About shieldofachilles

I am currently pursuing a Bachelors in Computer Engineering. I am passionate about Robotics, especially Artificial Intelligence. This, combined with the fact that I am a programmer, has made me look towards research in AI as my future career goal. I love football and I am a fan of the EPL team Arsenal. I enjoy listening to Heavy Metal and Rock music. I like reading fiction and playing computer games, among other things.

Change in my blog URL

I will no longer be posting to this WordPress blog. My new blog is at http://shieldofachilles.in .


Ubuntu 13.04 Release Party Mumbai

Come celebrate the release on the new and most-awesome-version-yet of Ubuntu on Saturday, 27th April 2013 at Elphinstone Building, Fort, Mumbai.

Ubuntu 13.04 installation images and wi-fi access will be available. For the brave at heart, bring your Android devices and get Ubuntu Touch flashed to them! For a list of compatible devices, check this: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Devices .

Date: 27-04-2013
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Starbucks Coffee, 10, Elphinstone Building, Horniman Circle, Veer Nariman Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India – 400001

For registration, check this page: http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/indian-team/2338-ubuntu-1304-release-party-mumbai/ .

Ubuntu Global Jam Mumbai Raring Cycle – Report

I conducted the first Ubuntu Global Jam Mumbai of this year (and the third so far) on Saturday 2nd March and Sunday 3rd March.

Activities completed:

Upgrade Jam: Jitendra Maharshi upgraded his laptop from Ubuntu 12.10 to Ubuntu Raring Ringtail. It was a breeze. We even stopped the upgrade mid-way and re-started it. It did not cause any problem and started where it left off. He filed a Ubuntu Testing report for it as well.

Installation Jam:

  • Installed Ubuntu Raring Ringtail on 1 laptop and 1 pen-drive (yes, installed on the pen-drive instead of the hard-disk). Jitendra Maharshi successfully installed Ubuntu Raring Ringtail on his laptop and filed the corresponding Ubuntu Testing report. The pen-drive installation for Neelesh Jain needed some extra work as the laptop had an ATI Radeon graphics card and an in-build Intel graphics card (the one that comes with the i-series processors). I was able to get Ubuntu running on the laptop / pen-drive (by switching off Kernel Mode Setting) by using the in-built Intel graphics card. However, I did not get enough time to trouble-shoot the reason for the ATI card not being used. Maybe, it needs the proprietary drivers.
  • Another laptop (Purvesh Shah‘s) had an original Windows installation in a RAID setup. So, there was no way to install on this machine without losing the original Windows installation (Linux cannot understand the RAID as the drivers are Windows-only). This was a failure.
  • A 2010 MacBook Pro owned by Neelesh Jain: I tried various ways but I could not get the MacBook to boot into the Ubuntu-bootable pen-drive. I also did not have any DVDs handy. So, again, this was a failure.
  • Last but not the least: I installed Ubuntu Touch on my Nexus 7 and it really felt awesome. I showed it off to all those who came, explaining how the Edge Magic works, informing them about Side-Stage (sadly, it does not work on the Nexus 7 as yet because landscape mode is not available) and more importantly, educating them about the Your-Content-Gets-Fullscreen philosophy!

Some people from my work place could not attend the event or I did not get enough time to show them Ubuntu Touch. Well, no problem. I took my Nexus 7 to work the next day and showed it off to everyone. They were all amazed!

All in all, a fun Global Jam. Until next time; see you Mumbai!

Ubuntu Global Jam, Mumbai – Report

Mumbai had its second Ubuntu Global Jam this year at Vidyalankar Institute of Technology on 9th September, 2012. The event started of with a presentation on FOSS and the benefits of using it, by Suraj and Ankur from the Vidyalankar FOSS Team! Yes, VIT now has a FOSS Team; awesome!

Introduction to FOSS

Presentation on Introduction to FOSS by Suraj and Ankur.

Next up, Siji Sunny from the Mumbai LUG gave a presentation on the ARM port of Ubuntu. He talked about the history of the Ubuntu port and shared some tips and tricks on cross-compiling code.

