Archive for August, 2008

Oh Happiness.. you come so unexpectedly..

August 31, 2008

I woke up this lazy Sunday morning, thinking to myself should I start with my latest article or should I finish up some of the work I have to get done for next week.. Only to find little Evelyn waiting to get her hands on with the huge painting book we bought from Arpico yesterday..

We had colored the first image and cut and pasted it on the scrap book, last night itself!
She was so excited and has been waiting by my bed side this morning, to get started on the second image. We just completed the second image and Evelyn went away to watch Barney, as she decided cutting and pasting of the puppy image should be done later on..

So I resorted to my dear laptop, undecided what I was going to start with. Hooked up the Vodafone USB Modem and started checking mails for a start.

You will not believe what I had there in store…..!

For a moment I thought Axis2 veteran Eran Chinthaka is pointing me to an article and saying why the hell can’t I write up something like that! But no, he actually thought mine was very good “very good”, as he came across the one I wrote under the title
Where did the Computer Go? Computing in the Cloud‘.
Oh sweet Jesus (no I’m not a Christian but that’s okay), how lovely it is to feel so deliriously happy 🙂 ! Honestly, I am so thrilled that:
1. he thought it was ‘very good’
2. he actually wrote to tell me so..
and now my morale for writing good articles (with mysterious titles;) is.. let’s just say sky high!!
Thanks, Chinthaka.. and thank you life!

PS: Hm.. while all other stories on OT has a comment option attached, only for this this one the option does not appear! Let me look into that. Heh.. I can’t risk loosing such great comments now, can I?
Btw, for those of you who wonder why I used the phrase ‘where did the computer go..?’ for the title of this article, I actually borrowed it from Apple – the famous marketing tagline they used with the Bondi Blue iMac G5, when it was shipped with a breathtaking display, a hard drive, state-of-the art processor, slot-loading optical drive, together with easily accessible ports – all in a sleek package that was about two inches thick!

Things to Ponder..

August 26, 2008

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

Article on SOA Governance and WSO2 Registry 1.1

August 19, 2008

Yesterday on OT, Ruwan Japapriya published a superb article on SOA Governance and the WSO2 Registry v1.1 solution to governance.

Ruwan starts off with an introduction to SOA, the popular architectural style based on open communication standards and loosely-coupled, highly re-usable components known as services. He then builds the case for a governance solution illustrating challenges an SOA implementation could eventually face (as it matures), if governance issues are not addressed earlier on..
The article touches Registry features such access control, service discovery, service life-cycle management, versioning and many more.

A comprehensive document for both the expert and novice, this is a must read for anyone interested in governance and Registry.

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Got a Tag Cloud Hanging Over My Blog!

August 14, 2008

After listening to today’s very informative presentation from Samisa, I decided its time to go for the tag cloud in my blog.
The thought had crossed my mind a few times, and I faintly recall making a lazy effort and giving it up very easily.
Not this time..!! With determination come really good search results :), and I found this informative page with very clear descriptions on how to set up and configuration a tag cloud on Blogger post. So go head, use it on yours, and see how it works!

Transparent Windows on Ubuntu

August 12, 2008

If you hold on to the Alt key while scrolling the middle mouse button, it then allows you to vary window transparency..! This means that you are able to look through the top window that overlapping another to read content without having to switch windows altogether. Cute..

