Monday, July 31, 2006


The story begins when New Zealand (A.D. 2631) reports that a meteor crashed into the nearby ocean. Two Years Later the "Red Falcon", begins the destruction of humanity. Two of earth's marines, Bill & Lance, become the Contra. Their mission: Stop the world's destruction.
What ever the story was about, be it two guys with no shirts on or a stupid alien name called "Red Falcon". It was the best games of the 80's. I guess I never played any game more ever. Contra was the game. It had a good music, good graphics and most of all game play was good and fast. Considering the machines it ran on and the time. This was the best game on the Nintendo. Ok, some of you will say Super Mario was the game, hmmm! Ok, but for me it was not so. Before that I would say River Raid of Atari was the best.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blog Stats

This blog stats for the first half of this year. (2006)

Friday, July 28, 2006

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Today 28th July is the System Administrator Appreciation Day 2006. So I guess its worth saying; "Thank You", for the guys who keep the networks up and running. Its no easy job. Plus through out the year, you always hear and read others blaming these guys. Hardly anyone ever appreciates them. So its good that least this one day you say something nice about your system admins. Mostly its easy said then done.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ibrahim Nasir Day 2006

Today Maldives celebrates another independence day. One individual who greatly contributed to this day is president Ibrahim Nasir. I would like to thank him for his efforts and contributions to the nation. What ever anyone has to say, in my view he should be appreciated and given the due credits for his part of the contributions. Thank you sir?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Evolution must fully Exchange?

As usual the very first thing you do when you walk into office is read the emails. Today I did just the same and to my surprise; I could not connect to my email server. Our email server is based on Microsoft. Since I don't run windows on my box, I don't have Outlook. The email client I use is Evolution. Its been working ok thus far. I can read and respond to email and access to calender services. I have been having trouble with global directory service, which I can afford to compromise since the organization is not so big. Anyway, seems our administrators been doing some work on the Exchange server over the week end, and the some settings on the web fount end has been changed. This was the issue, Evolution works with exchange over the web interface and now I am kinda off the email system until they fix it. The next choice is just use the web interface from a browser. Plus I still can't understand why the web interface is up but I cannot connect with Evolution. Obviously some settings has been changed, including the IP(maybe even the physical server?) and the port its running on.

After all this stuff; I went in to digg just to get an update on the news. Ah; guess what I found an article which kinda was addressing the same problem I was having. But this was talking about why people were slow in adopting Linux (or not) and the author brought up the Evolution and Exchange issue. Hmmm? Well I don't really agree with him, yeah its slow, but it works and I don't think there are many people who use the 100% full features of Exchange and Outlook. If we can read the mail and take care of the appointments and stuff, thats good enough for most. Plus for example in the case of this country, not many even run on Exchange. I think there is more then an email client which has limited access to exchange that is stopping people from switching to Linux. In my view I guess mostly people or the administrators and management is not fully aware of where Linux is today. I mean the things like Open Office and a stable Desktops, and networking environments (Windows connectivity via Samba,etc). I would say its the lack of awareness that is stopping from people to migrate. Most people just don't give it a try and see. Maybe they used a live CD and clicked around and came to conclusions. I wonder how many people really did try to install an alternative OS in the work environment and gave it a real try. To see how it is to live Microsoft Free, and in a FREE software world? I agree if you are into graphics Linux is still not the choice; like for PhotoShop and CorelDraw. But then again my question is: is Windows or Mac the best choice for these kinda applications? Next comes games, yeah Windows rules! But you don't need to play games at your office do you?

Thursday, July 20, 2006


What is Terror? Its become an abused word, use to justify killing people and children. When some people die, and are killed : its an act of self defense or liberalization act. When some people act in retaliation and and in self defense and out of frustration its named terrorism. It all depends on which side you are! Its nothing to do with justice and humanity or even the most boasted word democracy.

I just saw these pics on this site; and it really hit me. This is really sick and so uncivilized. Shame on UN and US (who talks about freedom and humanity). And yeah here is an equation

2 Israeli solders = thousands of kids and innocent people of Lebanon ?

cool ey! This is how much human lives are worth and valued by the civilized world.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Free Linux CDs as part of the mission to help spread Linux and open source software around the world, is giving away free Linux disks. The distribution which is being shipped are SUSE, Fedora, Mandriva, Gentoo, Debian and Knoppix. Maldives is included as well.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Free/Open vs. Closed Software

Sometime we very often are mislead by the term “open source”, and by “free” software. For some this is the same; which is wrong. There is some differences between these two. By definition OSS is, “Open-source software is computer software whose source code is available under a copyright license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form. It is the most prominent example of open source development” . Where else the definition for free software is, “Free software, as defined by the Free Software Foundation, is software which can be used, copied, studied, modified and redistributed without restriction. Freedom from such restrictions is central to the concept, with the opposite of free software being proprietary software and not software which is sold for profit, commercial software. The usual way for software to be distributed as free software is for the software to be accompanied by a free software license (or be in the public domain), and the source code of the software to be made available (for a compiled language).”

So, whats the difference? The distinction between Open Source and Free Software is a matter of philosophy and approach. The fundamental difference between the two movements is in their values, their ways of looking at the world. For the Open Source movement, the issue of whether software should be open source is a practical question, not an ethical one. As one person put it, ``Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement.'' For the Open Source movement, non-free software is a suboptimal solution. For the Free Software movement, non-free software is a social problem and free software is the solution.

The open source movement which started off 1998, was mostly aimed at making free software more acceptable to the main stream business world. If I am not wrong, I think thats how it all started. Over the last few years it has also proven itself, that this model is a successful one. Even though the GPL(GNU Public License) model has been around since mid 80's, was not making much business. Surely it is the start of it all. Thats how it all started, but then the boost came in in the early 90's with Linux. The FSF movement was started in 1985 by Richard Matthew Stallman (frequently abbreviated to RMS), or simply Richard Stallman (the man). He was not happy with how things started to turn out in the software world. People like Bill Gates and others who tried to close software and take away the freedom which software was having until that point of time. The open nature of software helped it to improve and makes life better, that was more or less his philosophy. Stallman argues that software users should have freedom — in particular, the freedom to "share with their neighbor" and to be able to study and make changes to the software that they use. He has repeatedly said that attempts by proprietary software vendors to prohibit these acts are "antisocial" and "unethical". The phrase "software wants to be free" is often incorrectly attributed to him, and Stallman argues that this is a mis-statement of his philosophy. He argues that freedom is vital for the sake of users and society and not merely because it may lead to improved software. Consequently, in January 1984, he quit his job at MIT to work full time on the GNU project, which he had announced in September 1983. So whats GNU? Simply GNU mean GNU's Not Unix. This was chosen because its design is Unix-like, but differs from Unix by being free software and by not containing actual UNIX code.

So what is Linux? Linux is simple a kernel developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991 and subsequently developed with the assistance of developers worldwide. The GNU project was developing its own kernel was named; HURD. This had some bugs and was not very stable at the time when Linus made Linux public. The difference was again the approach to the kernel design. I think its the fact that Linux is not a microkernel and HURD was. Even Stallman has agreed to the fact that Linux took a better approach in developing the Linux, though HURD might have been more systematic and a better design. In any case, people started to use the kernel Linux developed and started to adopt it along with other GNU tools. Also Linux was released under the GPL model. This was nothing planned, it just happened. As UNIX is composed of lots of tools and a kernel, the combination was perfect. Even to date some people still argue that Linux should be called as GNU/Linux.

This is what changed the world. When people like Bill Gates changed things with letters such as The Open Letter to Hobbyists. At that point the world was started to get slowly dominated by Microsoft. Internet was at the verge of exploding. People considered software source code to be something of crown jewels, suddenly work of few individuals changed everything. They not only contributed the computing world, but also disproved the business models which has been laid down by companies like Microsoft and others. Companies like RedHat and a few others have proven that there is money in the OSS and Free software models. The point which most people still don't get is, this is not about money, its about FREEDOM. The freedom to choose software, modify and to distribute. Where you were not stuck with one vendor for the product and for the support. YOU NOW HAVE THE CHOICE TO CHOOSE. Of course, when you look for service you have to pay. Example consultation and support. That is if you are a serious company, and running a business or an organization. The advantage being lower cost in most cases and better service. Why better service? Because you had the freedom to choose rather then depend on one company (only) to give you support and updates.

