Friday, December 11, 2009

ICONCT’09 : Again a not-so-technical view of another conference I am attending ;-)

Dha. I was supposed to post a technical round up for the eResearch’09 conference, but had been on travel so much and have been caught up with other “todos” that it has still not happened. But hope do that in at least next few weeks.

In the mean time I am attending this conference at Shivakashi, better known for fireworks, than probably an engineering collage ;-)

I have previously visited Tamil Nadu for only two purposes: Travel and Conference. This is my second conference in Tamil Nadu. The first one was quite boring. I did not have much expectations from this either. The only point here was that this was a computing technologies conference rather that a subject specific conference. Which thankfully took away most of my boredom.

My flight from Pune-Chennai-Madurai was so-so. While I discovered that the Pune airport is far better managed than the Chennai airport. I was quite astonished with the kind of checking these people do. Well this was my first domestic flight, so I should have expected some surprises. The worst part of the whole trip was getting from my home in Pune to the airport (which is barely 2.5 Km away). I was expecting this would cost me around 30 INR on a rikshaw with meter. When I actually went to ask for the fare the rikshawala said 100 INR! I said I will pay whatever comes on the meter, but he refused to do so (This is pretty horrible, there should be a legal system in place by the RTO, Pune, to place a complain. If there is one it needs to be publicized, at least I am unaware of it!). Any way this guy came down to 80. I simply said that I would pay nothing above 60 and he agreed! On a second though I should have said even lesser. If he was not prepared for that, I would have simply walked to that place (I have done this many a times, but not to catch a plane of course!).

The trip from Madurai to Shivakashi was not a bad one, I was escorted with a guy who was giving one of the keynotes, and eventually also turned up to be the chief-guest. Anyways, I was quite amused to find a 4 lane highway here. Only if people also could follow the lane disciplines. But then, we are Indians ;-)

Also there seems to be nothing so interesting to see around Shivakashi, or rather that is the impression that I got. Have no plans to go around Madurai, as I have already been there before, twice. The Internet connection is also so-so, am currently using Airtel GPRS, which is simply too slow for anything other than checking some mails, and posting this!

I did better not say much about the conference it self, but can be summed as: Ok (my talk day 1), bore (day 2), bored (day 3). Now I simply want to go home. Makes me think again and again that I should simply switch my field. Only thing that I really care about is whatever I do, I should be enjoying it :-)

As of the collage where this was held, MEPCO Schlenk engineering collage, I must admit that it was a pretty good experience. I even interacted informally with a couple of students out here and guess the facilities that the collage provides along with the kind of teaching that is offered here is quite good.

In the end I felt that, my visit was more valuable in terms of the feedback I gave rather than what I presented there.

No idea on how the journey back home will be!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Free internet kiosk at public places: best case for Chrome OS

Ok, so I am getting bored at transit. Lesson learned: never take a flight with huge transit time, even if it might be a bit cheaper. Awaiting my flight at this "buzy" Singapore airport. I finally got my "private" wifi connection. Rather than using the public free internet kiosk.

I did use these public kiosks at the Sydney and the Singapore airport before. But the interface is just too bad and wants for a better experience. At Sydney this is provided by Optus, and surprise surprise its an Ubuntu terminal with I think either boots into Firefox or Seamonky as the browser. The bad part is that it is so locked down that you can just use it for one thing: browsing simple pages. The real bad thing is the interface. I clicked on the "delete private data" before giving it to another guy in queue. And this process took 2 minutes! As it rebooted the whole kernel. As far as this experience goes Singapore airport has much better interface. But guess what it runs Windows and Internet Explorer. Yuk ;-)

More over people seem to be least bit worried about clearing private data on public computers. There just needs to be better user interface. At Singapore airport, each session is only valid for 15 minutes and it automatically terminates (clears all cache) after that period. Which is one step better than what was there at Sydney airport.

This brings me to the point where I feel Google Chrome OS can provide a substantially better user experience and secure access to Internet. In fact, in all these kiosks all the ingredients for best user experience for Chrome OS are already present. I look forward for this change the next time I try to access a public internet access kiosk. And it would be best if it also has VoIP built in (see for instance

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tired of reading articles with obvious errors

An article in an Indian media reporting about Amazon's Kindle. Full of technical errors. Do the people who write such articles really know what they are writing about? Or is it just cut-copy-paste?! I wonder.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

kindle update

Amazon updated Kindle firmware for PDF support the other day (and other improvements, like enhanced battery life). It should have been installed by now on your kindle if you had the wireless switched on. You can manually install the update from here (

With this you can read PDF natively on kindle, however I found few caveats:
- You can't change the text size in a PDF document as you can do with default kindle format.
- You can change the orientation though, which is good.
- The PDF loading is slower than the native kindle format.
- The text brightness is not as good as with documents in native kindle format.

Still exploring... but the PDF support is actually very beneficial. Hope Amazon can improve it with future updates.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Missing link in ChromeOS?

Well, as the whole world tries to figure out who exactly will be using the Google ChromeOS (as is probably the case with Google Wave), this some how reminds me of Sun Microsystems days when they were releasing Jini and Jxta (which are surprisingly still highly active). There is one thing common between these two events, thinking ahead in time. While ideas of Sun were too ahead of time, Google might have got it just at right time, well may be…

There is one big missing link with Google ChromeOS; a dirt cheap (or even free) internet connection that is fast. If you do a comparison with traditional Operating Systems, this what is basically your RAM and Hard disk (they are extremely cheap to upgrade, as compared to the central processing unit) are supposed to substitute for. Google is trying to make a shift here, move the storage out, so that you need not worry about local failures (at this point I am completely neglecting all the privacy concerns). RAM still plays a crucial role, but then the OS is lean and mean, and the apps that run on that would also probably be of similar type (and possibly constrained too).

In fact, idea wise ChromeOS is bringing in nothing new. If you open up a bit this is exactly what was there in Windows 98 – IE integrated tightly into the OS, to the extent that there is not much differentiation between an OS and a browser. However, it is important to note that the design principles are totally different … and Google “assures” them to be safe.

Coming back to the “missing link”. I think this kind of model can only succeed if there is always connected device. This would probably mean this won’t be mobile. Mobile networks as of now are in no way great to provide good QoS while on move. Another issue is that the network should be absurdly fast, and cheap at the same time. Building this infrastructure from ground up for a company is simply going to take ages. However, if the experiments with providing internet access via powerlines would succeed, this would be the place where ChromeOS can win a majority market share… only time will tell where this is headed.

For me, I want complete control over all my digital content, and don’t really see myself using such a dumb device (probably ever dumb than my mobile phone!). Though, if ChromeOS catches on, I could imagine a world filled with computer (ill)literates who cannot do any thing without Google.

