Saturday, May 1, 2010

Install Ruby and FXRuby in Fedora 12

To install Ruby

# yum install ruby

To install irb (interactive console for Ruby)

# yum install irb

To install RubyGems (this is required to install FXRuby as it is a "gem")

# yum install rubygems

To install FXRuby

# gem install fxruby

If everything returns no error, then you have successfully installed everything. The reason you have to install "irb" and "RubyGems" separately is because Fedora 12 repository has Ruby 1.8.6 not 1.9.X. Happy coding!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where is Music?

Introduction:

This article is about criticism of music in Tamil cinema and may explore some reasons behind that. You may think who is this guy to criticize the works of music directors who proved themselves on the silver screen or the music taste of others. Well, every dog has its own day and every man has his own say. If you are a “normal” person who feel offence with criticism, then stop reading this article now.

Trends That are Sick

Re-mix, rap, kuthu and plagiarism are the latest trends in Tamil cinema. I feel so sad to see a music director winning awards for a film in which, all the songs are plagiarized. Some argued with me that if the songs are nice to hear, what is your problem. The problem is like winning a painting competition with a digital photography. Why these people carry titles like “music director”, “composer” etc? The only sane title will be “plagiarist”. There may be influences from existing music but not to the extent that one may end in confusing the real song and the copied one.

Techniques or Technology

Now-a-days techniques are traded for technology. Music directors synthesize some instruments and sequence them without any musician really playing anything. In some cases this goes to the extent that the sequencing is done in ways that cannot be played in the original instruments itself. It may be cool when done occasionally. But it has become chore in Tamil cinema. Yesterday I happened to hear “Vinnai thaandi varuvaya” movie songs while on cab. Believe me, that is the first time I heard the songs loud and clear apart from the faint sounds heard from mobile phones. Just one word “nothing”. Phaser, synthesizer, regular chord formulas and other such not so great things is all what I heard. Some may like the song. Liking is different, quality is different. In terms of quality, technologically advanced and “technically challenged” songs are bullshit. But this is the country where cow dung is worthier than human blood.

Choice of People

I have seen people buying MP3 collection disks labeled “Vijay hits”, “Ajith hits” etc. I really wonder. These heros seldom compose music/sing/play instruments/write lyrics. But why people are buying audio tracks where the heros are not involved by any means yet labeled by their names? Favoritism is all they care about. Not the content. For a X's fan, all Y's songs are “waste”. But the same guy will hear the same song thousands of times if his “hero” had acted in that. The other thing is people like “kuthu” songs. These were good when we heard them less frequently in Deva's music. I am a big fan to some of the songs. But where is the difference? Where is the lyrics? Where is the stuff? When we board buses for long journeys, we have to bear these headaches for hours in a stretch.

Truth

Tamil cinema industry value worthless noise over music. To play a riff with 16th notes at 144 bpm is a tough job for an instrumentalist but not for computers with GigaHetzs of clock speeds. If “pleasant to hear” is all we need, then we are not far away from days where we can imagine our own music. There will be some future technology enabling people to record music directly from mind. Whom you will value? A person who climbed on Everest or another one who produces his photo on Mars with Gimp? Choice is yours. But now you know who I like, right?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blow The Cloud Off

Introduction:

Cloud computing has been promoted by many big corporations. But the cloud computing is a way to enslave us and steal our freedom from us. Let us see why going cloud is bad and even disastrous with time.

Have You Noticed?

Have you ever noticed advertisements relevant to your mail message displayed in those popular web mails? Have you ever noticed videos suggested using your previous choices? Have you ever noticed forced surveys/tool bar installs/accepting terms & conditions/ads displayed before accessing the page for "free"? What they are doing? They are controlling what we do by dictating us. They are forcing us to spend times on advertisements. And more than anything else, they monitor what we do! Whatever we read, whatever we write, everything is monitored.

