Posts filed under 'Misc'

The horrors of Cambodian child prostitution, short squeezes, and the recently deflowered girl

3 interesting links you may have missed:

The evil behind the smiles: An insightful and disturbing article by NYT Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof - read complete article here. Also see: girls for sale. More excellent content from Kristof here

How Porsche hacked the financial system and made a killing

On a lighter note, entirely unrelated to the topics above: The Recently Deflowered Girl

Add comment January 9th, 2009

Problems logging into Skype?

As of today evening I’m somewhat unable to log into skype. Are any of the local ISP’s blocking it? or are Skype experiencing any problems?

Anyone have any ideas?

Update: It appears Skype is down

1 comment August 16th, 2007

Latest AMD pricing

Here are the latest prices for AMD CPU’s and motherboards from Digital House (AMD Agent). To purchase, please contact Mr. Fahim, using the contact info below.

Looking at the pricing, I would suggest the following:
Budget PC - Sempron 3000 AM2 (should be OK for light stuff like email, web, DVD’s etc..
Bit more performance (any of the X2 CPU’s).

As always match the processors and boards. I’m not sure about pricing at Unity Plaza, which may be more/less (most likely more)…

If you assemble an AMD system, do let me know how it went, and do consider writing a review/comments. I think it’s a pity most people here haven’t heard about AMD as they make excellent processors, particularly in the value segment.

LATEST AMD PRICING:
Sempron 3000 AM2 Rs. 4,200/-
Athlon64 3200 AM2 Rs. 7,600/- (equivalent performance with Pentium4 D)
Athlon64 X2 3600 AM2 Rs. 12,000/- (Dual Core)
Athlon64 X2 3800 do Rs. 15,000/- do
Athlon64 X2 4400 do Rs. 18,000/- do

Boards
ASUS M2N AM2 M/B Rs. 13,000/-
KVM2 AM2 M/B Rs. 6,000/-
Foxconn M/B Rs. 6,850/-

TO purchase, contact:
A M Mohamed Fahim
Product Manager – A M D
Digital House Private Limited.
#19,Carlwil Place,
Colombo - 03.

Sri Lanka.
Mobile +94 773 442749

(Disclaimer: Except for being an occational customer, and a fan of AMD products, I have no other connection with AMD/AMD Sri Lanka)

1 comment July 8th, 2007

I’m with stupid

I'm with Stupid

9 comments May 12th, 2007

possible attacks?

Electricity was off for a few hours, starting some time after 1AM. I also heard two strange sounding explosions that did not seem to be fireworks (What I heard sounded like 2 very low frequency ‘blasts’ followed by deep vibrations/hums.)

Google has some info..
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&ncl=1114563195

Looks like we may soon need air raid sirens..

Add comment April 28th, 2007

Camera Phone Photography

A few manufacturers (Samsung, Nokia and Sony in particular) are attempting to make better camera phones with megapixel sensors and proper lenses. The big question is, can you take useable photos with these phones?

I decided to try to find out. My test candidate is a Sony Ericsson K750i.

What’s good

  1. Actual auto focus - excellent for sharp images.
  2. Many manual options (exposure compensation, white balance, timer, etc).
  3. 2 mega pixel ccd

What’s bad

  1. No manual focus/shutter speed/ISO settings - still, most point and shoot digital cameras don’t offer these options, so you can’t really blame Sony
  2. Camera Shake In less than ideal lighting, camera shake does become an issue - you can work around this by using the timer/included ‘flash’ to some extent.
  3. Some distortion at maximum wide angle setting

(Tip: please view the picture full size, by clicking on it and selecting all sizes)

Leaf 1

Dead Leaf

More leaves

Money

Conclusion

The K750i is probably the first useable camera phone. It’s photo quality is comparable with entry level point and shoot cameras from a few years ago.

Also, at a street price of under $300, the K750i represents incredible value for money, and is probably the best camera phone available in SL today, with photo quality that is significantly better than Nokia’s (more expensive) entry level N series phones.

Note: Most of the photo’s here are close up/macro mode - I will add more wide angle/outdoor shots later on.

2 comments March 27th, 2007

Assembling a Vista Premium capable PC

Viewsonic VA702

I set out to build this PC in Dec 2006, primarily for the purpose of testing out Windows Vista. I wanted a PC that was suitable light work, some surfing, occational videos, etc. As such the specs were fairly modest, also the PC was reasonably inexpensive (under 100K, including monitor).

Target configuration:
Vista premium capable
Dual core processor
Dual channel ram, at least 1GB ram
decent 17inch monitor
DVD writer.
Complete black system (I’ve always wanted to assemble one of these!)

Motherboard
I needed a motherboard with support for dual core processors and dual channel ram, also reliability and staibility.

After considering many different motherboards. I finally chose a Gigabyte 8i945gzme-RH, as it was affordable (around 10k from IT LAND, Unity Plaza), had an Intel chipset, and supported Intel dual core processors (Pentium D and Core 2 Duo).

Processor
I chose an Intel 820D (Stepping B0, SL8CP) (2.8GHz X 2) as it was cheaper (around 12k from ITLAND) than a Core2 which retailed for over 20k then (I decided to use the money saved to get a better monitor).

Ram
I chose Kingston ValueRam. As I wanted to enable dual channel ram, the ram had to consist of identical parts from the same manufacturer. I used 2 512MB Kingston DDR2 ram modules (KVR533D2N4/512 total cost 13,500/- One from IT Land, and the second from Mitech computers, Unity plaza, as IT Land only had one on stock).

Hard disk
Since all modern motherboards include SATA and IDE support is mostly for legacy drives, I chose a Hitachi SATA 250GB HDD - cost exactly 9k, from Mitech computers (Unity plaza)

Case
Generic case with a 450Watt power supply (400W+ power supply recommended for dual core PC’s). I chose a case with a fresh air intake for the CPU. Case cost under 3K, from Asian Computer Systems (Unity Plaza)

Monitor
I chose a Viewsonic VA702, (24,500 , Asian Computer Systems, Unity Plaza)

Graphics
I rarely play computer games, so the onboard graphics were OK. Thankfully the motherboard has a PCI Express slot available, should I decide to upgrade at a future date.

DVD
I used a spare NEC 8X DVD writer I had.

Performance
Performance under both Vista and XP was absolutely stellar. Using dual channel ram and SATA HDD (Originally I used an ATA133 HDD) had measurable benefits.

Conclution
So thats my spec for a decent general purpose Vista premium capable PC, taking into account Sri Lankan prices and availability (As of Dec 06).

Update: Am looking to upgrade, so this PC is for sale. If you are interested in purchasing the PC alone or PC + Monitor, contact me at nsharp [at] nsharp.org. I’ve owned this PC for the last 3 months but havent really used it much except to install and test Vista (and it includes a 3 year warranty).

6 comments March 6th, 2007

Windows Vista Launch: Sri Lanka

Microsof Windows Vista Launch in Sri Lanka

Today afternoon, Vista was launched in Sri Lanka. The main event was a colorful PR blitz.

I missed the opening ceremony, and stuck around a few minutes only (most of it was stuff on Vista and how it would improve your business etc).

Vista Demo’s

Vista Demo PCs

There were a few of PC’s and laptops with Vista for people to try out. A rep from Microsoft called me over for a demo - overall he focused on features which casual/business users might like (Aero etc).

Swag

Microsoft Goodie Bag

Just a t-shirt and a brochure on Vista. A smarter move would have been to include a discount voucher for purchasing Vista !

The brochure included some info on Vista and a note on the benefit of Genuine Windows (A not so subtle hint I guess).

Questions

I still don’t know how much Vista costs here (Sigh). Maybe that was in the presentation and I missed it.

Photos
More photos from the Vista launch in Sri Lanka

Add comment February 15th, 2007

Kottu Piped (2)

The pipe now works (mostly). Turns out the problem was with Kottu occationally not giving an RSS out. Have created a new feedburner for Kottu (could not use existing as it rewrites URL’s so can’t filter for duplicate URLs)

Pls try out the pipe here:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/Kg4RMoe72xG54nkEEpPZnA/
RSS version here:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/Kg4RMoe72xG54nkEEpPZnA/run?_render=rss

Note: Pipe is (supposed to) fetch kottu and zsri, remove duplicates, and sort newest to first.
Todo: Does achcharu have an rss out? Are there other aggregators I haven’t added?

3 comments February 14th, 2007

HOWTO: find out who/what subscribes to your RSS Feed.

Today, while browsing my stats (provided via statcounter), I realized something interesting - I have no idea know who/what access my RSS feed.

Actually, if you think about it, most statistics software have no way of seeing who calls the RSS output (as they are javascript based).

So, I decided to see if I can write a simple script to write to a log file every time RSS is accessed.

Step 1: Script to write to a log file

[?php

$my_addy = $HTTP_SERVER_VARS['REMOTE_ADDR'];
$my_uri = $HTTP_SERVER_VARS['REQUEST_URI'];
$my_browser = $HTTP_SERVER_VARS['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];
$my_ref = $HTTP_SERVER_VARS['HTTP_REFERER'];
$my_date = date(’Ymd’);
$my_filename = “/your server/stats/rss.log”;
$my_time = date(’h:i:s’);

$log_data_line = “#$my_ref|$my_date|$my_browser|$my_addy|$my_time|\n\n”;
$fp = fopen($my_filename, “a”);
fwrite($fp, $log_data_line);
fclose($fp);
?]

For the code to work:

  1. Paste it in a file with extension php, and upload that file to the base folder of your web site.
  2. You will need to change the first [ to an < and the last ] to an >
  3. Create a log file and replace /your server/stats/rss.log. Chmod that log file 666 (writeable)

Now, if you call this new script from the browser, it will dutyfully write a line to your new log file.

Step 2: Calling this process everytime someone requests your RSS/ATOM/whatever feed

(This process is for wordpress but you should be able apply the same concept to your blog/site software)

Edit the following files (wordpress): wp-rss2.php, wp-rss.php, wp-atom.php, wp-rdf.php and wp-commentsrss2.php, and write the following line at the top (after < ? php)

include '/category/misc/yourscript.html';

where yourscript.php is the script that you made.

So, who/what accessed my RSS feed lately?

  1. Feedfetcher-Google; (+http://www.google.com/feedfetcher.html)
  2. Akregator/1.2.5; librss/remnants
  3. Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8.1.1) Gecko/20061201 Firefox/2.0.0.1 (Ubuntu-feisty)
  4. msnbot/1.0 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm)
  5. Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp)
  6. Technoratibot/0.7
  7. Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
  8. Bloglines/3.1
  9. Blogslive (info@blogslive.com)
  10. Feedster Crawler/3.0; Feedster, Inc
  11. NewsGatorOnline/2.0
  12. http://www.relevantnoise.com; info@relevantnoise.com
  13. Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google Desktop)

NOTES

  • You can edit only wp-feeds.php and add the include to that script, but if someone/something directly subscribes to a specific output (e.g. atom) then they may not register, this is why I added the include to all the feed outputs
  • Yes there are some services which allow you to get stats for your scripts but you would have to generate the script via that service/web site which seems cumbersome - this method allows you to get the stats directly
  • The code can be improved, I know.
  • Another idea would be to output the log in a proper format that a statistics software would recognise so you can get nice graphs/stats/proper analysis

2 comments January 24th, 2007

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