Sunday, November 11, 2007

Linux is fun for me

Do you've a SysRQ button on your keyboard? No. You must've the PrintScreen button, next to Scroll Lock? Yes. Then you can try out kernel keyboard shortcuts.

The fastest (and most unsafe) way to reboot your computer is
to press these these combinations, one after one.
Alt+SysRQ+s - Sync data to disks for all mounted disks immediately.
Alt+SysRQ+u - Remount all filesystems as readonly.
Alt+SysRQ+b - Reboot immediately.

There're a lot of kernel functions availible, depending upon your kernel version.
You can find them in kernelsource/Documentation/sysrq.txt file.

You can enable all of kernel functions by,
echo 1 >/proc/sys/kernel/sysrq

Pressing Alt+SysRQ+h should tell you about various sysRQ functions availible (in dmesg output). For example, on my system (Feisty Fawn), they are
SysRq : HELP : loglevel0-8 reBoot Crashdump tErm Full kIll saK showMem Nice powerOff showPc unRaw Sync showTasks Unmount shoW-blocked-tasks

The saK (secure access key) can be used to allow secure login. The output of kernel functions, if any, goes to /var/log/messages (or dmesg).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Google will free the mobiles

Google has unpacked the gPhone using Android. Its the next biggest thing in mobile industry. Having your phone run open source code and hacking it the way we hack Linux. Well, it looks promising now.

The Open Handset Alliance founded by Google includes big names from the mobile world - Nvidia, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Qualcomm etc. Together these companies shall come forward to manufacture and design gPhones, that will run the open system called Android.

Now, gPhone ain't a phone like iPhone. Its not even a phone for that matter. Its just a prototype. Their idea is to have thousands of gPhones, just like we've thousands of Linux distros! The handsets shall be coming to market next year.

Well, some big players are still missing. Nokia, Sony Ericcson, Blackberry, Apple, Verizon and AT&T. And yes, Microsoft.

A video by the developers introducing Android
Another video by kids, who want their phone to make coookies for them.
Open Handset Alliance
Official Google Blog: Where's my Gphone?

Google had acquired Android Inc. two years ago, in a very quiet manner. Android is being developed as a mobile platform to be released under Apache v2 license. The complete documentation and Android SDK shall be released on November 12, 2007.

We know there've been other initiatives as well. OpenMoko, Qutopia, and now Android. The mobile shall be finally freed!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

TuxCoders made it at Nerdz!

We're excited. We're happy! And we're the winners. At Nerdz 2007, Jamia Hamdard!

For those who don't know, Nerdz is the annual technical fest organized by Department of Computer Sciences at Jamia Hamdard. They host a variety of contests, including on the spot programming, overnight coding, debugging etc.

So we were the team known as TuxCoders. We were four - me, shamail, aaveg & bharat. And we bagged three prizes! So we really rocked!

Envision, the predesigned software contest. Shamail & Aaveg presenting JamP2P. There was no second thought about being the first.

Crack the Shell, the unix shell programming contest. Me & Shamail. And we won by a big margin! Who needs to say more?

Google Dance, the googling competition. Google and find answers to weird questions. Me & Bharat. And we got the second prize, again!

It felt somewhat deceiving, when we had to pay 500 bucks as the participation charges. It seemed a big risk! However, our confidence rose as the day passed. And the end, we bagged three trophies! And free food for the two days for all participants! So we made a good deal in the end.

Nerdz '07 was a success, and we enjoyed a lot! I wished we had more guys from our college. But there's always a "next time"! But now, its time to celebrate! TuxEnjoy!