A good disk in a long time

I got this disk from the shop nearby. The guy there told me he also uses these DVD's to back up his data. I don't trust those guys normally so I checked it out after I put some movies in it. Looks like he was right. I dont know whether the guy did a quality check to tell me that. But my check tells me this is somewhat a good DVD.

But It isn't the best I've seen. If I remember correct Anusha once got 100% for a DVD.

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Redefining the cats

After I installed and used the MAC OS-X for some time, I realized that there is no way i'm going to figure out a way to get the audio working. So another Friday night, another installation attempt. This time, I have a tool. I got the laptop from office since nobody was taking it home this weekend. So I can debug any thing that I come across rather than assume and pick out of the options.

So here goes. I'm trying the second attempt for the day. Its no big deal, I saw a guy did it more than 400 times to get the right combination. Anyway, for all those who are wondering 'what the heck!', this is a real stable OS. And trying to do something different with the PC is darn fun. Specially when you get it right after a gazillion times

The rumor that flies that Vista copied OS-X, well, lets just say its more than your average day-to-day lie. There are feature in Vista that is 100% OS-X like. But I don't know who invented them first. I can say one thing though. In most of those features, Apple outdo the Microsoft guys ten to one.

Fingers crossed!

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From one cat to another

After my bootup problem with the Tiger OS X distribution, I got a copy of the Leopard distribution.
Spent all my time on friday night trying to install Leopard. To my annoyance, a cable belonging to my ISP, SLT was broken. So I gave it up after installing it 3 times. The system got booted unlike the Tiger version. But the OS did not work.

After I got some more info today, I tried the installation without selecting any of the driver packages. And viola, the system booted up and started working. All I have to do now is to make a grub like bootloader that will enable me to select the bootup into Vista or OS-X.

To all the OS-X troubled people reading this, this is the config I have;
Running OS: Apple OS-X 10.5.1 (Leopard)
Processor: Intel Pentium Dualcore E2140 1.6GHz clocked to 1.71GHz
Motherboard: Foxconn 45cm-s
RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 1GB x 2 (667MHz) [But apple says 333MHz, so what!)
HDD: Maxtor 40GB
N/W interface: Realtek 10/100 onboard LAN controller.

I ran the Kalyway's installation (Thanks to him/her whoever they are)
Make sure you go to customize and deselect all the drivers. Just select the bootloader as MBR. Thats all. That was my turning point.!

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Os x fun stuff

Here's some os-x fun gadgets i found using the os. Could not upload the movie coz the pc got stuck when i plugged the phone. :P

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Installed MAC OS-X at last

Despite my failed attempts to install OS-X on the PC, I did not give up the challenge. With a bit of reading and experiments, I was able to install the OS on the smaller HDD. And, yes! I AM posting this with safari on the OS-X.

This OS feels very smooth. But there are some compatibility issues involved. At first I thought my keyboard did not work when I started typing the username and password stuff at the OS installation final step. Got all that worked out.

The only hiccup I get now is that the need to have the DVD in the drive when I use this thing. I'm sure that the DVD does nothing, but since I need it to boot up the OS on the HDD, I need it in the drive. When I take it out by unmounting, the whole OS stops. It must be that a program in the DVD has started the kernel process on the disk. If I remove the DVD, the kernel no longer has a parent process. Well, that is my guess..... Lets see....

Anyway, I'll try to get the next version, the Leopard when I go to the office tomorrow. Then I will try the no DVD version of apple :D

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Me at uni. Again

We went to the university to see the Expose 2008 exhibition. This is a photo Devinda took from his phone. After thinking about where to go to take the lunch we decided to take it at the goda canteen, to remind the old times we ate there. Felt great to be back on the familiar turf again.
Pity Damitha and Anusha missed it.

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Blog hits

I got this out of the stat counter website, that I use to count the users that see my blog.

I just saw the localization of the IP's that came into the site and looks good. :D

In the US area it must be Nadeera's uncle logging in, and the spread must be because of the IP's that he's allocated from time to time may be of different subnets.

But I dont know who came in from Aussie and UK.

Here in SL, its Chamitha, Devinda, may be Anusha ;) and of course me logging in!

