Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ubuntu Hardy Release Party on Full Circle Magazine

Issue #13 of Full Circle Magazine is out now! Bibek, Nepbabu and I had written an article about the Ubuntu Release Party that we celebrated sometime back. The article has been published too. :)

The party's photo also made to the cover page..

Download the magazine from here:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Flavors of Entanglement

Some off-topic this time. My addiction lately. The latest album of Alanis Morissette -- Flavors of Entanglement. Well, this album is supposed to be released on 2nd June worldwide and on 10th in US. But what can i say, it got leaked over internet! And here i am listening to it on n on. When it's out, i'm sure gonna buy the CD too.

I've always liked Alanis Morissette songs, but i believe this is her best album ever. Her previous albums were more focused on lyrics accompanied by usually melancholic piano music. But this is different. Lyrics are strong as always, this time even the music is soo well arranged (Guy Sigsworth ??). Lyrics also have subtle changes. Songs like 'Citizen of the Planet' and 'Underneath' have more global feeling than her signature self-oriented songs. The point is, i'm hooked..

My favorite song in the album: 'In Praise of the Vulnerable Man'. At first i didnt get the lyrics, but later it occurred to me - this song is about her ex! Under similar situation, songs on previous albums would have been more of whine and curse. But this time she seems soo calm.

This is in praise of the vulnerable man
Why won’t you lead the rest of your cavalry home
This is a thank you for letting me in
Indeed in praise of the vulnerable man

How to get your own personal for FREE

Actually this was originally an e-mail but since a lot of my frens have been asking me about the procedure, i thought it would be helpful to others too to put it here.. The following steps apply to personal webpages, but can be followed to obtain a for other purpose too..

First of all, some background. The official registrar for .np ccTLD (country code top level domain) is Mercantile Communications and it provides it for FREE! The official website for the registration is However there are some paperworks involved too.

Most importantly, you need to be a Nepali citizen and you need to submit the photocopy of your (Nepali) citizenship ID to get the domain.

Keeping that in mind, here are the steps to get a

  1. First of all you need a webspace ready. It's good if u have a webspace already, but since here we're talkin about getting a for free, lets opt in for some free ones. You can choose any but make sure it supports domain parking facility. Awardspace and 110MB are some good ones that i know. (But as you know free are free. If you want a solid and reliable hosting, i recommend paid ones).
  2. Register for the webspace and get the DNS addresses. Look somewhere in the settings of the hosting site. It usually has ns1, ns2, etc as prefix. For example, for, the DNS addresses are and
  3. Now you also need to get the IP addresses of the DNS server. To get that, go to shell (command line) and enter something like 'ping <address>'. It'll give you the IP address..
    eg, ping
    Get IP addresses for all the DNS servers of your host.
  4. Now the registration part, go to and check the availability of domain. Remember, you can register only the name that corresponds to your actual name. For example, i can get or but not anything else. So be careful while choosing name. Put it exactly what your citizenship says. Anything different and chances are your application is gonna be rejected.
  5. Ok back to registration form ( Enter all the details. In the primary and secondary name server, put the DNS addresses that we got from step [3]. No need to fill up ternary name server. Or if you want, just copy secondary name server.
  6. Submit it and the name will be reserved. (It's only reserved, not registered).
  7. Now put the domain name you just reserved in the domain parking option of your webhost. [important!]. For example, if i reserved the domain name, i'd put that in the domain parking option.
  8. Write an application, get your citizenship photocopied and take it to Mercantile Communication's office at Durbarmarg, Kathmandu.
  9. It'll take around 2 days to process the application and perhaps 1 more day for the DNS servers worldwide to be updated about your domain.
  10. Congratulations, you've got your personal!
BTW, don't forget to visit my website: :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

M$ bashings? Well, they deserve it

We at FOSS world care so much about co-existence. Every Linux installer includes the existing OS in its boot menu. We even have Wubi. I can't believe they have a page like this: How to Remove Linux and Install Windows XP

