Archive for the ‘Free Software’ Category

I am not explaining the way to download youtube videos.

  1. Install ffmpeg package if not installed yet. Fire up a terminal and issue this command to install ffmpeg
  2. sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

  3. Steer to the folder where you have downloaded the youtube video (the .flv file) and issue the following command (match the command parameter colors with output chara)
  4. ffmpeg -title Some_Title -i Input_video_file_name.flv -acodec vorbis -ac 2 -ab 512000 -vn -y output_audio.ogg
    ==> This will give a 2-channel ogg-vorbis file with 512 kBps bitrate (most recommended)

    ffmpeg -title Some_Title -i Input_video_file_name.flv -acodec libmp3lame -ac 2 -ab 512000 -vn -y output_audio.mp3
    ==> This will give a 2-channel MP3 file with 512 kBps bitrate (least recommended)

I personally prefer OGG over MP3. Quality-to-size ratio is pretty high for OGG-VORBIS as compared to MP3. Try it out yourself.

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Q0. Why the fuss?

A free software activist and former student at CUSAT, Anivar Aravind was manhandled today (16/11/2008) by the “National free software conference organizers” @ CUSAT with assistance from the states police forces (UPDATE from Anivar: State Police force wasn’t used), for his peaceful protest against the “Novell Sponsorship”. The free software conference is backed by CPI(M), the ruling left party in Kerala.

Read an FIR on the incident here , here and here.

Q1. What is a free software?

According to GNU, “FREE SOFTWARES” are those softwares which gives its user the following freedoms (Read More).

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Q2. What is the problem with NOVELL?

Novell doesn’t respect the free software philosophy and works against the interest of the community. In short we are against Novell because of the following.

  1. Novell helps Microsoft more than it helps GNU/Linux.
  2. Novell still insults competing GNU/Linux distributions and Sun’s Openoffice.org. (Read more)
  3. Novell & Microsoft’s software patent agreement betrays rest of free software community, including the very people who wrote the Novell’s own system, for Novell’s sole financial profit. (Read more)
  4. Novell helps Microsoft’s fight against Ajax, web standards, SVG by supporting Silverlight & implementing its GNU/Linux version. (Read more)
  5. Novell supports Microsofts proprietary standard OOXML.
  6. Novell is pushing Microsofts patents to GNU/Linux and cheating Free Software Community.
  7. Novell is the biggest promoter of MONO in Free Software Development.

Q3. What can I do?

There are both short term and long term goals. Short term goals include protesting the organizers’s act either by forwarding this to your friends or posting about the issue on your blog.

The long term goal includes creating awareness about the “Evil Novell” and boycotting all Novell products. Read about the boycott in this site.

Q4. I heard you were an ardent Communist and now you are talking against CPI(M)?

Yes! what you heard is right and I am still a Communist. That doesn’t mean I will be supporting CPI(M) for all their deeds. This case is a clear hijacking and dilution of Free Software Philosophy.

I would like to see CPI(M) and the left parties supporting and spreading free softwares. But before that they should understand what exactly is a “Free Software” and respect the community.

Related Posts:-

1) ‘Boycott Novell’ boycotted from Free software conference!!! by aswinatgec.

2) Free Software Activist Man-Handled by jainbasil.

3) free software activist man-handled at free software conference ! by Bobinson

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The happy news is I bought a new laptop. It is a Compaq c797, Intel Dual core 2Ghz, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, 160 GB Hard-disc, with FREEDOM (who needs Windows anyway). I have installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron in it and named him r0n. 🙂

Yesterday I gave him a mac look. This is how I did it.

Step (1) Enable desktop effects

System –> Preferences–> Visual Effects –> Extra

Step (2) Install Avant Window Manager

Either through Synaptic package manager or issue this command in terminal

sudo apt-get install avant-window-manager

Install the dependencies too.

Step (3) Open Avant Window Navigator

Applications–>Accessories–>Avant Window Navigator

And a small task bar will appear at bottom of your screen. Delete the “stock” task bar which comes by default.

Step (4) Add icons to your new bar

Drag frequently used programs from the menu into this new bar. You can change the order of the icons from Avant window manager.

System –> Preferences –> Awn Manager

Step (5) Start Avant Window Navigator with GNU/Linux

Check this link.

Step (6) Customize your bar.

You can play with the options (add animation, transparency etc)in Awn manager. Install themes from this link. There are more plugins are launchers for Avant window manager. Unfortunately nothing worked for me in my Ubuntu system.

That’s it…. and in the end, you will get something like this…

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us r0n rox….

GNU/Linux rules….

