Monday, December 31, 2007

Bye bye 2007, you rocked!!

The year 2007 got really incredible. Perhaps i never had a year so packed with fun and achievements.

The fun began right from the start. January, went to Dang as a coordinator for setting up the first LTSP based e-Library of Nepal. The same deployment brought a chain of LTSP installations in Nepal.

A month later, won the LOCUS Open Software Competition with Shishir. Also won third prize on LOCUS Paper presentation Competition with Ayush. Few months later also made it to finals in the CHC60 Competition organized by IEEE. Sad that we didnt win, but atleast making it to finals in IEEE Competition is a pretty impressive thing. ;)

Few months after that starting working for Flash Project of Department of Education as Lead Developer. Also traveled to Pokhara, Nepalgunj and Bardia for training sessions of the same. Got a nice paycheck too -> new laptop!

FOSS stuffs got nicer too.. We celebrated the Software Freedom Day 2007. I was in Public Relation and Documentation team. The final report i wrote/compiled got us the Best Event Award. By the way it's not fair to say that we won just bcoz of the report, as the event was incredible in the first place. We had such level of extravaganza in 2006's SFD too, but we didnt win due to lack of proper documentation. This year i'm proud to be a part of the award..

Talkin about FOSS, i also started volunteering at Kantipur FM on behalf of FOSS. The program is Cybertime airs every saturday, 8:30-9am. I prepare and anchor FOSS related report and news everyweek.

College life was cool too. Forth year, so not much headachie techie classes and lots of off classes. Actually it's not nice from academic point of view, but still was a relief after three years of rigorous techie studies. And it's always fun to go to canteen n having tea with frens.

Also went to Ghorepani hiking with college frens, which itself is one of the most memorable thing that has happened this year.

And the most important of all, i started blogging. Aint still a regular blogger, but atleast i do. And seems like it counts.

Well, there are some bad moments too, but why repent over?

Dear year 2007, you've been really nice to me. Dear Life, plz be like this year for the rest of you.. ;)

Getting rebellious against M$

Devils_r_here, originally uploaded by mailzico.

My fren and active foss-nepal group member Zico and his squad from Bangladesh have gone quite rebellious. They wore a (debian) linux t-shirt, went to a M$ event and stayed there whole day long. Have a look

He told me that the M$ guys were askin them why do they prefer open-source? What's the bug in Vista?

C'mon we all know Vista IS the bug!

== UPDATE ==
I'd also posted this thing in FOSS-Nepal google groups, and the thread got really heated. Infact i'd asked Zico before posting as it was sure to be flamed but he said okay ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

LTSP Training of Trainers

LTSP Training of Trainers started today at Kathmandu Engineering College, Kalimati. It's a two day training jointly organized by FOSS Nepal Community and Help Nepal Network. First day is about Linux, second day is about LTSP.

The trainers and the gonna-be-trainers

Prabin has uploaded the photos of TOT here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Compact GNOME buttons and menus

If you are GNOME user, you'd agree to me on the fact that GNOME buttons and menus take too much space. While this looks cleaner and spacey, some might feel this the waste of space. Atleast i do. So why not fix it?

  1. Go to /usr/share/themes (or, /home/you/.themes
  2. Find the folder of your current theme (eg, Human, Tango, etc)
  3. Inside the folder, there's a folder called gtk-2.0 and inside it a file named gtkrc
  4. Open gtkrc with your text editor (ofcourse, make a backup first)
  5. Search for every xthickness and ythickness in the file and set the value to 1
  6. Save the file and restart X
There's also a theme named 'Clearlooks Compact' having similar attributes. You can find it here.

Furthermore, if you need more space, you can turn off text display on icons.
  1. System > Preferences > Appearance > Interface tab (or, System > Preferences > Interface)
  2. Set the 'Toolbar button labels' to 'Icons only'

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Geeky desktop with conky

Conky's man page says,

Conky is a system monitor for X originally based on the torsmo code. Since it's original conception, Conky has changed a fair bit from it's predecessor. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop or in it's own window. Conky has many built-in objects, as well as the ability to execute programs and scripts, then display the output from stdout.

Apart from system variables, I've configured conky to display fortune cookie and random jokes from (via RSS). Wrote a program to display RSS data in plane text. You can find it here. It's in php.

My ~/.conkyrc file is here.

My desktop looks like this..

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another trick using ImageMagick

Last blog was about batch resizing images using ImageMagick. But ImageMagick is more than just a resizing tool. It's kinda Adobe PhotoShop (or GIMP) for command line. You might be thinkin - what might a commandline photo editing tool be possibly use of? Well, think of resizing, watermarking and putting a nice frame to images. And to make matters worse, there are around 3000 of them and are in different formats (ie, gif, jpeg, png, bmp, etc..). Well, ImageMagick can do them all in a single command line!

ImageMagick has lots and lots of cool features. I already said, it's Adobe PhotoShop for command line and I mean it! More on ImageMagick can be found on its website

Okay now lets get down to the Magick.. Here's the problem:

Sometimes photos taken by digital cameras are just seem faded out.. Jus like image below.

How do we fix it? Well, the simplest answer is overlay.. This can also be done in Adobe Photoshop (or GIMP). I got this idea from here.

1. Duplicate the image layer
2. Apply layer blending mode as Overlay for the upper image.

But who does the hard work of opening Photoshop (or GIMP) and all the mess when i can do it with a single command using ImageMagick. We use composite command of ImageMagick (single line).

composite -compose overlay 
<faded_image> <faded_image> <output_bright_image>

(plz note that there <faded_image> is mentioned twice as the image is overlayed upon another instance of the same image)

composite -compose overlay colorless.jpg colorless.jpg bright.jpg

Here's before and after..

Before: Faded Image

After: ImageMagick Trick

Now who says commandline is boring?

Magic of ImageMagick

Sometime back i'd written a blog about batch image resizing in linux. The basic concept of doing that was combining djpeg/cjpeg command in linux. But, well, screw that! I've a better alternative - ImageMagick.

The main drawback of using djpeg/cjpeg command was that it didn't retain the image metadata, aka EXIF (Camera name, date, Exposure, etc). So as a better and flexible alternative, Imagemagick is our tool of the trade here..

To install Imagemagick in linux,

   apt-get install imagemagick

Imagemagick is also available for Windows, Mac, FreeBSD and any platform you can think of as it is Open Source. Go to for more.

Now the command to resize an image is (in single line)
   convert <original_image> -resize <resize_value>
-quality <resize_value> <output_image>
<resize_value> can be like 50% or 800x600.. hope u got the point
<quality_value> can be like 75, 85 (ie, 0-100). This whole quality control can be taken off, in that case ImageMagick automatically sets the best value.

To resize all the images in a folder, we use the following script


mkdir resized

for i in *.JPG
echo -n "Converting $i... "
convert $i -resize 50% resized/$i
echo "Done"

When this script is run in a folder containing images, it creates a folder named resized and puts all the resized image there, plus the EXIF data are retained too.. Cool huh?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ghorepani Hiking Day 4: Back Home

17th October 2007, Wednesday

Got up early, we'd to go to Beni. We couldn't say a word to the owner about what happened last night. But when she found out about the mess, c was kinda really mad. Had tea n we left that place. There was nothing left there..

Took a jeep to Beni. The road was bumpy but there were some cool sceneries on the way.

Reached Beni. The cell phone was finally working. Called home. Took a microbus to Kathmandu. This time again there was some cool view on the way.

Kaligandaki as seen from microbus. From Ghorepani Hiking

Five of us got off at Pokhara. Me, Rajiv and Babins were to go Kathmandu directly.

Reached Kathmandu at 5, but Kalanki ko jam caused 2 hours delay.

N ya, there was one funny incident. Rajiv n me were waiting for a bus at Swayambhu to get back home but we didnt get anything. Later on we were jus makin fun waving hands to each n every vehicles that passed by us. Suddenly we happened to wave a scooter, n holy shit, it stopped n waited. We were confused what was that about.. Somewhat excited coz there were gals waiting for us. But scared too coz we didn't know what they were upto..

But before we could make a move, a bus arrived n we got into it. The bus moved n we could still see the gals (there were two of them on the scooty) still waiting.. I was still out of my mind!

Ghorepani Hiking Day 3: Rain ruined the day

16th October 2007, Tuesday

We were to wake up early as we'd to go to Ghorepani to see the magnificent sunrise over the Annapurna range. But when the 4am alarm struck, we realized it was raining. Damn! rain totally ruined our day. We walked so hard to see the himalayas, n it rained the day we were going to see it.

No question of moving, we slept again. Woke up at 8.

Had breakfast and moved towards Ghorepani. Jus took one hour. If it wasn't raining, we'd have gone to Pune Hill, but rain ruined it all. We went to a hotel and had the lunch. One interesting thing about that place was that there was television with major Nepali Channels. Cool!

At Ghorepani. It was raining, else it would have been a wonderful shot from here.. From Ghorepani Hiking

We decided to split. The guys from Pokhara – Rajendra, Sanish and Ravindra were taking the same path we took to reach Ghorepani. The rest of us had no intention of goin back to Pokhara sooner. So as per the advice given by the local policeman, we decided to go to Beni through Myagdi. He'd told us that we can reach Tiplang in around 6 hours. From there we can take a bus to Beni. And from Beni there's bus to Kathmandu.

We started at 12. The first place we reached was Chitrey. We stayed there for a while at a local Mela. We'd been hearing about this Mela since Ulleri, but didn't find anything special. Maybe the fun was beginning, but we'd no time to spare.

Annapurna Range began to appear as we left for Beni! From Ghorepani Hiking

Reached another village called Shikha. From there we took a scary road towards Tiplang. The whole journey was much better than before. It was in a true sense hiking. There were villages on the way, n there always was beautiful himalayas as we walked. We felt like we did a great job not taking same path we'd come from to return back.

At Sikha. From Ghorepani Hiking

Top of the world :) From Ghorepani Hiking

Nepal is indeed beautiful.. From Ghorepani Hiking

Beautiful waterfalls were all around. From Ghorepani Hiking

The final road was really scary. It was down the hill and the path was really steep. I felt like i lost my knee cap as i walked down the road n had to take a rest on every turn. Really tiring. We were supposed to reach Tiplang by 4 or 5 but it was already 6 when we reached there.

It was already dark when we reached Tiplang. From Ghorepani Hiking

Prajwal, Mahesh and Babins were really ahead and had reached Tiplang around half an hour earlier. And had also taken a hotel room. Interestingly the hotel was run by two young gals. You can tell why they chose that hotel. Guys r guys!

Lots of flirting with those gals but clearly no sign of anything 'special' happening. In that hotel too, jus two rooms for 8 of us. No, we weren't miser this time, but that hotel jus had two rooms left.

Things were goin ok. Some of the guys were playing cards (call-break). I was jus the spectator coz i didn't have enough member to form a team (of four). Mahesh were still in the kitchen 'flirting' with the younger of two gals. Prajwal joined soon and both of them were drinking local wine. I went there too, but returned back soon coz 'something else' was goin on there n didn't want to interfere..

But not for too long. Prajwal started shouting. Holy cow, he was totally drunk! Mahesh returned back n he was kinda upset but i donno why.

We brought Prajwal back to room and we tried to sleep. Me, Prajwal and Umang. N by da way, Umang was already sick – he'd tried the wine and vomited too. Prajwal was totally drunk and still shouting. I tried to make him sleep and myself tried to sleep. Other guys were in another room playing cards.

A few minutes later, Prajwal started to spit on the floor. Soon i realized he was goin to vomit. I got up n tried to pull him out of room, but holy mother of all craps, he vomited in the room!!!

Goddamnit. I got totally numb for a while. Didn't know what to do. Called other guys in next room. Threw Prajwal out of house but had no idea what to do with the mess. It was getting smelly already n the guys in next room (guests) were spraying air-freshener. Narendra n other guys got buckets of water n tried to clean the room, but it wasn't goin away.

I was really really mad at Prajwal n didn't care if he stays outside the whole night. But other guys called Prajwal back n made him sleep in the same room. He was into sleep instantly.

There was no way any of us sleeping in that smelly room. Five of us shared a double bed. Rest two slept outside of room (kinda lobby). Later on i also went outside coz five in a double bed was really gross. I'd to literally sleep on floor with almost no blanket!! Darn u Prajwal..

Ghorepani Hiking Day 2: Hiking turned Safari

15th October 2007, Monday

It was first time in Pokhara for some guys so they went to Devis' Falls in the morning. They promised they'll be back at 8. Me, Rajiv and Prajwal were left back at hotel, so we also decided to take a short walk. But on the way we found a shop to hire bicycle. Rs. 20 per hour. Cheap, we went for a short trip around Pokhara. Dam side, Prithivi chowk, Chiple Dhunga, New Road and the time we were back at hotel, it was already 10 i guess. And we were already late for starting hiking.

Some food and we left. We were 11 – Rajendra, Sanish and Ravindra (Electrical Dept.) were also going. Some this n that, it was already noon we left the hotel.

Some breakfast before leaving. From Ghorepani Hiking

And ya, we decided to go to Ghorepani. Our first plan was to go to Annapurna Base Camp, but since we came to know it takes a lot of days, we switched to Ghandruk. But later on we came to know that the scenery is much better at Ghorepani than Ghandruk, our destination was Ghorepani at last. But first we had to go to Naya Pul to start the hike.