No Paste

August 8, 2008

I was getting help from Prabath this afternoon to upload some of our Webinar stuff on Slideshare and embedding them on Drupal. During the interaction I asked him for some code information (that was pretty lengthy) and without typing it on the chat window, he went ahead and gave me a URL that pointed to the text that I found interesting. So here it is for you, simple but usefu
no log-ins, no contracts – simply, nopaste. 😉

US Trip – Part II

August 7, 2008

Okay.. I’m exhausted after a marathon y’day to get the August OT newsletter out.. I definitely deserve a break and the I’d say the best option I have right now is to write up the second part of my US trip considering the traffic out there basically threatening me not to leave office!!
So.. having left the moron with the attitude (he he), I settled into a long flight to Narita (Japan). Surprisingly it turned out better than I imagined which I suspect was mainly due to the mental preparation in anticipation of a long flight. The only disturbing factor being funny smelling flight food that seriously puts you off from indulging in..
Having arrived in Narita after 7 hours of flying time, I walked all the way to the departure lounge to board to my next flight that would take to my US destination of Portland (Oregon). Airport was seriously less than what I’d expect from the Asian electronic giant. I’d say comparatively, Sri Lanka is far ahead. This kind of killed a long lived dreamed of mine which was to visit Japan:(
Anyways.., the transit time was short and was only about 45 minutes before I boarded on to the flight to Portland. I was getting very excited as I could see that most passengers are Americans and mostly the Portland crowd. They looked and sounded extremely nice and polite and that made me want to get there more and more. A 10 hour flight came to an end when we landed in the Portland International Airport and I quickly moved to collect my luggage and get to the immigration. Only few questions were asked (to my delight) and I was on my way to the customs. They were the most friendliest custom officers you could ever think of. I could not believe that I was out in the open, breathing fresh air Portland winds bring in less than 20 minutes after arriving in the US!
I decided to find out about my travel options from the airport to the hotel and figured out that the airport shuttle service is the best solution considering the 2 luggage bags I had to carry. This was better than taking a taxi, as it costs more than $30 dollars and the shuttle service is only $20. From the airport to downtown Portland where Hotel Modera is located, it kept on reminding me how much it reflected of the Melbourne city. I think the similarity is the result of both cities being designed after ancient European cities..
Getting off at Modera, I was greeted by Hotel staff. I realized that cab man had charged me $20 instead of US$16 he mentioned initially. I decided not to ask why since I was a newbie. And that turned out to be one of the wisest moves I’ve ever made, when I later heard from Katie about America’s culture that includes a relatively heavy tipping component..!! My instincts had saved me so much embarrassment!
Inside the hotel I was told that my room will only be ready in another 2 hours!!! This was not helpful as I had to rush to OSCON that had already begun. (time at this point was close to 12 noon and OSCON starts at 10 am). I received a note and 2 t-shirts Katie had left for me and I ran across to the wash room and got changed and took a cab to the Portland Convention Center. There I found Samisa, Jonathan, Katie and the rest of the OSCON crowd.
In my next blog post, I wish to write on OSCON and everything that happened there to the best I could remember.. So keep reading..

Creating a Signature File for Mozilla Thunderbird

August 7, 2008

On Ubuntu Console:

  1. Type cd .mozilla-thunderbird
  2. type cat > signature.txt
  3. now type in your signature. Typically this should include your name in full, title, comapny, company web site, e-mail, contact numbers etc.
  4. Press ctrl + D
  5. Now go to your Thunderbird window and select the Edit menu. Point to Account Settings option. Select your account name and turn on the attach signature check box. Enter the path to the signature file and you are done. Try composing a new mail and you should see the signature added there already.

Note: alternatively on Ubuntu and Windows, you can create a text file or an HTML file with the signature information and formatting and use Thunderbird’s Account Settings option to attach the file.

Trip to the US – Part I

August 5, 2008

ngSo I woke up in the middle of the night to make a post on my recent visit to the US.
Like I’ve blogged before, it was a bit of a nightmare to get the visa appointments for a few of us due to the rather dramatic situation in Colombo at the time. Past the visa interview, the rest of it to actually get onto a flight to Singapore was a breeze..
With many promises to return with a Bob the Builder movie for little Evelyn who was going to stay with her grandparents and dad during my absence, I started my journey around 2 ‘o’clock in the morning on a early Tuesday morning (21st July 2003 to be exact). Randhiv decided to drop me at my office and we were pleasantly surprised to see the cab already parked there, having arrived minutes before we did. Cab ride from office to airport was a breeze, in fact, the cab company had been very professional in all of their dealings with us right from the beginning when we called them to make the appointment.
At airport, there were no issues with security and immigration and I found myself in the departure lounge only moments after arriving at the airport. I tried to take some rest (considering that it had been a long day with a mad rush at work starting from I can’t remember to collecting passports that took hours due to traffic conditions in Colombo and then finally a Mashup release that took place around 7 in the evening). Good for me, I spotted a movie shop somewhere in the corner and managed to buy a CD version of Bob the Builder, right then and there. That was definitely a very good start to a 2 week journey, as it completely relieved me of any fears of having to return to Sri Lanka without the much needed movie series!
With no hassles in between, I arrived in Singapore 4 hours after taking off from Sri Lanka and looked for accommodation at the information center location just outside the Changi airport. Although I have had many transits in Singapore before, this was the first time I was actually getting out of the airport. I had close to 16 hours of transit time in Singapore, arriving at 2 in the afternoon and leaving 6 am the next day. This gave me a little time to move about in the city and to explore the city.
Mom on her many visits to Singapore had been down the Orchard rd a few times (all good stuff) and so I decided to do so myself. Upon requesting for a hotel down the Orchard rd, I was presented with a few option and I chose Royal Plaza on Scotts considering mostly the close proximity to shopping areas.
Since the hotel did not provide transport and I was free of luggage (as I had interlined my checked in luggage all the way to PDX – my final destination in the US), I decided to try out Singapore’s very famed public transport system that is known as the MRT (stands for Mass Rapid Transport). So I hopped onto a bus that was going to the city center and found myself riding with fellow Singaporians, a 45 minutes bus ride. I enjoyed this very much as it allowed me to experience the city as I’d love experiencing any city – on a bus un-unpretentious of whatever a cab journey offers (not to mention the mere S$ 2 they charge you for the whole thing!). It was amazing how structured the city is in terms of planning, although, a 45 minutes bus ride to the city from airport was the last thing I expected in a tiny place like Singapore. As wiered as it may sound, my idea of Singapore was such a tiny space one could cover in its entirety in 45 minutes. I assume the seeds of such imagination was planted in my head a long time ago during a trip I made to the Maldive islands with my father where I find out that the entire city of Male’ could be covered by walk in a matter of minutes! Okay, Singapore is obviously a bit larger space and may be I should look at a map and count square feet or something..
Stepping out of the busI spoke to a Singaporian who very generous gave instructions that got me to the hotel I was staying in a matter of a few minutes. Arriving in my hotel room I was very pleased with my accommodation that included a massive flat screen television screen together with free WI-FI. After about a half an-hour’s rest I decided to step outside the hotel room to explore Orchard road by foot. Man, I was taken by surprise the kind of shopping Singapore offered as compared to London’s Oxford st or Collins St. Melbourne. All of the designer labels you could ever think of you were all out there straight down Orchard rd and it took literally only minutes to overwhelm me with the options available. I decided to buy a pair of shoes from the city center as I had already waited for so long for a new pair of shoes from overseas. I’ve always believed in buying shoes and handbags outside of Sri Lanka, including electronic items, as my experience with the local stores have been pretty disappointing. So there I was, right at the center of Orchard rd, trying out a pair of Clarks shoes (yes, Clarks!!). I happen to sit next to an Australian who in a moments chat revealed her disappointment on the numbers the price tags displayed. She said that they were way more than what she would pay for a pair in Perth. This, after 4 years of waiting to get out of the country for a pair of shoes and hand bag was definitely not strong enough to convince me(!). So I decided to go ahead with the 100 Singapore dollar tag and was pleased with myself when I tried it back in the hotel.
