Thursday, June 18, 2009

With the first link the chain is forged.

With the first link the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. --Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek NG Series 4)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Microsoft's FUD campaign on OpenDocument format

Microsoft seems to be busy with an ODF disinformation (FUD) campaign with Alex Brown, the convenor of the OOXML BRM being one of the culprits. Rob Weir has more information on his blog

Sunday, June 7, 2009

eSATA hotplugging issues in Ubuntu/9.04

I have noticed another issue with eSATA on Ubuntu/9.04 in addition to the automounting one. When the HDD is plugged in through eSATA before the OS boots, a 3Gbps SATA link is established. However if it is plugged in after the OS boots, a 1.5Gbps link is established. While this is definitely better than USB, it is still suboptimal. Hoping to find a solution for this problem sometime.

Transcend StoreJet35 Ultra eSATA+USB on Linux

I use a 1TB ST31000333AS Seagate SATA HDD for backing up my data using rsync. A crontab entry makes sure that backups are taken everyday. I used to use a standard USB to SATA HD enclosure for connecting it to my system. But since USB 2.0 is limited to 480Mbps, I was trying to find an eSATA+USB enclosure to replace my existing one. My first choice was Coolermaster Xcraft 350. None of the dealers I tried contacting in Hyderabad/Chennai were able to procure it for me. In fact they were not able to get me any eSATA enclosures or docking stations. I almost ordered a eSATA docking station from Amazon (a friend of mine was returning back from the US), but Amazon was not able to process payments from my Mastercard. It was by chance that I came across a dealer selling the Transcend StoreJet35 at My earlier attempts of procuring this from Hyderabad/Chennai had also failed. Since the price (in my opinion) was reasonable (it included shipping as well), I ordered for one and got it delivered. As I was transferring the HDD from the older USB-only enclosure to the eSATA one, it struck me that I had forgotton to check it for compatibility on Linux. A quick check on the product specifications was discouraging; only USB was known to work on Linux. I decided to trust my luck and after transferring the HDD to the eSATA enclosure, I plugged it to my system running Ubuntu/9.04. I found that the disk was indeed being recognised. However unlike USB devices which are automatically mounted when plugged in, I had to manually mount the volumes on the disk. I plan to see how I can handle automounting of eSATA disks.

ps: In hindsight, it was really fortunate that I did not get my hands on the Xcraft350. While browsing around the internet I came across a picture showing its internals. Is rather messy inside compared to the StoreJet35.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

For those who still think software should be patentable

Those who think software should be patentable, I do hope you have a change in heart by reading what Donald Knuth, Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming has written on this issue. And if you do not know who Donald Knuth is, I do not think you are even qualified to think software is patentable (just because you are a lawyer does not mean you can). I do hope the Indian Govt. withstands the pressures from the US and EU and does not enforce it. And I sincerely hope that someone from the minstry of commerce/industry reads this article by Knuth. Here you go