Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This piece might come across as one intended to bad mouth my own college, but I have a sneaking suspicion that things aren’t all rosy in other parts of the country either.
I suppose every geek has had this same feeling before. You take a seat in the front row of your first Introduction to Programming lecture, all worked up about the fact that here, finally, is a class you can be on top of. The professor walks in, gives a little introduction, and you realize it’s going to be a long, long semester.
Today I decided to make a list of all the atrocities committed by my Introduction to Programming professor. I wasn’t expecting much because, even though he sounded like a complete knucklehead to the geek inside me, I was sure he at least knew the textbook inside-out. I was, as one would expect, wrong. So, hackers, get ready to cringe. Here’s my list.
- … Linux is basically a DOS based OS.
- These days we are using 128 and 256 bit processors.
- A compiler is a software that converts code written in a particular programming language to machine code. To compile a program, you must hit ALT+F9. (It took me a while to realize he was talking about the Borland Turbo C++ IDE from 1992, a prehistoric compiler Indian colleges use for all C and C++ courses.)
- The object code generated by a C++ compiler is almost identical to that produced by a Java compiler.
- The first high level language was Ada, also known as Smalltalk. (This was a big WTF moment.)
- The second high level language was COBOL, which was an improvement over Ada. (Cringe, cringe, cringe.)
- FOTRAN came after COBOL. (No, “FOTRAN” is not a typo. This is what he said.)
- FOTRAN, COBOL, Ada and Smalltalk were not general purpose languages.
- This one is classic: C was the first language to run on UNIX systems. All languages before C ran only on Windows.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in sec seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
Where the X is some number, mostly 10 sec
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Have you every faced this problem wile using Synaptic, when Synaptic looks like some old Windows 95 application? The reason for this is that once you start changing the ugly Ubuntu themes those applications which run using the sudo command still use the ugly Windows 95 like sudo theme. To make it look pretty like your other applications do this.
Fire up your terminal and paste these commands in one by one:
sudo ln -s ~/.themes /root/.themes
sudo ln -s ~/.icons /root/.icons
sudo ln -s ~/.fonts /root/.fonts
Now your theme, fonts and icons will be carried on to your sudo account and applications running under sudo account will also look better, like this:
Saturday, January 10, 2009
What Ubuntu really lacks, is a good download manager. I wanted one and no, Firefox extension 'Downloadthemall' wouldn't work for me. So I decided to look around for a decent download manager. You must have read about 'wget' and most of you must have it already installed on your PC. It is required by many software as an required library. It is a powerful tool for downloading files. However it is a command line tool, so unless you are a super-geek you won't be able to make much out of it.
However there is one software Gwget which gives wget a GUI so that terminal illiterate people like me can use it.
Here is a screenshot :
Powerful: Since Gwget is based on wget it is a powerful software. It is a download manager for Gnome.
Resume: By default, gwget tries to continue any download.
Notification: Gwget tries to use the Gnome notification area support, if available. You can close the main window and Gwget runs in the background.
Recursivity: Gwget detects when you put a html, php, asp or a web page dir in the url to download, and ask you to only download certain files (multimedia, only the index, and so on).
Drag & Drop: You can drag & drop a url to the main Gwget window or the notification area icon to add a new download.
Features I wish were there:
Drop-box (I hate the drop-box but still it is useful for some people).
On screen display for telling the download stats.
Facility like Grab++ like in Orbit Downloader.
You can install Gwget via Synaptic or y typing the following command.
sudo apt-get install gwget
You can find the tar balls here
Gwget is a decent download manager. Users from Windows background would find it a bit lacking as compared to Windows software like Flashget, Orbit Downloader and Free Download Manager (my favorite, alas it doesn’t work with Wine). Orbit works well with Wine but the Grab++ feature doesn’t work.
But still it is a good thing to have around.
Monday, January 5, 2009
One of my friends teacher believes that Linux is a DOS based OS.