Its interesting to note that Linux grew with a lot of other technologies. Most importantly, the Internet. Probably the biggest boost that Linux got was from Apache web server project. It too was a free software like the Linux, and at that time ISP's saw the advantage of Apache over others. Apache and Linux went on very well. Loads of ISP's started to adopt Apache along with Linux, for advantages like security, easy administration of remote servers. Things like the advantage that Linux ran on loads of platforms and cheap hardware. Then the rest was what we see today. Database developers and other application developers acknowledged Linux and boom, now its even competing on the desktop too. Projects like the Open Office project by Sun Microsystems and other contributions from companies like IBM and Novell has made Linux what it is today. But most of all its the individuals who made it happen, and the theory and love of “Freedom”. Its simply amazing.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

OSS and Developing Countries

Free software is a matter of freedom, not price. In developing countries Open Source Software(OSS) has not been as popular as it should have been. There have been many factors contributing to this, one major factor being that there have not been much or any enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights(IPR). Software piracy is epidemic in most developing countries. Starting from the individual home users to the government bodies. There is not much respect to any copyright laws. Mostly software is taken for granted. This is not even taken into consideration while making policies. Mostly the only costs involved are the cost of hardware. It is very rarely that cost of software is ever taken into consideration.

One other factor which contributes to this that; it is some times believed that anything “Free” can't be good. A lot of times OSS or free software is looked down by some people. This happens mostly when people are not very aware of the technology and when people who make decisions are not practically involved in the industry. A lot of times, the people who are selected to make decisions in the developing countries are long term bosses who have been sitting behind a desk just signing documents or they are fresh and green graduates, who lack any experience other then school assignments and projects.

So, why go for free and open source when its all free anyway? Well, nothing is free! (almost). To start with we all know that even though its free software a lot of times we need to pay for support; if we want it. This is true in any case. Be it Free and OSS or commercial software. Also there is consultation costs. This is true when it comes to large projects. There are many advantages we get when we move to OSS platforms and to Free software. Example the flexibilities we get over the software; if we are to customize or even to localize. In other words there is more control over systems when you move to GPL-style projects. This is a very wide subject to be discusses and it all depends on where it is applied. There is no one general answer to these kinds of questions.

I think there is a lot of advantages that I see if an organization migrates to Free and Open platforms. Example if an organization were to adopt Linux on an enterprise-wide scale, they would have advantages like more security, keep malware and viruses at bay. It would also cut down on the IT budget on the long run. This is very much acceptable thing now, but why does these migrations never happen? I think one reason is the lack of support and knowhow. Also FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) is the other factor. While we know that these migrations and adaptations will be far better, we still fear them. For some if not most administrators; its hard to think of a world without Microsoft. They are too used to the wizards and the next, next finish methods. Even if this meant compromising performance, security and even cost.

Lately this has started to change. OSS and Free platforms has not only been started to get popular with developing nations but also the developed countries like Germany and Hong Kong. Recently Indian government has been adopting Linux into the government operations along with countries like China.

Anyway I think its a good factor for the governments to consider the costs which will be involved if they have to pay for the licenses and the upgrade costs. Which are not considered now. Its also a very sad fact that the people who are to enforce laws are also the people who break them. Just because these intellectual propitiates are software and developed by other countries does not mean they should be illegally used, stolen or sold. But having said that I know this is something that can never be stopped in a near future. Piracy is here to stay for a while. I think it will take a few years and a lot of mistakes for the developing countries to realize the reasons for choosing GPL-style projects for solutions. The next major factor which will only bring this change is people. As of now man power is something that we lack, people who are experienced and have the skills and knowledge to adopt and deploy projects successfully. Till then its just an idea and a dream for these islands where I live.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Off to land of Bajaj

Very soon(in a few hours) I will be in the land of Bajaj. Most probably riding on three wheelers, on and off. Anyway who is the real Bajaj? I did some read up into this guy, and here is what I found out.

Jamnalal Bajaj (1886 - 11 February 1942) was an industrialist, a philanthropist, and Indian freedom fighter. He was also a close associate and follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is known to have adopted him as his son. Several institutions in India bears his name, including the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. He founded the Bajaj group of companies in the 30s. The group now has 24 companies, including 6 listed companies. Besides Bajaj Auto Ltd, the other major companies in the group include Mukand Ltd, Bajaj Electricals Ltd and Bajaj Hindustan Ltd. One of his great-grandsons, Rahul Bajaj runs the family flagship company Bajaj auto.

But lately; his name has been taken over by some charactor in a Indian TV Show. :) But let us not forget the real guy too.