Archive for December, 2007

Its not funny, Google !!

And a few thoughts from the world’s best search engine on sensor programming…..




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Doodle Doodle

Its been three days now, or maybe a week. I dont’t really know, but Floyd has been asking me these same questions again and again.

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Three days before the college opens I have shift the entire programming course from Java to C.

Cold comfort for change?

And guess what, I get a message thats supposed to come around two hours later.

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

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Emacs, Fedora and ttfs

It all started with finding a good font for programming in emacs. I don’t know why, but the default things that come with the Linux distributions are so uncool that they are reason enough not to use open source. I have been spending some time on this, even posted on the fedora forums but then nobody could help me. Well, the only help I got was from the debian dude.

According to my “extensive research”, most people prefer the terminus font. Since I spent considerable amount of time on this, I thought it might be a good idea to document it. And the fact that I am sitting here alone in the lab on a fine christmas morning is reason enough for justifying this act of total boredom.

The Terminus font (, created by Dimitar Zhekov, is the best monospaced bitmap font ever. I goofed up by trying to install the font from Dimitar’s website and thats when I decided to search for a ttf version of the font.

A bit of googling gave me the ttf version of the font. You can download the terminus fonts here. Make sure you download the ttf version and not the tar.gz file. The following commands work only for ttf fonts.

In Fedora, the fonts used by all users are in /usr/share/fonts folder. Since the font we have downloaded is a ttf or truetype font, lets make a folder called truetype in the fonts directory.

# mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype

Now lets move the ttf file that you have downloaded into this directory. Or you can directly download the ttf files into this directory.

# cd /usr/share/fonts/truetype
# wget
# wget wget

Ok, so we have all the fonts in the folder. The next step is to create an index of all the scalable fonts that we have downloaded so that the font server can use them.

# mkfontscale && mkfontdir

This will create 2 files fonts.scale and fonts.dir. Now update the font cache.

# fc-cache -fv

The new directory /usr/share/fonts/truetype has to be added to the X11 font path.

# chkfontpath –add /usr/share/fonts/truetype

Some applications will not recognize the newly installed fonts until the X server is restarted. So restart the X font server.

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/xfs restart

Running chkfontpath command without any arguments should now list /usr/share/fonts/truetype also.

To use this font in emacs, you can run xfontsel and select it from there. Type xfontsel in the command line

# xfontsel

Click on fmly. If you have installed it properly, terminus should be listed there.
Click on wght and select medium. Select other options as you might want it. Click on the select button to copy the font specification into your clipboard. The following specification looks good: -*-terminus-medium-r-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

And if you are wondering how it looks like, here is a screenshot:
Emacs using Terminus font

Interesting Links
1. The Terminus Font
2. Installing ttf fonts on Redhat based systems
3. What are TrueType fonts

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This time that year

City of joy. A lovable professor and an amazing collegue. Few very generous and hospitable students. Artists, poets, open air theater. Mishtir ke dokans (sweet shops). Puris and alu. Scrambled eggs. Breakfast of bread toast with butter. The holy ashram of Sri Ramakrishna. 15 minutes with Ma Sharada. A moment of silence with River Hooghly. A very old school. Sweets for lunch. That walk along Howrah bridge. Alipur zoo. More sweets. Victoria Memorial. Madusoodan Manch. Dinner with the Professor and his students. A box of sweets for home.
And…. a poem in gratitude…

Sweet Kolkata fills my soul
Fans my flame, my heart burns like coal
I have to write, I have to write
Without pausing for respite

Of bustling roads, rickshaws and trams
Sweetly puntuated with “mishtir ke dokans”
I have to write, I have to write
Without pausing for respite

Of her many sons, the British Raj feared
Countless stories Hooghly gently whispers
I have to write, I have to wite
Without pausing for respite

Of the city that inspired Tagore’s art
Ma Kali dancing in Paramahansa’s heart
I have to write, I have to write
Without pausing for respite

I have to write, I have to write
Without pausing for respite
Of a city of many wonderful things
For you, Kolkata, I spill my ink

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