Going to Naya Pul was a mess again. We changed three buses. The first one to go half the road to New Bus Park. Second was a van where we stood on the carriage. The third was a bus, where we sat at the roof half the road, back inside as it started to rain and again back to top coz inside bus it was boring, although Jiwan was havin a gr8 time flirting with a gal next to him in the seat.

On the way to Naya Pul. From Ghorepani Hiking

Our hiking finally started. It was 2 already when we started walking. We were almost sure we wont reach destination on time. But so far so good.

Hiking got better with view of himalayas. From Ghorepani Hiking

There were a lot of sheeps n chyangras on the way. We liked to call them 'Dashain'. The road was along the river and although it was hot, the road wasn't harsh to walk.

Dashain.. From Ghorepani Hiking

But things got really bad as we reached the steep hill to Ulleri. O god the road was so steep and so tiring. Soon, the fast moving guys got really ahead n the rest of us couldn't walk faster. But why bother, we walked slowly. Afterall our destination for today was Ulleri only n we can reach there anyhow. We were me, rajiv, rajendra, jiwan and umang in the slow walking team.

There were some cool people on the way. The first was the 'charko' didi. She had a shop where we stopped to have tea. She was really flirty and funny. The guys who were ahead of us had also stopped in that shop for some cold drinks. While we were there, there were other ppl from kathmandu. They were also staying at Ulleri.

View from Ulleri. From Ghorepani Hiking

We finally reached Ulleri but there was no sign of other guys. The locals told us that they moved towards Birethanti, another village one hour ahead. It was getting dark but we decided to go and catch them.

We met them finally at Birethanti. But they were getting ready to move forward towards Nangethanti and still ahead to Ghorepani if possible. It was already 6 then. The locals told us that it takes 2 hours to reach Nangethanti. We had to cross the forest named Banthanti to reach there.

And then our trekking turned into Night Safari. It was pitch dark and we were in the woods. To make things worse, i was at the tail of line. And o god, i cant explain how scared i was. I always had the feeling that someone was coming from behind. After an hour of walk everybody started to get frustrated coz it was dark n we didn't know where we were goin. And there was no sign of appearance of Nangethanti.

Trekking turned Safari. From Ghorepani Hiking

I didn't know this first but there was another reason to be scared among other guys. Some villagers told them that some kinda 'Churelni' (female ghost) scare people in the woods. Similarly 'Top' (male ghost) scale gals. I would have been even more scared if i'd known it coz i was at the back.

Two hour of hopeless walk and we finally heard noise of dogs shouting – we've reached Nangethanti. We found a hotel but the owner told us that they dont have enough rooms. But we requested coz we'd nowhere to go. Finally she agreed.

Was warm there. We also had meal with delicious meat of chyangra.

Bed time. We took jus two rooms! 11 guys in jus two rooms. We're hell miser so to speak but infact we were tight of budget. Moreover, it was cold too. In one of the rooms were the ones who were having 'toop', rest in another.

N ya, there was a funny (but scary) incident. The place had no electricity so i went to other guys room to borrow a lighter, in case we needed one. It was dark n i was staring the darkness outside through the pitch dark passage as i knocked the door of another room. Suddenly somebody came nowhere out of darkness with a candle. O god, i was almost scared to death! But thanx god, it wasn't any 'churelni' or something alike. She was the hotel owner, bringing the bill :P

Ghorepani Hiking Day 1: First Times

14th October 2007, Sunday

We were all set for the hiking and so were to meet at buspark at 6:30. But being a Nepali it's obviously against our morals to be on time :). I reached at 7. Rajiv and Rajendra followed. Babins and Jiwan were already there. Had some arguments on whether to take a bus or micro. Finally took a bus at around 7:30.

Few minutes on the road and we got stuck again at Kalanki aka Kalanki ko jam. Some yawnings, roaming around and cursing government for not broadening the road, we finally hit the highway at 11.

Bored at Kalanki ko Jam. From Ghorepani Hiking

The other guys – Prajwal, Narendra, Mahesh and Umang were on bike. Their plan was to go to Manakamana first, reach Pokhara in the evening and meet us. Our plan was to go the Pokhara directly first, have some sight seeings and meet the biker guys later in the evening.

But unfortunately due to delay at Kalanki we reached Pokhara later. The biker guys were already at Sanish's place. We finally met at Prithivi chowk.

Most of the guys were for the first time in Pokhara so we went directly towards lakeside and Phewa tal. It wasn't my first visit to Pokhara (infact i was in Pokhara for a week few months ago) so wasn't interested at all. But other guys were really enjoying the place. We stayed in a hotel at Lakeside. It was Prajwal's friend's.

In the evening, again went for some walk. Our plan was to get dinner and go to a disco. But the club we went only had a concert. There was a snooker table too, so some guys went to play. Rest of us stayed outside.

We roamed around but it only got boring and boring. I was sleepy of day long bus ride. Finally we found a club. We all decided to go there, have some beer, jump around and go back to hotel room.

But WTF, it was a dance club. I mean only a real gal dancing at the front. Not kinda disco as we all had imagined before entering. It was the first time most of us had ever gone to a dance club. And it was embarrassing. At least i was.

Things got lil okay later on. Some guys even went to the front seat and some started talkin with the dancers. But nothing 'special' happened. I came to know later on that some cops had also arrived at the bar but obviously nothing wrong with that. I had few glasses of beer. Bar closed at 11.

From Ghorepani Hiking

Friday, September 21, 2007

Use GNU Octave instead of MATLAB

Especially engineering and technical people out there, you might have used MATLAB. How did you get it?? Bought it?? Commercial version costs $1900. Even the student version costs $99. Or got it pirated? Well it's not good either..

Here's the alternative: GNU Octave. It's more than just alternative. Good thing is that it is fully MATLAB compatible, that means every code written for MATLAB also runs in Octave.

GNU Octave

The most important of all is that GNU Octave is Free and Open Source Software. It also runs on Linux so everybody who wanna move to Linux but holding back due to MATLAB, well, we've a catch here..

GNU Octave's web address:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Watching Youtube (and other online videos) full screen

The best OS to have in your computer is Linux. In Linux, one of the best software to install is CompizFuzion (previosuly, Beryl). Well, I normally don't like to have flashy graphics as it gets boring and counter-productive with time, but the screen zoom feature always rocks!

Zooming screen?? Where could this be useful?? This feature is targeted for people with poor vision so that they can magnify part of screen. I do have good vision (after wearing glasses though) but this feature comes handy when watching videos from sites like Youtube.

