Monday, June 28, 2010

Kubuntu/Ubuntu: "hda-intel: spurious response" on Intel Atom and D945GCLF

If you are going to install Ubuntu / Kubuntu on an Intel Atom based computer with the D945 based chipset; be aware that there is a bug in the linux kernal which leads to printing of following line continuously on screen, preventing you from logging-in. Sometimes when you reset the machine, it goes away but not at most of the times.

       hda-intel: spurious response 0x0:0x0, last cmd=0x000000       

The error looks as if it's from the sound driver; but the workaround for it is in the graphics department :)

In the BIOS setup, Video Settings, Set the IGD Aperture size to 256MB (The default is 128MB; in which the above error occur).

P. S. You can get to BIOS setup by pressing F1 key at computer startup.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting ZTE MF100 from Mobitel Lanka to work on Kubuntu 10.04

It's much easier than you would imagine. You need not use "wvdial"; the KNetworkManager works like a charm. This should work the same for other plug and play 3G modems by Sri Lanka Mobitel and Dialog too.

First; plug in your MF100. Kubuntu would auto detect the modem and show a mobile icon in the system tray. If you are already connected to a network, the icon would appear in the context menu of the KNetworkManager like below.

Click on "Mobile Broadband - Create network connection" to get the following dialog

Fill the information as follows:

Connection name: any name
Connect automatically: check "Connect automatically" if you wish to establish the connection automatically when you plug the modem

In the Mobile Broadband tab:

Number: *99#
User name: anything but blank
Password: anything but blank
APN: "mobitel3g" (without quotes) for Mobitel. I think for Dialog it's please verify.
Type: Any (try "Prefer 3G" or "3G UMTS/HSPA" if you have better 3G reception

Leave other fields as they are.

In the PPP tab:

Check "PAP" under Authentication and de-select every other option.

Click OK to save settings and connect to the internet, and if you did not use auto connect; you'll have to click the icon in the system tray to activate the connection.

It's that simple! :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kubuntu 10.04 LTS

I've used Linux some years ago. In the days of Red Hat 6.4 and then 7.1. My career in .NET development and probably some frustrations with compatibility issues with my hardware at that time, made me switch back to Windows and never look back. I've since used and promoted Windows and had perceived all Linux compilations to be at the same level as Red Hat 6.4.

I did downloaded Fedora 11 in 2008 or so due to frustrations over Windows Vista but somehow never installed it. When Windows 7 came along, I thought Windows days are here to stay. But Janaka at office kept talking about Ubuntu once in a while and that made me want to give it a shot.

I received my CD of Kubuntu 10.04 LTS from good people at Canonical couple of days ago. I installed it on a VM on the same day and was impressed with the user experience. Today, I installed it on my father's laptop and boy! I'm loving it.

So, those of you who are using pirated copies of windows making the excuse that Linux is not in par... Take another look at Kubuntu 10.04. It's way better looking and faster than Windows 7 and is guilt free!

The DigiKam application is a feature rich image editing tool at par with Nikon's Capture NX. Open Office has come a long way to be a good office suite and Google Chrome lives by the name of Chromium in the Linux world. I haven't looked at any of the IDEs yet, but I'm sure there are some that could compete with Microsoft's Visual Studio.

So, this is me, a pro-microsoftee asking you to try out Kubuntu. Believe me, it's really nice.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who let the (police) dogs out?

The government has unleashed the police at the general public. It’s most felt by the motorists but others sure do feel it, through Taliban style censoring acts and pure public abuse.

Just last week, I got copped for driving 84 km/h on a 72 km/h and the policeman asked for a bribe, the money which should have gone to the government instead ended up with a corrupt cop. Today, I heard a friend of a friend is jailed for two weeks for challenging the accusation of a policeman.

He had been driving home after work with his wife and while driving on traffic, had rested his head on his palm like in the picture to the right. A cop has stopped him and charged him for using a cell phone while driving. He has rightfully denied the accusation and offered the cop to look at his call log for which the cop has responded negatively. In the resulting argument with the cop, he has threatened to go to the police commission regarding the issue. The cop somehow has taken his driving license in to his custody.

Later, when my friend's friend went to the Angulana police station to collect his license, the police has taken him in to custody under the charges of trying to assault a police officer and he's now jailed for 14 days. The other friend, who's gone in to the police with the one who got arrested says that every policeman at the police station at the time verbally assaulted them threatening to kill them. There's reasonable doubt that the arrested person was physically assaulted as well.

The Sri Lankan police has reached new heights in its corruption and they are inventing new ways to abuse the public and increase opportunities for them to gain bribes.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


This is funny; but unfortunately, I think I signed somewhere agreeing not to discuss these things in detail in public. So this is what I guess would be okay to write here.

I'm writing code for the next version of an application server that most of the .NET developers would soon start to use. And, that server is going to have a new feature integrated in to it by default - out of the box. I'm right now trying to get that done - get that feature integrated and made default through its post setup configuration program.

Since these two products were in the existence for sometime I thought someone must have done it before - not out of the box, but through some post setup customization. So I Googled... And the first hits I get are news items that say "The X server would have Y service by default - out of the box in its next release"... :)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Got copped for speeding

Gone are the good days when they didn't catch you for speeding. Now they do.

I Was driving to Colombo from Kandy around 11.30PM and was not particularly speeding, but was maintaining a speed of around 80 km/h and taking it cool. Cops stopped me just past Yakkala. Showed me the meter and it read 84.. must be true.

Cop said that the spot fine system is not there anymore and the offenders would be put in to courts; I didn't believe him but it may be true. The friend who was with me spoke with the cop and he asked for a bribe. Gave him 500 and he gave me the license back; and we were back on the road within 10 minutes - at the same speed.

It saved me a lot of trouble to just bribe the asshole. But had there been a better system - like in the US - where paying the fine is not such a painful process that money could have gone to the government and hopefully into building roads. But instead, we bribe and cops buy arrack with that.

Fuck the whole system..

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

365 Photo Project

I've been taking pictures for few years now; but never had the will to do a photo per day project. But after buying the S90, I thought I would do one. A whole 365 day thing!!! Let's see if I could keep that kind of a commitment.

I've counted two days so far.. publishing at I'm struggling to keep up already... But let's see; If things go really bad, I might post photos from my phone :)