Courtesy to Make Your Linux Desktop Look Like A Mac – Mac4Lin Project Documentation

(If you missed the latest post in my Malayalam blog, please read it. Due to some unknown technical flaw, it didn’t got published in any of the aggregators/feed readers)

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This is a post meant for GNU/Linux evangelists. I hope this will help/guide the GNU/Linux volunteers in spreading the message about the freedom and peace of mind of GNU/Linux users across the world and save the mortals from the clutches of evil *DOS. “Oh! people, come and join the world of GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is the ONLY way to FREEDOM. GNU/Linux is the ONLY way to security. GNU/Linux fills your heart with happiness. GNU/Linux is all about sharing with your neighbor. Join my dear friend, join today itself to the elite club of GNU/Linux-ians.

#1. Never hesitate – Whenever someone asks you to install GNU/Linux in his or her system, even if he/she is your ex-girlfriend, don’t hesitate, but go and install GNU/Linux. A chance missed once and a chance missed forever most often means the same.

#2. STOP *DOS troubleshooting – It is a well known fact that M$ products sucks big time (except when they manufacture vacuum cleaners – an old joke) and will create problems till apocalypse. As a true follower of GNU/Linux, you should see this as an opportunity to make the victim aware of the features and powers of GNU/Linux and force him/her to try out a distro (I suggest Ubuntu) at least for once, and for sure he/she will fall for it. But the important thing is, you should NOT show much interest in *DOS troubleshooting which will make his life a bit miserable at least for sometime which will ignite the thoughts of migration. This works most of the time if you are the ONLY techie-guy in the city.

#3. Carry a GNU/Linux live cd/dvd always with you – I will suggest Ubuntu. Order it free from their site. Keep in handy at least one Ubuntu and one Kubuntu cds. If they found it nice, ask them “so let us proceed – Ubuntu or Kubuntu (or whatever)“. In most cases they won’t say a NO. Don’t hesitate, ACT – install it. After installing it successfully GIFT him/her the cd. He/she will be so happy, because it is the first time he/she is seeing an ORIGINAL software cd, that too in a good quality packet.

#4. Freedom after acquainting with GNU/Linux – This is something very controversial. There should be some short-term compromises made in order to achieve complete supremacy in future. For eg:- if you are installing Gnash instead of Flash in a ‘victim’s’ system, he is going to hate YOU as well as GNU/Linux and the whole freedom movement. For a beginner or an ordinary user, there should be some compromises made in utilities like Flash plugin (instead of Gnash) for Firefox, mp3 support, wma support (instead of ogg) and for engineers (BUY and) install Matlab for GNU/Linux [cough! cough!] (instead of GNU Octave). But after they become a fan of GNU/Linux systems, teach them the fundaes of Free softwares, freedom and GNU and then tell them to dump the non-free components from their system. Well, at the same time I request you NOT to use any non-free components in your personal computer.

#5. Tell them GNU/Linux is kewl – If you are in Ubuntu, enable desktop effects and show them how kewl GNU/Linux is. How the speed and richness-of-applications is better in a GNU/Linux system when compared to a similar *DOS system. Tell them that you don’t need the mobo cds or hardware driver cds again as before. Tell them you can modify the system according to your need.

#6. The best way to learn GNU/Linux – a common question we often face is “how can I learn GNU/Linux in one week”. Unfortunately, its a hyped up myth that GNU/Linux is not user-friendly. Tell your victim that, GNU/Linux is as user friendly or more as any *DOS platform. It is not necessary to use the CUI for common PC usage, but in some cases the terminal is extremely powerful and useful than the windows command prompt. The best way to learn GNU/Linux – use it.

#7. Don’t let live *DOS – Remains of *DOS had caused many problems in the past. It is better and is recommended to format the windows partition and NOT to dual-boot the machine whenever it is possible. Some people are too lazy to start learning GNU/Linux, though there is nothing much to learn about it.

#8. Some MUST-HAVE applications for a GNU/Linux system

  1. vlc Player – It plays most of the format.
  2. Adobe Flash plugin for Firefox – Required in net often. (Google videos, Youtube etc) [non-free software.]
  3. ntfs-3g – I think this is available by default in Ubuntu from Hardy Heron. But you should also edit the fstabs to auto-mount these.
  4. usbmount – Helps in automatically mount and unmount USB drives.
  5. compiz – If it is already installed, then enable it.
  6. gstreamer-ugly and gstreamer-bad – Install these for common-multimedia-format support (and convert all your mp3 to ogg).

#9. Show him the applications – Show him the huge list of applications including office packages and games which got automatically installed by default and also tell them what all you get from a proprietary operating system company.

(to be completed )

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