Online video sites like Youtube and Google Videos have small sized videos. Now if you have CompizFusion, just press Win Key and rotate the scroll wheel and zoom it to full screen..

Normal Screen

Zoomed a bit

Zoom More..

Full Screen

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Firefox font fix

My last post on decreasing dpi got my Firefox fonts so damn small. Tried a lot of ways to fix it, even changed /chrome/userContent.css and userChrome.css but nothing worked.

I later installed a plugin named NoSquint which permanently changes the zoom level for individual or all sites. While this worked fine for me, i was lookin for a permanent solution.

Finally i found out that firefox tries to sync it's dpi with system's dpi, which i've already set low. Now the fix for that is as follows.

  • Go to address bar and type about:config
  • change the layout.css.dpi value from -1 (or whatever) to 0 (zero)
My Firefox now shows normal fonts.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Linux fonts too big?? Try decreasing dpi

Every time i install any Linux distro, the first thing i do is decrease the size of font. I use GNOME in which the default font size defaults to 10 which i feel is quite large given the fact that i use the resolution 1024x768 over a LCD.

But instead of decreasing the font size, here's the alternative that works better. Go to System > Preferences > Font > Details. Now change the Resolution to 72 dots per inch (dpi) (or more if u dont like too small fonts). I chose 72 because it is the actual dpi present on the screen. The smaller fonts look sleek and provides more space too..

Give it a try..

Monday, March 19, 2007

Batch jpeg image resize in linux

The (jpeg) photos we take using digital camera are just too large so to save space and bandwidth, it's better to resize them before uploading them to online photo sharing sites like Picasa or Flickr. Here's how i do it in linux..

Basically two commands are used here.
1. djpeg - decompress a JPEG file to an image file
2. cjpeg - compress an image file to a JPEG file

So to resize, i run this script on a folder containing the image files.


mkdir resized
for i in *.JPG
echo 'Resizing image..' $i
djpeg -scale 1/2 $i | cjpeg > resized/$i

After script is done, a folder named 'resized' is created containing the resized images..

Both the program djpeg/cjpeg isn't installed by default, they're part of libjpeg-progs package. Under Ubuntu you can get it by

sudo apt-get install libjpeg-progs

(thanx subir dai for pointing this out)

Is fate written on your palm?

Today we'd a surprise treat from Ashay. He had his birthday yesterday so we all were insisting on him to give us a treat. We weren't expecting, but he agreed!

We went to Jazz-a-bell cafe after the FOSS Essentials. There Ashay revealed one of his talents. He can so elegantly read palm. Especially Kebina n Monika were eager to have their read (Why gals so badly wanna know their future is out of my mind..). Whatsoever, Ashay told a lot of things to Kebina n Monika (about themselves) through their palm.

Whatever happened there is quite irrelevant here, one question always hunts me - Is there anything like fate? What i strongly believe is that the lines in the palm don't determine the fate.. Instead it's the fate which determines the lines. And fate is something you can control. The more harder you work, the better will be your fate and better will be the lines on the palm.

Here're few lines from 'The Matrix' movie, i'm really influenced of..
(Conversation between Morpheus and Neo)

- Do you believe in fate?
- No
- Why?
- Because that's not the way i wanna control my life..

Sunday, March 18, 2007

FOSS Essentials Training - Second day

I'd meeting at some other place in the morning so couldn't reach MPP on time. When i reached there it was already time for lunch. As soon as i reached the hall, i got the food coupon! How embarassing..

But i was full so didn't go for lunch. Instead we jus stayed in the hall and started a movie on the projector. Yesterday we were talkin about movies and we'd also talked about 'The Matrix'. Prasanna had recommended another movie 'V for Vendetta' by the same director. This time he'd brought the DVD. Unfortunately, Ashay was first to grab it. My chance is tomorrow.

Well, we put the movie on, but obviously we didnt have time to watch the full movie, so we just turned it off and went for lunch. Lunch was better than yesterday. And one special thing to mention, this lunch is costing us a lot. We're using Yala Maya Kendra's hall, so we were compelled to order all the food from Dokaima Cafe. But this cafe is kinda 10 star'ed. The simple lunch we're providing to the trainees is costing us Rs. 300 per head! Way too expensive..

But lets not get concerned with food, what concerned me today was Roshendra dai's camera. At first i thought it was a SLR, but later on found out that it wasn't. But still, the camera was 8mp with 8x zoom and the photos were outstanding. Moreover, it looked more like SLR, i totally got stuck with it.. Shot everything that came infront of me..

The program continued. This time i also had a presentation on 'How to start blog'. But mine was scheduled at the last. So i took some time off to go to MPP office and had a look on my presentation. There wasn't anything i could add. My time was limited so the slides were more than enough..

From FOSS Essentials Training 2007

Back to the training hall. Shishir was giving presentation on LTSP. Prasanna's Drupal was next followed by Shankar's presentation on Wiki. Mine was at the end..

Finally the program was over. And the fun parts were just beginning - certificate distribution and photo session. It was real fun (especially the photo session)..

One more thing i need to mention. All the gals got 50% of their training fee waived, courtesy of BellaSAP. Wish guys also had such fortune..

Anyways, FOSS Essentials Training was a gr8 success. Hope the trainees also learned a lot.. The sad part is that i again have to go to MPP tomorrow to rearrange the computers.. ;)

From FOSS Essentials Training 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

FOSS Essentials Training - First day

Woke up at 5:30 in the morning and i'd already overslept. I had to reach MPP by 6:30 so i'd to rush. But when i reached there, i was the first. Other guys soon joined. Yesterday the training hall was occupied so we couldn't setup the computer. Now it was time to rush.

We'd quite a taskforce, so it didn't take much to manage the training area. The opening ceremony was scheduled for 9am. Everything was ready by then..

The program started with some speeches n all.. There were two Japanese guys from CICC. I really had problem understanding their english. Then there was a funny speech by Kamal Mani Dixit (the day before there was a disastrous typo on his name on the schedule sheet but was fixed immediately!!!). Similarly there were speeches from NITC Director Subarna Shakya and
CAN President Biplab Man Singh too..

After the training started, we (volunteers) stayed in the hall for a while. The first presentation was by our very own Subir dai about FOSS. It was followed by Hempal sir's presentation on licensing issues. I was really overwhelmed by the number of licenses available. There was a slide where he'd put the logo of all the licenses available. The whole screen was cluttered by the logo. So many licenses, you need to be a lawyer to understand 'em all.. But i love GPL, it's widely used, simple and has full FOSS spirit too..

Lunch break and the training continued with Linux installation. We all volunteers were to assist the trainees so that they wont wipe out the existing data in the computers. I had the responsibility of total four computers in first and second row. There was this didi in the first row named Sushmita whom i thought had seen somewhere else before. Later on we found out that both of us know a same person..