7 :-)



Well I finally got Win 7 upgrade disks for Dell XPS, and needless to say I immediately upgraded from Vista. And well I need not write another praise for it, as it is already good and tonnes of others have said so ;-)

But thought a few points from my perspective:

- The upgrade took about 3 hours to complete. Required me to uninstall Virtual Box and reinstall it. I also had to reinstall DisplayLink driver. But well everything went of smoothly.

- I dual-boot my Win 7 (32 bit) with Ubuntu 9.10 (64-bit), so that required me to reinstall the grub, which also worked out quite well.

- I am using Zune player as my music player, and it is simply fantastic (must test this machine now with Bose speakers). The best thing I like about it is that I can control this easily using the touch keys on XPS without actually opening the Zune player window, pretty much like a music player.


So that is with Windows 7 on my work machine, 7 :-)


On my Mac (iBookG4) I installed Fedora 12, which was not a smooth install, but then at the end I am able to get a quite workable machine. I might post a different item on this experience depending on the time I get ;-)


In the end, I am now seriously looking for a tablet with multi touch (Asus T91 MT is close, but I need better graphics, an Nvidia ION or Intel PineTrail) .. and yes it should be SSD and fan less design, reasonable batter life and of course Windows 7, Home Premium as OS :-)


Btw, I did hear (and read, and glanced through some of the code) about “that OS announcement” today. As of me, I only see myself using that on a internet access device, with absurdly huge battery life. In no way replacing my current usage patterns.

Friday, November 13, 2009

One day journey to Sydney for eResearch’09

On 10th I went to Sydney to attend and give a talk at AustralAsia eResearch’09. It was a terrific experience. Probably the first conference I really enjoyed being at. This is just the non-technical side of the experience I am posting here. I will later on post some of the technical sides particularly on the feedback I got for MeTA Studio in coming days.

Ok, so first of all this was unique travelling experience for me where I took road(cab and walk), air, rail and water(ferry) transportations [only missing in the equation was a “bail-gadi” or a tractor, but the well this is Oz :-)]. Taking all these modes of transport and still reaching well in time for the conference to start was quite an experience. The best part of course was the ferry ride.

The road and the air transport were rather standard, nothing exciting to describe about. But I was eager to experience a train travel in Oz. If any thing I came out not being really thrilled about it (may be next time I should try monorail). I do still feel though that train travel in India is a lot better experience. Next, I have travelled in ferry a lot before (in Kerala), but never so big (well this was actually a ship), and never in sea. This experience turned out to be the best of all them. The ferry ride was from Circular Quay to Manly (where the conference was being held). And on the way you see pretty much of every thing Sydney has to show on its shores. The best is the Opera House.

The beach on Manly is also pretty good, and the best part was that the conference was organized in a hotel just facing the beach :-)

The journey back was made by sitting on the ferry deck rather than inside, another wonderful experience. In short, any one coming to experience Oz, a ferry ride in Sydney is highly recommended.

IM000961 IM000964  IM000967 IM000969 IM000972 IM000985IM000982 IM000989


And well finally some pleasing experience :-)



Thursday, November 12, 2009

[Review] uCertify, certification preparation tool

Frankly, I never actually evaluate a software (until it is an consumer OS or a Linux distribution, or ultra cool stuff like Cooliris). A few weeks ago some one from uCertify contacted me to look into the usability of their certification preparation tool. I always wanted to give one certification (scjp), mostly for fun, but I had my other priorities. Though in the mean time did help some of my pals who were actually serious about giving these exams. So when this offer came, I was quite curious to know if these tools are really helpful. I do remember that I had used a similar tool for GRE preparations long ago, and to some extent these were helpful, but then the software interfaces and tracking tools were not so great.

The tool comes with a set of 10 practice tests (which quite fairly represent scjp in this case), interactive quiz etc. The idea is to start of via giving a diagnostic test that gives fair idea of your current level of capability in giving the test. There is also option to create a custom test, in case you are interested in improving only particular aspects of the test objective.

The best part the "Enhance your understanding" section which gives everything you need for preparing any kind of test including objectives, flash cards etc... but are tailored for a particular certification, in this case scjp. The "Track your progress" option is also very helpful and gives succinct information on past tests as well as test objective wise performance in all the tests taken.

There are few points to note though:
- The certification platform is really useful. However, one must note that the amount of questions available are only limited. A person practicing with the same test questions should understand at the back of his/her mind that just mastering the questions presented here will not be ultimately helpful in obtaining the certification. You really need to know your basics! This tool just enhances your grasp.

- The interface and the test suite is well done, however there is one thing that I think should be fixed: For a simple application like this, why would the installer need a UAC prompt (talking in the context to Vista and 7), this should be fixed.

- I wonder why this thing should not be made available on other platforms, people taking RH Linux certification exams would not be using Windows right?

For you to test out or get a full copy visit:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

MeTA Studio bug fix, full binary release

A bug fix release of MeTA Studio (2.0.10112009) is available as a full binary release is available from the usual place

Apart from fixing numerous issues reported, it also updates the API documentation.

There are no considerable new features in this release.


Friday, November 06, 2009

In Memoriam: DeLano

The creator of one of the most popular molecule visualizers, PyMOL passed away recently. See here for some accounts

Friday, October 23, 2009

a test post

directly from my e51 browser. Which seems to work fine. And works via opera mini beta 5 too except image upload seem not supported. With this i really will not miss my small laptop ;-)

Kindled !

I actually never planned this, but I always liked the idea of Amazon kindle. So when Amazon said they were releasing kindle to the rest of (US), I simply went ahead and ordered one for me.

And then it landed in my office yesterday, since then, have been lugging around with it ;-) So far liking it, quite a lot.

The reading experience is fantastic, the connectivity (well have been to a lot of places around ACT since I got it) is quite good, if not fast. I can access Wikipedia for free (with images), which is fantastic. Listen to MP3 while reading a book (wow, is a bliss). I can easily convert my PDFs to Kindle format, but only text and pictures convert correctly, not (vector) diagrams. I have not used the Amazon stores yet, but will be checking this out for some good books. I am not sure of how much I do have to pay for it though vs. buying a paper back.

And finally, that 20$ rebate was quite a surprise (but well should thank those Nook guys ;-)).

Next, I am waiting for Windows 7 (well for my copy to come), and hopefully some one releases a good (read with a real GPU), lightweight convertible tablet with multitouch :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1 mb boradband connection a legal right in Finland

Well, what ever that means. I presume, they were wanting to say 1 Mbps broadband connection is a legal right, no idea who pays for it though.

