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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Prakash Advani's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2004
12:24 pm
I have moved :)
I have moved to a new hosting with blog, posts and photos. So if you are looking for me here .. go to http://www.cityblogger.com
Tuesday, March 16th, 2004
12:05 pm
Checking for devices supported under Linux
Before buying any USB device you can check if your device is supported on Linux. Found this site quite useful and information is nicely classified.
Friday, March 12th, 2004
5:10 pm
Corruption: the root causes
Striking the roots of Corruption is important.

- There is no Accountability. If a person's car or a citizen gets hurt
because the road are not proper, no one is held responsible. If the
citizen walking on th road who is being affected or the car owner who
has paid road tax, can hold the agency responsible then someone is

- Today a government job is considered to be very stable job. You often
hear that someone got suspended or transfered due to corruption. You
never hear someone lost his job. There is no fear about anything since
they know no one or nothing can take away the jobs.

- Most of the systems that still exists were designed by the British and
they continue to be so. The British were ruling India so they always
looked at Indian with suspicions. Government employees were paid
salaries based on how many mistakes/defaulters they found.

This attitude remains today, income tax officials look upon tax paying
citizen's like all of them are evading taxes. They don't look at the
people who don't file returns at all. If their attitude towards tax
paying citizens is that they are contributing, which is helping the
country and paying their salaries too, then things will change.

- Reduce complexity. Like Dr. Nani Palkiwala had said "We need a
Ministry of Simplicity" . Look at ways on how to simplify things rather
than complicate things.

An example: I was one caught by a Traffic Police for missing a signal. I
accepted my mistake but refused to bribe, and was willing to pay the
fine. He refused to take the fine, said I have to go 5 Kms away to the
Traffic Police booth and pay the fine. The fine couldn't be paid the same
day too. It had to paid anytime after the next day and within 15 days.
It had to be paid between 12 Noon and 5 PM, which means I have take
leave from work or send someone to go and pay the fine.

It easy to pay the bribe and so difficult to pay the fine!
Wednesday, March 10th, 2004
10:35 am
10% of PC costs goes towards Windows
Wall Street Journal had an interesting article.

It says:

Excluding labor and shipping, and leaving out the costs of a monitor, keyboard or mouse, the typical desktop PC these days costs the Dells or the H-Ps of the world roughly $437 in parts.

The biggest portion of that -- 30%, or $134 -- goes to Intel for a Pentium processor. The disk drives, including whatever CD or DVD is installed, cost around $104; the RAM memory is $54; and the remaining hardware items -- power supply, case, circuit boards -- total $100.

The final 10%, or $45, goes to Microsoft for the Windows operating system.
Monday, February 23rd, 2004
3:53 pm
Kodak isn't going anywhere
This is something that I have been saying for a while "Kodak isn't going anywhere". I read an article on Wired which re-iterates that. Recently when I bought a digital camera, I didn't even consider a Kodak. My older Film camera also gives me better results with a Fuji Film.

Being an old economy company, its too focused on Film Roll where they have a near monopoly, they need to re-invent itself as a digital camera company by producing better cameras. Or they should focus on providing Digital Camera related accessories such as Memory, prints, web site, etc.
Friday, February 20th, 2004
11:21 am
Alternatives to Windows applications
This Site has a nice list of Linux equivalents for common Windows applications. The only problem is for each Windows application there are average 5 Linux applications to choose from!

How do you expect a newbie to decide which one he/she should choose?
Sunday, February 15th, 2004
11:35 am
Spam Free Email box
Finally I have a Spam free (nearly) mailbox. I tried this utility DisSpam. What this does is as follows.

- It connects to a pop mailbox.
- Checks for spam emails by comparing with Spam Assassin (the best spam control tool).
- Deletes the spam mail from the server.
- Then you start your mail client and download only the clean messages.

To increase the effectiveness you can also train spamassassin in case it didn't identified some mails as spam.

I also use another tool: popcheck which shows all your email header and lets you delete directly from the server.
Saturday, February 7th, 2004
2:57 pm
Is digital camera more expensive than film?
I came across this article - Why Bother with a Digital Camera?

I had similar thinking while deciding on buying a Digital Camera and I am still not completely convinces about the costs.

The cost of buying a new digital camera is more than my photography bill for 10 years! So cost isn't really a good argument, yes convenience is, specially if you need to publish the photos on a Web site quickly or need to email them.
Friday, February 6th, 2004
5:46 pm
Linux isn't affected by Viruses
I have been screaming that since a long time but finally there is a good article that explains this well.
Sunday, February 1st, 2004
10:03 pm
Buying things online
I recently purchased a Canon Digital Camera SD100 online. It was really simple, here are some links which others may find useful.

Site to check prices:




some of these sites have reviews too, the end customer reviewers very quite helpful and accurate.

Happy Shopping :)
Thursday, December 18th, 2003
10:42 am
I want a Linux phone!
There seems to be a Linux phone boom! First it was Motorola to announce to Linux, then it was E28 a chinese company to follow suit and now Samsung too had released a Linux phone. On a seperate development NTT DoCoMo Japanese leading mobile provider had said they would go the Linux way.

Whats driving these companies towards Linux? There are couple of reasons.

- They don't have to pay License fees
- Provides them with lots of flexiblity
- Lets face it, Linux is good :)

Most of the phones choosing to use Linux are for smart phone with PDA, camera, MP3 and other facilities.
Tuesday, November 4th, 2003
10:59 pm
Novell acquires SuSE
Novell Announced today that it is acquiring SuSE. This seems to be interesting, SuSE is one of the best distributions and Novell has a very large customer base. Novell also recently acquired another Linux company - Ximian.