Linux installation was a breeze. But in one of the computer, CDROM wasn't working properly so we had to abandon the installation.

The next session was basic linux commands, so we all volunteers got out for some chit chats. Yesterday Ankur, Prasanna, myself and other guys were planning to have a program on 'how to write code on Open Standards'. So we sat down to talk on it. My plan was to organize a one week long session with one hour each day. Later on we also discussed on how to work on understanding others' code as this is the first step to work on open source collaborations. It was decided we'll take next one week to design the program and the actual program need not be continuously one whole week.

We also talked on starting a project 'JotPad'. Basically this project will be used for OLPC laptop. This would be Nepali Notepad with handwriting recognition. Some kinda ambitious project, but we all are excited and
interested to work.

Besides there were talks on various topics like Google Summer of Code, OLPC and sometimes even on movies. Ujwal is still tryin to make some pace on his project Neprogra. His concept is awesome. Actually he is trying to make an universal microcontroller programmer, with all controllings from computer. I think i'm getting his idea but donno why electonics projects dont perk me much these days..

Finally OLPC laptop, there was a presentation on it by Ankur and Himali dai. This little laptop is really amusing.. The thing that most shocks me is the resolution of the screen. In such a small size, they've managed to squeeze a resolution of 1200x900 pixels. Moreover, it also works with sun's light. These days i'm really getting interested to work on the development stuffs of this 'sano sathi'.

In overall, the day's program was great. Although i didn't spend most of my time inside the training hall, i suppose the program was great from Geshan's blog. Tomorrow we again have the second day of the training. Lets see how it'll be tomorrow. Tomorrow i also have presentation on 'How to start a blog'.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Steps to compile Helloworld for Symbian OS using visual c++ 6 for Nokia 6600

1. the first option is choosing which SDK to use. the lower versions have less documentation and examples but have integration with visual c++ 6. the higher versions ( > 2nd edition) have no integration with visual c++ 6 but have better documentation. so i recommend to install multiple SDKs as long as space is no limit. note that multiple sdks can coexist very easily.

2. first of all install sdk 2nd edition. the only reason to install this is for visual c++ 6 integration. there are two folders inside C:\Symbian\7.0s\Series60_v20\Series60Tools named 'applicationwizard' and 'epoctoolbar'. copy them to some other location. we need this later on..

3. now uninstall the 2nd edition sdk. this sdk has a problem that the gui softwares need exactly 1.3.1 version of java and cant work with higher.. (duh)

4. now install any higher version of sdk (in our case, 2nd ed, fp2). higher versions usually have more examples and better documentations.

5. copy the help and examples from the installation folder.

6. now u may uninstall this sdk. (reason - binaries produced by higher versions maynot work with lower version models)

7. install sdk 2nd edition fp1 (aka 2.1). both '2nd edition' and '2nd edition fp1' support 7.0s Symbian OS, but the later works with any java version higher than 1.3.1 plus it has some more functionalities.

8. install java

9. install activeperl

10. Open My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Environment. Add C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.5.0_04\bin to the PATH variable. Add .pl to PATHEXT (so that perl scripts dont need trailing .pl ** VERY IMPORTANT!!! **)

11. Perl setup usually associates perl scripts with perl. To check, My Computer > Tools > Folder Option > File Types. Go to pl extension, n check if it is setup. if not, create a new and make it to open with perl.exe

12. now add application wizard and epoctoolbar from 'applicationwizard' and 'epoctoolbar' folders we copied in step 2. instruction on how to install is given in the readme file in the folders.

13.start visual c++ 6.0 and create an application using a wizard. Suppose the application is named Helloworld and is located at c:\HelloWorld. Once the files are created, you can edit it, but lets first compile it as it is..

14. the vc++ toolbar can be used to compile but the command line is more flexible.

15. Run > cmd

16. Go to project's group folder. cd c:\Helloworld\group

17. type -

bldmake bldfiles

This makes abld.bat and some other info files..

18. to compile for emulator type,

abld build wins udeb

abld - build utility command
build - build the program
wins - for emulator
udeb - debug build (u means unicode)

19. now run emulator (debug) from emulator. there is the compiled application at the bottom

20. to compile for cell phone type,

abld build thumb urel
abld build thumb udeb

Meanings same as 18, except that thumb refers to compressed code for armi processor in the cell phone.

21. beore transferring it to phone, we need to make a package.

24. now back to command line, go to install folder n type

makesis helloworld.pkg

25. helloworld.sis is created. transfer this to the mobile phone, install n run..


Me, a blogger?

I'm writing after such a long gap n i'm feelin quite funny about it. This saturday and sunday FOSS Nepal Community is organizing a FOSS Essential Training. The event is supported by Center of the International Cooperation for Computerization (CICC), Singapore, National Information Technology Centre (NITC) and Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP).

Being a FOSS member i'm obviously into it. In particular i'm in Resource Personal team and Event Management Team. But here are the fun parts..

I missed the first meeting! N i donno if other guys were mad on me or what, they've chosen me to give a presentation on blogging. Their point was that i'm a 'blogger'! Yes i do blog but it's far less than occasional. But still, it was surprising to me that i still got the status of 'blogger' coz other guys present in the team dont blog!

That was it, n i had to prepare a presentation on 'How to start a blog?'. Around 10 minutes long. Wasn't a hard job at all. Even though i'm not a true blogger, i do know how to start one n stuffs related to them.. I use for my blogs, but i also had to try out which i found pretty cool. Quite less messy and easier than But i'll be sticking to for some time.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Back home!

Woke up with the sound of vajan. It was quite early in the morning too, but at other's place there wasn't anything we could do. The best option for us was to move out as soon as we can. Yesterday we'd met the same driver with whom we came to Dang and he gave us the information that the microbus that runs from Tulsipur would arrive Lamahi around at 8 am. But we got out early - It's Maghi tomorrow so we maynot get seats to go to Kathmandu.

In a while a microbus came with exactly five seats left. We didn't want to risk waiting for another microbus, so we got in. Wasn't that comfortable, but we just wanted to get back home.

There aren't much reminiscences, but i was quite in an uncomfortable seat. It was supposed to be a seat for three and i was the fourth one sitting on it. Moreover once, there was a woman whose baby slept on my lap, the conductor was sleeping on my shoulder and there was another old woman next to me vomiting! I borrowed Kebina's iPod and slept listening to it.

We all were separated, so there wasn't much talking. All i could do was sleep. Some of the things on the way worth remembering were Kurintar's sweet oranges and the man next to me whom i pushed kinda harder all the time to make space to sleep. Later on Shishir told me that he was the newly appointed Member of Parliament from the Maoist side representing Dang! Holy #$%^!

