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Archive for October, 2010

I Move On (Sintel’s Song)

If you have not watched Sintel yet (it is free), be sure to visit the Web site. The film is suitable for all ages. is Fun


FOR about 5 days now I’ve been spending an increased amount of time over at, which has a very pleasant community and helps enhance interaction with people who appreciate freedom. It can be similar in some ways to Google Wave or to Novell Pulse (thus the image above), but it is built entirely on free/libre software (AGPL). May I recommend that you too, dear reader, join the site and join the fun?

As an aside, for 3 days in a row now I’ve been the most prolific user there. A new addiction? Hopefully not. Addictions are never good.

TechBytes Pilot: Microsoft’s Android Tax, Fedora Site Redesign, Unity and Vala, LimeWire Kaput

“No episode number, this isn’t a soap opera”


Direct download as Ogg (1:09:43, 38 MB) | Direct download as MP3

Summary: TechBytes audiocast opens with a pre-launch episode where we mostly explore the terrain

THIS IS OUR test episode, a pilot so to speak. We did it all in one go (over an hour) without any notes or scripts and it is not edited. We hope that it’ll be acceptable and in our next episode (probably in November) we’ll use experience from this first run and also refine by doing some planning, then editing. Please treat it as a beta episode if it helps and we thank you for listening.

As embedded (HTML5):


Ogg Theora

My Old Photos of Natural Bodybuilding

A few days ago I wrote about Mr. Fitness because it might be the last such event that I participated in. I might not have as much time as I once did to work out, but that’s okay. I got my trophies at the time and I am now 28.

Earlier today I went through some old photos of mine. It then occurred to me that I never published the following set from 2005 (I rarely ever went through some older photos due to lack of time). These are photos from a few years ago, around the time of competitions, i.e. when I was relatively slim and agile. The photos are raw and unedited, just resized for the blog. I’m also just throwing the set along with bad pictures rather selecting just few good ones.

For the record: I am natural by all means and in all senses of the word; Never took a single illegal drug in my entire life (no steroids, either) and as far as nutrition is concerned I just ate very few protein shakes, maybe once a day until I was 21. That’s when I stopped and replaced that with fish.

Mr. Fitness 2009


SOME months ago I received a trophy, which I have not gotten around to posting anything about… until today. Having just done some housekeeping in I finally updated the sports page and uploaded my results from Mr. Fitness 2009. Mike Coogan won this last competition.

Cheat Sheets and the Command Line

The command-line access still reigns in the back room

ALMOST anything which can be done from the command-line can also be done using a GUI, and vice versa. The question is, which can be done more flexibly and quickly? There is no “correct” paradigm as both are necessary under different circumstances, depending on the nature of the task and the learning curve involved.

Are you a GUI person? Or do you consider yourself to be a command-line guru? A combination of both paradigms is probably the best one can have; it is abundantly clear that some tasks do require a GUI to be carried out efficiently without much training. Standardised syntax and GUI usually ensure that skills are transferable, too.

Personally, I am a GUI person around 95% of the time. I still use the command-line interface on the desktop (e.g. “ffmpeg2theora -p preview –sync ./Desktop/file“) but especially for quick server operations (e.g. “tail -n600 /var/log/httpd/thelog-error_log” or “/etc/init.d/httpd restart” or “vim etc/mime.types” or “/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -s [IP] -j DROP“). SFTP with a graphical user interface is still a lot better for certain types of file management tasks. It is impossible to say very generally if a GUI application which accomplishes task X is better than a command-line counterpart. It very much depends on the circumstances and the skills/training. So, to rule out the command-line and calling it arcane or unnecessary is a foolish thing to do.

One of the merits of the command-line is verbosity. It is a merit, not a design flaw or built-in drawback, especially in specific circumstances. I use the command-line interface for little scripts which are better off run manually and in stages because things may go wrong in the middle and easily cause trouble. For instance, here is what I run when a new version of WordPress comes out (3.0.1 in the examples below):

cd ~/wordpress
rm wp-config-sample.php
rm -rf wp-content/
cp -r * ~/public_html
rm -rf ~/wordpress

There is a lot that can go wrong in any of these stages and failure to achieve the task perfectly may mean a broken Web site with little information as to what went wrong or how to fix it.

The bottom line is, do not dismiss those who favour the command-line. These are usually the people who keep the servers you connect to running.

Microsoft USB Webcam+Microphone: Piece of Rubbish


Microsoft and microphone may sound alike, but they are a very bad combination. A lot of people truly get the feeling that if they pay more for something, then it must actually be better. It’s a perception artifact. Maybe people may even convince themselves that they made a smart purchase by psychologically adapting and insisting that if something is from a known brand, then it is fundamentally better.

Microsoft is an example of a company which makes products that are neither perceived as high quality nor are they of high quality. This morning I wasted two or so hours trying some microphones and one of them was from Microsoft, whose device was too sensitive and low quality. These devices are expensive even though they are made by the same sweat shops for roughly the same price as those cheaply-made microphones which work a lot better.

The Microsoft device in question has far too much background noise, which makes it unusable for recording purposes. Why do some people buy this type of stuff (this one was borrowed just for testing)?

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