Universities wiping out trees in the name of project record.

Cut trees for project record
Cut trees for project record
Every year lakhs of student in India religiously perform a task , vital for the graduation, called Project submission, The evidence for project submission is the project record. Typically A hard bound notebook of bonded A4 paper with water mark of the student registration no.. Contents are printed typically on one side of the pages. Students of Computer science , who writes program solely to be executed on the computer, also has to print the program and submit the project record. Except for few premier institutions that have upgraded themselves to the digital age , most of the colleges are still stuck in the 90’s practice.

Couple of years back, Indian railways allowed its passenger to board train by showing digital copy of the ticket instead of printout. Reason, was every day 3 lakh sheets were printed for etickets. This number, has considerably come down by allowing digital copies.

I did a rough calculation, which I have shared below. Every year Indian universities and colleges wipe out 50000+ trees for a process which doesn’t have direct benefit to either Students or faculties. Did you ever touch your record note book after you submitted your project?

There are other serious side effects in using a project record

  • Projects cannot be searched. if a student wants to find out any earlier work on his/her current project, it is extremely difficult to do it now.
  • Universities cannot verify fake or duplicate projects, since it is not searchable.

Better alternative.

  • AICTE or University should mandate that all college projects should be submitted as digital copy in a prescribed template instead of paper records.
  • A central database where students can search and study previous projects.
  • The central database can be used by employers to verify the student’s work.



image courtesy: background image from itc.nl

Blogging using speech recognition

I’m blogging after quite a long time but there’s something special about this blog. This blog, I’m not typing but using speech recognition instead. After training Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 for a while I can tell you that my accuracy has increased by leaps and bounds. The only problem that I’m facing with the DNS is that I have to boot into Windows everytime I use the software. I wish nuance had released a Linux version too.

Tethering Motorola Defy. Internet over USB on Windows and Linux

I purchased Motorola Defy Android mobile phone running Android 2.2.2, ( the later Defy+ runs Android 2.3). the phone supports 3G hotspot over  WIFI. But for some reason my phone kept crashing after few minutes of use of the hot spot feature. So I wanted to setup the tethering over USB. I use Kubuntu and Windows . Here, I wil explain how to tether your Motorola Defy phone using USB. The same should work on DEFY+, though I have not tested on it. Both the approaches doesnot require the phone to be rooted. And I use Airtel 3G in India

Tether on Windows:
Follow the instruction here. https://forums.motorola.com/posts/bc40b2fbdc Its stratigh forward and works for DEFY.

Tether on Linux:
This involves litle bit of tinkering. Follow the instructions in this article http://www.humans-enabled.com/2009/12/how-to-tether-your-verizon-droid-as.html . The original article itself is capable of tethering DEFY. I have altered couple of steps to suit me and am sharing it here.

Step 4:
my rule for DEFY is
SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, SYSFS{“22b8:428c”}==”22b8″, MODE=”0666″,

Step 10:
If you are using DEFY with android 2.2.2 , then don’t bother to download the Azilink with Android 2.3 patch. Download the latest release from the Azilink site itself.
cd ~
mkdir azilink
cd azilink
wget http://azilink.googlecode.com/files/azilink-2.0.2.apk
adb install -r azilink-2.0.2.apk
wget http://azilink.googlecode.com/files/azilink.ovpn

Step 11 & 12:
I had merged steps 11& 12 as follows
vi start_modem

#Type in the text below, then hit ZZ to save
adb forward tcp:41927 tcp:41927
sudo echo “domain lan” > /etc/resolv.conf
sudo echo “search lan” >> /etc/resolv.conf
sudo echo “nameserver” >> /etc/resolv.conf
sudo openvpn –config azilink.ovpn

Follow the rest of the steps from the original article. Azilink About page quotes ” since this program doesnot run as root it cannot forward ICMP-based ping requests. To simulate this all pings are translated internally into UDP pings. Unfortunately, many hosts do not respond to UDP ping requests.” So don’t be surprised if you cannot ping your host but still able to use the internet.

Run Tweetdeck on Linux without Adobe air.

In my recent post , I had cribbed about why Am ditching Tweetdeck for Gwibber. Primarily it’s because am not getting any more Adobe Air updates for Linux. But there is good news. Twitter which acquired  Tweetdeck this year, has released native ( that means no more Adobe Air dependency) versions of the sotftware on Windows and Mac. But no release yet for Linux. Then how can this be a good news. Well , apparently , the Windows native version runs decently well on Linux over Wine. Wine lets you run Windows software on other operating systems.

Here is the instruction to get Tweetdeck 1.0 running on Ubuntu 11.0. For RPM  based ditros like Fedora use yum (appropriately) instead of apt-get.
First upgrade the Wine package to the latest. This is not required , but it is better to always use the latest Wine to get the best performance. AS on date wine-1.3.34 is the latest stable version for Ubuntu 11.10
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine

Now, download the latest Tweetdeck from http://www.tweetdeck.com/. It will be a .msi file eg. TweetDeck_1_0.msi
wine msiexec /i TweetDeck_1_0.msi
This will launch the installer. clik on install.
The tweetdeck is ready to be used . You can select it from you GUI or start it in command line as follows.
wine  ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Twitter/TweetDeck/TweetDeck.exe

There are however few quirks.the notification window doesn’t pop up always. Something That I hope Wine will fix  soon.


Compiling latest Gwibber on Ubuntu 11.10

Gwibber is an open source microblogging client for Linux. It brings the most popular social networking web services to your desktop and gives you the ability to control how you communicate. My favourite though was tweetdeck. But after Adobe ditched Air for Linux, Tweetdeck doesn’t look enticing anymore. I had to scout for a viable alternative . After trying lot of alternatives like choqok, hotot, I found Gwibber is the one. At least it had more feature in common with tweetdeck. Hotot has a better UI but it is still in its alpha stage..


I use Ubuntu 11.10 and the default version of Gwibber on it is 3.2.1. I wanted to upgrade that to the latest Gwibber version ( as of date) It’s a pretty simple task and here it is how to do it.


Download the latest Gwibber source code from here https://launchpad.net/gwibber . Replace the version no. with whatever version you downloaded.


tar -xvf gwibber-


cd gwibber-


sudo apt-get install build-essential valac-0.14 intltool libgtk-3-dev libgtk2.0-dev libgnome-menu-dev libnotify-dev libgee-dev libsoup2.4-dev libdee-dev libjson-glib-dev gsettings-desktop-schemas-dev libgtkspell3-dev libunity-dev






make check


sudo make install


gwibber ( this will launch the newly compiled Gwibber)


If you had skipped the sudo apt-get step then ./configure might complain about missing packages like valac or intltool. or sometime you might end up getting 


configure: error: Package requirements (glib-2.0 >= 2.26

                  gobject-2.0 >= 2.26

                  gtk+-3.0 >= 3.2

                  gdk-3.0 >= 3.2


                  gio-unix-2.0 >= 2.26


                  libnotify >= 0.7



                  dee-1.0 >= 0.5.19



                  gsettings-desktop-schemas) were not met:


No package ‘gtk+-3.0’ found

No package ‘gdk-3.0’ found

No package ‘gee-1.0’ found

No package ‘pangocairo’ found

No package ‘dee-1.0’ found

No package ‘gsettings-desktop-schemas’ found


If you still find yourself facing with missing package error, then identify the package as follows


apt-cache search | grep dev


find the appropriate packages from the output and add them to the sudo apt-get list above .