Got back Kathmandu around at 4 pm.

Finally home!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Busy morning, trip to Gorahi and our Headmaster sir

Stayed up the whole night! Infact the backup software screwed up. Actually my intention was to make a DVD which would reinstall everything in a single step. There was a program called Mondo to do the backup job, but it wasn't working properly back in the Kathmandu itself. So i'd another program called clonesys to do the job. I even tried Mondo for the last time, but still it didn't work. Later on i found out that the main file was corrupted. Damnit, if i'd known this back in Kathmandu i would have downloaded it again.

But no worries, i'd another program to do the job – clonesys. It was working good when i tested it in back in Kathmandu but i didn't have much time to fully test it back then too. I just hoped it would work.

Unfortunately it didnt! It was middle of the night, everybody else were sleeping and i was getting screwed to the extent i could. An easy recovery system was something we were promising since the beginning, and now it wasn't showing any sign to work. I seriously needed some alternative. Did i have some?

Yes i did. The whole system was K12LTSP with a list of changes applied. To say it better, the system was simply K12LTSP customized to our needs. Fortunately, every changes we made on it was written on my diary. So it didn't take me long to list down the changes/customizations. Once it was done, i started writing script to do the whole customization stuff automatically. Didn't take that long as i'd expected.

So now the recovery system consisted of two DVDs. One was the K12LTSP installation DVD. Another DVD was the one containing scripts to perform the required changes to the system. The same DVD also contained all the content of the Local Intranet.

Now i'd to check it, i began installing the K12LTSP in another computer. Meanwhile also documenting everything i was doing in my laptop.

Around at 4, Govinda sir woke up. Oh i forgot to mention, Govinda sir also stayed with us so that we can teach him better about the system. By then a draft copy of the recovery manual was also over. So i told him to exactly follow the manual and install the K12LTSP. To my relief, he did it. A night long of work finally had some results.

Slept at 6 in the morning. Woke up at 9.

Had some breakfast and back to work again. Now another disaster – the manual i'd prepared the whole night wasn't there. I donno what happened, but the manual's file wasn't simply there in the laptop. I know i made a mistake not saving, but i'm damn sure i didn't close it either.

No time for worries, i started writing it again. I'd already written it before, so didn't take much to rewrite it. Whala, the re-installation manual was (re)done!

Meanwhile, Shishir and Rajiv went to the office to install the fax machine. They also tested it and also taught Kushal sir (he's the accountant there, i guess) how to operate it. We also tried to connect the office and the lab through LAN but there was some problem with the cable. Maybe the distance was too long.

Now it was time to rush. Today we were supposed to leave and stay at our principal sir's home at Lamahi. I even had to go to Ghorahi. We atleast needed to move out before 2pm. Govinda sir was also rushing as he also had to go to his home – Pyuthan. We all were jokin that his wife's gonna kill him. But finally everything was done. We'd burned the required CDs too. Double-checked everything and then we moved. It was around 1pm.

Took a bus and reached Lamahi. Our headmaster sir had given us his number to call once we were in Lamahi. We called but nobody picked up. We were screwed for a while. But not for too long. Seems like our headmaster sir is quite popular here. Even the shopkeeper whose phone we used knew about him and knew where he lived. She told us the direction and so we moved.

Seems like everybody knows him here. We reached his home asking the local people. And there you go, we reached his place. Meanwhile our headmaster sir wasn't at home. We were welcomed by his wife. We kept our luggages there and moved out to go to Ghorahi.

Going to Ghorahi had a reason. I was born in Ghorahi but still dont know how the place is. I was brought up in some other place (Baglung). Now i've come upto Dang and i didn't want to miss the visit to Ghorahi. Previously only me and Shishir were planning to go to Ghorahi but since there was no work to do for the rest, we all went.

There was an truck accident on the way to Ghorahi so we had to stop for a while. But we finally reached Ghorahi. Now i'd one particular job to do – meet Saliza aunty of Marigold Public School. My dad in particular was insisting me to meet her. He'd told me that she was the one who loved me most when i was kid. But i didn't know how she looked, infact i dont know anything related to Ghorahi. I just know i was born there.

Now the problem – how to find Marygold school in the first place in this big town?? But fortunately the school wasn't much far from where we got off. We asked the locals there and they showed us the way. There were no taxi nor rickshaw. All we could do was walk.

But later there was this guy who told us that there was no Marigold school anymore. It was shut off a few years ago after the Maoists blasted a bomb in the school. So instead of Marigold School, there was Siddhartha Academy. He also showed the way to the school.

We reached Siddhartha Academy. But Saliza aunty wasn't there. It was a completely another school and Saliza aunty didn't belong there. But fortunately we met a woman (her name was Usha Sharma and she was wife of the Principal of the school). She knew Saliza aunty and showed us the way to reach her. She also gave information that the building of Marigold School is still there (but closed as a school) and Saliza aunty lives in the same building.

It was a long walk but we finally reached there. The building was really big but was really deserted. There was a school previously here. But after it was closed, it's just Saliza aunty's family who lives here. Top floor. Me and Shishir went up, other guys stayed outside. Finally we reached there, we thought.

But not so. Saliza aunty wasn't at home. There was another woman who told us that she's gone to a PCO nearby. I might not meet her, so i took the telephone number of the home from her. Shishir and others were freakin out coz we'd been walkin since a hour or two, but i still had energy to meet her. Cmon it's a nearby PCO. Me and Shishir went there.

Finally there she was. But she was busy talkin on phone. Meanwhile i talked to a man who was sitting there and when i told him that i came to meet Saliza aunty, he asked who i was. I told the name of my dad and everything. Then he was smiling – he was husband of Saliza aunty. And now remember them. I've been seeing them on photo. It was just i didn't know them.

They both were surprised to see me and asked how i reached there. I told them about the project and all. But one thing i missed – i thought they would be shocked to see me and tell me how big i've gone and such things, but they took it normal.

Some talks and it was time to go. We had to reach Lamahi. But i was glad to meet them. If i hadn't met them, it would have been a sad evening coz we walked soo much.

Back to Lamahi and back to our headmaster sir's place. It was somewhat boring, somewhat irritating and somehow hilarious to me.

It turned out that our headmaster sir was being involved in 'Om Shanti'. And after dinner, he started talkin about it on and on. First there was Swasthani and although we were tired and wanted to go to bed, we listened. But then he started his talks on Om Shanti and other spritual things. Oh god, he kept on talking and talking. I know none of us believed on such things, but we'd no option but to listen.

Later on i felt funny about how the guys were irritated listening to him. But i dont wanna talk about it. It was just too much. And it was finally over when he started taking out the video CDs to show to us. We then told him that it was too late and we were too tired and wanted to go to bed.

Finally to bed!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fake load-shedding, Handover program and the sleepless night

The fake load-shedding spoiled my whole night. I'd a lot of finalizing works to do on the server. First of all the total backup of the software content on the server was still pending. Similarly, the local intranet was still remaining to be smoothed. There were a lot of other tit-bits to tweak. All these works were worth one night. But the load-shedding played villain here.

I began to work around at 8 after having dinner but the bloody electricity went off again. Since i've come here, the thing that has been bothering most is the frequent power cut-offs that happen here. Almost every evening there's loadshedding and we're left with nothing but to sleep. But this time it was really frustrating. I'd a ton of work to do n there was no lights to do them. But there was nothing i could do so i just set alarm for early in the morning and went to sleep.

When i woke up, there still was no electricity. I couldn't also sleep any further. So began to play a puzzle game in my cell phone. I chose the difficult one, the one i never had a record of getting solved. But what's this? I solved it within five minutes. Frustration grew as i kept on waiting for lights. Donno when i slept again.

When i woke up, it was already eight in the morning and there STILL was no lights. We felt like something really might have gone fishy – maybe blown fuse or tripped MCB. Later on we found that it was jus loose plug that was causing the whole fake load-shedding! However there was nothing we could have done even if we'd found it during night coz the plug was inside principal sir's room and it was locked.

We fixed the power but there was no question of getting back to computer. Today was the day for the handover program. The main purpose of ours to come here was to setup the computer lab, but we also had the responsibility of delivering the books for the traditional library donated by Help Nepal Network. Infact this whole project was about traditional library, the concept of digital eLibrary came much later. And this formal event was supposed to be organized few days earlier, but our headmaster sir got stuck at Kathmandu due to chakkajam and when he returned back, he got busy with SLC form irregularities of some of the students. Finally the program was scheduled for today.

Leave aside the program, the main problem among us was to select one among us to deliver a speech in the program. Rajiv was the obvious candidate as he was the most efficient Nepali speaker among us and the speech ought to be in proper Nepali. Rajiv was getting prepared for it.

But later on things changed. We also needed to highlight some aspects of Help Nepal Network during the speech. I was the one who knew most about Help Nepal Network among us, so we decided to share the speech between Rajiv and me. But when the program was about to start, the program conductor came and told us that there will be speech from only one among us. Finally (and surprisingly) i was selected for the job.

This was quite unexpected. I had no intention to speak but somehow i ended up with something i've never felt comfortable with. You know i'm such a bad speaker. I really dont have problem interacting with people but when it comes to speaking infront of a mass, i really do have a complex. But there i was and i had no alternatives. How long can i run away??

I gathered some points to speak on and noted them in the diary. And there you go, it was my turn. I know the speech was such a mess coz i really had problem speaking in Nepali. But i guess, i didn't leave any points to speak on.

Beside the speech crap, we exchanged papers related to the donated books, computers and other equipments. The program was short and sweet. The chairperson was Mr. Lalmani Sharma, the President of School Management Comittee. Teachers and parents were also present. Unfortunately there weren't much students as the school was closed from today for Maghi to be held the day after tomorrow.

After the program was over, we had a short demo of the lab to the attendees of the handover program. There was this person (i forgot his name now), who told us that he also talked with Arun dai the day before. He was infact the unofficial coordinater of this project. It was because of his efforts Help Nepal Network agreed to help this school.

Besides him there were other persons from the Guardian's Group. Others were well known and respected personalities of this area. Good thing was that everybody appreciated the attempt and the technology. I dont know if there were any back-bitings, but everybody came to us and praised and thanked us for what we've done.

Later on we also had interviews of various persons regarding their comment on the eLibrary. We also videotaped them. Actually videotaping the interviews was idea of Roshendra dai. Shishir had talked with him yesterday on phone.

After program we'd planned to go to Lamahi with our headmaster sir. But we canceled the program this time too. I still had a lot of works to do due to the fake load-shedding the whole night. I was really running out of time and spending time visiting Lamahi was quite out of question.

After everyone had gone, i was infront of the server full time. I'd a lot of things to do – backing up the whole server, finalizing the Local intranet and some other tits-bits. Would take a whole night. Hopefully the lights wont go this time.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Excited teachers, Homesickness and the Chocofun

Fourth day here at Bhaluwang and i was already getting homesick. Most of all, i was missin my honey and during night, my bed (cmon, we are staying in the computer lab itself). Talkin about missin stuff, it was quite a joke here. And by the way, all jokes are courtesy Rajiv (Dude, you are the man!) According to him what i miss most was internet (coz i talk about internet all the time). Shishir misses his bike most. The open highway is just there, and he doesn't have a bike to ride – quite a misery huh? Ayush's case was different. He misses madal! Quite a thing to miss. Actually there was a time Ayush was gettin so frustrated (perhaps homesick or else?) and he was complaining on lack of any musical instrument – 'Aint a madal'. Rajiv was having all the fun i guess. It was his first stay outside valley and he was enjoying it to the fullest. But i can't say anything about Kebina coz she stays at a different place. Dont u get cardiac arrests at times??

Leave the homesickness aside, we've come here to work. According to our schedule, it was the teacher's turn this time.

However teaching the teachers wasn't much different than the students, as most of the teachers here were also completely unaware of computers. So we had to start with basic computer skills like typing and mouse handling. But besides these we also showed them the Local intranet in our system. We really have a huge collection of articles in our system which can also be very useful for the teachers.

Later on we had some talks with the teachers about the proper use and the sustainability of the eLibrary. All the teachers are excited and positive towards the lab. By now i don't have any question regarding effectiveness of the softwares being provided. My main concern is the hardware and maintainability issue. Since this is a linux based lab, i'm wondering if the lab would be easy to maintain.

During evening we went to Bhaluwang again. But this time, walking. Actually we had a plan to go to Lamahi. Me in particular wanted to go there coz i'd heard from others that there's internet and i so badly needed to access my email. But the time we finished the training sessions, it was already late and our principal sir recommended not to leave as there might be difficulty returning when it's too late.

At Bhaluwang, we straight went to a local shop to have some fish from nearby Rapti river. Wasn't tasty at first but later on we ended up eating ten plates of them. Well uh, the plates were small, but ten plates is quite a number. We also found a momo shop there. Oh dear, we were already missing momo. Went there and had it too. I didn't find anything wrong with the momo but other guys were freakin out. Ayush was already in search of a medicine shop for some Digene tablets. But later on we ended up with Chocofun :). Ayush's philosophy is that Chocofun helps in digestion. Well, i give a damn to that but being a Chocofun fan, i bought some more Chocofun and later on also made Kebina to buy some. Quite a Chocofun evening!

