Sunday, September 28, 2008

Listening to musicindiaonline streams on Linux

Musicindiaonline is a nice site having music collection in most Indian Languages. The site requires you to have Real Player installed but the problem does not end there. The browser you are using should have the necessary plugins to run embeded Real Player. Most people use Firefox on Linux, therefore, I will take the example of Firefox to proceed futher.

So you have installed Real Player if not go to and download the latest real Player 11 binary. You can install in /opt directory (which is default) or in your /home directory.

After installation see whether plugins are installed in Firefox by typing about:plugins in the address bar. Look for the plugin listed as:

Helix DNA Plugin: RealPlayer G2 Plug-In Compatible

File name:
If you don't find it you need to copy the following files from /opt/real/RealPlayer/mozilla directory to /mozilla/plugins directory: nphelix.xpt

In default Firefox installation this directory is /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins. If you are runnimg Iceweasel on Debian it is /usr/lib/iceweasel/plugins

After copying the files check once again by typing about:plugins in the address bar.

If you have totem installed you need to remove the following totem plugin files which may conflict with running Real Player on this site: libtotem-complex-plugin.xpt libtotem-gmp-plugin.xpt

Now go to Musicindiaonline and play your favorite song.

Some songs use the dnet codec which is not present in Real Player 11 due to licensing restrictions. You can search for follwing files on Google:

Copy these files in /opt/real/RealPlayer/codecs and create the following symlink:
ln -s


Monday, September 22, 2008

Archlinux has least memory usage compared to Debian and Ubuntu.

I install any Linux distribution after copying the contents of ISO to a spare partition on the hard disc. For Archlinux I found this page. As suggested I downloaded FTP USB variant of the ISO from this page. I copied the contents of the ISO as suggested using dd command. The document suggest to chain load the installation boot menu. It did not work for me, therefore, I made following entries in /boot/grub/menu.lst to boot the installer.
title ArchLinux Installation System
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 lang=en locale=en_US.UTF-8 ramdisk_size=75%
initrd /boot/archlive.img
I use the USB port of my router but the installer, although, detecting it as eth1 did not work, therefore, I connected it through NIC. The installer downloaded and installed the base system. The Grub of Archlinux does not detect other operating systems on the hard disc, therefore, I did not install it to MBR.

After rebooting I made necessary entry for new Archlinux installation in existing Grub

title Arch Linux
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/72e737f9-5faf-4103-bfe2-84f9a01c4dab ro
initrd /boot/kernel26.img
and rebooted again into Archlinux base install.

On the other PC I had opened the very elborate Beginners Guide on Archwiki. I followed it step by step to install xorg and LXDE desktop environment.

The screen of my Laptop is broken and I use it as desktop through external monitor. The ati driver of Xorg 7.3 has a bug and as expected I got blank monitor on startx command.

In order to generate xorg.conf for xvesa I used the following method:
# pacman -S hwd
# hwd -u
# hwd -x

The last command generated xorg.conf files for vesa and ati driver. I copied the vesa file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf and could boot into LXDE desktop.

I find the LXDE desktop on Archlinux having less memory usage compared to Ubuntu Cli and Debian Cli.
On LXDE+LXTerminal (Debian uses 104 against 67 by Arch)
$ free -m
Total used free shared buffer cache
Mem: 312 67 244 0 5 32
-/+buffers/cache 29 282

Monday, September 01, 2008

My tryst with computers.

Some people from my ET batch were taken to manage IT in BHEL Hardwar in 1974, therefore, as such "Computers" had already arrived when I began my career.

I have seen those stupid cards on which Data was being punched and fed into mainframes but was not personally involved.

During 1983 to 87 I was responsible for accepting the 200 MW Steam Turbines of NTPC and was getting fed up with manual calculations with Calculators and learned to write small programs in BASIC. I asked my brother-in-law to bring a calculator from USA which had P1, P2 etc programmable keys in BASIC worth $80 (I think $ may be around Rs 30). I had put even Steam Table Formulations in those keys apart from mass flow calculations.

IBM PC arrived in USA in Aug 1981 and also in India soon thereafter but I could use only in late eighties since I was transferred to NTPC project in 1987. I have used 386 and 486 in DOS for dbase and lotus. I use to get data on floppies from Mainframe in print file format and had developed program to extract it into dbase.

Windows arrived in 1990 but I could use it only in 1996 when I came to Delhi. I made a complete Tender Proposal in Excel linking many sheets and even files wuth macros. Soon I became an expert to remove viruses from Word and Excel files.

I bought my home desktop in 1997 with genuine Windows 98 and was using Star Office and free software only.

I bought personal Laptop in 2004 which came with Mandrakellinux 9.0 CDs and my tryst with linux began.