Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Facebook Connect Test

I just discovered a cool way to connect Facebook with my blogs. If this works, it will allow all my FB pals (whos opinions I greatly value :-) to comment on any of my blog posts, using their Facebook IDs!!

If you want to help with this experiment, just click on the "comments" link, at the end of this post, where you should find an option to login, using your facebook ID (in addition to a couple others). Selecting the FB option should, depending on whether you are logged into FB on another tab of this browser or not, ask you to log in using your FB ID. Once you do that, you can post a comment and your FB profile pic will show up an an icon next to it, so you are not "Anonymous" anymore :)

How does it work?
It combines Blogger with Discuss and Facebook Connect through a simple FB application.

Is it secure?
Yes. It uses the same security features that are used to secure your facebook identity (API Keys and Application Secrets). What that means is, even though eveyone will see your FB profile pic as a small icon next to your comment, what they get to see when they click on it, depends on your FB security settings. If they are you friend, and are logged into FB, it'll take them to your profile page. If they are not your friend, they will see your "basic" public profile (whatever you have set that too).

If this works, I am hoping to enable this cool feature on my other two blogs (see top left side bar of this page) as well.

So, let me know how it goes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

From Gutsy Gibbon to Interpid Ibex in under 20

So, like I wrote in my previous post, my experience migrating to Ubuntu was pretty effortless and painless for the most part. There are just two small issues that remain before I can consider myself "completely up-and-running"

1. The resolution of my monitor is kinda crappy (a max of 800x600)
2. My wireless card doesn't work.

Now, while I go about trying to resolve those issues, I am sure I'll have to do a bit of packet updating and installing. So, I figure why not be systematic and figure out how package management is handled under Ubuntu

With that in mind, I decided to get up to speed with the Ubuntu package manager, today. And may I say it is just a charm to use. It took me under 20min to upgrade my system (yes my entire Debian system) from 7.10 to 8.10! How did I do it. Just one line:

anil@anil-laptop:/home$ sudo apt-get -u dist-upgrade

That's it! That's the power of the APT manager in Ubuntu!

APT is basically the Debian Packet Management Utility in Ubuntu. What it does is, maintains a database of packages, dependencies and versions and then pulls whatever has changed or doesn't exist on your system out of a "repository" (fancy name for a server that stores .deb files, which are the equivalents of .rpms, in Ubuntu).

Using APT to install/ upgrade/ remove packages, can be done in two ways

Command Line: If you are like me and prefer this, you'll find this quick cheatsheet useful:
* apt-get update app: updates etc/apt/sources.list file that is a local database of all updates
* apt-get install app : installs app (installs dependencies as well)
* apt-get --reinstall install app : WIll repair or reinstall new version of app
* apt-get remove app : removes app (will take out dependent packages as well)
* apt-get purge remove app : removes app + any configuration files.
* apt-get -u upgrade: upgrades packages and lists (-u option) what is being upgraded.
* apt-get -u dist-upgrade: upgrades the entire distro (ubuntu)

GUI mode: For this, there is Synaptic, which is a graphical frontend implementation of APT, and can be accessed from the taskbar under System | Administration | Synaptic Package Manager

Got "Ubuntued"?

For my first project on this new blog, I am going to write about my experince migrating to Ubuntu . Now, I have been a Linux User for a while (2-3 years) now, but, I mostly stuck to Suse 9.3 and 10.0. I recently bought a laptop (the Lenovo Ideapad Y530) that came preloaded with Vista, so I figured what better time to try a new distro than now.

First off, I have to say a big hats off the to the folks who come up with names of the releases:

Alright, since I already had a DVD burned with Gutsy Gibbon on it, I popped it into my new laptop, rebooted the machine, and was on my way to setting up my dual-boot Vista/ Ubuntu machine in no time. I decided to stick the GUI option (amazing how much Linux distro's have evolved over time) for the install and it worked like a charm.

Ubuntu releases come bundled with the GRUB loader, that takes care of managing loading multiple OS installs by providing a simple set of menu options to choose from. One thing to note is that, by default, it sets the first two options in the menu to the Ubuntu install and the remaining (Win Vista, in my case) OS'es follow after that. And, by default, the very first one is selected on startup. It is very easy to change these settings and more (like the amount of time it sits at the boot menu, before contiuing with the default), by simply editing the menu.lst file under /boot/grub. To start with, I set my default to the "other OS'es" option, so that it sits there forever, until I select one or the other. I did this, because I am undecided if I want to default to one or the other, for now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Yeap... I just did it. I had decided to create a new Blog to capture any new ideas I come up with on a daily/weekly/ monthly basis, and... I Just did it!!
As with other blogs I have started in the past, my first post should explain the reason for creating the blog. In this case, most of the reason was already in my new years resolutions, here and here . More than anything else, I am hoping to capture any ideas here, before they just escape from my head into thin air, forever. And, I am also hoping that, writing about some of my ideas here, will make me more accountable, by making me feel guilty if I don't act on them (at least a little bit :)

So, there... done!

PS: Unfortunately the url just-do-it.blogspot.com was already taken (DUH!) (wonder why that didn't occur to me earlier), so I had to tweak that a little bit. Good thing is that the title doesn't have to match it, so I'm good!