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Migrating voice servers to new MPLS

We are now readying to migrate our main voice server to the new MPLS network. The new network has a very high capacity and is equipped with the next gen MPLS nodes.

But this is nowhere near me migrating to vista 3bit. ;-)
If we screw this up, there will be thousands of people affected.
So we've got our fingers crossed!

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Vista 32 bit installed

I did the install just now. Its running well. I have to analyze the performance hit caused by AVG before installing it. If I can survive without an Anti-Virus software, life will be great :D

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Migration to x86 Vista

I've been using Vista x64 all this time and i plan to migrate to the 32 bit version due to some reasons. The main reason is that I feel it is better to be using the typical version to be on the safe side of games and softwares.

I also have serious doubts about the AVG virus scanner and there are two processes running in the name rundll.exe in the processes. I don't know whether they are needed or not. But they just dont seem like viruses and Nothing detected any hiccup. The internal V-Scanner inside me is giving warnings ever since I saw it. :D (Oh yes, I trust that! i've cleaned dozens of viruses manually when I was using XP) So by installing the 32 bit version, I hope I can run the reliable NOD 32 scanner.

The next thing is I hope that the system may (Big maybe there) function faster under the 32 bit version. But I don;t know that till I install the new version and it becomes optimized as it is now.

There are some drawbacks..

I installed almost all of the Windows updates to this date. I will have to re-install them. Considering my ADSL bandwidth budget, that will be a pain in the back.

The next thing I'll have to worry about is the indexing. The system will have to index the whole HDD (All 500GB of it) again from scratch.!!!! Thats a pain upto about 2,3 weeks since it will be running in the background.

I still dont have an idea when to do it. i will have to do some survey soon. If I'm able to do it today, I might be able to install the new OS Saturday night. (Looks like office habits are coming onto me, downtime in the night ;) )

Lets see how it goes.....

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Indians Gets their asses kicked

After pushing our government to start talks with the LTTE Terrorists, India finally had the chance of experiencing first hand, what real terrorism is. They seriously should get their heads straight on this thing; Terrorists are terrorists and they are not needed in this world.

I think at least now, they will keep their mouths shut and keep to their internal matters. And seriously, if they needed Commando support, they should've asked us, we have the best Commandos in the region, and the situation might have been averted if our boys went in to the rescue mission.

Yo, Indians, we can however hold some tuition classes once this LTTE pests have been irradiated. For the time being, we're a bit busy.. ;). But if you insists that you need some lessons on search and rescue, just ask our Army, I think they'll show some sympathy :P.

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Fourth year anniversary

Today Me and Nadeera celebrate four years together. :D

We had a little outing and had lunch on last Saturday coz today is a weekday. But I gave the present this morning and I got mine in the evening....

This is what I gave her...It was accompanied by a custom made greeting card.

And Look at the guy I got :D Isnt it cute ? Hes on my table right now..

A T Shirt also came with this.

Todays a fun day for both of us... I'm happy she liked the doll :D

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Grr...forgot the pendrive at office.

My pen was loaded with 2 movies. One of them was Max Payne and I forgot it at office. It must be still there in the USB.. :/

Hope it stays there in the weekend. :( I'll have to survive with what I have in the HDD.

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Make Flock Search google instead of Yahoo!

Ok, we all agree that Yahoo sucks in many ways than one. So you'd love to put your browser search to the giant Google. But the Flock browser by default uses the Yahoo search engine.

To switch, you need to go to Tools > Options and then Search. After that, put the default search engine as Google and remove Yahoo and other annoying stuff you dont want from the list.

To make it search Google from the address bar like Firefox, type about:config in the address bar and search for
keyword.URL and change it to the following..

Viola...now Flock searches Google from the address bar too.!!!

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Giving facebook what it needs..

I tried to eat my friend Wathsala's head when the google search "Tharaka Devinda" Ended up her profile page from the facebook coming to the 2nd hit. I seriously dont know what she did, but the hit is no longer there. She might've given the google guys some harsh looks or so...

whatever, what I get as the first hit is my profile page off facebook. What did you utter just now? thats good? Well NO!!!
I dont use the damn site. It was a mistake I ever signed on. So I'm going to delete the page. Hope this cures it up..

If all goes well, the Blog page will come to the top and I can promote some tags in tarantula to make it appear as well....

So Facebook, have what you deserve....the boot :P ROFL!!!

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28/50 movies

Wow. I just ran into the best movies of 2007 and I counted the ones that I've watched that are in the top 50.

And I'm really amazed..I ran into 28 titles that I watched. And thats just in the top 50. Wonder how many I've really watched.

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This is what happens when you push a disk to it's limit

I started burning two DVDs since my Movies folder was becoming a bit jammed. Its not that I ran out of space. Its better to have them on disks in case you need additional space and for the sake of reliability.

But when I pressed the burn button on this disk, stupid Nero reset the speed I set from 8x to 20x. !!! Thats right 20x. The DVD Burner started sounding like a mill and about 10mins later gave the verification success message. I'm not that easily satisfied this time. I ran the Disk speed and quality check. I'm really glad I did it. Look at this.

The result looks like a monkey had bitten off a part of the disk

There is no way i'm going to add this to my collection !!!! I'll have to re-burn the files. Frak!!!

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Tarantula...Indexing Done!!

The indexing for all the disks have been finished. Tarantula is now an up and running service. The disks that resulted in failed indexes will be dealt with very soon. But they are not important disks to others..

The most important ones, the movies have been successfully finished.

use tarantula at tharaka.pinkpaper.info or use the add-on search unit in this blog in the left hand side.

Now you can view all the files on my CD collection. :D

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Trip to Ella...

Since I posted a few photos on the way, you might have guessed that this will be the next post.

The trip was to the Ella adventure park, where we planned to do some activities and enjoy the weekend. We went to Ella by Train. The night mail train was the choice to go to Ella on Friday evening. It took off at 8.45 pm and was due at Ella at about 7 am. But the train was late because of a faulty engine and we arrived at 12 noon at the place.

This is us on the way at the Pattipola railway station. Pattipola is the highest station on the Sri Lankan rail track.

at another place

These are some photos I took on the way with my mobile.

Finally we came to Ella...

So we took a van to the adventure park and from there by foot to the place we stayed.

It was an eco tourist spot where they had the place built right into the jungle. There was no electricity and we had to take another cell operator's SIMs to have contact since our operator didn't cover that area.

This is us walking in the jungle to reach the spot. Naveen looks a bit tired, but he was the one who voted with me to go by the hard road. Who wants paved roads when you have shortcuts through the jungle....;)

We had to have lunch fast and then go for the activities. Here are some photos.

The aerial rope was the best. We had to ride a cable to reach one end from the other of the river.
Thats me going on the aerial rope.

Thats the spot where we did some more rope activities.

This is the place we stayed. Its a great spot. No rooms or closed places. Open air cottages with minimal covering. Its great to be outdoors

Then we had to come back the next morning (Sunday). We had booked the tickets to the observation saloon on the train. This is me at the Ella station.

Here are some photos on the way....

This is St. Clair falls. I dont think it'll last for long. I'm not sure whether the upper kotmale water project will dry it out. So sad if that happens.

All in all, it was a great trip. Not to mention the aftermath of muscle pains due to heavy activities. :D

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Ravana falls

Now at Ravana falls. Still to reach our destination, ella adventure park.

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On the way to ella

This photo is from hatton. We are now on the way to ella by train.

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Home coming party at Pinnawala..

I got an invitation from Gihan aiya, who works at my office to participate in his home coming treat at Pinnawala. So I went there on Sunday (11th) with Mr. Malith. We were the first to arrive from our group. After a little time, the whole plot appeared. Gayan, Kuru, Sameera, Nadira and Isuru.

So we had some lunch and started off home again. It was rather a come and go game since we only knew Gihan Aiya :D.

So we decided to visit the nearby Elephant orphanage which was in walking distance from the hotel.

When we went there the elephants were out for a bath. This happens to me all the time. I've visited the place for over three times and I never saw the elephants in the orphanage. They were in the river all the time.

So we went to the river area where they had their bath. Its fun to watch the elephants bath. They do all sorts of funny and mischievous stuff, like stealing the mud off one another's back and applying it on itself.

So I took some pics to remember the occasion. So behold..., The pride of Sri Lanka, the Elephant!!!

this one started off first from the river. Gave the bystanders quite a chill.

We met this one when coming back to the car.

Thats me at the hotel :D Its not a real elephant though!!

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Tarantula's Base Code Done!

After a long struggle, I finished the base code that needs for the function of Tarantula, the web based disk catalog that enables me and other users to search within my disk collection.

You can use it at tharaka.pinkpaper.info
Please make sure you use Firefox or similar browser. The IE support will come in a few days. :D

All I have to do now is to index the disks and then upload the data files to the site. I have implemented a method to do that and I have uploaded data of several disks up to today. I hope I can finish the while indexing process in about a week. The best thing is that the system is now usable.

Please feel free to use it and please give me any feedback on improvements. I am hoping to port the entire functionality of the Disk catalog that I did with VB to this site and make a mobile friendly site too.

After the indexing and the optimizations I'll be able to use it as the main system. But the standalone Disk catalog will also be used in case of no internet access and any other problems.

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This is a vid that i took from FEAR. Its not easy to take vids of places that a lot of action is, since the AIs are really smart. But took this one after reloading. :D

Here are some screenshots. This is what you call Nailing to the wall. This gun sends high speed nails instead of bullets. Its fast and effective in the game

And here comes help ! :D After a long time, take a look at that health !!!!

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This is a FEAR screenie. The game is scarier now.

This is a vision that the character has while going in the game. I still don't know the plot, so its interesting to play while learning the story.

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NFS Carbon

This is how carbon looks with the new VGA.
it goes up to about 50FPS, but sometimes drops to ~17. So I tried with no Anti Aliasing. Have to test this thoroughly. No time since I'm busy with F.E.A.R and Mostwanted. F.E.A.R. Goes up to 100 FPS and drops only to around 60 FPS even with all the settings at 1024 is enabled and set to MAX. Even FSAA is at 2x. :D

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Upgrade Phase 2 [9600GT]

Its been a while since I did the first phase of the upgrades, which was the HDD. (Samsung HD501LJ)
This brought me the opportunity to install vista.

The second phase now comes a month after the first one, which is the coolest of the units that I have ever installed on my PC. Its the nVidia 9600GT (512MB) VGA by Foxconn. It supports PCIex16 and can run most of the games with full specs.

I was waiting for a shop named 'Nunet' to import them, but I got to know through Anusha, that Barclays had the card. So I got the thing from Barclays and bought it home. (that was a long way home for the card, from Unity Plaza to my Office and from there to Malith Aiya's Place and finally home, since we went to see Malith aiya's baby)

Since I forgot to take some decent pictures of the HDD, I decided to take the whole set of pics that would document most of the steps of the installation.

First of all, here goes the packaging:

Decent Look and I like that luminous outer glow. :)

Then after the cover was open, it looked like this. Jumping Jupitor!!! this thing is Huge compared to my old FX5200.!!! Compare the size in pictures below with the CDs.

Here are the stuff that was inside the box;

They include

  • Driver CD
  • Another Software CD (which has some disk utilities, not yet tried :D too busy with NFS)
  • DVI to Analog converter
  • TV cables (Cant remember what the heck they're called)
  • Power Adapter
  • Users (useless) Manual - It contains Chinese in most of it

You might remember from an earlier post that this thing needs 20A in the 12V rail, and I got a new power supply a month or so before. :D

So I checked the space in the casing, alas!! I had to remove the old HDD to install this. The card was so long, it did not have any room in behind. So I relocated the old Maxtor to a CD rack (no screws :S) and installed the VGA.

Notice the small gap between the RAM and the VGA. If I needed to remove the RAM for some reason, I'd have to move the 9600 out first.!!

So I installed the software and rebooted. First things first. Tried to get the resolution right!! No luck. So I went to the next step. Installing NFS MW (The only game I had with me at the time)

It runs with all options and full Anti-Aliasing under 1024x768 resolution at a Frame Rate between 30 and 60. Wow!!! thats cool enough for me.

Did some jugglery to get the resolution fixed again today, got it at last. But the monitor is a pain, the full 1152x864 can be achieved. So I had to put this into an awkward value of 1148x861 through the forceware.

The whole thing got my performance index from 3.3 to 4.8. The lowest is for the processor. The graphics section went from 3.3 to 5.9!!!

