Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Open source initiative...

I am starting to think of joining another open source project on RoR. Its basically a helpdesk and workflow management solution, which would be totally web based.

I have used Peregrine for quite sometime now, and therefore have a view. I feel that there are some things in the tool that can be improved and therefore the idea. Another guy in US is also working on the topic.

Currently its hosted at

New image resizing technique

I found this amazing image processing technique called image re-targeting. This really is amazing.

Read more about it at this link here

Try this youtube video as well...

This stuff is really really innovative and brilliant. Congrats to the people behind it...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Interesting site found

I found this interesting site that talks about various topics in IT industry. Browse for few minutes and I liked it...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another useful Ubuntu Blog and some samba help

I was trying to set up Ubuntu on my Dell Laptop (Btw, Gutsy doesnt work, and Feisty works out of the box). And as they say, it worked like a charm.

So, trying to configure samba sharing between my two laptops, I ran into some issues and was looking on google. Found this blog really helping

A few simple mistake though, setting up a samba share for the first time requires using

smbpasswd -a

so that the user can be created for samba.

It was giving me this message

Could not connect to machine NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE
Failed to change password for raghav

and then, my windows workgroup name in smb.conf was not good either. So, changed that, and restarted the daemon using

sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart

and all's well in the samba world :)

I have also managed to set up the ssh server as well, so I can now work on rails stuff, without having to reboot the system. Its really pretty simple in Ubuntu. Just install the sshd package from Synaptics and you are good.

Now get some ssh client (like putty) and just remote connect to the in-house ubuntu server (sounds pretty impressive..huh..) and u r started. :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Registered at Ruby forge

The Library Mananagment System project has been registered at RubyForge. You can access the default project page at http://rubyforge।org/projects/lms

In coming days, I am going to explore more about the project setup on ruby forge and then update accordingly. Right now, the default virtual host that we have got is called, but it really is the default page.

Would update more, perhaps post the few pages that I have thought of on the wiki there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Classes for Library...

More on the Library Project

Was thinking further on this and found a basic idea of the classes I would see..

  1. Book
    1. Properties
      1. Id
      2. title
      3. author1
      4. author2
      5. author3
      6. isbn no
      7. language
      8. type
        1. printed matter [default]
        2. dvd
        3. CD
      9. meta tags [comma delimited]
      10. year of publishing
      11. edition #
      12. issue cycle (days)
      13. No of copies
    2. Methods
      1. add
      2. remove
      3. update
      4. add a copy
  2. Lib Transactions
    1. Properties
      1. date of issue
      2. member id
      3. book id
      4. date of return
    2. Methods
      1. issue book
      2. return book
  3. Member
    1. Properties
      1. Name
      2. age
      3. address
      4. sex
    2. Methods
      1. Add
      2. delete
      3. update
Would update more...

DataWarehouse with Ruby on Rails

Recently joined Wish to join a few projects on similar direction.

While browsing through I found a project they call "ActiveWarehouse" using Ruby on Rails. Pretty interesting for me, since I come from Warehousing background myself.

I guess, I am going to read more about it and probably join the project. See if I can contribute something.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Useful color codes

Found this very useful color code page.

Very useful when you want to manipulate something on your blog's template by yourself.

Library Management System : Ruby on Rails

Well, I want to learn some more of rails and ruby (as much comes along).

And so I thought of building a tiny little web application to build a library management system based on rails and mysql.

The idea is that, it would be a web based application to manage the library from an staff member's point of view. At a later stage, there would be an additional viewpoint from the library visitor, to search for books, request for issue etc...

I also intend to build a page which could be used to issue out or receive books (as a library transaction).

Here is a summary of what I have thought this application would do.. to start with...
  1. Keep stock of books
    1. multiple copies of book allowed
    2. Allow searching for books in library
    3. search on meta tags
      1. Title
      2. description
      3. author
  2. allow books to be issued out.
    1. keep track of date of issue
    2. Expected date of return
  3. Administration
    1. Allow to add books
    2. Rename, replace, add remove copies etc.
  4. Reports
    1. Books overdue on a given date
    2. Members with overdue books
    3. Books that are most probable to go overdue
    4. Members most responsible for overdue books
    5. etc...

Well, thats the very first stage of requirement thinking that has been done.

Rails Tutorial...

Looks like I found another interesting rails tutorial...तुतोरिअल्स

Monday, February 18, 2008

Making a Tag cloud for Blogger

I have always seen web pages (blogs actually) showing many tags with different font sizes showing prominence of one tag over others. Today I realized that these things are called tag clouds. And then I was searching already as to how can I get one for myself.

It seems google can find anything for you, proven umpteenth time... :)

Here is what I found, first read looks promising...

Will implement it later though .. and report of course...

Gutsy on Dell Inspiron 5100

As planned, I was doing a bit of research on installing latest Ubuntu release on my Dell Inspiron 5100.

I had installed Feisty Fawn on the same laptop earlier without any issues. As it turns out, there are a lot of issues with Gutsy on Dell Inspiron 5100.

