
1|KNOPPIX_V7.2.0DVD-2013-06-16-EN.iso
  |3,921.0MiB (4,111,474,688)
---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
2|KNOPPIX_V7.2.0CD-2013-06-16-EN.iso
  |700.8MiB (734,937,088)
---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
3|KNOPPIX_V7.2.0DVD-2013-06-16-DE.iso
  |3,921.0MiB (4,111,474,688)
---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
4|KNOPPIX_V7.2.0CD-2013-06-16-DE.iso
  |700.8MiB (734,937,088)
---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------

So now say for example you want to download English version of the CD from US-based mirrors , then you would issue the command like below

aria2c --select-file=2 --metalink-location=us KNOPPIX_V7.2.0.metalink

Explanation of Command : The index is 2 because we want the 2nd file in the meta file and we want to download from US based mirrors.You can specify your 2 digit Top level domain of your country for the location or find a nearest mirror and its country.

In case you find any bugs or non-working mirrors etc please post on thisdiscussion forum

Tools used to check metalink files to ensure no broken links and also to convert from metalink version 3 to 4(approved by IETF version)

  • Metalink Checker
  • posted at: 16:56 | category: /worklog | 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

    Mon, 17 Jun 2013

    Build your personalized Debian Live with 3 simple commands

    Buried in the huge manual of creating a Debian Live are 3 gems of commands which can just get anyone up and running in creating their own customized version of a bootable CD/DVD/USB/HDD.

    In 3 simple commands (and a little patience while it downloads and does its magic) only we can create a debian live CD/DVD/USB/HDD Bootable Image with all our choice of software and customizations persisted via persistence

    #apt-get install live-build
    #mkdir tutorial1 ; cd tutorial1 ; lb config
    #lb build 2>&1 | tee build.log

    What this will give us is a live bootable version of the current stable release of Debian.As of today it is version 7.0 aka "wheezy".So after this when you boot the iso image you will be able to get a complete working command-line version of wheezy. The developers have done a fabulous job in making this very easy.For anyone who has tried to customize other Live CD's etc can appreciate the simplicity and the clean implementation of Debian Live.

    Here is a video(11 mins,127MB) showing the whole process. If your packages are already downloaded then it literally takes less then 5 minutes to create your custom version of Debian Live.

    Some optional tips

    • If you are going to do multiple builds of Debian Live(most likely you will) then I highly recommend installing apt-cacher or any mirroring tools as that will reduce the load on Debian mirrors and make your builds faster as well.
    • Pls also consider , adding your local mirrors in /etc/live/build.conf as documented here
    • For this example please be sure to have atleast 1.9 GB of free disk space
    • The easiest way to test your ISO image is using QEMU as described in the manual

    Sun, 09 Jun 2013

    Enrollments Per Year in California Virtual Academy since 2002(inception)

    California alongwith lots of other states has partnered with a private company (K12.com) to deliver online/virtual education to children from K-12.More details on wikipedia
    As online education is becoming more and more popular in Adult education the coming years will test the disruptive powers of the Internet.
    Education(especially K-12) is amongst the last few frontiers where the power of Internet of learning anytime/anywhere has not made a significant dent.
    So I have generated a chart of total enrollments per year starting from the inception date of CAVA(California Virtual Academy) across the entire state of California.
    You can view the charts by click on this link

    posted at: 00:26 | category: /education | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

    Tue, 04 Jun 2013

    Downloading Knoppix 7.0.5 with Metalinks

    I have converted all the HTTP/FTP link on the download/mirror page for Knoppix downloads into both Metalink/meta4 format.

    Warning : First ensure you take a look at the file which you want to download.The metalink has ALL files of version 7.0.5 that is English DVD/CD and German DVD/CD and if you don't specify an index you will get all files ,which is unlikely that you want all of these DVD/CD's.
    You might want to familiarize yourself with your Metalink compliant download manager on atleast 2 parameters(choosing a file in a multi-file metalink and the closest mirror).

    As an example , I will show how to download using aria2, which is a command line download manager which supports metalinks and is available on all platforms.
    Download the any(not both) of the file(KNOPPIX_V7.0.5.metalink,KNOPPIX_V7.0.5.meta4) which has mirror information from Knoppix 7.0.5.
    Note you just need to download one file.The file with extension .metafile is version 3 and file with extension .meta4 is the latest version format from IETF. For this example I have downloaded the file KNOPPIX_V7.0.5.metalink using my browser.
    The command to look at which files are in the metalink is as below

    aria2c --show-files KNOPPIX_V7.0.5.metalink

    Output of the above command will be something like below.Pay attention to the first parameter under column idx , that is your index of the file which you want to download.Remember you don't want to download all files as they are huge.