The next day morning, I set out in a taxi to get to airport on time. Singapore has tight security and I was expected to very clearly state at the point of collecting my boarding pass as to what was in my hand luggage and whether I took complete responsibility for anything and everything that was in it. I must say all of this checking, as important as they are for ensuring safe traveling for all of us, puts me in a certain state of mind that I do not feel comfortable. I’ve always found myself thinking what if someone, somehow manages to get something into my baggages and the airport authorities decide to keep me in a closed compartment and ship me back to Sri Lanka only to be accused of whatever! Pretty paranoid ha..? heh, you’ll never know..
I’ve always found waking up early in the morning to adhere to a strict agenda, pretty uncomfortable. So here I was at the Singapore airport2 1/2 earlier for my next flight to Narita. I tried using Internet but there seemed to be some issue connecting and I decided to give up. I remember sitting and staring into the empty space awaiting boarding. At boarding time there was a bit of drama as the officer decided to not allow me take my tiny (well, not so tiny I admit) moisturizing cream in my hand luggage. Issue was that I was not notified of this in my prior encounter with the customs officer just before collecting my boarding pass and this guy was not even allowing me to add that to the little plastic pouch the other officer had given me to pack my cologne bottle. I wouldn’t have cared so much if not for the fact that this was one of my favorite M&S Royal Honey gel that dad brought all the way from Oman, and, one that I had use very sparingly for the last 10 months! But no matter how much I’d tried to explain this to the officer – he would not listen. I was pretty mad, seriously, not because of what he was doing but rather how he was doing it. This Indian Singaporean appeared to me as very snobbish, and said that I could not take it into the flight under any circumstances – not even in the plastic casing. He wanted me to speak to any of the flight representatives further down and should they agree I was able to take in the plastic pouch. So, as I reached the counter I handed over my boarding pass and asked one of the representatives there if it would be okay to take my moisturizing cream in the plastic bag provided. They seemed pretty understanding and said that that was no problem at all, as long I take that in the plastic pouch. So I go back to the security officer to inform of this but he would not listen. The man who said its ok if airline representatives deemed ok, now wants me to go back and tell one of them to come and speak to him! Of course, I was not going to do that. Why would I? So I went back to the flight representatives and told them what was happenning. Awaiting there for only minutes I realized that security who had scanned my checked in luggage had wanted to see me as one of my baggages had set of an alarm, yes, just as I thought!! So there he was another Indian man wearing a turban who was there to take me to finalize on this matter when the flight representatives related him my story. And he walks over to the man who refused to let me take my moisturizer cream and tells him that he was going to check that in!! Man, you should’ve seen the look on his face. I wish I was able to take a picture he he. Sometimes, it all happens at the right time. You see, if not for this officer’s appearance to see me regarding my checked in luggage, I would not think I had much say in this man not allowing me to take the cream pack int he plastic bag. But now, as we are on our way to open up my checked in luggages I had all the right to take it with me and put it there. Serves him right for being so snobbish despite my very kind request to include it in the plastic bag!
Upon inspection of my checked in luggage we soon realized that the pens I was taking for OSCON had set the alarms off.
So no issues there and I returned back to my seat with this great feeling that I’ve beaten an *** **** in his own game, yeah..
So this post is turning out to be quite lengthy.. The idea was to narrate my experience to everyone else. Hasmin wanted myself and Samisa to do this kind of thing in office today around the tea time as well. I remember mumbling something but honestly I was too tired at that point. From morning I have been talking to my friends, relating the same stuff, so around 3.30 in the afternoon I was pretty exhausted. And come to think of it there is so much to say, as a 2 week trip to a land that you have never been before, plus visiting 2 great cities at the same time whilst attending a conference is quite a lot. Besides I never knew about it so never really put my thoughts together. So on my way from work this evening, especially after reading Jonathan’s blog post, I realized that it was the best way to go about it. So anyone and everyone interested in finding out about the rest of the journey, watch out for my next blog post.. thank you for listening (or rather reading:)