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Posts Tagged ‘Technical’

Some days back, I happen to see this post which boasts the share of M$ products in market. It is really pathetic to see people using the statistical data in an unscientific way (maybe due to their ignorance) to mislead people. In this case, this person has used the statistical data from W3 Schools, to project the market share of Microsoft Windows. At the first sight, upon seeing the stats given by him you will get an impression that M$ Windows is really ruling the market. But after some analysis is done with the raw data, the picture becomes clearer.

First I have added the Windows family for each month (i.e Win 95+Win 98+Win NT+Win 2000+Win XP+Win 2003+Win Vista). I gave them a moderation (for Win 95 in 2008, 2007, 2006 & 2005 and for Win NT in 2008 & 2007), the maximum value of 0.5% if they weren’t listed in the table. This is because the W3 Schools shows only those platforms with market share greater than 0.5%.

The data was available only for alternate months till January 2008, hence I allotted the previous months data whenever the data was absent. Then I plotted graph between the market-shares of M$ Windows family and the rest (GNU/Linux & Mac) from 2003 to 2008.

The results:-

1) Windows Family Growth (?)

Trend of Microsoft Family Operating Systems from 2003 to 2008

From this graph it is clear that the curve has a general negative slope though it stabilizes in the final months, whose future is still in question. The huge share of M$ products in world market is because of the high percentage of software piracy in India and China (which according to some is a conscious attempt by the M$ people, which should be true as they have a dark history of such nasty business tricks)

2) GNU/Linux family growth

Exponential growth of GNU/Linux family from 2003 to 2008

It is quite evident that over the years the number of GNU/Linux users are increasing. The improvements in user interfaces, awareness on FREEDOM of free softwares, flexibility and scalability of free softwares, security and stability of GNU/Linux platforms made the crowd to move to GNU/Linux, even in case of F1 racing where precision and speed are both required without any compromise. In the coming years we can see the exponential rise in the usage of GNU/Linux due to the faster development of the GNU/Linux distros compared to the contemporary ones. The best example is, Ubuntu developed by Canonical is released every six months, still offer better stability, security and facilities compared to the 6 year gap between Microsoft Windows XP and Vista.

3) MAC growth

Growth of MAC systems from 2003 to 2008

No wonder in rise of eye candy Mac systems on a web designer fundae site like W3 schools. The data from the W3 Schools may have been collected from the clicks to the site. But there is no way from the data to correlate the decline in Windows family to individual growth of MAC.

Conclusion:

  1. Windows is *NOT* growing.
  2. GNU/Linux and MAC are steadily growing.
  3. You cannot trust the click tracking from such specialized sites, unless they are from sites like Google or Orkut which attracts all classes of people.

I am quoting the words of Benjamin Disraeli which I found in the W3 schools statistics page.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics”

Future Works: To do some neural network simulation (or some prediction algorithm) to predict the death of Windows. Read this too.

UPDATES: (1) It was just now my firend Srinivas asked me this question “JUNK fellaw, how much time will it take for GNU/Linux to overtake M$ Windows. See, Windows is nearly 90% and GNU/Linux is hardly 5%…
A genuine question, but with an answer…”Not more than 5 years, India was well below Iran at the initial stages of Orkutting, at one stage everyone thought US would overtake Brazil, but now its INDIA overtaking US to claim the second position and soon we will see INDIA on top. WHY? Because of population, software piracy is really high in India and China, which magnifies the market share of Windows. If we move onto GNU/Linux, you can see a drastic rise in GNU/Linux users and a more deeper decline in Windows users

(2) The world’s fastest-growing economies reject Microsoft by Matt Asay

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Just now(by some 5:28 PM IST) I noticed that Orkut is reporting ZERO members for most of the communities. The ‘View Members’ link in the communities too got disappeared. Orkut was infamous for miscounting the community members, frien count, fan counts etc, but the Orkut people managed to rectify this error sometime back, but today again Orkut failed in counting, miserably.

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At last an Orkut-free post. As per the request of ‘Madhavan sir‘ I thought of posting something related to Linux. So, when I speak about Linux, don’t think that I am a Linux geek. I am a free software enthusiast, and had worked with Linux many times in the past. But, still I don’t think I deserve the name ‘geek‘.

I started my Linux days with Red Hat 9, the first install lead to full formatting of my hard disc. The next time onwards, I was very cautious about it. So, in from then on I used to partition my hard disc manually from windows, using partition magic, or you can even use freewares listed in this page. The interface, I liked very much, though it gave me lot of ‘shocks‘ like,

  • I was’nt able to play my mp3 files.
  • I was’nt able to execute .exe files (this was back in 2004).
  • I was’nt able to install any games.

So, I was just going through all the menus, checking all the games and other softwares there. After, some days, I formatted everything and reverted back to Windows. But, after that I have also tried Suse, Knoppix, some could play my mp3 but was wondering why I can’t install any software. Sometime later, from one my juniors, ‘lightX’, as he is famously known, I came to know that you can’t execute exe files normally, but using Windows emulators like wine which even allows you to install and play games like half-life (Read more here). And, again I started becoming a fan of Linux.

It was then I started using CAD softwares like I-deas, ANSYS and all, as a part of my coursework. Very unfortunately, I was again forced to depend on Windows. That was a tragic end to my honemoon with Linux.

Later, I found that there are free CAD softwares, specially made for Linux. But, it was too late, I did’nt had any installation CDs, and was packing bags for my Hyderabad life. Also, because I lost much of my interest in design field, I did’nt want to waste my time in researching and studying free CAD alternatives.

Before leaving to Hyderabad, I got my free Ubuntu CDs, but I could’nt install for obvious reasons. One year passed, I came back from Hyderabad and now Ubuntu released their latest version, Feisty Fawn. I got the CDs, and was ready to give a try. Unlike my first attempt, I created an ext3 partition from Windows, and booted from the CD, installed succesfully.

Still, the mp3 problem worried me, and for 2-3 days I was listening to ‘Agar tum kaho‘ from the movie ‘Lakshya‘, which was the only .ogg (OggVorbis) file I had in my system. I did a search on net, as a proud owner of 2 Mbps broadband connection, I managed to find a solution to the problem very quickly. I downloaded Automatix, and the installation of required files were done without much effort from side.

One month later, in a mishap I lost my ethernet card, which forced me to use PPPoE via USB. Very unfortunately, Ubuntu did’nt support it well, and I did’nt had the tech-know-how to solve this. And, again someone advised me that Suse will help you in connecting to net, I managed to get the DVD (its still with me for last 2 months), from my fellow moderator at Kollam/Quilon community at Orkut. Alas! Suse did’nt help. Lastly, I got the Fedora CDs ‘imported‘ from Singapore (ahem! from my friend Anand). Installed it, had huge expectations, but all in vain. I still uses PPPoE via USB, and I don’t want to invest Rs.200 for a new ethernet adapter. Hence, I reverted back to Windows XP SP2, and now evangelises the  cyber-youth to dump Windows and walk with Linux!!!!

From my experiences with Linux let me tell you a few things,

  1. Linux may not be as user-friendly as Windows, but for sure its not idiot-friendly (Courtesy to one of my friends who told this story that happened during his training, I forgot his name).
  2. You can do almost all things in a Linux system, even more than that, a Windows system can do. Check this link, which tells you ‘Why Linux is BETTER?‘.
  3. ‘LINUX ONLY WORLD’ is a fact, even if you say it is not, and time is going to prove it.
  4. Convert all mp3 files to Ogg Vorbis and show your support to free software philosophy.
  5. ‘Even’ in your Windows system, there are many free alternatives available. Check this link to know more. Pirating is really bad when you have free softwares available doing a better job than the proprietary ones.

So, if you feel like asking ‘hey, I feel like trying Linux, which is the best distro’. I am no one to judge the best distro award, but if you are new to Linux, the best one for you, is Ubuntu. Check this link for a list of tips to make your life with Ubuntu peaceful, free of troubles.

And, there is something against Ubuntu, which does’nt really matter if you are not that strict on ‘free software spirit‘.

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Don’t think that I am a computer maestro, I am writing this from my experience. Not at all sure about whether this will work or not. But it worked for me, so thought of sharing it here. So, most of you will be thinking now “It is so simple,  just installation of a Unicode font will do it, right?“.

The NEED

Installing only the Unicode will not be effective in most cases. You will be able to read Malayalam, though the rendering will not be so perfect. Especially the chillaksharams will not be displayed correctly.  If you know Malayalam and have Unicode fonts installed in your computer you can read the following.

ണ്ട ന്റ

If you can read the above perfectly (Those are ണ്ട as in ‘mandan’ or മണ്ടന്‍ and ന്റ as in ‘ente’ or എന്റെ ), then this blog is not for you. If you cant, proceed…

The first reason why you cant read is, very basic, you don’t have the font. Any Unicode font will do the job. But, the most famous one is AnjaliOldLipi.

The second reason, the main intention of this post.You don’t have it configured properly. So, lets do it. Make sure you have Windows XP installation CD with you.

STEP 1

  1. Goto Control Panel.

  2. Double-Click ‘Regional and Language options‘.

  3. Goto ‘Languages‘ tab.

  4. Select the check box (to enable) ‘Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (Including Thai)‘.

  5. Click ‘OK‘ for all messages and you will be prompted for Windows XP installation CD.

STEP 2 (For IE)

  1. Goto Control Panel.

  2. Double-Click ‘Internet Options‘.

  3. Select ‘General‘ tab.

  4. Click the ‘Fonts‘ button (towards bottom, middle).

  5. From ‘Language Script’ drop-down menu, select Malayalam.

  6. Select ‘AnjaliOldLipi‘ from the list.

  7. Click ‘OK‘ to all messages.

STEP 1 is a MUST and STEP 2 is just a tweak.

Above did the job for me and I don’t have any problems with ‘chillaksharams’ anymore. Another important thing you should note is, use ‘Internet Explorer‘ rather than ‘Mozilla Firefox‘ to read Malayalam pages. Don’t think I am pro-Windows or pro-IE. I will recommend these ONLY for reading Malayalam, hopefully only for the time being. Let the Firefox guys fix the Malayalam rendering bug.

But, Firefox people has a simple, but ‘not that effective’ workaround. By using the add-on, ‘Padma‘, you can minimize the problem but can’t wholly eliminate.

Also, check this post, How to display Malayalam properly in Firefox, by റാല്‍മിനോവ് :: Ralminov :: Ралминов

Another post, unfortunately for new users this one is in Malayalam, 5 ബ്ലോഗിംഗ് നുറുങ്ങുകള്‍ , by Haree | ഹരീ.

Anyway, hail Firefox, hell with Internet Explorer, I am stoppping here. Please add a comment if you have some other workaround to solve the infamous ‘Unicode bug’, or if you found any mistake with my methods or even if this did’nt work for you.

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As I had told earlier in my previous post, I have been blogging for past one year. That was in blogspot (or blogger; which is the latest name, I am not sure). But, have seen the WordPress platform and also tried to install it on a server. I was impressed by this software from the first sight itself. In this post I am trying to enumerate the different features of both WordPress and Blogspot.

Blogspot

  • Good one for newbies. Simple interface to start with.
  • You need to have the assistance from a 3rd party to track the performance of your blog. Note that outbound links will reduce the PR (if you are so concerned about it).
  • Incorporating Google Adsense ads is much easier. I think this was one way by the intelligent Google to attract people to blogspot. The majority of income from a click on an ads goes to Google and we, the publishers get peanuts.
  • Comment notification by e-mail is just another useful utility in Blogspot. And this feature was used extensively by Malayalam comment aggregators like ‘Marumozhikal‘ and erstwhile ‘pinmozhikal
  • Labels are a new thing to blogspot users, came with the upgradation to Blogger 2.0
  • The templates available are very few and among them only few looks good and professional.
  • Another feature in Blogspot is to blog through e-mail. By setting a ‘Mail-to-Blogger Address ‘ in blogger settings, you can blog from anywhere using e-mail. This is useful when the blogspot site is inaccessible due to some reason or other (like banning).

WordPress

  • Even WordPress is manageable for newbies. Except for some controls, I think everything else is ok.
  • Without having a third party software, you get a lot of statistics. Like the referrer URL, number of hits, hits per day etc which help you to track the performance of your blog.
  • You can’t insert Google ads into this version of WordPress. BUT, you can do it, if you install wordpress on your server. This is one place WordPress faces setback. Maybe it is their policy not to entertain Google to earn income at the cost of my (WordPress’s) server space and resources. WordPress will get more users if they allow this. (I am least affected, as Google had banned me from Adsense program for malpractices, he! he! he! he! , “Chathiyan Chanthu” )
  • I am not so sure about any comment notification facility, though I started getting Alert! mails for comment moderation. But, those mails are not as clean as comment notification mails from blogspot. I am not complaining though, as the information included in those mails are very useful in dealing with trolls and anonymous buggers. A good feature in fact, but troublesome to newbies.
  • Labels are categories here in WordPress and it is not new for WordPress bloggers. Infact before Blogger 2.0, this was one reason most blogspot users find to migrate to WordPress.
  • The templates available here, in this server are limited, though you get a hell lot of templates if you are installing Wordpress platform on another server. There are also different kinds of plugins or add-ons (or whatever it is) for your WordPress blog, which will make you WordPress blogging more convenient. And, that is one reason for calling WordPress more ‘flexible’  than Blogspot. But, unfortunately you need to have WordPress on another server to use these plugins.
  • Blogging via e-mail is not possible by default. I don’t know whether there are any plugins available to help you in that. If you know any such plugins please comment on it. (EDIT:- Blogging via e-mail is possible in wordpress.com, sorry for the wrong info I posted and please excuse my ignorance.)
  • Blogs at WordPress (in this server) are available via https:// (Secure http). Some more privacy, helpful sometimes when Wordpress site is blocked. Its really a nice thing to have this encrypted connection.
  • This basic installation of WordPress in this server also gives a different blogging experience. It tracks the inbound clicks, out-going clicks, other stats.It even tracks the comments I made with this wordpress account.
  • Tag Surfer is just another cool feature of WordPress which enables you to surf related blogs with similar tags you made in your blog.

The Verdict

Undoubtedly we can say, WordPress is the best especially when you are not blogging for money. WordPress performs at its best when installed on another server. Though, blogspot has its own advantages like ‘blogging through e-mail’ , I go for WordPress for its versatility. And, that is one of the reasons why I opted for WordPress to start my English blog.

And the blogspot bloggers need not worry. In WordPress, there is an option to export their ‘blogs with comments’ into WordPress platform.

UPDATE :- This is another review by smmellott , Google Blogger vs. WordPress. Check that too.

UPDATE:- Read this article, Of Blogging… and About it! by Amit Haralalka

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