Introduction to Ubuntu for ARM

Presentation on the Ubuntu port for ARM architecture processors by Siji Sunny.

Everyone then moved to the W block classroom, which has a TV with a HDMI input port. Siji connected his Pandaboard ES and showcased Ubuntu 12.04. Sadly, Ubuntu Quantal did not work properly on his pandaboard, so he was unable to show the new beta version.

Ubuntu running on a Pandaboard ES

Showcase of Ubuntu 12.04 running on a Pandaboard ES.

Then, everyone moved to Lab 5 to take part in the Installation Jam. I showed everyone how to install Ubuntu Quantal. I told everyone about the nomodeset option, how to partition your hard-disk, especially if you are setting up a dual-boot system. I also showed how to install Ubuntu on a flash-drive.

Ubuntu Installation Instructions

Presentation on how to install Ubuntu, including mention of nomodeset and a tour of advanced partitioning, by Rigved.

After my excellent presentation, everyone felt confident installing Ubuntu Quantal on their laptops and flash-drives!

Ubuntu Installation Jam

Ubuntu Quantal Installation Jam.

A few people asked me queries related to network card problems. Probably, the problem is due to missing drivers for the network cards. Without information on the model of the network card, it is difficult to diagnose such problems. The solution is manual installation of the drivers.

Hopefully, for the next Jam, we will have a Bug-fixing session as well. *fingers crossed*

Project 1: XBMC running on Raspbian

I have been very busy over the last two weeks. But, during this time, I did find some time to do test runs of the Debian 6 image on my Raspberry Pi.

Almost everything worked out-of-the-box. I needed to manually enable the sound drivers (they are experimental, so disabled by default). As for the Linux drivers which I got in the CD with my USB wi-fi dongle, there was one problem. The drivers were for kernel version 3.1.9. The kernel version of the Debian 6 image is 2.6. I did not perform an internet search, as I already had a LAN cable; so, I thought that I would handle this later, probably by using the Debian Wheezy image for the Raspberry Pi (which comes with kernel version 3.1.9)!

This weekend, I wanted to tackle my first project with my Raspi. I thought that I would setup Debian Wheezy + XBMC on one SD card. This is when I heard about the Raspbian project. So, I setup XBMC on Raspbian using this method. It took about 12 hours to compile XBMC on my raspi, something which others have also confirmed on the forums.

I found a script on the Raspi forums to install the Debian Wheezy drivers for the exact model of my USB wi-fi dongle. Then, I streamed two Game of Thrones Season 2 episodes (1080p) over the LAN. There were no problems in the video playback. Sound is also very good.

So, all-in-all, a very productive weekend. Project One: Media Center is complete. Now, next weekend, I will be tackling a more difficult project (running basic ROS libraries on the Raspberry Pi)…

It’s finally here – Unboxing

Today, a surprise package was delivered to my place. I was not expecting it until the first week of August, at the very least.

Element14 delivery box

There can by no mistaking the contents of the box for two reasons. Firstly, I know of Element14 as one of the two distributors. Secondly, the box came from Kits n Spares, where I had bought an electronic item in March. So, obviously, this box contained that electronic item.

So, I excitedly opened the box…

Contents of the box from Kits n Spares
In the Picture above – In anti-clockwise order (starting from the bottom): Wireless keyboard and mouse, USB Male to Female wire, USB Wireless dongle, USB 1-to-4 connector, Raspberry Pi

So, after almost three months of waiting, my Raspberry Pi is finally here!

Jumping straight to the Raspberry Pi box…

My Raspberry Pi

Thank you Rapberry Pi Foundation, Element14 and Kits n Spares for delivering my RasPi early.

I was hoping that my RasPi would have a SD card with Debian Squeeze pre-installed. But, there was no SD card in the Raspberry Pi box. No problem. I was anyways going to buy a couple of SD cards (one for an entertainment system – XBMC, one for my robotics projects hopefully using ROS and a third one for a secret project). Also, I could not find a decent HDMI cable on the Kits n Spares website. So, need to buy that too. Oh, and I also need a power adapter to connect to my RasPi via the USB cable.

Then, I can finally boot it up…

So, loads of stuff to do tomorrow!