A Procrastinator's Journal

Thinking aloud…

5 Years Already?

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Well, almost. The last entry was in May 2011. I didn’t realise that I’ve neglected this blog for so long. Maybe I’ve become lazy. In this age of 140 characters, writing a page-long blog post takes a greater commitment. Plus, sharing your opinion  or discovered information is more easily done on better networked social media.
Or maybe I’ve become more circumspect about thinking aloud. Or a sign of mid-life crisis that I’ve been going through for the past few years.

That still leaves the original content (or curated one) that one produces, of which the blog is still the best way of sharing. I’ve been tinkering with small DIY stuff lately, but didn’t document it for the usual reasons given: waiting for completion or too insignificant to write about. Anyways, here’s my renewed attempt towards shaking off that lethargy and document some of my DIY projects.


Written by ppatil

April 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm

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X11 forwarding on openssh server

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On my recent server installations, I noticed that X11 connections were not being forwarded via ssh. Initially I thought it was because of lack of some core X11 libraries in server installation. However, today I found that it was this OpenSSH bug related to a mess up between ipv4/ipv6. From the bug report:

What happens is that in x11_create_display_inet() (channels.c),
getaddrinfo() apparently returns the IPv6 address family first, and
sshd only tries to bind to that.

I always disable IPv6 in my installations (unless needed) to avoid confusion, and that explained why X11 forwarding refused to work over ssh.

A workaround for this problem is to add the following line to /etc/ssh/sshd_config:
AddressFamily inet

A similar problem also seems to affect Java networking according to this bug. I haven’t experienced it yet, but should remember just in case.

Written by ppatil

May 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Enable/disable input devices

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The right mouse button on my eeepc keeps troubling me intermittently (the right button remains pressed–probably it’s shorted sometimes). Although I rarely use the touchpad and its buttons (use a wireless mouse instead), the constant input of right click makes the eeepc unusable when this happens.

The solution?

Xorg provides a facility to control/configure the input devices while plugged in through ‘xinput’.
First, get the full name of the device with
xinput list
identify the device name from the list, e.g., “ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse”

Then, to disable a device, run
xinput --set-int-prop "ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse" "Device Enabled" 8 0

The 8 in this command is the ‘format’ of the attribute. The syntax for ‘xinput’ for newer Xorg is different (use –set-props instead).

To enable it back, run
xinput --set-int-prop "ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse" "Device Enabled" 8 1

Written by ppatil

July 19, 2010 at 6:49 am

ssh keys

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If migrating ssh public/private keys (for example, if starting with a new, clean /home), remember to copy the .gnome2/keyrings/login.keyring in addition the the .ssh directory itself. Else gnome keyring will keep asking for password even if there is no key password.

Written by ppatil

May 1, 2010 at 4:45 am

Meghdootam by Kalidasa

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Source: LiTgloss at Buffalo

For the uninitiated: Kalidasa is considered the greatest Indian poet and dramatist. Meghdootam, literally translated is “cloud messenger”. These are a few initial lines of Meghdootam:

कश्चित् कान्ताविरहगुरुणा स्वाधिकारात्प्रमत्त: शापेनास्तड्ग्मितहिमा वर्षभोग्येण भर्तु: ।
यक्षश्चक्रे जनकतनयास्त्रानपुण्योदकेषु स्त्रिग्धच्छायातरुषु वसतिं रामगिर्याश्रमेषु ॥१॥

A certain `yaksha` who had been negligent in the execution of his own duties, deprived of his powers on account of a curse from his master which was to be endured for a year
and which was onerous as it separated him from his beloved, made his residence  among the hermitages of Ramagiri, whose waters were blessed by the bathing of the daughter of Janaka [Sita] and whose shade trees grew in  profusion.

तसिमन्नद्रौ कतिचिदबलाविप्रयुक्त: स कामी नीत्वा मासान् कनकवलयभ्रंशरिक्तप्रकोष्ठ: ।
आषाढस्य प्रथमदिवसे मेघमाश्लिष्टसानुं वप्रक्रीडापरिणतगजप्रेक्षणीयं ददर्श ॥२॥

That lover, separated from his beloved, whose gold armlet had slipped from his bare forearm, having dwelt on that  mountain for some months,
on the first day of the month of Asadha, saw a cloud embracing the summit, which resembled a  mature elephant playfully butting a bank.

तस्य स्थित्वा कथमपि पुर: कौतुकाधानहेतो: अन्तर्बाष्पश्चिरमनुचरो राजराजस्य दध्यौ ।
मेघालोके भवति सुखिनोऽप्यन्यथाव्रत्ति चेत: कण्ठाश्लेषप्रणयिनि जने किं पुनर्दूरसंस्थे ॥३॥

Managing with difficulty to stand up in front of that cloud which was the cause of the renewal of  his enthusiasm, that attendant of the king of kings, pondered while holding back his tears.
Even the mind of a happy person is excited at the sight of a cloud. How much more so, when the one who longs to cling to his neck is far away?

This is by no means an authoritative translation, and texts such as these can not have one. For they were written in allegorical style, drawing upon a lot of context from other stories.
The works of Kalidasa and many other Indian writers are subject to many different interpretations.

Written by ppatil

June 20, 2009 at 2:41 am

Posted in literature, sanskrit

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Troubles with Gnome NetworkManager

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I always thought NetworkManager was a pain. But I stuck with it because I was too lazy to find/write an alternative. But when it repeatedly deleted my static IP settings for wired links, that was the trigger.
This problem is discussed here:


And I found wicd, a nice alternative to NetworkManager. Seems sensible to me, works well with wired LAN. Will try it on the eeepc for wireless next.

Update: Have been using wicd for over two months- works great for both wired and wireless.

I’m leaning away from the gnome-desktop. I remember the good old days of wmx. I should try the xfce or fluxbox once again.

Written by ppatil

March 29, 2009 at 11:46 am

Back after a long hiatus…

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It seems long long ago that I used to blog. Then I lost the enthu and momentum, partly due to other pressures in life. Not that it helped me channel my resources better towards tasks at hand. I’ve been procrastinating about resuming writing, especially since I am writing my thesis now and unconstrained writing does seem to help break the writers’ block that I often get into.

A lot has happened over the past two years–I have a daughter who will turn two this April. I lost my grandfather exectly one year back, on 15th March 2008. Parental duties turned out to be more demanding than anticipated. Other family crises taught me a lot about human relationships. Or perhaps one just becomes wiser with age!

On professional front, things have been less turbulant. I just presented my pre-synopsis seminar couple of weeks back. Now I have to finish writing the thesis and submit it within the next three months. Polishing the results (the presentation, not the content!) and the overall presentation seems like a daunting task, but I guess one just has to go through it.

Of course, there are rewards waiting. The biggest reward is change. Change of place, work responsibilities, house, city, company, professional status, blah blah blah. But change to what? I don’t know. For some reason I am not feeling enthusiastic to search for jobs. I know it seems foolish from career point of view but some things are just like that. I just want to worry about thesis right now, although it means sitting idle for some time. Maybe that’s what I am looking forward to, sitting idle! But this idle probably means ‘not doing something career-oriented’. At this stage of life, I don’t see myself as a career-oriented professional, and my understanding of ‘success’ keeps changing at every stage.

Enough of self-obsessed blabbering. Maybe I’ll resume some useful writing on this blog. On the subject of usefulness, my post on recipe for Biryani seems to have contributed more to humankind than all my research over the years. Maybe I should focus more on that in future 🙂

Written by ppatil

March 16, 2009 at 5:11 am

Posted in General Stuff