Funny and Informative info on evolution

Interesting article from Forbes.

Excerpt:
“In the pre-Cambrian period, about 600 million years ago, our worm-like ancestors had a central task to perform: reproduction. This involved shedding sperm and eggs into the water, nothing more, and they co-opted the openings and apparatus that they already had handy for excretion to do the job. Shedding gametes, shedding feces…similar tasks, right? That expedient sharing of those two functions had long-term consequences we live with right now: Our reproductive organs are coupled to our organs of excretion, which later also got tangled up with our hind limbs. Now we have to deal with yeast infections and a pelvis that doubles as both a birth canal and a base for posture and walking.

What if that worm-like ancestor instead used its other body opening, the mouth, to expel gametes? Reproductive function would be moved forward, away from other messy, but necessary functions. Of course, it would mean that a kiss would be fraught with major new connotations and consequences, but I think we could cope.”


Last Updated on April 25, 2006 by SK

Linux to compete with Windows

Ok.. I have been trying to run linux in a laptop for sometime now. I ran into several annoying issues to make linux work in the laptop. However, I would really really like to see people using Linux in the laptop and desktop instead of Windows. Right now, using linux in a laptop or desktop as a full fledge OS is out of question even for me. I cannot think of normal folks who use it windows for their day to day work. Linux desktop/laptop community need a savior who could make right noises and moves to make things easier for anybody to have an alternative to MS.

On this light, I hear Larry is trying to buy Novell to get into Linux business. I’m only reminded of the bid Oracle made with its ill fated low cost computer. I’m willing to bet this time around Oracle learnt its lesssons and making a strategic move. I’m all for somebody like Larry taking the Linux and making it suitable for mass usage. There is also a suggestion in slashdot.org and other places urging Larry to look into Ubuntu as an alternative to Novell (why carry the baggage of Novell’s other products). I’m a big fan of Ubuntu, however I think Ubuntu should be left alone.

In any case, here are some of the items Oracle needs to take care of if it ever wants to compete with Microsoft on desktop/laptop turf:

  1. Consider enhancing ubuntu’s synaptics or suse’s yast to aid users to install software easily.
  2. Enhance wireless support for Linux. Especially urge big wireless card vendors to provide drivers for linux.
  3. Don’t provide options to move the menu’s to different locations. This is a big problem with new users of kde/gnome. There are duplicate menu items or they are not arranged properly.
  4. Standardize on GUI tools. There are thousands of tools available in Linux and make things worse every distro has its own set of tools to manage networks, users etc. For my grandma to use linux the GUI tools need to be standardized.

Last Updated on April 18, 2006 by SK

Ubuntu In Laptop – Enabling TKIP in Linux

Ubuntu WPC54g card installation with TKIP Enabled

Finally I got the WPC54g working in my Dell c610 laptop.

My home network has the SSID broadcasting disabled and uses PSK-TKIP security. It was a big pain in the neck to use the open source ndiswrapper and wpa_supplicant. This weekend I stumbled on this little company called Linuxant (hmm.. where are they located?) that provides an easy to use driver loader for a nominant price of $19(US). They allow you to try the software for upto a month. I don’t mind paying that for a linux company if it really works and makes my life easier.

Did I make the right decision to go with Linuxant’s driver loader. Oh yes, it is a breeze to install the driver. Honestly this is the first time I’ve experienced a browser based install for a linux software. Here are the steps in brief to install the software. I will add more information if anybody needs.

1. Download linuxant’s excellent installation tool.
2. Run the dldrdriverloader.run, it will launch a web browser and will ask for windows driver .ini file and
3. download wpa_package from the link in linuxant’s website. For more about wpa_supplicant see here.
4. build it using the dldrwpaconfig tool
5. Use KWifiManager to monitor the signal strength
6. Open /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file and add the following.
# WPA-PSK/TKIP

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant

network={
ssid=”example wpa-psk network”
key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
proto=WPA
pairwise=TKIP
group=TKIP
psk=”secret passphrase”
}
7. If needed do /etc/init.d/dldrdriverloader restart
8. Launch KWifiManager to see if the wireless network is connected.
9. You can either use iwconfig/ifconfig or use the network config tool to activate the wlan0 interface.

Your wireless connectivity should be up and running now.


Last Updated on April 18, 2006 by SK