Sunday, July 12, 2009

Setting up Jaunty Jackalope

Like many of my previous attempts, I've set up Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) through Wubi in my laptop to wiggle around a bit. I have found the following links very helpful to set up my system properly and thought to share them in one place.
  • Wireless:
    Unlike Intrepid Ibex (8.10), which for some esoteric reasons, made a mess with the wi-fi settings, wireless netwoking works like a charm in Jaunty. I booted into the new installation, pressed the wi-fi switch of my laptop, opened the wireless connection applet and configured the network by just entering the SSID (if your system is password protected, you'd need to enter that along with choosing the encryption type). After that, I had no problems with wi-fi connection.

  • Sound:
    The first problem that you will face up after installing the new system is that there is no sound output out of the box. Apparently, they have almost overhauled the sound configuration system from the previous version. Follow this excellent article by UbuntuGeek carefully and you'd be able to set up sound for your system.

  • Third-party Applications:
    As always, HowToForge has their 'The Perfect Desktop' article for Ubuntu 9.04 that will make your system a complete alternative to Windows with all necessary softwares. Set up the Medibuntu repositories as described in the article and then download your necessary packages through Synaptic Package Manager.

  • Resizing Virtual Disk Space:
    After installing all my necessary softwares, I found my virtual partition crying for hard disk space. At first I became frustrated but after some Googling, came up with this helpful Lubi Virtual Partition Manager. Download and install this deb package, specify the new virtual partition size and wait for a while as it copies all the stuff from the old virtual disk to the new one. Note that, in your physical hard drive you need free space as much as your new disk size as this will perform a copy instead of a replace operation. After all contents have been copied, log into your Windows system, go inside :\ubuntu\disk folder, delete/rename root.disk and rename new.disk to root.disk. Now you can enjoy the increased disk space in your Ubuntu system.
These are the changes I have made so far to configure my system. I will try adding more tips as I face new problems with Jaunty. Till then, enjoy the Jackalope, the fastest Ubuntu distro so far in my opinion.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dhaka to New York

