Use appropriate words

People always say a computer generated document a “Word” file! For a spread sheet file, they say “Excel” file. For a presentation / slide show file most people say just “ppt”. Wonder why people say like this. Even if I prepare a text document with Libre Office Writer, they still call it “word” file. Whats more, even if it is a plain text file, they say “notepad” file.

Even if a file is generated with Microsoft Office, try to call the file as “Text Document” or “Spreadsheet file” or “Slideshow / presentation” file. Microsoft Office is just one among so many other office suits.

Communism and Free Software

I observe there are several things in common in Communism and Free Software Philosophy. Truly there are. Though Free Software Foundation has no political views regarding this, I think the underlying philosophy of the Free Software is similar to Communism. There are lots of variant communist ideologies. Among these variants, anarcho-communism is the most similar to Free Software community.

What is anarcho-communism?

According to wikipedia, communism is,

a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.
Anarcho-communism / free communism / libertarian communism is a theory of anarchism which advocates the abolition of the state, capitalism and private property (while retaining respect for personal property), and in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers’ councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.

There is no private property in Anarcho-Communism. In other words, the whole property is yours. The whole property is ours. The whole property is everyone’s. If there is no private property, the entire community can enjoy the whole property. There will be no class, there is no scope for supremacy. Ideal. Great.

What is Free Software?

According to fsf.org, Free Software is,

software that gives you the user the freedom to share, study and modify it. We call this free software because the user is free. To use free software is to make a political and ethical choice asserting the right to learn, and share what we learn with others.  Free software has become the foundation of a learning society where we share our knowledge in a way that others can build upon and enjoy.

According to wikipedia, Free / libre Software is,

software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients have the same rights under which it was obtained and that manufacturers of consumer products incorporating free software provide the software as source code.

The clever hack made by Free Software License

There is no Anarcho-Communist societies ever lived in the world. Why? Because a society cannot be survived if there is no restrictions. What restrictions? Some restrictions to restrict the freedom-restriction actions from others. Those who violate others freedom must be gone out from the community. But this is practically hard to execute. But Free Software Licenses made a clever hack on this. Such Free Licenses like GPL hold full copyright and give permission to study / share / modify / redistribute the software under one condition – if you redistribute it you have to give all these permissions and unless or otherwise it will be treated as copyright violation. This part is the glorious part of Free Licenses like GPL and Creative Commons.

Proprietary software Vs. Free Software

While proprietary software hides the code, Free Software community reveals it, and give permission to use the code for their personal / commercial uses. Programmers write / modify the code, the community benefits from it. Proprietary software is designed as a capitalistic world and Free Software is designed as a communist world.

Tyranny should be abolished; freedom to be glorified.

Imagination: A fine photoslideshow software

Since I got my first digital camera in 2002, I was hunting for a photo slideshow software in my Debian machine. I searched apt / google / lots of search engines / asked geeks. From nowhere I got a perfect solution. So I abandoned searching and continued using the old windows moviemaker (at my office) whenever I was in emergency. One week ago, a boy from neighbourhood asked me to make his photos to video and burn it in dvd format. I agreed to help him. I searched for “photo slideshow” in apt-cache search. And I got imagination.

Imagination is wonderful. It has all the transition effects according to the The SMIL 3.0 Transition Effects Module. The output can be saved as .vob or .ogg files. There is also another good slideshow software is bombono which is also very good.

Story of an elementary school teacher who accidentally found FOSS solution is good

Happened to read an article about an elementary school teacher set up a computer lab with FOSS software running on it. He was accidentally found that GNU/Linux operating system and applications are effective for education. Though he is not aware about the philosophical aspect of Free Software, it is a great attempt to make it real.
Mr. Robert Litt was a teacher at ASCEND, a small arts K-8 school in the Alameda County School in US. His school does not have a computer lab, nor it has sufficient fund to make one. But Mr. Robert made a computer lab with his limited knowledge in zero cost. He collected some old computers from his acquaintances and installed Ubuntu on it with the support of local LUG. The core content of the article is a wonderful story of an elementary school teacher who accidentally found FOSS solution is good for schools and it is also good to run on old/obsolete hardware.

How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free

In a sunny Bay Area classroom, twenty sixth graders are working at computers. They are making websites—”MySpace” pages for figures from American History. One student is researching Frederick Douglass’s five greatest accomplishments. Another is showing a classmate how to search for pictures of Susan B. Anthony. They’re all learning how to use Google Sites, helping each other along the way. Earlier this week, this class learned how to add numbers in a spreadsheet. Last week, they learned how to make music on a simple synthesizer. People often assume that getting technology into classrooms is expensive, but this lab cost absolutely nothing.

The article goes on.
Read more.

Cost Vs. Freedom

Mr. Robert wants to spread his achievement as a zero cost solution, he does not focus about the freedom inside it. He does not aware about the “sharing” philosophy that GNU puts forward. He only wants to project its cost-effectiveness and workability. However this man made it real, a full-fledged computer lab with Free Software running on it. I wish all success to him on his way ahead. Let him learn more about GNU/Linux technically as well as philosophically. As he digested its cost-effectiveness and workability, let him know about the core value – FREEDOM. Mr. Robert Litt, be a great evangelist of Freedom and Free Software, our sincere wishes will always be with you.
The article has already gone viral. It is spreading through social media and emails. Even RMS commented on the original article.
PS: Kerala, a state in India, adopted GNU/Linux several years ago for its education system. The GNU/Linux distro made by Kerala Education Dept. is called IT@School.

Edge speed table

All About Edge/Gprs multislot classes

When buying a phone with GPRS/EDGE modem, you have to have a clear idea on the GPRS/EDGE multi classes. There are 17 classes in GPRS/EDGE system. If your requirement is basic you can go with GPRS/EDGE Class 10. If you need something to do with content uploads, class 10 will not sufficient, you need either Class 12/11/32/33 or 34. Ideally for uploads Class 12 is the cost effective option. You will get a clear picture on which model to choose on the basis of the tables below.  Most of the websites explain the speed of GPRS / EDGE in Time Slots. One Time Slot is equal to 59.2 Kilo Bits. Based on this calculation there are 3 tables.

  1. Timeslot table
  2. Kilobits table
  3. Kilobytes table

GPRS/EDGE Timeslot table

Multislot Class Downlink TS Uplink TS Active TS
1 1 1 2
2 2 1 3
3 2 2 3
4 3 1 4
5 2 2 4
6 3 2 4
7 3 3 4
8 4 1 5
9 3 2 5
10 4 2 5
11 4 3 5
12 4 4 5
30 5 1 6
31 5 2 6
32 5 3 6
33 5 4 6
34 5 5 6

GPRS/EDGE Kilobits table

Bandwidth is measured in Kilobits always. Eight bits are one byte. So if your ISP offer you a 1 MBPs speed, it means that you will get a download rate in 1024 divided by 8, which is 128 KiloBytes.

Multislot Class Downlink/Kbits Uplink/Kbits Active/Kbits
1 59.2 59.2 118.4
2 118.4 59.2 177.6
3 118.4 118.4 177.6
4 177.6 59.2 236.8
5 118.4 118.4 236.8
6 177.6 118.4 236.8
7 177.6 177.6 236.8
8 236.8 59.2 296
9 177.6 118.4 296
10 236.8 118.4 296
11 236.8 177.6 296
12 236.8 236.8 296
30 296 59.2 355.2
31 296 118.4 355.2
32 296 177.6 355.2
33 296 236.8 355.2
34 296 296 355.2

EDGE/GPRS Kilobytes table

If you download something over internet, your browser (such as Firefox / Chrome / internet explorer etc. ) will show the file transfer rate in Kilobytes.

Multislot Class Downlink KBytes Uplink Kbytes Active Kbytes
1 7.4 7.4 14.8
2 14.8 7.4 22.2
3 14.8 14.8 22.2
4 22.2 7.4 29.6
5 14.8 14.8 29.6
6 22.2 14.8 29.6
7 22.2 22.2 29.6
8 29.6 7.4 37
9 22.2 14.8 37
10 29.6 14.8 37
11 29.6 22.2 37
12 29.6 29.6 37
30 37 7.4 44.4
31 37 14.8 44.4
32 37 22.2 44.4
33 37 29.6 44.4
34 37 37 44.4