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Category Archives: FOSS

Usual Chanux crap

I always used SCIM input method with sayura sinhala input scheme. But it had weird bug that screws up almost all the text input areas (My friend @gaveen pointed out it’s SCIM related). So the people who new about iBus told me to try it but as always I didn’t have time to try it on my previous ubuntu 9.04 installation. iBus came default on ubuntu since Karmic Koala (9.10) and since I switched to Lucid Lynx (10.04) it was the right time to check iBus-sayura out.

As lazy as I’ve become I chose seemingly easier way of installing ibus-sayura. I used the ibus-sayura unstable PPA on launchpad to install. And it worked, සෙටිපිකට් ඇත්ත. So you too can take the easier route.

The actual How-to

Step 1 – install
First, to add the PPA repository your system run the following command in a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal)

<p>$sudo add-apt-repository ppa:skhome/ibus-sayura-debianised-alfa</p>

Then update package list with

<p>$sudo aptitude update</p>

Then comes the installing step.

<p>$sudo aptitude install ibus-sayura</p>

(Yeah, you are right. You can use apt-get instead of aptitude)
Step 2 – Launch and use

Now you are ready to use sayura. Go to System > Preferences > Ibus Preferences*.  Select the input method tab. Find Sinhala,Sinhalese in “Select an input method” drop down list and select sayura there. And now press add button. Close the preferences window if you want to :P.

You’ll see a little keyboard icon on upper panel. Click on it and select sayura and enjoy typing sinhala.

*If this is your first I bus run it will ask whether to start ibus daemon. You should say yes. Then it might present another scary message with following  commands.

<br />
export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus<br />
export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus<br />
export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus<br />

If IBus doesn’t work, you’ll have to run these commands in a terminal like we did in the beginning and log out and log in again. Don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed, literally. Now you may want to try the step 2 again.

For the second time in just two months I heard of Microsoft lifting others code, this week. No I’m not gonna bash microsoft, there are two sides in both stories.

Case 1:
Microsoft lifts GPL licensed code for their Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool.

This one was first reported by Rafael at As Rafael guessed at first, Microsoft announced that the software was done by a third party developer. And they pulled the software making a pledge to return it under GPL. Even though it took some time, MS finally released the software under GPL.

Case 2:
Microsoft China’s Microblogging tool Juku lifts code from Plurk.

Just five days from seettling with GPL violation, Plurk blog reported that Microsoft China’s microblogging tool Juku, has code lifted from their popular Microblogging tool. The terrible thing was that both UI and code base looked very similar (See Plurk blog post). Like MS did last time, they announced that Juku was done by a third party developer and of course they pulled the service. Indefinitely.

So that’s it. In two months, two code lift cases. The latter one was even uglier (Or is it otherwise?). I think Microsoft should start to worry about how genuine their products are :P, especially when they outsource to third parties. Since it’s a huge company, I don’t think they would have an easy escape next time.

PS: My intention was not to say borrowing code is a bad thing. There’s no problem if Microsoft borrow codes from Open source projects and obey the license.

SinhalenFOSS, Sri Lankas very first tech related podcast, the podcast that I proudly feature in, turned one year yesterday(9th April 2009). We didn’t have big plans for the day but it was truly a big milestone for me. I’m sure the story is same for the other two co-hosts Bud (geekaholic) & Seejay.

We had the episode 21 recorded on last sunday (5th April 2009) but due to my busy schedule I couldn’t finish editing & upload it. Finally there was a hope for uploading it on SinhalenFOSS birthday. But I’m really sorry that I couldn’t make it on time since my father was sick & I had to go to the doc with him. Added to that, I couldn’t stay up all night & finish it off since I was tired of fairly a long journy. Actually I tried to stay awake but failed. However my computer stood awake when I find it on my bed in mid night (Poor thing!).

Anyway I’ll try to finish things up & put the final product in our loving listeners hands As Soon As Possible!. The bits are running in to interwebz right now :) .