    In the current version the following indexes are there
    >>> Printing the contents of file 'KNOPPIX_V7.0.5.metalink'... Files:
    idx|path/length
    ===+===========================================================================
    1|KNOPPIX_V7.0.5DVD-2012-12-21-EN.iso |3,917.4MiB (4,107,761,664)
    ---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2|KNOPPIX_V7.0.5CD-2012-12-21-EN.iso |697.2MiB (731,115,520)
    ---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3|KNOPPIX_V7.0.5DVD-2012-12-21-DE.iso |3,917.4MiB (4,107,761,664)
    ---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4|KNOPPIX_V7.0.5CD-2012-12-21-DE.iso |697.2MiB (731,115,520)
    ---+---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So now say for example you want to download English version of the CD from US-based mirrors , then you would issue the command like below

    aria2c --select-file=2 --metalink-location=us KNOPPIX_V7.0.5.metalink

    Explanation of Command : The index is 2 because we want the 2nd file in the meta file and we want to download from US based mirrors.You can specify your 2 digit Top level domain of your country for the location or find a nearest mirror and its country.

    In case you find any bugs or non-working mirrors etc please post on thisdiscussion forum

    Tools used to check metalink files to ensure no broken links and also to convert from metalink version 3 to 4(approved by IETF version)

  • Metalink Checker
  • posted at: 02:28 | category: /worklog | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

    Sun, 02 Jun 2013

    My first Ham Radio Baofeng UV-5R experiences

    I have been a licensed ham for some time .
    However never had the time to buy a Ham handset and play with it.
    So finally I took the plunge and bought a cheapo Chinese Ham radio which seems to be very popular due to its price point amongs online reviewers.It is called Baofeng UV-5R and I bought it for $40 shipped,lots of US retailers selling on amazon or ebay etc .I also bought the programming USB cable for about $8.So for about $50 I could get started on Ham radio.

    Here are some of my notes after spending quite a bit of time on understanding Ham etc as I do not have any experience with using a Ham radio.Getting licensed and playing with an actual Ham radio are 2 different things :-).

    First find the firmware version by following the instructions at http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/UV5R-Software.html mine was BFB297 http://www.brickolore.com/2011/09/baofeng-uv-3r-quick-start-video-guide.html http://www.brickolore.com/2011/07/repeater-websearch.html

    Tried the chirp software on linux and it worked fabulously (it didnt give any errors as i still dont know what i programmed :-))and since i had a usb cable my port was /dev/ttyUSB0 .Alot of people have complained about prolific drivers on windows etc , so you migth want to try on linux as no special drivers needed.

    As Im new to Ham I didnt want to inadvertently transmit anything on any of channels.So I disabled most channels by following instructions below.As this unit can transmit on any frequency it receives.Pls note in US you need proper licenses to transmit on most channels/frequency used by this radio.

    Trying to follow instructions on comments http://w0hc.com/2012/04/baofeng-uv-5r/ for receive only initially I have discovered that you can Tx inhibit the VFO of these radios using CHIRP. Set the VHF & UHF frequency to 1.000 und uncheck the "Allow Tx" checkboxes. Now only the memory channels can Tx (listen-only channels can be created by setting duplex to "OFF").

    Finally, be aware that it has an "emergency alert" function and since the switch that activates this is just below the PTT switch, it's quite easy to accidentally hit it and send this attention-getting tone over the air.

    Various alarm modes.For my alarm the setting was SITE which from the video i understand is just like a panic button on a car remote.It does not transmit anything to anyone. For a moment I had got worried that when I hit the alarm button it would send some weird signals as it is very easy to click on the alarm button when you are trying to play with the FM radio.

    keeping in mind that you should pre-program the frequency offsets of your local repeater, as automatic offsets (+/-) are not included on this one. Or use the chirp software as it does for you.

    Few things to note about Antenna.I'm still using the stock antennae. - the antenna connection is a reverse TNC, so you will need an adaptor if you want to use your other handheld antennas with this radio

    It is highly recommended to buy an aftermarket 2/440 (17") F-SMA antenna it will work a lot better. I have a BNC to F-SMA adapter to widen the antenna selection. I use a long range MFJ 1714 antenna for 2M. The original ducky works on 440 better than I'd thought it would.

    Best site on what frequencies to program for a newbie http://codegreenprep.com/2013/04/tips-on-how-to-best-configure-and-use-your-baofeng-uv-5r/

    Video to program NOAA weather channels for your area https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vszi6d2s5Sk https://www.youtube.com/user/GriffTaylor/videos?view=0&flow=grid

    Just to be safe i turned off all transmissions from my unit by following the instructions below
    https://hamgear.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/setting-up-and-programming-your-uv-5r/
    if you set the channel to duplex then the offset to off it will apparently block you from transmitting.
    see: http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/UV5R-CHIRPGuide.html
    Let me know if this works for you.

    Comment by Andor | August 25, 2012 | Reply

    if you program your radio in chirp and set the duplex mode to off it will prohibit transmitting if the unit is on that channel. I have tested and confirmed this yesterday.
    Effectively it sets the TX frequency to 000.000mhz.
    The U-5R nicely error beeps when pressing the PTT button.


    Quite a few people ask if this radio can be used on GMRS frequencies.Unfortunately as it is not FCC part 95 certified it cannot be used on GMRS frequencies.Pls refer to this link for exact details on FCC requirements

    posted at: 18:11 | category: /hamradio | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

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