Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

Archive for January 2007

FreeBSD, Wine, IrfanView and Python

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Wine support in FreeBSD isn’t exactly as fine as it is in Linux… or so I hear. Maybe they are right – because I wasn’t able to run Picasa2, neither was I able to run the latest version of Winamp (even without themodern skin). The fun part was that the installations go super smooth… but the applications don’t run at all.

Then I decided to try a small application, one that I was using everyday when I was on Windows – IrfanView 3.99. The shock came when the installer refused to work! Apparently one dll file, the mfc42.dll was not found on the (wine) system. Getting the file wasn’t painful. [ search ] But the program kept getting creative with the error messages.

Finally I decided to try installing version 3.95 of the program and it worked!

Now I had a working IrfanView, but it was still not the default application for image files. So I tried setting it in Control Centre/ Open With in KDE. Nothing seemed to work.

Finally I came across a discussion where it became apparent that IrfanView cannot handle UNIX style forwad slashes in the filename. The solution was to write a script that changes the slashes to windows-style backslashes and then calls IrfanView.

So I wrote a small script that should make life easy for me. It converts the slashes and calls appropriate program via wine for a given file extension.

Now all I have to do is install the Windows programs into wine, update my script to associate the programs with extensions and point KDE to the script which automatically calls the right application.

Somewhat redundant, but I think it serves the purpose for now. I’m looking for a way to find out the proper associations from wine itself and not have to maintain a list of file handlers.

Here’s the code:


Written by hiway

January 21, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Posted in computers, python, software

The Thought Train goes for a ride on Real Rails!

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Erm.. I mean, I’m going to Agra today. Will be back by 16th Jan 2007. Might photo-blog a bit (as and when time and wireless bandwidth permit)


Written by hiway

January 9, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Posted in travel news

No Merit Lists for SSC and HSC

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Finally a good news from the education system!

I welcome the decision to stop publishing the merit lists – a major cause of excessive competition among students, and a reason for many fights and even a few suicides! Hopefully they are realizing that an exam is just an exam… 3 hours of writing cannot differentiate a good human from a great human. It can only tell how much one can remember and write under stress – it absolutely does not count the integrity, creativity, ingenuity and true intelligence.

I look forward to the day when a student is judged by his/her ability to deal with practical problems and the ability to learn the necessary skills rather than just the ability to mug up whole textbooks when they should be learning the concepts and ideas behind the working of the world.

Written by hiway

January 7, 2007 at 7:34 pm

2006, A year not to be forgotten

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It’s been a beautiful year….

Learnt so many things that I never knew about. Saw so many things that I never thought could exist. Loved a girl who never loved back. Went to places that I had only heard of before. Lost a lovely pet. Regained the confidence of a lost friend. Finally bought a dSLR camera – something I had been hoping for since last 3 years! Got the first big assignment in photography – completed it successfully. Got in touch with many classmates and buddies after years. Messed up with my education/degree once again- by not following up the correspondence course protocol. Made many new friends. Let go of angst against self-claimed enemies who don’t matter anymore. Made a few enemies while I went about my business of life. Bought a cellphone that does more than just make calls (smartphone). Encouraged a few students in their software projects. Got a new hairstyle, well… a few actually. Threw out a lot of stuff that had accumulated over the years – things that I thought could be useful sometime later, but never were actually used. Read too few books. Lost faith in most of the electronic media and news. Grew more concerned about Nature Conservation and my role in helping save the planet. Made up my mind that I would rather be a free, starving artist than a fat corporate slave. Modified my motorcycle enough to make it look very different from the original model – and it gives a more enjoyable ride too. Visited different culture and land (Rajasthan). Became slightly more aggresive about making my point – probably a side effect of becoming business-minded. Picked up fights with parents and brother for all silly reasons (sorry!). Held my first ever photography exhibition, people responded with good remarks. Found that loving someone without expecting much in return can be really tough, but still carrying on – hopefully the situation will change for better. Introduced a few people to the world of Open Source Software and also to Python programming language. Learnt a bit more about UNIX. Attended a course on photography from MSETI, Pune. Made another failed attempt at migrating all computers at home to FreeBSD. Assisted in the process of a funeral… learnt what exactly goes on behind the scenes when everyone else is crying. Taught myself to hold back my tears. Became more confident about driving my motorcycle on the highways. made a few promises, broke a few. But most importantly – started trusting myself to God more than before.

Hope this all counts as a great year. Some up and some downs… a good blend of it all! Looking forwad to enjoying life in 2007 too!


Written by hiway

January 1, 2007 at 2:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized