24 March 2005

Wierd webserver stats!

Of the last few months I have been running the webserver on my machine, the stats have been more or less acceptable. Either they jumped because of my own testing or something I put there. But today I noticed that browser stats for the webserver are totally gone crazy and I don't know how to explain the behaviour!

Dec 2004Jan 2005Feb 20051-24 Mar 2005
Internet Explorer6.5%8.6%12%13%

Notice the jump in the hits by users using a Netscape client in the month of March2005! That is phenomenal. Although there was jump in Jan2005 for Mozilla too, but that was due to something I was testing and forgot to turn off logging my own hits :(.

The only plausible reason that I can think of for the Netscape browser hits surge is Netscape 8.0Beta. Such a huge increase in the number of hits would be most probably due to old Netscape users upgrading to the latest offering. I can't figure out anything else which can explain the behaviour. Can anyone suggest some?

Whatever be the reason, the ultimate result is that there are more number of users using Mozilla based browsers than 4months ago. And that number is rising pretty fast.

PS: All the stuff on my webserver is related to Mozilla development or Firefox Intro, hence number of IE hits are so low.

19 March 2005

Debian GNU/Linux and Webcams

I had heard bad experiences about getting USB webcams to work on Linux. However, my own experience wasn't that bad. I had recently got an old machine from a friend who was going to throwing it away. It had a lot of paraphernalia along with it, e.g. microphone, a 1-to-4 USB hub, wireless keyboard and mouse (sans the reciever!), and a cheap USB camera.

The machine my friend game me is now happily running Debian Sarge. And while going through the other things before throwing them away, I noticed the webcam. Out of curiosity I sat down last night to see if I could make it work or not. After about a couple of hours of searching/reading on how to make USB webcams work on Linux I started compiling the qc-usb-source package which would give me the module for the logitech webcam, installed xawtv and loaded up the videodev module. And after a little bit of additional chnages, I was running the webcam on my Debian Sid box.

The most helpful web pages in making the webcam work in Linux were:

In the first link, the author advises to chown the qc-usb-source directory. I instead added myself to the src group and did the compilation of the module.

The first link is more helpful for Debian users like me. After getting the webcam working on my Sid box (tested with xawtv), I installed the packages webcam. The webcam packages allows one to take pictures every n seconds and send them to a pre-defined directory of your webserver which can be either local or remote (via FTP).

Once again, I can say: Linux Rocks!TM

18 March 2005

A "Bugs" Life

Bugs are a part and parcel of software development. They are there for us to remind that we need to improve the software all the time. Theoretically, critical and security bugs should be taken care of as soon as possible. Other bugs e.g. normal and feature requests are resolved as the developers get round finding time for them. But there are some bugs which live for a long long time. By long I mean really long! Check out the brief details of the top three (age wise) bugs for the Debian GNU/Linux system on this page. The oldest one is going to be 10 in a few days!

I wonder if there are bugs older than those!!

7 March 2005

Gmail's ongoing improvement

I just noticed that Gmail reverts to basic HTML for older browsers rather than the normal heavy JS stuff. This makes a few of the features unavailable, but could be really helpful at times. Users can also use Picasa to send images directly to friends. The next big feature I'm waiting for is IMAP access. That would allow me to use a client or web seemlessly without having to remember if an email is already read or not (POP).


I finally LANDED!!

Cell Phone rates!

Today, I talked to a friend of mine after a long long time. Actually, it was after 2years and 2months. I asked him questions about other batchmates and he refreshed my information about all the ones he had been in contact with.

Then he gave me his cellphone number and asked for mine. In this world of ever enhancing technology, I still do not own a cell phone. I told him that it was too expensive for me. He said that his cellphone plan is such that if he just wants to stay connected and receive calls he would be only charged Rs. 54 (i.e. about CAD 1.54 or US$1.28) for a month. And all SMS, sending and receiving, is FREE. He can send SMS to anywhere in the world for free.

I'm sure if someone does a survey about cell phone plans and their costs, the cheapest ones would be the ones in India.

PS: I do not own a cell phone but this is for another friend :
Fido Sucks!

3 March 2005

Query about religion

Last weekend, I was visiting my relatives and a close friend. It was a lot of fun and good eating except for one occurence.I was amazed by the architecture of St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica and was just attracted by it to go inside. There were beautiful stained glass windows and looked perfect with the Sun shinning outside. There was also a place near the entrance which had pictures of all the Pope's since 33A.D. right to Pope John Paul II!

I stayed there for about half an hour amazed by the artwork and the design of the building. The feeling inside the basilica was the same that one gets when one is sitting in a Gurdwara. It was really peaceful and calm inside.

On my way out, a person stopped me and asked me if I got good pictures. He is also asked me about my religion and about any conditions necessary to go and visit "your Gurdwara"(thats not correct, but we can give him the the benefit of ignorance!). I said all that was needed was to cover your head and take off your shoes. Then he said that to enter a Catholic church it was mandatory for the males to take off their "caps". And as I was a visitor and didn't know about that fact (I was wearing my turban as always), I apologized and thanked him for the information, but doubts still remained.

Does Catholicism not distinguish between a cap/hat and a Sikh wearing a turban? It seemed odd that nobody had said anything to us when me and my friends go to St. Josephs's Oratory where other officials were present everytime we went there (the person at St. Peter's was an usher).