Linux Hosts That Use the evdev Driver for Keyboards Do Not Map Keys Correctly in Any Guest in VMware

Some of the newest Linux distributions use Xorg 1.4, and the new evdev driver manages all devices, including keyboards. The evdev driver causes the keyboard to send different key codes. For example, the down arrow is key code 116, which other drivers understand to be Win+R. Consequently, keyboard mapping problems occur in all guest operating systems.

Solution - http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=1007439&sliceId=1

close ssh session

How does one close an ssh session, which has been disconnected from server ?
use the keycombo "~." , without quotes. For more info, do check man pages.

$ man ssh


I was happily working on my system, trying to access my test box remotely. And then, there was darkness, or as most people would call it as power failure. Yes, I do not have a UPS as yet ( under repair ) and i ended up with a "hung" ssh session.

Barclaycard Waterslide spoof from specsavers !

Barclaycard Waterslide

and a spoof from unruly media and Specsaver

Yes, it's time for me to wear a specs.

recover partition table

oh no ! you deleted/overwrote/spilled coffee on your partition table ! what next ???
for everything (almost, but coffee) you can check out testdisk, part of Fedora, and follow the instruction on screen,


One fine day, the birds were singing outside, a bright sunny day, and then I had install fedora on my a test box, on which I incidentally had installed a old hdd with lots of old pictures from my school/college days. And so, the saga began.

Working across three systems ( EeePC, my office laptop, and test box ), and was happily strolling along , clicking on next during install. And then, horror struck, as I realised I had clicked "Remove all partition ..." , and in an instant my hands were on Ctrl+Alt+BckSpc. Little did I know, the partition table was blow clean, and written with a new one. All I could do was reconcile in the fact that the disk was not formatted, and no new data was written.

Here begins my search for the magic to recover my disks partition table. I looked up gpart, which looked good, and downloaded the source. Alas, gpart failed to build, with trivial errors. Working through them one by one, I ended with "yum search ntfs", and on the last line I saw testdisk.

And I saw light, for i was saved, and testdisk unfolded it's magic and saved my data from being lost for eternity.


sleep my baby, close those dreamy eyes

Jake is tugging his baby Mille into bed, and she wants to listen to a story

looong ago in a kingdom far away
lived a king, who had everything but a smile

why didnt he have a smile ?

he had nothing to yearn for


for he had everything

but love
right right

he is looking for something
he just does not know what
he walks across his kingdom
listening to his citizens
their worries, desire
to help his city grow


one sunny day, around noon
you could see the sun shining up above the sky
he sees a sage, sitting under the shadow of a neem tree

what does the sage say ?

the kings sits, waiting for the sage to open his eyes.
and slowly the sun, moves across the sky
from a full noon, to a pleasant evening
the sage opens his eyes, and sees the king in front of him


the sage sees the king
all dressed in his royal robes , sitting on a flat patch on earth
the sage smiles, as he is pleasantly surprised by the humbleness of his king

why ?
why is he humble ?
cause he is around the common folk ?

for he sit on earth, with his fellow mates

Oooo ! yes, what a humble king.
then what happened ?

sage can see through the king's heart, and sees a heart yearning


the kings has everything, but one to share it with, so says the king
for their is no one has humble as him, and no one around him who desires love over wealth
and can share the responsibility to run his kingdom

is there no one as humble as the king ?

the sage informs the kings, he needs to ride south
down the ravine, to the black river, for if he seeks his heart to be complete
and thus of his subjects.
the king is amazed

why so ?

for the sage sees the unseen

Jake sees Mille sleeping, and sings her a lullaby

sleep my baby, close those dreamy eyes
angels up above, you looking at the skies
go to sleep my baby, close your pretty eyes
sandman is coming , to say goodnight

Jake kisses her, gives her a hug and tucks her in.
Lights fade out, and Jake walks out of Mille's room.


Lawyers...You gotta love 'em.

A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper has cheated him out of ten million bucks. His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not hear anything that he might have to testify about in court. When the Godfather goes to confront the bookkeeper about his missing $10 million, he brings along his attorney, who knows sign language.

The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the 10 million bucks he embezzled from me is."

The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the money is.

The bookkeeper signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."

The attorney tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it the bookkeeper's temple and says, "Ask him again!"

The attorney signs to the bookkeeper, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him!"

The bookkeeper signs back, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzo's backyard in Queens!"

The Godfather asks the attorney, "Well, what'd he say?"

The attorney replies, "He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger."

Lawyers...You gotta love 'em.


Am I a Hindu ?

Am I a Hindu?

Four years ago, I was flying from JFK NY Airport to SFO to attend a
meeting at Monterey, CA.
An American girl was sitting on the right side, near window seat.
It indeed was a long journey - it would take nearly seven hours!

I was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible - unusual of
young Americans! (Later I came to know that September 11 has changed
mind-set of lot of US citizens. They suddenly turned religious, it
After some time she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk. I told
her that I am from India.

Then suddenly the girl asked: 'What's your faith?'
'What?' I didn't understand the question.
'I mean, what's your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?'
'No!' I replied, 'I am neither Christian nor Muslim'.
Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that.
'Then who are you...?'
'I am a Hindu', I said.
She looked at me as if she is seeing a caged animal.
She could not understand what I was talking about.

A common man in Europeor US know about Christianity and Islam, as they
are the leading religions of the world today.

But a Hindu, what?
I explained to her - I am born to a Hindu father and Hindu mother.
Therefore, I am a Hindu by birth.

'Who is your prophet?' she asked.
'We don't have a prophet,' I replied.
'What's your Holy Book?'
'We don't have a single Holy Book, but we have hundreds and thousands
of philosophical and sacred scriptures,' I replied.
'Oh, come on...at least tell me who is your God?'
'What do you mean by that?'

'Like we have Yahweh and Muslims have Allah - don't you have a God?'
I thought for a moment. Muslims and Christians believe one God (Male
God) who created the world and takes an interest in the humans who
inhabit it. Her mind is conditioned with that kind of belief.

According to her (or anybody who doesn't know about Hinduism), a
religion need to have one Prophet, one Holy book and one God. The mind
is so conditioned and rigidly narrowed down to such a notion that
anything else is not acceptable. I understood her perception and
concept about faith. You can't compare Hinduism with any of the
present leading religions where you have to believe in one concept of

I tried to explain to her: 'You can believe in one god and he can be a
Hindu. You may believe in multiple deities and still you can be a
Hindu. What's more - you may not believe in god at all, still you can
be a Hindu. An atheist can also be a Hindu.'
This sounded very crazy to her.

She couldn't imagine a religion so unorganized, still surviving for
thousands of years, even after onslaught from foreign forces.

'I don't understand.. .but it seems very interesting. Are you
What can I tell to this American girl?

I said: 'I do not go to temple regularly. I do not make any regular
rituals. I have learned some of the rituals in my younger days. I
still enjoy doing it sometimes.'
'Enjoy? Are you not afraid of God?'

'God is a friend. No- I am not afraid of God. Nobody has made any
compulsions on me to perform these rituals regularly.'

She thought for a while and then asked: 'Have you ever thought of
converting to any other religion?'

'Why should I? Even if I challenge some of the rituals and faith in
Hinduism, nobody can convert me from Hinduism. Because, being a Hindu
allows me to think independently and objectively, without
conditioning. .. I remain as a Hindu never by force, but choice.' I
told her that Hinduism is not a religion, but a set of beliefs and
practices. It is not a religion like Christianity or Islam because it
is not founded by any one person or does not have an organized
controlling body like the Church or the Order, I added. There is no
institution or authority.
'So, you don't believe in God?' she wanted everything in black and

'I didn't say that. I do not discard the divine reality. Our
scripture, or Sruthis or Smrithis - Vedas and Upanishads or the Gita -
say God might be there or he might not be there. But we pray to that
supreme abstract authority (Para Brahma) that is the creator of this

'Why can't you believe in one personal God?'

'We have a concept - abstract - not a personal god. The concept or
notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling
us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as messengers,
demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make sense. I don't
think that God is as silly as an autocratic emperor who wants others
to respect him or fear him.' I told her that such notions are just
fancies of less educated human imagination and fallacies, adding that
generally ethnic religious practitioners in Hinduism believe in
personal gods. The entry level Hinduism has over-whelming
superstitions too. The philosophical side of Hinduism negates all

'Good that you agree God might exist. You told that you pray. What is
your prayer then?'
'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. OmShanti, Shanti, Shanti,'
'Funny,' she laughed, 'What does it mean?'

'May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. OmPeace, Peace,
'Hmm...very interesting. I want to learn more about this religion. It
is so democratic, broad-minded and free...' she exclaimed.

'The fact is Hinduism is a religion of the individual, for the
individual and by the individual with its roots in the Vedas and the
Bhagavad-Gita. It is all about an individual approaching a personal
God in an individual way according to his temperament and inner
evolution - it is as simple as that.'

'How does anybody convert to Hinduism?'

'Nobody can convert you to Hinduism, because it is not a religion, but
a set of beliefs and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism
because there is no single authority or organization either to accept
it or to reject it or to oppose it on behalf of Hinduism.'
I told her - if you look for meaning in life, don't look for it in
religions; don't go from one cult to another or from one guru to the

For a real seeker, I told her, Bible itself gives guidelines when it
says 'Kingdomof Godis within you.' I reminded her of Christ's teaching
about the love that we have for each other. That is where you can find
the meaning of life.

Loving each and every creation of the God is absolute and real.
'Isavasyam idam sarvam' Isam (the God) is present (inhabits) here
everywhere - nothing exists separate from the God, because God is
present everywhere. Respect every living being and non-living things
as God. That's what Hinduism teaches you.

Hinduism is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. It is
based on the practice of Dharma, the code of life. The most important
aspect of Hinduism is being truthful to oneself. Hinduism has no
monopoly on ideas. It is open to all. Hindus believe in one God (not a
personal one) expressed in different forms. For them, God is timeless
and formless entity.
Ancestors of today's Hindus believe in eternal truths and cosmic laws
and these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them. But there is a
section of Hindus who are either superstitious or turned fanatic to
make this an organized religion like others. The British coin the word
'Hindu' and considered it as a religion.

I said: 'Religions have become an MLM (multi-level- marketing)
industry that has been trying to expand the market share by
conversion. The biggest business in today's world is Spirituality.
Hinduism is no exception... '

I am a Hindu because it doesn't condition my mind with any faith

-- Internet



I wait by for you
Looking through the day, anew.
Hoping you would drop by
to say a hi.
Ending my day with a smile
while i work for my dream, meanwhile.

-- ritz


you charge me up
you bring me down
where would i be
without your sound

-- ritz


asking all the day why
for all we look for one
hoping her to be my sun
shining through my mind
giving my heart, the needed wind

-- ritz

Romeo and Juilet

build me a Mountain
says the fair maiden, besides the fountain
and all Romeo can say
i can promise you me, through the way
of life
as my wife.

-- ritz


Life , i shy away from
for love is my companion
with me, when i am alone
with me, when i sleep
with me, when i live
with me, until death
tear my life apart from me.

-- ritz

What after death

neither hell, nor heaven
for there is none
God was never there
nor there shall be one.

-- ritz



i am out to dream
of a world i would live in
with no tears, a world
where all are one
with thoughts of peace
and of friends

-- ritz



think of butterflies in sky
roaming high
flying away into the night
to emerge in day, as we lie
dreaming of a flight
of freedom above, and love besides

-- ritz


key-mapping on RHEL5

multimedia keys[1] do not work on RHEL5, which was missing keymap quirk[2] patch done by rhughes. backporting was fun, while it lasted, now my life feel hollower than ever.

[1] http://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=45032
[2] http://people.freedesktop.org/~hughsient/quirk/quirk-keymap-index.html


Evolution account editor accepts white space in host name as valid

Evolution will accept whitespace in hostname, and when one checks for email - failure ! and a rather tricky one to spot.

This has been fixed now, thanks for input from Alan Matsuoka.

reference : gnome bug 533465 – Evolution account editor accepts white space in host name as valid


xchat-gnome : sound notification

Upon quiting totem i heard a ping. This is from xchat-gnome ( from sound-notification plugin ). Seems that gnome_sound_play is being used to play the sound, which defaults to esd backend !!!

gnome_sound_play ("../../data/message.wav");

ESD has been superceeded by pulseaudio in most major distribution. I would prefer if we moved to a gstreamer based backend. I did end up re-writting the code to use gstreamer. The ping still did not work when i was playing music via totem.

Digging this further up, it turns out GStreamer support multiple profile for "audiosinks" and gstreamer-properties can only configure the default "audiosink". Grrrrr ! Ended up configuring all "audiosink" to "pulseaudio".

Abra ca daba ! magic with gstreamer. Ping now works as expected and on time.

reference bug : gnome bug #401829 – gstreamer-properties change all types of sinks (musicaudiosink) when changing audiosink

xchat-gnome : unchecking "Mark as away" does not work

Ticking away worked like a charm on xchat-gnome, but unticking does not do any magic.

This Turns out to be a bug fixed upstream ( gnome #462031 ). "grepping" the code reveals a rather trivial fix, and on further lookup a part of Fedora9 build. I ended up filing a bug-report ( fedora #430883 ).

A package was released with the stated fix, which crashes xchat-gnome when one tries to set/unset away.

$ xchat-gnome
(xchat-gnome:9519): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: invalid uninstantiatable type
`(null)' in cast to `GtkToggleButton'
(xchat-gnome:9519): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_toggle_button_get_active: assertion `GTK_IS_TOGGLE_BUTTON (toggle_button)' failed

On lookup, turn out to be issue with variable naming. Baaad mojo.
gboolean away = gtk_toggle_button_get_active (GTK_TOGGLE_BUTTON(away));
Went head, cleaned up the patch and submitted the same. Now, i live in Peace.


GitLab runner on Windows with bash shell on windows contianer on Docker

As part of your pipeline, you may need to perform browser testing across different platforms/environments. To minimize testing time, it'...