Until Anusha brings some games on Monday for me, "I am Rock, there ain't no breakin' me"....

NFS MW, here I come!!   
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Server Side Scripts

Trying to do some server side scripts to make the Disk catalog work. The blogger site does not allow external php requests. I'll have to solve the issue if I need to integrate the Tarantula to the blog...

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Its actually my new web based project. You might remember that I started off building a CD Catalog for the sake of preserving my CDs and making them easier to find. Well, Tarantula is the name that I gave to the system that keeps all that in track.

The former project that I did using VB 6, could keep in the database the details of each and every CD that I have with me including the CD number and the Description. It also keeps track of when and to whom the disks were lent or burrowed.

Tarantula will be all that and some additional features. Tarantula uses XML to keep track of all the files in the CDs too. So that when I want to find a file in the CD collection (specially backups) I only have to type the name of the file and the system gives me the disk stored and the location of the file. That's save me a lot of time I waste trying to find some old file.

There are several Softwares in the web that actually makes this function. But most of them are 30 day evaluations. I'll try to develop this to a user-friendly status and make this available as open source. (Thats right, I'm into the thing now that I have experienced Fedora too :) )

The only minus point of this software is that I'm making this web based, so the users will have to have a web server. But there are small web servers out there without the complexity of the big functions. The next step definitely will have to be integrating this to something like flash.

Keep checking here. I'll put the system and the code here as soon as I'm done developing it. So that you can re-touch and edit it to a better version.

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Fedora in the old Hard Drive

I've been waiting to install a version of linux to my old HDD. Since I did not copy all the stuff from the old Disk to the new one, I could not do it until now.

I checked all the backups and things and copied all the things from the old Disks to the new one. So I can remove the partition table for good. I had a Fedora Core 9 downloaded from the university during project times. I actually did that to test the system for 64 bit functionality coz the OS ran Live without installing.

So I installed it onto the old HDD. I have a whole 40GB to play with. I had a lot of problems at first. Even the Network adapter was not detected by the OS at first. So I had to do some juggling to get that fixed.

I removed the new HDD before doing anything. I still remember what GRUB does to OS's. So I didn't want any more trouble. Now it works with both HDDs plugged in.

Now its time to test all kinds of open source servers and stuff. If I cant get this to work, well, I always have other options for open source. Including the ol' Ubuntu :D

Wonder whether I can run OS-X in my PC!!! Looks like its going to be OS fantasy time :D

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ROFL...A three window keyboard

I got this at the CCNA class. It was just a plain old keyboard. But I noticed something different. LoL. There were two WIN keys in this thing. The left Control Key was missing and in its place was another WIN key.

Devinda made up some great story why its there. :S
According to him, one is for displaying the menu, the other for contracting it again. ROFL

So all in all, this keyboard has 3 WIN keys.

What a WINner. :P

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The Router...The IOS and a Bad day....!

It all started when I was asked to change the IOS of a 7301 router at Kotikawatte. I've done a similar thing on a smaller 871 router but this was diffrent. I was ready with the IOS on a Flash drive. But when I went there I realised that the 7301 did not have a USB port. So I went to the initial plan of a tftp server.

It all went well until I decided to reboot the router after copying the new files and deleting the old ones. Damn..!!! The thing did not reboot properly. Gave some crappy output and stopped in the middle of nowhere. I went nuts. There wasn't and prompt and I had no idea what to do. Then I realised that I did not set the boot parameters to the router. :P


So I called Gayan and inquired what to do. He did not have an idea so he referred me to Naveen 'The router' Warnakula :D
He told me that I've totally wrecked it up and leave the thing alone till he can fix it. And he also said that I've powered a working router down by moving the power adapters :S
So I had to check that and recover that too.

I went back to the office with all hope lost. Another damn router down!!! and its all my fault!!

I asked from the guys what to do about it. Ranil came up with some google hits and even Gayan Aiya told me that it can be fixed. Sameera Aiya told me that "If you're going to let Naveen fix it, you'll never learn it, so go and try it"

My luck turned when my boss Mr. Malith arrived. When I asked him whether it is possible to do permanent software damage to the router, he said it cannot be possible. All problems could be fixed by those crappy commands he said.