It was my first aeroplane journey. So far, I had travelled solo only once, a one day round trip to Sylhet, culminating in my fateful meeting with three muggers. I was sad to leave my motherland for an extended stretch of time. I was anxious about how my parents will handle leaving without me. I was (and still am) mostly concerned about what kind of job I'll get in USA. All these thoughts registered little on my mind of my impending flight.
As scheduled earlier, I reached ZIA by 6pm and was way early for my flight. Rana uncle had already managed an acquainted official to handle my boarding passes. Though I was told I'd receive two boarding passes (Dhaka to Dubai and Dubai to New York), I only got the imminent one due to some security issues. Dad filled out forms for me and I passed immigration without much hassle. The next hurdle for me was the customs check before boarding. Thankfully, Rana uncle crossed security borders and managed another helpful acquaintance of his to look after my customs process. I was sitting at the terminal waiting for the plane to arrive, marvelling at the gigantic Gulf-Air plane that was boarding at that time. A couple of phone calls from Mom, Dad, Abir, Lablu and Nijhu kept me occupied to pass the time. I duly boarded in the Emirates flight at 8:25pm and bade my family goodbye via phone.
I got an aisle seat on the right hand side of the middle column, near the back of the plane. My co-passengers were mostly Bangladeshi workers in Dubai. I noticed with surprise that most of them were hardly bothered by the instructions to fasten/unfasten their seat belts at proper time. Thankfully though, they showed me the where the remote control of the TV was. Previously I had heard lots of praises about the beautiful Emirates air-hostesses and I should mention that none of those were exaggerating. After everything was set and done, the plane seemed to taxi at a very slow pace. Later I came to realize that it must have taken a long winding route to reach the main runway from the terminal (guessing ZIA is not a spacious airport). Afterwards, I felt a sudden mild thrust which I would like to compare with a nitro boost in a racing car. As previously advised, I plugged my ears with my fingers during the takeoff to prevent the buzzing noise and the plane gracefully left the soil of Dhaka.
After the plane was air-borne, there wasn't much to do. At around 9:30pm, we were offered dinner. I was greatly satiated by the servings. Later, I managed to catch some sleep as I always do in a moving vehicle. At around 12:45am, I woke up and waited for the plane to land.
Much to my dismay, the plane landed 10 minutes late. We had to get down from the plane and board on the shuttle to reach the terminal building. I was mostly tensed if I'd be able to collect my tickets, check-in customs and be able to board on my next flight in so little time. I boarded the shuttle to leave the plane in a hurry. Just before entering the shuttle I had a small taste of the heat of middle-eastern climate. The shuttle was void of any seats. Though I was tensed, I could not stop marvelling the enormous size and vanity of Dubai Airport. The huge multi-storied terminal building waiting in front of me with its mazes.
I got down from the shuttle in a hurry and then rushed to find the appropriate counter. To my relief, I had only two persons in front of me in queue. The total time to collect the boarding pass took less than 7 minutes. I started for my terminal and then to my dismay, had to stand behind around 150 people to get past the security checking. They made me take-off my shoes, belts and glasses - any metal object I was carrying in my body. After getting past the security, I started running to my destination with my shoes unlaced and my unbuckled belt in my coat pocket.
What followed could only be compared to the journey through Crystal Maze - my favorite reality show from my teens. I went through numerous tunnels, descended three stories and then ascended two more to find my terminal gate. The queue contained 20 or so people in front of me but I was relieved thinking that at least now they won't leave us behind. After a while I was let through, got down further through a lift and boarded the flight to New York.
This time, I had the leftmost seat in the middle column, again at the back side of the plane. My co-passenger was a Bengali from Kolkata and there was an Indian girl across the aisle. I couldn't find any place to stash my carry-on and a cute east-asian air hostess helped me (For some reason I always find Asians more attractive, but that's another story). They waited 15 minutes more for all transit passengers to board and then started to take-off.
This flight's take-off was much smoother, even with a shorted run-up. I went to sleep after a while and was awaken after some hours for another full course meal. The food in this flight was better and was abundant in variety. Though I was tempted, I didn't taste any liqour thinking Rosie Fuppi and Fuppa (aunt and uncle) would be able to smell it. After meal, I shifted between sleeping, and watching movies (12 Rounds and partially Watchmen and 7 Pounds) in the flight.
I was awake with the glimpse of sunlight while the plane was over France and then followed my largest spell of dawn so far. I went to the restroom once to brush and take a leak, but as habituated, couldn't do anyting else.
Just an hour before reaching New York, we were served breakfast and then appropriate forms to pass the immigration. A couple of minutes before landing I got the glimpse of the shores of New York and experienced another smooth landing. I rushed to get ready to get down but had to wait a while before the long queue in front of me got down.
May be it was morning, or may be it is true, but JFK didn't impress me as much as Dubai. I came out of the tunnel and starting jogging through to reach the immigration. It helped eventually, along with the fact that an officer spotted a couple of Bangladeshis like me with Diversity Visa papers in hand and took us to a specific counter without any others. I went past the immigration officer in less than 10 minutes in total, got my luggage clearance signed without any hassle, and then spotted a lady who was in my flight from Dhaka to Dubai. I saw her taking her bags off from the luggage rail and received my two bags after a while. I was surprised to find my luggage unaltered and also at the $5 price to rent a trolly. I decided to drag both of my bags on their wheels, followed the directions, got out of the main building and saw Sarah, Fuppi and Fuppa waiting with a warm smile. My journey was over.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saying Goodbye

