Thursday, 28 June 2007

Some tools i find usefull

Google toolbar is the first i gonna take a look. One thing i didn't know is that google suggestion can be used as a calculator. Here is how Simply type in the equation (e.g. 243 + 5,234) in the search box and the answer appears in the drop down menu of suggested search options (e.g. = 5477).

Next gonna look at is firefox home page functionality that can be found in tools -> Preference -> Main -> Home Page. The cool thing is you can set firefox home to multiple website. So when you fireup firefox it will open multiple website site simultaneously in multiple tabs. This is usefull if you visit mutliple site often. For example i would check my mail , check on the news, etc SO it saves me time. Here is how. Go to homepage section in preference, in the text box enter the addresses of your preferred pages separated by a pipe or the “|”.

Next tip has less to do with computers & more to do with human health. People with long pc viewing hours will most like suffer from the cvs a.k.a Computer Vision Syndrome. Those viewing pc monitor for more than 4 a day are more likely to be affected. Here are a few ways to beat cvs:
  • Use 20:20:20 formula i.e., For every 20 min for 20 sec blink alteast 20 times
  • Computer screen should be 20 deg below eye level
  • The screen should 16-30inch (~75cm) away from you.
  • Avoid breezy placeses while working with a computer as this may increases chances of eye drieness
  • Use of lubricating eye drop provide moisturing relief to your eyes, which have become dry & irrtated by working for long hours on the compuer


Next tip is about the linux. Some tools i find useful for linux user are:

  • cat /proc/version : Display Linux kernel version in use.
  • cat /etc/issue : Display Ubuntu Linux Release.
  • uname -r : Print system information
  • vmstat : Reports detailed memory usage data
  • cat /proc/meminfo : Show memory size and usage.


Cleaning canon ip3000 printer head

This is about maintaining canon ip3000 printer for good performance. Here we will not be using canon's printer software included with the printer because this cannot be used in Linux based distros. This article is result of my search for alternative cleaning procedure, because i use Ubuntu (a linux based OS (a.k.a distro)). The results have be great if not fantastic. I found this on web as comment. This article is a qoute from the another website. Unfortunately the original website where this content was generated has removed the article & they have not provided any reason why they have removed. Ok, enough about the article & lets move to the procedure.
If you are thinking about buying a new print head, b'cos your print head is clogged, think again. A new print head often cost more than a new printer!. Try this alternative method.

Method 1:

Remove the ink tanks from the printhead (tank holder) and seal them in a ziplock plactic bag. Set them aside, preferably propped upright. Next remove the print head, it snaps out. Use the kitchen or other sink and turn the water on so that it is running slowly and that it is warm. Hold the print head, bottom facing down, and cup your hand under the running water so that the water fills it up and flows into the the print head. This will flush the ink out of the printhead. You'll need to turn the print head over, bottom side up, and flush it that way as well. You'll see when there is no more ink being flushed out.

You WILL need to do a final flush/rinse with some distilled, or purified water. This ensures that any residual minerals or impurities of the tap water are flushed out of the print head. Set the print head on a paper towel to dry, drying time will vary. TIP: To expedite the drying process, shake the printhead vigorously as there is a fair amount of water retained after rinsing!

Place the printhead (tank holder) back in the printer and reinsert the inks tanks.

Here's another, similar method:

Open the lid of the printer and when the print head moves to the left, remove the cartridges (tanks). You should then be able to easily remove the print head. It has the circuitry on it and on the bottom are the outlet nozzles.

Get a small, shallow pan and lay a couple of paper towels in the bottom. Heat up (via microwave) enough purified/bottled water to cover the paper towels. Set the print head on the towels. You should see ink 'bleeding' out. Move the print head to several different spots (about a minute each spot). This will dissolve the ink clogs. Remove the print head and gently dab it dry on fresh paper towels.

Place the print head back in the printer and insert the ink tanks.Run a print head alignment and a regular cleaning followed by nozzle check and test print(s). That should do it. If not, repeat the above procedure(s).

If the above two methods don't quite do the trick, try this:

Remove the ink tanks and printhead (cartridge holder) from the printer as instructed above. Get a small bowl, dish or pan, large enough to accommodate the printhead. Lay down a layer or two of paper towels in the bottom of the container to protect the printhead circuitry from contact damage.

Make up a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and distilled water, about a pint will do. Heat the mixture up in the microwave for about a minute or so, not boiling. Slowly pour over the paper towels so that you have approximately 1/2 inch mixture total. Set the printhead (cartridge holder) into the container and pour some of the remaining mixture over the top, just enough to wet it good. Let it soak for several hours (3-4) or overnight. You can move it slightly to a different spot every hour or so.

Remove the printhead and rinse thoroughly with distilled water. Shake it dry, set it on folded paper towels to air dry. Reinsert the printhead and ink tanks. The printer should do an automatic "Printhead Alignment", if not manually do so and run a cleaning cycle or two followed by printing a nozzle check pattern to check your progress. Repeat as necessary.

Monday, 11 June 2007

East or West Ubuntu is the Best

The good thing about Ubuntu is that its a derivative of Debian hence it inherits the good qualities of it parent distro, Debian. Debian has a wonderful package management system called deb. The tools that are build around deb are excellent like apt-get, synaptic, etc. The Fedora , OpenSuse & similar guys may claim that their rpm is just as good as deb, but they are wrong. I have used both Fedora & Ubuntu hence i speak from my experience. The apt-get is far superior to yum in fedora. IMHO Yum sucks. Its too slow & their are almost always news of conflicting repositories. The packages that you want are almost always available in conflicting repositories. Fedora has very poor documentation of it own & people using it have to depends on paid version to know things, which to me seems a ugly hack.

Apart from that Ubuntu has its very own nice things like Upstart, Launchpad & Rosetta which you are unlikely to find any equivalents in Fedora or OpenSuse. The Novell - Microsoft deal makes feel bad about Novell products, hence i don't like OpenSuse.

Ubuntu & Tamizh

As i am a Tamilian & hence Tamizh in Ubuntu makes it exiting & interesting . This part is all about how to make obtain & use tamizh localisation in Ubuntu. Lets assume you want to read tamizh article found in the Internet like dinamalar, ananda vikatan, etc & you are using firefox as the default browser, as its the case in ubuntu. If this is the case then you do not need to install any tamizh fonts to read it. Then all you need to install is padma. Padma is an extension to firefox that allows you to read tamizh text without installing fonts. You can find padma from this url http://padma.mozdev.org/ . I have used padma for quiet some time & i am really impressed with it. Padma not only renders tamizh, but also quiet a few other south Indian languages like telugu, kannada & malayalam. It support is quiet limited at the moment (ie., it doesn't render all available language texts but most) but it quiet sufficient for me.

Lets assume you want to send a e-mail typed in tamizh. It quiet feasible in ubuntu (for that matter any linux distro). You can type in tamil with scim. Synaptic is best for installing scim (or any package in ubuntu). Install tamil locale with synaptic. Good thing about scim is, if you select tamil phonetic, then you dont have to know tamil typing to type. You can type tamil in english & it will appear in tamil For example typing ammaa will appear as அம்மா. I Hope you enjoy the tamil experience with ubuntu

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Ways of reducing memory usage in linux disto

  • The condition where system spends most of its time shuffling data between physical memory and swap space is known as thrashing.
  • If you have very limited hardware, you may wan to look at a distribution like Damn Small Linux, which claims to run on systems with specs as low as a 486DX processor with 16MB of RAM.
  • Kubuntu sits somewhere in between Xubuntu and Ubuntu in terms of memory use.
  • It is often the case that the best memory savings come from using an app that is tightly integrated with your desktop environment(DE). This is because such apps make heavy use of shared libraries that are embedded into the DE and are most likely already loaded. If you are a GNOME user, you may want to think twice before you use that simple little KDE app you've had your eye on, as it is likely to load a whole host of libraries that only it will make use of.
  • Have appropriate expectations, when running with limited memory : For example, If you want to edit a collection of photos, don't open them all at the same time. This will only eat up memory unnecessarily. You would have a much easier time of it opening them one by one and closing them afterwards.
  • other methods of reducing memory usage :
    • recompile the kernel with including only the drivers that are needed by your system.
    • compiling & building apps for your needs (like removing unnecessary features) & appropriate levels code optimisation (the O levels) & for your target CPU architecture. Gentoo distro is best for these kinda things, they extensively use something called USE flags, which is useful for doing these kinda things. The law of diminishing returns applies here, doing these thing will results in more work & less gain in therms of memory usage.

Friday, 8 June 2007

New Feauteres in fedora 7 that i like

These are some of the features of f7(fedora 7) that i like & i would like to see more such features apprearing in future fedora releases:
  • Ability to remix Fedora or create custom appliances easily.
  • New GNOME 2.18 and KDE 3.5.6# New desktop theme
  • Comprehensive SELinux GUI config tool (system-config-selinux)
  • Fedora Directory Server
  • Tickless kernel for better power management
  • New Free and open source experimental 3D Nvidia driver
  • Much faster Yum, Pirut, Pup
  • Virtualization: KVM, Xen and Qemu supported with a new graphical installer and management tool virt-manager.
  • Improved I18N support with SCIM