But this reminded me of Dewang Mehta (wiki: who was closely associated with NASCOMM India, and was instrumental in the growth of IT industry back home, used to always say:

“roti, kapada, makan, bijli and bandwidth”

We need visionaries like these to be always around ...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Another Blunder: IB asks gov to consider banning VOIP

A few months ago some one filed a case in Mumbai High Court with a recommendation to ban Google Earth saying that the terrorists used this tool to plan the Mumbai attack that took place a year ago. I am unaware of the current status of this case, but I had a very straight opinion ( you can not and should not ban a technology. If do some one will eventually develop a workaround. BANning something is NOT the solution.

And now to top all this, IB, supposedly the organization that is entrusted to provide top intelligence in India goes the same way: BAN the VoIP services as they can't track it! I am quite surprised, if this is how capable our premier intelligence is?! To suggest a naive and laughable solution like this to the GOI.

I heavily depend on skype (with video) to be in touch with my parents back home. And this is the only possible and viable solution for me at present to be able to work far away from home and be still close to them. And I am sure there are plenty of them like me. If the GOI is silly enough to follow the recomendations of incapable IB, I would eventually look for other solutions. Either I go back home, or better still develop my own VoIP with no hopes of any one blocking it.

The excuses that IB gives to GOI of inability to track calls is the encryption done by services like Skype. And the IB claims that Skype shares them with other countries like US and China. Is IB incapable of collaborating with intelligence agencies of some of these "friendly" countries. Does GOI not have enough power to do some thing positive other than merely following short cut solutions like banning?

If IB is incapable of breaking encryption (I admit that is hard, pressuming Skype uses 256-bit encryption, see, the GOI should seriously consider of making quick and urgent upgrading of capabilities of IB.

For me, now is the time to seriously consider other VoIP (with video) alternatives, or write up my own. But, I feel mentioning the "dehya wakyam" of the wonderful, though under staffed, Maharashtra police (

सढरक्षणाय खलनिगॄहणाय

which translates to "Protecting the righteous and controlling and annihilating the evil". Guess that sums up every thing, of what I always believe in.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

An aspect of finding water on Moon

The press in India is all gaga over the recently published finding by a joint team of NASA and ISRO about confirmed presence of OH and H2O molecules on moon surface. This is stark contrast to all the negative press that ISRO got after it declared that it has lost contact with Chandrayaan. It is press after all, when are they going to do some mature reporting?

Cutting sort, see ( and for more technical information on this findings.

Apart from the scientific (and possibly in longer terms practical) significance of this finding, the Chandrayaan-I mission has opened up a whole new shift in space explorations: of global collaboration. Yes, Chandrayaan-I has some amount of “pride” attached to it, but it was essentially a first space exploration program that involved as many as 20 countries. For this very reason it was chosen for AIAA Space 2009 award (

One needs to note that, space exploration in future should not be a just done for “pride” or for a mere “me too”. Space explorations are going to be expensive, of what benefits it brings to the human kind should be the prime objective of each mission. For me, Chandrayaan-I has given a glimpse of what can be achieved by collaboration and not merely showing off some false pride.

I wonder to what extent such collaborations can bring in more knowledge to the human kind. All of us just need to loose a little bit of pride. How much are we ready for this?

(After I posted this, I came across an article [letter] in the Hindu, which has similar things to say, albeit in more beautiful words :) To read head here:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Numbers and Windows 7

Windows 7 is going to be released on:

22 Oct 2009

2 + 2 + 1 + 0 + 2 + 0 + 0+ 9
= 16

1 + 6
= 7 !!

Was that a coincedence or they planned it ahead? Has any one observed this before?

Interesting to observe this though :-)

(Posting this from Windows 7, RC)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

MeTA Studio update: GTalk, other improvements and some experimental ideas…

A new full binary version of MeTA Studio (2.0.05092009) is available for download from the usual place:

New features in this release:

- GTalk/ Jabber integration with the talk and collaborative framework in MeTA Studio, allowing one to have more means of communication than just direct LAN based talk. Note that both the parties need to be using MeTA Studio to take full advantage of this feature. To access this feature use Tools –> Down-arrow –> GTalk –> Sign in

imageNote that if you have a proxy you will need to make those settings first before trying to log into GTalk / Jabber. All features of MeTA Studio talk except voice talk is supported via GTalk. With this the issue reported here is addressed. The original issue did mention yahoo and irc, but there are no plans to support these. GTalk and Jabber protocols are fairly open and are well supported by Smack APIs which are inturn used with in MeTA Studio.

- Staggered reading and connectivity formation for large molecules. With earlier version of MeTA Studio, large molecules (> 1000) atoms took long time to load, as there is huge amount of pre-pressing done to identify and classify bonds, rings and other structures in the molecule. Starting from 2.0.05092009, staggered reader and molecule builder APIs are introduced which allow for faster loading of molecules and at a later stage selectively obtaining the required details.

image You might experience some problems using this feature, if you find problems, report them at:

- “Share this!” feature in MoleculeViewer, allows one to instantly share a molecule object to peer MeTA Studio users on LAN or on GTalk/ Jabber network.

- The update sever has been changed to and with this the online updates are back. So expect quicker updates in coming days. **

- Support for Apache Derby embedded database has been added to MeTA Studio. Expect some interesting features based on this in near future.

- Additional BeanShell functions to ease programming:

atof(): String to float

atoi(): String to int

au(): Convert to a.u. (overloaded for value, Point3D and Atom)

angstrom(): Convert to angstrroms (overloaded for value, Point3D and Atom)

- Under the hood graphics and other API changes. And as usual there are assortment for other bug fixes and improvements. For a complete list of changes browse through


Experimental features with this release:

- I will be experimenting with symbolic language interface for MeTA Studio in coming weeks. A simple demo interface has been added for this purpose and is called a Workbook (accessible from Workbook –> New workbook). The only symbol currently interpreted is: Molecule[H2]


- An App Builder tool to simplify making completely new applications based on MeTA Studio runtime (accessible from App builder –> New app builder workspace). This is currently not functional, and is only a design spec.


MeTA Studio on

MeTA Studio is also now hosted on, which currently is providing a means of on-line update. This also serves as a way of showing off the way for displaying users and developers of MeTA Studio. So if you use or develop for MeTA Studio, help spread the word, click on “I use it” button at the bottom of MeTA Studio home page at:


Have fun! And check out for some new updates with MeTA Studio in coming weeks.

Update: Just realized that this is not the case. Once a file is uploaded on, it is immutable. So this issue is not fixed yet. Any suggestions on online update server place are still welcome.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On loss of Chandrayaan link and reporting by western media

ISRO released a press statement yesterday indicating possible loss of Chandrayaan 1, India's first moon mission. Though they seem to indicate loss of radio contact, it is in all probability that the satellite might have been lost for ever. It is worth noting however that the satellite lived up to almost half is expected age of two years, which as a first ever attempt is quite commendable (

What I don't understand though is how reporting on each and every event attached to Chardrayaan been done particularly by the western media. All of these so called reports regarding Chandrayaan typically end like this:

"But the Indian government's space efforts have not been welcomed by all.
Some critics regard the space programme as a waste of resources in a country where millions still lack basic services."

Which I feel is nothing but quite ridiculous and some times even irritating to read (If you are following all the reports of Chandrayaan). Is this reporting or news analysis? Do these reporting guys have a "template" that are simply "applied" without any though? I wonder!

For me, I await Chandrayaan 2 launch :-)

PS: For a more detailed reports on the chain of events related to this link loss see:

Monday, August 03, 2009

Back to Linux on MiLeap

(Ha, finally, got some time to quickly jot this down!)

Almost one year ago I had a pressing need for a fully functional software stack for MiLeap in which I could do some real work (and some play), so after evaluating Ubuntu (at that time 7.10 [the good one] and then 8.04 [bad experience]) I shifted MiLeap to Vista (see the post here). For this post I got some pretty immature comments from people who really do not understand what a user needs (you can also read the comments and my reply in the post).

In the mean time I tried other distribution (Puppy Linux was the one that worked best). But I wanted to try a more main stream distribution. I tried Ubuntu netbook remix in the mean time but was not satisfied. Also I do not have any plans of upgrading the Vista HB on this machine to Win 7 as it doesn't meet the minimum advertised system requirements of 1GHz processor (MiLeap has 900 MHz Celeron ULV processor).

As I got a new machine for my work purposes (Dell Studio XPS), I decided to do a fresh clean install of Ubuntu netbook remix on MiLeap. But I must say that this was a complete disaster. One of the primary requirements for me to use a distribution is Skype should work without any glitch. UNR failed miserably with it, and in the attempt to configure the sound settings I manged to crash the UNR desktop and I had no time what-so-ever to spend in fixing it. Later on I figured out that UNR's system requirement is an Intel Atom processor (minimum) [], so no point fiddling with it either.

Next up tried Xbuntu, everything worked great. Except that the UI looked pretty sluggish and arcane. I needed a modern desktop environment and which is quite responsive. So after perusal from one of my friends (who actually wants me to try OpenSuse instead), I went ahead and installed KDE 4.3 from the Kubuntu development repository. And I am amazed, but this is exactly what I needed. Though there still are a few bug in KDE, and some plasmoids crash suddenly, this is a fairly stable system. Well needless to say, my primary requirement, Skype, works like a charm.

I am still wondering ... I seem to have missed the wonderful KDE for quite some time (6 years since I have been using GNOME as the only DE!)...

Note: My current MiLeap configuration is a bit different from one what I originally purchased. The original one has 512 MB RAM, while my current one has 2GB of RAM. So I have no idea how KDE4.3 will behave on the original MiLeap configuration. In the mean time I would be trying OpenSuse on my Mac with KDE 4.3 ... more on this when I get some more spare time now!

PS: This was written using Chrome 3.0 (in-progress version) for Linux running in KDE. I am not sure why, but Firefox is too sluggish on MiLeap (windows or linux), mostly because of a slow disk.

Update: Downgraded MiLeap L to 1GB RAM and it still works well. I think upgrading the RAM to 2GB on MiLeap is not really beneficial unless you intend to run Vista or do some serious programming, both of these are ruled out for me. Hibernation also works without any problems, though it seems to take longer time to wake up from hibernation than clean boot. In any case, I am beginning to like KDE, its just a fresh breath of air :)

“Reward yourself” experience: Dell Studio XPS

Generally I do not like heavy laptops. But since I have a heavy workload, and I do not have my desktop as back at home, I had to “reward myself” with a Dell XPS 13 (well ….). Dell XPS for all the features it offers, at around 2.2 kgs is a terrific machine, with desktop kind performance. So far I like this machine. Contrary to many reports around the internet about overheating, I can safely say that it gets heated as much as my HCL MiLeap, which is fairly OK… though should test how it behaves in summer. Only drawback I see currently is the Nvidia drivers that come with XPS are a bit old, and CUDA support is not great. Essentially you have to wait for Dell to upgrade their drivers as they are not available from Nvidia site. Currently though I have shifted all my primary work from MiLeap to this machine (which means I will now experiment with OS that best suites MiLeap … read “remove vista” ;-))

Currently, I have Vista dual booted with Ubuntu 9.04 on this Dell machine, though I will be upgrading this machine too to Windows 7 (along with my home desktop). So I will put in a more detailed review when I do so.

In the mean time I am deeply engrossed in writing other things up ;-) Also you could expect a new release of MeTA Studio with some interesting features in coming weeks.

(Update: As of today, 25 Sep 2009, Dell released an updated BIOS for my XPS, after this I am able to install CUDA enabled drivers directly from NVIDIA. Which is quite great :) Now I should have some fun experimenting with CUDA :D)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

WIKI-OS: an interesting project


WiKi-OS seems to be quite an interesting open source project in terms of building a “web based OS”. The most important fact that differentiates this form other web OSes is that there is not a single line of JavaScript or HTML in this, but is entirely written in C# and runs in Silverlight plugin. Another interesting aspect is its Wiki nature, you can edit customize and deploy applications (including 3D applications) on the fly as you would edit Wiki pages. And finally, it comes inbuilt with code editor, so you can edit the application code as you want, you do not need any dependence on external tools to write applications on Wiki-OS, not even an editor or a debugger … well eventually that means you don’t require the browser too. Who said browser was becoming the OS of today? I personally feel that this project has quite a large potential, if of course there are compelling applications written for it.

To access visit Note that as of now the site can only be accessed from a Windows PC running IE or Firefox. But I see no reason why this should not work at places where .Net is supported.

Also would be interesting to know if some one has tried to do similar stuff with JVM instead of .Net, which I think is more portable, though lacks 3D support on many platforms.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Google Chrome OS and Windows 7

As has been speculated by many, Google is finally planning to release a Linux based OS for PCs and Mac and those ARM based netbooks, and it is called the Google Chrome OS.

Apparently the idea of OS directly booting into an web browser is not new (for those of you who follow tech news frequently would well know of the CrunchPad from Tech Crunch). Interestingly, the site on CrunchPad's early prototype says that it runs Linux with a WebKit based browser, which sounds quite close to what Google Chrome OS is described to be.

