Monday, February 26, 2007

Joost the new way to watch TV

As you might have witnessed we are gradually moving away from Satellite and Aerial antennas to watch our favorite channels and series. Many people are now downloading Heroes , Stargate , Lost or Prison Break , all their series directly from the internet(and at times illegally :P..bad!).

The way we watch TV is shifting as the Web has now the capacity to provide for our thirsty eyes... although our ISP still can't :P deliver as fast as we wished it would . Here is where Joost comes into play .

Joost as you will see on many review sites comes from the makers of the popular Skype , they want to do what they did with telephony but this time with video s'il vous plait.

At a 9.8MB something install this new Television on the desktop application is not very big in size which is a good thing as I wanted to test it out as soon as I was sent my beta testing password.

The user interface I must admit was very simple and pleasant to use. You can select from a wide variety of channels proposed by Joost and here I must say they did get some nice channels like National Geographic and Fifth gear , just to name a few.

The image quality is much better than YouTube for example . Actually you can't really compare Youtube with Joost as the latter has for objective to replace the channels you watch on your conventional TV set whereas Youtube is more about sharing videos . Joost provides quality image and content.

The application itself starts in full screen mode which is a bit surprising if you are not used to having your media player spread automatically across your display.

However quality has a price and that means for us My.T users that the video is really sluggish and stops every 5 seconds . What I do is that I just let it play in mute and after it has streamed I rewind back and look at the videos... its painful but what can you do .

Joost is still in beta so there is much improvement to expect before they finally deliver something nice and smooth.

So for me this is a brilliant piece of software but the biggest drawback is that its not for users on slow connections and at times the commands just disappear by themselves from the screen.

Joost provides free contents legally and is funded by adverts which pop up now and then ...see so you still are watching commercials after all ...yaaayyyyyy!

Ok got to leave you I need to watch the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Road test on the FIFTH GEAR channel ...tough life :P.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Aweful Saturday

Gamede is still outside howling and shaking big trees as if they were made of paper. There has just been a power cut in Port-Louis and the AC current has been fluctuating a lot making my pc restart at least a dozen times.

I hope I continue getting power its really annoying not being able to watch anything on the TV or not being able to use the PC. I wonder what people would do in the old times when electricity was still a luxury and a cyclone raged outside. I guess they must have been worried about whether their houses would stand or not. Its only quite recent that most Mauritian families live in solid concrete houses. I do know that some people must be playing card or board games or just talking around a hot meal.

I have another satellite picture of Gamede , the storm doesn't seem to want to move away it has slowed down its pace meaning tomorrow is still not going to be better.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gamede Class 3

Just an update on the weather here in Mauritius .. we are now in class 3 the weather has deteriorated a lot over the pas 6-7 hours . Now its absolutely insane to go outside its not that its raining a lot but the winds are quite strong.

Here is an additional satellite photo of the beast:

Some links for you to track down Gamede:
1.Cyclone bulletin:
2. Mauritian Meteo Homepage:
3. Australian Meteo service:

I wish you all a very nice weekend too :D

Cyclone Gamede attacks Mauritius

Its been a while since I heard people mentioning the cyclone shelter points in Mauritius. There has not been any cyclones since a long while until yesterday when a class 1 was issued.

We are right now as I speak in class 2 which means:

no school =lots of happy kids

The official meteological bulletin can be accessed here

and it looks like this :











It is expected that a class 3 will be issued around 15:00 from a reliable I can't tell you who it is ..yes it is top secret ... no you can't buy me ....ok for $3000 i could tell you.

Anyways Gamede or not Gamede our weekend is ruined for sure .. or is it? ...I am however certain that there will be cyclonic conditions on My.T bandwidth with so many people staying at home , they are bound to hit the information superhighway.

Some things to remember during a cyclone class 2+
1. do not roam about the streets on foot
2. buy candles , they are nice to look at (that would be my main reason)and work great when there are powercuts
3. buy food provisions
4. get something nice to watch on TV or on DVD
5. call your friends and chit chatt about anything and everything
6. eat a lot of homemade rotis!
7. turn your pc , tv and other appliances off if there is a power cut
8. go to sleep
9. look outside your window at trees dancing a wild tango
10. listen to your battery powered radio if nothing else works

In the meantime this is how our region looks like from outerspace:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The parking that parks your car

This youtube movie portraits what the next generation car parks would look like:

I think it really rocks hard ,makes me remember the scene where Will Smith parks his Audi in the movie I-Robot .

Maven 2.0.5 is out

Yes the new version of my favorite all time build tool is out with version 2.0.5 , I have been using Maven since its initial version and development life was never the same afterwards.

The guys at Apache promise a seamless upgrade from version 2.0.4 which has already been a while on the market.

Needless to say that I have already downloaded this new version and have it installed on my home pc office workstation will have to wait until I have verified that all the builds indeed work without any hitch.

The version 2.0.6 shouldn't take too long to surface either.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The laureates 2007

Every year for 7 years when I was at the Royal College of Port-Louis ..(a long time back)..February was the month (and still is) when the Mauritian laureates were announced.

The laureates are those kids about maybe 20 of them who due to their high marks in the High School Certificate get full scholarships in big Universities abroad.

In the early years of my time at RCPL my college used to have a considerable amount of laureates and the sound of firecrackers and teenagers singing would echo all throughout the school compound.

The day would be half day and one day in the week was choosen to be holiday , this is why many kids were all eager and praying that the school would have laureates . But over the years the RCPL has produced less and less of them laureates nowadays its the Royal College of Curepipe , RCC , which is dominating like in this year's HSC exams results.

Anyways what really matters is that children who worked hard have been rewarded. But for those of you who might not be getting a state scholarship but still who worked hard and gave the most out of yourselves this doesn't mean failure...loin de la... You will soon realise that HSC is only a fragment of your existence many interesting things lies ahead . A student having 3 As may not always be better than someone with 3 Bs.

Keep striving , keep learning and have faith in yourselves the adventure is yet to begin . Some of you may need to take the exam again but still work hard and it will surely pay off.

Congratulations to all HSC participants !!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Your phone in 5 years time by Nokia

Lets face it every 5-6 years theres a major change in technology like right now Windows Vista is taking over Windows XP (big change according to Gates), IPod now allows you to make phone calls ..with the IPhone, fried rice is now replaced by this one is not replaceable!..

The following video shows how Nokia believes the future of handhelds would look like in the next coming years looks like a Nintendo DS packed with I must admit ..awesome features!!

As a bonus this is the second part of the video it seems that it was taken from a Nokia presentation

The GUI on the 2nd concept phone is just as cool as the first although it has clearly a different design .

Both models make use of touchscreens which is i believe the way things are going to be for our friends in the future you will have to make sure your hands are clean ..not just for dinner!

Water balloon burst viewed in slow motion

Have you ever wondered how it would look like if you saw a water balloon being punctured with Superman's eyes!!!!!

Well here is what it actually looks like:

Animated Paper Video

This nice video shows animated folded paper I know at least one person who is going to adore this :) and thats specially for her :

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A lady with an appetite

This lady was so hungry she ate 183 pieces of sushi in half an hour and 20 pounds of food in one sitting:

The Web 2.0 in video

Check out this great video about the Web 2.0 which i found from .

Filling your Ubuntu 6.10 with goodies

Ok so you just installed Ubuntu like me and you try to play your favorite mp3 .. au claire de la lune.mp3 ..and guess what it just does not play !!!

Now being an expert Windows User you start pondering how on earth this can be .. well thats the problem with Ubuntu , it just doesn't come with the codecs you need to play your favorite videos and tunes.

Well no need to worry there is always Automatix2 ..ok yeah so from the name you know that it automates something ..but what .. well Automatix is a little app that provides a menu showing all the essentials that you require ..including codecs to play MP3 , DVD burners , desktop enhancement utils , VMware , WINE (To run Windows).. and a host of other stuffs which I leave for you to discover.

All you need is to tick which application you want to be installed on your box , click the start button and there you go Automatix starts downloading , extracting and installing your goodies.

Sorry now but i need to rush .. my codecs just finished downloading from Automatix :P.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Now running Ubuntu

Here is what I achieved note wise:

1. Installation

After having finally downloaded my ISO of Ubuntu , I mounted my iso file using Alcohol 100% which is a neat little tool that allows you to simulate a CD or DVD drive on your pc. Afterwards using Nero I burnt it to a CD-RW .Mind you if you want to use a DVD-R or DVD-RW it just won't work.

After like 5 minutes I got my Live CD for Ubunto 6.10 and I merrily restarted my pc with the CD inside. I was pleasantly greeted with the Ubuntu logo and had a quick look at the OS GUI before deciding to install it.

2. GRUB Booloader

However I am getting quiet an issue with GRUB which is the bootloader for Ubuntu (and Kubuntu). GRUB menu list shows Ubuntu and Windows XP in the boot menu screen at startup, however am unable to move the highlighter down to Windows XP for every 6 or so times I restart my pc.It appears that on the boot menu my keyboard is rendered inactive.

I had a similar problem with Kubuntu's GRUB and I still yet need to investigate why this is so. To temporarily solve this PITA I had to modify the menu file for GRUB which showed the different OS installed on my system. So I clicked on Places -> Computer -> boot -> grub .

Now you will see a file called menu.lst . However unlike windows you require to have permissions in Ubuntu (Linux,etc..) to be able to make System Admin modifications. In short you need to be root which is the Super Mega Powerful User of all times in the Linux World, able to delete , rename , edit any file.

To achieve this if you are in Ubuntu you need to log in as root ...whats good is that you do not actually need to restart and enter root in the GNOME login screen it is this just wont work. You need to launch nautilus .

3. Creating a password for root

However prior to that you should create your root password , unlike windows where the Super Admin creates his password at the start of the installation , on Ubuntu the password must be created after the OS install. So here is the command to execute :

sudo passwd root
Enter your current account password , then confirm the new password that you want to set against root.

4. Editing files as root

Now that you are root you need to go to Applications->Accessories->Terminal and enter the following command:
gksudo nautilus

Now you can edit GRUB's menu.lst file at ease. In my case I moved the Windows option up above the Ubuntu boot options .

My Linux Experience

Being a hardcore Windows XP user it took me a lot of years and convincing to finally appreciate using Linux. This occurred mainly because i started working a lot on our office Redhat box.

Last week I thought it was high time for me to boot up on Linux at home too . One of my friends had a Kubuntu live CD so I thought I would give it a try. The live CD allows you to run the OS without from a CD or DVD without actually requiring that the OS be installed on your PC.

This is a good strategy to win Window users over and it worked on me. So after trying out the live CD I was convinced enough to install Kubuntu , which is a KDE version of Ubuntu. I was really pleased to find that it sported all that I required on my home PC , an internet browser called Konqueror , RSS feed reader and even an instant messenger that allowed me to connect to MSN. I was thrilled to find that My.T was working seamlessly and I could connect to the internet without any hitch.

However after a few hours I decided that Konqueror was not the best browser around so I downloaded FireFox2 but was unable to install it. Furthermore I was unable to see any flash enabled websites because the Flash on Kubuntu can be installed primarily only on Firefox browsers. Damn I was annoyed , I searched and searched the web but I learnt that the mainstream version Ubuntu come loaded with Firefox and that it was sporting GNOME instead of KDE.

Now I wanted to get rid of my Kubuntu so as I can later download Ubuntu and install that instead. I thought maybe formatting the 36GB root partion and 1GB swap Linux partions would remedy the problem... I was wrong . I had to actually modify my GRUB config file , GRUB is the bootloader used by Kubuntu, and remove the entries for Kubuntu leaving only those for Windows XP.

After that all that was required, according to my friend and the different sites I visited, was that I needed use a windows bootdisk and perform fdisk /mbr .

So I went into the Phoenix bios set up of my core duo ,to boot on diskette instead of on CD, only to find out that the vendor had placed a password for the bios . Reading online i discovered that there was a backdoor password for Phoenix bios which was "phoenix" and which of course didnt work! So now am downloading a bootable CD ISO which would allow me to remove the damn GRUB thing.

In parallel am also downloading an ISO for Ubuntu 6.10 using uTorrent client , which is the best torrent client I've seen so far even better than Azareus.

My Linux experience is yet to be over ..i will keep you updated!