An Example:

Dan writes an email to his friend about the movie he saw yesterday. He uses some swear words on the makers of movie and outlines the plot. Next day he receives two mails. One for abusive language and another for copyright violation. Because they can read your mail. But they will also earn by means of you. They will display an ad for that movie while you type it and while your friend reads it. But they want both of you jailed for the "crimes". Already things like this are happening.

Are We Law-abiding?

How many of us know that saving mp3 files ripped from a CD which we have purchased is illegal? A university student has been sued for writing a search engine for his university network, which some other students used to share music. The record companies demand millions of dollars for this from the student. It is illegal to carry songs not purchased via legal mp3 stores in mobiles and ipods. It is illegal to send an mp3 to your friend via Bluetooth. It is illegal to sing a song without a performing license. How many of us know and submit to these laws?

Are We Comfortable of Being Watched?

Imagine. A person sitting opposite to you and staring at your lunch box all the while you eat. Will you be comfortable with that? Then how are we comfortable while sending a romantic love letter to girl friend via web-mail services which read our mail, our IP address (and hence current location), our girl friend's account details (and hence her location) and suggest hotels and florists relating our locations?

I recently read a news about a voice to text company using real humans to convert the user's message to text. Are we comfortable in disclosing a personal note to someone sitting in a call-center?

Freedom:

We are unnoticed as we live without a "big brother" watching and dictating us what to do and don't. That will not be available if we live under the cloud. The light of freedom can not penetrate this "dark" cloud. For example, two of my friends (both of them had fight earlier) just saw that I'm in touch with both when my Google account automatically turned on the "buzz". Now both are not talking to me! Is this connecting people? Privacy is gone. My freedom to cheat them both for a cause is gone!!!

Yahoo said mail is “free”. I opened an account. I left the account idle for few months. When I logged in again, they gave me two choices. One is to get a paid-premium account and the another is to forget all my mails till that day and start over new. Is this free? Will this be the case if the disk is mine?

What We can Do?

I am not Richard Stallman to suggest to boycott the cloud or like applications. But I suggest to use them but never give them a chance to tweak in. Keep everything backed up in machine. Don't let them stay in a server, miles away and feel safe. If your account got locked out or hacked, it is gone! But with an encrypted hard disk, you can be sure that your data will be safe even if some one steals your machine. Use a mail client (Evolution is my choice) and by this you can use the web-mail service but can still avoid on screen ads. Set privacy level as rigid as possible in social networking sites. Use anon-proxy-servers (only at home) to browse websites (not during logging in to web-accounts).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grains From Water

Introduction:

Fish is one of the precious gift of nature to the mankind. Fish is the healthiest meat one can ever imagine. Lowest calories, high good-cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acids etc. As my father grew up working in dried-fish shop apart from the time he spent in school or college, he knows almost all edible fish, how they taste, best method to cook a particular type of fish etc. (Naturally I got those genes inherited) I asked him which fish he like the most? His answer was none. Because he liked a particular part of fish which is almost common in all fish.

Fish Egg-sac:

Fish egg-sac was his answer for that. I asked him what it will taste like. He called one of his student who’s brother is a fisherman. Within an hour he dispatched us two large Catla fish. My father started to cut the fish. He removed two yellow colored sacs from their bellies. He asked my mom to prepare it in the way she likes (as she also is a great fan of it). She made a delicious fish curry with the head and tail parts along with the egg-sac. After the curry was ready, my dad asked me to taste it.

How it Tasted?

It is really the best taste one can imagine. It was somewhat grainy and at the same time it was tender. I pretended that I dislike so that my mom and dad can have their shares too. In the evening we were enjoying the dry fried fish and chit-chatting. I admitted that it was the best taste one can expect from below the surface of water.

Wanna Try?

Here is a fast recipe for you. You should be lucky enough to get carrying fish by chance or you have to befriend some fishermen to get assuredly carrying fish. After the initial rituals of scrapping the scales and slitting the belly, carefully remove the egg sacs without breaking. Rinse them in water. Fry some onion in pan with few drops of oil. When the onion turns golden, add the sacs and few turmeric powder, salt and grated chilies. Stir with care. It will be ready sooner than you think as it cooks really fast. When the sacs turn bit stiff, they are ready. They taste better in fish curry. But for those who can’t make or don’t know to make curry, this is a handy method to try this great taste.