Though it is too early to compare Google Chrome OS with now "quite mature" Windows 7, it would be interesting to know in which market they will compete. Initially I would think that Google Chrome OS will create a whole new market for it self, rather than "downing" the sales of Windows 7. As I see it, Google Chrome OS is targeted more towards people who spent a lot of time on the Web, unlike me, who also spent a lot of time over an ssh connection! I doubt, Chrome OS will have ssh client on it, though I might be completely wrong ;-) That example was not great, but I wanted to bring home a point that if you rely too much on "fat applications", for what ever reason it be (document processing, editing media files, developing applications or system programs), Chrome OS is not for you, the same reason why Sun Microsystem's Java OS was not for you.

There is a difference though. When Sun first came up with the idea of "Network is the Computer", and pursued relentlessly till the end, they always seem to fail, largely because they were way ahead of time. But that time seems to have come now. There are fair bit of "web applications" out there for a web-based OS like Chrome OS to succeed. And when it comes from Google, you know that it comes with some pleasingly simplistic and elegant UI.

Regardless of this, I still see myself moving to Windows 7 as my primary home OS, when it gets released.

(PS: For a more deeper commentary on why this release of Google Chrome OS is a "turning point", have a look at:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A few snaps ;)

Was writing, writing and writing this week (don’t ask me what :( … ) , so though will take some break and put on some snaps …


The bubble: does it appear to be cut through?


And what about this? Progressively becoming transparent ;-) Wonder if something like that could be used for making the “disappearing act” gadget.


Well … am … the picture says as thousand words, they say!

Have fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Is the Indian media truthful to its task?

To me, proactive reporting came to India with, though before that print media has been and still is constructively proactive in their reporting. Even in pre-independence era, people like Tilak and Agarkar have put in unprecedented effort and energy in upbringing of the thoughts of the fellow people, to fight for a better cause and a better tomorrow. But with Tehelka, the constructiveness in reporting has gradually wiped out. I feel most of the media reporting done today in India, especially on televisions, is nothing but hollow. It is missing a point. And a major one. In that, the media, reporting and journalism has an important role in bringing up the society, shaping their thoughts, and in longer run create a cohesive atmosphere for the nation to progress as a whole.

If the reporting is hollow, the news analysis is even worse and is becoming more and more dangerous of making up a public opinion and to some extent go so far and say that this public opinion is the law of the land! Well, it is not gone that far, but with what is happening on most of the current news channels, such a dangerous idea is not far to come into reality.

For these reasons, I have been particularly choosey about the newspapers and media I refer to.  For newspapers, it has always been Indian Express and The Hindu, and for electronic media, though not perfect, it has always been Doordarshan for Indian affairs and BBC world service for world affairs.

I had all these thoughts for a few months now, but when a friend of mine sent this Youtube video, I was literally shocked. 

This is supposedly a news analysis program where Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jetmalani is being questioned as to why he is going against the “public opinion” of defending some one who “majority” of people “think” is a convict. Before I saw this video, I must say frankly that I didn’t have much respect for Ram Jetmalani, because of the kind of cases he handled. But the points he puts in have simply made me think high of him. He has a solid point. When it comes to justice and having the authority to say if the rule of the land is maintained, only the Indian courts must have the final say. Not the media, and not the public, for how much ever they think it is correct. The media should not be in a dangerous position to proclaim that they are the one who deliver justice. Their job is to bring the facts and show it in court, and not be court itself. They should not try to create a situation where every one begins to think that they are the only resort for final justice.

On the other hand it is the duty of every citizen to know the roles of institutions of democracy and the press (or the media), and be vigilant when there are conflicts, and make conscious decision for the greater interest of the society and nation.


(PS: Views expressed here are solely mine. I am not trying to give any advice here.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Samsung Solar Guru : the solar powered mobile

A few days ago Samsung India launched world's first mobile phone that could also be power via solar power (see the report on The Hindu). At first take this is good news. I had always wanted this, and it is good to know that a leading company is perusing it and that too in a low end market... The mobile will cost below 3000 INR, which is less costly but obviously far from being the cheapest mobile phones available. If they could really make it cheap, it will sell, for sure.

If we peel of the "worlds first" marketing phrase and come down to actual product specs and its availability, it really does not appear to be that great, though it is definitely a first step. Apparently this is currently only available in Indian market, I wonder why not Oz too, as there is heavy promotion of using solar and alternative sources of energy here as is in India. The only issue I see is, while back in India its more of a necessity to have solar power, in Oz it is more of an option. Another drawback is the specs itself: to get a talk time of 5-10 mins you would need to recharge under sun for one full hour, and to get it fully charged you need 40 hrs of sunlight! This is quite ridiculous. Apart from the fact that you will never have 40 hours of sunlight at a stretch (which means you can never completely rely on solar power), in most cases you would need to make a call when your battery is almost dead .. to wait 1 hr to make that important call is something that does not cut in as a selling point!

But even so, I just like this idea and unit. If they introduce it in Oz market, I will most likely grab it and use it as a secondary backup cell phone to my E51.

I just hope, that there are more innovative products in this space. I also wonder if one day we can have a solar powered Simputer with 3G access, that would be the day when I can conveniently kiss a good bye to my netbook ...

(PS: I was unable to find the actual product specs from Samsung India website: Views above are based on reports in the media about the specs of Samsung Guru 1107)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Binary installer for MeTA Studio

A new binary installer for MeTA Studio is released for public download. The current version is 2.0.20052009.

New in this version:
- Updates to UFF, HF APIs. HF APIs, in particular, have changed substantially to provide better access to individual parts of the algorithm.
- Improved optimiser APIs
- HF analytical gradients (seems to work, but needs to be tested thoroughly!)
- Gradual changes in graphics backend.
- Support for JNA, simplifying interfacing of native code with in MeTA Studio. The native code libraries can now be easily interfaced from BeanShell or Jython support for MeTA Studio. Expect more information on this in coming days.
- Number of added scripts in 'scripts/' directory
- Numerous bug fixes, as usual ;-)
- And a Linux (x86) installer
- Windows installer on Vista and Windows 7 no longer requires UAC prompt.

Note: If you are compiling MeTA Studio from source, you would need to update the dependent libraries (bsh.jar and jna.jar). While there are substantial changes to BeanShell library (bsh.jar), jna.jar is newly added to support calling native code.

Get all the code here:

enjoy this version!

