Archive forTechnology

Linux in BigBazaar Cash Counter

I have had visited BigBazaar a lot of times, but this time it was very special. I was offered an e-passbook during my last visit to the place for the purchases that I made (a definite amount of money). When this time I offered the card to the scanned before my billing the machines failed. It actually hanged. It was scanned in all the 3 cash billing counter and but none of them responded.

One of the counter guys restarted the system, and viola what I see, I can’t believe. It was giving an error and waiting for the root password to be typed in. “Press Ctrl D for maintenance”. I was very much astonished to see the retail shop shifting towards open source.

I did a bit of a search after coming back home, and I found out that it uses TPLinux on it’s POS and the solution has been brought from Wincor Nixdorf, a German based company. Future Group has claimed to have implemented around 6000 such units across its shops.

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Latex(.txt) to OpenDocument (.odt/.html) conversion

Basic requirement: Convert Latex docmuent to OpenDocument (.html/.odt) etc.

I have tried this in Ubuntu 10.04. I presume would work with all versions of GNU/Linux.

sudo apt-get install texlive tetex-extras tex4ht dvipng tex4ht
sudo texhash

The above will install the base software for Latex to work.

htlatex review_iisc_pkmadhu.tex “xhtml,ooffice” “ooffice/! -cmozhtf” “-coo -cvalidate”

Generate the OpenOffice file.

dvipng example.dvi
dvipos example.dvi

Convert to Portable Network Graphics and Postscript file.



C class definition of a software professional

This is from one of my friends Anil Naik.

class Indian_Bachelor_female_professional
double styles;
short skirts;
long time_to_understand_problems;
float mind;
char non_co_operative;

class Married_female_Software _Professional
double weight;
short tempered;
long gossips;
float hopes;
char unstable;

class Female_Engaged_software _professional
double time_on_phone;
short attention_on_work;
long boast;
float on_cloud_nine;
char edgy;

class Indian_Newly_Married_software _professional
double dinner_invitations;
short time_at_work;
long lunch_breaks;
float talks;
void bank_balance();
char hen_pecked;

class Indian_husband_wife_software _professional
double income;
short temper;
long time_no_see;
float new_software_company;
void love();

Class Guy_who_wrote_this
Long time_on_bench;
Void work();

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Locked out of Plone/Zope instance

There are various methods of getting away with this problem. Though I am not fully versed with the rest, I can give you a small solution which works for admin user and also adding a manager user to the plone database.

Go to your buildout directory and run the following command:


bin/instance adduser

This will start Zope and Add a Manager user with the username and the password. You can now start your instance and log in with the user you just created. Note that if you try to create a user that already exists, it will fail silently, without giving any warning.

In case you are using the Unified Installer, you can use the following command,


bin/zopectl adduser

Before executing the command please make sure that you have your Zope started and working fine. Restart Zope after this and you should be able to login.

For older version of Zope, you need to create an emergency user which will help you in getting in the system, using the script.

python [your zope]/bin/ access

While running the command it will ask for the username and the password along with the encryption that you need to do.

In case you are not able to locate the file, the easiest way would be to create the access file by using any editor with the following syntax,


Just restart Zope and you should be able to login again with the created username and password.

Please delete the file after you are down with the changing the password.


Slow NFS mount and Firefox

Well, I came across this problem just some days ago, when one of the servers had rebooted n number of times after someone had put the UPS on by pass mode. Firefox opens up but the stop, refresh buttons are all disabled. When Googling around, it was mentioned that it was a bug in Firefox 3.0.x with .sqlite files being broken. I tried deleting the profiles but still not working.

Moreover the same server had the slow mounting of NFS issue. Users would just wait for at least a minute after issuing the `ls` command and when login to GUI mode, it would just be in some state of hangover mode. I tried re-installing NFS kernel server along with updating the kernel, but still no help.

When doing a search somewhere it was mentioned that host needs to be identified. Since I was using IP’s, I thought it would not be a problem, but later on I found out that you need to make entries so that `idmapd` is able to locate it, some sort of a reverse DNS lookup. While restarting nfs-common you see two services being start, idmapd and statd. `idmapd` is the NFSv4 name mapping daemon. It provides functionality to the NFSv4 kernel client and server, to which it communicates via upcalls, by translating user and group IDs to names, and vice versa, while statd creates a file in /var/lib/nfs/statd/sm. When starting, it iterates through these files and notifies the peer rpc.statd on those machines. In case it does not find, it just takes it’s own time to mount it.

The same solved both the problems and user’s are also using it without any complaint.


India’s Small (Big) Mantri Square

The Mantri Square located in Bangalore, was inaugurated on 16th March, 2010 by BS Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka. It is informed to be the biggest mall in India covering an area of about 9,19,516 sq. ft. with a parking space of 2,080 sq. ft. A mind boggling 200-230 outlets in retail space will be merchandising and selling their wares in this mall. They have an additional 36 options in Food court with 6 Inox screens with SCARE house too. You can find outlets of Spar, Reliance, Pantaloon, Lifestyle, Shopper’s Stop, Acer, HP etc. all under one roof. A complete shopping solution.

The best part of the mall is the parking area which is free (as of now) with double decker parking for cars. Auto parking is also on their cards. When inquired about the double decker parking (which seems to be first in Bangalore) to one of the service person, he informed about it’s functionality. One slot is always free so that cars from top can be pulled down. A full bay has 5 slots in the bottom while 4 slots in the top wherein the top open 5th slot is used to navigate the other cars parked up, to be lowered down. It was amazing to see the technology that is being used.




Youtube video download via command line

Well, there are many instances of how to download video’s via youtube. I have tried most of it, some worked well while some did not. Most of the scripts that are written use the old 1.0 version of youtube API which does not seem to work. There is some `t` factor added in the 2.0 version which makes it somewhat difficult to download (at least for me). I went through the API and was able to figure that out.

But, at last I was able to locate a cool script by the name youtube-dl from one youtube-dl is a small command-line program to download videos from youtube. It requires the Python interpreter, version 2.x (x being at least 4), and is not platform specific. This works in Linux, Windows or in Mac OS X also. The latest version is 2010.01.19. It is freely available and one can go an modify it also.

You can download it from here.


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Playing WMV file in Linux (Ubuntu Jaunty)

There are instances when VLC nor MPlayer will not play .wmv (WMV3) files even if the codecs are available. This is due to the propitiatory format that it uses while encoding the video. While trying to play the video you are thrown with the error,

[wmv3 @ 0x8972330]Reserved RES_SM=2 is forbidden

So, you are left with nothing but using Windows and the Windows Media Player to play the video (easiest option). Else install Windows Media Player via wine for Linux (which did not work for me). The last option is to convert the video from that format to some other formats (.avi, .mpg) using mencoder.

MEncoder is a free command line video decoding, encoding and filtering tool released under the GNU General Public License. It is a close sibling to MPlayer and can convert all the formats that MPlayer understands into a variety of compressed and uncompressed formats using different codecs.

root@ophiophagus:~# mencoder file.wmv -ofps 23.976 -ovc lavc -oac copy -o file.avi


GodMode in Windows Vista/7

You have a GodMode in Windows Vista/7. Microsoft has created God to save itself from the Open Source community. God Mode creates a folder which gives one categorized access to each and every setting in Windows.

How to enable it?

Create a folder named with the name, `GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}`, without the quotes. Double click on it and this is what you get as below,

GodMode in Windows Vista

GodMode in Windows Vista



GIMP removed from Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

I was going a Google search of what all applications the new Ubuntu will carry. Lots of modifications/ new splash screens etc. But I was surprise to see one post saying that GIMP is to be removed from the default installation. I went through the Ubuntu wiki and they had already had a post regarding this, some months ago,

The GIMP community also agrees to it, saying that the vision of GIMP is to be a high-end/expert application and Ubuntu removing it from the default installation shows the respect it deserves.

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