Conclusion:

Unlike the vegetarians who eat the grains and waste the plants, non-vegetarians consume both the grain and the plant(read fish). This is how we should value life.

Lamb Liver Barbeque

Introduction

During rainy seasons, all we need is a good immune system and strength to face the seasonal flu and colds. Lamb Liver Barbeque is not a vaccination for flu or cold, it can make you strong enough so that you can barely sense the effects of the flu or cold.

Preparation:

Got to a butcher shop nearby and buy 100g of lamb liver (better if you know the butcher, as they won’t sell liver separately in most shops). Cut the liver in to large cubes. Marinate with salt and pepper. Each cube should be covered with pepper on all sides. Let the mix still for ½ an hour. You may need a fresh bicycle wheel spoke for barbequing.

Cooking:

If you got a charcoal stove it is better. Or you can go for a gas stove. Arrange the cubes on the spokes and slowly cook it over the flame. Take care that the liver won’t get charred. After the texture of the liver turns stiff and the color becomes dark brown from maroon, the dish is ready.

Serving:

This is ideal for breakfast. It can be served along with lamb-leg soup and idiyappam. This one will be great combination. Try this if you have a cold. You will feel the change!

Do Plants Create Their Own Food?

Plants theoretically need water, sunlight and carbon-di-oxide to synthesize their food. In practical case, no plant grows with distilled water! They "eat" many other things from soil like dead animals, animal wastes, plant wastes, bacterial byproducts etc to survive. No plant can produce rice or wheat with pure distilled water, CO2 and sunlight! As the law of conservation of energy states, "energy can neither be created, nor be destroyed. If energy disappears in one form, it reappears in another", plants are not exceptional to create something out of nothing!

Now let us consider this. Termites which eat wood or bookworm which eats paper also derive their energy from non living things like the plants which derive their energy from CO2 and H2O. So, if eating plants is "higher morale" as some of our friends pointed out, can eating termites or bookworm also be "high morale"? What is the difference between sugarcane which grows absorbing manure through its roots and a beetle which eats it through mouth? They both consume same food. But eating former is called "high morale" while eating later is called "low morale"! Why?

It is possible to grow a cattle with plant remains and water alone! It is like growing plants with plant remains(natural fertilizers) and water alone. If eating such plant is "high morale" and eating a cattle which consumed the same food as the plant is "low morale" what is the point? People like Peter Singer accuse meat-eaters of "Speciesism" i.e. discrimination between species. But what they do is Speciesism. "Pisum sativum" is no lesser or greater than "Ovis aries". Both should be treated equally. Why they feel ok to kill former and oppose killing the later?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oil That Saves

In USA, you save oil, In Soviet Russia, oil saves you! -Russian Reversal

Hair oil is not made by crushing hairs and engine oil is not made by crushing engines. But cod-liver oil is made from crushing fish liver. Some may feel odd and some may feel sad. But the depression caused due this fact can be cured by the cod-liver oil. Research suggest that cod-liver oil can treat depression.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6747623.stm

Some even go insane and psychotic on thinking the process of killing fish and taking its "oil". But the fish oil can cure such psychotic illness too.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8490937.stm

Some may even feel heart-broken for the fish. But the fish oil can protect their heart.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6676999.stm

And if you get joint pains due to typing long comments to defend "fish life" you can still find the fish-oil useful.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1817974.stm

The best way to take fish-oil is not that glassy capsules. Just buy raw fish-oil and have a spoonful daily. That makes your taste-buds drench with that unique taste and flavour of man's natural diet. I still remember chewing cod-liver oil capsules in my school days.