(Update: There were some glitches reported with the binary distribution, especially missing jna.jar in the Windows installer. I have subsequently updated all the binary distributions to v 2.0.27052009)
(Another Update: Found some really nasty bugs, and had to fix them, so the latest is now v 2.0.04062009 .. this binary release turns out to be a bit expensive, given that I am yet to move to a new online-update mechanism).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Deep in Java: fiddling with Java bytecodes

Even though I heavily program in Java, I have not really felt the need to manipulate at bytecode level for most of the applications that I write. Even for MeTA Studio, which offers scripting interface via. BeanShell and Jython (at present), I used to just use these interpreter packages. Currently BeanShell is (and will probably will always be) the primary scripting interface to MeTA Studio. However, there has been no development on the BeanShell ( since long time and I needed some improvements to be put in it which were tailored towards MeTA Studio. So some time back, I forked the BeanShell code for MeTA Studio. Subsequently, I also fixed some minor bugs in the interpreter which affected functionality in MeTA Studio. Later, I also updated the ASM package to the current version, which is used by BeanShell to actually generate bytecodes. All this time, I never ever felt the need to fiddle around JVM bytecode specifications.

However, while finding a best way to call native libraries with in the programmable framework of MeTA Studio (what?? ... yes, but for reasons behind this you will have to wait for subsequent posts, when I get some stuff working) I stumbled upon a JDK incubation project called JNA. JNA, in fact, provides a very clean way to call native libraries without going through the pain of generating JNI stubs.

In fact, its pretty cool. For instance, you can call a C function sqrt like this:

import com.sun.jna.Library;
import com.sun.jna.Native;
import com.sun.jna.Platform;

public interface CLibrary extends Library {
double sqrt(double v);

// and use it as:
CLibrary clib = (CLibrary) Native.loadLibrary((Platform.isWindows() ? "msvcrt" : "m"),

Look ma, no JNI, pure Java!

Now, the above code worked fine if I compile using standard Java complier. But failed to run at all via the BeanShell interpreter with the following error:

java.lang.ClassFormatError: Illegal class modifiers in class CLibrary: 0x201

At first glance, I had absolutely no idea of what this meant. Long time ago, when I was in my graduation, I had fiddled around a bit with JVM specification in the hope to write a JVM for a 16-bit DOS environment. Needless to say, it never materialised ;-) But this some how made me check back the JVM class format again to look for possible solution. I also checked the BeanShell code that was generating the bytecodes, and essentially tracked it down to the following lines in bsh.ClassGeneratorUtil

public byte [] generateClass() {
int classMods = getASMModifiers( classModifiers ) | ACC_PUBLIC;
if ( isInterface )
classMods |= ACC_INTERFACE;

This too made not much sense, until I read the following in JVM class format specification:
"If the ACC_INTERFACE flag of this class file is set, its ACC_ABSTRACT flag must also be set (§2.13.1) and its ACC_PUBLIC flag may be set. Such a class file may not have any of the other flags in Table 4.1 set."

So the solution was simply to modify classMods |= ACC_INTERFACE | ACC_ABSTRACT; which worked great, except that I got another error:

java.lang.ClassFormatError: Interfaces must have java.lang.Object as superclass in class CLibrary

It appeared that BeanShell somehow did not do this correctly, and possibly the ASM interface would also have changed. I was not sure of the reason behind this, but I knew how to fix this :

if ( isInterface ) {
try {
interfaces = new Class[]{Class.forName(superClassName.replace('/', '.'))};
} catch(Exception e) {
throw new UnsupportedOperationException("Super class " +
superClassName + " is not varifiable for interface : " + fqClassName);
superClassName = "java/lang/Object";

The above seems to do the trick, though am not very sure if this is the correct way to do it. And well in the end, I enjoyed doing this :-) .. and now calling native methods from with in MeTA Studio scripting environment is a lot easier and intuitive, well should I say its pretty cool ;-)

Note that all the source changes for the above are available from MeTA Studio SVN repository:

The above changes are not yet reflected in the binary package. But I hope to provide a full binary update too in coming days.

Have fun ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who ate that byte of apple ? ;-)

Out of enthusiasm and out of sheer curiosity, I wanted to own an Mac. So I got one, not a shiny new one, an old, but an equally shiny white, iBook G4. After about 5 months of continuous usage of the default OS that came with it (OSX 10.3 aka Panther), I bid it a farewell. No regrets, I spent only $260 for it...

Though I found the software (OSX) to be all crap, for a number of reasons listed below, I found the hardware to be actually too good to just dispose of. So things were reborn.

Why I found OS X to be not good for me?

Reason #1:
To get an update to the Java virtual machine, you need to upgrade the whole OS! This is the most sanest thing I have ever experienced.

Reason #2: If you want to use the latest XCode, you will need to ... yes you gessed it, upgrade the OS! As I had got a second hand Mac, I did not get the installation media with it so could not install the gcc suite that came with the OS. But there was now way to get the earlier version of XCode from apple developer connections site that was compatible with Panther either. The same is true with every other piece of development tools I use: Apache server, PHP etc. .. the list is countless. I simply have no money to invest in an OS like this!

Reason #3: In general, the application support is nothing but. Most of the recent versions of the applications (including OpenOffice and FireFox) are not supported, which is nothing but weired.

Reason #4: The same is the case with drivers. My 3 mobile broadband modem is not supported on this version of the OSX .. but is apparently supported on even antique versions of Windows! Same is the case with my webcam. I tried using macam, but the result was nothing but a poor video resolution.

Reason #5: The general window management in OS X is not at all productive. The only feature I liked in the window manager the ability to directly close an application while using Apple+Tab. I had used OS X before, but at those times I simply used to be amazed with all the jazz that comes along, and hardly ever worried about its usability. However, when I was using this on a day to day basis for more than five months now, I found it to be hardly productive. When I compare OSX with GNOME, Standard Windows or even the latest Superbar in Windows 7 or the KDE4 ... all of them turn out to be much more productive when handling multiple windows. The "Expose" functionality, to me is nothing but of not much use at all.

Who ate that byte of apple?

The iBook G4 that I bought, is not that new. But has fair amount of hardware if I compare with my MiLeap. It is an 800 MHz PPC processor with 640MB RAM, 30 GB HDD, WiFi, 2USB ports and 32MB ATI mobility card (more specs here).
:-) Have you seen a penguin eating an apple? It probably never liked it so it ate only a bite ;-)

Switching from OSX (10.3) to Ubuntu 9.04 :)

So, I made up my mind. No OS X, ever. And then decided to try either Kubuntu / Ubuntu or Fedora. Since Fedora 11 was not yet released, and required me to download a whole DVD to test it, I decided to give Kubuntu a first try. I had tried KDE 4 when it was released, and didn't have a pleasant experience. This time it had improved a lot but still was tempted to install plain Ubuntu instead. And so the switch happened.

