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Had been to San Antonio, Texas for an internal conference, for a week. I met Abraham Lempel of the LZ compression algorithm fame. Talking to him was indeed a very heart warming experience - to find such great technical giants to be humble and down to earth. Went out a bit during the spare time (which was of course rare !). Visited the Tower of Americas and the 4-D show at the same venue. The 4-D experience was a good one, there were lot of 4 dimensional experience such as smell (?) and feeling of water etc. Also went to Riverwalk, Sea World and Alamo.

Travel to and from US, was tiresome and mostly boring. Could not do anything other than sleep and watch movies. Well.. I made most of movie watching time - Casino Royale, Holiday, Music and Lyrics were few of them.

Well now back to Bangalore.. the sweet home :-)

I like rain. Rain, is what I enjoy the best among the gifts of nature. So when it rained last week (first few rains of the season in Bangalore) I was very happy. That rain brought some relief to lonely times without my "better-half" (as she is on travel). Although the first rain was bringing the dust and dirt of bangalore skies down on my light colored shirt, I was still feeling the touch of nature, the soothing, caring touch... pouring down as some sort of blessing. People driving along must have thought - what a crazy man smiling (the kind of 70mm smile, if you know what it means ;-) ) driving in rain...Well I like driving in rain..I still remember on the day of my marriage, I had started out for my  temple visit on the scooter (before starting to the marriage venue) and rain started pouring.. that was really golden, that moment when you feel nature is giving you what you want on one of the most important days of your life..the amazing thing was that the rain lasted on for a few minutes, just felt so much like it came for me. Watching the rain drops falling I can spend a long time... thinking of how beautiful it is, just like the song of birds, the rising sun, .... just like all other gifts of nature..its so beautiful.
I was trying to use the latest octave - 2.9.9. Most of the commands from the the older version of octave does not work with this. I finally had to use __gnuplot_raw__  to get the desired effect. Also remember that the default print.m from octave uses png image with "large" size which leads to weird graphs. Use the "small" specification for png images.

New to octave ?
For folks who are new to octave: Octave can be used to create graphs very quickly,  in addition to other numerical computations you can do with it. It uses the gnuplot package under its skin and hence we can give raw gnuplot commands, which is what I did by using the __gnuplot_raw__. Look into the following link for more details on the package: http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/.

A very handy tool for any researcher who wants to get quick plots out of data.
After a long time, took time to upgrade one of my systems to Fedora Core 6.  I did the xen based installation, which now comes by default with FC6. One problem which I faced was that the system would hang, with monitor going to off mode, while booting. A bit of google and found the reason - seems like some bug with xorg was causing the monitor to go to a weird state. I updated the xorg* packages using yum and every thing was back to normal.

I have been searching for an easy way to migrate my kmail mails to thunderbird. Have been using thunderbird for imap based stuff a lot, but not in daily use. Now I  have decided to use thunderbird by default because of the search speed it gives. The FAQ at thunderbird site did say about converting maildir (format which kmail by default stores the mails) to mbox (which thunderbird stores mails) using the kmail application. But now after the new install, there is no more kmail on the system...oops.. now what.. Well more googlies.. and I figured out that maildir2mbox tool which apparently comes with qmail can be used. But then I was looking for an out-of-the-box solution. Finally came across this link: http://www.systemsaligned.com/content/view/18/19/. The site offers a script built over the maildir2mbox binary. The good part is it also provides that binary for download. I did some experiments with my TO-CC filtered folder and it seems to be working pretty nicely. So lets see.. in the coming days I will do kmail to thunderbird migration of more folders.
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