Lets see how Novell integrates all this and provides a good distribution for us to use. Its also important to see how much Novell gives back to the community.

In India SuSE has very little market share but Novell has lots of customers. Novell now has a strong product now to offer to their existing customers.
Monday, October 27th, 2003
5:06 pm
If I could re-write Linux
I wrote an article titled If I could re-write Linux for Newsforge. The response was overwhelming, over a 100 comments and most of them negative! Rather than being critical, I would have appreciated if people said how they would re-write if they had too.
Sunday, October 19th, 2003
5:01 pm
Portable DVD Player
I have been considering buying a portable DVD player and I came across the BenQ DVDGem. What I like about it is:

- Its small and portable, so can be lugged around.
- It can be used as a stand alone DVD player, so it can hook up to a TV directly.
- It can also be used as a DVD ROM drive, through USB so can be used with the PC.
- It doubles up as an MP3 player so if I put all my MP3's on a DVD-R thats about 1000 songs!

Now how do you get this in India? since it is not available in the market.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
9:35 pm
GPRS Connection
I recently enabled GPRS connection on my new phone. Its just Rs. 99 per month by Orange if I don't want to connect it to a PC. Speed isn't anything spectacular but its a good way to catchup on reading while traveling or look up important things.

But all websites are not WAP enabled, however there are ways around.

- Use google, to search for the site, and google will convert that to WAP though their wap proxy and display it to you. That works reasonably well, you can read all the text but the graphics is lost.

- Info Aggregrator which is developed by Netcore, where I work can convert my RSS feeds to WAP. I talked the developers into doing it and they got pretty excited about it. So now I can get any RSS feed converted to WAP.

Happy Wapping if you are like me :)
Friday, October 3rd, 2003
10:08 pm
My New Phone - Nokia 3100
My older Sendo phone which I got for free under a plan from Orange, gave me lots of problems. It just gets hung at times and the battery dies abruptly. So I decided to go back to a Nokia.

I got my self Nokia 3100. Here is my brief overview.

The features I liked:
- Easy to use. Like all the Nokia phones I have used in the past, this too is very easy to use.
-Small and Light. That makes it easy to handle but chances of loosing it a small size phone is higher.
- Color Display. This is restricted to 4000 colors which is a limitation of all Nokia Phones currently available. It Looks good but not as sharp as some of the 65,000 color display phones.
- GPRS - How much that will be of use, I am doubtful since now I have cable Internet at home! May be while traveling I could make some use of it. I am anyways getting it enabled and will test it out.
- MMS - Multimedia Messaging, not many people use it now but could get popular at some point of time.
- Polyphonic ring tones - I really like this features, sounds a lot better than a normal ring tone.
- Tri-band - Wonder when I am going to use that but a nice feature to have. Now need to travel to the US to test it :)
- Java - Have to yet test this.
- Speaker Phone - This is nice to use and better that using a hands free kit.
- Flashing Light - The screen, keypad flash when the phone rings. This works nicely with polyphonic ring tones, it dances to the tune! I wonder how long I would fancy this but right now its cool :)
- xHTML browser - it has a newer brower, have to check this out.

What I dislike
The phone gets hot if you speak for a long time! If the speaker phone wouldn't be there to save my ears! either I would have had fried them by now or dumped the phone!

I guess this is a problem with a few of the new small nokia phones which are high on features. Eg. 6610.

Now I need to find a data cable for the phone so I can dump some of my favourite Midi/Kar files to the phone :)

Current Mood: cheerful
Friday, September 26th, 2003
11:52 am
My Dream PC
A friend recently asked me what would be my Dream PC, so here are some thoughts.

- All hardware should be Linux compatible.
- CPU should be preferable AMD Athlon 64 (64-Bit) or Intel P4 Hyper Threading.
- 800 FSB along with DDR 400 Memory.
- Display card should be Nvidia high end graphic card. If the card is on-board there should be an AGP 8X slot also available.
- Hard disk should be Serial ATA with 7200 RPM speed. - Raid controller would be nice to have.
- DVD ROM with CD writer or better still DVD writer. I have found Plextor to be a very good and reliable CD Writer, Pioneer is suppose to be the best in DVD players.
- 100 Mbps LAN on board.
- Mimimum 4 USB 2.0 ports 2 in the front and 2 behind.
- 15/17" LCD Monitor.
- 3 Button or Scroll Mouse.
- Cabinet should be as small as possible preferably like Mini-ITX.
- Low Noise. System should be as low noise as possible.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003
9:36 pm
Broad Band
I recently got a Hathway Cable Internet at home. Its 64 K, definitely faster than the Dial-up that I used to use before but not very fast. I get a maximum download speed of 7 K.

Incidentally it works faster on Linux, I wonder why but its good :)
Monday, September 22nd, 2003
12:15 pm
Email Attachments - Did you ever forget to attach?
I often find, people (including me) forget to attach files in their emails. This happens if you think you will first finish writing the email and then attach at the end. Invariably you forget to do do that before you hit the send button. Your reflex action is trained to hit the send button after composing. What I have started doing is that if I am composing an email, and I need to attach something, I stop midway, attach the file and then continue writing.

If you happen to be a person who reads each of your emails once again before sending them then you wont face such a problem.
Thursday, September 18th, 2003
6:02 pm
My article in Economic Times today
My article titled 'Better features, and cheaper too' got published in Economic Times today. The article is to urge people to move to Open Office and Mozilla on Windows as the first step. The next step of course is to replace the underlying OS with Linux :)
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