Sunday, June 29, 2008

What Are We Thanking Bill Gates For?

Since Bill Gates retirement from his full-time job at Microsoft, I read a few articles praising him for his role in making PC a commodity today among others.

Indeed, rise of Microsoft caused PC sales to increased significantly to become affordable enough to reach billions today but so did access to human right organisations and other pro-justice groups is easier today as a result of horrific events of the past. Maybe I'm exaggerating here but I hardly think people thank cruel kings and dictators for causing revolutions to form or inhuman employers for making people cry for unions.

My point here is not to say that Bill Gates is just as evil as Saddam Husein but I like to question his motivations that helped Microsoft to become evil monopoly. Did he really wanted PC to reach is every classroom in the world just for the sake of education? Or was this the plan he engineered to earn billions?

In my opinion, poeple's motivations are far more important than simply the result of their actions. You might disagree but computers becoming a part of everyday life was inevitable with or without Microsoft. Well, no doubt that it could be a bit slower but we would get there in a healthier environment.

Bill Gates indeed was the reason for many changes but like invention of nuclear weapons, changes were natural consequences and shouldn't be credited to those who don't deserve them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wahooo! 8 Millions

Yes. We did it and it's well over expected 5 millions. It's great that people's interest in Firefox has grown up so much and I look forward for sharper rise as further improvements gets into the software.

Well, Firefox 3 has been in Ubuntu repository for sometime now, from Beta 5 to final release a couple of days before 17th. I'm happy that by the official release date, most add-ons I use were ported to the version 3 and now it truly replaces its older-self. I found the new version much faster and less-memory hungry (I'm not concerned much about memory as I have 4GB but still appreciate lighter applications) specially when Firefox 2 with Firebug was extremely slow and fat! (memory-wise)

Anyways thanks to all the developers and beta testers of Firefox for producing such a superb software.

ps. the download map at is very interesting. Only 214k for China!!!?? What a shame. We didn't do any better here at Australia; 167k.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

GMAIL for mailto Links

Today after happily downloading Firefox 3, I noticed a feature that seems to be new in Firefox; the ability to add a webmail service such as GMAIL as a mailto link handler. Well, I might be wrong but it seems version 3 is the first to do it without an add-on.

OK. I read the instructions in an article on but since it's very short I briefly add it here.

First type about:config in address bar and after passing the warning message, find gecko.handlerService.allowRegisterFromDifferentHost entry and change its value to true.

Then type javascript:window.navigator.registerProtocolHandler("mailto"," & amp;url=%s","GMail") in the address bar and confirm adding it.

Go back and change the value of gecko.handlerService.allowRegisterFromDifferentHost to false.

Now if you open preference, in application tab for mailto handler, you'll have GMAIL as a choice.

Link to original article:

Monday, June 16, 2008

apt-get wife!

I saw this in a chat room and thought it's definitely worth having it in my blog : ))

Poor maintainer have to look after so many dependencies : ))

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Tiny Tool

These days file or directory names aren't as important and descriptive as they once were and relying on them to guess their content is likely to fail. Yet, there are times that we still need to work on bulk of files and run different commands based only on their names.

Well, to cut a long story short, I wrote a small python script to run arbitrary commands on files or directories, matched using a regular expression pattern. All I can say is that it works and its syntax kinda simple but If you know how to use other standard tools like sed, grep, find, awk, ... and don't mind typing a few words more, don't try this script and then yell at me.

Just remember to run the script somewhere unimportant and/or use --dry-run option before working on actual files. I didn't program it to wipe out your hard drive but shit happens.

Link to the script:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ignorance or Propaganda?

I just came across an article on Legal Technology which to say the least was irritating. The article is about new risks for businesses using free software in their products. Here is my opinion on the arguments the author presented:

First, despite its title, the article is strictly about GPL and its new version GPLv3. Anyone who has ever visited FSF website knows free software has a precise definition for them.
A philosophical debate over the meaning of 'free' software is quickly turning into a dangerous real-world business dispute
I found the 3rd paragraph fascinating where the author says that users of a GPL software can't violate the licence terms and comes up with the spectacular conclusion that ...the freedom belongs to the software, not to users.

In the following paragraphs, he discusses how none-GPLed software could be linked with older version of the licence and not possible anymore in GPLv3. Well, clearly the author haven't read either licences. Only LGPLed software can be linked to incompatible source codes and nothing seems to have been changed about the linking.

Patent clause of GPLv3 is mentioned in remaining texts, rendering the requirement as excessive obligations whereas lack of having such terms in a modern free software licence should come as a surprise. Several other free software licences have adopted similar patent clauses well before GPL.

Well, it is obvious by now that I'm biased toward free software but still I think the author failed to emphasis that GPL has always meant to be a legal contract and not a wishlist and violating its terms is like violating EULA of any other software. I guess it's time for big software companies to know that free software developers, too, can afford lawyers!

Link to original article: