Saliya's Blogs

Mostly technical stuff with some interesting moments of life

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Brain and Your Fist

This is some nice fact I've noticed but it may not mean anything. Have you seen a diagram of the brain from side view? I guess you probably have. Now try to keep your fingers in the right hand as if you are going for a fight (fisted). Then see your fist from side view. You will see a similar shape to that of brain. Isn't that interesting?

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ATI x1300 with Ubuntu Gusty (7.10)

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Ah! I had to give another fight to get my x1300 ATI card working properly with Ubuntu Gusty. The restricted driver that comes by default would correct the wide screen problem but video quality is changed. You will find lot of illuminant people while watching a film in totem.

So here goes the answer

Good luck and have fun :)

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Something to Remember

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It's great to remember sweet moments in our past. But I never thought it would be as sweet as this.

Big hug my dear for this lovely creation.

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Ubuntu 7.10 on DELL E1505 Notebook

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I installed Ubuntu (Gusty Gibbon) on my Dell notebook and I felt the beauty of it from the very beginning.

The two most interesting features I see:
1. Read/Write facility to NTFS (Windows) partitions
2. Easy configuration of restricted drivers (no need to worry about setting up your ATI video card :)

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Perceptron in Java

I'm following Neural Networks class for my final year and I felt it's a cool subject. I'm still a newbie in this field. But I gave a try to implement a simple perceptron to train few logic gates. It was a cool experience.

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HUAWEI ETS 2251 with Ubuntu 6.10

We recently purchased a CDMA data phone and I wanted to connect to the Internet with Linux (Ubuntu 6.10). Try the following steps:

1. plug-in the USB cable (your cable should be Serial (phone side) to USB one).
2. sudo dmesg -c

you should see the following at the bottom

ti_usb_3410_5052 2-1:2.0: TI USB 3410 1 port adapter converter detected

if you see ti_usb_3410_5052: probe of 1-1:1.0 failed with error -5 after the above line then copy the following lines,

#TI USB 3410

SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device" ACTION=="add" SYSFS{idVendor}=="0451",SYSFS{idProduct}=="3410" \

SYSFS{bNumConfigurations}=="2" \

SYSFS{bConfigurationValue}=="1" \

RUN+="/bin/sh -c 'echo 2 > /sys%p/device/bConfigurationValue'"


and save them as /etc/udev/rules.d/026_ti_usb_3410.rules


Now run sudo dmesg -c again and you'll see the following two lines,

ti_usb_3410_5052 1-1:2.0: TI USB 3410 1 port adapter converter detected
usb 1-1: TI USB 3410 1 port adapter converter now attached to /dev/ttyUSB0



3. Now configure the /etc/wvdial.conf as follows, please note that you need to replace your given username, password and phone number with my configuration (abc@prepaid, 1234, #777) given here.


[Dialer suntel]

Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0

Baud = 230400

Phone = #777

Init1 = ATZ

Stupid Mode = 1

Dial Command = ATDT

Username = abc@prepaid

Password = 1234


4. Now type sudo wvdial suntel and enjoy the Internet. If you can't browse then plese add the DNS addresses to /etc/resolv.conf (these DNS addresses can be found in the command line while connecting).

Thanks Farhan Naeem for sharing knowledge on this matter


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The Notebook

If a film can touch someone's heart so deeply, The Notebook did it.

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TMNT Two Thumbs Up!!

I loved watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon when I was a little kid and now I got hand on the movie. I really like it, two thumbs up TMNT!!

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Advanced OS Paper - Nightmare

Oh! boy, today we had our Advanced Operating Systems paper. It was one hello of a paper.

Anyway may be things happen for good. That's all I know :)

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Sri Lanka Telecom ADSL Service Sucks

I and my roommate took an ADSL Internet connection to the boarding from Sri Lanka Telecom. It was great in the first few months. But now it sucks. We bought the package which advertises 512Kbit/s (kilo bits per second) down load speed and 128Kbit/s upload speed. But the damn thing won't support even 100Kbit/s download speed. Damn, that sucks.

The most funny thing is that their customer service guy came and inspect the system and said that he feels it's normal. Can you believe it? He even says if we don't like it then we better disconnect it. Yea that's what we wanted as a solution, yikes.

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Mailing list is much like Instant Messaging

Google announce that code submission for GSOC 2007 is available few minutes before. The student's mailing list got fired with the news :) Everybody (including myself) was posting questions telling that link for the submission doesn't work. Oh! Leslie (at google) must have had a nightmare replying to those emails and we really appreciate your kind and speedy responses.

The mailing list became like a chat room with mails flying within seconds :)

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PyDev - Python Development Plug-in for Eclipse

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Oh! yes, I'm loving this Eclipse! Now I can use it to develop python programs. Use pydev plug-in and you can really give a go with it :) Here is a nice tutorial explaining step by step on how to use the plug-in.

Tip for Linux users: When you go to configure the python interpreter use /usr/bin/python (the tutorial explains only for Windows users )

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Fire on Ice

Is it a miracle that I'm going to talk about? No, it came to life on 17th July 2007 at CS&ES (Computer Science & Engineering Society) AGM (Anual General Meeting).

I was asked to display fire on a block of ice for the AGM. Yea, I did it at the end and it was better than expected. The simple theory behind was burning Trimethylbenzene (a.k.a. paint thinner) on top of ice. Hmm, it's easy to say than do. There were several challenges to face, i.e. what happens when ice melt down due to heat, how to stop spreading fire, how to ignite thinner automatically, how to make an ice cube with a carving to fill thinner, etc. Oh! boy it was a night mare to think all of this.

