Kovalam Light House

Martin and Gompo invited me over for a luncheon at Kovalam. We went for a walk on the Eve's Beach. The Kovalam beach looks very different from my last visit. The rough sea and high tides took over most of the beach, so we went up the lighthouse instead.

Where's the beach? Kovalam lighthouse beach in rainy season Where's the beach ! Kovalam Lighthouse Kovalam Lighthouse High Waves hit the beach High waves hit the beach Stairs of kovalam lighthouse Stairway to heaven (140+ steps) View From the top of lighthouse Kovalam- view from lighthouse Kovalam Eve's Beach from the top Kovalam Beach - view from lighthouse Lighthouse lamp Lighthouse beacon housing Martin at the top of lighthouse Arky and Gompo Gompo and me

Watching the sunset

Sitting on the boat jetty, watching the sunset. Sunset photos of a beautiful evening on campus.

Trivandrum Hangouts :: Variety Fresh Juice

Traveling into Trivandrum city every few weeks for shopping is a chore. Leaving the serene and quiet lake side campus to go out into the bustling city is not a very attractive preposition. But there is one consolation, I get dig into delicious thick milkshakes at Variety Fresh Juice. Just walk down from Big Bazaar on East Fort main road. You'll find this shop tucked into the corner of a busy intersection. The milkshakes and juices priced at Rs.20/30 don't burn a hole in one's pocket. Variety Fresh Juice shop in Trivandrum

Cursor Jumps Around Screen :: Linux Annoyances

Heard lot of compliants about this strange case. The cursor seems to jump to different location on the screen while typing in OpenOffice on Ubuntu Linux laptops. I haven't faced this problem before. Perhaps checking 'Disable touchpad while typing' Touchpad setting in Mouse Preferences would fix this issue.

Ubuntu Mouse Preferences, touchpad settings

You can also use the following command to enable this setting from commandline. gconftool --toggle /desktop/gnome/peripherals/touchpad/disable_while_typing

Hack a Mobile Phone with Ubuntu Linux and Python for S60

Nokia N70

Managed to breath life back into my old hand-me-down Nokia N70. The phone was having White Screen of Death (WSOD) one too many, a new display IC fixed that. The original nokia battery (Nokia BL-5C) started to swell and needed to be replace.

Now the old war horse is battle ready, let me hook it up to my laptop via a bluetooth link and do something useful with Python on S60 series.

$ hciconfig reset 
hci0: Type: USB
 BD Address: 00:21:86:A8:BF:03 ACL MTU: 310:10 SCO MTU: 64:8
 RX bytes:1260 acl:0 sco:0 events:34 errors:0

$ hcitool dev 
 hci0 00:21:86:A8:BF:03

$ sdptool add --channel=2 SP 
Serial Port service registered

# Now make sure the Python bluetooth console is running

$ rfcomm listen rfcomm2 2 

In your phone, make sure bluetooth is on, then go to the Python application and then select the Bluetooth Console. Select from the list of available devices your computer's bluetooth adapter (you might need to select search even if you think you have already defined the pairing). If the operation is successful, you should see something similar to the following on your computer's shell:

    * Waiting for connection on channel 2
    * Connection from 00:11:9F:BE:47:CA to /dev/rfcomm2
    * Press CTRL-C for hangup 

# Change to different terminal and connect to the device with screen. 
$ screen /dev/rfcomm2

# Run basic tests.

print u"hello"
>>> import appuifw
>>> appuifw.note(u"hello world")

This Python S60 Bluetooth Console wiki page provides more step by step intrusions of the whole process.

how to override compiz blacklist?

Enabling Compiz eZoom desktop plugin for our partially sighted and low vision users hit a snag. Compiz refused to work as Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 chipset is blacklisted in Ubuntu 8.10 Jaunty. This tutorial describes how to override and enable compiz on blacklisted hardware. compiz desktop effect can not be enabled

You need to add SKIP_CHECKS="yes" at the end /etc/xdg/compiz/compiz-manager. That should fix it.

$ SKIP_CHECKS=yes compiz Checking for Xgl: not present. xset q doesn't reveal the location of the log file. Using fallback /var/log/Xorg.0.log Blacklisted PCIID '8086:2a02' found aborting and using fallback: /usr/bin/metacity # Edit the following file and add at the end of the 'SKIP_CHECKS=yes' $ sudo nano /etc/xdg/compiz/compiz-manager # restart compiz and try enabling compiz again. $ compiz Checking for Xgl: not present. xset q doesn't reveal the location of the log file. Using fallback /var/log/Xorg.0.log Blacklisted PCIID '8086:2a02' found SKIP_CHECKS is yes, so continuing despite problems. Checking for texture_from_pixmap: not present. Trying again with indirect rendering: Checking for texture_from_pixmap: present. Checking for non power of two support: present. Checking for Composite extension: present. Checking screen 1Comparing resolution (1280x800) to maximum 3D texture size (2048): Passed. Checking for Software Rasterizer: Not present. Checking for nVidia: not present. Checking for FBConfig: present. running under gnome seesion, checking for gnomecompat Checking for Xgl: not present. /usr/bin/compiz.real (video) - Warn: No 8 bit GLX pixmap format, disabling YV12 image format Starting gtk-window-decorator

Bagged A Tiger

Just bagged a Tiger Prawn (Penaeus monodon) in the lake. I had brought out the fishing rods on impulse while taking quick break for a cup of coffee. I did not expect to catch anything but life it seems to be full of surprises. The nasty bugger snipped at my fingers while I was trying to free him of the tiny fishing hook. I know why its called a Tiger Prawn now. Arky holding up his prized catch

Watch out for Zii Egg

Reading about the Zii unveiling the Zii Egg renewed my craving for this wonderful gadget.

I mentioned this device to my learned friend Rad today. He spent considerable part of the night pouring over the details and gives it a thumbs up. He says "its like apple Ipod touch but completely open , hackable and with development support".

The device supports both Zii's Plaszma OS and Android and comes with full HD support. It also has a TTS engine that makes a potential platform for some of the accessible devices I plan to work on in future. Check out the full technical specifications of Zii Egg.