If you want to avoid that, then there is a better option. Eat two to four portions of oily fish a week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wrong Label

Introduction

What will you do if someone labels you with something unrelated to you? And if the label is not from a single person but from the entire world itself? The above situation is face by the so called "non-vegetarians"

Non

The prefix "non" may be Latin or French origin meaning "no" or "not". So living thing is anything that has life and non-living thing is something void of life. Again it may seem a very strict example. Let us see another. In schools we have teaching staff and non-teaching staff members. So those who can't or won't teach are labeled "non-teaching".

Then Why?

So given the usage of the prefix "non", it is wrong to label meat-eaters as "non-vegetarians". Almost all of the meat-eaters have no problem in consuming the so called vegetarian foods. That is just like a Doctor teaching in a medical university is both doctor and professor. Being doctor never makes him non-professor and being professor can never make him non-doctor. Likewise the label non-vegetarian is not correct as the meat-eaters never abstain from plant foods. Our diet is not void of veggies. So we are "vegetarians"(who also eat meat).

But the converse is true. The vegetarians abstain from meat. So their diet is void of meat. So it is correct to label them "non-meat-eaters" or "meat-abstainers". Those who choose to renounce or abstain from something should carry "non" prefix and not those who choose to accept any type of food.

Political Correctness

In this world of Political Correctness will it be acceptable to call all educated people as "non-illiterate"? Then why there is discrimination against meat-eaters? It is because meat-eaters tend to be more liberal and tolerant towards food habits and people. So it is fair to ask them to carry "non" prefix than to ask the other group!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wanted: Patriotism

I was reading newspaper sometime back. I was shocked by the news about fake currency notes printed in Pakistan and circulated in India. Why some Indians join hands with such foreign powers to destroy their own Mother Land?

Reason 1: Lack of Education

These people lack education. Not the one given in school. They are not educated by the Government and by fellow citizens about what means to be an Indian. This first and most important problem can be addressed by having more lessons about Secular values and activities to showcase patriotism.

Reason 2: Poverty

This can be fixed by fellow Indians who earn comparatively higher. I’m not calling for Socialism. But we should fight poverty and hunger. If we give them their needs and make them feel comfortable in this country, they won’t allow themselves carried away from craps like terrorism and separatism.

Reason 3: Discrimination

We should not discriminate our fellow Indians even to the smallest level. If there is one small gap, those foreign entities will first insert their dirty fingers, then their hand and then their ugly heads to divide this Nation.

Reason 4: Lack of Understanding

Even if we do all the above things, there may be some who can be exploited by these foreign powers. If they cause any harm to the nation, we should be able to talk in one voice and act in one direction. If we don’t, from that point itself the victory of enemies starts. We should understand each other and realize that we have common goals and hopes. Every Indian should be a potential spy. If some foreign power approach them with a dark agenda, then we should inform to police or Government authorities about that. We should not be carried away by empty promises of the enemies.

Some Thoughts on Agriculture

Agriculture is the worst of environmental exploitation caused by humans.

1. Agriculture kills all other species of plants, insects and animals for growing a single specie of plant in a vast area. This affects the bio-diversity.

2. Agriculture needs irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides. Irrigation leads to draught, altered river routes, soil erosion and deforestation.

3. Fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture contaminates the waters and endanger fish life.

4. Insects killed by pesticides are eaten by birds which severely affect their reproductive ability and thus threatening many species of birds.

5. Agriculture releases more than two third of N2O (Nitrous oxide) i.e. nearly 70% of man made N2O. N2O is 200 times potent Green House Gas compared to Carbon-di-oxide and it depletes Ozone layer too. Nobel Prize winning scientist Paul J. Crutzen suggests that the agricultural N2O release may be underestimated.

6. Though the calorie output of meat:grain is 1:4. Cattles consume 4 times veggies to produce the meat supplying the same calories. But wait! Are they consuming wheat and rice? They eat agricultural wastes like hay, grass, weeds etc. Moreover, if these vegetation wastes are left to decompose they too will produce methane.

