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Showing posts from July, 2010

Healthy Fruit Juices In Trivandrum

For most visitors to Kerala the tender coconut juice seems to be standard choice. If you are feeling adventurous visit Chitra Juice Palace near the Law College in central Trivandrum. This juice shop offers an uncanny assortment of fresh fruit juices at affordable prices. Watching the owner of the shop Suresh man the seven juice blenders at the same time like a samurai is a special treat. Suresh returned from the middle east few years ago to open this juice shop. He soon started to experiment adding south Indian species to his lime juices. He created various combinations of fruits juices based on his clients taste, he is innovator with knack for creating new juices that appeal and sometimes shock your palate. Even the doctors of the city visit the shop to taste his special recipes that seems to cure bad common cold or relive the headache from the heat.

Free Software Accessibility, Call to Arms

Chris Hofstader Director of Access Technology for Project GNU writes his thoughts on the future of Free Software Accessibility. Call to Arms In the time since I joined FSF/GNU as Director of Access Technology, I have focussed largely on policy, fundraising and coordination with other groups. Meanwhile, I've whined a lot about the state of the software which must be our highest priority.We have three areas where we need to focus our hacking efforts: OS level things like dbus (I don't understand this part of a GNU/Linux system too well but Bill, Joanie and Janina seem to have good ideas for these areas), orca and other AT "middleware" that needs to communicate both with the OS and applications and, very importantly, support for the applications and how they communicate with the AT.We thought of setting priorities but this would, at the start at least, just be a list of lists of lists and would probably, like so many lists before it, die on the vine.So, instead of findi…

HK GO+ Portable iPod Sound Dock

Got a chance to use the Harman Kardon Go + Play Portable Speakers System with Dock for iPod this evening weekend party at a friends place. Its a great buy if you are looking for an inexpensive portable speakers with some great sound. The build is solid and sturdy, even on uneven, smooth surfaces like car roof for a outdoor party or a rock ledge, your ipod is in safe hands. The design is very minimal, there are only three buttons for power and volume control. There are couple of downsides, I noticed bass sound was not great. Also you can't see the ipod screen when its docked. The large metal handle bar blocks the view and angle of the ipod faces upside. Its a major design flaw. Overall this is a great affordable ipod sound dock system. A Good buy!

Acer Aspire One BIOS Reflashing

Few hours before flying out of Nepal the Acer Aspire One netbook died. The BIOS got screwed, netbook won't even complete Power On Self Test(POST). Competent computer hardware technicians I hear are as rare as the famed Himalayan Yeti. Wiping my tears and picking up the thousand pieces of shared ego from the floor, I set about reflashing the BIOS. Thankfully, the relief was quick. How to reflash a Acer Aspire One BIOS Please be careful, you might end up bricking your netbook. :) Download the latest BIOS and extract the v.3114.zipcontent to USB pendrive Rename the ZG5_3114.fd to 'ZG5IA32.FD'. Power on the netbook the with pendrive connected while holding down Fn + Esc keys. Make sure the power cable is attached. After a few seconds the power light blinks, press power button once and wait till the netbook reboots. It took few minutes for new BIOS to be flashed and the computer automatically rebooted.

Acer Aspire One Battery Charging Problem

If you believe amnesia is a malady that effects humans, think again. Recently a Acer Aspire One netbook landed on my table with a similar problem. It refused to charge the battery, perhaps it always thinks the its battery already full. The only way you can use this machine was by connecting it the power outlet. A quick search on the Internet will turn up a lot of Acer Aspire One (AOA) owners reporting similar problems. Quite often people update the Bios to fix this problem. However there is similar solution. The Problem The Amber (Orange) battery light blinks constantly and netbook works only on AC power. The Solution Follow the steps given below. (Please be careful when handling computer electrical components like batteries and AC Adapters) Remove the battery and hold down the power button for few seconds (to drain all remaining power) Power up the computer without the battery with the A/C adapter plugged in. Wait for few seconds and plug the battery back in After a few tries the…

OLPC Solar Charger

The OLPC Solar charger started working this morning, the 8W solar panel started charging the OLPC without an issue. The power controller which regulates the power input to the OLPC is simple enough to be assembled with locally available electronics. The OLPC solar charger is developed at BWB Center of Social Innovation. Keep watching this space for more updates on this project.

Nepal National Audio Library For Blind

Spent a month in the beautiful city of Pokhara in Nepal. Here on invitation from Inclusion Empowerment Center (IEC) Nepal, a organisation run by my friend Khom Raj Sharma. He was instrumental in creating the first audio library for blind in Nepal few years ago. Prithivi Narayan campus is a short ride from Lakeside Pokhara, sitting high above the white waters of the Seti river. It is walking distance from Seti River Gorge, a popular tourist destination. I met up with Khom, Tek Thapa, Birajman Kumal, Laxman Subedi and Kumar Pun at the campus. Most of them are the former students and now work with various non-profit organisations, they are my tour guides for this morning. Walking around the campus, I learnt about the problems they faced as blind students, the lack of accessible teaching material was a biggest issue and the National Audio for Blind (NALB) was born. We interacted with some the blind students of the university on the way to the library. We then entered the Regional librar…

Orca Caps Lock Issue

Caps Lock key doesn't work is the most common complaint from Orca screen readers users. On Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx I found that Caps Lock is reset mysteriously. Here is workaround you can use until we find the culprit responsible for this. Debugging with xmodmap You find the present keymaps setting with xmodmap command. You can see that the line starting 'lock' is empty. We can set it properly with xmodmap -e "add Lock = Caps_Lock". $ xmodmap xmodmap: up to 4 keys per modifier, (keycodes in parentheses): shift Shift_L (0x32), Shift_R (0x3e) lock control Control_L (0x25), Control_R (0x69) mod1 Alt_L (0x40), Alt_R (0x6c), Meta_L (0xcd) mod2 Num_Lock (0x4d) mod3 mod4 Super_L (0x85), Super_R (0x86), Super_L (0xce), Hyper_L (0xcf) mod5 ISO_Level3_Shift (0x5c), Mode_switch (0xcb) # Set the Caps_Lock with xmodmap $ xmodmap -e "add Lock = Caps_Lock" # Now caps lock works properly $ xmodmap xm…

Change Makers :: My Booklist

Few people venture out into the unknown fueled by idealism and by sheer power of their will transform the lives of many. Over the last few weeks I started collecting the list of books by such change makers. Its amazing how many people contributed to this list. My backpacking buddy introduced me to 'Two Cups of Tea' in Thailand, I visited Cabbages & Condoms restaurant in Bangkok. The hotel owner in Nepal suggested the 'Room to read' project. Guisamel, a fellow passenger on flight over Himalayas suggested 'Schools in the clouds'. Some of the books I already read and others still on my reading list.