It was already dark when we returned, and thankfully the bus didn't play any weird songs like last time.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Chungi, sleepy day and the training

Yesterday i was feeling little sick in the evening, felt like i'm gonna have some fever. I was having kinda soar throat, n every time i have that, a fever follows. I was really scared if i'd catch some fever. So i had to take a tablet of cetamol before sleeping. And thanx god, it worked. I was feelin much better when i woke up.

Talkin about waking up, i must say that we've become quite lazy here. It always gets eight in the morning when we wake up although we even dont work late night. By the time we finish our breakfast, the school ground is already full of students. And you know, we also used to do this when we were at school – some light sports before assembly. What grabbed my attention this time was chungi.

Whereever there is bicycle, there is always chungi. No wonder it used to be our favourite when at school and also at college. Quite a reminiscence of school days, i quickly went to the students to revive some. Although not good at chungi, but it was fun to play with the students. They were more like little brother to me, but it was fun playing with them. Hmmm, i even played chungi at Dang. Quite an experience.

Now back to work. As per our schedule, the first two day were allocated to setup the hardware, the next two days for trainings and the last two days for case studies n all. Well, the two days have already gone, so today and tomorrow are the days for the trainings.

So with the help of Govinda sir, we called group of students to the lab and started teaching them how to turn on the computer, to log in and to run the programs. Well i'm not good at teaching. I portrait myself more like a geek and find pleasure hitting keys and racking my brain in front of computer. But somehow i was trying to cope with other guys.

But not for too long. During breakfast in the morning i had somewhat running nose and was suspecting flu. Shishir had told Govinda sir on phone to bring some tablets of Decold for me and i took one during lunch. The same tablet was inducing sleep now. Oh god, i was tryin soo hard to keep my eyes open. But it seemed almost impossible to me. So in a while Ayush, Kebina and me went to canteen to have a coffee. Funny, before coffee arrived, i fell asleep.

When i woke up, i found myself resting my head at the canteen table, with a cold coffee (which might have been hot when it arrived) before my head. I drank that and ordered another coffee (little hard this time). Sarita ma'am (Kebina stays at her place) and Giri ma'am (newly appointed librarian for the school) joined in. Had some talks with Sarita ma'am. Giri ma'am doesn't talk much. Maybe because she's new.

Now i've mentioned about Sarita ma'am, i'd like to talk little more about her. Her full name is Sarita Rijal and she's from Ghorahi. From the information given by others and especially Kebina (as she stays at her place), she is one of the most influential lady i've ever met. She was married after her SLC but still continued her education from her husband's home. Mind you, i'm talkin on the rural context. Then she came to Kathmandu for her further studies. By then she already had had a child whom she had to leave with her husband. She even had to take meditation classes as she was depressed on being apart from her child. She has done upto masters and she is the most educated lady teacher here. She takes interest on everything – she even has taken computer hardware trainings! But one thing that i'm particularly impressed about – she's soo so simple. Even after what she's achieved, i didn't find a single sign of arrogance in her. She talks like a kid, dresses simple and speaks soft. And most of all, even after reaching such a height she still prefers to educate the children in this remote place. Her husband and child are in Ghorahi and she lives here at Lalmatiya as a teacher. And every weekend, she rushes back home to meet her loved ones. Sarita ma'am, you're the one. You truly are a role model and everyone of us should learn from you. I really salute you from the core of my heart.

Okay now back to my sleepiness. Well after the canteen-snore, i was out of sleep. Returned back to the lab where the training sessions was still going on. I helped the guys to teach the students how to log on, how to open programs. There were few students who were already familiar with computer. To them, i taught some little advanced stuffs like to add article to the wiki (we also have a local wiki in the network). The students are really bright and have keen interest on computers. All they lacked was a computer lab. Felt good that Help Nepal Network is helping them to have one. And i was glad to be a part of it.

During evening we went for a walk to the primary wing of the school. The school where we are setting up the lab is the newly constructed building. It has just been a year or two since they shifted to this new building. The old building is also really big. Of course, they used to run the whole school (upto 10th grade) there.

We walked a little further and for the first time we saw little more houses here. But none of them are cemented. Quite felt like a typical terai village. We used to feel like this is a deserted place, but there's quite a population here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cheerful students, Rapti bridge and the beautiful sunset

Back to work again. Actually the system is already functional, but we're tweaking the system to make it easier for students to operate.

During day, we opened the lab for a short demo for the teachers and students. And perhaps that was one of the best moments of my life. Our month long of work finally paid off. Seems like everybody is liking the system. The excitement among the students – i just can't explain it in words. Even the teachers were excited. There were some key points about our system to be excited over.

First of all, it's Linux based, so there's less change there'll ever be virus attack and very less change of system crash. Second thing, it's Nepali localized. Ask students whether to use the system in Nepali or English and they promptly say 'Nepali'. The teachers seemed excited about the Nepali language too. I even showed them the Romanized input system and they seem to like it. The keyboard layout and the magic of Unicode was more than excitement to them. Third thing was that we'd put the local cache of and, which seemed to be really a hit among the teachers.

But for students, games was what they liked most. The GCompris Suite was a hit. The students are really really bright here. They solve the puzzles in the GCompris Suite without problem. Really really bright students.

The most excited were we ourselves. Our months long work is really paying off. We later on also came to know that this is the first computer lab in a government school in the Central West of Nepal. And as far as i know this is the first Linux LTSP based lab in the whole Nepal. Felt like quite creating a history.

During evening, we went to Bhaluwang. The Rapti bridge was awesome. And the sunset was just marvelous. The orange shade was just too romantic for me to seriously miss my honey. The parrots flying over the bridge in such a wavy motion. The clear water. And the cool breeze. Boy, i'd been living in a hell and i even didn't know about it!

Back to school was hilarious. The bus had over speedy cassette player. The hindi song it played was soo squeaky and soo funny. I kept laughing all way long. Other guys were laughing to see me laugh.

Routine loadshedding. We went to the canteen where the people there made a fire. Was cold. Quite a relief.

Also called Rama dai (HeNN). He was very very excited when i told him what happened today. He urged me to email my experiences. But internet is a problem here. I was told that there's internet at Bhaluwang, but there's aint any. Now i've heard that there's internet at Lamahi, i gotta try it. During afternoon we also tried to access internet via local telephone line using Shishir's roaming password, but the telephone exchange here doesn't support internet.

During dinner we got to talk to Kamal dai. He runs the canteen. And he seemed to be such a wonderful guy. He seems few years older than us, but he's 31 years old and he's seen so much of things in life. He's a cook now, but previously he used to be an electrician and used to work at Gulf. He worked there for more than 5 years but returned back as the pay wasn't good. He told us so much things he's done. But the amazing part was that he's young and looks even younger. He was such a wonderful guy.