Installation was easy as is usually with Ubuntu. I did not have to worry about partitioning hard disk as I was doing a full format, in the process completely removing OS X. I had to boot off from the live CD using live-powerpc video=ofonly option though.

After installation, the login screen looks pretty decent and neat (see above, in the backdrop is MiLeap running Vista).

Here goes some of the screen shots:

What worked out of the box?

Every stuff that matters most works: Most hardware is detected (including the WiFi and my 3 wireless broadband modem), there are some problem with AGP acceleration (more on this later). Most of the software that I need just works: Latest Firefox, OpenOffice, Pidgin, GIMP, GCC. What was not already there: Java and codecs were easy to obtain from the Ubuntu repositories. There is no Adobe official support for Linux-PPC so I use the default evince for viewing PDFs and Gnash as Flash plugin. Though evince is fairly good at handling most of my PDFs, Gnash is not that great in handling all the YouTube videos.

Since I could get the latest JVM (1.6) working on PPC without much trouble, MeTA Studio also worked pretty good. The only downside is that the JVM (icetead) does not currently have a HotSpot VM for its PPC version, so Java applications are not as snappy as on x86 box.

What did not work out of box?

3-D acceleration via the ATI card was not working by default on 9.04, but this happened to be a known bug with the current Ubuntu kernel for PPC and has an easy fix (listed here).

What I miss from OS X?

Big nothing. But being heavily depended on Skype makes me miss that, which obviously is not available on Linux PPC. I have been trying to use Ekiga instead, so if I am successful in using it will put it up as a separate post.

And finally, in the spirit of the "I am" advs:

I am PC (on Windows) and I am Linux (on Mac) ;-)

PS (update):

The compiz has some troubles handling windows that are using OpenGL rendering. For instance, the following is a screen shot which incorrectly overlays the glxgears display with desktop composition. I am not sure if this is a general problem, or problem with the PPC port.

Just for the note at the end, this post was entirely written and edited using Ubuntu 9.04 on Mac.

Friday, May 08, 2009

quick review of windows 7 on eee pc 1000 H

Over the last week, apart from being quite busy with my work (he he working hardly ;)) .. I did some major changes to my computing environment (and my friends). For my self, I installed the latest Ubuntu 9.04 on iBook G4 Mac, completely removing OSX 10.3 (more on this pleasing experience in the next post :-) ).

My friend, who was not quite happy with default Windows XP that came pre-installed with Eee PC, wanted to test out Windows 7. So, I first ran the upgrade advisor for Windows 7 (beta available at: This required me to install the .Net runtime which was not installed by default on Windows XP. The upgrade advisor suggested that I can safely install Windows 7 :) On the side note, I also ran this on my MiLeap and my Dell machine back home. For it was quite obvious that MiLeap didn't meet the basic Windows 7 requirements (so would stick to using Vista on it, for the moment), on my Dell machine it noted that I need to update OpenOffice to work well with Windows 7, which seemed reasonable.

So I downloaded the DVD image of Windows 7 RC from ( Next, as Eee doesn't come with a DVD drive and I didn't have an USB pen drive at my disposal, I downloaded Daemon tools (, that allows you to mount .iso images. Well from here it was pretty easy and straight forward to install Windows 7 side by side with Winddows XP. I did not have to worry about disk partitioning too as Eee already had two partitions with one of them being free.

So how does it fair? I am quite impressed. The aero effects are all very pleasing and surprisingly more useful than what was there with Windows Vista. Though the graphics is not very smooth (as compared to my desktop), the speed is quite acceptable, given than I have Nvidia 8500 GTX with 512mb dedicated card for my desktop contrary to the default Intel chipset graphics that comes with Eee for the moment. I would not put any screen shots for pleasing you though (as all these are quite prominently there at various sites on the Internet, and also official videos at

Apart from all the (pleasing) reviews that have gone into Windows 7, I like some small but wonderful changes to basic Windows applications:
1) Paint: All the interface changes aside, the default format in which the images are saved is PNG and not BMP. I just like this.
2) Write: Again all the pretty interface changes (finally!!) but good this is that it directly supports OpenOffice Writer formats (opening as well as reading). Though the default options is RTF still, which is OK.

I have not yet tested any third party apps on this installation, but have tested many on my virtual machine setup (including my MeTA Studio ;-)) so I see no problem with major applications that are used daily, with an exception of OpenOffice. It seems there are some issues with 3.0 version but the latest OpenOffice 3.1 seems to have resolved these issues as the Windows 7 upgrade advisor doesn't complain about it.

So the short story is: In most likely hood, when windowd 7 is released, I will upgrade my desktop back home (only the OS)... am not sure though what will happen to my MiLeap ... which is most likely to still run Vista (SP2) ;-)

And well finally, look back for my post on installing Ubuntu on my Mac ..

Have fun!

PS: This post (as usual) was written using Eee running Windows 7 with IE 8.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MeTA Studio minor bug-fix release

A minor online update fixing a few bugs for MeTA Studio is available. The current version is 2.0.23042009.


PS: In the coming days I would be changing the way online updates will be done in future versions. This is because the current updates were hosted on, which seems to be closing its doors by June this year. By this time I would need a reliable solution, any help in this regard is welcome!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Never though I would blog on cooking.

Or even, never though I would ever require to blog on cooking.

Mostly because all I do is “only for me cooking”, and is highly experimental, always. ;-)

But then today I made masala dosai, and turned out to be fairly delicious, so thought some pictures are worth it.




Yummy :) … but sorry I ate all of them!

Disclaimer: The dosa batter was given by my friend’s wife, so infact all credits to her. I did make the fillings and rest of the cooking though ;)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Minor bug fix release for MeTA Studio

A minor bug fix release of MeTA Studio is available as online update. The updated version if 2.0.12042009

Apart from bug fixes there are a number of reorganizations in the graphics code as was planned earlier. These are at this point again far from complete, but as promised earlier these do not break any of the high level APIs.

Have fun!

