Just a thought

Archive for March, 2009

Power of Open Source (CAELinux)

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 31, 2009

This distribution is one of the reason I love Open Source. This live CD, CAELinux is a gold mine for students, researchers, colleges or anyone who wants to do Finite Element Analysis.  CAELinux is Computer Aided Engineering Linux.

Some features of CAELinux

  • Dedicated to CAE and more specifically to finite element simulation
  • Includes the integrated 3D pre/post / FE solver package SALOME_MECA 2008 which  represents the fusion of Salome v3.2.9 GUI and Code-Aster v9.2 finite element solver
  • Offers a complete solution for CFD with OpenFOAM 1.4.1 , Gerris , Code-Saturne and Openflower solvers
  • Contains several 2D & 3D CAD/pre/post packages: Paraview, Visit, OpenDX, Netgen, Tetgen, GMSH v2 (updated), Salome v.3.2.9 & QCad
  • Includes other simulation softwares for multiphysics simulation: Elmer v5.3 (updated), Calculix v1.7, Tochnog, Impact (updated), MBDyn (updated)
  • Offers several scientific tools like GNU Octave (+ Koctave GUI & Forge), R & Rkward, Scilab, wxMaxima and a full set of development tools / compilers.

Here checkout the screenshots.

CAELinux is based on PCLinuxOS and all the softwares are released under GPL so it’s all free 😀 . See Students now you don’t need to pay hefty licence fee for softwares like “Ansys” . Promote open Source Softwares by using it for free.


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Firefox fonts in Linux

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 30, 2009

I have been using Linux for a long time now and one of the bad thing about Linux is firefox fonts. It’s really tiny and sort of ugly. It’s kind of irritating and it’s a big downside for new Linux users. They see this and they immediately wants to switch back to windows. Linux/Firefox people should do something about it.

There is a quick fix for this though 🙂 . All you nee to do is install msttcorefonts.deb (I use Ubuntu) and then change fonts in Firefox preferences. and that’ all.  To use msttcorefonts.deb you need to enable Universe component of repositories.

$ sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts       // Installs msttcorefonts

Logout and log back in and you can use new fonts or to avoid logging out use

$ sudo fc-cache -fv                           // It regenerates the font cache.

After installing Microsoft True Type Core Fonts the Firefox experience in Linux is much better. (Don’t let these small things stop you from using Linux.)

Remark :: Forget about Firefox now. There is a new browser Epiphany . Check it out. It is very awesome. It user Firefox and Safari engine. choose whatever you like.

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Posted by stringofthoughts on March 30, 2009

ArtistX is an awesome Linux distribution for multimedia production. It’s got everything for making a simple movie to an animation movie and adding hollywood like special effects and here is the awesome thing it’s Free :D. It’s an open source software comes as a live CD.


A partial list of softwares included in the DVD:

  • 2D Graphic Software: Gimp, Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, Cinepaint, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil, Hugin.
  • 3D Graphic softwares: Blender, Wings3D, Kpovmodeler + Povray 3.6, K3D.
  • Video softwares: Cinelerra, Kino, Openmovieeditor, Kdenlive, Pitivi, Avidemux, Devede, and many others.
  • Video and Music players: Mplayer, Helix Player, Videolan, Xine, Kaffeine, Kmplayer, LastFM and many others.
  • Music software: PD and externals, Rosegarden, Ardour, TerminatorX, Cecilia/Csound, Gnusound, Mixxx and many others.

The DVD conatins 2500 multimedia softwares, practically everything made for the GNU/Linux platform.

Now you gotta love and start using FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)

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Linux awesome apps

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 30, 2009

Audio Players :

Amarok is still the most famous linux audio player and i found it very impressive though it was a little different from winamp/xmms. The worst part of amarok is it’s cpu usage. It hogs CPU makes computer very slow.

Audacious has long history and the good things is that it’s more like winamp. It was a fort of BMP (Beep Media Player) which itself was fort of XMMS (X Multi Media System). It’s current version doesn’t support en-queuing songs just by right click. It requires a nautilus script.

for FILE in “${FILES}” ; do
audacious –enqueue “${FILE}”

just write this code in file say enqueue.sh and store it to

PATH:  ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts

Now just right click on song and select this script 🙂 .

Video Player:

Mplayer has always been my favorite player. The most awesome thing about mplayer is it’s control which is very intuitively lies on arrow keys :). It’s got skin now dubbed as SMplyer. Skin is cool gives you mouse control.

VLC is another player you should ‘ve. This player can play almost any format including HD videos :D.

other players are KMplayer, GOM Player.

Image editor:

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is one heck of software. I wouldn’t say it’s a total replacement of Adobe Photoshop but does a pretty impressive job but here is the thing about open source,  Photoshop costs whopping $600 (INR.30,000 approx) where as GIMP is free :D. Start using open source softwares.

Audio Editors:

JoKoSher is a non linear multi-track audio editor. It uses GStreamer as an audio back-end.

Audacity is digital audio editor and recording application. The cool thing about this is unlimited undos :). There is a serious problem with audacity. It lacks lacks dynamic equalizer controls and real time effects.

Ardour is everything that you need to create your own album :P. It’s a really good digital audio workstation it’s got support for MIDI so you can hook up your favorite keyboard :). Ardour is perfect tool for amateur musicians or musicians who can’t afford high priced software.