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ubuntu Hardy Party

Things really move fast in Free and Open Source world, huh. Umm.. let me check my mailbox, the first mail related to ubuntu-np was on March 15th and it was an announcement by nepbabu about the #ubuntu-np IRC channel at In less than two months, we had couple of IRC meetings, pages mushrooming in our wiki and we even set off for the Hardy Release Party / Gettogether. The gettogether was very much nepbabu's idea and he had some serious fortifications going around. ;)

The basic ideas for the party was discussed in our very first IRC meeting. The date and venue were,

Date: Friday, 2nd May, 2008
Venue: Institute of Engineering, ZeroEnergy House
Time: 4 - 6pm, Nepal Standard Time

ZeroEnergy House at IOE was chosen because the building is self sustained, i.e. it takes no energy from outside sources. Perfect for us in this loadshedding laden country!

Shishir with Ubuntu Introduction

Besides presentations and tutorials in the program, we'd one very important task - distribution of Ubuntu and Extra Packages CD/DVD. Ubuntu CD was no big deal, but Extra Packages CD was something we had to work on. Basically this CD/DVD was an APTonCD consisting of all the useful packages (including restricted plugins). This was very important for us to lure people to use Ubuntu coz bandwidth is a big problem in Nepal and IMHO Linux without proper internet connection is like getting stuck at purgatory. ;)

Ankur with Ubuntu and Wubi demo

Saroj (aka Surmandal) was selected for this task. He works at WorldLink ISP and has enough bandwidth to create the Extra Packages CD. The procedures to create the Extra Packages CD was like this:
  1. Get a Ubuntu DVD ready
  2. Install a fresh Ubuntu (either from CD or DVD)
  3. Go to Synaptic, set the source to Ubuntu DVD, select all the packages and download them to local repository. This would download all the packages in the DVD minus packages in Ubuntu CD to the harddisk.
  4. Now download other useful packages (listed at Extra Packages CD page)
  5. After the download, the local repo contains a DVD worth of Packages. Write them to a DVD using APTonCD
Neat huh! ;)

But we seriously needed money for replicating the CDs. Thankfully, Young Innovations Pvt. Ltd. agreed to sponsor NRs. 4000 (thanx Bibek). We called up the CD Replicating guys, the rate was Rs 15 for CD and 25 for DVD. So the plan was to replicate 100 CDs and 100 DVDs (100x(15+25)=4000). So far so good.

But things didn't go as we'd planned. Saroj got the Extra Packages DVD ready, but due to some misunderstandings, the CD Replicator ppl replicated something else. APTonCD became JPTonCD :D. CDs were good however.

We had quite a participation

Finally the big day. The program started right on time. We were to do the following:
  1. Introduction to Ubuntu / FOSS
  2. Ubuntu Demo
  3. Wubi Demo
  4. Tutorial on Getting Ubuntu more useful
  5. Participating ubuntu-np
First one was handled by Shishir. Ankur did 2nd and 3rd. I did the rest. We had around 40+ participants. It was actually more than we'd expected. Although we had a some advertisement about the event, i seriously wasn't expecting that huge number. The program was short and sweet, i guess. Nobody was caught yawning during the program for that sake.. :D

After the program, we had a brief CD sales session. The CD was tagged Rs. 15 to recover the cost. Most of the participants bought the CD too. Lets hope they'll follow the spirit of Ubuntu - 'Pass it on'.

Subir dai with Ubuntu CD

Light refreshment followed. Tea and Cookies. This also gave us time to mingle up with each other and finding out the real person behind the IRC alias. Everyone was like, "OMG that's you?" It was fun..

Now we've still got some money left previously allocated to burn DVDs. We've decided to use it to burn some more CDs and distribute them at FOSS Stall in Locus Tech Fest. It's a huge event and i hope we'll reach more people there..

Thanx to Surmandal and Shankar for the photos.