So I went to KOT, armed with the printouts of the google hits by Ranil and my searches from Cisco's site.

Sat there with all the stuff, and started typing to the rommon mode the router was in (I was able to get the break sequence to stop it from stopping nowhere)....

 rommon 1> set
Some garbage appears

rommon 2> tftpdnld
 :S no such command

DAMN!!! I was half dead. The command set that I have brought was from another router type and this stupid 7301 did not have that tftp option to boot.

 And I realised I had also deleted a second file that was in the flash of the router, which was a boot config. It was needed to boot the router. This router is different from the rest I've worked with, there were two files, one; boots the router up, and the other; is the IOS. :S
For heavens sake, who knows ?

I went back upstairs to the office room at KOT, presented the problem to Upul Aiya till I also searched more in the internet for similar problems or guides.
It was my bad luck. Nobody was stupid enough to delete the bootup config :S

So After Mr. Upul went home, I had an idea.... The rommon supported a command called boot, and it took a path as the argument, maybe if I can put the bootup config into the PCMCIA flash, hmmm.....

I had the config files with me. I copied them to the PC before I deleted them..

So I went back to the server room, turned the rotuer off and removed the PCMCIA memory and brought it upstairs. There was a router lying there (another type) that wasn't even turned on or plugged. I turned it on and checked what was in the flash of that router.

One more step..I thought. I removed the memory card of that router and plugged in the one from the 7301...and plugged in the USB drive. (It luckily had the port)

Copied the file to the memory and turned the router off. I hurried to the server room again and put the card in....

rommon 1>boot disk0:somestupidfilename

YIPEEEEE!!!!! System booted......

So I went to the IOS prompt. From there, it was easy to copy the file to the bootup config and then rebooted again.

But there was a small error again..the router was in a mode called 'boot'. I called Naveen again. He told me that there was a mistake in my command that was given to boot the IOS

it was like this:

boot system flash
boot system flash disk0:filename.bin

the error? I haven't put a '/' after the ":" in the second line and the first line was not needed. :P

so here goes:
conf ter

no boot system flash
no boot system flash disk0:filename.bin

boot system flash disk0:/filename.bin

the damn thing booted properly at last....

I plugged in all the cables, gave a no shut to a interface that Gayan needed to be up...And came back home....

This is a day to remember...!!!

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Nero Eating CPU time

I normally check what processes run in the task manager and what are actually needed. But after installing Vista, I'm still getting used to the processes that are critical and non-critical. So when I checked the startup entries I found an indexing service starting every time which did not belong to Vista.

And I saw this was the useless search bar that Nero Installs on the taskbar when its setup. I removed the process. Its an add-on for stupid people with no sense of what their processor is doing. :P

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Damn cold at kala!

Now at kala to test some links. The air conditioning makes this place feel like antarctica! No wonder, even the display on the ac says 20C.

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New Power Supply for the PC

Coz I'm going to get a new VGA, hopefully the 9600GT, I'd need a power supply that gives a lot of wattage than the one I have.
After walking hours in the unity plaza, we did not find an adequate supply for Lasitha on the BIT day. But he found one from Unity the other day he went alone. So I also went to the same shop to get the supply.

Its rated 550W and the main requirement for the VGA was 20A in the 12V rail. This baby says 22A for the 12V rail on the sticker. But you never know whether the sticker is correct. So I have 2A margin for error. Anusha runs his GT on 18A so I think I dont have to worry too much on power issues now.

When I installed the new power supply I noticed that there was too much dust on the CPU heatsink. So I removed the fan and then cleaned it up a bit too. Look at all this dust on the sink.

Had to clean all that up.

And gave the ol' mainboard a new BIOS today too. Either I didn't notice before or the new BIOS gave a setting called HDD boot priority in the BIOS system settings. I noticed this today since the BIOS was upgraded, the system started booting XP :S

So I restarted and checked what happened. There I found out about this menu. This must have been there since the system booted Vista only after I removed the ATA disk and booted once from the SATA. It might have put the SATA on top of the list so that all the time the SATA booted. The upgrade changed this, and it was a good thing, I noticed the menu. Now I can boot XP anytime I want :D

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