Upgradability: The prime reason I will still buy a desktop PC

Lately, there has been a lot of talk on how the sales of netbook have overtaken that of PC shipment, though we hardly find any talk of laptop shipments at the same time.
There is one primary thing with a PC however that will always keep its sales up. I for one, will always prefer a PC for one thing it has to offer: Upgradability of each and every component that makes it up. And a PC of all the lot can be built at home by buying your own of-the-shelf components. A laptop is too restricted in its upgrade, and a netbook (what ever that means) is mostly an use-and-throw piece, not a real long term investment, it is more like a mobile phone. So, in the event of a much boasted "economic slowdown", would you be settling for a netbook as a primary computer or would buy a dependable and upgradeable PC? For me it will always be the PC as I said earlier. Of course, if you are looking out for a portable solution, I find netbook to be a better choice for me as compared to a full blown laptop, primarily because of the price, size and weight ratio.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Comment on: BeanShell, Rhino and Java -- Performance Comparison

These are my comments on an old performance test by Pankaj Kumar on BeanShell, Jython and others (

There are some notable problems with the benchmarks reported in above Blog:
1) When a time comparison is done, you chose the best possible implementation of an algorithm in that language. Evidently this is not the case. For instance, in case of BeanShell, ArrayList is used to represent an array of Strings and not a normal array. This introduces additional overheads especially calls to get() method.
2) If you use inbuilt methods to do the sorting: i.e. array.sort() for Jython and java.util.Collection.sort(array) for BeanShell the results are totally different, and it seem to show Jython to be 13 times slower than BeanShell for array if size 1000. Which is bizarre.

In short, I find all such benchmarks as misleading, and should not be used as the mere metric for choosing a particular scripting language, or for that matter any other programming language. And Pankaj does seem to make this comment at the end of his article.

Another reason to fool around with MeTA Studio: Python support

Well yes! Many had asked for it so now here is it!

First a bit of history. When I started developing MeTA Studio, I did evaluate Jython (Python implementation for JVM) along with BeanShell and many others. But then finally decided that BeanShell would be the first class scripting interface for MeTA Studio with provision for adding any other scripting language that is targeted for JVM. There were couple for reasons for this decision:

- Jython is too heavy. At about 3 mb (with no debug info). My modified BeanShell is 800kb while if u compile it with no debug info it boils down to a mere 200kb!!
- Prototype-to-production. Python code, though easy to write, doesn't translate easily to Java code. It is very easy to prototype in BeanShell and put it into Java.
- Speed. While BeanShell can run at native speed of Java (i.e. after you compile the code for a target JVM), Jython is purely interpreted, and it was definitely orders of magnitude slower than BeanShell. When I tried Jython the first time many years ago it was about 40-50 times slower than BeanShell, enough to keep me away form making it the primary scripting interface for MeTA Studio. In recent times though Jython has improved substantially. In many cases faster, but not as flexible as BeanShell in terms of the earlier point(s).
- License. It is not LGPL/BSD... So I will only distribute it as a separate addon package (maintainers are needed here ;) !)

and why it is included now:
- IBM supports Jython in their enterprise apps like websphere, I want to impress them ;) With rumours of them taking over Sun.. (Glee .. Well now wondering on that as Oracle plans to buy them instead!)
- I want more developers and users for my platform!!
- Proof that other languages can be easily supported, with out changing anything within the core IDE!
- I want to have fun ;)

Well the complete Jython support for MeTA Studio was added with about 4 days of work, which largely involved writing appropriate wrapper functions akin to BeanShell. And thanks to ways to add external library and widgets framework in MeTA Studio, there were no changes made to the core IDE specifically incorporate Jython support.

So you wanna give a try? Here is how:
The installation instructions are same as previous, but again ..
0) Ensure u have v 2.0.01042009 or a higher version installed. Project URL: []
1) Unzip (download from: Jython support file on Skydrive) in meta/lib/ext
2) Shut down MeTA Studio if it is already running
3) from command line:
meta/bin >$ java -jar MeTA.jar --addlibs jython
(you can skip this step, if you have already done so with the previous builds)
4) Start MeTA Studio, open the code editor. Then open jythonWidget.bsh from meta/lib/ext/meta-jython directory
5) Click on Make Widget to get the Jython widget on the the widget panel

Now you can either use the shell (like the usual python shell) or use the editor to write code in python as you would normally do for BeanShell scripts.

I will be putting up user guides on how to use the Jython support in MeTA Studio at: You are also strongly encouraged to contribute to the wiki, just drop me in a mail if you want to!

Now that Jython support is out, would like to state few things about future of this Jython support of MeTA Studio:
- Firstly, BeanShell will always be the primary scripting interface in MeTA Studio. Meaning that all new releases of MeTA Studio will come installed by default with BeanShell as has always been the case.
- Jython will never be distributed along with binary distribution of MeTA Studio. This support will always be available as an external download as is provided above.
- Since this project is getting big day-by-day, it would be really nice if some one can take up the responsibility of maintaining the Jython support in near future. Though I would maintain it with a bit less priority till I can get a maintainer for this port.

Fool around ;-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

MeTA Studio bug fix release

Another online release is available (MeTA Studio version 2.0.31032009). This is primarily a bug fix release. But it also includes a test geometry minimizer based on MM/UFF being written by Josh. To use this Right Click in MoleculeViewer, Choose Tools -> Minimize. Again note that the minimizer is an experimental code, and may not give you expected results!

And yes, suggestions are also welcome for the modified project page at:

Have fun!

(Quick Update: as usual, found some last minute bugs after I uploaded the online update, so now the latest version is 2.0.01042009)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MeTA Studio SVN repository

Starting from today, daily source updates of MeTA Studio will be available via the SVN repository:

Note that I will still release stable source tar balls as earlier (, but the current source will give a preview of things to come. I do not recommend using any of the APIs in the current source to write scripts or applications of your own! These are subject to change on day to day basis.

On a side note: I hate SVN :(


Saturday, March 21, 2009

A reboot on Photography

Well this time at a different place in the world… Oz, the “island continent”, place of kangaroos.

When I got my first digital camera, I had been regularly with my photography interest. But I soon hit into how much I can stress with my very minimal HP camera with 3x optical zoom. Most of times I am interested in either far away objects or macro shots. For either of these I have to strain a lot with my HP camera to get good shots. I also tried things like putting extra lenses for macro shoot and also a telescope for getting a closer look at the moon.

In any case, my interest in photography has not gone done, least because I can not yet afford a good quality DSLR ;-)

So, I decided to go about my photography again with my HP camera, this time a new place. All the photos here are in fact indoor photos, in that me and the camera were both inside my home or on a balcony at a friends place, but what was shot was all outside ;-)


On my backyard, the clouds begin to appear…


they are a bit shy ;-)


and then they are all over!


and the rain…


and the storm was hard for this branch…


no one out there, its raining there !



and I try to cook in the mean time… Those potatoes stacked up on their own, I didn’t do it :-)




and at the end there was this wonderful rainbow. All shots are taken with different EV exposure settings.

And then, I go to play tennis on weekend these days… but since my games is very bad, I though its better to shoot some thing that looks better than my self ;-) which now really makes for  the outdoor photography :D All these photos were taken on my mobile (Nokia e51) camera.



Then we went to a small (but quite steep) waterfall near Canberra



and some of the photos on Bateman bay





That is it for this photo story ;-)

Have fun!