Video Editors:

KINO non-linear digital video editor.  KINO’s vision is: “Easy and reliable DV editing for the Linux desktop with export to many usable formats. It’s available in Debian repositories. It’s geared toward quick jobs and beginners

Jahshaka is another very good video editor. It provides blue screen effects but the major problem with Jahshaka is that it does not support non linear video editing.

Cinelerra is a non linear video editing system which includes video com positing engine. Cinelerra provides industrial strength capabilities and is not good for beginners. Although it provides an awesome workstation it’s known to crash so keep saving your work.

KDEnlive (KDE Non-Linear Video Editor) It’s a KDE application focuses on flexibility and ease of use. Kdenlive supports all of the formats supported by FFmpeg (such as QuickTime, AVI, WMV, MPEG, and Flash Video), and also supports 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios for both PAL, NTSC and various HD standards, including HDV. Video can also be exported to DV devices, or written to a DVD with chapters and a simple menu.

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Removing Linux

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 29, 2009

Everybody talks about installing Linux but how to remove it 🙂 . A friend of mine once asked how to remove Linux completely. He was not impressed with Linux and started using  Win-XP again but his 10GB HDD space was occupied by Linux.  I am listing the steps for removing Linux.

  1. Use a partitioning software like Partition Magic and simply delete the Linux and Swap partition. Merge partitions if you like. Make it a FAT32/NTFS partition.
  2. Restart your computer with the Windows XP Setup disk in the CD/DVD ROM drive.
  3. Start the Recovery Console.
  4. When Recovery Console starts, it will prompt you to enter a number corresponding to the Windows XP installation that you need to repair. In most cases, you’ll enter “1” (which will be the only choice). If you press ENTER without typing a number, Recovery Console will quit and restart your computer.
  5. Enter your Administrator password.
  6. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type fixmbr and then verify that you want to proceed.

And there you go. The next time you boot go to partition magic and format the new found drive and you’ll ‘ve the extra space you needed.

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Re-installing GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader)

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 29, 2009

In a dual boot systems it comes a time when u need to re-install windows ( Yeah, I know ..). When windows finishes copying files for installation and reboots the system it modifies MBR (Master Boot Record). Apparently Mr. Gates believes Windows is the only OS in the whole world. Windows will go on and install a fresh copy windows but with modified MBR now it’s not possible to access the other OS in the system. The situation sucks more for people who uses Linux but don’t know the “How to'” stuffs.

Steps ::

1) Boot with a Linux CD. (Make sure CD/DVD ROM is priority boot device)

2) Open a shell and type $ sudo grub (It takes you to grub 🙂 )

3) Now find out the boot stage1 device , so type $ find /boot/grub/stage1 It ‘ll give you something like …. (hdX,Y) example (hd0,8) [This is where grub ‘ll go now]

4) Type $ root (hd0,8)

5) Type $ setup (hd0) and we are all done 🙂

* Just to clear (hd0,8) used here is for reference and example ….. use what you get from find command (step 3) and $ is the shell prompt 🙂

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What’s God’s daily life is like?

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 29, 2009

I was wondering one day about how people say God has plans for everyone, It’s his creation. Nothing happens without his will. Now this got my attention and i started thinking about it. hm mm so he knows everything…… ah wait a minute, that’s not right. Life would be no fun if you knew everything It’s a different thing that people want to know everything about everything and everybody. Some might use it in productive way and some for their own good. I think the point of knowing everything is pointless. well here is an example. We all like watching movies but once you have seen it you know the story you know the screenplay you know the emotions you know everything about. So watching the movie second time is not as much fun and exciting as it was the first time. The knowledge sucked the fun out of it.

Now this is what seems quite funny to me. If God exists, his life must be really boring because he has all the answers. Imagine a situation where a human gets a chance to meet God and asks some questions but God already knows what he is going to ask and what he is going to tell him. He knows what he’ll ask after that and after that and so on. For the human it’s great he’s getting all the answers but what about God.

The unknown makes us curious. It creates interest. Interesting things makes life fun and the knowledge the brings us joy.

So i wonder, what’s God’s daily life is like? It can’t be fun , must be boring.

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What’s wrong with TTSCC ?

Posted by stringofthoughts on March 29, 2009

I am a big fan of Terminator series. I have been following everything regarding terminator. So I was really excited when I heard about this new series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. I was really excited about first few episodes but then later it became more of a drama. I mean i was expecting a lot of action but it’s a let down.

I have a lot of questions about the whole terminator series. The whole mission of machines is to kill John Connor and they have awesome ability of time travel. But i don’t understand why these so advanced cyborgs with highly sophisticated AI lacks an important trait of war, Deception. I mean they can make a cyborg which looks and acts very much like humans then why not make one like his mother “Sarah Connor” or even better make it in the form of a teenager/kid. It’s so easy to kill John i can’t believe these cyborgs try so hard 😛 . They really suck or coming back to reality i guess writers don’t wanna do that and kiss goodbye to their paychecks 🙂

I didn’t think of this till i saw this TV series which more about John on the run. Either they should include some action in the next season or just end it here cuz it’s spoiling all the fun and “Lena Headey”, I don’t like her anymore.

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