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Showing posts from September, 2011

How to buy a laptop

Laptop is a  very specialized piece of equipment. It has to chosen carefully in order to suit your needs and not just by looking at benchmarks. That procedure is for desktops.

I will not list laptop models or vendors here because the hardware and configurations change so fast that by next day it would be outdated. To figure which ones are topping the list go to, But remember the your final choice might be complete different than the ones they recommend. But if you sure that this is what I need then go ahead.

Now let us see how to choose the right laptop.

To select a laptop answer these first

1. Why do I need it ?
2. What do I expect from it?
3. How much spending can I afford ?
4. How much battery life I want?
5. How long do I want my laptop to be mainstream?


A> Business - This means you have to make presentations with it. And travel a lot.

Options : Business laptops are available to suit this niche. But personally I would say - Buy one lapt…

To give a listing of hidden directories

ls -al | grep "^d" | grep "\." | tr -s " " | cut -d" " -f8

The "ls" lists all files. The first grep chooses the directories only and not files. Remove this to select hidden files too. The second grep selects hidden files - files tarting with a “dot”. It has to be escaped with \ otherwise it matches all characters. tr compresses extra spaces in the listing. “cut” selects the last column which is the hidden directory names. Without the tr compressing the delimiting spaces “cut” will mistake extra spaces to be new columns so the penultimate step is crucial.

A simple laptop battery monitor script

The script displays alert when the battery falls below 20% or charges up beyond 80% which should be the optimal range of its working.

The code is as below. Just copy and paste and save as any file name but preferably The script can independent of what name it is given. Needs to have acpi (default install) and notify-send installed (sudo apt-get install notify-osd).



# battery-notify v1.2 by JOnes

# It is a script to monitor battery and keep it between 20% to 80% the optimal battery working range. If the battery goe beyonds the set limit it gives pop-ups every 10 seconds. No sound warning as sound can easily be muted and ignored.
# Things that could be added : 1> The flexibilty of range. But it is not recommended  hence not implemented. 2> Notification in form of email or sms. 3> Sound / beep for critical state of battery.
# The script goes into background. To kill it at any time use : kill `pgrep battery-no…

How to choose a webcam

I am biased. I prefer Linux. So i am going to talk about webcams which work in Linux.
The primary driver for webcam in Linux is the UVC driver. Goto the UVC site and look for the supported hardware -

Other drivers available are SPCA drivers. The official website .
describes the installation details.

For supported hardware look at -

For step by step procedure, look at the video at

For Skype tested webcams -

For more information go to
To test my webcam and adjust its brightness I use vlc and v4l2ucp. Cheese and v4l2upc combo can also be used. Here's what I do. (vlc needs to be installed)
vlc v4l2:///dev/video0
In another terminal open v4l2ucp, the Video 4 Linux v2 control panel.
Now in the v4…

Top places to live in India

Today we will debate on which is the best city to live at this moment in India. While deciding on the comfortableness of living in a city the following properties are to be kept in mind.
1. Security.
2. Lifestyle and quality of living available to the masses including general economic health.
3. Climate.
3. Public transport.
4. Quality of public life support services offered by the city which includes but not limited to - public health services or hospitals, firefighters.

 I will present both pros and cons of each city. Since cons mostly is the deciding factor, sometimes only that is to be all that is to be mentioned. I will let people decide for themselves.

1. Mumbai is too damp and crowded. Life is hard. So is finding a place to stay. For an old resident it might be easier. And it is always so crowded in the railways, the heart of its public transport. Quality of living is high for certain factions while the rest are left to settle for mediocratic complacency. Its like two masses e…