7. If the cattle are deprived of grazing land and all grazing lands converted in to agricultural lands, two problems arise. First, unlike grasslands, agricultural lands need irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides. Second is the animals will soon disappear from the face of Earth like the tigers and elephants due to food shortage and draught.

8. All the people from the vegetarian lobby relish on butter, milk, cream etc. Anyway they are going to keep cattle. If that is the case, abstaining meat will put extra pressure on the planet and resources. We have to feed cattle only for milk and also people only with grains. Still the cattle will be producing methane.

How To Buy A Guitar

Choosing A Guitar:

Yesterday I was with my friend for buying him a new guitar. Guitar is very complex instrument and there are many factors to look for while buying a new guitar. This one is for those who are beginning to learn guitar and looking for a good guitar for practice.

Info Gathering:

If you want to buy a guitar, never think that you are going to buy it on that day itself. You should spend a lot of time in searching your soul-mate. Visit 3 or 4 shops per weekend. So, you can at least visit 10 to 15 music shops in a month. See all the models and brands and ask for the price list. Write everything down in a paper. Compare the price across models and shops. At least you should have a list of 50 instruments.

Budget:

The next thing is budget. For a beginner, I suggest buying an economical model which costs around 2500 to 4000 Rupees at max. Because you will never be content with one guitar. Soon you will be buying your second instrument if you really love playing. Second reason to buy a cheaper guitar is, the instrument (whatever may be the cost) will suffer damage with use and climatic changes. Usually rough-use guitar will live for 4 to 5 years.

Model:

Beginners are not expected to buy electric guitars or f-cut guitars. The reason is, these are modified guitars to serve certain ends. For example, a beginner will be learning lead bits which sounds better in ordinary Jumbo-guitars than in f-cut guitars which are preferred for playing chords. So I suggest sticking with a jumbo model without a cut-a-way body. You are not going to play those really high pitch notes. Pick-up is not needed. But go for it if it is within budget.

Shop:

Judge the shop with following criteria. The first thing is price, shop's reputation, nearness to house (for service concerns) and the shop's contact with your music teacher or friends. For example, my friend was suggested a shop by his teacher. So it is the better option to stick with.

Shop Visit:

Budget, Model and Shop are to be decided in your home. After that, ask your music teacher or a friend familiar with guitar to accompany you to the shop. You should be deciding the brand and piece in the shop. If your budget is very low, go for Indian brands like Givson. My first guitar was a Givson. But Chinese made guitars are flooding the shops now-a-days. My current guitar is a jumbo from Infinity(Chinese). Next thing is the finishing of exterior. It may sound silly. But that is what going to save your guitar from wear and tear. The edges should be sealed and varnished (not painted) completely. It offers safety from cracks. Next, the interior. The interior should be as smooth as the exterior. Givson interiors won't be that good. This is what going to offer your guitar safety over falls and crushes. Look for the material of the tuning keys and the bridge. Go for rust free parts. After sorting out some 3 to 4 pieces with the above mentioned features, test the sound. The guitar's sound should be clean without any damping. Place your eyes exactly vertical and see if any string hits on fret-board while plucked. Take time and play all the frets in all the strings. See if the frets are fixed without any irregular slants. The sound should not be too metallic. Your hand should not be easily playing the guitar. It should be a bit hard for your left hand to play. This will improve your endurance while practice. At last, ask for free bag, 5 to 10 picks, spare-string set, strap, tuner and chords book. All or most of it should be given free. Bargain!

Post-Purchase Care:

Rest your guitar flatly on a shelf or keep it slanted against the corner of wall with a bottom support. If you can afford, buy a stand. Dust your guitar daily. Change strings every 3 to 5 months. If you are not going to play for a long time reduce the tuning two frets below. Don't stick any fancy stickers on the surface. Don't try to tune if you are not familiar with it. Never allow your family members or friends to handle the instrument unless they are guitarists. Cover the guitar in winters. Don't pick with anything except pick or fingers.