Monthly Archives: January 2009

New ICC Ranking: Sachin not in the top 20 !!!

I’m so frustrated to make this post. The new ICC (International Cricket Council) Ranking of “Top Cricketers Ever” has come with the new year’s first unbearable nonsense, not including our great Sachin Tendulkar in the list of Top 20 Test Batsmen the game has ever produced. ICC ranked Sachin as the 26th greatest batsman in Tests and 12th in ODIs. The new ranking has already become a controversy.

As Cricket is the most popular sports in the subcontinent, everyone knows Sachin and the contribution of sachin to this great game. Being the highest run getter in both the Test and ODIs makes him the Greatest Batsman of all time. But unfortunately ICC don’t think so. They have given the Batsmen’s crown to Sir Donald Bradman (I have no doubt, he is the best), but the next rankings upto 25 includes batsmen inwhich most of them are not even comparable to the calibre of our Sachin. The newcomers like Kevin Peterson ranked above him, does this mean Kevin is greater than Sachin ?? Of course not, It’ll take years and years of cricket to achive the status of a player like Sachin and we’re not sure whether Kevin is capable (What if he goes for ducks in the coming matches and makes nothing in his career). Apart from this, Sachin is a proven Legend, his records prove this. Anyway the new ICC Ranking is nothing but avoiding the subcontinents and making the Englishmen great. Remember the words of Bradman himself “When I see Sachin playing, I see myself in the Pitch”.

ICC is also making arguements like “The new Ranking is not a showcase of the calibre and career experience of the Players”..


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Filed under Personal

HP Pavilion DV6000 Notebook and Linux

HP Pavilion dv6000 (Core 2 Duo) review

Today I got a chance to put my hand on the beautiful HP Pavilion DV6000 Notebook which my uncle bought from Kuwait. It was pre-installed with Windows Vista :(, and he already complainted about Vista that it runs awesomely slow. It runs too slow eventhough it had a Dualcore processor and 2GB of RAM. Later I found that it contained dozens and dozens of unwanted softwares that runs on the startup. I removed them and now it runs Vista better.

Being a Free Software and GNU/Linux enthusiast and a promoter of GNU/Linux, I decided to try Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Live DVD on the Lappie. Alas !!!!, it gave me the GNOME desktop in a flash :). Sound worked perfectly and the sound quality was perfect as in Vista (Lappie have Altec Lansing Speakers). As it was having Nvidia Graphics the Compiz effects were not working with the Free Nvidia drivers (But the Binary packages from restricted drivers section enables it).

Next, I tried Knoppix 5.3.1 on it and being a lighning fast Live Distro it booted to the Desktop like the way it was booting from haddisk. All the hardwares worked like charm under Knoppix and I was really excited to see the new HP Pavilion DV6000 Notebook working smoothly under GNU/Linux.

For those who are planning to buy a laptop, this one is one of my recommendation :).

Ooops I forgot to check whether Wireless and Modem worked under Linux, I’ll check it and post it later.

Product Specifications HP Pavilion dv6725ee (dv6000)

LightScribe DDL Support under Ubuntu 8.04


Filed under Hardware, Linux, Personal, Ubuntu

Building DVD Images Of Ubuntu Repositories

Many of the user’s/first time tester’s of Linux (Ubuntu) are having difficulties in installing a softwares that are not pre-shipped with the distribution CDs. Most of the home user’s don’t have an unlimited bandwidth broadband connection to download all those softwares through Synaptic or other package managers. This is a HOWTO for the unlimited bandwidth internet users who can help those who are not having an Internet connection, by downloading the complete Ubuntu repositories and make DVD images of the repositories. You can distribute them to others so that they can use the DVDs as a repository and they don’t have to depend Internet to install softwares. This method is taken from Howtoforge.

Ubuntu doesn’t offer DVDs ready to download with its main, universe, multiverse and/or restricted repositories. With the contents of this howto you can do it yourself.

Having the Ubuntu or Debian repositories on DVD can be useful for those users who don’t have access to the Internet where they have their Ubuntu installed but have access somewhere else to download the repository and build and burn the DVDs.

Building a local mirror

We have to install debmirror:

sudo apt-get install debmirror

Now we get the Ubuntu repositories in a local directory. In the example below we get main, universe and multiverse sections of the repository in the i386 architecture.

debmirror --nosource -m --passive --root=ubuntu/ --method=ftp --progress --dist=dapper --section=main,multiverse,universe --arch=i386 ubuntu/ --ignore-release-gpg

You could change the options below as you prefer:

  • –host – the URL of the repository.
  • –dist – the distro of your OS (dapper, edgy, sarge, … ).
  • –section – the section you want to mirror locally.
  • –arch – the architecture of your box.

Separating the archive into DVD-sized directories

The repositories we got are too big (about 30Gb) to burn them to a DVD so we have to separate them into volumes.

The tool debpartial will do it for us.

sudo apt-get install debpartial

We make the directory where the volumes will reside.

mkdir ubuntu-dvd

and we make it to construct the package descriptors to every volume.

debpartial --nosource --dirprefix=ubuntu --section=main,universe,multiverse --dist=dapper --size=DVD ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/

Now we have to put the packages into the directories debpartial has just created. The script debcopy which also comes with the debpartial package will do it. The script needs ruby.

sudo apt-get install ruby

If everything is ok…

ruby debcopy ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu0
ruby debcopy ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu1
ruby debcopy ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu2

Where ubuntu/ is the directory with the complete repository created with debmirror and ubuntu-dvd/* are the directories ready to host the new DVD-ready repository.
If we want to make soft links from the complete repository instead of copying the packages we can call debcopy with the option -l:

ruby debcopy -l ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu0
ruby debcopy -l ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu1
ruby debcopy -l ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu2

Now every directory (ubuntu0, ubuntu1 and ubuntu2) fits on one DVD.

Making iso images

To get the directories ubuntu0, ubuntu1, ubuntu2 into an iso image ready to burn we can use mkisofs:

mkisofs -f -J -r -o ubuntu-dvd-0.iso ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu0
mkisofs -f -J -r -o ubuntu-dvd-1.iso ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu1
mkisofs -f -J -r -o ubuntu-dvd-2.iso ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu2

Now you can burn the iso images or mount them. Add them to the /etc/apt/source.list with the command:

sudo apt-cdrom add

Now we can verify the new repositories…

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

… and, if I explain in the right way, you should have your box upgraded.

About the script ‘debcopy’

I heard about someone who can not find the script debcopy, above described.
In that case, download it from here


Filed under Articles, Linux, Tips, Ubuntu

Making Photo Slideshow DVD’s under Linux

As there are no simpler graphical tools available under Linux for this purpose, I’m explaining the method to create a slideshow video DVD of images/photos using a commandline tool called dvd-slideshow. Don’t be scared. It’s not that hard 🙂

It can be installed via Synaptic under Ubuntu OR you can fetch the latest from here.

Preparing your slideshow

Before generating a slideshow, you need to produce an input file which specifies which pictures to use, how long each picture stays on the screen and which transition effect is applied.

The simplest way to do it is to put all of your pictures in one directory and run dir2slideshow. This will create the input file for the next step. Although there are many configuration options, this command should give you acceptable defaults:

dir2slideshow -n 'test slideshow' -t 5 -c 1 slideshow_pictures

This asks to take all the (JPEG or PNG) pictures from slideshow_pictures, show them for 5 seconds and then crossfade to the next picture for 1 second. It generates a test_slideshow.txt input file. Pretty standard defaults, but the link above gives you a description of all the options available.

An interesting switch is -p if you want to generate a PAL slideshow instead of default NTSC.

You have then a file describing your slideshow’s characteristics. Its syntax is fairly straightforward; you can hand-edit it if needed.

Generating the slideshow

Once you are happy with your input file, generating the slideshow is something as simple as typing:

dvd-slideshow -n 'test slideshow' -f test_slideshow.txt

If you add the switch:

-a audiotrack.ogg

it will add an audio track to the slideshow. The result will be 2 files: test_slideshow.xml and test_slideshow.vob. You can try playing your slideshow with mplayer:

mplayer test_slideshow.vob

If you are happy with it, you can move to defining the menu. The thing which this tool amazes me is that it took only 22 minutes to render 580 photos to a DVD video with 10 mp3 sound tracks. In Windows media player, making a video of 100 images with audio backgrounds will surely take more than half an hour 🙂

Making DVD menus

You can use the tool “DVD Styler” for this purpose. (Availabe in Synaptic)


Filed under Applications, Linux, Multimedia, Tips, Ubuntu