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I use Yahoo! Calendar to keep track of my calendar events. I sync to it from Lightning/Thunderbird and iCal. And use the iSync plugin to sync it to my phone. I also use mutt over a screen session at times. During such times, this is how I update my events to Yahoo! Calendar.

  • Save the text/calendar attachment from the mail to a file, say cal.ics

  • Determine the UUID of the calendar event. Not the best, but one that works is given beow.

  • perl -n0e 's/(.*?)UID:(.*?)\w+?:(.*)/\2/gms; s/\s+//gms;print ' tmp/ical.ics

  • Yahoo! Calendar supports Caldav. Upload the files to the calendar with the following command.

  • curl -i -k --data-binary '@tmp/ical.ics' -H "Content-Type: text/calendar" -X PUT \<yid>/Calendar/<calendarname>/<uid>.ics \
    -u <yid>:<password>

  • Voila, You are done.

And here is how, I discovered this. Enable debugging in iCal, with these commands and then start iCal from a terminal. You can see the HTTP transactions between iCal and the calendar server.

defaults write IncludeDebugMenu YES
defaults write LogHTTPActivity YES

Hardy Upgrade

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I found sometime to upgrade to Hardy on my home laptop yesterday. I had two different partitions of 4GB each running two versions of Ubuntu and I wanted to do away with it since, over a period of time I run out of space on the root partition. So I moved /home to the end of the disk, deleted all other partitions and created a 7GB one for root. The whole process took almost 4 hours thanks to 250MB odd updates.

Steps done after upgrading to Hardy:

  • Fix /home partition.
    rm -rf /home/balajin
    sudo vol_id -u /dev/sda5

    Add to /etc/fstab
    # /dev/sda5
    UUID=deb73237-6b76-4bb3-ab1a-cf335e034315 /home reiserfs defaults 0 1

  • Add user narayanant and add to corresponding groups.

  • Run Update manager to sync with latest packages

  • Install courier-imap, fetchmail, procmail, msmtp, postfix.

  • Restore configurations for postfix, courier-imap and crontab.

  • Install vlc, mplayer, mozilla-mplayer, codecs, vim, emacs, thunderbird, xchat

Nautilus on Debian

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I use a Debian at work and one of the annoying thing I found is nautilus opens up a new window whenever I click on a folder. I rarely use the file browser but when I want to browse either my music or my photo collection, this is what I use. So, a couple of days back i fiddled around with nautilus-file-management-properties and figured out the option. In the Behavior tab, under behavior section, check 'Always open in browser windows'. This would open the folders in a single window and you can go back and forth from the location bar. By the way, this is the default setting on Ubuntu.

FOSSConf Chennai

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Drove down from Bangalore to Chennai last week citing FOSSConf as a reason. Kushal and Ram accompanied me on the onward and Ram and my parents came back on my return journey. Mid last year, I went to Chennai by a car with a few friends and I was waiting to go by myself. Also I have been wanting to eat at a road side Punjabi Dhaba. Accomplished both and enjoyed the driving. The top speed I hit was 130Kmph but did not feel very comfortable. Was driving comfortably 90+ onward and 100+ return. The road is amazing and I wish I took some more time stopping by and clicking pics. May be next time.

FOSSConf was amazing. One of the reasons why I go to such conferences is to meet people. Most of the important discussions happen outside the conference halls and in the evenings. This one was no different. Spent some time talking to folks outside the exhibition area and then went with a bunch of folks to Thiruvanmayur beach. Also met a few people whom I knew either on IRC or on mailing lists.

I also spent some time talking to the students who exhibited their projects at the expo. The amount of knowledge, exposure these students have in the industry is a welcome change. Their interaction with the industry, communities outside and some projects which were being done for say Revenue department or for Railways was awesome. I have captured some of the exhibits with the description on Flickr. And hats off to ilugc, NRCFOSS and all the folks involved for pulling off an amazing event.

Ubuntu and Volume control


If you notice that your sound settings are not restored on reboot, check if the alsa-utils script is started at boot uptime. I upgraded to Edgy on my laptop and saw that this was not started automatically.

FreeBSD and Gnome2


If you plan to do an upgrade of Gnome2 on FreeBSD, save some headache by reading this Gnome2 upgrading FAQ first.

Easy Ubuntu


Abhinav talks about Fedora Helper, which is a utility to install all those plugins / packages that you need like Flash, JRE, codecs, but are not available / intalled by default. I bumped across easy ubuntu when I was trying to install and configure Dapper on my laptop. Few clicks to install all those packages that you wanted. And all packages are fetched and installed as debs. Cool. Saves me a bunch of keystrokes so that I can write this blog entry. :-)

Ubuntu upgrade with an ISO image


If you want to save on a CD and use the iso image for an ubuntu upgrade, mount it as a loopback device (say /mnt/ubuntu) and add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list.

deb file:/mnt/ubuntu/ubuntu breezy main restricted

And then do a apt-get update followed by apt-get dist-upgrade.

Using mod_rewrite to convert uppercase url's to lower case url's.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteMap upper2lower int:tolower
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ /${upper2lower:$1}

Fedora Core3


FC3-BitTorrent DownloadFedora Core 3, code named Heidelberg is out. I have started the download thru BitTorrent. I should be ready to install it on my laptop over the weekend. The download speed is pretty decent. Another 15 more hours to go.

Also, I am getting Debian installed on another box for R&D. Next couple of weeks is going to be fun, if the workload does not peak out.

PS: Heidelberg - Where do they get these names. Google didn't help. I did see a note about Tettnang but unable to locate it now

Making mysql a bit more shell-like


This is cool.

'use' and 'show' will soon be forgotten.



I have got FC2. Approx 2.1GB via the torrent took less than 12 hours. I will try to burn it to a CD and if possible install it on my laptop tongiht. Kewl!

And the power of broadband is amazing.

ACPI working

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dmesg was displaying message "ACPI: Interpreter disabled." there was no /proc/acpi directory and when i tried starting acpid, it was erroring out "cant find /proc/acpi/events". After a bit of fiddling and googling found that i need to pass the "acpi=on" option to the kernel to get ACPI working. And now poweroff command / the power button gives a clean shutdown. Need to check speedstep/cpufreq.

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