It was a pleasant year passed giving me lots of experience, introducing lots of nice people to me, taking my life to another level & best of all, making me very happy for being a part of. It’s all thanks to you dear SinhalenFOSS, I really love you. Wishing you a very happy birthday!

Update: SinhalenFOSS episode 21 is on interwebz now :)

It’s over. The fight against the dynamic DNS is over for me now. It took me so long to figure this simple thing out. But I don’t worry, even the big bro Goog couldn’t come up with a satisfying straight answer for my problem. So I myself searched under the mattress & found the pea which took my good night sleep (I’m neither a princess nor prince ;) ).

Sometimes back I had to come up with a pretty shitty solution for a shitty problem. No I didn’t won’t to show how bad my thinking or coding is. But wanted to show how shitty is the service of my ISP. But however the right way to fix all those are here with me. And I’m gonna share it with you.

If you use wvdial to dial up (Ok, now only seven people at most will continue reading this) for your internet connection, and you hate the DNS servers come your way automagically, here’s what to do.

Open /etc/ppp/peers/wvdial with your favorite text editor & comment the line usepeerdns. I mean make it look like #usepeerdns. Now wvdial won’t ask pppd to fetch those crappy DNS addresses again.

So go and edit your /etc/resolv.conf file and add you favorite DNS servers there. Mine looks like following.


Wonder why I use there? That’s because I’m a happy user of dnsmasq (I recommend you to use it). I used this simple HOWTO to install it on Ubuntu. There should be other guides & HOWTOs which might match you (In case that one doesn’t fit). Just ask big bro Goog.

And other nameservers are of the nice free DNS service OpenDNS.

I am really good at procrastinating, I forget little things so easily, I have N.A.D.D and I work on specific projects. So in order to make my life a liiitle bit hassle free, I was looking for a ToDo manager tool. First I found Tiddlybackpack which had a dead simple interface but unfortunatley didn’t work with Firefox on Gnu/Linux. Then I found MonkeyGTD which looked too complex for my needs & then I checked tiddlydu2. However what I use now is GTDTiddlyWiki which is even simpler. It’s not as simple as tiddlybackpack but it’s a decent GTD tool which would fit anyones needs. May be you have already realized that these tools are based on tiddlywiki.

Yes you have to learn a bit before you start to actually use any Tiddly based GTD/ToDo tool. I found a good guide here.

You only have to download one single .html file to start working with any of those tiddly GTD tools. Once you save the .html file to somewhere on your computer just open it & start managing your todos. You can put it on a flash drive & take it anywhere with you. Or you can put it in your email account as an attachment. You can put it on your web server too. But hey… what I do is way cooler 8)  . I ‘drop it like it’s hot’ :D .

I use this cool tool Dropbox to sync my GTD/ToDo list. I put all my GTD/Todo stuff in to one directory called GTD and just created a symlink from Dropbox directory to GTD. tada. that’s all. [for now I have all the GTD tools I mentioned before]. Heres how to create the symlink.

$ ln -s -T /path/to/GTD/directory ~/Dropbox/GTD  [Read man page of ln or check here.]

(You can still put GTD tools in Dropbox directory itself. But you know I’m mad :) )

Now I can use my todo list when I’m offline, Dropbox will sync it for me with the dropbox on web when I’m online. So that I can use my todo manager from anywhere through Dropbox web interface. (for that you have to untick “Hide editing features when viewed over HTTP” option in advanced options).

Though I haven’t actually tried yet, Dropbox can sync through multiple computers too :) and it means you can have your todo list on Your Desktop computer, laptop or office computer, so easily sinced . And also I can share my files with friends trogh Dropbox, todo list can be shared too ;) .

Hope you make your life more manged with thses tools. Here goes the ‘cherry on top’, “Make your GTDTiddlyWiki your hompage”.

PS: If you wonder what GTD stands for, it’s Get Things Done :) .