The Free Geek

Ramblings of a Free Software Geek

Stupidity Assurance Fri, 10 Oct 2008 16:36:01 +0000

Filed under: General — Bon Goose @ 16:36:01


Posted by email from Baishampayan’s Posterous


The oTeam Lunch Outing Thu, 09 Oct 2008 20:59:29 +0000

Filed under: General — Bon Goose @ 20:59:29

Photos taken at the oTeam Lunch Outing.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted by email from Baishampayan’s Posterous


Pirate of the Pirate Bay

Filed under: General — Bon Goose @ 12:51:22

Ready to rip DVDs and seed torrents…

Posted by email from Baishampayan’s Posterous


DO NOT WANT! Tue, 29 Apr 2008 12:50:11 +0000

Filed under: General — Bon Goose @ 12:50:11
Tags: , , , ,

Well the reason why I had to resurrect my old and unmaintained blog is that apparently, I have been nominated for the “Great Indian Developer Awards” in the “Top Committer” category.

I had no idea about this until now as I have received no communication from the organisers regarding the awards and I have no idea how I got nominated.

And I think this is completely Bullshit.

I don’t see any reason how I can get nominated even though I haven’t been active in the Free Software community since the last year or so.

I think there are many other people who deserve this much more than I do. Hell I don’t think I would even feature in the list of top 100 Indian Free Software developers.

To name a few, I would rather nominate the following (in no particular order):

So, the organisers, please don’t humiliate me like this and kindly take down my name from your God damned website.

I am just a Free Software enthusiast … I don’t need no award.

And in any case, I think this whole event is bullshit, just look at the other nominations and you will know. But that’s another story …


A reward from Sir Donald Thu, 17 May 2007 18:53:08 +0000

Filed under: General — Bon Goose @ 18:53:08
Dear Mr Ghose,

Many thanks for your extremely helpful note. [...]

I owe you the customary "reward check", because these corrections
affect pages of The Art of Computer Programming. To what snail-mail
address should the check be sent?

Don Knuth


Update: I received the cheque today! Check my flickr page for a scan of the cheque.


GNU Emacs with XFT goodness Mon, 06 Nov 2006 17:56:48 +0000

Filed under: GNU/Linux,Programming,Ubuntu — Bon Goose @ 17:56:48

Personally I have been using the emacs-unicode-2 CVS branch of GNU Emacs for a long time now. This branch will become Emacs 23 in the future and it contains better Unicode handling code in addition to some cool features like antialiased fonts (courtesy XFT and FreeType), copy to clipboard, etc.

GNU Emacs with XFT

I usually build a custom version of the emacs-snapshot package with source from the emacs-unicode-2 branch and some simple customisation to enable the antialiased fonts. Some of my friends are using those packages and I thought it’d be good if share those packages with a larger audience.

So I have set up an APT repository with those packages which you can install on your Ubuntu Dapper machine. To do that, first add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list

deb dapper main
deb-src dapper main # for source

Then do sudo apt-get update to fetch the package list and then sudo apt-get install emacs-snapshot-gtk to install the customised GNU Emacs package.

If you already have the vanilla emacs-snapshot installed then only sudo apt-get upgrade will upgrade your current installation to the new one. And yes, this package can co-exist peacefully with your emacs21 package.

Now to enable antialiased fonts, add the following line to your ~/.emacs

(set-default-font "Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-8")

Now launch GNU Emacs as emacs-snapshot-gtk --enable-font-backend and enjoy the awesomeness 🙂

Leave a comment if any of you need Ubuntu Edgy packages, I will build them and add to the repository.

Update: I have added Edgy packages too ! Just add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list and the rest is identical to the instructions for Dapper.

deb edgy main
deb-src edgy main # for source


Move over Compiz, welcome Beryl Tue, 10 Oct 2006 14:19:48 +0000

Filed under: AIGLX,Free Software,Open Source Software,Ubuntu — Bon Goose @ 14:19:48

One of the coolest things about Free Software is that no one person can really control the direction of a project by dictatorship. While I agree that having a benevolent dictator has helped many projects like the Linux kernel and Python, sometimes the ability to fork a project proves to be a boon.

This is what has happened with Compiz and its friendly fork Beryl. The compiz community led by ace programmer Quinn Storm was doing an awesome job enhancing compiz and writing new plugins. They also wrote cgwd (later Emerald), a custom window decorator for GNOME based on the proof of concept gwd by David Raveman. But apparently David Raveman (author of Compiz & XGL) had some issues with accepting patches from Quinn and was not cooperating with the community. As a result, Beryl was born which is mainly Compiz + patches by Quinn Storm and the community.

I moved from Compiz to Beryl today and I was awestruck. Beryl seems to be way ahead of Compiz in terms of features (like Emerald) and sheer eye-candy. The beryl-manager application is an extremely useful and awesome little thingy. It simply rocks! Here is how you can switch from AIGLX + Compiz to AIGLX + Beryl on Dapper —

  1. Remove all compiz packages from your system but keep the aiglx packages.
  2. Remove all old compiz repositories from your /etc/apt/sources.list and add the following
    deb dapper main aiglx
  3. Do a apt-get update and then apt-get dist-upgrade.
  4. Install the meta-package beryl and you are done!
  5. Restart the X server and run beryl-manager. Enjoy the awesomeness.

With Beryl the previous issues with missing window borders are also gone. So you can do away with apt-pinning which I was doing to keep my AIGLX from breaking. More documentation is available at the Beryl project wiki.
You can watch the following movie on to get an idea about Beryl and its advantages over Compiz. Enjoy 🙂