Sunday, December 11, 2005

Connecting to IRC from Airtel's broadband connection

I use Airtel broadband in my home. I noticed sometime back that I could not connect to any IRC channels from my home.

Then after googling about similar problem faced by others found a solution for that.

Airtel seems block port 6667 which is usually the default port used by IRC clients.

So to connect to IRC ports other than 6667 should be used if connecting using Airtel

I use port: 7000 for connecting to my favorite IRC channels.
For example to connect to my Tamil localization channel #thamizha in freenode, i use the following command in my firefox browser (with chatzilla Plugin) address box:
irc://irc.freenode.net:7000/thamizha

I hope this tip might be useful to some of you who use Airtel internet connection in India :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New tamil unicode encoding proposal - My opinion

Recently Tamil Nadu Government website has posted a proposal for new tamil unicode standard (named as TUNE ) and have asked for comments.

The details are in this URL: http://www.tunerfc.tn.gov.in/

Problem statement given by TUNE team is: "As a result, Tamil Language, the script of which is NOT a "Complex Script" unlike other Indian Languages had also been considered as a "Complex Script" and the Unicode encoding developed employing level-2 implementation (instead of level-1) resulting in an unwieldy coding scheme for Tamil. "

My understanding is that the above statement says the following two points:
1. Tamil unicode has been made into complex unnecessarily [ My opinion: so what ??? ]


2. The Unicode encoding developed employing level-2 implementation (instead of level-1) resulting in an unwieldy coding scheme for Tamil. [ My opinion: This sounds more to be an opinion of the TUNE creators. This statement dont have any factual backing. ]

Above problem statement itself appear very weak. I don't find a need for proposing a new Tamil Unicode standard.


And I find the paper gives the following incorrect information:

"Tamil Unicode support is yet to be available in other operating systems like MacOS, Linux , etc"


[4th sentence under the heading Other shortcomings in this URL: http://www.tunerfc.tn.gov.in/TUNE-an_introduction.htm ]


Tamil unicode is very well supported in Linux operating systems. Linux Distros like FC4 comes
with out of box tamil unicode support.


Also this paper says another problem with existing unicode standard is vendors like Adobe are yet to support tamil Unicode standard.


This is absurd, the authors of this new proposal should ask the vendors like Adobe to support for tamil unicode in their applications instead of trying to change tamil unicode standard for vendor not supporting.


Current status of tamil unicode standard is as follows:

1. Unicode tamil is supported very well in linux, Windows & Mac platforms.

2. Most Applications have now tamil unicode support (e.g. Tamil Mozilla & Tamil OpenOffice are already available)

3. Most of the tamil websites are now in Unicode

5. There are over 1000 Tamil bloggers writing in unicode tamil.

[ There are about 846 tamil bloggers listed in http://www.thamizmanam.com/tamilblogs/index.php alone , there are lot more listed in technograti and not in thamizmanam.com ]


Existing tamil unicode standard works fine in every aspect. And it is gaining acceptance among vendors and users very fast.


There is absolutely no need to change the existing tamil unicode. Efforts like TUNE should not be encouraged at all. I find such efforts are mere waste of time and energy.


At the same time I am not religious about supporting current tamil unicode support only.
If by chance, unicode consortium accepts the new tamil unicode proposal (which is a distant possibility) , then I too will start using/supporting new tamil unicode standard.


Until then I will continue to support and popularize the existing tamil unicode standard.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Built firefox (1.6a1) from my windows XP machine !

Today I attempted & Succeeded to build the latest source of firefox in my Windows XP machine.
I followed the instructions from this page: http://gemal.dk/mozilla/build.html .

I have Airtel's 128Kbps (max) brandband connection at my home.
It took about 2 hours to download the source and another 2 hours to build the firefox.

Its was a wonderful experience to build our own copy of firefox and to use it.

I am writing this blog from my "homemade" browser :)

Monday, October 10, 2005

New job for me!

I have joined spikesource in bangalore on 3rd of October.

Spikesource is a startup company started to facilitate the adoption of open source softwares in the enterprise.

I like free/opensource concepts. I like the freedom it gives to the users and programmers.
And free/opensource softwares gives an unlimmited oppurchunity for learning new technologies.

When I got this offer from spikesource, I just could not resist it :)

Spikesource India is looking for programmers who are passionate about free/Opensource softwares. Let me know if you are intrested.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Software freedom day 10 sep 2005 @ Chennai

Yesterday Chennai Linux Users group and Tamil Nadu Science and Technology foundation jointly celebrated Software freedom day in chennai.

As part of it the following functions were organised at Birla Planatorium , kotturpuram, Chennai.
1. FOSS and Linux Demo Day
GNU/Linux and various Freesoftwares were shown to the public in about 10 PCs. This showed the power of Freesoftwares to the visited.
It should be noted that , for this program the Chennai Linux Users group volunteers have brought their own PCs for this event.


2. FOSS Training to 50 School Teachers
In this program school teachers were given briefing about GNU/Linux and other free softwares.
And the 11 std science sylabus about linux was also covered in this training.
I hope this program would have been very helpful to the teachers who attended.

Below are some of the pictures taken in that event...






























Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Finding DNS errors in our website

I came to know about an excellent online tool for finding DNS errors in our website yesterday.
I have been facing problem in acessing my thamizha.com & dnsreport.com from Navan's comment in my Tamil blog entry yesterday.
It seems to be a very usefull online tool for finding DNS errors in our websites. It had showed some errors in my tamilblogs.com DNS issue...

Similary another usefull website for finding much more online info is: http://dnsstuff.com/

Saturday, August 20, 2005

SKIM installation issue in Xandros

As I have mentioned in my earlier blog entry, I have started experimenting with Xandros. My main obstacle in using Xandros for my day to day browsing is typing tamil in it.
Many tools have been created by tamil community for this , but i am sorry to say, nothing is perfect and nothing is complete...

Recently I heard about SCIM and SKIM utilities which seems to be able to solve the tamil typing problem in Linux. SCIM stands for Smart common Input Method platform. You can find more details about this project in this URL: http://www.scim-im.org/

There is a discussion thread going on in tamilinux yahoogroup about this. You can see check at this URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tamilinix/messages

I too tried my hand in installing SKIM in my Xandros linux box. But could not succeed. Here are the detailed steps I followed:

1. Downloaded skim-1.4.1 package downloaded from http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/scim/skim-1.4.1.tar.bz2
2. extracted the package using xandros update manager copied to my local folder (/home/mugunth )
3. Installed using ./configure command as mentioned in the install document. I received the following error messages:
mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1# ./configure
Checking for Python : /usr/bin/python
Checking for SCons : Use Bundled scons.
Checking for kde-config : kde-config was found
Checking for kde version : 3.3.0
Checking for the qt library : qt was not found
Please set QTDIR first (/usr/lib/qt3?) or try scons -h for more options
mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1#

4. I installed KDE development environment using Xandros networks

Xandros networks is excellent tool and using this its possible to download and install popular packages easily. see in the right the screenshot of how Xandros Networks window appears...










5. Again tried installaling skim by issuing ./configure command, this time the following error messages were got:

mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1# ./configure
Checking for Python : /usr/bin/python
Checking for SCons : Use Bundled scons.
Checking for kde-config : kde-config was found
Checking for kde version : 3.3.0
Checking for the qt library : qt was found as /usr
Checking for uic : uic was found as /usr/bin/uic
Checking for moc : moc was found as /usr/bin/moc
Checking for the qt includes : the qt headers were found in /usr/include/qt3/
Checking for the kde includes : the kde headers were found in /usr/include/kde/
Checking for pkg-config : Found
Checking for scim >= 1.3.3 ... Not Found
Checking for scim-x11utils ... Not Found
scim >= 1.3.3 was not found (mandatory).
Perhaps you should add the directory containing "scim.pc"
to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable
mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1#

6. Now scim is found to be missing. So i downloaded scim 1.4.0 from the URL http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/scim/scim-1.4.0.tar.gz?download

7. Compiled and installed scim 1.4.0 as per the instruction given in its INSTALL file.
8. Again tried configuring SKIM , this time it went thro succesfully.

mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1# ./configure
Checking for Python : /usr/bin/python
Checking for SCons : Use Bundled scons.
Checking for kde-config : kde-config was found
Checking for kde version : 3.3.0
Checking for the qt library : qt was found as /usr
Checking for uic : uic was found as /usr/bin/uic
Checking for moc : moc was found as /usr/bin/moc
Checking for the qt includes : the qt headers were found in /usr/include/qt3/
Checking for the kde includes : the kde headers were found in /usr/include/kde/
Checking for scim >= 1.3.3 ... Found
Checking for scim-x11utils ... Found
mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1#


9. Tried to compile SKIM using ./scons command (as mentioned in the readme file)
After compiling for a while compilation terminated with one error , the following error was received:

g++ -DNO_CONFIG_H -I/usr/include/kde -I/usr/include/qt3 -DENABLE_DEBUG=0 -DQT_THREAD_SUPPORT -D_REENTRANT -fPIC -O2 -DNDEBUG -DNO_DEBUG -DQT_NO_TRANSLATION -I. -Iplugins/mainwindow/applet -c -o plugins/mainwindow/applet/skimapplet.os plugins/mainwindow/applet/skimapplet.cpp
plugins/mainwindow/applet/skimapplet.cpp:35: error: visibility arg must be one
of "default", "hidden", "protected" or "internal"
scons: *** [plugins/mainwindow/applet/skimapplet.os] Error 1
scons: building terminated because of errors.
mugunthlin:/home/mugunth/skim-1.4.1#

10. Since SKIM 1.4.1 gave error, I decided to try older version 1.4.0 , downloaded skim 1.4.0 from the URL: http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/scim/skim-1.4.0.tar.bz2?download
SKIM 1.4.0 too gave the same error.

Searched the web for similar errors , could not find one... so logged a bug report in scim sourceforge page.

Nothing much I could do further , anyone have clue about the above compilation error.. please let me know...

Friday, August 12, 2005

XandrOS Linux - excellent choice for Newbies

I Have recently formated my system and installed WindowsXP and Xandros Linux in dual boot mode. So far I am able to most of my work using Xandros instead of relying on Windows.

So far I am able to the following in Xandros:
1. Connect to BSNL Broadband internet.
2. Able to install ttf fonts.
3. View Tamil internet pages - Tamil rendering is very good.
4. Print Documents.
5. Access my windows partition files
6. Run windows applications like notepad, Internet Explorer in Xandros Linux using Crossover office setup.
7. Open/edit/create all the microsoft word/Excel/powerpoint files using Openoffice

My major irritant with Xandros as of now:
I am not able to type in Tamil. Tried all the available tamil IM utilities but so far not able to succeed..

Need to hack the Input methods to create a suitable typing utility...

Besides the above problem in typing tamil, for other English usage , Xandros linux seems to be an excellent choice for ordinary users.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Got settled in chennai!

This is a status update to my friends....
After being in Malaysia for about 4 years , I have got transfered to chennai effective from May
2005.
Stayed in my sisters house in Thambaram for about 2 months and searched for houses in Adyar area (near my office).

Got a house & settled in kotturpuram , got BSNL broadband connection recently in my new house. But it had developed some problem and not working for the past 2 days.
Hope to get it rectified and become active in online world again...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005