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Monthly Archives: November 2005

Mozilla has released Firefox 1.5 web browser yesterday (29th Nov 2005). It has many good features and improvements. I list out the features which I understood and like here.
1.Back and Forward works fast. Everytime when you go forth and back, the already rendered page is transferred to screen instead of rendering again. Nice thought!
2.Automatic Update has been very well integrated. Here afterwards need not to download the entire (5MB) Firefox for security update. A few hundred KB of file is enough. It shows that mozilla listens to end users requests.
3.Drag and Drop the tabs – i.e ordering the tabs is also a nice feature.
4.Clear Private Data in single click is also a good feature (that too customizable).
5.Security wise I don’t know much about technical aspects. But I strongly believe that Mozilla releases security fix as quick as possible. It is proven in past.
6.In long run only, I can tell you about popup block improvements in this version 1.5. So far it is good.
7. Screen reader support for commercial application Windows-eyes has been provided in this version. This feature takes Firefox close to blind people. Good move. But why can’t Firefox provide support for a open source screen reader application?
8. Apart from these, I always like the highly customizable tool bar, so that people like me who work on 14/15″ screen are blessed with this tool to save more space for web page. It avoids cluttering of tool bars in screen.

Here is the list of extensions I use with Firefox 1.5 for your reference.
1. Download Statusbar – It avoids unnecessary dialog box. We are able to monitor the status of all downloads behind, from status bar.
2. Plain Text to Link – Selected plain text in web page can be fired as url, google search term using context menu.
3. StumbleUpon tool bar – Social site rating and sharing tool.
4. ScrapBook – A good relief from annoying “Save as” dialog box. Just click to save the web page and organize.
5. Flashgot – Download manager integration tool
6. Fasterfox – Fine tune the Firefox configuration for faster browsing experience.
7. IE Tab – Renders the web page using IE engine, handy tool for “Designed for IE” web sites.
8. imagepref – Just click to enable/disable the images in a web page.
9. Google tool bar – Need to say anything?

Why can’t you give a try by downloading it from here.

One of my office colleague was working on a MS-Word (.doc) file with MS-Office 2003. Suddenly one bad day it was corrupted. He could not open the file with MS-Office 2003 suite. The recovery option did not even showed that there is a file to recover. Just like that I came to know this. I gave a try with OpenOffice 2.0 writer. It opened the file without any hassles. MS-Word (.doc) format is proprietory of Microsoft, which is closed one. A open source office suite (OpenOffice) which does not have this file format, is able to open a corrupted document, which was not possible to be opened by its native application (MS-Word). Great! My colleague was happy to see this magic. I gave a proud smile of trusting the OpenOffice.

Why can’t you give a try by downloading it from here?
 Use OpenOffice.org

Note: This incident has brighten the chance of migrating from MS-Office to OpenOffice in our office setup. Hope this will happen soon!!

Addon: Recently I have come to know that there is no Grammar check feature available in OpenOffice due to some license issue in integrating other grammar check tools with OpenOffice. Hope the next version takes care of this feature. Abiword, another word processor’s recent release has grammar check feature.

What is this?

I was eager to learn emacs editor some times back. One fine day started with emacs by just typing “emacs” in command prompt; but did not know how to come out of emacs and also not able to type anything useful – 😦 😦 . As usual typed “man emacs” and came to know that “Ctrl+h t” is the best way to browse through the beginner manual; did the same and learned some basics. waavv..! amazing editor!! Now I like its power of simplicity and less keystrokes which makes typing faster. It seems to be more ergonomic design also. This writing is just another simplification of that manual which may help beginner to proceed like cake walk.

Now let us go through some simple tips to start using it. Since I am already a vi user (used with this great editor), I use to confuse myself many times with that. So, If you don’t know vi, well and good so that you can remember these key combinations very well 🙂

File operations:

To begin emacs: Type “emacs ” in shell prompt.
To end emacs: Ctrl+x Ctrl+c (Type these in sequence)
To abort current command: Ctrl+g (If you don’t know what is happening in screen, this command may help you mostly)
Save a file: Ctrl+x Ctrl+s
Save a file as: Ctrl+x s

Moving around file:

Tips:
1. Ctrl key operates on Characters and Lines.
2. Alt key operates on Words, Sentences and Paragraphs.
3. Easy to remember first letter of functionality such as “n” for next and “p” for previous.

Beginning of file: Alt+Shift+
Page down: Ctrl+v
Page up: Alt+v

(P)revious Line: Ctrl+p
(N)ext Line: Ctrl+n
(B)ackward one Character: Ctrl+b
(F)orward one Character: Ctrl+f
Beginning of a Line: Ctrl+a ( Hint: “a” is the beginning of alphabets)
(E)nd of a Line: Ctrl+e

(B)ackword one Word: Alt+b
(F)orward one Word: Alt+f
Beginning of a Sentence: Alt+a
(E)nd of a Sentence: Alt+e

Repetition of commands: Ctrl+u
(e.g): To move 8 characters forward Ctrl+u 8 Ctrl+f

Editing file:

To insert and delete: Just type the characters and use DEL and BackSpace keys.
Undo: Ctrl+x u
To repeat a character n times: Ctrl+u n
(e.g): To repeat * 80 times to type a border: Ctrl+u 80 *

Delete a character next to cursor: Ctrl+d (or DEL)
Delete a character prior to cursor: BackSpace
Delete a word next to cursor: Alt+d
Delete a word prior to cursor: Alt+BackSpace
Delete from current cursor to end of line: Ctrl+k
Delete from current cursor to end of sentence: Alt+k
Bring back the recently deleted text: Ctrl+y
Bring back the one but latest deleted text: Alt+y

Search a string: Ctrl+s and type search string (Press Ctrl+s for next found)
Search and Replace: Alt+x ; You will get a prompt, enter “repl” and press ENTER, prompt will appear for search string and replace string. That is it. Done!

What is this?
I tried coLinux 0.6.2 on Win-XP-SP2 running on HP nx6120 laptop. 🙂
It works fine. Just amazing….!
I felt like working on full fledged installed linux. http://wiki.colinux.org is very much useful. It **does not** take much memory, just 2 MB only 🙂

What is coLinux?
CoLinux is a linux running on other Operating System, so that switching between two operating systems is just finger tip work.

Installation method I followed
1. Downloaded coLinux-0.6.2.exe (4.7MB) and Debian-3.0r2.ext3-mit-backports.1gb.bz2 (28MB) from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=98788.
2. Downloaded Windows Packer Capture Library WinPcap_3_1.exe (457KB) from http://winpcap.mirror.ethereal.com/install/default.htm
3. Installed Windows Packer Capture Library as instructed by above link.
4. Install the coLinux-0.6.2.exe in C:\coLinux directory.
5. Copy the Debian-3.0r2.ext3-mit-backports.1gb.bz2 in C:\coLinux and rename it as “root_fs”
6. Run “C:\coLinux\colinux-daemon.exe -c default.colinux.xml”
7. Now you should see a linux kernel boot message and login prompt in a less than 10 secs.
8. If WinPcap is installed properly, you are connected to your network, you can do apt-get also immediately. I installed WindowMaker desktop using apt-get.
9. Configured vncserver to run at boot time, which will start my WindowMaker desktop. A VNC Client running in Win-XP served me the wonderful WindowMaker desktop.
9. I installed firefox with “apt-get install mozilla-firefox” and xmms using “apt-get install xmms” just like that.
10. Tested internet access with firefox, it is simply great.
11. Tested xmms with output plugin set as eSound. It is wonderful. I configured eSound to stream to host Win-XP (IP Address of LAN).
12. Downloaded esound.zip from http://www.liquid-reality.de/main/projects/esound.Unzip and run “esd -tcp -public” from Win-XP command prompt to listen the audio ().

How does it work
Unlike in other Linux virtualization solutions such as User Mode Linux (or the forementioned VMware), special driver software on the host operating system is used to execute the coLinux kernel in a privileged mode (known as ring 0 or supervisor mode). By constantly switching the machine’s state between the host OS state and and the coLinux kernel state, coLinux is given full control of the physical machine’s MMU (i.e, paging and protection) in its own specially allocated address space, and is able to act just like a native kernel, achieving almost the same performance and
functionality that can be expected from a regular Linux which could have ran on the same machine standalone. Since coLinux uses the same binary format for user-space executables as native Linux, coLinux can load and run an existing unmodified Linux distribution concurrently with the host OS.

/**************************************************
module: mycomputer.c
author: T.KaruppuSwamy
date: 03-Nov-2005
**************************************************/

#include
static char laptop[64] = “HP nx6120 Laptop”;
static char job[64] = “@ T & B International”;

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
char * os1;
char * os2;
char * os;

malloc(os1, MONOPOLY, UNLIMITED);
malloc(os2, OPEN_SOURCE, COMPACT);
malloc(os, NULL, 40GB);

//Office purpose – don’t change the following unless
//otherwise changing the job variable
strcpy(os1, “Windows-XP SP2”);
//Personal purpose – change as and when possible,
//free to change and test
strcpy(os2, “SuSE Linux 9.3”);

while ( true )
{
while (office hour) {
strcpy(os, os1);
}

while (free) {
strcpy(os, os2);
}
}

return GOOD;
}