Saturday, July 28, 2012

Moments with Facebook..

After the successful blog post Moments with Twitter and its sequel Moments with Twitter - II, I wanted to write a similar one on my moments with Facebook. But it didn't turn up that easy. 

Most of the stuff that I have shared over the Facebook were in the form of useful links, along with my thoughts around them, similar to Twitter. The recent shift to the Facebook timeline made it hard to locate the links that one already shared. A few applications might help you find the links that you recently posted, or let you search them. FindMyLinks is such an application. I used an application named "My Facebook Links" to find my links. It lets you sort your links, which makes it easier. It even lets you go to the original post, or re-upload (re-share) the link.

You can easily find your Facebook notes, by appending /notes to your profile url. That means, I can find I Facebook notes at Most of the users (probably including myself) have limited the access to their notes to "Friends only". Hence, you can view your friend's notes, and the notes that your friend is tagged in, by appending /notes to their profile url, as above, based on the permissions set. For others the above link will just redirect to the profile of the user. I used to write quite a few Facebook notes and tag my friends in them during 2009 and early 2010, which I stopped after refurbishing Llovina, as I found it reaching a wider audience.

Unlike Twitter, I post more private (not so private though) material in Facebook, as status messages. From the information point of view, Twitter always wins. I don't think the links I have posted on Facebook would deserve a blog post on them itself, as they were mostly significant only during the time that I shared. I share the links to the music, videos, pictures, photos, or news items that I enjoyed. Usually I share the links to my important blog posts. I used to post the blog posts as notes to Facebook, which I later stopped to avoid data duplication over the Internet!

On a related note, I rarely use Google+, which I just use to share the blog posts that I write here. I have a very well maintained professional LinkedIn profile. However, I rarely share any links on them. An interesting feature of LinkedIn is it lets you view who viewed your profile, to a limited extend on Basic (free) profiles, and completely in the Business and Execute profiles, which are paid ones. Hence I have no interest or plan to write similar blog posts dedicated to Google+ or LinkedIn.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The school or the university days are like living in an incubator. Then comes the real world, where 1000x people are there to confuse than motivate. Being independent helps. In times, we have received the flood of praises, and sometimes, the situation is reversed. While taking the message, we should keep moving on, without reacting much. Self-motivation is always the key. I can list one more - keeping the expectations low from others, while having the highest expectations from one's own self. (I will be satisfied, if I do, what I expect myself to be doing.)

To love or to judge
The world is full of judges and critics. It is not very difficult to find someone who can judge you, but it may be extremely difficult to have someone who loves without judging. Unlike in exams, we are evaluated each minute in the real world. Either you be smiling, or faking a smile to not appear someone who whines always. Labeling someone as an addict, pervert, or stupid is not effective in any way. Nevertheless, we can actually point the specific incident and help him do the corrective measures to overcome the addiction or problem. No one is the same always. 

I have read somewhere - that in a cooperate world, the minimum overall rank an employee is given in a review is always 3 (meets expectations), in a 1 - 5 scale. This is to avoid demotiving the employees with the lower ratings. If you are rated 3 in an organization that adheres to those suggestions, be informed that you are ranked the least. :-)

Nevertheless, an effort is never wasted. Though the immediate outcome may not be positive, an honest effort on something always provides a long term gain.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A culturally rich summer at Delhi..

Mid Summer Break (10th - 19th of July, 2012)
A pond surrounding the state buildings
Recently I had an awesome mid summer break of 10 days at New Delhi - the capital city of India (Photos). It was a nice experience, visiting many worshipping places, such as Lotus Temple (The Bahá'í House of Worship), The ISKCON temple (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, and Birla Mandir Laxminarain Temple. I have also paid a visit to India Gate and Qutub Minar (Photos of Qutub Minar and the surroundings). HOHO bus is an ideal option to travel around New Delhi for just 300 INR, in two days, where you can tailor your own journey covering 19+ tourists attractions of Delhi. India is a multi-cultural and multilingual country where you can experience a diverse cultural experience.