So far, this year has brought upon me a spell of anxious waits, linking one event after another. Amidst all the turmoil, I failed to keep any journal lately. Now that all the waiting is over, finally the time has come to sally forward into the glorious uncertainty. The last goodbyes have been said, the parting tears have been shed, now I am on the verge of starting my voyage.
It all started with freaking out why I hadn't received my DV interview letter at the start of the year. Then, waiting for the dreaded visa interview with a quiet tension. After the interview, it seemed like an eternity before I finally got the phone-call affirming my immigration. Everyone was happy. I visited BUET and informed my honors and masters thesis advisers, both bade me farewell happily. Finally, it came to talking to Ellis, my boss.
I was queasy about letting my Managing Director/Team Lead/Programming Mentor know that I'll be leaving the country. Not only was I breaching my 3 year contract, but I was feeling low for breaking his trust and not keeping my own words. After Ellis returned from his Thailand vacation, I mailed him last Sunday asking to talk and since our cutover (production cycle end date) has been shifted, he managed some time to talk to me after lunch. Even before I got into explaining things, he had said he knew about my diversity lottery and happilly let me go with no strings attached. The way Ellis talked to me on that day (probably 10th March) made our friendship even stronger than before.
The couple of months after that went into a frenzy. Every morning I'd get up early and then start for my swimming or driving lesson, then a hurried breakfast at some restaurant and going to office through the late moring traffic jam. The evenings were spent either on meeting old friends or shopping. In no time, I faced May 21st, my last working day in CodeCrafters. I felt mixed with all kind of emotions on that day. Like many time before, I attempted to express myself with a song for this occasion.
After I had quit office, I finally managed to take Mom and Dad to Cox's Bazar for one last vacation in Bangladesh. We got the chance to watch hurricane 'Aila' from the balcony of hotel Sea Crown. It felt very great to finally have travelled with my family.
The last few days were all spent in attending various invitations and farewell parties. Ellis' last words on Thursday (June 4th) left me choking almost to the verge of tears. While departing I received an uncharacteristic and warm hug from my ex-boss and now dear friend. On Friday (5th June), I exchanged goodbyes with a lot of my dear freinds and family members. The hardest of these all were to say bye to Nashad, Nijhu and Emin. In fact Emin and I could not help our tears that evening at all. The long 14 year friendship, of never getting detached from one another, of relying on the other on any need at any time actually came to abeyance that day. Nijhu, like his typical Floydian style, sent a simple text message packaged with all his good wishes- Shine on you crazy diamond.
I forbade Mom to cry in front of me, yet she couldn't help it when I left her with a meager amount from the remnant of my last salary, thinking how I was feeling to go apart from her for the first time in my life. Consequently, I broke down also. I feel so much ashamed thinking how much I had misbehaved with my Dad in the final days in Dhaka, yet he always stood there as the pillar, always smiling and encouraging and never faltering to show a tinge of emotion, for this and all the love and support, I am deeply grateful.
Finally it was 5pm on Sunday (6th June). I was getting ready to board on the microbus we rented for my airport trip. All on a sudden, Abir and Shiplu arrived to see me for one last time. I can never forget that last embrace from my two friends. Tears were glistening in my eyes as I said the last goodbye and left 24. B. K. Das Road, my home.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: A Year on Wings

What better words to describe how wonderful 2008 was for me? The Almighty Allah has bestowed upon me so many good things in life and laid so much success on my path that I can never thank Him enough for that. This was a pivotal year in my life and in reminiscence I'd like to look back at a few memorable events.

Jan-Feb Despite whining earlier, I feel I'd given a decent effort in my MS studies, which resulted in an A+ in Computational Geometry. This was a big thing for me since I was the only non-buet-teacher masters student to have earned an A+ in this subject. I didn't fair in the other two courses but I don't want to consider that as failures since my efforts in them were commensurate to my grades. I completed the huge GraphApi rewrite job at the office single-handedly. Though this did not garner any significant contribution to our product but through this I became the sole programmer to maintain GraphApi and GraphPaint libraries for our product.

March Had a wonderful trip to Birisiri with Zaman. During BCM training at the office, once I got genuinely indignant at the idiosyncrasies and strongly dissented with Tajul Bhai over lunch. This was one of the rare times when I stepped out of my character and stood up for something, for this reason, I'll always remember this among my numerous office memories.

May 6th This date needs a special mention. It was CodeCrafters 1st year Anniversary. All of us, donned in new t-shirts bearing CodeCrafters logo were getting ready to go the Sheraton for a grand celebration. Just before leaving office, suddenly I received a phone call from Dad. He was very agigatated, demanding me to come home at once. Upon querying upon the cause of this emergency I learnt that a letter from American Consular Center is awaiting me. By some utter dumb luck (again all praises to the Almighty Allah), I won the DV-2009 lottery. Upon hearing the news I immediately shared the joy through hushed embraces among my colleagues and friends (obviously not informing my boss Ellis). Though it was my first visit to a 5-star hotel, I was not in a mental state to marvel the decoration or ingest the salt less (in some ways also tasteless) food. Finally I could no longer avoid Dad's berated phone-calls and had to ask leave from Ellis in the middle of lunch to come home and collect the winning letter. Imagine what this means to me! Not only does it open a gateway to go to US (for which I was wistful at that time), but it was also my first win in any lottery and how! Earlier I used to consider myself so distant from any date with the lady luck since I even used to lose the coin toss before a cricket match all the time. Now I consider myself one of the luckiest person of 2008.

June After school I became somewhat distant from a bunch of my schoolmates. By this time, I started frequenting to Imran's place and met a lot of old friends while cheering for our team in the soccer tournament. I also took part for one half in the last match which was one of the high points for me.

