Debian (Wheezy) on Sony VAIO VPCEA series laptop

There is a certain Shutdown bug, caused by ehci_hcd module (Enhanced Host Controlled Interface). What happens is that when you are on battery power and you try shutting down the laptop by using shutdown -h 0 command or poweroff, the system halts and then automatically reboots. The funny part is that even if you issue a ‘halt’ command while at the grub bootloader, the system reboots for one more time. i.e, you will have to issue halt twice (Grub bootloader -> halt -> system halts and reboots -> Grub bootloader -> halt -> system halts).

While running on AC power, the system shutdown works just fine and so the automatic thought initially is that it is caused by laptop-mode-tools, which comes up while working on battery. But lmt is not the culprit, the culprit is actually the ehci_hcd module (atleast for Sony VAIO VPCEA series laptop they are).

So, if you are facing this issue, try to remove this module before issuing poweroff or shutdown -h 0. The command to remove this modules is :

rmmod ehci_hcd

You can also put the above command into rc.local.shutdown so as to automate the procedure.

Mario Time

So, I saw this sketch and got inspired. Really inspired. So I decided to try drawing Mario myself. I have had my fair share of seeing him jump up and down on the screen, eat mushroom, and go down tubes and raise flags! So with all that nostalgic feelings coming up, I started sketching Mario….And with my own crude skills sets in sketching, I managed to get it done in the following fashion.

Mario
Mario using charcoal

Hmm.. So what do you think??

IBM toys with atoms!

IBM, recently released a short clip/movie in which they arranged atoms to create a boy like figure and then the boy goes around playing with other atoms in the vicinity. You can watch it below :

Hmm, so what does that mean to a anyone??

Well, as computer move from life size to lap size to palm size and so on, in the near future, atomic computation is going to be the norm. For this to be successful, the ability to move atoms, are very crucial. The movement of atoms can play a huge role in creation of atomic memory modules. So..its on-wards to next-gen technology!

More details are published by IBM Media at this website.

Back to Sketch board

I have always been fascinated by charcoal sketches or let’s say, black and white images. The contrast is so appealing. Recently I found myself craving to pick up my charcoal pencil and sketch something. And as soon as I bought my new charcoal pencil, the idea and inspiration appeared in front of me in the form of this blog post. And the sketch I wanted to imitate is this one. So I started working… I am not a very good artist (you have been warned), but I love to sketch..so when I get inspired.. I tend not to let the flow of creativity get blocked. 

So… Here is what I accomplished.

This below one is the first version:

Image

And this is the second version :

Image

And here’s both together.

Image

I personally like my second version of the sketch, but please do tell me your opinion on which one you like better..and why.. Also please do give me tips to improve. I know that I need to improve on my shading skills! 😀

 

See self-assembly and 4D printing in action

Wow! Just imagine the possibilities.

TED Blog

A part on the outside of a spaceship that morphs, rather than requiring an astronaut to perform a risky maneuver. Plumbing pipes able to bend and flex based on the needs of the water flowing through them. Furniture that assembles itself, no screwdriver required. Buildings with the ability to repair themselves when something goes awry.

[ted_talkteaser id=1707]These are just some potential applications of research being done at TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits’ Self Assembly Lab at MIT. In this lab, designers, scientists and engineers come together to work on new ways to make disordered parts become ordered — on their own, since the programming is part of the object itself.

In today’s talk, give at TED University at TED2013, Tibbits introduces us to one of his most fascinating nascent ideas — what he calls “4D printing.” A collaboration between the Self-Assembly Lab and 3D printing giant Stratasys, 4D printing allows…

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Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo(Where mind is without fears)

Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo
—————————————–

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments, by narrow domestic walls, Where words come out from the depth of truth,
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection,
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way, Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit,
Where the mind is led forward by thee , Into ever-widening thought and action,
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

– Rabindranath Tagore.

This poem is part of the Nobel prize winning literature ‘Gitanjali‘ written by my countryman Rabindranath Thakur (anglicized as Tagore) who was the first non-European to win a Nobel award for literature. Some of the selected poems of Gitanjali can be found here.

Presenting Non-linear presentations

A presentation aids a public speaker, a professional as well as an academician whenever they step into the limelight to project their idea or achievement to a larger audience. Now, this powerful tool can be made even more impressive by (carefully) adding some non-linearity to the presentation style.

Most of the presentation that we create today is a linear presentation, with a particular order. And although that is a great way of presenting things, sometimes they dull out and sometimes the audience is not immersed enough to understand the completeness of your idea.

If you face such challenges, where you need to get your audience involved in your talk, its a great idea to use a non-linear presentation.

Non-linear presentations are those presentations which uses a series of rotations, translations and zooming levels to emphasize and present the content. Few might consider that calling such type of presentations a Non-linear presentation is a misnomer. Rather it should be called a free canvas mode of presentation where there is a blank canvas where you can put in your entire idea and then emphasize areas where you need the audience attention in order to deliver the idea to them. I agree to that notion but don’t find any fault in calling it non-linear as well, cause it definitely uses rotations!

Now,enough theory..let’s make some presentations. There are many proprietary methods to create a non-linear presentation. Prezi is one among them and like they say.. “When you are creative.. Your ideas matter!”

Now we all can’t afford proprietary software and that is where Open Source steps in to save us. Welcome Sozi. Sozi is an extension of vector graphics tool called Inkscape and using Sozi extensions, you can create SVG files which can be played on most of the modern web browser (like Firefox and Chrome) as a presentation. And since its not flash dependent, iOS devices also shall support it.

So what are we waiting for..let’s jump in and make some non-linear presentations.

The instructions for installing Sozi is present in its website (link given above).

A quick tutorial to get you started is right here.

Enjoy the non-linear presentations! A simple creation from my end is downloadable here. Open it up in a browser!