I tried with few prototypes and they all worked fine. The most interesting part was the igniter. I used two clutch pencil leads touching together with applied voltage of 12V to ignite a match stick. I created a simple stand to hold the thing (unfortunately it was burnt with the fire before I could take a picture) so that giving the power would do the job.

I'm greatly disappointed because no one had taken a picture of the burning ice. Anyway it was a great experience and I'm really happy with the success.

I need to mention few of my friends who helped me to make it a success. They are Rajika (one big thank to this guy), Dinesh (it was his idea to burn ice), Charith, Malaka and Tharindu (they helped me with the final touches).

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Fibonacci Calculator in Visual C++

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#include "stdafx.h"
#include

using namespace std;

int calculate_fibonacci(int n);

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
int n;
cout << "Enter n: "; cin >> n;
cout << "Fibonacci of " << int="" b="1," bb="0," return="" else="" if="" n="="> 1) {
for (i = 1; i < result =" 0;" bb =" b;" b =" result;">

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C plug-in for Eclipse - CDT

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Ever thought of using an IDE in Linux to type C? For pure C guys this is not a problem because they have the nice little VI or VIM. Yea it's very true that you can do a great lot of things with VI. The only problem for me was that I used to do a lot with Java using Eclipse. So suddenly when I wanted to use C for one of my assignments I found it very difficult to adapt with it.

Little bit of googling came up with this wonderful tool, CDT. It's a plug-in for Eclipse and you can do a great lot of things with C with rich IDE features. Try this tutorial to learn about the plug-in.

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Dr. D. A. I. Munidradasa has Passed Away

He was one of the great lecturers in the University of Moratuwa and it's my great condolence to mention that he has passed away today. He taught us the principles of Electronics and he showed his expertise throughout his teaching, yet he was a very kind teacher.

He left us with a blank which would hardly get filled in the near future. May you attain nibbana dear sir!

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Innovative Tools

Did you ever think about automatic level tools. Hmm, Black and Decker has thought about it and has given this wonderful laser level, Bulls Eye. The demo is really cool. I also like their Handisaw. I've used several Black and Decker products (can opener, vacuum cleaner, iron and toaster) and all of them were of great quality. Hmm I wish I could buy one of those Handisaws from Sri Lanka :)

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CSE Formula

The Department of Computer Science & Engineering organizes a toy car race each year for the new comers. The first year entrants to the department are grouped and given the task of creating a remote controlled (not RF controlled actually, hmm I wonder why it is ?) toy vehicle which is to be powered by a 12V DC power source. Eventual grading (not GPA) includes a test run of each vehicle on a track made with few obstacles.

This event is really cool. Bad thing I miss this chance since this event with the batch junior to us. Anyway I'm really interested in such events because I personally believe that students should have some skills to build things rather to design them in papers. Yet it is little bit pathetic to see the construction of vehicles of some groups. One student has tried to give the power of the motor directly to the wheel. I wonder why such situations arise because even they know that it is not the case in any toy. They need to use gear wheels. I hope things would get corrected with time as students begin to like the event.

Good work CSE :)

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Ency

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I have developed a little tool to embed text messages inside image files using Java called Ency. I'm really interested in this steganography and security stuff. Ency is in its primary stage. It needs more modifications to step into maturity. I found this nice link explaining about steganography while trying to improve Ency. Enjoy hidden messaging with Java ;-)

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Google Summer of Code 2007

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My proposal on implementing C14N based on Axiom for Google Summer of Code 2007 has been accepted. Wow! I really feel excited. Thanks specially for Ruchith Fernando for being the mentor of this project. Thanks for everyone else as well who thought to give a vote for the proposal.

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ADSL is Up and Running

Ah! I was able to configure the ADSL router at last. The username and password provided by the ISP did not work. Can you believe it? I was astonished when I received the "authentication failed" error. The 24hr help center, however, gave me the clue to change the password. Luckily I had a dial-up connection as well. At last it worked. Gosh! what a fun it is to play with something new.

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DVD to AVI

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I was searching for a free and easy-to-use DVD to AVI converter today. Check this out. It is very impressive.

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File Converter

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I was searching for a simple tool to convert OpenOffice word documents to pdf. Then I found this site which simply converts files between a number of different formats. It even keep the file hosted for 24 hours free.

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Kandy Trip

I was searching for this photo yesterday because this was the best trip that I went with my good old buddies. This was right after our A/L exams in 2003.

From left to right:
me (Saliya), Heshan, Chathura, Sanjaya, Samitha

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Installing ATI X1300 Raedon Mobility Display Driver in Ubuntu Edgy(6.10)

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I was able to configure my graphics card (ATI X1300 Raedon Mobility) on my Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop from this nice link. However, I was bugged with the error "Xlib: extension "XFree86-DRI" missing on display ":0.0".". Then I found out that deactivating the composite extension in /etc/X11/xorg.conf would do the job.

Here's what I did from the beginning:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx
sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-2.6.17-10-generic
sudo depmod -a
sudo aticonfig --initial
sudo aticonfig --overlay-type=Xv

Now edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf to include following three lines

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "0"
EndSection

Note: You need to have root privileges to edit this file. So use the command sudo vim /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Then add the following line to /etc/modules

fglrx

Note: You need to have root privileges to edit this file. So use the command sudo vim /etc/modules

Finally press ALT+CTRL+Backspace to restart XServer

Type fglrxinfo in a terminal to verify your installation. You should see something like this

display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 Generic
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6011 (8.28.8)

Now it's DONE :)






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