Make sure to set your roaming to the correct network provider to get the cheapest roaming rates for SMS and Calls. I had mistakenly let the "Mobile Network Selection Mode" to be "Automatic". The rate was initially very cheap, as my mobile picked IDEA Cellular networks as the network in Pahar Ganj, New Delhi, as my mobile network is Dialog Telecom. However, when I moved to Chanakyapuri, the network changed automatically to "Reliance", which cost me 2000 LKR for just 3 calls, where I had taken around 10 calls for 1000 LKR in the previous days! So make sure to set the Mobile Network Selection Mode to "Manual" from Options -> Mobile Network -> Network Selection Mode, and Mobile Network to the relevant network, as advised by your local mobile network provider.
Graffiti on a road side wall

Pick your accommodation!
Pick your hotel carefully. Some economic hotels are located in a highly congested areas such as Pahar Ganj or Arakashan Road. Some of these hotels may be nice. But may not suit all the travelers. Travel  review sites such as TripAdviser provide useful information on planning your trips. Make sure to add your own reviews, once you come back home after your trip, like I did! During the summer days, Delhi gets really hot. 45°C is pretty average for a summer noon. Be prepared for that. Take a bottle of water or two, with you, always. Some of the economic hotels or hostels tend to have a limited water supply. That is an interrupted water supply in the high demand time such as the morning time, or water with very low pressure. Be aware of this, and be prepared.

Colourful India
Getting into a three-wheeler and paying only for what you traveled is an art, and it needs some experience. I have blogged it as New Delhi by tuk-tuk, as it tends to make this blog post longer. Make sure you read it. :)

Don't forget to explore the yummy North Indian food. If you turn on the Tv, you will be impressed by hundreds of Indian channels, with local movies and songs! Road side walls are often filled with graffiti in many parts of New Delhi. Some of them have interesting messages too. Some roads have rickshaws that run in the local roads, which sometimes create traffic jams, along with the other careless drivers, who never seem to obey the traffic rules.

Love India
India is full of cultural marvels. It takes lots of time to explore it completely. This was my second trip to India, where I had already visited Bangalore and Hyderabad last year. Hope to see more of India in a later trip.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Installing xchat-gnome from the source, on Ubuntu 12.04 / 64 bit

Building and installing xchat-gnome from the source, on Ubuntu 12.04 / 64 bit is pretty simple.

0) Install git, if you don't have already.
$ sudo apt-get install git-core

1) Check out the source code of xchat-gnome.

If you are going to build it at a later time, it is time to take a git update too (just like an svn up).
$ git pull
2) Get the dependencies from the repositories (If you are not following this, you will end up installing them one-by-one, as I did. Explained below under "Trial and Error - How I got the dependencies" - only for the interested, as that is an optional read).
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-common gnome-doc-utils libnotify-dev libvorbis-dev libnotify-dev libgconf2-dev libltdl-dev
Note: There may be more dependencies, that I may already have had in my system. If complained during the step (4), make sure to install them too!

3) Libcanberra!
Download and install libcanberra 0.29, since the version in the repositories is 0.28, and at least 0.29 is required for xchat-gnome.
Extract the tar and cd to libcanberra-0.29
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install 

4) Now building!
Move to the xchat-gnome folder
$ cd xchat-gnome
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

5) Start xchat-gnome!
Now you may start xchat, by typing as below.
$ xchat-gnome

[Optional Read] Trial and Error - How I got the dependencies

Attempting a build, from the xchat-gnome directory.
$ sh autogen.shYou need to install gnome-common from the GNOME CVS

Let's install gnome-common
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-common


$ sh
***Error***: You must have gnome-doc-utils >= 0.4.2 installed
  to build xchat-gnome.  Download the appropriate package for
  from your distribution or get the source tarball at

Let's install gnome-doc-utils.
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-doc-utils

$ sh
checking for LIBNOTIFY... no
configure: error: Package requirements (libnotify >= 0.7) were not met:

No package 'libnotify' found

Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
installed software in a non-standard prefix.

Alternatively, you may set the environment variables LIBNOTIFY_CFLAGS
and LIBNOTIFY_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
See the pkg-config man page for more details.

Let's install libnotify.
$ sudo apt-get install libnotify-dev

$ sh
checking for LIBCANBERRAGTK... no
configure: error: Package requirements (libcanberra-gtk3 >= 0.29) were not met:

No package 'libcanberra-gtk3' found

Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
installed software in a non-standard prefix.

Alternatively, you may set the environment variables LIBCANBERRAGTK_CFLAGS
and LIBCANBERRAGTK_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
See the pkg-config man page for more details.

Let's install libcanberra-gtk3.
$ sudo apt-get install libcanberra-gtk3-dev

$ sh
oh-oh.. minimal version requirement not met!
checking whether to enable notification sounds using libcanberra... yes
checking for LIBCANBERRAGTK... no
configure: error: Package requirements (libcanberra-gtk3 >= 0.29) were not met:

Requested 'libcanberra-gtk3 >= 0.29' but version of libcanberra-gtk3 is 0.28

Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
installed software in a non-standard prefix.

Alternatively, you may set the environment variables LIBCANBERRAGTK_CFLAGS
and LIBCANBERRAGTK_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
See the pkg-config man page for more details.

Let's download libcanberra 0.29
Extract the tar and cd to libcanberra-0.29

$ ./configure
configure: WARNING: *** lynx not found, plain text README will not be built ***
checking for VORBIS... no
configure: error: Package requirements ( vorbisfile ) were not met:

No package 'vorbisfile' found

Let's install vorbisfile
$ sudo apt-get install libvorbis-dev

$ ./configure
It is successful now.

Let's make.
$ make$ sudo make install 

Now back to xchat-gnome directory
$ sh

Now make!
$ make 
$ sudo make install

Now it is built and configured!
Now you may start xchat, by typing as below.
$ xchat-gnome

Self help is..

So we have completed the first half of the year 2012, and have just reached the second half of it. Mid-year resolutions anyone? I am not much into the new year resolutions. Except for the resolutions I made in the year 2004 and 2010, no new year resolution went as I planned. But I rather prefer resolutions to be made on a random day!
Spending time effectively with computer has always been in the top among my resolutions. 

1) Contributing more to the open source, during free time.
This will mostly be open source development, but also will include blogging, community interaction, and evangelization. I will surely be more aggressive with this.

If you are into software development, open source projects give you a second life. I would encourage you to contribute. Blogging or creating a positive online presence would suit for everyone. One can be completely or partially anonymous online, will contributing positively to the world knowledge.

2) Spending time effectively online.
I am fine with reading new stuff which are totally unrelated, or listening to some music of an artist that I didn't heard of, before. However, my focus is to limit wasting time idling.

3) Learning something new.
I recently started learning Chinese from the Internet. Guess that was a failed attempt. Why? I didn't have a proper reason to back my motivation to learn Chinese up. I will focus to learn Portuguese instead. Anyway with my failed attempt to learn Chinese, I still have learned a few interesting facts of Chinese.

4) No L4 activities for any reason
As discussed by Stephen Covey, the L4 activities are the tasks that are neither important nor urgent. Spending time on them is a waste of time. Let's use the time for some L2 activities instead (not urgent, but important tasks)!

Facing the problem and trying to solve it instead of finding distractions to run away from it might be the ideal solution for this. If that is something difficult to achieve, and if there is a real need to keep you distracted from the issue, I recommend getting involved in other healthy activities instead. When we get even a mild fever, we seek the assistance of medicine and the doctors. We always tend to underestimate the health of the mind. We always take leaves for physical illness, whilst silently ignoring the wounds of the heart. If you ask me, taking a leave for being depressed is perfectly fine. As I might have mentioned somewhere before too, it is an ill-condition of the mind. Mental health is equally or even more important than that of physical.

5) Mixing the stuff up!
I often have felt sorry for the people who do routine tasks as jobs, which doesn't involve creative thinking or some change from a predefined agenda. Though this relates to the clerical jobs, call centers, or the jobs where bulk of employees are considered a cheap labour carrying forward the order of a big-guy. In late years with the rise of IT, many concerns were risen considering the fact that programmers are considered the same. Human nature is to avoid repetition of uninteresting tasks, with the exception of something that is addictive. An addict may find something interesting, which may not be for others. Someone often gets addicted to something, when he wants to be distracted from his mainstream life. The addiction can be the excessive use of alcohol, drugs, porn, or whatever. Addiction provides a short-term relief from the pain and the pressure of the real life (let's call it the first life). It leads to a feeling of guilty, inefficiency, and low self esteem. This vicious cycle continues. However, mild-addictions such as addiction to music or movies may not be harmful at all. 

A random improvement or attending to a random L2 event is always fun.

6) Listening to myself
I am going to be a good listener of myself. :D