Some of the major issues..
  1. Display
  2. Heat Sink management (from software)
  3. Live CD booting
Here is one of the that point towards such problems...
When I tried to boot through the Live CD (downloaded today), I was greeted with a blank screen. Could only get in when I chose the safe graphics mode from the boot menu.

I am surprised at this situation, especially at the fact that a give set of hardware was supported by default in Feisty Fawn and not in the next release (Gutsy). There got to be something in the release planning that needs strong attention...

About my Dell laptop

I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 purchased in July 2003. It has worked pretty well duing these years. Lately, say last one year or so, I have had problems with it. The performance went down considerabley.

Taking cues from here and there, I went for memory upgrade and put on a 1 GB RAM chip. It did help but not as much as I would have liked.

then in July 2007 we went in our new laptop HP Compaq 6710b. Its working nice and fine, no problems.

Now, I do have this Dell laptop at home and want to put this to some good use. Selling it doesnt seem like very good idea,

a. because its not going to fetch any interesting money
b. its got a bit of emotional value for me (it was my first ever laptop)
c. I can always use a second system at home for experiments etc.

Last few months, I have tried to do a bit more research into getting this system to work better. The people around the place have suggested to do a BIOS upgrade. When I tried for the first time, it turned out that I had a really really old BIOS on this laptop and it wont be upgraded directly.

I had A06 and the current version was A32. So, I was forced to upgrade to A22 first and then only I could goto A31. I read about it on Dell Forums and have to thank dallascowboysworldchamps for the suggestion to the way forward.

A gentleman on one of the google groups ( suggested that I should install a software for monitoring my cpu fan. Available at this software seems to work.

It reports that my CPU temperature is fluctuating between 57 and 62 degree celcius and its regulating fan speed according to the temperature.

Overall, the system is performing much better already.

Lets see what comes next. I am thinking of installing Ubuntu on this laptop once again...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rails fixed

After some delay on this item, I managed to spend some time on my Ubuntu system.

As it turned out, the rails env was in fact broken due to my mistake. Many versions of rails/ruby installed over period of time. From Ubuntu package management system, from Rails, ruby website. Many versions of gems etc...

So, I had to do a bit of cleaning up. In fact a lot of cleaning up. Removed ruby from Ubuntu packages perspective altogether. All of it. Removed rails from Ubuntu packages as well.

Then I got the latest ruby source code from and did the basic compilation. Nothing had to be configured for ssl or anything else. It worked like a charm. Lovely.

However, if you have some system running in production on rails, you better read a bit more on rails 2 before migrating to it. I managed because I am still playing around, and nothing is really running that is of production value. :)

It has quite some changes that do NOT fit in with rails 1.2.3 regime. Some of them are here Whats new in Rails 2

good luck :)

btw, found two interesting blogs on rails... adding them to fav links...

Friday, February 8, 2008

With Java again after 6 years

For some reason, I had to go back to do some Java programming stuff after a long time today. Before today, last I did some Java programming was way back in 2002.

As it turned out, I had forgotten everything of Java by now. I couldnt' even write the basic Hello World by myself as it is. Then I had to turn back to Sun's Java Tutorial (available here) and restart learning.

It was very exciting to remember all that I had forgotten back again. It really was. To write a basic java application saying "Hello Raghav" and later on writing my own math class. I created a square function with two constructors. I really liked it.

However I have to say that, way back in 2001/2 when I was writing JSPs and Swing Applets (using Java 2 as they called java 1.2 then), we were writing code using Editplus and JDeveloper and VisualAge kind of tools. They were not so nice actually.. to develop the kind of stuff we were building. JSPs, Beans EJB etc.

On the other hand, when I was trying this thing today, I saw that there was Eclipse, Netbeans and so many other IDEs for developing with Java. So much has changed in the development arena for Java, its almost unrecognizable. Not that I was unaware of all these changes, It was just going unnoticed in terms of real effect since I was an onlooker before today.

I really like programming, and I wont say that I dont like some help doing the stuff. The Syntax highlighting, automatic syntax checking, one click compilation kind of thing, handling classpath, adding external JARs ... and the list goes on... I tried Eclipse and found it an amazing help.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rails upgrade and issues ...

I was revisiting my rails know-how and planned to start a new project.

However, when I did an upgrade, I ran into issues. I posted them to railsforum/ruby forum here -

Post at Rails Forum
Post at Ruby Forum

But couldnt really get a solution out.

Then a friend told me about this
rails freeze
thing. He referred to this link.

I am not done yet, but will keep updating...

Laptop motherboard replaced.. thanks HP

HP website's support ticket management can be improved.

After I made the ticket for reporting the problem, 3 days later I received a packet with a CPU fan in there. Looks like somebody at HP thought that I could open my notebook and replace the fan myself... :)

However, it took few more days for them to acknowledge the real problem. Then they picked up the laptop and returned it after 9 days with a replaced motherboard.

I am happy to say that the exhaust fan now works without the special sound it was creating earlier.

I feel happy that I purchased the HP Care pack.. :)