July Just half a month before Minu Khala's wedding, I got diagnosed with Hepatitis-A. I had to take intra-venous saline solution and had to remain glued to bed for almost a month. Again thanks to Allah I recovered rapidly due everyone's love and care. On the whole, it was a new feeling to take complete rest after quite a while.

Sept-Oct I scored another A+ in Bioinformatics in Masters and was busy most of the time in office to facilitate multiple Index feeds in our product - CIM. This was one of the very few occasions in my work life so far when I felt challenged by the problem before me and felt I was actually contributing something.

Nov I sat for TOEFL on the 1st. The experience was something I have not encountered before. Suffering from a mild fever I had to complete my exam and by some miracle (again thanks to Allah) I scored an astounding 114 (Reading=29, Listening=29, Speaking=26, Writing=30), which is so far presumed to be the highest among csebuet alumni. I had an austere but hearty birthday celebration on 6th, first sharing a small cake with my school friends and then enjoying a nice family dinner. I had a notable contribution in painting and refurbishing our home and after a long time, started studying like crazy for the upcoming GRE exam.

Dec Just 2 days after Eid-ul-Azha, I sat for GRE on the 11th. Again by divine intervention, my exam became an utter show of miracle. I encountered only a handful of words outside what I've studied from WordSmart and billions of thanks to Almighty Allah, scored 1420 (Analytical=640, Quantitative=780). I invited Joyee and Apurbo Bhaiya on the 16th to our home and had a heartfelt chat with my best friend on the 17th like the old times. I ended the year with a bang - a rocking 3 day trip to Cox's Bazar with Nashad, Piou, Shaila, Saikat, Saad, Redwan and Ashik. We danced, partied, boozed, jumped in and out of sea, bon-fired and above all enjoyed every bit of time amidst natural beauties and old friends. This will always remain as one of the most memorable journeys of my life. Other than all this, I enfranchised for the first time in my life on 29th.

Being a believer (cannot term myself a pious or a devout yet) I've realized to accredit all the good things in my life to God's benevolence and all the hardship to His tests in this year. This is a lesson I hope to nurture in me throughout my life. One other important lesson which I've learnt may be put forth in a filmy way- Agar kisi chiz ko dil se chaho, to puri kayenaat tumhe usse milane to sazish mein lag jati hain (quoted from Om Shanti Om, dialogue picturized on Shah Rukh Khan. I later read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and found out the original quote). No one but me can fathom how profoundly this have come true in my life in 2008. This is a year that I'll always remember as one that has reaffirmed my belief over fate and has taught me to dream big again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Happy Birthday to me. I've turned 26 today. Millions of thanks to the Almighty Allah for blessing me with a comfortable year and for showing me the signs of a new path. It feels like the first year of the second part of my life is gone. The new year in my life comes with lots of uncertainty and hope. I don't know what the Almighty Allah has in store for me but have firm belief over his benevolence. I don't know where I will be a year from now but I expect a number of significant pages will be turned in my book of life. Let's just say I want to ride the journey of hope and land at a more auspicious shore.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Playstation Portable

After months of yearning, I finally have a PSP in the palm of my hands. My long research on the net and continual poaching on during office hours finally paid off. Today I've bought a modded PSP-2000, a.k.a PSP slim and lite from two young fellows at Gulshan for Tk.11500 only. Thank you ClickBD for providing us with ebay like (actually this website is a complete ebay rip-off) service. My heartiest thanks to Neaz and Mushtakim, from whom I received a beautiful silver PSP, Sandisk 2 GB pro duo memory stick, a handy carrying case and above all UMDs of Spiderman-3 and Smackdown vs Raw 2008 - the key reason behind my buying a PSP. Soon I'll start drooling all over this blog doting about my new toy. I'm already downloading ISO of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. My recent ventures may not provide me with much playing hours but I plan to update this blog with my experiences from now on.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ubuntu Tips

All tips mentioned here have been applied to my HP 520 laptop, using Hardy Heron.
  • Changing default boot option- edit /boot/grub/menu.lst
  • Using Nokia phone as a usb EDGE modem- see Shihab's Blog
  • Location of downloaded packages- /var/cache/apt/archives
  • Change options to "Open With" menu- edit ~/.local/share/applications to add/remove .
  • Update Firefox. Fix "Offline Mode" at startup bug.
  • VLC Media Player skins directory- ~/.vlc/skins2/